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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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Review of chapter "Orphan Star" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
I think that in my re-read I've just spotted a Chekhov's Gun buried in the waffle about Lord Deathstrike's plans - which I skated over in my previous reads because the conversion of the Potterverse stuff into a more realistic universe's version just bored and irritated me - and it's a big one. A Schwerer Gustav. Alex is the only person who has all the pieces but she hasn't put them together.
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
I've been re-reading the whole thing (again) and a couple of things have struck me. One could be described as a continuity error; in 'The League of Extraordinary Women' Alex doesn't eat much and is constantly amazed at how much Buffy eats, whereas in TSROAM Alex eats like a pack of starving wolves. In fact in the arc that's just finished I almost expected it to end with the relief space shuttle arriving and the crew finding the ISS apparently deserted, with a few gnawed human bones scattered around, and then encountering Alex only for her to look at them, lick her lips, and say "Look, baby, food!" (Not many people will get that reference but I'd expect you to be one of them).

The other thing I noticed was that Annie now has a drastic inferiority complex with regards to Alex; Alex is oblivious, of course.
Comments from author:
Yes. There are *several* continuity glitches moving from tLoEW to tSRoAM, and that's one of them. I could make up some silly "A Wizard Did It" explanation why, but you already know it's really because I wrote the first story with no plans at all for a sequel, and then this story arose much later.

And yes, Annie is having to deal with the issue that her little sister who always needed her help has somehow turned into the most awesome being on the planet who now hangs with people like Willow Rosenberg and who has abs like Gisele Bundchen. How could she not feel intimidated?
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from GwynApNudd
Review:
>> Thanks. And low self-esteem doesn't just go away because Tony Robbins swats you on the back of the head. :D :D

No, for that you need Tony DiNozzo, or better yet, Leroy Gibbs. :P :P
Comments from author:
Now I'm seeing the scene in the awesome webcomic "Grrl Power" where Anvil dope-slaps her teammate Dabbler who is taling too much to reporters, and the 'sound effect' is a vibrant 'GIBBS' beside her head. :D :D TV Tropes calls this an Unsound Effect. Another of my favorite Unsound Effects from "Grrl Power" was the time the protagonist muke-kicked a bank robber in the family jewels, and the Unsound Effect was a big '7-10 SPLIT'. 'Erfworld' has also had some spectacular Unsound Effects.
Review By [GwynApNudd] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
re
":D No, I'm outlawing time travel. In my personal opinion, you have to rule it out completely, rule it out absolutely except for a single incident that is clearly unrepeatable, or else design your entire story/series around the concept. Otherwise the plotholes add up and everyone sits around expecting another time-travel rescue.

Now there are ways to design time travel into a story. Shenon Garrity's "Narbonic" did it brilliantly, while explaining how it could work (alternate timeline branching off from the timepoint) in a lot of detail if you paid enough attention. Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" is the earliest *well-done* time travel story with back-and-forth travel that I can think of off the top of my head, although H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" did it well by having a single launch into the far future with no need to deal with temporal consequences.

I love "Dr. Who" but jeez have they knotted themselves up in a big timey-wimey ball of plot tangles over the years."

******

Given that the Who writers never worried about plot logic, plot holes or continuity, why should they stress out over trivia like plot tangles that resemble a plate of spaghetti the size of Manhattan? grin

Recalling Captain Janeway's barely printable views on temporal mechanics and paradoxes........ grin

Also recalling David Weber's 1st novel "The Apocalypse Troll" which uses the "every _successful_ attempt at going back in time produces a new alternate timeline" trope.
So no paradoxes are needed or allowed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Apocalypse_Troll
Comments from author:
If you liked how David Weber handled time travel, you'd probably enjoy "Narbonic". Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" uses a very different mechanic.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from Zorgdub
Review:
~~[ Because you deserve it ]~~
Wow, those are some powerful words.I actually had shivers run through my spine as I read it. And I went back and re-read this scene another 2 times. Really great, especially after Alex worrying about not being good enough (I am slightly surprised to see she has done so little on that front of character development).



I also really liked the discussion at the beginning of the chapter, with Hannah and Cindy and Alex. Hannah was very Hannah (she's a pleasure to read), and Cindy got character development. Cindy! I would have never expected a character like hers to get something like that. But then again this is a Diane Castle story, so no one is safe from character development! Not even the shallow cheerleader girlfriend. And I liked this scene because it showed the dynamics between those friends and Alex's state of mind and Grover's popularity.

Not the only part I enjoyed, but there was a lot of good thing there.
Comments from author:
Thanks. And low self-esteem doesn't just go away because Tony Robbins swats you on the back of the head. :D :D
Review By [Zorgdub] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from SilverWave
Review:
JSYK the last few posts, in particular, have been absolutely engrossing and exciting.

Thanks :-)
Comments from author:
Thanks for reading and reviewing! I had fun setting up the Sam Carter intro and giving Sam a chance to shine.
Review By [SilverWave] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from GwynApNudd
Review:
>> Seven Days?

I looked through everything in IMDB with the title Seven Days. The only thing that sort of fit was the television series about the government agency that could send Agent Frank Parker seven days into the past to prevent disasters that it is otherwise too late to stop.

I don't think it would be that.

It seems more likely that whatever the crossover is, there is probably a connection with the situation seen here. Probably the prion (probably called a virus or a toxin) and its effects; and maybe the location (Minnesota, the Great Lakes) and/or the prion drop from an airplane.

Or did you have something else in mind?
Comments from author:
No, I'm pretty sure that you picked exactly the show he had in mind.

And yes, the crossover goes with the situation, and you outlined it fairly well.
Review By [GwynApNudd] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
Amazing, some competent feds! They did a good job of finding the place (hopefully the only one), and did a good job of preventing a catastrophe even if they didn't think out of a large enough box.

Frankly I've wondered about the fixation on having the prion production plant near the water line. Image of a large refrigerated (to stretch the viable period of the prions) tank truck drives up to a city's water line or into a just rented warehouse next to it. Cut into the pipe or hook up to a connection and start pumping 5000-10,000 gallons (per truck) of prions, disconnect and drive away, total time onsite 2-12 hours. Admittedly you might not have enough "soup" to effect the city's entire population with one tank truck load. OTOH use multiple tankers in an attack or one or _many_ rail road tank cars _if_ you can find a spot with a major city water line close to a rail line thru a location you can access for a few hours or days and your prion source is also rail linked.

Image of the FBI calling O'Neill.... "We found the chemical plant that they are using to produce the prions, part of why it took so long to find is that its nowhere near a city's water main. Unfortunately its got a rail link, and we discovered that loaded refrigerated rail tank cars have been rolling out of it for _weeks_ headed all over the US and Canada. In addition, for the last few days dozens of large refrigerated tank _trucks_ have been leaving it for parts unknown. We have little or no idea where _any_ of the trucks and tank cars are. They could be hooked up to water mains all over North America as we speak. Or they could just dump the stuff into rivers and lakes that people swim in." "Oh My God!!!!!" "Yes."
Comments from author:
I really liked "The FBI" when I was little. And the FBI agents were always competent, and Inspector Lew Erskine was always a good guy. The real FBI loved that show.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from MarcusRowland
Review:
Seven Days?
Comments from author:
:D No, I'm outlawing time travel. In my personal opinion, you have to rule it out completely, rule it out absolutely except for a single incident that is clearly unrepeatable, or else design your entire story/series around the concept. Otherwise the plotholes add up and everyone sits around expecting another time-travel rescue.

Now there are ways to design time travel into a story. Shenon Garrity's "Narbonic" did it brilliantly, while explaining how it could work (alternate timeline branching off from the timepoint) in a lot of detail if you paid enough attention. Heinlein's "By His Bootstraps" is the earliest *well-done* time travel story with back-and-forth travel that I can think of off the top of my head, although H.G. Wells' "The Time Machine" did it well by having a single launch into the far future with no need to deal with temporal consequences.

I love "Dr. Who" but jeez have they knotted themselves up in a big timey-wimey ball of plot tangles over the years.
Review By [MarcusRowland] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
re
"Do you know what crossover you need "Nikita", working against the bad guys from inside.

Comments from author:

Nikita (well, actually "La Femme Nikita") actually made my long list when I was working up which crossovers would make it into various story arcs."

****

The original French movie or the N American movie/TV show, or the remake TV show?

IIRC in the two movies the outfit was merely part of a single nation's spy or counterspy apparatus that handled "wet work" for that country rather than an international counter terrorist org.
It was apparently something like the outfit Matt Helm (the novels, _not_ the crappy Dean Martin movies) worked for. Helm's outfit (never named in the novels) was described as being a small independent US government assassination bureau that handled outsourced "wet work" for other US or allied intelligence, military or security orgs, starting with the OSS and continuing on into the 1970s or later.
Yes, I am a fan of the Matt Helm series, and O'Neill meeting Helm (non-violently) might be _fun_. Two scary guys meet in a bar.......
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_Helm

Tera and the SRI running into Section One (the TV shows version) could be "interesting", whether because the Section called for help when something weird or messy occurred (their fault, the NID, the Orphans, Maggie, or something elses) or because one of their ops came to the good guys attention. Whether the Section survived the contact is another matter. I assume that nearly _everyone_ at the SRI would strongly disapprove of its recruiting, disciplinary and "human resource" policies.
I was a fan of the shows, particularly the 1st one, even tho I rolled my eyes a lot about the practicality of how the outfit worked, and I had to turn off my BS detector while viewing it. Among other things, I used to laugh about the "hypersonic, intercontinental van" used to convey the agents from HQ to the field.
Comments from author:
I was thinking of the original French movie.

And if you're a fan of the Matt Helm book series, then I should mention that you have already missed a clue in a previous chapter.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from Zeviz
Review:
And this is why you shouldn't attack supervillain bases without a Terawatt nearby. :P (Although she can't [currently] outfly a plane.)

I like the wrap up and some pictures of regular life in the previous chapter and in this one. It looks like they really need a few more superheroes, unless Alex becomes one full time. And I like how differently Alex sees herself compared to the way others see her: If your basis for comparison are smartest people in the world, top superheroes in the multi-verse, etc, it's hard to feel competent.

As for Hannah studying politics, that doesn't necessarily mean she'd become a diplomat or a politician. She could just be the one analyzing what potential enemies are thinking.
Comments from author:
Your point about Hanna is exactly correct. But everyone who *knows* Hanna is going to have a certain mental image of Hanna studying about politics. Who do *you* think her favorite political leaders are going to be?
Review By [Zeviz] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from HMaxMarius
Review:
Don'tcha just hate 'fog of war'.

Plan plan plan plan plan

idiot happens

tear up plan - tear up plan - tear up plan

SCREAM! =D


Really nice to see Alex trying to pull in more of the peripheral players to get her teammates supporting casts as effective as her own.
Comments from author:
The only time I like 'fog of war' is when it's Bunker's psychic attack. And you don't want to be in the vicinity when she unleashes it. Trust me on this.
Review By [HMaxMarius] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from GwynApNudd
Review:
Cindy does need to get out more so she can grow. But so does Grover. On the other hand, being "out" as Klar whenever he goes out won't really help. The mask he wore in Korea may not be practicalfor, or may be too uncomfortable for everyday use, but what about one of George's films? The ones he makes for Terawatt's make-up. He made one for Willow when she cos-plays, and no one has remarked that either Tera or Willow look like they are wearing a mask.

And it will give the four (including Charlie, but not including Wendy, who does not know Alex) an excuse to drop by Paradise Valley in person for a real visit.

The Beruit prion story arc begins in earnest. I can't place the crossover yet, but I trust your instincts. It's going to be good.

EDIT:
Because of the full face molds, I had assumed it was, in effect, a full face mask, which could, in Grover's case, be painted in flesh tone inside and have lip make-up and eyelashes attached on the outside. I hadn't thought of "appliances."

Never mind.
Comments from author:
Bear in mind that the film is just like a layer painted on Alex's lips and eyelids. It might or might not work as well for an entire face.
Review By [GwynApNudd] • Date [19 Apr 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Interlude XXII" from DieselDriver
Review:
The big honkin space gun was not exactly literal was it? Did it by any chance refer to the 8% number?
Comments from author:
No, that wasn't literal. This is 'Alex Mack', not 'Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann'. :D
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [18 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXIII" from ShalaDakiri
Review:
Just rereading the story and realized there's a big honkin' space gun here that's not yet fired.

Considering the big deal Walsh and Atron make about Orphan genetic tweaks reacting badly to GC-161, I'm wondering who will be standing in the way when it fires.
Comments from author:
Yep, that's a large Wave Motion Gun just waiting to be dug up like some of that 'Stargate' Ancient technology.
Review By [ShalaDakiri] • Date [18 Apr 14] • Not Rated
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