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Et sidera propagantur ex caldariam

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Review of chapter "The Last Summer" from fanofdrows
Very good!

You were, perhaps, a little heavy handed in the scene revealing Celia as a miko.

Will Dawn and Willow know each other like in the previous version? Have Xiang-Ying and Akua met in their former professionally roles? What, if any, will Joyce's and Ageha Kurono's relationship be? And what kind of relationship will Joyce develop with the rest of the Saeba family? Will Artemis speak first in front of Joyce?

Ooh. This chapter opened up for so many interesting questions, both completely new and how things will be different compared to the old version.

The future is exciting!

Edit: I don't want to appear as if I like nitpicking but I just discovered a mistake in the chapter. The scene where Joyce has returned to the arcology is headlined as if it occurs in January while the rest of the chapter is set in August/September. Thought you should know.

Besides, I hope you are alright since you haven't written much recently.
Comments from author:
Thanks, fanofdrows,

On Xiang-Ying and Akua: they know each other by reputation, each of them being the former top assassin of a major Chinese or Taiwanese Triad. They didn't meet face to face until that day, though.

Some of your questions on the future will find their answer in the next chapter.
Review By [fanofdrows] • Date [12 Jun 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from Zechstein
So, I'm finally coming around to comment on this story. Let's do this in sequence.

First, the title. I'm sorry but what is 'Et sidera propagantur ex caldariam' supposed to mean? 'Et sidera propagantur' means 'And the stars are being procreated/continued', strange but technically correct. The second part on the other hand contains two errors: One, the preposition 'ex' always stands with the ablative case, while the suffix '-am' indicates the accusative of the a-declension.

Two, I went through two Latin dictionaries, but I couldn't find the word 'caldaria.' The two nearest matches I could find are 'caldarium,' the warm bath, and 'calvaria', the skull. I this cases, the correct sentence would be 'Et sidera propagantur ex caldario/calveria', although I'm not entirely sure what 'And the stars are being procreated out of the warm bath/skull' is supposed to mean...

Okay, that concludes the Grammar Nazi part of this review.

The scope you give this story is rather impressive. After 70,000 words, you haven't even introduced all of the inner Senshi, let alone the outer ones (except for Pluto and Saturn of course). Your decision to rebuild the setting from the ground and go for a full fusion also works out rather well, especially since you wouldn't normally expect cyberpunk elements in a Buffy/Sailor Moon cross. It makes me very curious how this will play out.

That's to say, an unfortunate side-effect is that the characters as depicted differ wildly from their canon persona and sometimes resemble their counterparts in name only, even before some of them started recalling their previous lives.

Joyce is naturally the most obvious one as this version of her is about one amnesiac Japanese schoolgirl short of being Mireille Bouquet from 'Noir' (by the way, are we ever going to find out her real name? I'm assuming that Joyce is not her birth name, as I don't think a self-respecting Corsican mob boss would give his daughter an English first name), but her daughters are nearly as bad.

The Dawn of this story is a very controlled, deliberate young woman, while her canon incarnation, despite being of similar age, is a whiny kleptomaniac prone to doing things without thinking them through (like trying to resurrect her mother in 5.17 'Forever' or the Halloween disaster of 6.06 'All The Way').

I can see why she would be different since this version grew up in a more or less intact family and didn't have to vie for the attention of a guardian suffering from clinical depression and PTSD, not to mention that having some of the powers of Sailor Pluto would probably teach her to be mindful of the consequences of actions. But even so, the fact remains that she is hardly the same character.

With Buffy, the differences are more subtle, but no less profound. The main difference is that this version of this story is very accepting of the changes in her life, while her cannon counterpart was anything but. Of course, you facilitated this one quite nicely, Buffy blamed the supernatural for destroying her life and ruining her parents' marriage, so you destroyed them beforehand by other means and gave her an encouraging family environment and a power set which doesn't carry a death sentence as side benefits. The problems I have with it are a) that Buffy is someone who instinctively rebels against anything that is imposed on her from the outside and b) that it is a little jarring to basically see the effects of three seasons of character development achieved in the course of one conversation.

I was a bit surprised that you gave Buffy a female love interest, but I don't mind, since it interestingly enough not too big a deviation. In my experience the heart wants what (and who) it wants and concepts like “gay” or “straight” don't always factor into such decisions. Besides, Buffy always preferred alpha-type personalities as partners (which is admittedly a bit odd since she is not submissive) and Kokoa is an alpha female. I'm very interested to see were you are going to take this. At the very least it will give her something to talk about when she meets Haruka and Michiru...

Those three are the most blatant cases as far as I could see (Except for Hotaru obviously, but since it is an important plot point that she is a different character, I can't really complain about it). Everyone else seemed to be in character, although I know very little about “Rosario + Vampire” and can't really comment on the characters from this side of the cross over.

So, that's for the characters. Now the story itself. I really have to commend the effort you put into developing a coherent backstory that allows for both the Sailor Moon and the Buffy setting to coexist. I freely admit that I'm a sucker for worldbuilding, but for me this is one of the hallmarks of a good author. Therefore I found the story until now really enjoyable, even though it was more or less a book worth of exposition.

There are however a few tidbits that bugged me to some extend:

One thing that I missed in this story was a depiction of how the daily live in the Summers family looked like before. We are told a lot about it, but we never see it. I really liked the scenes where Buffy assures Dawn that she will stand with her and Joyce against Hank, o the subsequent one where Buffy breaks up her friendship with Kimberley, but I feel that those scenes would have a much greater impact if we had seen Buffy and Dawn arguing, or her and Kimberly acting as friends. It doesn't have to be much, but a few scenes to give the readers something to compare would have been nice. It is hard to appreciate character development without a starting point.

The second thing is the bullying thing. While it is certainly believable that people with anime hair would have a bullying problem it is a bit of a stretch that others would try to get Buffy to participate in it, for two reasons: a) The most obvious retort would be “You want me to bully my own sister? Do you have any idea what my parents would do to me? They would withdraw my clothing budget!” b) As far as such things go, “You are not cool unless you are a petty racist” is a bit of a precarious position, especially in LA (unless in your story the race riots of '92 didn't happen).

A conflict like that could easily devolve into a mud-throwing contest and get really ugly for both sides. Buffy doesn't have much in the way of real charisma, but in the social order of a high school, she has some natural clout. She is beautiful, a cheerleader and has a rich father who will buy her all the right clothes and toys. People like her don't need to hang out with the cool people to be popular, they are popular pretty much by default.

Yes, we have the canonical example of something similar happening to Cordelia when her affair with Xander became publicly known, but in that case, Cordelia had committed a much greater “offense” by deliberately dating one of the biggest losers in school. You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family...

It would maybe wok better to approach it from the other direction: Buffy's friends pick on Dawn and people like her, yet Buffy doesn't make any serious attempt to reign them in and continues to associate with them, therefore she indirectly condones the bullying. It would make sense for Dawn to force Buffy to pick a side, even though that makes her the “bad” one. She has a valid complaint after all and such problems only grow worse if you allow them to fester.

The third thing I found strange is that apparently neither Buffy nor Dawn knew anything about self defense prior to chapter six. I know that Joyce wanted them to grow up as far away from the horrors of her own childhood as possible, but she of all people should know how ugly the world can be and that she can't protect them from every mugger or would-be rapist out there.

I'm quite curious where you are planning to take this. The story has reached a point equivalent to the beginning of Season one of BtVS, but I somehow doubt that it will be anything like canon. The fact that you used Lothos more or less as a tutorial villain despite giving him a massive power up doesn't bode well for Buffy's canonical adversaries. Except maybe for Richard Wilkins, since the power he wielded was mostly political and therefore still relevant in this new context. I will hazard a guess and say that much of the guarding of the Hellmouth will be done by Hotaru and her people? After all, her husband sacrificed himself to seal it, so she has a vested interest in keeping it that way.

Speaking of Hotaru, will she eventually realize that that she is turning into Selene? I mean, I get it: She is a millennia old god-queen who used to rule over the population of an entire planet, of course she would think that “these poor, shortsighted humans” couldn't possibly survive without her guidance, but that still doesn't justify denying humanity its right of self-determination. But how goes the proverb? “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”

At least she seems to have given up on Crystal Tokyo, so I guess it's a step upwards...

In any case I'm looking forward to the upcoming round of introductions and revelations. There is a whole new bout of relationships that are about to form and it will be interesting to see how different or similar to the canon ones they are going to be.

So, that are the main points I wanted to cover. Like always take care and until next time.
Comments from author:
Thanks for the review Zechstein

On the title: it was not my better idea as I realized my latin-fu was more than rusty. The title is supposed to mean something like "And the stars sprung out of the cauldron". This is a direct reference to the place the last battle of the Senshi against Galaxia.

All in all, this story is one, if not the most complex exercise in world building I ever did. It allowed me to create a whole different set of circumstances, among which the cyberpunk elements and how the Silver Millenium inserts itself in the Buffyverse cosmology.

As you noted, it has downsides as far as canon is concerned. Different circumstances shape different people. Hotaru being the detonator of all this, she is different though my interpretation finds its root in the very few pages when the 'Old Saturn' is awakened during the fight with Pharaoh 90. From there, I extrapolated that the Senshi were different, older people during the Silver Millenium.

Dawn is probably one of the most touched by this and this is why the scene with Der Kindestod was so important. It gave me the reason to have her become someone serious, because she knew that monsters were real since then and had Celia's support in this matter. Her psychometric talent also contributed to to her growing up, as it did not allow her the comfort of lies.

NB: one of the scenarios I have for an episode based on 'The Wish' would have the Dawn from canon and Aralu exchange their place temporarily during the Glory season.

About Joyce / Kyrie... Mireille Bouquet is a fair comparison and their backstories are somewhat similar, though Joyce's childhood was rather like Kirika or Chloe's training, including having her first contract as a child. My basis for her is that the canon Joyce is an elaborate cover Kyrie took when retiring, a mask that cracks when she get dragged in the Senshi/Slayer madness. By the way, her family name is given in the story, but you are right that her first name isn't. Her birth name is Joséphine Venturi.

About the Summers' daily live 'missing' scenes: I agree, things could be done to flesh out those events.

About the bullying of people with Anime hair: there is a difference between those and real-world racism and that difference is fear. While the problem is not as dire as with the mutants in the Marvel universe, the Genetic Expression Syndrome is a relatively recent phenomenon (only roughly a half-century) and there is no official explanation on why it happens and if it has consequences beside the funny coloration. All what people know for sure is that the number of case is growing. Conspiracy theories about it are running rampant and people with the GES are considered unnatural by many, among which several religious movements.

Regarding Dawn, the GES is secondary to her problem with the popular elite of her school though. In this story, Dawn is - thanks to Setsuna's influence - a nerd and abnormally mature for her age. A missing scene that could be added to stress that point could be her facing the cheerleading squad and telling them their childish games don't interest her.

About self defense: Joyce indeed forbid herself from teaching anything to her girls in a try to protect them from her own dark past. They may have learnt self-defense, but not with Joyce as a teacher and rather the basic kind. When Joyce took up their training in Chapter 6, what she taught them was definitely not self-defense or even regular martial arts, but how to kill and maim with ruthless efficiency.

Regarding the future of this story: I'm currently working on a project for a parallel story centered on Willow and the events of Sunnydale up to the point where Ishtar and Lothos face each other. This will also allow me to build up how Apex and the Yokai settle in Sunnydale starting in 2006 and affect things there.

You are right that Buffy's canonical adversaries are - at least for some - scheduled for a power up in part thanks to their backstory being integrated in the merged universe.

Regarding Hotaru turning into Selene: Yes that is a risk but she would argue that she is not robbing people of their free will. What she is doing is organizing the battlefield in such a way that the only sensible strategy is the one she has chosen. People are free to act otherwise... and face the consequences of their 'bad' decision. However, you are right in that she is losing touch with the humanity she had regained as plain, human Hotaru.
Review By [Zechstein] • Date [13 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from deathgeonous
Ah, this was so good. I can't wait for more. Well, thanks for writing this, and bye for now.
Comments from author:
Thank you, deathgeonous
Review By [deathgeonous] • Date [6 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Divergence" from Sdarian
Man, I really hate the title to this story. Every time I read it, I think it's a story in Spanish or something, so I want to simply skip it, even though I do have this story tracked so I know it's in English.
Comments from author:
Thank you for the review Sdarian,

It was my only try at using Latin for a title and I admit it has not been very good.

I came back to title in English for the sequel to this one.
Review By [Sdarian] • Date [7 Nov 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from fanofdrows
A very interesting end. Happily just the end of the beginning.

I liked the quick review of opinions. I just missed the Mayor's reaction.

Joyce - "Yes, yes. You are an ancient, immortal goddess. Now go to bed."

Good work! Keep it up!
Comments from author:
Thank you fanofdrows

About the Mayor: that's deliberate. I still have much to write in the Snake and the Maiden about what happen in Sunnydale during the period 2006 - 2012

About Joyce: she may be a professional assassin but she's still a Mom.
Review By [fanofdrows] • Date [3 Nov 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from Aenea
Aww, no Kokoa-chan reaction? Thanks for the link to Snake, didn't even notice it and then to realize it's been up for a while.

So everyone is up in arms about the reveal. The Vengeance Demons have a plan for at least surviving the transition. Willow has trusted another with her cape identity. The President gets read in on the craziness.

Venus is starting to noticeably come back online. I'm guessing one of the restorations will be the defense network to deter anyone from landing without the Queen's permission.

Tucker Wells was hilarious, good that the Asgardian is so happy this will also help flesh out her character as she now has a choice. To reaffirm her old loyalties or not. I think she probably will I could see her as being the eventual ambassador.

The cops reaction was interesting and with the inter-spaced random media. And for the Venturi family, life goes on. I liked that ending of Joyce reminding her daughter to sleep. For all that she's a multi-millennium old power Dawn still has a bedtime.
Comments from author:
Thank you Aenea

I finally decided to leave out Kokoa as I was hesitating on too many things concerning her (and Clan Shuzen's) reaction to this.

You will see more of Kriemhildr in the Snake and the Maiden given her posting in Sunnydale.
Review By [Aenea] • Date [29 Oct 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from deathgeonous
I, sadly, haven't read this in this incarnation before. It's great by the way. Well, now it's going on my rec list, and thanks for writing this, bye for now.
Comments from author:
Thank you, deathgeonous
Review By [deathgeonous] • Date [28 Oct 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from AlphaBeta
YYYYYYYYYYAAAAAAAA!!!!!! Update! Good read! Enjoyed it a lot! Hope to see the next update soon!
Comments from author:
Thank you AlphaBeta
Review By [AlphaBeta] • Date [28 Oct 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from batzulger
Sumerian is just used as a handy mechanic in so much BtVS Fan Fic. It's nice to see what it really means.
Comments from author:
Thank you batzulger.
Review By [batzulger] • Date [28 Oct 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from Panaka
Hey, an update. That just made my day.

I like the wrap up for this part of the story. Good jump off point for the furure move to Sunnydale and Willow's part.
All the small snippets are a nice way to show the immidiate result of the veil being torn.
Comments from author:
Thank you Panaka
Review By [Panaka] • Date [28 Oct 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Parting the veil" from tomfo
I really enjoyed this, thanks for writing it. It also does a good job of showing how much your writing has improved so I am sad to see the end, I guess the snake and maiden will be Willows story up until the LA incident then the next in series would be Buffy, Dawn and Willow meeting at sunnydale high. I really hope you have something more for us soon, keep up the great work.
Comments from author:
Thank you tomfo,

You are right concerning the arcs.
Review By [tomfo] • Date [28 Oct 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Calling (Part I)" from fanofdrows
Review: not certain what to write. This chapter blew me away. The only reason I am not calling it perfect is that I hesitate to give anything that label.

Keep up the excellent work!


Just noticed. Shouldn't the last scene and the third to last scene occur on the same date?
Comments from author:
Thanks, fanofdrows
Review By [fanofdrows] • Date [23 May 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "The Calling (Part III)" from ShalaDakiri
I noticed you expanded the conversation between Dawn/Ereshkigal and Kimberly. The new one makes a lot more sense and I liked the parallels with Bleach.

Anyway, looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.
Comments from author:
Thanks, ShalaDakiri,

I was correcting some mistakes that evaded me when I realized I didn't like how that scene played. Among other things, I wanted to make Dawn's motivations for doing that clearer.
Review By [ShalaDakiri] • Date [25 Mar 13] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Calling (Part III)" from banditdoz
Wow just WOW
Comments from author:
thanks banditdoz
Review By [banditdoz] • Date [24 Mar 13] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "The Calling (Part III)" from fanofdrows
Whoa! Almost 10 000 words dedicated to a single battle. You rock!

I love the way you have written Dawn/Ereshkigal. Insanity effects made physical are awesome. What is her battle style going to be like? The regal Queen walking slowly across the field blasting everyone that dares draw her attention? Or something more energetic?

That, by the way, was my main problem with the last version. It took, what felt like, 'forever' until Dawn became Pluto. And they are my favorite characters from their respective universes. So an earlier merge gets a standing ovation from me.

Is Joyce talking about Angel's mansion? Because that would be incredibly funny.

And now comes the fun part: Reborn Goddesses attending High School.

What action(s) will Usagi and Hotaru take now? In regards to Lisa and Dawn and in a wider perspective?

Keep up the good work, here and elsewhere.
Comments from author:
Thanks, fanofdrows

On Dawn's battle style: one word: chessmaster

On the Mansion: yes, it's on Crawford Street.

For the rest, stay tuned
Review By [fanofdrows] • Date [24 Mar 13] • Rating [9 out of 10]
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