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Darkness Surrounds Her

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Review of chapter "Alone" from smolder
Oh, a Kendra tale. Even before I started reading I wanted to hug this fic - there just aren't enough Kendra stories on the site and I have such a soft spot for them. And once I did start reading, I was of course delighted. I love the background you gave her - for some reason it had never really occurred to me that Kendra might have been raised (or at least temporarily lived) somewhere other than Jamaica. I also liked how you showed the control the Council held over Kendra (and other potential Slayers) through her POV that was non-judgemental because she didn't know it was wrong, because she didn't know any other way. Even the subtle shows of power - like the chairs being too big for their feet to touch.

I was also extremely fond of the subtlety of her relationship with Mr. Zabuto. He was controlling and very much an old guard Watcher, yes. But you showed the pride and care he held for his Slayer that the Council (who saw her as an object at worst, an ideal at best) as a whole did not share. He might not of expressed that overtly, but I felt your version of Kendra could read a lot through books and weapons. And her obvious loneliness, anxiety, and dependency on his presence wasn't -only- because they had always done things in the past.

Just lovely. Thanks for writing this Blue. It's bits like these that take the time to actually expand and explore Kendra's character that make me wish so badly she had more of a part on the show. She was just so intriguing. *sigh*
Comments from author:
It's so good to hear from you again! thank you for your lovely recommendation! It was a pleasure to explore Kendra. One day I'd like to write a Kendra lives story...

Kendra's character really didn't have enough time to develop on screen. I really enjoyed making her more than a plot device and the answer to the quiz question 'what happens when slayer #1 dies and comes back?'

The whole 'slave of destiny' idea that the kind folks at the watcher's council had really made me pretty ill from the start... and the more I thought of it, the less I liked it. Seeing Kendra made it even more clear that it was wrong and destructive. As smart as she was and as well 'trained' as she was, she just didn't have it in her to fight Dru. Buffy by contrast, encountered Dru a bunch of times. Even Xander encountered Dru and survived it...

I just felt the need to ask: Who is she? What does she feel? What does she think? I was happy to show that she did learn from her experiences.

The background I developed for her flowed from her accent. It isn't Jamaican... It's a mishmash of accents and I thought making her a Scottish raised slayer was more plausible. She doesn't sound Scots either, she does sound as though she's made the rounds of English speaking accents... I don't believe the council would raise her in her own environment. That would give her too much residue of her own culture. Stripping her of her family would just be the beginning. The council would raise her somewhere convenient to them...

I liked Scotland b/c I wanted to put her somewhere where there were still enough 'wilds' that she could grow up relatively isolated without drawing the wrath of child services... Of course, the council had great lawyers, so that part probably didn't matter so much... but I like Scotland anyway and I think she just feels right in the Scottish highlands. I can picture her on top of a mountain with a sword in her hand, looking down into the glen, at the river or lake below... I can feel that energy in her.

Of course, the chairs don't fit! Why would they bother to accommodate children? Said children were their tools, not 'real' people who should be treated with respect. I don't get the idea they treated watcher kids all that well, either. Why would Giles rebel so much if his life was so good?

The council squashes the spirit. It's their purpose. they substitute their wills for the child's spirit. Then they get a pliable, obedient slayer and indoctrinated, controllable young watchers who believe the sort of nonsense that Wesley believed... Easy to control... by the council, but also by the enemy...

A person needs spirit in order to fight things like Dru... Both Buffy and Faith questioned everything (Buffy more so than Faith. The only time Buffy was susceptible to control was with the (800 year old?) Master and it only worked once. Thank god, she'd questioned the idea that she 'must' work alone, or she would have stayed dead. Instead, her friend was able to bring her back and the Master had lost his hold over her for good. He couldn't hypnotize her again. )

Notice that Giles also gave in to Dru, but Buffy never did, nor interestingly, did Xander! Xander isn't a very trusting person, probably b/c of the way he grew up. I don't think of Giles as inherently weak, but maybe some of that old programming remained... we see him give into that old council programming at other times too and the result is always bad.

I'm so glad you think I got into her head and that you liked it.

Thank you so much!

Review By [smolder] • Date [1 Feb 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Alone" from (Current Donor)SamuraiCatFan
Really like the Kendra POV here. Definitely a logical take on how Kendra would look at the world around her that the show was not really able to portray.
Comments from author:
First, thank you so much for your recommendation. It means a lot.

I'm glad I got the inspiration to do this and I'm glad that my take on how Kendra could make what on the face of it seems like a quixotic choice -- riding in the luggage compartment -- when I don't think she was stupid. If you've been in a large airport recently, you know what it's like. Imagine what that would be like for someone who had spent most of her life out doors and alone.

Thanks again,


Review By [(Current Donor)SamuraiCatFan] • Date [31 Jul 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Alone" from (Current Donor)mmooch
LOL, so funny that the reason she was in the baggage hold was because she was overwhelmed by the closeness of the people surrounding her. She really would hate to be stationed in someplace like NYC, wouldn't she?
Comments from author:
She would be happiest as guardian of the Hellmouth in the amazon. Yes, in my universe there *is* a hellmouth there... I think it would be perfect for her... as long as she could set up a small shack full of books... books and weapons... Damn it woman, you're putting ideas in my head! hehe.

Review By [(Current Donor)mmooch] • Date [29 Jul 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Alone" from MBB
An original story, i don't think i've seen Kendra stories where she has been at the Watchers HQ (or England in general) before.
Comments from author:
I hope that's a good thing. I just thought that a slayer under full control of the council would go where it was convenient for them. The highlands also allow for outdoor space for Kendra's training and somewhat account for the weird accent.

Review By [MBB] • Date [29 Jul 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Alone" from (Current Donor)deiticlast
I should have known better. . . Here I was, thinking I wasn't gonna like it, and that it was going to be of those lame little side-stories that people write that's complete fluff, and here you go, writing this story. Like I said: I should have known better, especially since it was you who wrote it.

I completely and utterly loved it, and hope you write more like it! Please?
Comments from author:
Grins:-)) I'm so glad you read it. I'm even happier that you liked it. I try hard not to do too many lame stories... I won't say I never write any, I just try to keep my 'writing exercises' to myself. Trying to understand her behavior and her attitude required a little reverse engineering... I looked at the 'finished' 'product' (as the council would have thought of her) and saw someone completely alienated from and without comprehension of the real world including how to deal with people and practical things like traveling that most of us learn to adjust to.

I'm so very glad you loved it and very flattered by your praise. As for more writing: as soon as Mr. Muse and I are done with our 'throw down' about the finale of 'Turned from Darkness' there will be more writing... I have a lot of stuff in the pipeline, it just needs 'cracking'.* Feel free to offer advice, because his advice is arcane and confusing... and maybe I need an intermediary! I'm gettin' my arse kicked well and truly!



*Cracking = fractionating or separating into components, like with petroleum products... Yeah, I still express myself in terms of chemistry and physics sometimes... hope that's OK. So many things in life can be expressed in terms of physics... some say everything... I'm not quite sure about *that*. Anyway... end of explanation.
Review By [(Current Donor)deiticlast] • Date [27 Jul 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Alone" from superfan
Wow, you truly gave her a story of her own, you had so little to work with and yet, it made a great deal of sense. You just forgot to add that Zabuto trained her to speak with a Jamaican accent to help cultivate her Slayer persona and help her hide in plain sight.
Comments from author:
Blush! Thank you! I am sorry she was given such short shrift in the series... That horrid accent, I'm afraid, is a combination of her poorly remembered Jamaican accent combined with the Scottish brogue of the only person she had regular contact with. I'm really glad you found that the story I created worked. I tried hard to get into her head and her soul.


Review By [superfan] • Date [27 Jul 11] • Not Rated
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