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Murder Ballad

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Review of chapter "Brand New Stetson Hat" from (Current Donor)Shieldage
Aww, they had an idea to make progress, which they can't use.

I'd cast spells on the sleeping people, so they'd stay asleep for three weeks, then call the CDC to contain them/IV them until they wake up.... maybe :)

Story is still awesome.
Review By [(Current Donor)Shieldage] • Date [7 Aug 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Brand New Stetson Hat" from AllenPitt
Clearly, they needed to have Willow make a magic dungeon. And, uh... teleport everyone to it. And stuff.
Ok, bad idea. But it was the germ of something that might have worked... if not for a dozen 'if' s...
But at least the Marauders' Map is cool. They should adapt that spell for general use by slayers.
I sure hope the Winchesters get wind of this and head in, this is way more in their area of expertise.....
Review By [AllenPitt] • Date [6 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Innocent People Died" from Carojen
Cassady sighed. “No. But it’s a lot harder to explain two girls than it is sixty.”
Shouldn't that be 'easier to explain'?
Good story.
Comments from author:
Yes. Thanks. Fixed.
Review By [Carojen] • Date [6 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Innocent People Died" from Greywizard
Glad to see that Cassady is about to stomp Elliot's arrogance onto the ground. ;-)

I've always thought he was an arrogant horse's ass who thought himself morally superior to everyone he encountered, and I'm looking forward to seeing him squirm when he finds out that he's now a lowly minion of someone from IA. ;-)
Review By [Greywizard] • Date [5 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Innocent People Died" from redrikki
I've been repeatedly struck by the quality of the research that went into this. Not only do you have the fictional killers from the show, you also clearly put a lot of effort into the historical ones.
Comments from author:
Thank you. I've tried and it's good to see that someone thinks I've succeeded.
Review By [redrikki] • Date [5 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Innocent People Died" from AllenPitt
hm, the Winchester brothers should be arriving in their car soon, reacting to the news reports of all this...? One can hope anyway. And hey--round 'em up while they're sleeping. Great idea! That map that shows their locations has to be good for something. I'd prioritize on the possessed slayer... too bad it's not like the Marauders Map where it'll show the possessing spirits name --ie there are some they need to catch before others ie mad bombers etc...
Comments from author:
It's also not particularly portable, alas.

And the Winchester brothers aren't coming.
Review By [AllenPitt] • Date [5 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Left Her by the Roadside" from (Recent Donor)DeacBlue
For the most part, this is a wonderfully well done fic, and you are simply spot-on with the characterizations of the crossover characters and most of the Scoobies. Even there, you aren't wholly off the mark.

The two main characterization issues are those of Willow and Buffy. Some might include Kennedy(and I shudder when I try and figure out why you didn't catch from canon that Kennedy was a first name, as Giles would have called her "Miss Kennedy," when he was introducing her if that were the case), but I can go with her growing over a year or so.

With Willow, it's more of a case of shading than anything else.You have some of the things that make her,her, but not as often as one would expect. Willow is an innocent at heart, even after all she's been through. Her presence lights up a room, and she emotes in an amazing manner. You have her, for the most part, slotted into "magic-using sidekick, one each." It makes the story less than it could be.

Buffy is an altogether different matter. With her, you've torn a lot that was integral to the character, and made her do things that she simply wouldn't. Now I'm going to refer to the other stories in your series, as they are linked very closely. Buffy is an extreme Alpha personality. No matter what the situation, before being Chosen or after, whether she has put herself under someone's orders (something that she has never done willingly) or not, no matter what it cost her, she has had to be in charge, or at least not under anyone else's authority. If someone tries to force authority on her, she either kills them or walks away. For examples, see the master, the Council, the Initiative, the Scoobies. In every case, her belief that her compass was the right way to go, and her revulsion at anyone trying to control her propelled a conflict or separation. In addition, her sense of responsibility won't let her stop putting herself in that place.

It's all very well to postulate that she's "tired from years of shouldering the burden." But have you ever considered How she would react, other than thinking of being tired as an explanation for what you wanted to have happen? When Alpha/Dominant/whateverlabelyouwant people get tired or retire, they walk away completely from the situation they're in. Occasionally they move themselves to an advisory role. What they don't do is make themselves foot soldiers under the authority of someone that cannot do the job as well as they. And as much as Kennedy may have grown, she simply isn't Buffy's equal in fighting skills or experience. When you postulated a tired Buffy, I'd expect to hear of her on a tropical island somewhere, or working with Giles (or Charles) behind the lines. The way you've portrayed her simply rings false.

That being said, I enjoyed the rest of it quite a bit. Hope to see more.
Comments from author:
Some people prefer being called by their last name; it was my conceit that kennedy was one of them. I realize that "fanon" has it as her first name, but I don't reacll that being explicitly established in the show.

Willow, I'm just trying to avoid having her be deus ex rosenberg; I suspect we simply disagree with the nuances, but I don't see her as "magical sidekick." She's not the main character in the story, but she's not a sidekick.

With Buffy, I agree that she doesn't like other people taking over and telling her what to do; that's not the case here. She voluntarily stepped down and was more or less forced into the current situation. She took over in Slayerz and ended up spending half of the action in the police station because she screwed up. She is tired, and she doesn't want to have all the responsibility.

And she's not a footsoldier; she is effectively second-in-command as long as she's here. When Kennedy became the Designated Herring, Buffy took over without a qualm.

She's here; she's not going to tell the world to go hang itself, because of that sense of responsibility; and she doesn't want to be in command, but she'll take it if she has to. So this is her alternative. She's stuck in Manhattan for another four months. She would probably prefer to be completely outside a hierarchy. But she isn't; they tried that and it didn't work.

And she trusts Kennedy, now, because Kennedy brought the Jenny Brandt matter to a more or less successful conclusion, while Buffy was sitting in an interrogation room sniping at Anita Van Buren.

So it's not perfect. But it makes sense.
Review By [(Recent Donor)DeacBlue] • Date [5 Aug 09] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Left Her by the Roadside" from AllenPitt
the interesting thing about the lynch mob, of course, is that one of the infected can either infect or take over (temporarily?) a crowd. I'm starting to see why the old council took such drastic steps during the last outbreak. Short of an exorcism or spell that works...that's about the only solution.
Comments from author:
Exactly. And they don't have that spell yet.
Review By [AllenPitt] • Date [4 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Left Her by the Roadside" from Infinix
Very very happy that you had the phone destroyed because I had fully prepared a rant on how a person getting shot doesn't cause the phone they are talking into to go dead despite what some bad Hollywood will tell you. Now I feel like a douche for not trusting in you when there is already plenty of proof of your talent as a writer. So good job both with this story so far and making me feel bad.
Comments from author:
Sorry to spoil your rant; you can go ahead and post it anyway, if you want . . .

But no. Vickie maintained just enough control that she didn't shoot Milla at all, but still shot at her, made her yelp, and made Lee happy.
Review By [Infinix] • Date [4 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Left Her by the Roadside" from asqwerth
But will Ed Green be willing to do what McCoy did, and take no active steps to destroy Kennedy's cover story?

Nice chapter, as usual.
Review By [asqwerth] • Date [4 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Point of a Gun" from KJA
Due to the conversation between Buffy and Kennedy I think I am finally getting a handle on what you are doing with Buffy. Buffy has continuously had the responsibility of protecting the world on her head for eight years now. It is not that Buffy wants to be in any way submissive to the others around her but that she is instead completely exhausted, like the President after two terms in office or a solider who has been on the front without leave for years. What you have show is that Buffy has been at the point of the spear so long that she has becoming dull and lost some of her razor keen edge and as a result you have the mistakes she made in SlayerZ. In the old era this is what would probably have lead to Buffy's death before she reached 25. Also Buffy, with everything that she has been through, has not had much of anything in the way professional support with regard to her mental health. Maybe the council should make a policy of rotating its slayers on and of the line at regular intervals and rotating their command teams after major operation like the US navy did in WWII with the Fast Carrier Task Force.

The rest of the chapter I like because Buffy got a chance to do things the old way with regard to the pawn shop owner. She was for a moment back in her element. The involvement of the Colt .45 and the shot at the end certainly set a cliffhanger. Now it the nail biting of what happened. Was Milla shot. Did Vickie get enough control kill herself before she hurt anyone. It is going to be interesting see what happens next.
Review By [KJA] • Date [2 Aug 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "The Point of a Gun" from AllenPitt
Riley would be their only shot at backing up their "Federal agents" story...and hey he might well do it. My take is he could sell it to his superiors in a "now that organization would owe us big time, and it would have to do us favors in return" way. And if Milla is dead or badly wounded, they really will have to call him to back up their story.
Especially if Milla is under age... or at least under 21. And all the agents deployed are young females??
Review By [AllenPitt] • Date [2 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "The Nature of My Game" from KJA
I am going to try and keep my comments concise in this review as I tend to be a little long winded when reviewing. I liked that we have now seen Natasha in her element. I ooogled knife, Richard, killer and came up with serial killer Richard Chase. Is that who Chen is possessed by? After this I think Dr. Becker is the only non-slayer member of the contingent we have yet to see employ his or her specialty in some way. It might be fun to se how he and Winchester work together in an emergence.

The second scene with Cassady and Kennedy is interesting because I think it fits in well with how we have scene Buffy and her allies improvise and adapt situation. It was great to see them using everyone's expectations along with select bits of information to mutually reinforce the story they created. The one worrying thing that I see is that in chapter 7 you brought up the fact that the FBI were highly concerned about the situation. There could be trouble when the real federal agents get involved.

Lastly it seems like I was wrong about Buffy's community service. I do over think things at times. I forgot to apply Occam's razor in this case in looked at more bits and pieces of the story than were necessary thus the working with troubled teens hypothesis rather than the combat training which McCoy is of course also aware she has the talent for.
Review By [KJA] • Date [1 Aug 09] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "The Nature of My Game" from JoeDineen
Caught up with this series recently, very good series. I was kind of surprised that they with went with a cock and bull story with McCoy and not gotten themselves as official agents via the Watchers Council and Riley's outfit. I am sure the Council has the contacts to get that done. OK! I can see the downsides as well, but in the circumstances I certainly would consider it.
Review By [JoeDineen] • Date [1 Aug 09] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "A Demon Holds My Place on Earth Till I Die" from sapphire
This girl. Have you heard of the specialized combat training being offered to ESU and anyone else who wants to take it?”

“I have,” Cragen said. “Word was you got the services of one of the best hand-to-hand combat instructors in the country.” He looked up at Kennedy. “Are you telling me that Miss Kennedy --?”

“No,” McCoy said. “That would be her friend, Miss Summers. It’s her community service. And trust me. If the reports I’m getting back from these officers are any clue, then, if Miss Kennedy is one tenth the fighter Miss Summers is then you’ve got yourself one of the most gifted hand-to-hand combatants in the world in the room with you.”

/I note that you say that Murder Ballad is the end of the series but can you not do another story based around Buffy community service? This sounds like it could be interesting.
Review By [sapphire] • Date [1 Aug 09] • Not Rated
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