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Forum Name: Our Witches at War
Topic ID: 51
#0, The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-18-17 at 09:30 PM
December, 1941. The alien Neuroi are overrunning Europe. The nations of the world—not all of them on the best of terms in the years immediately preceding the invasion—must put aside their old rivalries, and rookie witches have to learn fast if they're to have any hope of survival. Our Witches at War: The Fall of Petrograd, a special Christmas mini-series in three parts, begins tonight with Act I: "Witches in Winter".

Act II is slated for release on Thursday (12/21), with the third and final episode out on Christmas Eve (Sunday, 12/24).

Enjoy!

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#1, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by SpottedKitty on Dec-18-17 at 11:33 PM
In response to message #0
Now this is what I call a great not-quite-Christmas present. A fascinating bit of back story, and something we've all been curious about for a while. Looking forward to the rest of it.

And no, I can't see Wojtek climbing up that tower either. ;)

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.


#2, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Spectrum on Dec-19-17 at 00:18 AM
In response to message #0
Oh hey, what an unexpected Christmas present. I was just saying elsewhere that I'd love to see more OWaW.

---

> "He is laziest bear in whole world, I would never be convincing him to climb up here."

On the other hand, if Wotjek wasn't lazy I'm a little amused at the lengths they'd have to go to to help him climb up to the top of the tower.

> No, it's all right," she said, surprising herself slightly as she said it. "I'm just... thinking of where to start. Or, no... of how to start.

I thought this was cute as a framing device to tell the rest of the story, so to speak.

> Embrace them? Not bloody likely. But her duty was clear.

Certainly not the easiest thing to do, although perhaps marginally so for the young.

> she didn't know their radio frequencies and wasn't sure her old Lorenz headset could pick them up if she did.

I wonder how common a name Lorenz is for inventing things. It's a completely different field, but the only place I was aware of it prior was the Lorenz rifle popular a hundred years prior during the Civil War.

> Behind and slightly above her, she saw one of the Orussian witches—a blonde in a sheepskin jacket, flying a brown-painted heavy Striker—rolling in on that same ground target in a shallow dive to the left. In her right hand, she held a long-barreled autocannon; tucked under her left arm was a bulky object Eila did not immediately recognize...

I'm embarrassed to admit that it's been a little bit so I don't remember Sanya's description offhand, and thus on first read I wasn't sure yet who was who and what Eila's first introduction to her actually was.

> Eila had just enough time to register its teardrop shape, its stubby fins, and realize that it was an aerial bomb, of the kind that would normally be slung under a conventional aircraft's wing.

I can't imagine that was fun to carry for however long she did. Hopefully she was able to instead pick it up from a ground supply truck or something?

> one with long grey hair and a long white coat, who fought with an old-fashioned rifle and (to Eila's distinct surprise) fixed bayonet

At least she can get her surprise out of the way now before meeting the wacky Fusonese witches.

> Eila was so shocked by the girl's youth and the surprising color of her eyes that she momentarily forgot where she was or why

Well, that's certainly a first impression that'll stick with you.

> She had a narrow horizontal scar under her left eye and a battered peaked officer's cap crammed down on her head, and in her left hand she had a pair of bulky felt boots.

You have to feel bad for very small or very tall Witches visiting other airfields unexpectedly where they may not have footwear in the right size.


#3, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-19-17 at 00:38 AM
In response to message #2
>> she didn't know their radio frequencies and wasn't sure her old Lorenz headset could pick them up if she did.
>
>I wonder how common a name Lorenz is for inventing things. It's a
>completely different field, but the only place I was aware of it prior
>was the Lorenz rifle popular a hundred years prior during the Civil
>War.

I think it's a fairly common Germanic surname. In this case it refers to the Carl Lorenz AG electronics company, which made a lot of the radio gear used by Germany in WWII. (No relation to the Austrian inventor of the Lorenz rifle, as far as I am aware, nor of the American mathematician who invented the Lorenz equations.)

>> Eila had just enough time to register its teardrop shape, its stubby fins, and realize that it was an aerial bomb, of the kind that would normally be slung under a conventional aircraft's wing.
>
>I can't imagine that was fun to carry for however long she did.

No, no it was not; but then, very little about Colonel Yegorova's duties of late can honestly be described as "fun".

>You have to feel bad for very small or very tall Witches visiting
>other airfields unexpectedly where they may not have footwear in the
>right size.

Well, that's the beauty of valenki: they're either very forgiving of sizing discrepancies, or just don't really fit anyone very well, depending on how generous you want to be about it. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#4, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by SpottedKitty on Dec-19-17 at 07:56 AM
In response to message #3
>>You have to feel bad for very small or very tall Witches visiting
>>other airfields unexpectedly where they may not have footwear in the
>>right size.
>
>Well, that's the beauty of valenki: they're either very
>forgiving of sizing discrepancies, or just don't really fit anyone
>very well, depending on how generous you want to be about it. :)

I've always considered it a universal principle that any clothes item given to you in any armed forces since the Roman Legions came in only two sizes; too big and too small. And only one shape; not yours.

--
Unable to save the day: File is read-only.


#6, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Verbena on Dec-19-17 at 06:01 PM
In response to message #2
>Oh hey, what an unexpected Christmas present. I was just saying
>elsewhere that I'd love to see more OWaW.

WOOT! I loves me some OWAW, and I was genuinely wondering if we'd see a story based on that art of Sanya as an Orussian soldier.

>
>---
>
>> "He is laziest bear in whole world, I would never be convincing him to climb up here."
>
>On the other hand, if Wojtek wasn't lazy I'm a little amused at the
>lengths they'd have to go to to help him climb up to the top of the
>tower.

And the fact is, there are some things Witolda probably should do alone no matter how close she is to Wojtek. Like apologize for real, or have a serious conversation. Come to think of it, aside from her toasting Eila while drunk ("To beautiful women!") I'm not sure she's expressed interest in anything that would really require Wojtek to clear the hell out. I wonder if Wojtek's presence isn't a big reason for that.

>
>> No, it's all right," she said, surprising herself slightly as she said it. "I'm just... thinking of where to start. Or, no... of how to start.
>
>I thought this was cute as a framing device to tell the rest of the
>story, so to speak.

Adorable, as a matter of fact. Pity the whole squadron didn't get to see that blush. =)


>> Behind and slightly above her, she saw one of the Orussian witches—a blonde in a sheepskin jacket, flying a brown-painted heavy Striker—rolling in on that same ground target in a shallow dive to the left. In her right hand, she held a long-barreled autocannon; tucked under her left arm was a bulky object Eila did not immediately recognize...
>
>I'm embarrassed to admit that it's been a little bit so I don't
>remember Sanya's description offhand, and thus on first read I wasn't
>sure yet who was who and what Eila's first introduction to her
>actually was.

Actually, I have a question about that. Not all the Orussian witches were named; are they all in the canon, such that we can look them up in the wiki? Or are some local inventions?

>> Eila was so shocked by the girl's youth and the surprising color of her eyes that she momentarily forgot where she was or why
>
>Well, that's certainly a first impression that'll stick with you.

Ah...yes, panic at first sight.

And also, battle lust. Classic, unadulterated battle lust. It's a thing.

>
>> She had a narrow horizontal scar under her left eye and a battered peaked officer's cap crammed down on her head, and in her left hand she had a pair of bulky felt boots.
>
>You have to feel bad for very small or very tall Witches visiting
>other airfields unexpectedly where they may not have footwear in the
>right size.

And this is why Hannelore came prepared. =)


------
Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper
Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her


#7, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-20-17 at 10:34 PM
In response to message #6
>Come to think of it, aside from her
>toasting Eila while drunk ("To beautiful women!") I'm not sure she's
>expressed interest in anything that would really require Wojtek to
>clear the hell out.

Raisa Pöttgen is convinced something went on with Witolda and Hanna-Justina Marseille in a tent while the former was in North Africa, but that may have more to do with Raisa being a serial fantasist about Marseille than anything actually connected to reality. :)

>Actually, I have a question about that. Not all the Orussian witches
>were named; are they all in the canon, such that we can look them up
>in the wiki? Or are some local inventions?

The other members of the 586th will be introduced tomorrow. None is a canonical World Witches character; a few are named after real-life WWII pilots who (as far as I know) don't have WW incarnations already, and the other two are modded imports from elsewhere.

>And also, battle lust. Classic, unadulterated battle lust. It's a
>thing.

Eila has, to the best of her knowledge, never experienced such a thing. Sanya... may have. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#8, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Nathan on Dec-21-17 at 08:31 AM
In response to message #7
>Eila has, to the best of her knowledge, never experienced such a
>thing. Sanya... may have. :)

"Cry some more."

-----
Iä! Iä! Moe fthagn!


#16, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Verbena on Dec-22-17 at 03:58 PM
In response to message #7
>>Come to think of it, aside from her
>>toasting Eila while drunk ("To beautiful women!") I'm not sure she's
>>expressed interest in anything that would really require Wojtek to
>>clear the hell out.
>
>Raisa Pöttgen is convinced something went on with Witolda
>and Hanna-Justina Marseille in a tent while the former was in North
>Africa, but that may have more to do with Raisa being a serial
>fantasist about Marseille than anything actually connected to reality.
>:)

Ha! Well, at least it's consistent. Like Chu-chu, Witolda seems slightly exempt from reality.

>
>>Actually, I have a question about that. Not all the Orussian witches
>>were named; are they all in the canon, such that we can look them up
>>in the wiki? Or are some local inventions?
>
>The other members of the 586th will be introduced tomorrow. None is a
>canonical World Witches character; a few are named after
>real-life WWII pilots who (as far as I know) don't have WW
>incarnations already, and the other two are modded imports from
>elsewhere.
>
>>And also, battle lust. Classic, unadulterated battle lust. It's a
>>thing.
>
>Eila has, to the best of her knowledge, never experienced such a
>thing. Sanya... may have. :)

Well, to be fair, I overestimated their ages considerably the first time I read this, despite it being clearly stated. Guess I was tired. Also, five years difference at our age is a really, really different thing from a five year difference (between 1941-46) in a teenager. OTOH, witches clearly are forced to grow up fast. Doubly so in Sanya's situation.


------
Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper
Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her


#5, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Star Ranger4 on Dec-19-17 at 10:34 AM
In response to message #0
I think the thing that sticks out the most for me is how well you've captured the feel of these events; including the sort of mutual shock that they dont realize will become deep atachment between Sanya and Elia the first time their eyes meet.

Oh, and I love the Col too, you do a great job of personifying the sort of orussian mindset of "we're asked to do the impossible with the impropable and insufficent support. We will therefore be victorious, because if we're not we're dead and won't have to worry anyway"


#9, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-21-17 at 08:15 PM
In response to message #0
>Act II is slated for release on Thursday (12/21)

... and here it is.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#11, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Spectrum on Dec-21-17 at 09:25 PM
In response to message #9
> Eila Juutilainen woke

...and briefly wondered where she was? *ducks*

> Eila got up, wincing at the cold of the room after the warmth of her pile of blankets, and briefly considered making a dive for their shelter again before following the elder witch out of the room.

*laughs* You can always do the time honored thing of taking your blankets with you, but I suppose they might frown upon that in the military.

> Then, placing a large glass bottle of some clear liquid on the table next to the pot, she added with a faint smile and a wink, "And everything goes with vodka."

It won't freeze, at least?

> the one sitting right next to her was regarding her with a kind of silent fascination, as one might consider an unfamiliar but not threatening animal

Naturally, the next step is to attempt to pet it. Or was that feed it?

> "Comrade Tiny One and I between us embody the whole of the Imperial Naval Air Service."

Yeesh, that's depressing. (She's not being literal, right?)

> To think that these five women had been operating flat-out in this crumbling ruin of a schoolhouse for more than six weeks straight... it was a wonder to her that they could even still function, much less hold their own.

Well, there's only 5 of them left, so at least they all have equipment? >.>

> It seemed to her that the habit the two navy witches had of calling each other Comrade with an audible capital C came from that same culture. She wished she had paid better attention now; at the time, all she had cared about was that whatever was happening inside the Tsar's military had derailed their invasion of Suomus and given the Defense Forces the chance they needed.

*looks down below* Certainly a different flavor to this revolution than the OTL one.

> "But I—what—..." She struggled to find a mental gear for a moment or two longer, then gave up with a sigh and muttered, "All right, fine, but just for today, you hear?"

*thinks back to an earlier piece* D'awwww.


#12, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-21-17 at 09:52 PM
In response to message #11
>> "Comrade Tiny One and I between us embody the whole of the Imperial Naval Air Service."
>
>Yeesh, that's depressing. (She's not being literal, right?)

She is, although with the unspoken qualifications "in Petrograd, as far as I know." There are presumably still other Orussian Navy witches elsewhere (with the Far East Fleet, for instance), and other veterans of the Northern Fleet probably survived to join them.

>Well, there's only 5 of them left, so at least they all have
>equipment? >.>

"One witch has rifle, one witch has boolets" doesn't really work in aerial combat. (I mean, it isn't great on the ground, either, but it really has no hope of working in the air.)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#14, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Spectrum on Dec-21-17 at 09:57 PM
In response to message #12
>>Well, there's only 5 of them left, so at least they all have
>>equipment? >.>
>
>"One witch has rifle, one witch has boolets" doesn't really
>work in aerial combat. (I mean, it isn't great on the
>ground, either, but it really has no hope of working in the
>air.)
>

*laughs* Perhaps more like "One witch has rifle and bullets, one witch has grenades, one witch has helmet"?


#15, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-21-17 at 10:00 PM
In response to message #14
>*laughs* Perhaps more like "One witch has rifle and bullets, one witch
>has grenades, one witch has helmet"?

One witch does have helmet in the next episode, but you'll have to look for it.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#18, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Star Ranger4 on Dec-23-17 at 11:57 AM
In response to message #9
Just for tonight... the running gag who manages to do multiple Iron Man triathalons in a single day! *Snerk*

I guess I'm investigating to closely for tie ins to Kancolle, since eventually we do see at least one shipgirl appear by the end of NW II, but "Are they Witches, or will they manifest as Shipgirls" was my first thought upon seeing Hibiki and Gangut... err... Red October.

At this point, however, Sanya is clearly more a day combatant than the Night Witch she will become; Forshadows of what happens during the fighting retreat from Petrograd, Perhaps, as they give their all to keep those they have sworn to protect, protected? I'm also pondering probabilites based on memories of perhaps just how many survivors there were of this. Don't recall if there were only two or not, but We're about to find out in a few days...


#19, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-24-17 at 01:06 AM
In response to message #18
>I guess I'm investigating to closely for tie ins to Kancolle, since
>eventually we do see at least one shipgirl appear by the end of NW II,
>but "Are they Witches, or will they manifest as Shipgirls" was my
>first thought upon seeing Hibiki and Gangut... err... Red October.

Hibiki is probably a coincidence (she was serving on a different ship), but Gangut <i>might</i> be an earlier manifestation of the same kind of thing that happened to Megumi Sato. It's very hard to tell; Eila isn't a magicologist by any means, and wouldn't have known what to look for back in 1941 if she was. Anyway, unlike Mogami, Gangut is clearly a functioning aerial witch (possibly because she already was one before the ship was sunk), so even if it's a similar phenomenon, the outcome's not the same.

(Also, just for the record: "Reva" is short for "Revolutsiya"; has nothing to do with red. The Russian word for red doesn't even start with R.)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#10, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by TsukaiStarburst on Dec-21-17 at 09:11 PM
In response to message #0
Reading part 2, I feel the sudden urge to say: first!

And I also feel the urge to talk about the strange melancholy that comes over me as I read it. The story of these particular girls has never been as grim and cold as it is here; Eila's momentary 'what am I DOINGs' hit hard as she finds herself still not entirely sure why she's staying here, even though I'm sure by now we all already know. There's this feeling of, quite literally, dancing on the razor's edge here.

And a really sad explanation for where one particular habit started.

Also is it weird to say I find the strike witches story so much more different when they don't have their friendly neuroi defector as part of the roster?

Christmas Eve is going to bring tears, I just know it.


#13, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-21-17 at 09:56 PM
In response to message #10
>And I also feel the urge to talk about the strange melancholy that
>comes over me as I read it. The story of these particular girls has
>never been as grim and cold as it is here

It's true. Petrograd is quite a bit less wacky than the later campaigns we're used to. But there are echoes of it, in the TV episodes that look specifically at Sanya and Eila. It's one of the odd contradictions of Strike Witches that on the one hand, it largely is what one reader summarized as "an excuse for moe and panty shots," and yet at the same time, it's got a terribly serious premise—one that has a lot of mostly-unspoken but never-deniable tragedy woven into its backdrop.

Safe to say that if it were an actual movie, it would not be to every main-series fan's taste.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#17, RE: The Fall of Petrograd
Posted by Verbena on Dec-23-17 at 08:59 AM
In response to message #13
>>And I also feel the urge to talk about the strange melancholy that
>>comes over me as I read it. The story of these particular girls has
>>never been as grim and cold as it is here
>
>It's true. Petrograd is quite a bit less wacky than the later
>campaigns we're used to. But there are echoes of it, in the TV
>episodes that look specifically at Sanya and Eila. It's one of the
>odd contradictions of Strike Witches that on the one hand, it
>largely is what one reader summarized as "an excuse for moe and
>panty shots," and yet at the same time, it's got a terribly serious
>premise—one that has a lot of mostly-unspoken but never-deniable
>tragedy woven into its backdrop.
>
>Safe to say that if it were an actual movie, it would not be to every
>main-series fan's taste.

I didn't think about it in so many words before, but one of the biggest strengths of fanfic is simply being able to explore themes the original can't or won't, for whatever reason. Obviously a canon, sold-for-profit Strike Witches story with the kind of grim tone required for this look into Sanya and Eila's past wouldn't work well without a hell of a lot of whitewashing. After all, the list of people interested in moe and panty shots, and the people interested in hard bitten, tragic war stories together make for a rather limited Venn diagram.

And yet, I feel like ignoring a story like this IS whitewashing, of a different sort. As you point out, Gryphon, much of the backstory is simply implied, and it smacks of trying to take advantage of the kind of pathos those stories can generate without having to go through the trouble of actually telling them.

This seems like a kind of superset of something we discussed earlier, the ability to go back and fix the Neuroi-chan story the actual series creators dropped. Don't get me wrong, I'm 100% for capitalism, but I have to admit there's plenty of stories that might not get told if everything is about making a profit.

------
Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper
Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her


#20, Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-24-17 at 04:50 PM
In response to message #0
LAST EDITED ON Dec-24-17 AT 04:52 PM (EST)
 
Christmas Eve (Petrograd 12/24)

The day of December 24, 1941, was recorded in Eila Juutilainen's memory only as a barely liminal smear of moments, distinct in themselves but blurred to complete indecipherability at their edges. Later in her life, she could not even be certain what order they happened in, or that all of the things she remembered really had happened at all.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#21, RE: Act III
Posted by Verbena on Dec-24-17 at 05:46 PM
In response to message #20
What a wonderful, exciting-and-yet-heartwarming Christmas story.

In particular, I've always wondered about the old magics in the OWaW timeline. Always wondered if some witch somewhere was delving into ancient tomes in between sorties somewhere. Probably not, but this story surely got me excited for some of the potential in that somewhere.


------
Fearless creatures, we all learn to fight the Reaper
Can't defeat Her, so instead I'll have to be Her


#22, RE: Act III
Posted by Proginoskes on Dec-24-17 at 08:39 PM
In response to message #21
Among the witches of our acquaintance, I'd say that Ursula Hartmann and Sakamoto Mio are the most likely to investigate the Old Ways: Usch as part of an engineer's search for prior art, and Mio (initially) as part of the desperate search that led to Reppumaru.

#23, RE: Act III
Posted by TsukaiStarburst on Dec-24-17 at 08:42 PM
In response to message #21
*whistles*

What a part 3. Terrifying in a lot of ways, the idea of storytelling a scenario where everything blurs together into a series of adrenaline-filled moments is definitely a unique one that I've never seen before. And I've got to admit that moment where Eila, apropos of nothing, suddenly wondered if they were dead and in eternal torment and she just hadn't noticed it. That hurt hard. It- and her struggles with her precognition and just the sheer terror of her situation- hit really hard. Imagine what life is like for her all the time, I thought.

The ending was something I never expected. Both in terms of what actually happened and in terms of Sanya and Eila. There's a certain shocking irony in calling Sanya's do a crown of thorns, which is what I think stuck out to me most of all in that part of the climax.

All in all, it delivered on everything that was promised when we came in. There were times when I ached for Gryphon's future presence and everything he brings to this. I want to see everything in this world. I want to see this war won. I want these poor girls to finally get the justice and the peace they deserve after nightmares like this.

...but, y'know, at the same time I really really want me some more Rin and Gumi... and darnit I just want Sanya/Eila fluff. They're such a good couple, show us more of that courtship or something.

I'm going to reread it later with the music since I read through the whole thing voraciously near the end of a family Christmas party. I expect it will make the experience even more epic.


#29, RE: Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-29-17 at 01:27 AM
In response to message #23
>There's a certain
>shocking irony in calling Sanya's do a crown of thorns, which is what
>I think stuck out to me most of all in that part of the climax.

Well, if you've never seen them before, and you're seeing them for the first time under the sort of conditions Eila was...

>There were times when I ached for Gryphon's future presence and
>everything he brings to this.

To be honest, I sometimes catch myself wondering whether he's really necessary. I mean, the Operation Hammer team seems to be getting along fine without him. I think a lot of that is because in the last year or so, I've had the problem of the Male Interloper more consciously on my mind than in earlier times, and however benignly, he is certainly that, more or less by definition. (And yes, I realize that there is an entire episode of season 1 showing that the witches themselves don't see him that way.)

The conclusion I've eventually reached, in considering the above, is that it works because—and in all likelihood only works as long as—he's not trying to run everything. Sure, he's taking the lead on some of the project work, and he's not without influence with the command structure, but I don't think his input is more highly weighted on most matters than any of the others', the 501st being the sort of unit that it is. Most of what he's doing, he's doing not to make himself indispensable, but to make the witches' situation better. Hell, in a few cases—e.g., the way Zauberschule is set up, his weapons work with 404 Sqdn—he's deliberately trying to future-proof things so that they can carry on when he's not there any longer. That, and the fact that he's not expecting anything, make his continued presence in the storyline work. If he stopped operating that way, I expect it would get tedious real quick.

Sorry, bit of a digression there, but this has been on my mind for a while and your remark was a good lead-in for getting some of it on the record.

>I want to see everything in this world.
>I want to see this war won. I want these poor girls to finally get the
>justice and the peace they deserve after nightmares like this.
>
>...but, y'know, at the same time I really really want me some more Rin
>and Gumi... and darnit I just want Sanya/Eila fluff.

Yeah, I hear you. I want to see all of that too, and quite a lot more besides. Problem is, I'm only one aging nerd, living in an ever-increasingly insane and exhausting world that has less and less room for incompletely-grown-up grown-ups in it, and it just ain't as fast or as easy as it used to be most of the time. :/

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#30, RE: Act III
Posted by TsukaiStarburst on Dec-29-17 at 03:07 AM
In response to message #29
I don't mean to try and hurry you, just letting you know I want to read all the tons of cool stuff you write ;_;

#31, RE: Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-29-17 at 03:30 AM
In response to message #30
>I don't mean to try and hurry you, just letting you know I want to
>read all the tons of cool stuff you write ;_;

Didn't think you were, don't worry. I was just bitching. Comes of the season, I suppose—the daylight this time of year is less than nine hours long at this latitude, which gets wearing even if you don't go outside much. Feeling achey and out-of-sorts from medication side effects doesn't help either.

Also, the high temperature here in the Podunk Valley today (the day just past, Thursday) was -5° F (that's ~ -20.5° C for the rest of the world), with winds gusting up to 38 mph (61 km/h), and popular stereotypes of Maine notwithstanding, that is... not typical. Not this early in the winter, anyway. Thanks to the miracle of hydrocarbons, it's a lot warmer in here, but still. There is a certain psychological weight to the knowledge that if you were sitting eight feet to the right of where you're sitting, on the other side of the living room wall, you'd be dead within an hour.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#32, RE: Act III
Posted by TsukaiStarburst on Dec-29-17 at 11:08 AM
In response to message #31
If you ever decided to pack it all in once and for all, would you just dump all of the unfinished stuff you had and try to do a Ken Akamatsu-style 'where are they all now?' sort of thing?

#34, RE: Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-29-17 at 06:25 PM
In response to message #32
>If you ever decided to pack it all in once and for all, would you just
>dump all of the unfinished stuff you had and try to do a Ken
>Akamatsu-style 'where are they all now?' sort of thing?

Honestly, I don't know. I'd have to give it a bunch of thought.

As it happens, I just now read of the death of a once-favorite, still-admired author, and one of the things that stands out to me in her obit is her family pointing out that she was staunchly opposed to other writers taking over for her, which is why there were never any TV or film adaptations of her books, and why the series won't be continued. I can kind of see her point—I can think of several book series continued by third parties after the original author's death, and none of them is much good—but in the scenario where I'm not carrying on because I'm dead, I sincerely doubt it would matter to me.

If I were still alive but had just decided to hang it up, though... that would feel pretty weird. I mean, it's not exactly the same situation, because this is neither a solo nor a commercial endeavor, and her book series was both. But... well, I'd have to think about it. It would be a definite part of the large package of considerations that I'd have to think long and hard about before deciding to padlock the factory in the first place.

For the record, this is not under consideration at this time—even though these are the dark and frozen depths of a northern winter, at the tail end of this brutal and wretched year of somebody else's lord twenty seventeen. It's just... slower going than it used to be, is all.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#33, RE: Act III
Posted by Peter Eng on Dec-29-17 at 11:34 AM
In response to message #29
>
>>There were times when I ached for Gryphon's future presence and
>>everything he brings to this.
>
>To be honest, I sometimes catch myself wondering whether he's really
>necessary. I mean, the Operation Hammer team seems to be getting
>along fine without him.
>

Would Hannelore have taken the effort to personally tell Fritzchen how she felt if Gryphon wasn't there as a sounding board?

I'd like to think she would, but I know how much it means to have somebody ask you, "What are you going to do about it?" Sometimes that's more of a kick in the ass than any rant could ever be.

They're handling the challenge just fine; that's what the 501st does. Whether or not Hannelore would have gone to do it...that's something else.

Peter Eng
--
Does a pebble know what its ripples do?


#24, RE: Act III
Posted by Spectrum on Dec-25-17 at 00:21 AM
In response to message #20
> Though she'd carried her Tarot cards throughout her time in Petrograd, she had never dared to consult them, so desperate was the situation; but now she found herself unable to resist. Quickly, almost furtively, while no one was looking, she pulled a card at random from the deck in her belt pouch and turned it over.
>Number XIII.
>Death.

Well, if it's any consolation--

>Wincing, Eila tucked it away and hurried from the alert shack. They're not meant to be taken literally, she reminded herself sternly.

--yes that. Death was change, I thought?

> This time, they were loading up like a supply run—spare weapons, ammo for guns they weren't even carrying, rations, bandages, and every other potentially useful item they still possessed and could find space for.

The 'best' part of running out of supplies midway through is that they get lighter, at least. Though there's always the balance of trying to not take so much that they're too heavy and never live long enough to use their supplies...

> she hefted a metal rack containing a pair of 50-kilogram dead-drop bombs in the other, as if it were no heavier than a pair of milk bottles.

*whistles* You'd think that'd be almost impractical on size alone, let alone weight.

> But here she was, stepping out of her boots, then taking hold of the Striker dock's rails for balance as she took off her trousers—and with a shock, Eila saw why she wore them, and why she walked with a pronounced limp: the Orussian's right leg ended just below the knee. She'd left the prosthetic behind in her boot.

Ooooooh...that's rough. And hopefully she makes up in age and canniness for what'll likely be a much harder to control Striker for various reasons.

> It tasted weird, but she felt the head-clearing burst of energy immediately, before she'd even swallowed it.

I can only imagine that there's a country or two that has this but it's some kind of fermented monstrosity.

> As it raced toward Sanya, its blunt nose lengthening into a lethal point, Eila cried without forethought, "Rakas, three o'clock!"

*looks up meaning* Ha! Well then.

> Bjelik using her antique biplane Striker's slow speed and preposterous turning ability, and her absolute mastery of its flight envelope, to completely chump a pair of converging Large Types into colliding with each other.

*snicker* Old canniness indeed, then. Good thing they're not the kind of enemy that can just recombine into a bigger form, right?

> Running on fumes and chocolate (and starting to wonder in the back of her mind whether it was possible to form an addiction to the latter), she caromed from one flash of terror or burst of exultation (often both at the same time) to another with nothing but jumbled patterns of nonsense memory in between.

I hope there's no risk of sugar crash from that. XD

> For the first time since she had been identified and trained as a witch, Eila felt a surge of probabilities and had no idea what it meant. Something was about to happen. Something big. Something terrible. Something... final. But she hadn't the slightest clue what it would be or what she was supposed to do about it.

I am pretty sure ritual self-sacrifice is not a standard spell in the Witch arsenal. : (

> "Thank you for saving mine," she replied, and they stood there for a long few minutes before, at last, turning away from the frozen city and starting the long trudge to Rautu.

But at least they're alive! And hopefully packing alternate footwear because otherwise someone else might be needing foot prosthetics. >.>

> "Welcome to the beginning of the world," Sanya finished, then leaned down and kissed her.

Aww. :)

Great story and Merry Christmas!


#25, RE: Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-25-17 at 00:40 AM
In response to message #24
>> she hefted a metal rack containing a pair of 50-kilogram dead-drop bombs in the other, as if it were no heavier than a pair of milk bottles.
>
>*whistles* You'd think that'd be almost impractical on size alone, let
>alone weight.

They're about a meter long by 20 cm in diameter (~3 feet by 8 inches in Church of England). Awkward, but not impossible.

>> But here she was, stepping out of her boots, then taking hold of the Striker dock's rails for balance as she took off her trousers—and with a shock, Eila saw why she wore them, and why she walked with a pronounced limp: the Orussian's right leg ended just below the knee. She'd left the prosthetic behind in her boot.

Eh, you don't really need your feet to operate a Striker. Dolores "Tin Legs" Bader of the RAF doesn't have either of hers, and she does all right.

>> "Thank you for saving mine," she replied, and they stood there for a long few minutes before, at last, turning away from the frozen city and starting the long trudge to Rautu.
>
>But at least they're alive! And hopefully packing alternate footwear
>because otherwise someone else might be needing foot prosthetics. >.>

One of the many advantages of valenki is that they are easy to cram into a pocket. (They're not water-resistant, but in Suomus in winter, it's actually too cold for that to be a problem.)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#26, RE: Act III
Posted by NHO on Dec-25-17 at 11:15 AM
In response to message #20
Minor edits: Patronyms are gender-dependent, so "Evgeniya Petrovich" should be "Evgeniya Petrovna"

Also, link to pike in annotation is wrong, points to hen.wikipedia instead of en.wikipedia

On further note, Great Christmas Calendar Mix-up isn't in Witches' World, so no Christmas on 7 January because it's still 25th in old Julian calendar.

Generally, very nice side-story and elaboration for a start of great friendship. I need to reread it before making additional comments.


#27, RE: Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Dec-25-17 at 11:23 AM
In response to message #26
>Minor edits: Patronyms are gender-dependent, so "Evgeniya Petrovich"
>should be "Evgeniya Petrovna"

... and it was, too, when it appeared in Act II, so I'm not sure how the hell I managed to mess it up this time. 'Cause I knew that. (Captain Picard facepalm emoji here)

Strike three, Christmas morning! You're fired.

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.


#28, RE: Act III
Posted by Star Ranger4 on Dec-26-17 at 11:33 AM
In response to message #20
It continues to astound (and kind of slightly worry me) how well you've managed to portray the stereotypical Orussian mindset; A self sacrifice move like what was done in calling upon the spirit of the motherland herself... Doing the impossible with the inadequte...

Very Orussian in my mind.


#35, RE: Act III
Posted by Offsides on Jan-05-18 at 10:57 PM
In response to message #20
Really enjoyed the trilogy! One minor error - the final datestamp of Act III says 1941 when it should be 1946. It was ~3am when I first read it (couldn't sleep) and while I was awake enough to read, the error threw me for a good 5 minutes before I realized what it should have been...

Offsides

[...] in order to be a realist you must believe in miracles.
-- David Ben Gurion
EPU RCW #π
#include <stdsig.h>


#36, RE: Act III
Posted by Gryphon on Jan-05-18 at 11:00 PM
In response to message #35
>Really enjoyed the trilogy! One minor error - the final datestamp of
>Act III says 1941 when it should be 1946. It was ~3am when I first
>read it (couldn't sleep) and while I was awake enough to read, the
>error threw me for a good 5 minutes before I realized what it should
>have been...

Well, it was around 5:30 when I wrote that scene, so I'm not completely shocked I screwed that up. :)

--G.
-><-
Benjamin D. Hutchins, Co-Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & Forum Mod
Eyrie Productions, Unlimited http://www.eyrie-productions.com/
zgryphon at that email service Google has
Ceterum censeo Carthaginem esse delendam.