Subject: [FFML] Re: [FanFic][SM] NETTG - Terra in Tokyo Ch.5
From: "Benjamin A. Oliver" <benjamin.a.oliver@gmail.com>
Date: 12/16/2006, 2:53 AM
To: Abdiel , ffml@anifics.com

On 12/14/06, Abdiel <gabriel_gabdiel@yahoo.com> wrote:
Heeere's... C&C!

Yay!  We LIKE C&C. :D

C&C is to fanfickery what lighter fluid is to barbeque.  Or was that
sauce?  Ah well.  Tough to grill something up to a room full of
silence.  With lots of response, then you can do things like mess with
readers' heads, confuse 'em, make 'em chew their own limbs off and
such.

But with a trickle of response, an author is likely to be more careful
and try to serve the fans just a bit more.  Every one becomes all the
more precious.

My... preciousssss.... (hobbles off into the darkness looking for a magic ring)

Standard C&C Disclaimer: I'd just like to remind you before we begin that I am
not God. At least not the Judeo-Christian God, as conventionally interpreted.

How about a Norse god, then?  Do you have a huge hammer and throw
lightning bolts at things?

Specifically, I am not omniscient. I may question something that happens in
your story which is, in fact, Actual Series Canon. I have precious little
experience with many 'Actual Series' events, and a lot of my perceptions are an
agglomeration of years of fanfics, numerous anime/cartoons/TV
shows/movies/books of both old and new, and assorted other tidbits.

'Course!  This is perfectly natural... unless you were grown in a tank
with a whole bunch of clones of yourself.  In that case, your memories
would have been implanted electronically by a mad scientist who makes
you pilot giant robots that are actually hideous alien creatures come
for some bizarre unknowable purpose that involves turning humanity
into a gigantic puddle of goo.

...

In any case, glad you're commenting on this. ^_^

Further, I am not omnipresent. I will say things shaped by my experiences;
other people more than likely have different experiences. If you've got five
thousand responses saying your story is the greatest thing since sliced bread
and I (pardon the pun) pan it,

*da-dum-thwissh!*

that's not indicative of any greater knowledge
on my part, merely a different perception/expectation/what have you.
Alternately, if I pan a story,

And make brownies with it?

that doesn't preclude the possibility that other
people reading it later will think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread,
so to all you readers reading this: Don't let me stop you.

Yes, I once thought they could never stop me.  But soon after I began
to believe this, a stalwart group of heroes stormed my fortress,
fought my legions of terror, and destroyed my great artifact of power.
 Now, I hide in the darkness, waiting... yes, waiting for the day in
which I will regain what has been lost.  I shall take revenge upon my
aggressors, those so-called "heroes" who dared to interfere in my
plans.  It will be mine.  Oh, yes.  It will be mine.....

Anyway, where were we?  Oh, right.  Fic commentary.

Incidentally, I am omnivorous. I eat both meat and vegetable varieties of food.

Ah, good.  Vegetarians unnerve me.

Finally, I am not omnipotent. If I say something should be changed, you do not,
in fact, have to change it, if you don't want to, and you will not be visited
by plagues of frogs or anything of the sort.

Oh, you may SAY that.  However, last time I failed to heed or respond
to a comment, the results were too dire to comprehend.  Plagues?  Yes,
my good man.  A thousand armies of rabid badgers came across the land
and did raze the citadel to the ground!  Foul creatures of the
underworld took up their fiendish tools of sharp dismemberment and
came over to have tea and biscuits.  Not. Just. Tea.  They wanted
BISCUITS!  Do you realize how much they like BISCUITS in the
underworld?  The fiends... the scoundrels... THEY DIDN'T LIKE THE
BISCUITS!

So they went home and never came back.  Getting awfully lonely around
here.  And they were so interesting to talk to.  Oh well.

If you're satisfied with a story
the way it is, or with any factors I've said should be corrected, then leave
it.

Yes, but what if the story will actually be improved by your
commentary?  That's a possibility I can't just ignore.  I mean...
you've got good grammar!  Gotta listen to people with good grammar.
Wouldn't be proper if ya didn't!

Oh, and oftentimes I'll rant. God generally doesn't.

Actually, more than you might initially imagine.  There's some spiffy
ones in the book of Third Nephi.

Before anything else, let me just reply to this...

...this... THIS FUDGE PANCAKE!

On 11/29/06, Benjamin A. Oliver <boliver@email.arizona.edu> wrote:

Furthermore, Terra's continuing steak of bad luck (and her lack of blissful
ignorance now that she's a bit smarter than when she was introduced) really
does make her a lot more amiable and pleasant than other 'Sues' of her ilk.

She's more human and identifiable since she's got problems she has to
slog through.  She's almost like... a real viable character now. ;)

Let me categorically agree with you and say this: problems, misery, and payoff
care of superpowers are just _part_ of the story of a well-developed character,
or else WWE's push with John Cena will always be met with cheers instead of
boos. A real and viable character isn't just miserable; he/she should have a
bit of personality, appeal, and is relatable to boot.

Agreed totally.  A big reason why most "Mary Sues" fail is that, when
you come right down to it, they're not believable.  They're not all
that interesting.  Who cares if someone was the top of their class
back at the Academy?  A lot of people are.  That's not to say a good
viable character cannot be an academic hotshot.  They certainly can;
but it becomes ever so much more interesting to a reader when it's
discovered that the individual was top of his class because... he was
genetically enhanced as a child and such modifications are illegal,
and if it were ever discovered, it would be the end of his career and
he could be executed!!!

Angles, y'see.  Oblique and obtuse angles.  Right triangles and
equilateral ones.  Dimensions and such.  Cubes!

The intangible 'charm'
factor should be present, and a bit of realism doesn't hurt. And what
constitutes charm and realism for a fictional character? Identifiable values
and quirks that make them real, fleshing them out so that they won't become
caricatures of themselves... _then_ see how they react to the shit given to
them... now _that_ makes for a viable character (See: Spiderman).

Yup!  Spiderman is a good example of character balance.  Who cares
what kind of superpowers you have?  You can have the power to make
balloons pop in a three mile radius and still be an interesting
character.  Likewise, you can have the most intriguing, complex power
set known to fiction and still be a flat and uninteresting
thingamawhatsit.

Of course, that's not to say that unremarkable, personality-less characters
that's been 'Job'-ed by their authors can't be met with similar success (Tenchi
Muyo, anyone?). I'm just saying that IMO, the former is far superior to the
duller latter.

Tenchi isn't that interesting of a character, I agree.  In fact... you
could put him in a video game as one of those characters who never
speaks (Chrono, Serge) and not hardly notice the difference.  But...
his situation and the stuff that goes on around him are actually quite
fascinating.

Anyway, is Terra such a(n interesting enough) character (even without the
constant shit flung at her direction)? We'll find out soon enough.

Terra's probably more of a Tenchi type character in some respects.  On
the surface, flat and uninteresting, but the situation makes her a bit
less boring.  On the other hand... she's got some kind of depth
because she's got worries, insecurities, and hopes and dreams.

Given that, I suppose it's then a question of whether you like the
character or not that has been put forth.  For me?  Well, she's an
interesting act to follow and her internal dialogues are smooth to
write, but I still don't know if I like 'er. ^^

(sighs) And now that I've gotten that out of my chest, let me introduce my
current victim... ;)

Mmm.  Victim.  (Imagining myself atop a gigantic Aztec pyramid, tied
to the altar, with commenters hovering above me with knives)

On 4/17/06, Benjamin A. Oliver <boliver@email.arizona.edu> wrote:

Yet another chapter. ^^

So it is.

Quite, and indubidably!

I've gotten some feedback, which I am grateful for, and made some according
adjustments.  Arby's dialogue, for one, is toned down somewhat so that it
should be at least readable in a basic sense.

Aw, but Arby making little to no sense is half the fun of a NETTG series! Heck,
I'm still waiting for his appearance in the webcomic (that's not just the
sprite comic).

There's a cameo...

http://nettg.com/comics/index.php?page=19

But, yeah.  I'd love for the line comic to be updated more frequently.
 But unless Esa levels up and masters the "Prolific Drawing" feat, or
another faster artist (can be lower quality, as long as fast) comes
along to help... the only way it'll proceed is if I learn to draw it
m'self. ^_^

As for Arby making sense... Well, even if you translate the words into
dictionary-perfect English, he'll still be at least mildly
incomprehensible.

EDIT: Then again, I'm also waiting for the time that Arby'll get his
comeuppance in this version of NETTG. For the sake of karma, yin and yang,
fanservice to the haters, and the balance of the force.

Something happens later... kind of. ^^

Others have noted that they feel commentary would be wasted on a completed
story, since it would not significantly impact the flow of the plotline.

As opposed to an incomplete work-in-progress that has an obviously higher rate
of abandonment than a complete work? Psshhh. Nitpickers.

*shrug*  I dunno, maybe they're looking for an excuse to hate the
alternative story.  Hmm... well, maybe I'm not doing my job if they
have to look and search for reasons.  Gotta provide enough raw
material for it to come naturally!  :D

Anyway, drastic revisions can be made to a story and have it improve
and yet follow the same basic plotline.  It's not usually the plot
that's the problem, it's the implementation.  Under the guidance of
Ookla the Mok or someone like that, Mix and Match went from being
mildly terrible to fairly interesting.  A few choice words can change
what looks like a bad idea into a rather good one.  If commenters can
give me those few choice words, the story is improved quickly and
painlessly.

Jason(bursts onto the scene in Chibiusa's body):  #$^#@$ Yeah, I
got'cher @^#&&#@#@ choice @#^$*$#&$# words RIGHT @^#&#&# HERE!!
@#^#&%$*^%*$e(^(^(%&$#%!!!!

...speaking of which, I need to get some more of that story written.
I guess I just haven't had enough Jason in me to power through the
next chapter yet.  I'll need someone, probably military or
sailor-like, to get me through that.  I'll ask Larry F or Aaron
Bergman for where to hold the shift key and press the numbers.  ^^

  It'll be nice when I'm able to do that again, and assimilate ideas in true
Borg fashion such that none will be able to defend themselves from me
grabbing
stuff and dumping it in...  All in good time.

Yeah. All in good time. I remember your little 'acceptance speech' at the
Chickenball Awards; that you do have great appreciation for readers and reader
comments, sooo... yeah. Whatever else you may do with this feedback, I hope
that you meant what you said a Chickenball or two ago.

(looks online and reviews the speech)

http://www.rakhal.com/cb/main.txt

Yup!  I still mean it.  I love it when people give me paragraphs of
stuff I can adapt in.  I still have the inclination to add it in
somehow.  And if I'm given serious suggestions like, "You know, this
chapter ending needs something... Like, where is Sailor V at this
point?", I'm perfectly happy to write another scene.  And if something
better occurs to someone, and I agree with the direction, it's still
fun to go back and edit bits.  Makes for a stronger story.  Or, at
least, a more interesting one.

Besides, I need people to catch me and keep me from going off on weird
tangents.  Or to show me which tangents to go off on. ^_^  Stuff like
that.

There have also been some that have noted that they feel kind of cheated in
that
I had a disclaimer in there that the story will get dark at some point or
another.

...Here's a thought: Will the nitpickers deem the disclaimer as a spoiler now
too?

Possibly.  I ruin it by not warning them, I ruin it by telling them
that it'll happen.  Were the people who complained too vocal and
whiny?  Were the later people too picky?  Was I incompetent for having
done either?

Lepardu(shrugs):  Mmm... I dudu.

Maybe we're taking it too seriously.  Nobody's getting paid for this
anyway.  So what if I pull a George Lucas and ruin everything by
daring to write more?  Ruin what?  This is a different continuity I'm
using for target practice.

Then again, what if I'm just messing with readers' minds and there IS
no true darkness?  Ah well, total confusion from mountain to shore.
Let the English majors sort 'em all out. ^_^

What to do, what to do... I mean, I want to please the fans... serve
the fans, and the secret to this is fanservice, apparently.  But the story is
written, so how do I proceed?

With extreme caution and remembering that you wrote this because you enjoy
writing this. On the other hand, if you wrote this for the fans, then constant,
Wikipedia-like revisions are key. And by Wikipedia-like, I don't mean putting
'You Suck, Terra!' in the middle of the fic. ^^

Choku(points and laughs derisively in a crippling Japanese accent):
OJOJOJOJO!  j00 suxxorz!  Da ne?

So I make revisions when I'm more or less sure about the material I'm
changing out. ^_^

Ah well, just have to kill off all the main characters, then!  Enjoy! ^_^

Heh. Take that, fans! Screw you!

George Lucas: (approves)

*cheers*

Gotta mess with readers' heads.  Otherwise they won't respect ya!
That's what they pay ya for--er, I mean, read ya for: something
interesting and perhaps unexpected.

Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!!
Terra in Tokyo

---Chapter 5:  And Then They All Died.

This promises to be quite a chapter that uses a Season Ender
gimmick/cliffhanger reminiscent of Dallas or any of the modern-day TV
shows/soaps. ^_^

'Course!  I've said it before and I'll say it again... Wouldn't be
proper if we didn't!

       The girl's shoulders slumped as she shook her head and continued on
towards the
meeting location.  Actually, that book didn't remind her at all about her
situation, but still, it would have been nice to have something substantial
to
think about in order to mitigate the surreality of the current circumstances
of
her life.

Suggest: surreality --> surrealism

If it's a portmanteau of 'reality' and 'surreal', then sure. What the hell. But
if you want to know the common usage noun form of the adjective 'surreal', then
it's 'surrealism'.

Hmm...

Lepardu(looks at the words):  Mmm... Realy-du?  Surrealy-du?
Surreality-du, surrealismy-du.  (shrugs)  I dudu!

Actually, surrealism sounds good in this context, so I changed to that
in my copy.

exist or what in the heck kind of magic uses abbreviated sailor suits,

Heh. 'Abbreviated.'

Quite abbreviated.  Mini, even.  Shrunken down to bare bones!  Down
with necklines!  Up with miniskirts!

       She blinked as a new idea occurred to her.  "Or will I really have
to?" she
asked herself.  "We've got three more Sailor Soldiers.  Maybe they really
won't
need me this time.  I don't make any difference anyway."

There's a lesson to be learned here, kids. Everybody is special.

Dash Parr: Schyeah. That's like saying that nobody's special.

Er, yeah. Um, moving on...

^_^  Always remember that you are unique.  Just like everybody else!

http://despair.com/individuality.html

It can be considered fairly odd for a main character to just up and
chicken out of a major battle.  Last one who tried (in recent memory)
was Shinji in End of Evangelion.  Just sort of sat there holding his
head while the world fell apart around him. ^^

Anyway, in the original, there was no Terra, so the battle with
Jadeite ought to go just fine without her.  Right?  Right??

       It was really odd, though.  Just thinking of seeing the fellow members
of her
Sailor army was starting to fill her with terrible amounts of dread.

Of _her_ Sailor army? It makes her sound rather megalomaniacal, doesn't it?
Like her original self, to be exact.

Well, it could be read as possessive-as-in-I-own-it, or
possessive-as-in-I-belong-to-it.  Still... yes, that would be rather
like her to think of it in terms of ownership. ^_^

  However, it would have been nicer if they had, say, a
top secret room hidden in the arcade with all sorts of nifty gadgets and toys
to use.

       "Luna?" Usagi asked.  "Can we build some top secret room in the arcade
with all
sorts of nifty gadgets and toys?"

Heh. Uncomplicated person, that Usagi.

Oh yes, her personality lends itself to exchanges such as...

---

Usagi was a bit miffed.

Usagi(glares):  Well I'm a bit miffed!  I did all the work and you
just sat around playing poker!

Other person:  You look miffed.  Did we leave too much work for you to do?

Yet another person:  You sound miffed...

---

And so on and so forth. ^_^

       "Like I said, I don't want to talk about it."  Terra glanced back at
Luna and
sighed, looking very much like she felt how the quivering cat did right now.

Er, I think I know what you meant to convey, but I still suggest that you
revise that sentence to be more... readable, please.

Lepardu(glances at Ben):  Mmm... No-du.  Let me show you how
squishfish.  (grabs a fish)  Mmm... DU!  (Smash!  And a new sentence
comes out.)

	"Like I said, I don't want to talk about it."  Terra glanced back at
the quivering cat with an expression of complete empathy and
understanding.  "Okay, let's get this meeting over with," she said in
a soft voice.

       "Let's not jump to conclusions," Ami cautioned.  "Second guessing
ourselves

Suggest: Second-guessing

I agree.  Changed in my copy.

       "Hah," Rei laughed.  "Staying up late playing video games is more like
it."

       "But we just got our new Playstation!" Usagi complained.  "I couldn't
let it go
to waste!"

I'd say that's an anachronism, but never mind. For all I know, this is set in
PGSM continuity (which will still make that an anachronism because by that
time... er, never mind).

Could be a PS2, a PS3, or a regular PS1.  She could be referring to a
PS3, which would have come out long after this story was written... or
she's way behind the times and got a PS1 for the first time.

Or this story takes place in approx. 1999-2001.  Who knows?  Does it
matter?  I'm sure not keeping track of time and continuity.  Then
again, they're not all running around with cellphones that take
pictures...

       The two squabbled back and forth like true naturals--as if they'd
known each
other since they were little, and not only since the day before.

And some things never change.

Some things gotta remain constant, even if everything else has gone
totally weird.

       "It's just that," Terra said, "I think you'd all be better off if you
didn't
have me to drag you down."

Awwww. She's having her own little mini-angst right now.

Yeah... and she's making excuses 'cause she doesn't wanna go to the
big battle.  I mean, most li'l magical girls dream of going to battle
the big boss and coming out triumphant!  ...don't they?

 I don't know what could happen.  But I'm scared.  Really scared."  She
looked

Extra space before 'I don't'.

Double spacing between sentences.  Perhaps the formatting went all
weird when it got mailed.

       Usagi didn't know what to say.  "Terra, I--"

       Sobbing, the Irish girl placed her head on Usagi's shoulder, clinging
to her
for some sense of comfort.  "Please, no more."

I guess this is one of the 'dark' parts that you've mentioned. Pffft. I've seen
darker. Also, 'dark' is a misappropriated label, seeing that it's only 'dark'
compared to the lighthearted slant NETTG generally has.

I suppose that my "dark" is most other writers' standard light drama.
And my idea of a lemon is... well, let's not go into that just yet.
^_^;  Then again, there are some bits that go kind of wild.

Then again, I may be eating my words by the eleventh chapter... (puts salt on
my words for added taste)

Mmm.  Salted words. ^_^

       Rei slapped her hand on the table.  "What in the world is this!?" she
yelled at
Terra.  "First, you sign us up to fight the Dark Kingdom, and next, you're
chickening out on us!"

Ah. And this sounds about right for Rei to say. Kudos for the apt portrayals.

Of all the lines in this chapter, this one felt the most appropriate
of all, for any character in this chapter. ^^

Personally, I like this shift towards the dramatic. Not unlike Rurouni
Kenshin's sudden shift to the serious, I'd say. Gags and humor are great, but
nothing says 'suspension of disbelief' and 'real life' than actual drama that
people can relate to.

No reason not to be silly when nothing huge is going wrong.  But when
the dramatic comes, gotta be at least a little dramatic.  Ya don't
feel it quite as much otherwise.

On the other hand, in Fushigi Yuugi, there was a bit after a main
character's entire family was assassinated that one of the other
characters just taunted and teased 'em, telling him to "Be a man and
get over it!"

I guess silliness can help overcome darkness.  However morbid that
humor may be at any given moment.  ^^

       Frightened, sad, alone, and unwilling to face her fear, she said to
herself, "I
really don't deserve to be a superheroine, do I?"

Suggest: super-heroine (then again, if you're going to use that suggestion, you
might as well use 'super-hero', which is just plain wrong, so it remains as
_just_ a suggestion)

I did some checking, and the word "superheroine" does seem to be a
viable and widely-used compound word.

       "Well o' course!" Arby shot back in a pleasant businessmanlike manner.
 "Only
natural, it is."

Suggest: businessman-like

Also: businesslike

I checked the sentence and your first suggestion sounds better than
the second shorter one.  Fixed in my copy to "businessman-like."

       Arby whipped out his can of yellow paint from earlier in the day.
"It's me
Mystical Magical Yellow Depression Mushroom Paint.  Makes ya Emotionally
Unstable!"

(facefault) And we relapse to NETTG silliness.

Gotta counterbalance the angst, y'see!  There's a silly reason for it.
 Aliens!  Umm... mutant reverse vampires from outer space and the
fifth dimension!  Yeah, that's the ticket...

       "O' course! It got absorbed through your clothes and into your skin.
A whole
bucket o' the stuff'd throw ya into a Suicidal Rage!"  Again, it was one of
those expensive trademarked phrases.  He backed up and tilted the bucket,
preparing to throw it.  "'Ere, look at this!"

       "Arby, NO!!!"

Hmmm. I'd say that ArbyFish is the most dangerous creature in this whole fic.
Certainly more dangerous than Jadeite, no contest. Heck, he's already starting
to get on my nerves with his antics.

Yup, Arby is probably the most dangerous character in NETTG:TinT.  In
Classic, he was freaky-powerful when he needed to be, but he did end
up dying.  But then after that he got promoted to sysadmin in the same
department as Urd, Skuld, and Belldandy.  So was he really ever
beaten?  _Was_ he?

Terra: Then try to imagine how _I_ FEEL!

Precisely the point of Arby in the story. :D

Man, Terra really would've loved to have had any other magical girl
pet/mascot.  ANY other one besides Arby.  Name any creature and I will
tell you that Terra would have preferred that over Arby.

Terra(sighs in relief):  Oh, it's a ravenous bugblatter beast of
traal.  At least it's not an ArbyFish.

Arby(hops out of beast costume):  G'day!

Terra:  WAAAAAH!!!

       Then she noticed, to her horror, that the paint had penetrated down to
her
slip.  The tight weave was stopping the absorption somewhat, but it wouldn't
last.  Her mind screaming at her to hurry, she tore it off and discarded it
as
well.

Er, I don't like where this is going. If anything, if it goes according to
where I think it's going, then Terra's going to go into a Suicidal Rage
regardless of the paint.

Aww, c'mon, it's not all THAT traumatic to be left naked in the
streets as a cute teenage girl, is it?

Okay, so it is. =^_^=

       Nearly hyperventilating in shock Terra checked what was left.

Suggest: shock, Terra

Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words, however, should be enclosed in commas.

Okay.  Comma added THERE.

"Commas are your weakness."
"YOUR FAITH IN YOUR FRIENDS IS YOURS!!!" ^_^

       "Not this time, Mister Fish," Terra retorted, looking back at the
creature.
"You'll not best ME today."

You evil, evil man. Poor li'l Terra Sue, suffering the karma of a thousand Mary
Sues...

Terra's like a Mary Sue, only she doesn't get away with anything, and
she's constantly tormented.  What's the antithesis of a Mary Sue?  A
Sarah Jane?  A Jerry Hugh?

       It took her a few more moments of quiet thought for her to realize the
gravity
of her situation.  She'd had dreams, when she was in elementary school, of
accidentally going to class in her underwear.  It was one of those primal
fears
that struck terror into even the most composed of human beings.  Being in the
same situation while in the middle of the street in an unfamiliar part of
town
tripled the anxiety.

I wonder if ArbyFish is trying to activate Terra's powers by making her so
insanely mad she'll go Super Sayajin and then release Chakra-based,
Reiatsu-based, Nen-based, Reiki-based, and Magic-based Powers....

Regardless of intent, that's what's gradually occurring. :D

SSJ-10 Terra: AVEDA SECTUM DAMA BUNGEE KOKURYU KAMATARI DAMASHI HA!

I mean, we've all seen what anime protagonists are capable of when angered, but
how about multiplying that to the nigh-limitless Otaku-ken powers of an actual
Sue? :P Hmmm.

Terra: NOW I get it, Arby.  You were trying to release my latent
powers by tormenting me so much!

Arby(^_^):  No, no, no, awl that wos just for fun!

       She could knock on a door and try to hide in someone's house, but no,
that
wouldn't work.  This was more of a park area with ornamental bridges, but
somehow had a distinctive lack of bushes she could hide behind.

Well, she can always go the Rush Hour/Austin Powers route and use various
everyday objects to hide her modesty. Which brings us back to 'Suicidal,
Homicidal, Genocidal Rage' due to her sheer mortification, of course...

Of course!  And here's where the borg in me comes in...

	There were a couple of shops in the distance, but they were more like
festive corner street shops.  Probably some food stands and some
goldfish-scooping locations.  Not good to hide in and not exactly
purveyors of articles of clothing.  On the other hand, she could
attempt to find some other random discarded objects with which to help
cover herself.  At the very least, a few stray newspapers would
suffice.  Yeah, she could even make a full paper dress if she found
enough!  That's the ticket!

	That idea, however, was squelched when she realized that all the
Japanese she knew were immaculately clean, and would not likely leave
papers flying about.  Once over at the Tsukino household, she caught a
glimpse of Usagi's mother folding even her dirty clothes!  The
likelihood of finding stray objects seemed all the more unlikely.
Plus, she saw no newspaper stands nearby, nor garbage cans to dig
through.

She would have
enough cash for bus fare, but she probably couldn't pay for a taxi with the
pocket change she carried.  Of course, if she got home, she could get
probably
her mom to pay for the ride.

With her current situation in mind, it's probably best that she doesn't get
into any crowded, touchy-feely trains or buses as well. Oh, and never mind
planes, knowing her phobia...

Arby(hops out of a snake box into Terra's lap):  Ey, look! ArbyFish on a Plane!

Terra(gibbers)

Hmm... perhaps shall need some qualification in this section,
concerning why the bus is such a good idea.

	But there were no taxis around, and a bus was just pulling up.  Lots
of seats were empty so she wouldn't be seen by all that many people.
It was a route she knew, as well.  All in all, taking the public
transit system seemed to be the least embarrassing option.  Better
than wandering through the streets in an unfamiliar part of town.  On
average, she would see fewer people and it would take much less time.
She waved to the bus, which stopped.  Actually, the driver was male,
so it screeched to a halt.

       But there were no taxis around, and a bus was just pulling up.  It was
a route
she knew, as well.  All in all, taking the public transit system seemed to be
the least embarrassing option.

Er... didn't I just say...? Never mind.

I suppose she could have knocked on a random door and asked to use the
phone.  But when embarrassed and worried, one may not always think
straight, despite any helpful inner voices.

       Act natural, Terra coached herself.  If she doesn't look like
anything's wrong,

Suggest: she doesn't look like anything's wrong, --> she didn't act like
anything was wrong,

The contracted apostrophe-s usually connote more to 'is' than to 'was', FYI.

Now, I realize that you're employing some sort of informal narrative using
Terra's POV, but keep in mind that the narrative is still set in past tense,
even when you're shifting it to a character's POV _unless_ it's part of a
character's _internal dialogue_. Thing is, I don't see Terra referring to
herself in third person unless, well, she's already merged with S.L.K. to
become that galactic, Unicron/Galactus-sized, Planet-Destroyer-Monster thingy
with multiple personalities.

And a cherry on top! ^_^

Yeah, this is just some tricky dialogue to sort of fuse with Terra's
POV while still keeping overall tenses mixed up.  Or something to that
effect.  So I tell you what I do.  I change it to dis:

	Act natural, Terra coached herself.  If she didn't act like anything
was wrong, then many people may simply ignore her.  This was a big
city, after all.  Weird things happened in big cities every day.  They
probably had laws against indecent exposure, though.  They did in
Ireland.  They sometimes even enforced them.  It was best to play it
cool from here on out.

       The girl took a seat and held her bookbag on her lap to better cover
herself,
and forced herself to breathe deeply and calmly.  Everything was fine, she
repeated in her mind.  I'm not really running around in my underwear, I'm
just
part of a new trend.  You haven't heard of it?  Your loss.  It's all the rage
in Britain.

Or perhaps in Superhero World. Just ask Wonder Woman. Ditto with Fanservice
World, Love Hina World, or any Fic World that has Jose Argao as an author.

It's the old theorem:  If you can't see anyone else, they can't see
you!  If you're not embarrassed, then neither are viewers.

       The bus was indeed one that would eventually take Terra home, but it
looked
like it was going the long way around.

Gee, I wonder why.

It's more painful that way. ^_^

       Something terrible burned inside her; a blackness beyond blackness of
roiling
anger spilled across her mind like an unholy fog.

Uh-oh. It's 'overwhelming anime girl powers whenever they're wronged' coupled
with Sue powers. I feel sorry for the idiot who did that.

How fortunate that this particular idiot is indestructible. ^_^

Was this what some older women sometimes spoke
of?  The righteous indignation of a girl who had been wronged in such a
manner?

Yeah, that's the one.

Terra's first time. How special it must make her feel! ^_^

       All she knew was she was even more embarrassed than ever when the
young man in
question fell back, crying out in pain.  "G-gomen nasai!" she cried out, her
ability to comprehend Japanese flickering in and out.

Heh.

If I've made a point about using as little Japanese as possible in the
'fic, I'll need a very good excuse to slip into it randomly now. ^^

       "OW!  OW!  OWWWW!" the high school boy continued to yell.

       "Grabbing that poor girl like that?!" a woman's voice exclaimed.
"DARLING NO
BAKA!!!"

Ah sou.

Yay cameos!

       Terra didn't know what a glomp was.  If asked a month ago, she'd have
said it
was some kind of really fat African hippo.  Nevertheless, a glomp was what
was
happening to her.

Fanservice for the fandom or making fun of fandom cliche? You decide, dear
reader. News at eleven.

Or am I perhaps merely using the cliche to forward the plot and by
doing so providing FFML fanservice?  The world may never know.

       The Chinese girl stiffened, then released her and moved away a little,
looking
hurt.  "Airen forget Shampoo?"  But then she looked at Terra a little closer
and said, "Oh!  Naked middle school girl not Airen.  I sorry.  Bai-bai!"  She
got back on her bicycle and went off.

A Shampoo cameo? No doubt, it's FFML fanservice.

'Course!  It's a Tradition!

       "That wasn't what I asked--ahh, very well.  If you're not taking them
out of
circulation, then at least give Terra her cut of the proceeds."

Sou ka.

Ojojojojojo!

       "Modeling is a respectable career choice," Kasumi pacified her
daughter.
"Given the circumstances, we'll just call this incident a case of
unintentional
'modeling.'"

O_o What a mom.

Quite quick to cut her losses and move on to re-establish peace and
harmony with the universe, eh?

       Terra checked them out.  While it was embarrassing to see herself in
that state
of undress, she did have to admit that the lighting was excellent, the angles
were superb, and they were comparatively tastefully done.

It's nice how everything worked out. O_o

Quite convenient.  A little TOO convenient.........

Ah yes. The eternally boggled expression is indeed a prerequisite of reading
NETTG. All in all, I'd say that this chapter of NETTG: TIT was the most
NETTG-est of the chapters so far, even with the dramatic 'Kill 'em all!'
cliffhanger in the end.

People assume that since a story is following one thread descending
down into angst that it won't hop right back out again.  I think I've
done that quite a lot in TinT.  Lots of highs and lows.

...oh dear, I've created a manic depressive fanfic!! XD

I guess I kind of got my groove back on with this chapter.  Finally,
back to the meat and potatoes!

       Kasumi covered up the receiver and said, "Oh, it's just the CEO of a
major
modeling company--you know, the one that does the high-grade professional
superstar idol singing that you've always dreamed of being a part of since
you
were little?  She says she was very impressed by your agent's presentation
and
thinks you're great, so she wants to interview you personally for a job next
Tuesday.  Are you interested?"

Wow. There was a time when I thought either Terra or S.L.K. was the
all-powerful, omnipotent, and reality-bending inserted character... till I got
the Arby experience. Jeez, he really does have a strange way of forwarding the
plot in a silly manner reminiscent of the characters in Alice in Wonderland,
the ol' Looney Tunes cartoons, or even the more contemporary animation, 2X2
Shinobuden.

ArbyFish tend to be like that.  Actually, his personality was derived
from lots of odd discussion and helped along with liberal readings of
the works of Lewis Carroll.  The goal is to have him fit in perfectly
well with the likes of the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat.

Onsokumaru: Feh.

Arby's just... silly, fun, and genuinely unpredictable, he/she/it is. I like.
^_^ But I will note that, unlike Onsokumaru, he actually gets away with it. For
good or for ill, that may be part of the reason why not so many people like the
Arbyfish, especially the Arbyfish of this fic's universe. A to the N to the C,
G. Word.

An ANC with a capital A.  Yes indeedy.  He gets no karmic balance
because he's kind of an entitiy in and of himself.  It's kind of like
Call of Cthulhu.  You can't win, the best you can do is delay, and
just to look upon him is to go mad.  No saving throws.

Cthulhu(glances down from the summoning circle back down upon the
expectant ArbyFish):  Uhh, nevermind.  Just... nevermind!  (goes back
down)

"Mom, I'm going upstairs.  I'll take a shower--I mean, long soak in the
bathtub, er, furo--and then I'm going to relieve my stress by destroying a
thousand worlds in one blast--

Heh. Sounds about right. Hell, my 'Mary Sue bullshit' detector didn't even go
off when Terra incidentally got a modeling contract because, hey, it's a nice
counterpoint and punch line to the evil that Arby has unleashed upon her.

The suffering has been completed.  Now the positive result can seep
back in.  The balance has been restored. ^_^

You've been doing well with setting up Terra's trials, conflicts, and
tribulations, Mr. Oliver. By doing so for the past (checks) five chapters, I'm
surprised to find myself actually looking forward to seeing Terra uncover her,
um, true monstrous self and her reality-bending, protagonist-killing,
antagonist-kowtowing powers. ^_^

Yay!  I'm glad it's worked out for you.  And... well, there's some
good scenes in future chapters.  Some scenes of gold, some scenes of
coal.  With the heat and pressure of the fans, perhaps we can turn
that coal into diamond.

I mean, I'm going to my room to sleep."  She
thought what she said.

Suggest: She thought about what she said.

Ah, right. Fixed in my copy.

       Terra looked out the window and saw some bright multicolored flashes
in the

Suggest: bright, multicolored

Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words, however, should be enclosed in commas.

All right.  Fixed in my copy.

       When Terra finished her transformation sequence, she dashed out to the
car and
seatbelted

Suggest: seat-belted

All right.  Changed in my copy.

       The streets were surprisingly empty, especially near the airport.
Kasumi was
able to drive straight up to the terminal.  As Terra got out, she kissed her
daughter on the cheek and said, "Give 'em hell, sweetie.  I'll pick you up
afterwards.  Have fun fighting the Dark Kingdom!"

(snerk) Schyeah.

It's nice to have a supporting parent in times of troubles. ^_^

       "No, I have to help!"  Then Terra saw what the big deal was, and why
it was
such a desperate, losing struggle.  Not only had Jadeite come, but he'd also
brought friends.  There were three others, dressed similarly to him.

       "Kunzite!  Nephrite!  Zoicite!"

Ah. A very interesting plot point. I guess it does make sense that the girls
are all about to die. The Shittenou, when working together, are certainly more
powerful than, say, the Doom and Gloom Girls. It's a very interesting plot
point indeed. Not as ridiculous and memorable as the mental image of Jadeite
firing off a Kame Hame Ha at the senshi, but it's a more logical, serious, and
believable turn of events, all things considered.

It's a down-to-Earth solution in an otherwise ridiculous story.  What
might the generals do if they were smart?  Team up and take down the
enemy, that's what.

Chibimoon shouted without thinking first.  She
covered her mouth.  It had been another one of those cases of ideas and names
coming straight from her mind without asking her for permission to think
them.

       The tall one with silver hair--Kunzite--smiled evilly at her and said,
"You
know our names.  Good!  Then we won't waste time with petty introductions."

I'm glad _that_ worked out.

:D  For convenience sake in the story and for simplicity of paragraphs!

Sailor Venus (Ronin Summer): But without the introductions, it'll take them
forever to figure things out!

^_^  No time to think this time around.  Time to kill.

       "Our queen wants you all dead," the shorter effeminate one added.
"But since
you're here, there's still there's time for a little fun.

Revise: there's still there's --> there's still (delete second 'there's') or
there's (delete 'there's still')

Gah!  How DID that slip through?  I was probably doing the chapter and
edits past midnight again.  (glances at clock)  I'll never learn, will
I? ^_^

Fixed in my copy.

	"Our queen wants you all dead," the shorter effeminate one added.
"But since you're here, there's still time for a little fun.  Now
watch your friends die, you powerless little coward."

       Terra's heart pounded frantically when she saw each of the generals
take a
position in front of each of the trapped girls, hands raised and gathering
spheres of energy.  "NO!!!"

The Shittenou: All together now... BIG BANG ATTACK!

KABOOOOOM!!! :D

       In front of Sailor Moon, Zoicite cackled madly and threw her attack at
the
defenseless girl.  The resulting explosion blew a hole through Usagi's chest,
leaving her quite effectively dead.

       Nephrite fired next, leaving Jupiter in much the same state.

       Kunzite and Jadeite didn't hesitate, killing the two remaining Sailor
Soldiers.

~DundunDUUUUUN!!!~

And then they all died!

But it was just a dream...

But the dream was real!

Mhmhmhmhmhmhmhm.  T_T

Y'know, incidentally, the impact would have been much greater if you didn't
spoil the surprise in the author's note in the beginning. That's _exactly_ the
reason why I usually put my author's note in the end, and also why I prefer
author's notes put in the end.

Hmm... Shall that be a suggestion, then?  I can dump in my notes and
rants at the end from now on. :D

But will that improve things or does it help to "frame" stuff at the
beginning of a chapter?  Ah well...  I'll consider putting my notes at
the end.  Or perhaps at the beginning as well.  Notes for all and all
around!

       The Dark Kingdom Generals--Terra could no longer think of them in such
a
playful way as "Negamafoozles"--grouped together for one final attack.

The Shittenou: All together now... GENKI DAMA!

Terra: (slips away and lives a normal, uneventful life as the generals take
exactly seventy-two years to create the powerful, planet-destroying orb)

Oh, the lovely days of DBZ where it took 10 episodes to fire off one shot... ^_^

       The giant combined blast sped towards her, and she made no move to get
out of
the way.  But, when it was just about to reach her, a giant man in green
camouflage armor--the Star Light Knight--jumped in front of her.

(muted trumpet playing) ~Mwawawaaaahhhh...~

S.L.K.: (raises an eyebrow)

Heh. Oops. Wrong soundtrack. My bad. (plays the correct one)

~DundunDUUUUUN!!!~

No savey-savey from Tuxedo Kamen this time.  It's all SLK from here, baby!

       S.L.K. blocked the blast head-on.  It was like it was nothing for him.
 Then he
picked scooped her up like a child and ran off, tossing armloads of grenades
behind him.

       In the resulting explosions, the four generals were unable to pursue.
Terra
didn't care what they were shouting in anger about.  She didn't resist being
held and carried off.  Nothing mattered anymore, with her friends gone.
Nothing.

Very apt ending. The most dramatic ending I've ever seen used in a NETTG fic,
or, heck, any of the fics you've made that I've read so far. I like the
difference.

Just trying to convince myself that I really do know how to handle
drama.  My researched results seem to think that it involves having
some trauma occur, have some agony about the trauma, and then leave it
unresolved. ^_^

Besides, lots of flavors in a story can keep one from getting bored.

Though... it does make me wonder/worry/whatnot about what'll happen
next. I for one am merely hoping that nothing contrived or unbelievable happens
in the following chapters.

Contrived or unbelievable?  In MY storylines?  Pfft, pfft, p'shaw...
Like I've ever done anything like that! ^_~

But then again, this is comedy, where anything is
possible as long as it's humorous and done in good fun. ^_^

Just relax and take the result as it comes. As far as the story's
concerned, I could have the Good Humor Man come and hand out ice cream
bars to revive everybody.  :)

But I feel it best to have Terra involved somehow.  And whatever her
solution involves, it had better hurt! ^_^

Sailor Nuke:  But she was tough, so she also got back at the guy who came
after
her.  So don't be cute.  Be tough!  Sailor Nuke sez.  BWAHAHAHAHAHAAA!

Sailor Kawaii:  And if you want to be happy and have a good job, be cute!
Sailor Kawaii says.  Tee-hee!

Sailor Gnu: Also remember, kids! No gnews is good gnews!

:D

Alrighty then. After hearing the running gag/tradition of parodying DIC's
Sailor Says segment care of Sailor Kawaii and Sailor Nuke, let's get this show
on the road. Broken Grammar Rules, yo!

Whee!  Broken grammar rules!  Ever met someone that thought "grammar"
was just an elderly relative?

Grammar Rule #0: Watch out for speling erors and typoes.

Yaaw!  Typoey-du.  Like slippery bunny.

Grammar Rule #21: Eliminate commas, that are, not necessary. Parenthetical
words, however, should be enclosed in commas.

I wonder, sometimes, how far it must go and how much I can strain it.
In most cases, it looks like rotating rules that haven't been
codified, so it's tough to tell when to put in a comma and when to
leave one out.

Grammar Rule #73: Compound-descriptors should be hyphenated, and non compound
descriptors should be separated.

Quite the noble Grizzly-Badger!

As for the story itself: Cameos galore this time around, but that's not the
important thing in this story, obviously. The major plot point and cliffhanger
in the end is where it's at... but we'll talk about that later. Right now,
let's focus on what happened before that: quite a lot, if you ask me.

Fast-forwarding the plot with "tell" can smooth over the uninteresting
bits significantly.  Enough "show" can help make the "tell" more
believable.

As I've
mentioned above, I love Terra's development as a character. To portray her as a
typical anime girl having an atypically bad day gives her more range and
believability, methinks. Conflict, Arbyfish, and situations that highlight a
character's personality is always good, methinks...

Thanks!  Getting an original character going properly is like
test-driving a car.  Sometimes you have to see the performance offroad
in the mud to see whether you buy it or not.

though the Arbyfish thing
may be taking it too far. :P

He is the ultimate counterbalance.  However much power she gains...
he'll be right there behind her shoving mushrooms down her ears to
tease her about it.

As for my worries about Terra's personality: She's pretty unremarkable as an
anime girl otherwise, but when you put typical anime girl together with
suffering and uber-powers, you have quite the mixture. ^^; My point? To hell
with her supposed personality, Terra's whole situation as a whole is what makes
her interesting and exciting to read. ^_^

I guess she's a kind of Tenchi after all.  It's not so much the
character as it is what goes on around her.  ^^

As for the uber-plotbunny in the end:

Plot-bunny-du?  Yaaw, very plotbunny.  Smooth like shaved plot bunny.

it's interesting, it's cool, it may be
construed as a cheap ploy to garner reader reaction (hence the mention of it at
the beginning of the fic),

I figure readers have seen everything.  I don't expect them to bat an
eyelash when everbody dies and things go horribly for a while.  The
story proceeds regardless.  If it's believable, so much the better and
it can have a greater impact.

Perhaps it would have been better if I blindsided readers with it.
But I got this focus group feedback, y'see, and they recommended
warning people about impending darkness.  I try to follow the advice
of whatever feedback I get, and if that's what they're saying, then
might as well do it.

but what the hell, it worked anyway. :P Usually, if
I were in 'super-critic mode' and if I weren't having so much fun reading this
particularly well-executed plot point, I'd say that the characters weren't
given enough screen time/time to fully show to the reader their respective
personality to give their deaths much payoff, thus there's wasted potential for
drama/angst/whatnot.

Yeah, let's talk about that for a sec.  What kind of angst and drama
could we include if we gave more screen time to their deaths?  Would
that involve gory blood and organ descriptions?  Would it be better to
have some dying dialogue as Usagi's life slips away in Terra's
arms...?

Usagi(head cradled in Terra's lap):  Terra-chan... I've never said
this before, but... I always loved you!  Kiss me, Terra!  Kiss me one
last time!

Terra(recoils and drops the dying girl's head onto the pavement):  Gyeeeh!

Basically, I'm interested in this angst and drama of which you speak.
How would such a thing be implemented?

Also, I'd comment about how, as per usual, Ms. Junior Sue
is the only one left standing and how, at last, S.L.K. has finally shed his
hesitance at using his author-provided powers to trounce the Shittenou's
attacks like they were nothing at all. Then again, there comes a time when you
have to just shut up and accept the fact that this is NETTG, so it's Terra's
story, S.L.K.'s moment to shine, and the canon protagonists are indeed the foil
this time around.

Tidus:  This is MY story!

Terra(whines):  But I'm the title character!

Tidus:  Shh!

And Terra is left the last one standing, since she didn't come...
Somehow, it's all her fault that everyone died!  Mwahahaha.

With that in mind, I say this story rocks. Can't wait to see
what happens to our (now-angsty, as typical of a teen her age) young heroine
Terra, as well as her alter-ego/s S.L.K.

Lots of weird things.  Wouldn't be one of my stories if it wasn't
rather unusual...

Then again, maybe it's time for a bit of drama.

In regards to Terra's original form, I can't help but wonder... will there come
a time when Terra becomes Metallia-like and Sailor Moon has no choice but to
face this force-of-nature version of Ms. Incognita a la what Queen Serenity did
in the flashback parts of NETTG: The Early Years? Rhetorical question, that.

A rhetorical question deserves a rhetorical answer!

Mushrooms, m'boy!  Mushrooms!

Final note: It's curious that S.L.K. didn't join the fray from the get go. Lots
of questions unanswered, as typical of a Dallas-type cliffhanger chapter. Well,
whatever the case, keep on writing. See you on the next chapter.

There's a reason for it.  There's a reason for everything, even if the
reason was that it was two o'clock in the morning and I was dying to
get the chapter done and out of my hair.  There's usually a reason.

Thanks a bunch for the detailed review!  I appreciate it and the time
it takes to put it together.  I mean, it's taken me a couple hours
just to reply to it, so I can imagine the initial review.  Thank you
very much for the review and commentary on the story!

-- Benjamin A Oliver benjamin.a.oliver@gmail.com Master of Science in Management Information Systems Eller College of Management University of Arizona Writings: Fan Fiction http://boliver.florestica.com/ Webcomic: Nuke 'Em 'Till They Glow!! The Early Years http://nettg.com "Proofreading? What's that? Can you eat it?" .---Anime/Manga Fanfiction Mailing List----. | Administrators - ffml-admins@anifics.com | | Unsubscribing - ffml-request@anifics.com | | Put 'unsubscribe' in the subject | `---- http://ffml.anifics.com/faq.txt -----'