Reviews for Flocking Movement: Triad
Gray Kingbird chapter 12 . 2/13/2014
Duncan and Desmond. Eugene and Jacob. Malik and Kadar. Federico, Ezio, and Petruchio. Giovanni and Mario. Cain and Abel. Al Mualim and Altair. Giovanni and Ezio. Hawk and Micheal. Andrew and Desmond. Brothers. Fathers and sons. These are all failed relationships. Some ended in murder, some by suicide, and some by choice. All ruined both parties involved. The burden was too much for them to carry. They could not meet the expectations of the others. They were only human. Their greatest flaw; their greatest strength. Love united them and tore them all apart. That is the true tragedy I believe you’ve written here, bb. FM has explored the weaknesses of these characters and their failures. Now the endgame is coming. All of the pain, loss, and loneliness that your characters have suffered has honed their greatest weapon against the Proeathans. Love. You had a purpose, bb. You write nothing extraneously. The tragedies have united them in a bond stronger than death. Stronger than the Proeathans. The Proeathans get by on their fear of death. The flock gets by on their love, tenacity, and humanity, advantages that the Proeathans cannot comprehend. And the flock will win. Flocking Movement, Ages, Legacy, Triad. They have one thing in common. Love unbroken by time and space. They all know what they have to lose. Each other. What won’t they sacrifice for each other? The only thing worth dying for anymore is love. Where will that leave Lucy and Des? Only you know, bb, and will tell us if you choose to. Great chapter, bb.
Gray Kingbird chapter 11 . 2/13/2014
Hey bb, Jake is incredibly perceptive. He sees Cain is desperately lonely, and that Alt hurt him worse than anyone, perhaps even the original Abel. Your line about Alt wanting Jake because he’s his reincarnated boyfriend… I just about fell over laughing along with Alt tumbling on his side. That was screaming hilarious. Your description of Cain’s reaction was priceless; I can almost see his bemused expression as he mulled that one over. Cain says he doesn’t live in the past like Alt, yet he lived in prison for 125 years. All he had was the past and the time to do the deepest introspection on earth when not plotting all the ways he would kill Alt when he eventually found a way out. Has Alt ever wondered if he was wrong to give Ezio, Hawk and Jake immortality? It must fill Alt with rage and doubt to think he was a tool all this time, just as he was for Al Mualim, using him to kill those nine targets to find redemption. Alt strived so hard to never be used again. Yet I think he may have really spent 900 years searching for some sort of redemption, that he thought he'd been granted when he found Malik reborn in Jacob. What a gift it must have seemed like, like Cain felt when he found Alt. Then Alt had to make Jake immortal not to lose him, ruining his redemption. What a Greek tragedy Alt found himself living, which is why I assume Cain spoke briefly to Alt in Greek, to rub it in. Now he must be questioning his entire existence, if he was used to fulfill Proeathan purposes rather than following his own free will. And now Cain has made him doubt his right to be loved by Jake, the one he mangled so badly with the Apple, like Hawk. (Following Cain’s argument, then wouldn’t Ezio be ‘mangled’ in some way because Altair stopped him from dying? Just curious.) Yet didn’t Alt make Cain doubt himself when he walked away, undeserving of Alt’s love and companionship? Then Cain was left to watch over the centuries while Alt gathered a little family of his own, while Cain grew more bitter, following the ‘rules’ of immortality while Alt broke them one after another, the way he had the tenets of the Order, and had everything Cain desired. A family. Love. The injustice of it all finally broke Cain. They broke each other, Cain and Abel. Now they have to fix each other, in a brotherly fashion. Jake can’t do that for them. Great chapter, bb.
Heron chapter 13 . 2/8/2014
Hi bb, Okay, right off the bat your preview blew my mind! What does Desmond mean that this part of Demeter’s base is only for mortal humans to make plans without immortal interference? Why’d he knock? Yes, he’s part of the flock, but like Lucy, Desmond is not immortal. He has every right to be there.
I also love how strong Desmond is coming across here. He refuses to be pushed around anymore. And Desmond is being his usual stubborn self by refusing to do what everyone is asking/telling him to do. I do wonder if the others thought about talking to Cain about this plan to revisit Primordial Adam. He may know something about the Toba Incident and why humanity was on the ascendant afterward. Even if he wasn’t born yet. And how did Desmond’s clone get there? The guy wants Lucy and Desmond dead! He’s too dangerous! Plus, he has no block against the Animus Bleed. The risk is that Altair can’t stop it and they end up with… Primordial Adam on their hands if the clone bled through. Cain would not be a happy camper, I suspect, if that happened.
Lol! Stew indeed. Well played, bb. Please take your time to enjoy your other writings and art, and take time to enjoy your own life. Your readers understand that you have many different priorities in your life that need attention. I appreciate this marvellous gift you have shared with us, bb, and wish you only the best. Should you wish to share more, that is entirely your choice. Your readers will always be here. Be happy, bb!
Heron chapter 12 . 2/8/2014
Your final chapter has beautifully wrapped up Triad and revealed the truth of story, bb, with a brilliant twist at the ending that Duncan is the hero of this piece, rather than Lucy, Jake, or Clay. If Duncan hadn’t lived, and died, then Triad would not exist. Clay would never have been sacrificed, resurrected, and sort of immortal. Lucy would never have been created as a lure for Lucy, and revealed as the greatest gift to humanity since Primordial Eve herself. Jake would never have been found by Desmond and joined the flock and become immortal if Desmond hadn’t rebelled as Duncan taught him and run away. Triad is largely Duncan’s legacy to the world, though only Clay knows the truth. Andrew SHOULD be proud of his first born. Even though he seems to be incapable of loving anyone but himself. Duncan’s legacy is living on. He is a hero twenty years after his death. And all of the Proeathan's lofty plans may crumble if Desmond has anything to say about it, making Duncan’s life count. Triad was sensational, bb. bb, I thank you on behalf of all your readers and myself, for the time and effort you have put into Triad, a most memorable story in the Flocking Movement saga. I know everyone appreciates what you have created here. You are truly gifted. Be happy, bb!
Heron chapter 12 . 2/8/2014
Clay’s role is intriguing throughout FM. He empathizes so much with Duncan. They both committed suicide, but Duncan was sacrificed on the altars of too many giants. The Proeathans, the Assassins, Andrew, even the ancestors are not blameless. But Duncan is beyond their help now. It is Desmond who needs their help and protection to rise and become who he must, almost like a phoenix from the ashes of his old life. Andrew represents that life. This moral lesson that Clay has delivered is significant in some way you have not yet revealed, bb. Either to validate Duncan’s brief life or help Desmond’s future, as Duncan hoped. What struck me here was Clay’s dispassion over Duncan’s desperation on the tape. He could easily be where Duncan is now. Dead. Instead, he’s alive again, although so much of his life isn’t his own. He tells the stories of the dead, he gives a voice to the voiceless. He provides a moral compass to those who are empty or in denial. He protects those who are vulnerable, and he knows who needs to be shattered and who needs to be hugged and protected. Desmond.
Heron chapter 12 . 2/8/2014
If Desmond ever hears those tapes, it would shatter him to realize what a burden he’d been to the big brother he adored. That Duncan chose to die rather than stay with Desmond. Duncan’s death was as much a plea for help, for him and for Desmond, as it was a way to escape. He simply couldn’t see there were other options. Such as running away, like Desmond did. Clay is right to hide this tape from him. He already wants to kill an entire race of people based on making a mistake that could have been avoided had Duncan simply survived. Desmond has not made peace with Duncan’s death yet, any more than he’s resolved his issues with Andrew. The father who never was.
It is ironic that Andrew never heard Duncan when he was alive. Only in death can he finally hear his older son’s voice. Duncan didn’t want to fight. And he was too young to raise his brother. He was still a child himself; he was supposed to have parents raising HIM and loving HIM. Not be raising their child. Not be blamed for Altair’s departure from the Farm. Not be alone and lost. Duncan had no place in his family; or he felt; on earth. It was beyond difficult to read his distress and hopelessness, his sad desperation that he hoped his death would be good for Desmond. That was a huge mistake, believing that his brother and family would be better off with Duncan dead. Desmond still hasn’t found his place in the world since his big brother chose to leave him. Andrew ruined both boys’ lives; his love had too many conditions attached for them to win it and a father they deserved. He’s old and tired now, and his guilt may finally do him in. I like how strong you've made Clay in FM, bb, and how you turned Andrew’s request for an interview into a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past. Though whether that is Duncan or Clay is open to interpretation. An argument could even be made for Altair or Desmond. Hmm...
Heron chapter 12 . 2/8/2014
Hi bb, I know there is another chapter, but that is a preview, so this was essentially the end of Triad. It was an extraordinary interlude from Desmond’s story, yet Desmond’s presence has remained strong throughout, even when absent. So much of the flock’s lives revolve around their youngest. As does any family’s life around its children. Triad has examined the lives and motivations of Lucy, Jake, and Clay, three of the younger, though certainly not lesser, members of the flock. And now you outdid yourself, bb, with this submission. Duncan Miles. The honorary member of the flock who never was, their lost bird. I wonder what name Hawk would have given him. Perhaps a mythical bird that was so rare and beautiful that it couldn’t possibly be of this world?
Duncan’s legacy has been painful throughout FM. He symbolizes so many failures and so much blame on the part of so many people. Perhaps Duncan’s death is the stem of Desmond’s rage. In Pluto’s temple at the end of The Seventeenth Pluto indicated Duncan’s death was manufactured by the Proeathans because they foresaw he would not choose to awaken them, unlike Desmond, so they needed Desmond to be the great chosen one. The Apples revealed Altair’s future hero to be one who was a killer, an Assassin, because Desmond would be able to do that. When Duncan refused to kill, Altair realized that was not the person he’d seen in the Apple and so rejected Duncan in that moment, rather than taking both boys away to raise in safety and peace. That doomed Duncan and Desmond to Andrew and Kaley’s neglect. That the Proeathans manufactured the events surrounding Duncan’s death is what I suspect is at the heart of Desmond’s rage, even more than being tricked into destroying humanity. He worshipped his big brother, the only one who loved him and took care of him. The big brother who wasn’t strong enough to endure this world.
Heron chapter 11 . 2/7/2014
Cain’s pain at being abandoned, at being forced out of Altair’s life like a child being excluded from a game, at being imprisoned for 10,000 deaths was upsetting. Cain thinks he knows what he wants now, a synthetic of his own, like Lucy (who will not be impressed when this little truth comes out), but is that just a substitute, a surrogate to give his feelings and love to that Altair struggles to return? Altair runs; he has ever since Solomon’s Temple in the 12th century when he left Kadar and, he thought, Malik, to die. He struggles to return love. He abandoned Duncan and Desmond as children even though they idolized them. He’s watched everyone leave him. Perhaps Altair thinks he’s not worthy enough to be loved? Maybe that’s why he made himself an immortal family? They could never die on him. He couldn’t let Jacob die and lose Malik again. Cain loved him too much, accepting his deepest flaws without question, and that would be scary. That someone could love you that unconditionally. Well. Altair runs from love like he runs from the truth. Which is why Cain explaining the unmitigated truth, that it is Altair’s faulty decisions that have landed the world where it is that may just have shattered all of Altair’s self-confidence. Cain must really be Abel’s brother, because these two balance each other well. Altair unbalances the world with his decisions, while Cain brings it all back into balance. Only true brothers could devastate each other as much as these two have done.
Well, bb, I’ll end this review there, and review the next one asap. I hope you’re enjoying your other stories and art and work is going well for you! Be happy, bb!
Heron chapter 11 . 2/7/2014
Well, I must tell you, bb, this was one of my top three Altair chapters that you’ve written for FM, and he barely spoke a word and it wasn’t even from his pov! One of my unqualified favorite lines in this chapter was when Pluto announced that Altair had his hands full with being captured by Cain. The blasé tone you used to deliver that line, bb, left me roaring with laughter. They’re all so nonplussed, that it was too much for me! Your humour is so subtle that it leaves me breathless with laughter sometimes, bb! You’ve set it up so beautifully how there are three people who love Altair more than anything in this world: Jake, Cain, and Desmond. They love him and need him so much. For different reasons, but he has the power to destroy those three people in very different ways, if he chooses. They’ve all opened themselves up to Altair in unique ways, and Altair almost can’t handle that kind of love (perhaps four of them would be correct if I were to count Jacob and Malik separately).
Cain is so proprietary towards Altair, like he has first rights to kidnap (and I’d really love to know when the last time was that someone was able to kidnap Altair ibn La’Had! That must’ve shaken his confidence right there alone!) or kill his little brother, like Jake has no say in how Cain treats his partner. Are they the Original Brothers? I don’t know, but you make if fun to speculate about, bb! Jake’s bravery in being willing to face someone he fears to protect Altair was so sweet. Altair forced to be a spectator as he watched two people he loves and fears (that includes Jake to a certain extent because of Malik’s presence) is endearing. Not to mention painful. To have Cain finally shut Altair up and force him to listen to how this apocalypse is Altair’s fault mostly, while it is Desmond taking the rap for the Fall of Humanity, much as Eve once did. Hmm. He and Lucy have almost switched places with Adam and Eve, in that he was the saintly man who was led astray by the weak, stupid woman (or so history has stupidly claimed) while Lucy is now the loved angel amongst the mortals. That was a brilliant gender bending twist on one of the most important and debated themes in history, bb!
Heron chapter 11 . 2/7/2014
And what about Hawk? Previously, I thought it was just his emotions ensnared by that Apple, bb. What has really happened to Hawk? Why is he called the ‘Empty Man?’ I never fully appreciated the meaning you may have attached to that phrase before, bb. Did that Apple take more than his emotions? Did it take his soul, the way it did for all of the other dead sensitive Proeathan slaves? When Altair found him, Micheal was dying. But would it only have been his body? Was the rest of him consumed by that Apple? Altair’s intervention kept Hawk’s body alive and immortal, his mind and free will intact, yet he is drawn back to that Apple. Because his soul is trapped in there? Would finding a way to free it return it to Hawk’s immortal body, or set it free to rejoin Sarah in Heaven or whatever new life she may be reincarnated to live? It broke my heart when you wrote Hawk was scared, bb. He probably doesn’t know what he wants, either. To keep his soul in the Apple, get it back, or set it free without him and continue being empty for eternity. It is a lot messy when one doesn’t have to worry about emotions. Or consciences. That is why Hawk needs Clay; he’s right. Also, doesn’t this place Hawk at increased risk of falling under Proeathan influence? If his soul is already trapped in the Apple, that would already put him, at least in part, under Proeathan control, wouldn’t it? They can see things through those Apples, too, so they couldn’t they use it to partially see what Hawk is doing with the flock? Or I could be completely off course with my speculations to this point. If so, at least it was entertaining!
Heron chapter 11 . 2/7/2014
The true purpose of the Apples horrified me, bb. They were used to imprison the consciousness, or soul, of humans with the sixth sense in order to subjugate the population. And before that, those same people were coerced into helping enslave their fellow human beings. Five of the six strongest humans with the sixth sense living on the planet are gathered in Demeter’s base. Altair, Ezio, Hawk, Clay, and Cain. Only Desmond remains unaccounted for. If the Eden returns and the five of them are compelled to obey Proeathan will, they have a lot of humans to deliver into Proeathan hands, none of whom would resist their overseers. This is a disaster waiting to happen! Maybe they should separate, so if some fall under the influence, then the others may yet break it? The Proeathans would absolutely love to get the flock under their power and influence. But I suspect they can’t control Desmond any longer. Or ever again. For all that Clay is furious at Desmond for allowing Atlantis to rise. I think Clay would rather have killed Desmond himself and end any possibility of Atlantis rising. For all that he loves Desmond, he’d choose the world first, I think, over their youngest. I don’t think Altair, Ezio, and Hawk would choose similarly. I love all of the potential strife you’ve set up within the flock. Hawk is right, though, that they have to wait for Desmond to explain himself. When he’s ready, the AIs warned many chapters ago.
Heron chapter 11 . 2/7/2014
Hi bb, Thanks for being so patient, bb! I’ve just been kind of decompressing these last couple days. The exam I wrote makes all the difference about whether or not I’m able to practice my chosen career, so I was too wound up to give you a decent review, and I won’t know the results for two months, but I will strive to do my best for you here!
Atlantis has risen. It’s done. The dreaded future they were fighting has happened, and now none of them know what to do. Only Desmond could’ve raised Atlantis. The question is why he did it. He swore to kill all of the Proeathans, so why would he help them? Unless raising Atlantis wasn’t to help them. All of the Proeathans will be drawn back to their precious jewel, Atlantis, to live and be together once again now that they’ve all but wiped out all human resistance on Earth. They’ll be gathered together in one easy to find location, easy for Desmond, at least, I think. Concentrated in one geographic area. A vulnerable target, perhaps, for someone who can unleash the forces of hell itself upon them? Such as when Atlantis sank all those thousands of years ago? Only this time, the Proeathans may not find it so easy to escape and save themselves. But is Desmond really able to do the Proeathans what they did to humanity? They are… I’d say inhuman, but that’s already a given. That’s your point: they’re not human. They lack compassion even as they seem to lack a soul. Desmond has both. I don’t know if he really has it in him to obliterate an entire race of people, every man, woman, and child the way they did to humans. That is the ultimate abomination and could Desmond live with himself after such a thing? Or would he let himself die with this ultimate act genocide? That is for you to decide, bb. I trust you to surprise me no matter what my conjecture is.
Please see the next box for part two of this review.
Gray Kingbird chapter 10 . 2/6/2014
That could work to Von’s advantge if he knows how to use it. Tassa’s philosophy of moral relativism aligns well with Von’s outlook, in that right and wrong is subjective, and might is right. Their shared belief seems to be that something is wrong only if someone else who is stronger than you can enforce that belief upon them. Society’s norms and morals won’t apply to Von if he becomes Asuras, because society’s norms and values will be a reflection of his. Tassa doesn’t want to be judged anymore, either. She wants to make her own rules. Von and Tassa… have a lot in common. Add to that her beauty, her power, her family connections… there are a lot of possibilities there. Especially as Von will need a wife if he wins for an heir to the throne. A wife who is stronger and able to support him better than his father has done for his mother or their children. Although if Von ever has kids, I really hope he only has one child. One heir, less competition for the throne, maybe the kid would wait til Von dies (naturally) to take the throne since they’d know no one else was waiting to kill them. bb. you create some the strongest female characters ever. They have real problems and real conflicts that they struggle with, and are able to fight. Your women are rarely the idealized image of women, great beauties who serve as sexual partners for a dominant man or as the venerated mother figure who sacrifices all for her offspring. They are human beings in their own right, with needs, regrets, dreams, and fire. I love your Tassa, bb. Simple as that. Great chapter, bb.
Gray Kingbird chapter 10 . 2/6/2014
The Zealous Servant, chapter 13 review. Tassa is one of the most enticing characters you’ve created in ZS, bb. I realize she’s a supporting character, but she fascinates me. She is ruthless and powerful and vulnerable and conflicted. Her childhood of not completely belonging to a powerful noble family which apparently turned its back on her as unworthy given her incestuous conception continues to affect her. She doesn’t know where she belongs and doesn’t strike me as knowing completely who she is yet. Or what she wants. Other than to not be Tassa Hau-Peony. That name is almost a curse to her, closing more doors in her face than opening them. Mali is full of common sense and comfortable with who she is, which I think Tassa is jealous of. Yet Mali is jealous of Tassa’s beauty and power. Their rivalry is fascinating even as they make uneasy frenemies. Tassa even admitted she doesn’t want to get involved in all of the geopolitics surrounding Von and Spayar, Mali and DiSol. But does that make her amoral? I don’t think so. She has struggled to survive in a family and world that didn’t want her. Just like Von… is struggling to survive in a family that doesn’t want him. Wow, that connection just occurred to me. They have a lot in common. Hmm.
Tassa has survived by her power, her wits, and her beauty. She never gets what she wants. A loving family, respect, Spayar. All things she never had. She has a moral code of her own, but it centers on self-preservation. People have burdened Tassa with their moral judgments of her all her life. She is sick of it, and wants to be recognized as a person in her own right, or at least feared and left alone. Her struggles, her faults, her stubbornness and desperation are enticing. She won’t be crushed. Tassa is one of your most intriguing characters in this story, bb. I think she has great potential to be a great ally or a ruthless enemy.
Gray Kingbird chapter 10 . 2/6/2014
I know Lucy is uncomfortable with everyone treating her as if she’s some divine being amongst them, but she actually is. She walked unchallenged through the Proeathan installation, she was not born of another woman’s womb, she is more human than any other person alive, and her existence is a gift. Much like that of an angel. Humans believe more in angels than they do in global warming. Belief is power. Lucy is powerful. I just don’t think she- or the rest of the flock- realize how powerful she is yet. Even the AIs have no idea what she is really capable of. Even Cain knows to be wary of her. Of Lucy and Des. A formidable pair. But if Lucy is happier without Des, I accept that. She’s complete in her own right. You’ve created a tour de force with this character, bb. I especially enjoyed when Lucy stood up for herself against Rebecca. Your Lucy never backs down, not against humans, immortals, or Proeathans. She defends herself and refuses to be a pawn to anyone’s will. She’s done better than Des has, that’s for sure. Everyone uses him. Except, ironically, Lucy and Cain. Angels are known for not forcing their views of people, only guiding towards the right answer. (What does that make Cain to Altair then, since everything went wrong after he stopped letting Cain guide him?) I hope if Lucy has a child, it is by her choice and is not forced upon her or simply an accident. It would be far more meaningful to the world for her child to be planned and wanted. I also hope your “angel” doesn’t die in four years, bb. Scowling at the thought of that unwanted and brilliant plot point. Great chapter, bb.
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