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No Fate: The Collected Data Files Volume One

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Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from kdakmmt
Review:
really liking the way you killed off the mayor. I keep rolling my eyes at the initiative idiots. changing harmony into a nice person was rather interesting. hope you update soon:)
Comments from author:
Thank you! :) I was rather concerned when I was writing C16 whether or not I was doing the right thing killing him off like that, but I was determined to avoid a straightforward reproduction of Season 3, and it seemed like a good idea at the time...

Yeah, well, they do make for a great dark-comedy sort of comic relief. ;)

I'm glad you liked it! I try my best to come up with new approaches, and it seemed like it could have possibilities...

Well, I'm afraid it's taken me far longer than I would've liked, but here's Chapter 17 at long bl**dy last! :D And I promise I won't take as long with the next update...

Many thanks for reviewing, and best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [kdakmmt] • Date [30 Apr 12] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Nine – Free Spirits Part Seven" from Rich
Review:
Wait - Star Trek symbols work on vamps ? I guess that would explain how Andrew and Jonathon managed to survive so long on the Hellmouth.
Comments from author:
Well, I figured that there had to be some sort of reason why they managed to survive so long if they were born and raised there - and Xander and Jesse, as well. (Okay, Jesse didn't last as long, but still...)
Review By [Rich] • Date [10 Feb 12] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter One – Fallout" from BlueEyedJedi
Review:
Merry Christmas, and to all a good life.
Comments from author:
A (very, very belated) Merry Christmas to you as well; live long and prosper, best wishes and ride free!

El :)
Review By [BlueEyedJedi] • Date [26 Dec 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from Morgomir
Review:
Great chapter. Keep up the good work.
Comments from author:
Thank you kindly, and I'll do my best. :)

Best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [Morgomir] • Date [24 Nov 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from borgrabbit
Review:
I suppose it was pre box of gavrock.
Great chapter!
Comments from author:
Yup: the Box gives you invulnerability for a hundred days, and given that Wilkins' Ascension apparently happened sometime in late May or early June in canon, I calculated that he couldn't have used the Box until the February of the same year at the earliest. So... Boom. Headshot. ;)

Thank you kindly, and best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [borgrabbit] • Date [24 Nov 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from Moontrap
Review:
I love this story.

That was one of my favorite kills scenes of The Mayor ever. As always I love your work. Thank you for letting us read it, and I can't wait to read more of it.

Sincerely

John
Comments from author:
Thank you kindly, John, and I'm really glad you're enjoying the series. :)

Really? Wow... thank you very much! I was a bit indecisive over whether to kill Wilkins off so early in the series (although it was originally meant to happen in Chapter 14) but eventually decided to just go for it, so that's a big relief. I know they did a spectacular job of killing the Mayor in canon, and there's some fanfics out there that have done a good job (at least, I think so) of producing 'tweaked' versions of that battle, but... well, it's been done several times over, so I wanted to take a different approach to dealing with him.

The next chapter's in the works: I'm afraid that it'll take a while to complete, but considering the fight scenes that I'm currently choreographing, I hope you'll find the wait to be worth it in the end.

Best wishes, and ride free!

El ;)
Review By [Moontrap] • Date [22 Nov 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from (Current Donor)Manchester
Review:
I take it in this story that Riley Finn is going to be one of those Irish descendents who bear a festering grudge all the way back to Saint Patrick himself. Not just because that specific cleric was originally from England, but also because he neglected to use his miraculous powers to tow the entire island a few thousand miles away from those buggers to the east.

-Edit-

It looks like we both had a "Huh?" moment here. My above comment was just a guess on exactly why a supposedly professional soldier would say and believe the following from your story:

*Finn snorted. “The SAS, Director, are an undisciplined and unsophisticated rabble,” he replied, not bothering to disguise his contempt. “They have no concept of a proper chain of command, no respect for rank, and their weapons and equipment are museum pieces.”

“How do they compare to American special forces units?” Walsh asked.

“An American unit of similar size, like Delta Force or the Navy’s DEVGRU, has a budget about twenty times that of the SAS, and there are major equipment level differences between the two forces, both in comms and weaponry. In technology terms, Ma’am, the SAS lag far behind our units: half their weapons and radios are antiques that date back to the Sixties or earlier. They’re always understrength, too, far moreso than any American unit.”

“Are they any good?”

“They’re just English soldiers, Ma’am.”

Walsh gave Finn a hard stare. “And what exactly does that mean, Agent Finn?” she pressed. “When I ask you a question, I expect an informative answer.”

“Director, all English soldiers have no sense of honour, duty, or patriotism; they have no love for God or Country,” Finn said disgustedly. “They fight for one thing and one thing only: money. They’re no better than mercenaries.”*

Oh, yeah, way to describe the military unit who's been the basic prototype for all worldwide special forces/counter-terrorism groups since WWII.

Selecting from just one of Finn's scathing statements: Yes, the SAS is small. That's because they hand-pick their applicants and then run them through perhaps the roughest training courses in the Western countries (during which candidates have died). Finn seems to have entirely missed the point that this produces "soldiers which are physically and mentally robust and have the confidence, courage, and skill to operate individually or in small teams, often in isolation and in a hostile environment" (quote is from Wikipedia). Sunnydale certainly qualifies as a hostile environment, and not merely staying alive but handily taking care of its more bellicose unearthly inhabitants should impress anybody, even someone who's managed to perform a self-inflicted proctological examination via cranial insertion.

So, given Finn's belittling and disparging comments, I thought it likely he was what I said above. Your response to eriktheviking's review gave a much simpler explanation which I should've considered instead:

Riley Finn is an idiot.
Comments from author:
...

...Oh-kaaaaaay... I give up: you've completely lost me.

Hmm... Now THERE'S a first - I've never had a review that thoroughly bewildered me before. :)

Anyhow, I've no earthly - or, for that matter, UN-earthly - idea where you came up with this... theory... of yours, but I don't have anything like that planned. (Hope that doesn't disappoint you or anything.)

...In fact, I don't think I've ever even considered for an instant using a plot twist that bemusing before... I mean, I've considered doing some absolutely crazy stuff before (and Marcus S. Lazarus has - thankfully - talked me out of the REALLY out-there utterly bat-sh!t insane plot twists that I've run past him) but that's truly bizarre even by MY bungee elastic standards...

Anyhow, thanks for reviewing - it might make no sense to me, but hey! :) A review's still a review.

Best wishes,

El ;)


Edited to add: Yup, that's the bunny rabbit - Occam's Razor. :)

You know, that phrase - "Riley Finn is an idiot." - sounds like it's just begging to be put on a bumper sticker... just a passing thought. ;)

Best wishes, and ride free!

El ;)
Review By [(Current Donor)Manchester] • Date [22 Nov 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from eriktheviking
Review:
Another cracking good update, especially Riley's institutional snobbery or is it ignorance? Another great point was the situation with the Mayor, a really disturbing scene with the power raising, and its resolution.
Comments from author:
Thank you kindly! :)
And with Finn... it's probably more like a bit from Column A and a bit from Column B.
Thanks - I really sweated over the Mayor situation. As for the Hellmouth-expansion ritual - do you think I went a bit too far with that? I wanted to make it a BIT disturbing, but at the same time I didn't want to take it to extreme levels, and on the third hand I didn't want to tone it down too much for fear of messing it up...

Anyhoo, many thanks for the review. Best wishes, and ride free!

El ;)
Review By [eriktheviking] • Date [21 Nov 11] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from RubyPaladin
Review:
That was a great chapter and Finn's reaction to Wilkins being sniped was hilarious.
Comments from author:
Thank you kindly, and that was a very fun (if brief) scene to write. :D

Thanks for reviewing, and best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [RubyPaladin] • Date [20 Nov 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from maydaymason
Review:
Wow. The rank and file Initiative have really drunk the kool-aid in this. I think they come off a little better in cannon, but since the honest hardworking sort-of-redshirts position is already taken, I guess this is good too. Always happy to see the mayor situation dealt with in a fitting manner. I really liked the format of this chapter.
Comments from author:
Thank you kindly, and I'm relieved to hear you liked the chapter format. :) I was a bit concerned about that, as most of the scenes for this chapter came from my 'Cutting Room Floor' file for Chapter 14. (Part of Harmony and Melody's introduction to the grim reality of Sunnydale would have been the footage of Wilkins' ritual to expand the Hellmouth, you see.)

Thanks for reviewing, and best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [maydaymason] • Date [20 Nov 11] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from xon
Review:
Okay... since Riley and his farmboy friends are green beyond green, I'll forgive their absolutely ridiculous dismissal of the SAS as has-beens.

These guys are the precursor to modern black-ops groups FOR A REASON.
Comments from author:
Actually, it's not quite as uncommon an attitude towards the SAS as you might think: in the late Nineties, there was a widely-held belief in various militaries* that the SAS were Cold War dinosaurs who'd been rendered obsolete the moment the Berlin Wall came down. And as for since the turn of the century... well, frankly, the attitude that "the SAS have had their heyday, but it's over now and it's someone else's turn" has continued to persist.
(*Including American SOCOM units; that might sound a bit crazy at first glance, but it's worth bearing in mind that those same units fought tooth and claw and nail to keep an 'American SAS' from being formed by Colonel Beckwith in the late Seventies, to the point that some personnel - including half a dozen generals - actively tried to sabotage and undermine his efforts.)

*shrugs* Weird, but true.

Thanks for the review, and best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [xon] • Date [20 Nov 11] • Rating [7 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from djhardim
Review:
It sounds to me as if Finn was either brainwashed with concentrated bleach, or had a lobotomy. He should know better than to shoot his mouth the way he did.
Comments from author:
Oh, you'd be surprised (or probably just appalled) how many people in various positions of responsibility (in politics, military forces, intelligence services, and law enforcement agencies) blithely run off at the mouth. Trust me, I've heard FAR more ridiculous things in real life. ;D

Thanks for reviewing, and best wishes,

El ;)
Review By [djhardim] • Date [20 Nov 11] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Chapter Sixteen – Always a Little Further Part 4" from MarcusSLazarus
Review:
An abrupt way to eliminate the Mayor, but I can’t deny that it was amusing, and at least the Initiative continue to be idiots; sometimes people stick with the old weapons because they WORK, and Riley’s dismissal of them because of stereotypes reflects the same narrow-minded view that resulted in their demon captives managing to tear the Initiative apart from the inside after Adam coordinated them.

However, I do feel slightly let down by the fact that Willow’s just BACK in Sunnydale now; I was really looking forward to seeing her reaction to Xander’s return and the subsequent whiplash when she learns that he’s ‘emotionally disconnected’ (To say the least) from everything that they went through growing up, even if he still remembers it...

Ah well; maybe you can include her reaction in a flashback later?

In any case, should be interesting to see what happens from here on in (Just don’t forget some of the non-Mayor-related storylines coming up; might be interesting to see what everything thinks of Pete Clarner’s mutative formula, if nothing else)...
Comments from author:
Yup, the Mayor was written out abruptly, but... what can I say, I'm unpredictible like that. Some characters get killed off early, some survive when they should have died...

Willow: yes, I know what you mean - I couldn't keep Willow 'on the bus', though, and having her 'whiplash moment' in this chapter would have disrupted the flow a bit too much. There will be a flashback scene in Episode Seven, though, which is when I'd originally planned to bring Willow back into the fold.

Best wishes, and thanks for the review!

El ;)
Review By [MarcusSLazarus] • Date [20 Nov 11] • Rating [8 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Fifteen – Always a Little Further Part 3" from AbscondingCascade
Review:
Brilliant chapter and in thanks for it I give you a link to a suitably named song for this fic - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du1QRtcnMxM
Comments from author:
Thank you kindly - I really appreciate this, though I'm afraid my PC's speakers don't work, so it'll take me a while to get access to another machine to listen to it. :)

Best wishes, and ride free!

El ;)
Review By [AbscondingCascade] • Date [10 Nov 11] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Chapter Fifteen – Always a Little Further Part 3" from borgrabbit
Review:
Haiku cheering section:

Wonderful story
Now reaching chapter fifteen
Kind Muse—shares glory

☻☺☻☺☻☺☻☺♥☺☻☺☻☺☻☺☻

Keep it up!
Comments from author:
Wow, I don't get reviews like this very often - thank you very much! :)
Review By [borgrabbit] • Date [9 Nov 11] • Not Rated
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