|Reviews for The Island of Misfit Toys|
| MissScorp chapter 27 . 1/19
Hi there! I'm back for the final chapter in this wonderfully under-appreciated story that you have written! I have absolutely enjoyed the journey you have taken me on and can say that this story met every expectation that I had and then some! I love how this chapter is on the dark side, what with Allelujah returning from hell and finding his home is no longer the same, but that it ends the story actually on a positive note. Home, as well as the people who inhabited it, were no longer the same, but it was enough. It was better than he might have anticipated finding after all those months where he was being tortured by a bunch of vile men (and women). It takes the story full circle from the beginning IMO. Neil is preparing to take the world apart in order to protect his misfit family from being taken away as his real family was. Allelujah is being returned to his family after the world tried to take him and will now protect them because they represent home. It's perfect and the only way that this story could have ended.
I loved the paragraph that starts with ((Lockon was still dead,)) and continues onwards with Allelujah examining and noticing the differences in everyone around him. He sees Setsuna has become a man, Feldt is wearing her hair up, Tieria has lost that aura that surrounded him, Ms. Sumeragi has wrinkles ((And Allelujah…Allelujah had lost four years in A-Law prison, and returned to a world he didn't recognize.)) It shows how while he was incarcerated and tortured that the world continued on without him as part of it. People grew up, moved on, passed away. It was the circle of life and he was t part of it because he was locked away from the world. That he doesn't recognize this world (or this world recognize him for that matter) is understandable. Four years is like forty when you've been incarcerated like he was. Time doesn't stand still just because one person dies or goes away.
When Setsuna says, (("I hoped you had died after the battle ended,")), I was left asking the same thing as Allelujah, (("What? Why?")) because I couldn't imagine that this was really how Setsuna thought and felt. I was left wondering about why he'd say this and what Allelujah had done to make him despise so. Then Setsuna says, (("I thought you had fallen into the hands of an enemy that would not treat prisoners well,")) and I got it. He figured that death was much more preferable and honorable than being tortured. Sadly, he was right as we saw earlier from the emaciated figure with fading bruises that Allelujah describes himself as being. Death would have been easier and kinder than what Allelujah suffered, but clearly there was some divine plan at work that didn't allow him death and which instead returned him to CB and his adoptive family.
This: ((It wasn't the same home, but it was still home.)) is just the perfect ending. It's all that needs to be said. It might not be the same home he left, but it was still home and that was good enough.
This was a fantastic story from top to bottom. All I can say is brava and fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 26 . 1/19
Hi there! I'm back for the last of the two chapters I have in this wonderfully epic story! I have completely enjoyed my journey and can't wait to see how this all comes to what I expect will be a glorious end!
I like this here: ((Despite the title of super-soldier, not every talent that came with Allelujah Haptism's enhancements was particularly useful on the battlefield. In fact, he was fairly sure that some of them weren't even intentional.)) as an opening segment because it intentionally sets the tone and alerts me to the fact that this won't be a dark or angst-y type of chapter. It also raises my interest level because I want to know what talent he has that is not very useful and which won't help him with doing anything constructive or helpful in a combat situation. I also like that he has this thought while sitting around a swimming pool with Feldt, Ms. Sumeragi and Christina. It shows that he is able to have a bit of self-deprecating humor about how his unusual ability even while introspectively extolling upon the fact that even at leisure he's still nothing but a ((super-soldier)).
I got a hoot out of how Allelujah uses his ability to discern that Ms. Sumeragi had (("Two bottles of sake and….about three quarters of a cocktail,")). That this "ability" is not something that will help on a battlefield or in any sort of combat situation really just makes it an even more amusing ability for him to have. However, it breaks up the monotony of their lives and adds a characteristic to Allelujah that makes him even more unique than he is already.
I think here: ((If only every day could be this peaceful.)) perfectly sums up how they all must feel. Amidst so much chaos and death they have found a way to have one peaceful and relaxing moment. It makes that moment all the more precious and something they can all hold onto when the days ahead get dark and gloomy.
In all this was a great chapter that really worked to break up the angst and drama of the last few. Absolutely fantastic job!
| MissScorp chapter 25 . 1/19
Hi there! I'm back for the last of the three chapters I have in this wonderfully epic story that you have written! I have absolutely enjoyed my journey this far and can't wait to see how this all comes to what I expect will be a stunning end!
Okay, I have to say first off that I love this chapter and how you present a situation that many women face in real life in the military (as well as other walks of life) and don't ignore the seriousness of the situation (especially since the canon itself apparently did). However, I am struggling a bit in coming to terms with the how of it all and that might be fandom blindness playing a huge part in it more than anything. Your A/N explains that a situation happened in the canon between Feldt and Lyle where he kisses her during a confrontation(?) That seems harmless enough. As I continue reading, I get the gist that it was not a simple kiss being done to show desire or to use sex as a control factor and that is where I get lost, especially since Lyle says here: (("I was just trying to make her understand—")) and Tieria replies, (("That you are not your twin brother. I am aware. I listened to the audio thrice to ascertain that the idiotic things coming out of your mouth were not of my own imagining.")) So I have a bit of an idea that what went on wasn't just a "simple" kiss, but at the same time, part of me (as a reader) feels that the jump to ((assault)) for it is a tad overreaching on their parts.
I know that it is said here: (("You forced that kiss on her," Sumeragi said. "She clearly didn't want it—you must have noticed her trying to pull away.")) but again, what happened before this happened seems to revolve around Lyle's twin brother, so there is something more that happened to lead up to the situation that I think plays towards why Lyle felt he had to do this. Perhaps including a bit of a flash to that moment so we can see things a bit more clearer would make this more obvious. I am guessing that there is a LOT more that went on than just a forced kiss that Feldt did not want and I am not linking the two sides together for that reason. Not discounting the events, not saying that you are not right in your interpretation and that Lyle was not completely inappropriate in what he did, but there was a reason why he did it and I think that reason should be given so we can see it and use it judge the events properly, especially since Tieria admits here that he is not (("inclined to believe that)) Lyle's (("intentions toward Feldt were")) actually meant to be (("inappropriate.")) while also admitting that his (("actions")) themselves, (("were inappropriate."))
Again, I really love how this chapter doesn't shy away from a serious situation and how CB showcases here: (("Feldt has been with Celestial Being for much longer than you," Tieria said. "Longer than most of the people on Ptolemaios, actually. If you're asking which of you is the more essential crew member…well, I think you should be able to discern the answer yourself.")) that they are going to stand behind and protect their female officers. So many cases have been coming out nowadays about female soldiers and personnel in the military are subjected to sexual assault by their male comrades just because they feel women have no place in their unit (or are there to be abused). This shows the evolved attitudes of CB and that they won't get rid of Feldt if Lyle cannot act appropriately around her. No, they will dump Lyle and find someone who treat the women properly.
In all, this was a great chapter, I just feel my fandom issues might have prevented me from making the connection necessary to explain why Lyle did this and how they are seeing/treating it. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 24 . 1/19
Hi there! I'm back for the last few chapters of this wonderfully epic story that you have written! I have absolutely enjoyed my journey this far and can't wait to see how the experience all comes to a close!
I really loved this characterization point here about how ((Yoichi Tsubaragi hadn't gone into molecular physics to teach schoolchildren, but the job market in Japan at the time of his graduation had other plans.)) It shows how even the smartest of men and women are at the mercy of the job field and that if your chosen career is not hiring that you have to take what is available while waiting for a potential job to open up. That ((He found subatomic particles much easier to deal with, on the whole.)) just perfectly illustrates the headaches that teachers get to contend with on a daily basis. The fact that he talks about his students in terms of physics just shows where his passion is and what his training is in. Students are less people to him and more like organisms that he can't study beneath a microscope at that point because of the ethical violations that would be involved heh
Okay, wow, didn't see that Kinue was going to be the one who would end up being the one who Saji would learn had (("...died.")) I anticipated that given the other chapter where they were on opposite sides of the conflict that it would be Louise who would end up dying. That Saji was the one who the AEU ((needed)) in order ((to identify the body,)) was already hard enough. But that he was also ((visiting Louise in the hospital...")) fully explains why he looks like a zombie and doesn't care if he takes a zero on some quiz. He's had enough tossed at him at this point in time and emotionally cracking beneath the weight and pressures being dumped down upon his shoulders. That his brightest spot is the brief moment when he and Yoichi joke about how he makes tips as a pizza delivery guy whereas Yoichi just got the privilege of paid servitude at a golf course really shows how empty his life now is without Kinue and Louise in it.
I think that this here: ((She was one of those students whose interest in subjects was directly reflected by her grades—she only got A's in classes she enjoyed, while her grades in classes she found boring, like Yoichi's, were generally C's or lower.)) works as a great illustration of a Louise that we don't really get to see here. She's someone who focuses on her own pleasures and desires, who attenuates and dedicates herself to things that she is interested in, who tries her hardest when it is subject material or a situation that she is deeply connected too and has a vested interest in. When she's not particularly interested in something, she only does half the work, if that, and is fine with barely scraping by. This says she's someone who can be reckless, who likes a thrill and seeks a challenge, but will work herself to death if it is something that she believes in or is connected with.
This was another rather sad chapter, but the interaction between Saji and Yoichi softened the sadness of loss by offering hope and a tentative lifeline of sorts (even if Yoichi is not the most willing anchor to be found). Excellent job!
| MissScorp chapter 23 . 1/19
Hi there! I'm back for the last few chapters of this wonderfully epic story that you have written! I have absolutely enjoyed my journey this far and can't see how the experience comes to an end!
I have to say that I like the presentation of the material in a journalistic style two-ways. The first feels more like an article with how the writer showcases Ismail's answers to the questions being asked around the situation that is being presented in in the article. The second is a typical Q and A with the interviewer sticking to the questions and giving little to no background information. Both are informative and provide the thoughts of Ismail in a very clear manner.
Saying that ((As Princess Royal, Ismail's powers are limited.)) works to show how limited Ismail's powers really are. She is ((largely a figurehead,)) even though ((she does have the power to act as a diplomat for Azadistan.)) She doesn't have any real power of her own, she's more or less a figurehead who is allowed to make pleas for financial aide and food in order to help her people survive the restructuring period that has overtaken it. She can't really do more than that since she is living in a world where the leaders are those who have been creating the conflicts and causing the problems all for the sake of their "holy" purposes. Her function is more or less as a status symbol that gives the troops an idea of who they are fighting for (as well as what) and the people someone to voice their needs for them and hope that they will be heard. It is a very strong social statement that reminds us that Queens or Presidents are not the sole power in every country and that many are limited by the other hands in charge, or who are hired to help govern the people.
I like how when the writer writes that ((Ismail is a dedicated pacifist, something that has been a source of debate in Azadistan, especially for the conservative faction, which has spearheaded many of Azadistan's past "holy wars.")) that she is quoted as saying (("I don't care what anyone else thinks about it. I believe war is wrong.")) This is a strong statement that shows well what Marina thinks of the strife and conflicts that have torn her country apart and left people starving, unable to make enough money to live on and which denies medical attention and care to the soldiers who come home injured from the battles. For me, this is a strong representation of what goes on in many modern war torn societies. It is the civilians who get the most hurt in wars because they are who can end up homeless, who can see food production cuts off, and who can be forced to live in less than humane situations as the country rebuilds itself. And the soldiers who return home are returned to these conditions and denied the care they need for the injuries they have sustained in the line of the duty- mentally as well as physically.
I love the strength that Marina displays here when she is asked: ((What's his name?)) and replies back with a clearly flippant ((That's none of your business.)) to close the interview out. It shows her strength as a woman and how she won't play coy or play games with interviewers. The topics she discussed were personal and meaningful to her while also allowing the world to see a glimpse of who she is as a woman. That she doesn't out the one who she holds in her heart and place him in the spotlight or make it where he's under his scrutiny shows that she respects the boundaries between them and won't insult their friendship by humiliating him.
In all this was a wonderfully imaginative piece with a very unusual style that managed to work to showcase who Marina is, what is going on in the country at the time and her ability to field personal questions from noisy reporters without getting belligerent or rude. Nice job!
| MissScorp chapter 22 . 1/17
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for another chapter in this wonderfully epic story! Still pretty much fandom blind, but that hasn't stopped me thus far! That being said, let's get on with this review!
This here: ((The endless dream of space stretching out in all directions, and a green light, distant and faint, leading him forward.)) is a really awesome piece of imagery. I love the whimsical way that space just stretches out before him. There's this sense of freedom and emptiness until this small green light appears and promises the possibility of salvation or damnation. That this translates into his guilt over what is apparently his greatest failure is clear when he wakes up and cannot resume sleeping.
I really like the different ways the light comes into play here with how ((Some nights, he)) can nearly reach the light, and catch a glimpse of Dynames' contours outlined in starlight.)) while on ((Other nights, it would simply vanish without warning, or he would lose sight of it when a red comet streaked across his vision, bright enough to blind him for one crucial moment.)). It works to showcase the difference between dream and nightmare or even dreams and reality. There are many ways that this could be interpreted quite honestly. What is true is that he sees something in one shade, thinks he spots the outline of Dynames' shape amidst the stars and before he can reach out and grab hold, it changes. The red could even be taken as an allegorical representation of blood or fire, both keeping him from reaching the figure that he sometimes thinks he can see and pain caused by him slapping his head against his seat during an attack.
I love how Tieria orders Marie to ((Put that in the freezer.")) and Marie replies: ("But that might ruin it…")) until she ((...sees the slight smile on Tieria's face.)) and realizes that sticking the same in the freezer and ruining it is exactly what Tieria wants to do. Less sake means the less that Ms. Sumeragi can consume. And the less that she can consume, the less drunk that she is. This is more evidence of how the members of the team tend to take care of each other. They can't stand by and watch her kill herself with drink, but neither can they completely stop her.
So they do what they can to limit how much she drinks by destroying what she prefers when she does.
In all this was a nice piece that shows how tightly connected the team is. They take care of each other and support each other the best they can. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 21 . 1/17
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for a couple more chapters in this wonderfully epic story that you have written! Still fandom blind as you know, but that hasn't stopped me thus far! That being said, let's get on with the review!
I really like how Setsuna is in a bad place mentally in this chapter. His memories of his battles are crowding him, exhaustion is hounding him, and he’s trying to cope with it all by listening to the music on a music player that ((Lockon had given)) and which he ((loaded some songs onto)). That for ((right now, the driving beat and screeching guitars were the only thing anchoring him in this place and time.)) showcases just how bad off that Setsuna is. He’s cracking at the seams, fraying steadily and struggling with staying upright. His experiences have taken their toll on him, they have damaged him and left him as a shell of a man who is only barely standing with one foot grounded in either of the worlds that he resides.
I really like how Setsuna processes and recognizes that ((Saji was a civilian, not a threat.)). This does show that he’s been in a combat position for so long that he has to process who could be a threat and who isn’t on the drop of a dime. To do otherwise could find him in a bad situation, one where he either won’t have his comrades or friends to help him out or where he could hurt someone innocent because he doesn’t know that they mean him no harm.
I think how Saji recognizes that ((His neighbor's expression took on a very strong resemblance to the one that Kinue always had when Saji caught her with romance novels, one made up of equal parts of surprise and embarrassment, with a side of desperation for the person to stop looking added in.)) works to illustrate just how much that Setsuna doesn’t want people to see below his façade and see how broken he is by his experiences. It’s a matter of pride in some sense, and a matter of not showing weakness for another. He can’t appear to be weak because an enemy could be lurking around the corner and use that weakness to destroy him or his friends.
I really love the way that this section here: ((He'd just eat an MRE, find a blanket to sleep on, and ask Mr. Al Saachez to check his temperature in the morning…/Oh. Wait. That wasn't right. He hadn't eaten an MRE in years, there was a bed in his apartment—he had an apartment!—and if Ali Al Saachez tried to take his temperature the correct response would be breaking the man's hand. And then his face.)) really illustrates the fragility of his mental status at this moment. He can’t initially recall where he is, what month it is, what he’s supposed to do, what food he’s going to eat. Then his mind clears and he remembers where he is, right before he passes out again following a nourishing soup.
I like how ((Other than the quilt and pillow, the only evidence that the apartment had held an extra occupant the previous night was a note, written on the legal pad they usually kept in a drawer near the videophone.)). This shows how silently that Setsuna can be when he chooses to be. He doesn’t wax philosophical, doesn’t carry on needlessly or overstay his welcome. He just packs his things up the next morning and leaves a simple note of thanks before letting himself out quietly so as to not awaken those who gave him shelter when he needed it. It shows his ability to show respect and acknowledge the great service that was done for him by Saji and his family and how he doesn’t want to repay it by being rude.
This was another bittersweet chapter, but at least it ended with a hopeful note that says that Setsuna isn’t going to be alone in the future, that he will have someone there to check on him and keep an eye out over him. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 20 . 1/16
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for one more chapter in this wonderfully epic story that you have written! Still fandom blind as you know, but that hasn't stopped me thus far! That being said, let's get on with the review!
I really like this part here: ((...button for the elevator. It was so small. How had he never noticed how small it was? If anyone ever thought to put a bomb in it, there wouldn't even be pieces of the riders to find. It felt like a death trap.)) because as someone who suffers from claustrophobia, this is an acute representation of a (death trap) for me. I can perfectly imagine how unsettling that moment of realizing that you could be killed in this tiny box that has no way out should something go tragically (or even minutely) wrong.
I think that the way that he acknowledges how ((He could have died.)), that ((They both could have died. But they hadn't.)) works to show us his mindset at that moment. He's lived through his trauma, but he has the scars to show for it.
Mentally, he's not okay. He's got PTSD from the experience, is experiencing night terrors from what nearly happened. He even acknowledges that he is ((sure the nightmares would fade.)) in time and that ((He would be able to hold on to his own everyday life, even as the world fell to pieces around him.)) so long as he has his family around him to keep him strong. It's not like Saji, who I didn't know this was until this passage here where he says ((He didn't really care what happened to the world, anyway. Kinue and Louise were his world, his own bright spots in a sky too dark and vast for him to comprehend…)). He doesn't care if the world burns or falls all around him so long as he has Kinue and Louise there to act as his beams of light. They are what keep the darkness from closing in, they stop the madness and mind numbing terror from claiming him and dragging him into an abyss that he wouldn't be able to get it of. They are hope and he clings to them like moss clings to the mighty oak.
Another fantabulous chapter! Can't wait to read more!
| MissScorp chapter 19 . 1/16
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is going to be yet another spectacular chapter in this wonderfully epic story you have written! Still fandom blind as you know, but that hasn't stopped me thus far! That being said, let's get on with the review!
I really thought the way you wrote how ((Kinue wakes up at six, while Saji is still asleep, and gulps down coffee and a bagel in her car on the way to the office.)) works to illustrate the harried pace of her life perfectly. I get that harrowed feeling of being on the go from the moment she wakes up to the moment she walks back through the door. Every move is done in warp speed and everything is done while she is on the move. She doesn't even stop to eat lunch. She works as she eats, taking bites between her article search and building because she can't afford to waste one second on anything mundane. It shows how different her life is from Saji's, who only has to be on the go when he is called away for a mission (I am assuming from the military-like way that Gundam is represented).
I really love how ((When she gets home,)) that ((Saji is just putting a pan of stir-fry onto plates, while Louise inspects the finished product and complains about all the weird vegetables Japanese people eat.)). It is a nice and homey touch that illustrates that family life still continues even in a state of war (or inside a hectic lifestyle where one person is on the go constantly). It adds that touch and hint of family. This is the comfort of the familiarity, the support system she can rely upon, the familial warmth she can wrap herself in whenever the daily grind begins to take its toll on her. I also like the quiet nod to the relationship between Saji and Louise. Clearly, this is a better time, one where they aren't standing on opposite sides of a war that neither one wanted to be part of. They are enjoying a quiet domestic moment, joking around with each other about things like vegetables (indicating cultural blending), and just being content in being.
How ((She takes a deep breath, and leaves all of the stress of the day beside the door with her shoes.)) illustrates that she leaves her problems and the headaches of her job outside the door. She doesn't want to bring that negativity into her home, or allow it to poison the tranquility of her family. She leaves it all outside and goes in to enjoy the solidarity and warmth of her family.
This was a brighter and much happier chapter that worked to show how families operate and work together to get through daily struggles. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 18 . 1/16
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is going to be another spectacular chapter in this epic story! Still fandom blind as you know, but that hasn't stopped me thus far! That being said, let's get on with the review!
I like how when Allelujah tries to remember his mother and father that he imagines he can ((feel a large, warm hand wrapped around his own.)) and that he hears ((The sound of language he)) cannot ((remember how to understand)) and can ((taste the dust in the wind.)) How he can ((almost call up the image of a thin, brown wrist emerging from a loose cotton sleeve, or of a flash of gentleness that shone in dark eyes)) and ((The smell of cheap, over-scented soap tingled in his nose.)) and ((Sometimes... almost picture faces.)) illustrates what he wants to remember and what he hopes is the truth. The sad fact is that Allelujah has no idea if any of this is true or not. He can't remember his family and can only draw assumptions based upon what his heart most desires.
When he realizes that that ((warm hand had Lockon's calluses,)) and that the ((unknown language was one he'd heard on a recent intervention, to a country where the breeze tasted of dust.)) we start to see how Allelujah is taking the sensory information he gets on his missions and uses it to craft the life he didn't have. He didn't have a family like the others. He was locked in an Institution and essentially turned into a Super Solider. Each and every one of ((the blanks left empty)) are ((because he had no real memories to fill them.)) because he never had a chance to build those impressions or form any sort of connection with his mother and father that would create those memories.
This line here, about how ((He wanted to believe that he was missed.)) is so poignant and sad. Allelujah wanted to know he had been loved, that he had mattered, that he hadn't been cast aside because his parents had one too many mouths to feed and needed the money that was being offered them. He wanted to know that people would mourn for his loss, that they ached for his return, that they were sad that he wasn't there with them. None of those things can happen, of course, because he doesn't even know who his parents are or where they might be. Not that he'd ask them anyway. Some things are just better off unknown.
Another bittersweet but lovely chapter. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 17 . 1/16
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is going to be another spectacular chapter in this epic story! Still fandom blind as you know, but that hasn't stopped me thus far! That being said, on with the review!
This was a pretty powerful chapter, but I thought this here: ((In the corner, he saw it, an area of shadows that was just a little more black than the area around him.)) summed it all up nicely. There is such a lovely underlying message here about the darkness being both a physical entity that is surrounding Allelujah, as well as a psychic element because of the memories and emotions that his circumstances have awoke inside him. His past is always lurking in the corners of whatever room he is in. He can't run from it, no matter how much he tries or might want to do so.
I thought the way that you wrote how ((He ached,)) because there was ((something holding his arms to his chest…oh, no. It was a straightjacket. He was in a straightjacket.)) was almost conversational in tone. It was almost as if Allelujah was detached from himself and going outside himself in order to process everything that is going on. Once he is able to collect the necessary information, he then "tells" himself what he is feeling. His relying upon the sensory information he was able to collect shows us how astute and apt a mind he has. He can tell he is shackled to the chair because of the weight of the chains. He knows his chair is made of metal because it is colder than the room itself. And he knows he is wearing a straightjacket and face/mouth guard (for lack of a better word) based upon the way those things physically feel.
I love how at the end, when he is ((Bound and shackled in a dark room, alone in his head for the first time in years,)) that Allelujah Haptism screamed.)) It again ties back into the earlier statement about the darkness being a constant presence he cannot be rid of. It's now swallowed him up here and he's left with nothing but the memories and emotions that he has done his best to avoid for so long.
In all this was a very dark and sad chapter that conveys how bad off that Allelujah is. He doesn't even have his other side (I am assuming it is) to help shield him from the mindless madness threatening him. Great job!
| MissScorp chapter 16 . 1/8
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is going to be yet another spectacular chapter! Still fandom blind as you know, but that won't ever stop me! That said, on with the review!
I think having this chapter from Lyle's POV was definitely a smart move. It shows how Lyle is handling the aftermath of his families deaths and what he is doing in response to it. That he has joined the group ((Katharon)) because ((most of its members had lost their families too, whether to A-Law prisons or to death.)) makes sense. He would want to be with people where there was ((an unspoken rule: you didn't talk about what you didn't have.)) because he doesn't want to talk about his last or about the family that had been taken from him by a well-timed terroristic attack.
I imagined that here: ((There was a look in his eyes, mournful and tired and a little lost…it was a little too familiar for Lyle's tastes.)) that he was thinking about what he'd see whenever he'd look into Niel's eyes. And what he sees whenever he drops his guard and looks into his own eyes, which I imagine is not often. He doesn't want to see the past or his self-loathing and guilt for being alive when so many others he knew were all dead.
I thought Lyle's inner reflection about how ((It sort of killed your ability to feel self-pity when you discovered the guy you'd been eating lunch with for weeks had all but gone through perdition up to this point and that compared to his, your relatively crappy life was freakin' peaceful.)) shows his ability to see that while his life was hard and sucked big time, there were others who'd actually had it worse then he did. Some were not fortunate enough to have had a family or even loved ones in general they could mourn or belabor for having lost. Some, like Allelujah, didn't even know who their parents were while some, like Setsuna, wouldn't even talk about it, indicating how what happened was so bad that it wasn't worth sharing because of how much it could traumatize people already traumatized enough.
In all this was a somber, but lovely introspective piece. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 15 . 1/8
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is yet another fabulous chapter! Still fandom blind as you know, but that won't stop me! That said, on with the review!
I actually thought the voice here: ((To put it more succinctly, he had never really expected that, despite all the time he'd spent on science and engineering classes, his primary societal function would end up being that of a nursemaid.)) really told me a lot about the character of Billy. He's obviously someone who has put in the time to become well-trained for a particular career and job path only to find himself ending up as something of a nursemaid-first to a wild child named Graham and then to a psychology damaged woman named Leesa. That he finds it resentful is evident by his snippy tone, though he seems to reluctantly have accepted that this is what he's best at doing by the end of the chapter.
The differences in Graham and Leesa and how Billy relates and treats them are about as wide as the gulch at the bottom of the Grand Canyon and require different methods of treatment. Graham is ((loud, over dramatic, and his ability to think logically seemed to appear and disappear at random.)) whereas Leesa has ((barely spent five minutes sober for the first year after she arrived,)) and after that, not ((spent more than a few days without a drink)). As out of control as Graham might be, he is not the dysfunctional alcoholic who is medicating herself with alcohol in order to forget the traumas she's endured. That trying to nudge her into getting help didn't work was a given. She isn't ready to admit she's hit rock bottom me that she needs help. Way Leesa sees it, she doesn't deserve to be there and her dying is just laying the Piper for everything she has-or has not, in her mind, done.
I think that this here: ((He heard her, sometimes, late at night, sobbing and managing to slur out "I'm sorry," in between tall whiskey shots.)) is a perfect rendering of a soldier who is dealing with PTSD and survivor's guilt issues. They remember the fallen and blame themselves for not being better, smarter, faster, more talented. And they tend to cope with the memories and the self-hatred, self-blame and recriminations crowding them by marinating themselves in booze. It's her manner of shutting the voices and avoiding the memories and faces that she will never likely forget. What's sad about this is that he cannot go to her and offer comfort because she won't accept it and doesn't really want it anyway. So he can only lay there and listen to her calling out the names of those fallen, wanting to help her, but knowing that nobody can help her until she's ready to help herself.
This was another beautiful piece. It is tragic that Leesa can't see a way out of the darkness and that Billy can't find the words to help her see that what happened was not her fault and that killing herself won't solve anything. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 14 . 1/8
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is going to yet another fabulous chapter! Still fandom blind as you know, but that won't stop me! That said, on with the review!
I really like how Saji laments here about missing those "ordinary" things that he used to whine about, but acknowledged now ((Too much had happened, too much had changed. But he wanted it so badly to be possible…he wanted those days back so desperately that it hurt.)) I think that this shows how much he and Louise have gone through in their lives. They were children who ended up falling in love and who got separated because they found themselves ending up on two sides of a conflict that neither of them (really/maybe) wants to be involved in. Just because they were trapped on two different sides of the war doesn't mean they don't feel for each other still. They still do. They are just trapped and unable to break themselves free in order to reclaim that life and relationship they once had enjoyed.
My feels were hit here: ((He wanted to see Louise again, and he wanted a normal life, and sometimes those two desires got so tangled up in one another that he was no longer sure which one was driving him.)) because I can feel how badly that Saji would love to go back in time and have back the life they had before the war got in the way. However, there came a point when Saji finally wondered if he was ((...trying to reach Louise for her sake, or for his own?)) and that ((Sometimes, he just wasn't sure.)) because the lines were getting blurred and he no longer knows if he actually is trying to reach Louise because he wants to save her from the nightmare that they are both being forced to live or if he wants to rescue her because he want to be saved. I can see Louise being Saji's lifeline. Even his antisocial neighbor had become somewhat of a life line for him. He says it himself when he acknowledges that ((He was so thoroughly tangled in the war and conflict he detested that he had no idea how he would even go about escaping.)) He's stuck, he's miserable and he's holding onto the only good memories and the one person that those memories represent in order to keep himself from succumbing to depression or madness.
In all this was a lovely chapter that portrays how hard it is for two people to be in love and standing on opposite sides of the battlefield. Fantabulous job!
| MissScorp chapter 13 . 1/8
Hi there, Feather! I'm back for what I am sure is yet another fabulous chapter! Still fandom blind as you know, but that won't stop me from either loving or understanding the story you are telling. That said, on with the review!
I think how ((Setsuna's hands hovered over the keyboard,)) and the way ((he tried not to notice that they were trembling slightly.)) worked to convey his nervousness without having to spell it it for us. It's clear that he has something on his mind, something dark and troubling and which causes him to experience nerves like he's never experienced them before. That he is essentially going on a suicide mission explains and more than justified his feelings of nerves. He's literally going to be walking into a situation that he likely won't be coming back from. He's willingly giving his life to a cause, he's expected that fact, but that doesn't mean he's completely ready to accept his fate. Or that he is not normal for feeling nervousness before he goes into the mission. He's human and death is not something that one easily reconciles or should become blasé about.
That ((He was dying for a greater purpose, yes, but)) was lamenting about how he ((would never really know if he achieved it…because he would be gone.)) is something I can see that many servicemen and women might think before they head into an operation that has the outcome that his does. They know they are going in and that their sacrifice will mean something, but they won't see it because they will have done their duties. It's a discomforting thought when you think about it. Setsuna is sacrificing his life for the greater good (maybe?), but won't get to partake in the celebrations afterwards or see what his actions brings about. He's dead and will only live on now as a memory.
I like how he decides that ((She deserved this message, this explanation of what was about to happen and why he was choosing this path more than anyone else,)) because it not only shows Marina has a special place in his heart and life, but also ((because at the moment that he died, he was sure that his memories of her would be some of the last things he saw.)) He's already cognizant of the fact that his final thoughts will be of her, so he wants to leave her something that will ensure that her thoughts will be of him when the end comes. It's a way of ensuring that he won't be forgotten, that he will be remembered by somebody once he is gone.
This was another poignant and bittersweet chapter. Fantabulous job!