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A Puzzle in the Pacific Northwest

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Review of chapter "Chapter Nineteen" from RevDorothyL
Review:
I do enjoy Jenny! :)
Comments from author:
Me too !

I introduced her in "Code Ragnarok", and I wanted to bring out a little of her background. I'm glad you enjoyed it and I thank you for reviewing.
Review By [RevDorothyL] • Date [23 Aug 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Nineteen" from burmafrdnow
Review:
being an old Fart, I can remember when it was called the Dark Ages when being taught in history.

calling certain times a Renaissance is misleading; generally speaking things gradually improved steadily over time so those kinds of tags are not very accurate.

abject poverty is a very misleading term in itself as it is far too loosely used.

Abject poverty is starving- barely able to survive.

Poverty is being poor but generally having enough to eat and other things.

Amanda in the monastery was poor but enough to eat and shelter and other things.

beggars and the like are abject poverty.

And the times will define the term even more. For example the government now calls the poor people who are able to afford cable tv. Think about that. Because their income level is at a certain level.

You cannot define poor by a fixed number; one of the many stupidities of government and bureaucracies.

For a while they tried to divide things up in terms of low, middle and upper class. Which did a better job but still was much too arbitrary and too often quite wrong. Political crap as well; each group has a interest in defining who is what because it helps them win elections.

Some claim if you make $100,000 a year you are rich.

In Mississippi and other places that would just about make you rich. In San Francisco and other places that barely makes you middle class.

The poverty level according the government is set at one figure nation wide. In one area that number would barely allow you to survive; in other areas you could almost be comfortable.

I am old school; to me being poor means you barely can survive month to month and always have to worry whether you can make it.
Comments from author:
I agree with a lot of this.

I remember a West Wing episode, in which some bureaucrat comes up with an "improved" system for measuring poverty, and suddenly there are two million more poor people. They're the same people they were before, with the same incomes, but their status changed because somebody changed the definition.

"Poverty" is definitely a relative term; it varies over time and and also from region to region. I tried to address this in Amanda's flashback - in the Middle Ages, even royalty lived without things that would be considered essential today. These days, I think the official poverty level is based on a percentage of of the average national income; which insures that there will ALWAYS be a certain number of people below the level, which may or may not be the point.

On the other hand, I don't know that anyone has (or can) come up with a better system. I'm glad if this story is making people think a little bit, and I thank you for your comments.
Review By [burmafrdnow] • Date [23 Aug 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Eighteen" from RevDorothyL
Review:
I'm thoroughly enjoying this! Thanks so much for writing this series, and especially this latest installment.

I look forward to reading more, whenever you're able to update.
Comments from author:
Thank you very much !

I will be updating, as soon as I work out exactly how to get where I want to go.
Review By [RevDorothyL] • Date [5 Aug 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Five" from RevDorothyL
Review:
Methos! Annoying and charming as ever, I see. :)
Comments from author:
Yes, you never quite know what you're getting with him; he's usually (although not here) a few steps ahead of everyone else. Thank you for reviewing.
Review By [RevDorothyL] • Date [5 Aug 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Eighteen" from ianquest
Review:
Demon grammar has pitiful supplicant and irate dominant tenses?! Of course it does! Brilliant touch, absolutely inspired. I loved it! :D
Comments from author:
The odd thing is that I wrote the "gargling" and "yodeling" part, and only then did I ask myself why they were different, and then my subconscious said : "Because they're different tenses, doofus !" Of course they are !

I'm glad you liked it, and thanks for reviewing.
Review By [ianquest] • Date [27 Jul 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Eighteen" from Spica
Review:
Ok, i´ll annoy you with another set of historical notes.

1st, Normandy wasn´t conquered by the Norse, some of them were offered to settle there in return for defending the area against other vikings.

2nd, 9th century is well past the early middle ages, and is essentially RICH times. The vikings didn´t start to go trading, settling or plundering because of abject poverty, but because there were plenty of riches available.

Silver used as currency was in fact in such abundance that traders carried silver by the barrelload, something that was a major problem because it´s value was actually too LOW.
This is why the templar "money checks" became so popular(which in turn led to their rise in power and later downfall due to a certain greedy bastard of a king).

Mid and high medieval times is when you can find spare money in the hands of almost everyone, which also helped causing a population explosion(also assisted greatly by the medieveal warm period). European population quadrupled between 900 and 1300 AD. While the world total "merely" doubled during the same time.
And yet the biggest lack, was not money, but workers, which lead to some weird inflationary effects.

Widespread abject poverty, that however you are more likely to find during the renaissance.
After the black plague essentially ends the good times of the high medieval age, by killing off huge numbers of people over a short time.

Anyway, you might want to read the "debates about progress" section in the wikipedia article about the renaissance. Essentially, there´s good reason that the term "dark ages" have already been rejected from the language of historians, while the term "renaissance" is being replaced by "early modern period", because the golden age of the renaissance is a myth, just as much as the horrors of the terrible, dirty and ignorant medieval times is another myth.

Try googling "medieval myths" for example.

Meh, don´t mind me too much, i´m merely a grouchy historian, just keep up with the good story.
Comments from author:
If I wanted to I could argue that what we're getting here is Amanda's version of history (or more accurately her version of the Highlander version of history). One advantage to the "POV" type of story is that it gives you an excuse when you get caught at something like this.

In response to point 1, I could argue that the difference between "conquered", and "settled" might not appear to be very great to the people who were already living there at the time, but I'll concede that there is a difference.

On point 2, and more seriously - Amanda was born about 820, which is the early part of the ninth century, and well before 900, which is a date you mention. Granted, things were better than they had been in the past, but that isn't really saying very much. Also, as mentioned she was basically raised in a monastery, with no family; her personal circumstances, and those of the people she knew, wouldn't have been very good. As an adult she was desperate enough to steal from a house that was plainly marked as quarantined. So even if traders had barrels of silver, she probably never saw very much of it. And "abject poverty" is a relative term - compared to earlier centuries people may have lived well, but compared to more modern times I think her description is basically accurate. Certainly, it would seem accurate to her.

There's a telling scene in the "Methuselah stone" episode; Amanda is caught by her teacher Rebecca trying to steal the stone, and Rebeccah insists that she return it, but allows her to stay on as a student. Amanda is astonished at Rebecca's generosity, because in her entire life (and she was about thirty years old at the time) it's the first time that she's ever been forgiven for anything. I think that that gives a pretty good idea of the kind of life she must have led.

On the Black Death, James Burke in one of his "Connection" series raised what I thought was an interesting point: that the plague killed people, but left their property untouched, which meant that the survivors (and heirs) were in some cases better off than they had been before the plague hit. I don't necessarily agree with that, but it is something that most people overlook.

I don't mind grouchy historians; I'm a grouchy amateur historian myself, although obviously this isn't my usual area of interest.

I'm flattered that you're interested enough to follow the story, and I thank you for commenting.
Review By [Spica] • Date [27 Jul 14] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Eighteen" from Amberdrake
Review:
"She's paranoid for good reason; people really are out to get her. Immortals because they want her quickening, and everybody else because she'll steal anything that isn't nailed down; she's stolen a lot of things that were nailed down, for that matter."

It's always fun to read your stuff.
Comments from author:
I'm glad you're enjoying it. I'm having fun writing from Joe's POV. There have to be times when he looks at these people and just says "What were they THINKING ?"

THamks for the review.
Review By [Amberdrake] • Date [27 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Eighteen" from (Current Donor)ColBlack
Review:
I'm really enjoying this fic. Slayer/Immortal interaction..especially Faith. Also "irate dominant", although it more likely to be the voice than the tense, by my linguistics reckoning .
Comments from author:
You'd probably be right if we were talking about a human language, but who knows about bidpedal warthog speech ?

I'm glad you're enjoying the story. One thing that I hope to bring out is that Amanda and Faith actually have similar backgrounds in some ways; if Faith had been around in Amanda's time, she'd probably have been stealing food too. And the difference between "Highlander Amanda" and "Raven Amanda" suggests that Amanda is a much tougher customer than most people realize. She's always been a master of deception, and if she were easy prey, she never would have lasted as long as she has.

Thanks for reviewing.
Review By [(Current Donor)ColBlack] • Date [27 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Seventeen" from ianquest
Review:
I'm enjoying the development of this story/series, and thankfully I'm having no problems following it (never watched West Wing, only read a handful of fanfics written by authors I follow. Only watched a handful of Highlander eps despite having the DVDs - I just never get time! Used to read a heck of a lot of Highlander fic though...), so kudos on writing the West Wing well enough for a newbie to get what's going on!

One technical note I'd like to make, though, about your surveillance tools. Parabolic mikes are microphones in front of a sound-gathering dish, much like a radar dish - miniaturising them wouldn't achieve anything, as it would also decrease the sound-gathering and -reflection area. They're used at long range. If someone had access to a window with people talking on the other side, they would either press a contact microphone up against it, picking up the vibrations in the glass caused by the sounds, or more likely, they would bounce a laser beam off it to do the same thing at range and with no visible sign.

Other than that, I'm really enjoying this and looking forward to the next chapter! :)
Comments from author:
A fair criticism; I didn't really research that point, and I should have. I'll just change the chapter to use the contact mic idea.

Thanks for the tip, and I'm glad you're enjoying the story.
Review By [ianquest] • Date [25 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Seventeen" from Xovervore
Review:
Seeing the famous line about, "there can be only one", it struck me that the Highlander immortals and the BtVS slayers are the antithesis of each other.
You have a large group of long-lived individuals who have a goal of there only being one of them, and on the other hand you have a long line of short-lived (and only one) girls who suddenly became legion.
The immortals are forbidden to fight in Holy ground, whilst that is a traditional hunting area for the slayers.

Incidentally, I am enjoying the interaction of Faith and her friends with the immortals.
Comments from author:
I'm glad you're enjoying the story; the difference in the attitudes of the two groups is something I may explore further. I'm also using each group to point out some of the sillier aspects of the other, as with Faith's comment about Duncan's leaving bodies everywhere - he really did leave Kalas' body at the top of the Eiffel tower, which you'd think would have caused a certain amount of comment.

THanks you for reviewing.
Review By [Xovervore] • Date [24 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen" from PATM
Review:
It is a west wing crossover but I prefer the Slayer/Immortal aspects a bit more. Josh always seems confused and lovelorn while his inner monolog comes too close to a dialog. He's a strange guy here. More chapters please of this cool story.
Comments from author:
Thank you.

Josh tended to focus on his job to the exclusion of almost everything else, and his personal life was always more or less a disaster. He's figured that much out, but he's still confused about what he wants here.

That said, I'm enjoying exploring the Slayer/Immortal relationship, so there will probably be more of that.
Review By [PATM] • Date [18 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Fifteen" from grd
Review:
Scenes like these make this story a beloved favorite. I miss the Highlander series.
Comments from author:
I'm glad you liked the scene; I wasn't sure that it would work. Thank you for reviewing.
Review By [grd] • Date [15 Jul 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Fifteen" from Chan
Review:
Huh well it's a warm up it's also allowing each other to see how they think which Duncan may or may not use later.
Comments from author:
Since the two of them share an appreciation for edged weapons, it seemed like a natural development. Thanks for reviewing.
Review By [Chan] • Date [15 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Thirteen" from (Current Donor)vidicon
Review:
Hmmm, I wonder if the ROG will be there when Faith shows up at Mac's...

A very nice installment. I feel for poor Faith, no matter how much I torment her in my own stories. Thanks for sharing.
Comments from author:
Faith definitely has issues, and I think this is one of them. I also think it explains her attitude when she returned in season 7 - remember her comment about Buffy learning the girls' names ?

Thank you for reviewing.
Review By [(Current Donor)vidicon] • Date [8 Jul 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Twelve" from (Current Donor)vidicon
Review:
And so comes in Star Gate. Nice segue. Poor Josh, so many things in his life no longer make sense. Mostly Donna.

I do hope that Faith will run into Methos again. It would make for a rather interesting conversation, I would think.

Many thanks for writing.
Comments from author:
Stargate is definitely part of this universe, although only a small part of this story. And I'm thinking that Faith and Methos will probably meet again before the story is over.

Thanks for you comments.
Review By [(Current Donor)vidicon] • Date [4 Jul 14] • Rating [8 out of 10]
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