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Subject: "FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Conferences Mini-Stories Topic #164
Reading Topic #164, reply 23
Member since May-26-13
940 posts
Jan-23-14, 04:33 PM (EST)
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23. "RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between"
In response to message #22
   LAST EDITED ON Jan-23-14 AT 04:34 PM (EST)
>>You know, Ben, you've gone to awful lot of trouble to make a guy who
>>spends half his time being all "you could have done this better" about
>>your writing feel very damn welcome around here.
>Yeah, well... pretty sure I've said it before, you can be a pain in
>the ass, but at least you're paying attention. :)

Comes with the territory of being an inveterate close-reader. Also, you went to the trouble of writing it, I can at least read it carefully. Hell, I do that with books that are so awful they end up in the recycling bin as soon as I finish them.

(Yes, I know I should donate them or sell them to a used bookstore. Very occasionally I end up with dreck in my possession that overrides my natural visceral distaste for destroying the written word.)

>>I haven't read the next installment of this very closely, so I don't
>>know if it's spoken to one way or the other, but I would be utterly
>>unsurprised if the voice on the other end of that commbud were
>That's not addressed, but it's entirely possible that that's the case.
> Upon finding their way into the mix, the Phoenix Queen's
>crew's first priority would have been to find out a) if the homeworld
>their captain occasionally talked about was in fact real and b) if
>there was anyone from there around. Under the circumstances, that
>would have led them more or less straight to Katara.

My train of thought was that anyone but Katara with some knowledge of the situation (assuming it wasn't just some faceless Einherjar commander who got stuck with this particular part of the theater) might have hesitated before ordering Boone to put one between Azula's eyes. Katara? No remorse. :)

>>It also implies he didn't expect to have the sort of lifepsan of his
>>antecedents did. :)
>... well, or it implies that when he thought of it, Comet Day was in
>like a week, and he wasn't considering the matter much beyond
>that point.

Ahhh. I see what you mean. I was reading it in the context of "Ozai is thinking about what he'll need in an heir to bequeath his empire of ash to" rather than "Ozai is thinking about what he'll need in a general next week."

>>Aang probably still thinks it was
>>the merciful, humane choice. I don't imagine Zuko and Katara, who
>>understand this kind of thing better than Aang does, ever disabused
>>him of that notion. Katara probably thought of him in that tower from
>>time and time and it brought a smile to her face, tho.
>I suspect that, on certain levels, Zuko has long understood Katara...
>rather better than Aang does. I don't wish to imply anything
>hinky about that - certainly not during Aang's lifetime -

It's hard to talk about Zuko and Katara without implying that at times, so the disclaimer is warranted. Speaking personally, let's just say I sailed that ship until I couldn't anymore and leave it at that. :)

>but I
>think there are a number of things they're on the same wavelength
>about that Aang just doesn't get at all, and that's most likely one of

Something I've thought a lot about over the years, actually. I eventually came to the conclusion that one of the big things Katara and Zuko understand about each other that Aang doesn't get about either of them (or people in general) is the way they both have ugly dark sides.

Aang just doesn't understand evil (not to say either of them is evil, although Zuko tried very, very hard) or the darker aspects of human nature in general, I don't think. It isn't that he's incapable of recognizing it when it stares him in the face, or that he's even surprised when it turns out certain people are total shitheels. But he doesn't understand or comprehend it. It's like a sickness or a disease in people in his eyes, something wrong that he doesn't understand and doesn't want to understand; he will shy away from it and avoid confronting it.

Katara and Zuko (Zuko especially) don't have that problem. When Katara wanted to go hunt down an old man and maybe murder the hell out of him, for Aang that was like Katara's head had started spinning around and she began speaking in tongues. Zuko didn't have that issue. It's another thing I suspect neither Zuko or Katara ever brought up; Aang thinks that Katara's confrontation with Yon Rha was about Katara denying that part of herself. Zuko knows that it was actually about her accepting that part of herself.

Or at least, that's my opinion.

> Aang died relatively young, Katara didn't, and
>Zuko really didn't. That probably made for a reasonably
>confused status quo once they all got to the far side of the

I find it somehow fitting that, once again, Zuko the stubborn bastard is the last one to arrive. :) At his welcome party, Toph probably made Sokka make a banner that just said 'FINALLY'.

>>And this brings me to the one serious problem I have with this
>>installment; I feel that, structurally, the Azula cycle doesn't flow
>>smoothly from Agreement into Nothing, and it makes the
>>ending of agreement seem contrived and weak.
>It's not supposed to flow smoothly. Azula's consciousness
>doesn't flow smoothly, why should a story that's mainly looking over
>her shoulder? How utterly pointless would the cold open you were so
>fond of a minute ago be if you knew how she got there? Pretty
>pointless, I should think.

It isn't so much that I need to know exactly how she got there as that it feels a bit like having your cake and eating it to; it's as if Azula can't actually be shown to fuck up and lose on-screen. I also feel like it undercuts her out-maneuvering Beria if it just turns out he woke up in Muspelheim, shrugged, and dispatched slightly higher-level minions to finish the job.

Narratively speaking, it seems like for Azula to end up in hell, the smoothest flow is either for Beria to outright win, or for Azula's hubris to land her in hot water and for us to see that happening.

>>The most direct parallel I can think of is the transition between
>>episodes 10 and 12 of the first season of Legend of Korra.
>Well, now you're just trolling me. I don't have to dignify

I wasn't, actually. That was a legit and direct comparison. I mean, maybe you think that's an unwarranted and baseless slur on my part, but I wasn't simply trying to get a rise out of you.

>>At the very least, it feels like maybe you should
>>have ended Agreement with Beria actually winning.
>>Or, well, if not Beria directly (because lets be honest, watching him
>>take one in the head was pretty satisfying) then ending on an
>>uncertain note; fading to black with Azula leaving his office to see
>>if she's good enough to run the gauntlet he'd set up for her in the
>>hotel. That would still preserve the sense of confusion I think you're
>>trying to set up with the very beginning of the next part without
>>sacrificing overall structural needs.
>I'll accept this as a viable way of setting it up - certainly a better
>idea than just giving it all away beforehand, which, it seems to me,
>is exactly the sort of Excessive Directness you were so backhandedly
>complimenting me for not indulging-in-as-is-my-custom not long ago.

It was meant to be a direct compliment, as opposed to a backhanded one. I enjoy seeing you stretch your style. I mean, I wouldn't be here if I didn't enjoy the Hutchins Style, as it were, but it is always nice to see something a bit different. You know?

>On the other hand, though, the very fact that they could
>arrange for her to wake up where she is at the start of this piece
>after she'd completely outmaneuvered Beria and his forces at the end
>of the previous one could be seen as an example of something that's
>not foreshadowed for the readers to replicate the sensation of
>complete unexpectedness the character experiences. That, at least,
>was the intent.

Hmm. Fair enough. I just... don't quite think it works, is all. It's hard for me to tell, I can't erase my memory and go back and try it another way and see how it hits me. I respect what you were trying to do, it's not like this is one those "your writing is bad and you should feel bad" situations, I just feel like it doesn't quite come off.

>>"You owe me fifty caps, Arcade."
>>"I hate you so much, Boone."
>Heh, it hasn't come up, but Arcade isn't actually with them. He
>stayed on Mojave - figured he could do more good there.

Fair enough. I just picked Arcade because he seems like the only one who would openly call the Captain on her crazy stories and put his money where his mouth is. Veronica is too nice, Boone and Cass are too loyal, Fisto is... programmable, Rex can't actually talk, and it's hard to tell what Raul is thinking underneath all the bitter sarcasm.

Keep Rat

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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between [View All] Gryphonadmin Jan-03-14 TOP
   Extras: Soundtrack Lyrics Gryphonadmin Jan-03-14 1
      Oh, speaking of Bad Religion Gryphonadmin Jan-06-14 15
   RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between drakensis Jan-03-14 2
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between twipper Jan-03-14 3
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Jan-03-14 5
          RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Mercutio Jan-06-14 11
   RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Matrix Dragon Jan-03-14 4
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Peter Eng Jan-03-14 6
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Peter Eng Jan-03-14 7
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Jan-03-14 8
          RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between ebony14 Jan-03-14 9
          RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Arashi Jan-06-14 12
              RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Peter Eng Jan-06-14 13
                  RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Verbena Jan-06-14 14
                      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Mercutio Jan-06-14 16
                          RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Jan-06-14 17
                              RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Mercutio Jan-06-14 18
                                  RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Jan-06-14 19
                          RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Offsides Jan-07-14 20
   RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between BZArchermoderator Jan-03-14 10
   RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Mercutio Jan-20-14 21
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Jan-20-14 22
         RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Mercutio Jan-23-14 23
              RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Jan-23-14 24
   RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Zemyla Apr-06-14 25
      RE: FI/TWI: Nothing That Is In Between Gryphonadmin Apr-06-14 26

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