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The Sharp Edge of a Knife: Part 3 of 3

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:15 pm    Post subject: The Sharp Edge of a Knife: Part 3 of 3 Reply with quote

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The Sharp Edge of a Knife: Part 3 of 3
Posted by Arthur Wellesley (arthur_wellesly@hotmail.com)
4 August 2006, 4:44 am

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=Arthur_Welle0804060444551.html
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Author's Note -

I apologize for the late posting. I had been so intent on having three chapters in three weeks, but, as usual, I got sidetracked.

The ending I left intetionally vague, though likely the intended meaning will become clear at face value. I did, however, leave many hints throughout this series that would make clearer the events that unfolded. Perhaps the most obvious is Ahmed's last name, but there are an abundance of more subtle, more telling clues elsewhere.

In any case, please enjoy the story. I look forward to any feedback.

- Arthur
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Zombie
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2006 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

fantastic sir, i've read all three of this series and absolutely loved it. the amount of detail you put into your writing is incredible, always has been.

i noticed only one spelling error. "Beyond the myriad frosted windows of the rows of barracks was nothing was a deep blackness, belying the life and vigor that once inhabited the long halls."

simple mistake, obviously should've been 'but'. i look forward to reading more stories of yours in the future.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arthur Wellesley wrote:
Author's Note -

I apologize for the late posting. I had been so intent on having three chapters in three weeks, but, as usual, I got sidetracked.
Don't worry about posting late. If it's worth the wait, it can be posted late.
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Silent
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amazing, as always. It is great to read a story so detailed and creative as this one. I particularly enjoyed the dismal, cold ambiance that encompased anything and everything about this story.

I have a couple of questions though. How does the prophet know of Ahmed's destiny? I'm sure it is intended to be a mystery, but I can't imagine any possible explanation. Also, will there be a follow-up series with Miriam's son? Perhaps he could be inducted as a Spartan 3, in the same class as Nicole from DOA4 and Jasmine (Durga) from I Love Bees. Just a suggestion. Keep up the great work. Looking forward to your future endeavors, as always.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A sincere thanks for your compliment, Zombie. Good eye for the mistake, too... a little careless on my part Embarassed

And thank you, Silent. As for the Prophet knowing his destiny... again, I intentionally left it vague. However, he does mention the "scriptures", which means his existence was prophesized to some degree by the Forerunner. After all, the firings happened once before at least...

And this will be the end of the series, I'm afraid, though thank you for the interest.

- Arthur
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Mark25
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one did not grip me the way the other two chapters did, as soon as I read 'never bred' I knew where this was going and I really wish it didn't. It all came together or rather for me fell apart with this one.

Quote:
Beyond all odds, beyond what seemed possible, they had survived.


...indeed...

*sigh* Review next week but I'm not a happy bunny. Of all the views, of all the directions, you had to romanticise this one. Shame cos I was liking your writing.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, Mark. I did have all this planned from the first, though; the symbolism, the references, and the fate. As so much of the Halo universe seems based on destiny, I thought it appropriate to make a story where it is prevalent. Usually I deal with more earthly plots, but this is my first attempt to tackle allegory.

I look forward to your review.
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russ687
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, quite frankly, your writing was top notch. The flow was very good almost everywhere, and I couldn't find any notable GPS errors. The pace seemed fast to me, but you had a lot to cover, so I wasn't distracted by that fact. If you had slowed down any bit, you may have had to make two chapters of this, so no real complaint here.

Because I really can't see a point in discussing your writing (you did quite well on all technical points), let me get into the plot a little. From the minute Ahmed suggested blowing up a nuke under the cruiser, I thought either he had gone mad or you were leaving something out. I remember the same tactic being used by the Spartans in one of the official Halo books, and it took all their skill just to get near the Covenant ship; you had them drive right up to it. Where were the Banshee patrols? The ground patrols? Moreover, it doesn't take a patrol for them to be detected, so I was a little unbelieving on how easy it was for them to get right under that ship. All in all, I think the Covenant arrived far too late, but at least they arrived.

I see a point with the mine aspect, forgetting the fact that one megaton is puny compared to what humans have tried to use in the past. I see the sacrifice Ahmed is willing to take, accepting responsibility for this being his plan, willing to allow the others a chance to escape at the price of his life; it was a good point you didn't spend enough time on. Its parts like these that can really help make a story great, and if it was space you were concerned about, I would have cut out some stuff back at the Marine base. Most of me didn't care how they got the nuke, just that they got it, but I did want to see more of some interaction between Ahmed and Simon.

Moving on. I thought it was bizarre that the prophet knew anything about Ahmed's past. Sure, it was intriguing to learn that our main character was almost a supersoldier, but how did that prophet know? I was scratching my head trying to think how you may have thought this out, but nothing rational came to mind. The prophet's dialogue was well done, and I felt it go far deeper than the story went, but I was distracted by,
You wrote:
"Ah, but you do remember now, don't you? It should have been you. You were the first."

If telepathy is your answer to how the alien could have known this...

The ending I thought was perfect. Ahmed dies, gone forever, and his lover survives on the only shuttle that would ever make it off that planet, but that's not it. She's pregnant. So, our beloved Ahmed lives on in his offspring. I thought that was a good, thoughtful ending, but even more important was that you gave the scene I troubled about you last chapter some purpose—a reason to actually be there. I can't say I would've thought it to be completely unnecessary if I had known the ending, but I still have some reservations. Nonetheless, you tied that point up nicely.

Overall, this was good. I think your writing was better than the plot (sorry to say that, but you had excellent writing and somewhat milder plot), and it did seem a little cliché in some spots. I was caught off guard where you took your story, which partly contributed to my outlook on the plot, but nonetheless you tied this all up. I'm also simply happy to see you finally complete a series, so brownie points right there.

Whatever you've got next, I'll be reading it. Don't wait long to get going, because I know you've got some really good ideas.

-R
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2006 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your comment is very generous, russ. Thank you. Smile

To clarify: this is a story about destiny. In the Covenant scriptures, as part of what they believe, there is a story about a select group of heroes that will stand in their way to the Great Journey. In the story this is only hinted at, and perhaps I should have made it more clear. In any case, the Covenant were very interested in the Spartans, perceiving them to be these prophesized threats. Therefore, they found out everything there was to know about the Spartan program. When they saw that Ahmed was the perfect subject, they knew it was he that was meant to be the leader of the heroes. They also saw as part of the report that he was not able to enter the project because of his accident. This was based on the fact that in Fall of Reach, the Covenant were obviously able and intent to study humanity, as they already knew English at First Contact.

As I said, I made it intentionally vague, as it was all simply meant to be guided by fate alone. I left various hints as to what was happening just under the surface throughout. To name a few:

Ahmed TEMSIK --- KISMET (fate, fortune)

Ephrath - the original name of Bethlehem

Miriam - the original name of the Virgin Mary

Simon - Simon the Zealot, one of the 12 apostles

Ahmed - a name which means "most highly praised"

There are others, too. Suffice to say, Ahmed was the chosen one, and the Covenant found this out by a combination of their scriptures and prophecies as handed down by the Forerunner and by examining human records.

In fact, I had another story out along the same lines some time ago called Temperance and Fury. Basically, that the Prophets receive, or claim to receive, visions, though they are often woefully misinterpreted.

I hope that clears things up a bit, for those interested.

As for my next series, it will probably not come out this week but next week.

Thanks for the comment.

*Edit - Oh, yea, and I totally finished a series before: are we forgetting my (previously thought to be unforgettable) series "The Siege of Palatine"? Huh? That was finished too! Razz

- Arthur
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russ687
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2006 2:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I caught almost none of your hints. I wonder if I should be embarrased... wait, I have an excuse!
Arty wrote:
In the Covenant scriptures, as part of what they believe, there is a story about a select group of heroes that will stand in their way to the Great Journey.

I have no clue where you got this from. Covenant scriptures? Definently something I would know nothing about.

Arty wrote:
*Edit - Oh, yea, and I totally finished a series before: are we forgetting my (previously thought to be unforgettable) series "The Siege of Palatine"? Huh? That was finished too!


No, some kid named "Wellington" wrote that series. Don't plagiarize. Wink

-R
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