>>her youth, she took pains to maintain them anyway, because what was
>>what she was trained to do with useful tools.
>This whole paragraph really works on a lot of levels, especially the
>ultimate sentence. Nicely done.
Thank you. (Except for the typo; it's (obviously) supposed to say "that was what she was trained to do".)
>You know, for something that isn't commercially available even for the
>truly, outrageously wealthy, people seem to stumble across
>pseudo-immortality quite a lot in Known Space. :)
Sample size artifact. Looked at more broadly, no more than a few dozen people have appeared with such things in hand vs. a galaxy containing many trillions of sentient beings.
(Also, GENOM's "RETRO" treatment is in fact commercially available to the truly, outrageously wealthy, as are memory-transfer clones and the higher grades of cyborg replacement body.)
>Editorial suggestion; you may want to embed a link to the forum thread
>about Azula's heavily modified That Gun in there, and in the
>inevitable omnibus, assuming the omnibus is published in html.
Hmm, I was just preassembling the existing bits of that yesterday; I included the Mojave BPGD and Tops Casino Interlude, and the Phoenix Queen BPGD, but I forgot about That Gun.
>>escaped from a lunatic asylum. (Having once done so herself, she was
>>better-positioned than most to know what that looked like.)
>It's adorable that Azula thinks she "escaped" from that asylum. :)
She kind of did, though. Admittedly, she didn't get very far, but she totally escaped.
>I am rather embarrassed to admit I had to go look it up before
>remembering "Oh! Right! The Golden Apples of Idunn. They're not
>just a Greek thing. Riiiiiiight."
I enjoyed the convergence there while I was coming up with that scene. Zoner's connection to Eris and Discordianism in general makes the obvious connection to the "ΤΗΙ ΚΑΛΛΙΣΤΗΙ" apple jump out, but they're in Asgard and what's about to happen is lifespan-related... it fits together really nicely.
>>"Just ask yourself as you nurse your
>>old hatred - which of us is being spiteful now?"
>Okay, that was a dick move on Azula's part.
Well, like the old saying doesn't go, you can take the girl out of the evil...
>The speechifying was all very pretty, and I have no doubt that Azula
>means every word. But... and this is something that would absolutely
>not have occurred to Azula, and would require someone like Katara or
>Zuko (or Sokka, when he was being particularly insightful)...
>forgiveness isn't a matter of being personally validated. It's for the
>transgressed against to decide what it takes for them to offer it, not
>the transgressor to demand it.
That's all true - particularly the acknowledgement that it's not a conclusion Azula would be likely to arrive at on her own. In spite of the cautious détente at the end, this business remains largely unfinished. More on this in a bit.
>And generally speaking, absolution requires penance.
Azula has presumably not considered this consciously, but her unconscious conclusion is that going the fuck insane and all that attended it, and then spending several decades convinced that the world she remembered either was no more or never had been, pretty well covered that part. She may not be right about that, but it's where she's coming from.
>>So saying, she turned on her heel and left the feasthall.
>Off course, Azula bails before there's a chance for any kind of
That is, indeed, her usual technique. Besides - in her experience, if you let Katara get in the last word, it tends to take the form of her drowning you.
>It might just be because, like when you hint around the edges at Korra
>and Asami, you're completely pandering to my pre-existing prejudices,
Just for the record, that particular phenomenon has nothing to do with your prejudices. :)
>>"Sokka, darling," she said casually,
>Man, Katara has probably had nightmares that began with those
>words and ended with firebending nieces.
I am remembering a fan comic I once saw which ends with Zuko declaring, "I did not need to see that!"
>I'm not sure I'm a fan of such a swift resolution here. It seems a
>bit... I don't want to say contrived, that's too harsh. Forced, is I
>guess the word? There's... a large chasm between Azula and Katara, one
>that was primarily dug by Azula, and I don't really feel it's been
>Katara holds grudges and is suspicious and demands substantial and
>repeated evidence of good faith before extending a hand, I think.
>Yeah, sure, Azula helped Zuko kill their dad. I kinda feel like that's
>just the price of admission to Katara Land. If Azula actually
>wants to go on the rides, that costs extra.
I agree with your objections, but feel they are premature and slightly out of context. Consider the following:
1) That's only the first drink, not a declaration of eternal sisterhood. Like you said - price of admission. It's an acknowledgement that a bridge might be buildable, not that there's already one there. (Patton had a drink with that Russian general in the scene this joke was based on, but he didn't change his opinion of the Soviet Union overall.)
2) It was offered very grudgingly, and in large part because to do otherwise would probably have caused a scene sufficient (unlike the last one) to permanently mar the occasion for everyone in the vicinity.
3) Katara's taking things a little more impulsively than usual at that point, on account of she's already a bit lit by that stage in the evening because
4) THEY ALL JUST SURVIVED THE END OF THE WORLD.
As such, you should a) not look at it as a resolution and b) cut Katara a little slack, I think. :)
That said, I've had a companion piece to this one in mind that depicts the following day (concurrent with the part of Twilight where everyone's picking up their stuff and trying to figure out what month it is). The first scene is largely written, but I've been uncertain whether it adds anything useful beyond a couple of cute one-liners to the storyline. In the light of the above, I think it does, or can be made to, and so there are most likely two pieces left to go in Desolation Angel (the last of which won't be a Forum story, but exclusive to the collected edition, as with the tag stories on the Mini-Omnis).
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
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