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The Bright Green Dot: Coughdrop

 
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hboff
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: The Bright Green Dot: Coughdrop Reply with quote

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The Bright Green Dot: Coughdrop
Posted by 4642 Elitist Bastard (4642eb@googlemail.com)
28 May 2009, 2:49 pm

http://halosn.bungie.org/fanfic/?story=4642_Elitist0528091449531.html
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eb4642
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just before anyone leaves a review, I might as well drop an author's note in here.

Put simply, this is set just after the ending of The Fall of Reach (i.e. before the epilogue, just after they jumped to Slipspace out of the Reach system). It's going to focus primarily on the narrator's perception of the Chief and how he interacts with him after the Reach disaster (remember that at this point, the Chief thinks he is the last Spartan still active.)

I'm intending to publish this weekly, and it's around four chapters long (plus the epilogue). Hopefully that'll keep the story count above nil for the next couple of weeks.

I'm also very pleased to have had this beta-read by an author on another site, whose Love of a Spartan story (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4589589/1/Love_of_a_Spartan), while probably not being everyone's cup of tea, has one of the most realistic characterisations of the Master Chief I've seen. (There's a bit towards the end that heavily influenced parts of my story, if you take a look. It's chapter 41 in FanFiction.net's system, the first part.)

Anyway... that's all I have to say. Commence slinging mud and rotten fruit at your convenience.
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UNSC Trooper
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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2009 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was okay; the concept of your narrator sharing his room with the Master Chief is intriguing in itself. But I thought you concentrated on your dialogue a bit too much. That's not a bad thing, but with characters like the Chief and Captain Keyes, the more you describe their attitudes the more thrilling the story gets and helps people identify with the feel of Combat Evolved and The Flood. This is your first chapter, so I think the dialogue issue can be solved as you write the series.

I can't complain much on the way you portrayed the Chief. His usual easy-going attitude is almost completely present here, and you didn't overuse him like other authors do, so that's definitely a plus.

You had some minor GPS errors, but they're things you can just fix in the editing phase.

I really like these sort of canon-expanding stories, so I look forward to the next installments. Wink
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2009 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Liked it, but Chief's rants on paper--him scribbling away at night to vent and rage--seems very out of character. I suppose its not the fact that he's doing such things that's so surprising, but rather, the tone with which he writes, and the content as well.

Quote:
August 30th 2552 I think

We've now jumped to Slipspace, away from Reach, heading for some place in the middle of nowhere because of the Cole protocol. Of course, they'll have followed us so we'll end up having to do another jump and another and another and another

I HATE IT. I JUST HATE IT.

They were all still on Reach so theyre dead: Kelly Vinh Anton Fred Joshua Halsey I cant remember the others. Dead gone murdered by covenant.

I killed them i might as well have shot them i am an idiot i shouldnt have sent them down there i should be the dead one.

I AM EVIL


No problem at all with the GPS errors, since they were intentional (meant to simulate the Chief's bad grammarz). However, all this guilt--while we can all agree that John has gone through some tough-ass shit, nowhere thus far in canon has he shown such signs, that is, of substantial dissatisfaction with his current situation. The biggest problem I have with it, I suppose, is that the tone and content of the Chief's paper sounds like nothing more than a high school kid going emo.

Still, the story is interesting. Will look forward to more.
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kr1
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were flaws here, but you get a shitload of points for originality. My biggest complaint seems to be the popular one: the Chief's note would've been great if it stopped right at I AM EVIL. Loved the bit with the coughdrop You'd expect someone to know that, but it makes sense the Chief doesn't.

One incredibly nit picky thing: the Chief isn't MCPO of the Navy. That's Halopedia fanon that's never been removed. That'd make him THE senior enlisted man in the Navy, which he isn't. So just be careful with what you get off of Halopedia. Wink
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eb4642
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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2009 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kr-1426 wrote:
One incredibly nit picky thing: the Chief isn't MCPO of the Navy. That's Halopedia fanon that's never been removed. That'd make him THE senior enlisted man in the Navy, which he isn't. So just be careful with what you get off of Halopedia. Wink


Aha... whoops! It was only afterwards that I remembered the 'of the Navy' rank was posthumous (or, at least, after the Ark, when everyone assumes he's dead). Oh, well. Another one to add to the 'ever-increasing list of things to fix when I go back and revise it' - the Chief's rant-come-note being another one of them.

(Another incredibly Aspergerian notion: this one is being written using the American English dialect, as opposed to my native British dialect, because Floyd is from an Americanised culture. Over here, we call coughdrops 'throat sweets'. Ten billion bonus points and an imaginary item of confectionery (mentholated or otherwise) of your choice if you manage to spot the extremely obscure cultural reference I sneaked in.)

I do agree that the Chief's rant was far too long. I generally go through stories once I've finished them anyway, revise them, typeset them and stick them up on the 'net as a PDF, so I'll deal with it then.

Thanks for all the kind words (although I still think Sev deserved the Pick of the Week...) Wink
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kr1
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

eb4642 wrote:
Aha... whoops! It was only afterwards that I remembered the 'of the Navy' rank was posthumous (or, at least, after the Ark, when everyone assumes he's dead).


I'm curious what the source on that is. MCPO of the Navy is an administrative rank current day, more or less, and Bungie usually sticks to the current day US military structure.

But RE: Sev, you two have a very different tone, enought that it depends on what the reviewer's looking for when he chooses. I had the same thing going last week with Sev and Jake. So no need for modesty, you had what Chuckles was looking for this week. Wink
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kabu
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 1:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shit. This is why I should have started my reviewing yesterday. Pretty much everything I wanted to say has been said, including the "MCPO of the Navy" bit. Basically, I thought the way you portrayed the Chief was brilliant. Everything in his life has been so controlled and set up so perfectly that he's never learned how to be a human (which includes things like coughdrops too). It makes sense that he'd have all sorts of crazy going on under the surface, especially with the trauma of loosing the rest of the Spartans. People seem to think that the letter was too long, but I don't know, I thought it was great.

You really don't need a "to be continued" at the end, though.
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SeverianofUrth
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 4:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I do agree that the Chief's rant was far too long. I generally go through stories once I've finished them anyway, revise them, typeset them and stick them up on the 'net as a PDF, so I'll deal with it then.


Man, that's some dedication, bro. Laughing

To tell you the truth, seeing as how no one else had a real problem with his rant, think it's just a personal pet peeve of mine. It just doesn't jive with what I think Chief would say.

Still, congratulations!
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 01, 2009 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it makes a lot of sense. Decades of fighting alongside the other Spartans - essentially his familly - that is some major survivor's guilt right there. In my opinion, Nylund could have done a lot more with the character, and I like this interpretation.
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Arthur Wellesley
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I saw that Sev was up against a bunch of unfamiliar names, I took it for granted that he'd win. While I'm thankful the decision wasn't mine, this was certainly close. Congratulations on your win.

I really liked this. Your narrative was really well put together, especially in the first part. Mostly dialogue with short, punchy lines tying it together. While the narrative became the greater part of the story in the more introspective second half, you more or less kept this style. It was well done; very readable and well personalized to the main character.

This story was really made by its details. The portrayal of the Chief during his first meeting with Floyd was really well done. He was like a machine with circuits not firing; his mind was broken, hinting at emotion that he simply couldn't or wouldn't display. It was a more powerful portrayal of the Chief emotions than if he'd broken down, firstly because it's in character, and secondly because he's trying so hard to keep it in.

The coughdrop sequence was really great, too. Floyd doing it out a sort of desperation, the Chief unfamiliar with the concept of lozenges, and then receiving it with quiet thanks... a very understated moment of bonding and characterization that I just love. Other little details, such as:

Quote:
Cortana probably knew about the full contents of my home folder already (and that of every other person on the ship), but she was usually relatively lax.


really sold me on your version of the Haloverse.

Now, to the elephant in the room: the letter. Yes, I must also say that it was simply too long. Ending it at "I AM EVIL" would have been the prudent course, leaving it ambiguous as to whether the Chief was simply guilty or going mad. It would have enhanced the enigmatic aura you described. Then we got a litany of inelegant bitching, which transformed the enigma into a bit of a whiner.

It's certainly not ruined for me - I quite enjoyed this, and am interested in seeing where you take it - but you could have handled it better.

Overall - a very impressive entry. I'll be watching for your name from now on. Good work.

- Arthur
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