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Tearing the Veil

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Review of chapter "5: Sunrise" from laoshi
Review:
Nice to know I was right about Lester. As to Faith's being continually betrayed. While from Faith perspective Buffy's actions could be viewed as a betrayal. It was a series of tragic accidents that had Wesley interfere with Buffy and Angel's attempts to reach out to Faith. My perspective on these two characters is that there has always been a core of affection underlying whatever they did to each other. I do think Dream Faith was the actual Faith, but not because she had some eleventh hour I must do the right thing and betray the only man that has always been loyal to me. They do care about each other deeply. Buffy allowed her concern for Angel to get in the way. But notice when Faith wakes up in season four she is still on some level trying to take care of Faith. It's not as simple as saying Faith loved Buffy more than Buffy loved Faith or Faith loved Buffy more than she loved the mayor. But she was faced with a choice of sacrificing one of the two people she cared about the most. Isn't DreamFaith's message to DreamBuffy essentially the same one we should take from this story? I make the point below that despite the evil they do it is the humanity of both versions of Faith that defines them. The mayor was a human being and he had enough humanity left to care deeply for Faith. He cared about her enough for Buffy's taunting him about hurting Faith to get him killed. But like all of us he has a choice. he could have listened to the voice of that love to stopped or delayed the Ascension and devote his not inconsiderable magical abilities to making sure Faith got well again. But (to steal a line from the west wing) his demons shouted down the better angels of his nature. Whereas in the end Faith listened to her angels.

This chapter is just the perfect conclusion to this story. Faith taking the bullshit that her older self has been feeding her and living by it is inspired. Because, when she will betray even herself, Faith can still trust Buffy. Because it's only bullshit if you're so far gone you can't summon up a fragment of humanity anymore. But the older Faith does have at least that much humanity left. She could just have gutted Buffy, tossed her off the roof and mocked her younger self until she faded into nothingness. But any version of Faith is more complex than that. We are shown in this chapter that trust, compassion, all the things that, at times, both faith's would regard as a sucker's bet can be simultaneously her glory and her downfall. A moment of humanity is the reason why she has to return to the cage her hospital room has become but it is also the reason why she may be let out one day. The older Faith is an extraordinarily sympathetic villain. Her desperation, her desolation are fully realised. In the end, whatever their experiences the older and younger Faith are essentially the same person. Just as one Faith is willing to wait until her other self has faded to spare her the pain of seeing Buffy die; so the other Faith will forgo Buffy's company to comfort her fallen opponent, to give her hope that one day she will rediscover what it means to be free. The closing scene of one Faith hugging the other was heart wrenching on a level you don't find in many novels, to say nothing of other fanfics.

If you ever decide to continue this offshoot of the Faithverse I would love to see the future version of Buffy trying to decide whether or not to let Faith out and Faith telling her the events in this story.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [16 Mar 08] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "4: Late Dark" from laoshi
Review:
Is Lester an original creation or someone from the show? I have a sneaking suspicion he was the professor she killed. I loved Faith's panic over lester calling her a murderess, then it turns out its the older faith. Her taunting of Lester presages her nefarious purpose. I loved Faith's misremembering of Anita Blake. Katherine Madison as a villain has a great deal of resonance. I really can't think of another Buffyverse villain who would be more appropriate for a possession. There is a wonderful tragic quality to the older Faith's betraying the younger. When we talk about Heroes having a fatal flaw we usually mean something negative like pride or arrogance.While Faith's rage at the the abusive father and her use of brute force earlier in the evening weaken her. That Faith is ultimately betrayed because she was too trusting has a savage irony to it I really enjoyed. What the older Faith says is true: we all have to trust someone else sometime. I read this chapter straight through a second time once I had finished reading it and what struck me is that the older Faith's encroaching on her younger's body is a continuation of the same strategy that she employs against Katherine Madison. She tricks Katherine into yielding too much control to Buffy, thereby allowing Buffy to force Katherine out, just as she tricks her younger self into yielding to much control so she can take over. If Faith had been allowed to rest, to pause and consider for even a moment she could of figured that out before it was too late. Unfortunately, her older self never gave her that opportunity.
Comments from author:
Yep, you got it; Lester was the kindly old professor she murdered for the Mayor.

And yep again; Faith's weakness is that even though she denies needing or trusting anyone, she desperately wants to have someone who she CAN trust.
And in the show, we see that happen over and over, where she starts to depend on someone just a little bit (Gwen Post, Giles and/or Wes, even Buffy herself) and then they (in some way, shape or form) betray her.
It's more than a little ironical that the only person who didn't betray her trust, who supported and loved and valued her all the way to the end, was Mayor Wilkins.
Which is why I choose to believe that the person Buffy saw in her little dream sequence, where dreamFaith gives dreamB a clue about how to beat Wilkins, wasn't actually Faith at all. She had NO reason to turn on him.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [16 Mar 08] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "3: Midnight" from laoshi
Review:
Just what does older Faith have against Quantum Leap? Young Faith's disquiet over her older siblings motivations is simmering under the surface, and she has caught the older girl in a lie. If she is a version of Faith from an alternate future then she was never this Faith. Also I don't think if this test was being supervised in anyway by the watchers they would allow the death of a normal human however objectionable he might be. The beating the ghosts gave faith triggering memories of her father was a brilliant move. The evocation of her rage at the abuse she has suffered was masterfully done. This is slaying as catharsis. A theme which runs through much of your Faithverse is the moral dilemma posed by human monsters. The slayer is the judge, jury and executioner of non-human monsters. But what happens when a slayer is confronted by monstrous acts committed by being who are all too human? Yes this man was possessed but he he had beaten his wife and children before that ever happened and he would have continued to do so if Faith had not stopped him. Still murdering someone should change a person. How will Faith be affected?
Review By [laoshi] • Date [8 Mar 08] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "2: Early Dark" from laoshi
Review:
Making fun of your younger self's haircut should be on every self-respecting time travelers to do list. I'm very interested to see where you'll go with this Slayer as spirit warrior concept. We've always known slayers have mystical senses in addition to the strength, speed and healing, but I can't remember many instances of a slayer having to fight a purely spiritual entity. We had the ghosts who possess Buffy and Angelus in season 2 and then the spirit which is released to balance Buffy coming back. Probably the only real mystical fight Buffy has is when she goes all glowy eyed fighting Adam. Where did the idea to have the Slayer spirit manifested as gold come from? Anyway I thought the physical and mystical elements of the fight were well integrated. It was also nice to hear so much positive reinforcement from the older faith.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [7 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "1: Sunset" from laoshi
Review:
The first part has an excellent description of the Spirit of Faith the elder climbing out of Faith the younger's body. The evocation of her pain is very vivid. There's an immanence to the writing. The reveal is a great WTF moment. I can't help but suspect older Faith's motives. Yes she could be coming back to make sure the whole thing with the Mayor never happens but her bitterness would mitigate against that. When reading Faith the Elder asking questions she does seem to be letting Faith the younger's mind fill in the blanks. Great start. I'm going to go read the next chapter.
Review By [laoshi] • Date [7 Mar 08] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "5: Sunrise" from SilverWave
Review:
Wow!

That was so great... so now that Faith has seen what can go wrong and has made the connection to Buffy... the follow on could be a great story and need not be derivative, you could go futher down this AU path.

Go give it a go ;)

Thanks :)
Comments from author:
Hey, thanks for the review.
This is such a dark little fever-dream of a story, not many seem to appreciate it.

Further down this path?
Ah, ummmm... probably not.
Sorry.
There's a ton of other Faith stories that lead to (slightly) brighter places that I'd rather work on.
Review By [SilverWave] • Date [2 Mar 08] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "5: Sunrise" from (Past Donor)exiled
Review:
I would like to see another story in verse about what happened next or maybe just a brief look-in on how their lives changed. This story always struck me as incomplete.

Everyone is right you are a very good writer.
Review By [(Past Donor)exiled] • Date [1 Nov 07] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "5: Sunrise" from GreenDragon
Review:
I have to agree, a most interesting story... you do the introspection thing quite well, while leaving any "conclusions" as an exercise for the student (reader).

And what came to me was this: Strength + Passion + Trust = Love.

Faith's gonna be OK.
Review By [GreenDragon] • Date [1 Nov 07] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "5: Sunrise" from (Moderator)Kiwikatipo
Review:
That was an interesting intriguing story. I would have liked the alternative scenario to have happened but I felt hope in your story that somehow the timeline had been already altered so a better future would prevail.

Awesome!

How I reached my overall score for your story

Grammar:10/10
Writing style: 9/10
Plot Interest: 9/10
Character Captures:9/10
Feel Good Factor at end of reading your story:5/10
Review By [(Moderator)Kiwikatipo] • Date [31 Oct 07] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "4: Late Dark" from (Current Donor)Ironbear
Review:
ALways loved this story. Glad to see that you're reposting it here.
Review By [(Current Donor)Ironbear] • Date [31 Oct 07] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "4: Late Dark" from (Past Donor)Lupo
Review:
Interesting twist. Since everyone else has screwed with Faith, I guess it was only a matter of time till she started messing with herself...
Pretty good time travel explanation, although I kinda like the string theory from Quantum Leap better.
Please keep up the great work.
Review By [(Past Donor)Lupo] • Date [29 Oct 07] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "4: Late Dark" from (Moderator)Kiwikatipo
Review:
That last paragraph is a brillant idea - youth is totally wasted on the young after all.
Review By [(Moderator)Kiwikatipo] • Date [29 Oct 07] • Not Rated
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