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Building a Better Soldier

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Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from Harry
Review:
When Maggie Walsh manipulated and decived, she did it in a GRAND manner! I think she would have been executed and her remains put somewhere that NO ONE would ever find again! That would be something that no one should EVER mess with! As for Riley, he didn't know how much Maggie was messing with him. He's the fortunate one. No telling how many others she did and didn't tell them.
Comments from author:
If there were some way to recall Maggie and torture her repeatedly, I could see a lot of people considering doing exactly that.
Review By [Harry] • Date [6 Jul 12] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Harry
Review:
Magigie Walsh is fortunate that she is dead. With what has been found out, Leavenworth would be TOO good for her! OH NO! I smell execution for her. She messed up so badly that its not funny. This lady had best hope that they never find a way to bring back the dead. They would use it on her mulitple times!
Comments from author:
Maggi is, indeed, fortunate she's already dead, or she would be facing a great many extremely pissed-off people who have finally started learning exactly what she's done to htem.
Review By [Harry] • Date [6 Jul 12] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Prometeus
Review:
Agreed about the Initiative.

> then contradicted themselves horrendously in season seven by having Spike behave in exactly the same manner both before and after having regained his soul.

This was NEVER the contradiction it was made out to be by fans. Nor was soul/less Angel's significantly different behaviour the clear black & white divide made out by fans either.

Fact 1) Angel tortures Buffy even while he has a soul. He dumps her. Without leaving her any say in the decision. And tells her to go for a normal guy. Even though this is hopeless and doomed to failure. That's fucking torture that is. How else COULD you describe dumping your (underage) lover when YOU are at fault then ORDERING her to pursue only doomed relationships? Holy mind-fuck batman!

Fact 2) he's a broody wanker. Yes he SAYS it's because he feels guilty about his crimes. But that NEVER made the slightest lick of sense if he really WAS a different person with/out the soul. So he's lying. Whoa, hold the presses: Angel is lying!! When has Angel NOT been a lying bastard? So he's lying and what he says means nothing.

But brooding 24/7 makes it more likely that he DOES feel guilty. The question is guilty OVER WHAT? Not over past actions while soulless! No, here's a theory that actually explains the guilt: he feels guilty over HIS PRESENT DESIRES. Specifically, his desire to torture the living fuck out of everyone around him. Including the "love of his life". Whom he actually DID torture without feeling guilty because he's just the kind of fucking dumbass to not be aware of what he did to her even as he subconsciously sets her up to suffer.

And bingo: Angel = Angelus. It's just that when he has a soul, he feels guilty over what he loves most in life, which is torture. So yeah, he feels NOT JUST guilty but USELESS. Anyone would feel useless if they had nothing they liked to do for the rest of eternity. Talk about a depressing situation!

Conclusion: so Spike didn't change with a soul? OF COURSE NOT. The only thing he's EVER cared about, whether living or undead, is being in love with some strong female. Oh and fighting! And since he's not into torture, he's off scot free. Perfectly consistent characterization. Probably thanks to James Marsters. Except ... NOT consistent. He's far too much of a pussy after he gets the soul. If anything, he changed TOO MUCH.

And I'm starting to wonder whether David Boreanaz' characterization might not be consistent because he wasn't acting. He's pretty slimy in real life. And he wouldn't be the first psychopath in Hollywood. John Travolta is a psychopath clear as day. It's not a coincidence that with his non-existent acting range, he consistently portrays psychopaths.
Comments from author:
I can't say that your interpretation is at all incorrect, and it certainly explains things just as well as the more commonly accepted explanation of Angel's behavior, which is primarily based on comments from Joss and some of the staff writers at various conventions in the first couple years of the show. Given that they were almost certainly trying to spin events occurring in the series in the most acceptable light, given the legions of fan girls who made up their early audience, they had to have some semi-plausible explanation which wouldn't paint Buffy's romantic interest as someone who should be staked immediately.

And David Boreanaz's behavior has definitely been inconsistent with the image he originally established, but that is something that I've come to expect from most of Hollywood's inhabitants. ;-)
Review By [Prometeus] • Date [7 Jan 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Prometeus
Review:
That has been pointed out to me as an independent fact. Niamh who wrote Origins told me she could see exactly where Joss had been brought back to fix all the leftover hanging threads. I didn't much care about who wrote the show so didn't bother looking even after it was pointed out.

It still doesn't explain amazingly stupid comments like that eating kittens makes the difference between having a soul and not having one. That smacks directly of a profound deficit in some combination of general intelligence, general education, moral education, and human psychology. There is something very wrong with that man.
Comments from author:
I think that a general lack of anything approaching a viewpoint unclouded by what the writers believed to be the 'proper' political philosophy and the producer's lust for one of the actors portraying her favorite character is what really doomed the show to the mediocrity it suffered from the last few seasons.

One major beef I had was the flat statement made in the beginning of the series that vampires didn't have souls, and that is what made them different from the people whose bodies they stole when they turned someone. They initially showed this to the audience by the significantly different portrayals of Angel and Angelus in season two, then contradicted themselves horrendously in season seven by having Spike behave in exactly the same manner both before and after having regained his soul.

Had the writers done something along the lines of revealing that the soul actually remains in the body after a person is turned, but is captive and helpless because of the blood demon's taking over the body, and then later revealed that the Watchers Council - the major and most significant source of all the information regarding vampires - had intentionally lied about that fact in order to make the Slayer more compliant and amenable to their orders to slay every vampire she encountered, then that portrayal could have been used to illustrate some very interesting moral quandaries - such as having Buffy or one of the Scoobies encountering one or more vampires who had made the moral decision to NOT feed on people, but instead feed only on cows, pigs or some other species.

Instead, we got simplistic portrayals of what was supposed to be a clearly military black ops compound being run by a *civilian*, and one which had all the subtlety of the Three Stooges when it came to their day to day operations.
Review By [Prometeus] • Date [5 Jan 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Prometeus
Review:
Joss Whedon thinks evil is "eating kittens" and good is "not eating kittens". I really wonder how this can be the same person that made Firefly and Serenity.

The charitable hypothesis is that he was selling out to the studios by avoiding saying anything bad about the Scoobies.

The uncharitable hypothesis is that Firefly and Serenity were much closer to American history and ideology so he had less to think about and could copy more blatantly.

The even LESS charitable hypothesis is that because the ACTORS were ADULTS, and were professional enough to care about their characters (which Sarah Michelle Gellar wasn't by the middle) it was THEY who were responsible for Firefly and Serenity's psychological and moral complexities.

If the last and most realistic hypothesis is true, and it's the hypothesis I buy into after due thought, it literally wasn't the same person that made Firefly + Serenity.
Comments from author:
I really think he lost interest in his toys after the second season (or maybe, third, if you give him the benefit of the doubt - which I don't) and just really didn't care what his minions did to the show.
Review By [Prometeus] • Date [5 Jan 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from Prometeus
Review:
You made canon make sense. Riley Finn's decidedly less than Special Forces abilities and overly loyal attitude never, EVER made sense on the show. You made it make sense. Congrats.

The feel of this fic reminds me of a Dawn!Noir / DarkAngel cross on TTH. It was awesome and this is awesome too. Congrats on turning Riley into an anti-hero, I like those much better than heroes. Actually, that's the resemblance right there. :)
Comments from author:
Thanks. Joss' take on the Initiative was so simplistic as to be on the level of a ten-year-old making policy for the DoD.
Review By [Prometeus] • Date [31 Dec 10] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from (Current Donor)Shieldage
Review:
Whoa.

SOLO sounds worth checking out. Great AU for Riley.


One probable continuity error though.

RILEY: "Upon investigation by base security, Doctor Walsh was discovered inside the lab, together with another individual, a currently unidentified male, also deceased."

MARCHINKO: "Now, according to our intelligence sources, we have confirmation that, as of two hours ago, in addition to the murders of Dr. Walsh and Dr. Margolis, the individual whose body was found with Dr. Wash,"

RILEY: "Well, sir, I was originally approached by one of Maggie's, that is, Dr. Walsh's representatives about four and a half years ago, while I was working on my doctorate at Georgetown University... Anyway, this guy introduced himself as Dr. Margolis,"


Heh. Riley would probably have recognized the doctor's dead body, unless he met a different Margolis, his memories concerning the meeting were altered, or the guy had really transformed his facial features in the years since their first meeting :D
Comments from author:
You're right. I forgot about that when I was initially writing this story. ;-)

But in the proud tradition of not admitting that I might have done anything wrong, I will simply state that Riley never had the opportunity to view the unidentified body, since he was too busy trying to keep things together after Maggie's death was discovered. ;-)
Review By [(Current Donor)Shieldage] • Date [11 Dec 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from CPTSkip
Review:
Excellent tale so far. I like reading about a smart Agent Finn. Too often in fanfic and sometimes even on the show he is portrayed as not to smart. He wasn't dumb, he was just naive and loyal to Maggie the Bitch. I also liked the atmosphere of the original meeting where we learned about ADAM(H). Meetings of that type are like combat. Long stretches of boredom punctuated by short periods of extreme fear and panic. Lol! I just hope your Riley's health doesn't deteriorate again.
Comments from author:
Yeah, Riley's main problem was loyalty to people who didn't reciprocate it to the people under them.

Glad you're enjoying the story.
Review By [CPTSkip] • Date [10 Dec 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from LFW
Review:
I did not catch all of the crossovers but I am amazed by Riley not being able to move or run . . . just a large turn. Very nice. I am very interested at the turns you are going to have for Xander and co. Thanks
Comments from author:
Thanks, I was trying to make this as AU as I could while not making it unbelievable.

And you're going to see some major changes to all of the Scoobies' lives in the next few chapters.
Review By [LFW] • Date [9 Dec 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from eriktheviking
Review:
A great chapter with much obvious research done or prior knowledge of biology.
Comments from author:
Thanks.

Glad you think so, because I did have to do a bit of research to make sure that everything I was writing was correct. ;-)
Review By [eriktheviking] • Date [9 Dec 09] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from Jonathansicari
Review:
I love this already.
Comments from author:
Thanks.
Review By [Jonathansicari] • Date [9 Dec 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter 2 A conference room DeWitt Army Community" from war
Review:
good story looking forward to more of your work.
Comments from author:
Thanks. The series continues in "- When Nobody's Looking."
Review By [war] • Date [9 Dec 09] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from LordSia
Review:
Brilliant story. Love the drama, the action is excellent, and I must agree with the replacement of the Hyena - while "exotic", and carefully selected to match but not compete with Lycanthropes, it doesn't make any sense, especially with the reasons you stated. Like your Xander in general, actually.
Also, I like your depiction of the military - not stupid, not "I'm just following orders", not inherently evil sociopaths out to end the world, just men doing their best to protect and serve their friends, family and country. And you do them good, to.
Please continue this fic.
Comments from author:
Thanks for reviewing and commenting.

Glad you're enjoying the story.

And I'm glad you think that my depiction of the military comes across well, since Joss' portrayal of them makes about as much sense as any fairy tale you might want to name, and he was obviously using them to beat the viewer over the head with the not-too-subtly-portrayed idea that anything they were involved with were, by definition, BAD. What a moron. ;-(

The next chapter should be posted fairly soon.
Review By [LordSia] • Date [6 Dec 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from batzulger
Review:
Rogue Warrior, Solo and Weapon, Species...all that's needed now is the OSI to stick its fingers into this mess.


{EDIT}

Solo and Weapon are two vastly underrated novels, and I brought up the OSI because they tended to be the government agency that showed up when science got weird.
Comments from author:
Glad you caught the various references, although my Marchinko is more of a tribute than an actual crossover. And the movie 'Sil' appeared in was just 'Species.'

And I don't have any plans for the OSI to show up - but that could change with teh right impetus. ;-)

Thanks for reviewing and commenting.
Review By [batzulger] • Date [4 Dec 09] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One" from CPTSkip
Review:
Ah, what the frak? I hope there will be a quick update as my memories of your earlier story are no longer accessible and I really have no idea of what is going on with the good lieutenant. You know the memory is the second thing to go and I can't remember what the first is anymore.
Comments from author:
I'm going to post the next chapter of this shortly, once the corresponding parts of 'Who Am I?" and its sequel have been posted here. Real Life (tm) has been somewhat uncooperative lately, but things are improving, and I'm hoping to get several chapters of all of these stories posted in the next week or so.
Review By [CPTSkip] • Date [8 Oct 09] • Not Rated
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