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Old 02-15-2014, 10:31 PM   #1383
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The Legendary Zhuge Liang II

Continuation of the previous piece: The troubles are only beginning.

Worries quite a lot Zhou Yu is disordered, it should be worries Zhou Yu quite a lot.

Unless something changes, don't bother to repeat descriptions; as an example, you have the main character carrying a fan, and later with the same fan. Unless it is a different fan, it is just extra unnecessary words. Remember the axiom is use small words instead of long words, and few words rather than many.

Killing the suborned body guard made sense, but wouldn't it have been better to put him in Zhuge Liang's bed so they stab the body? Also, even though he knows of the plan, would it not make more sense to capture at least one of the Assassins so that he has physical proof of the plan for a later use?

A perfect example of this is an old episode of the TV show the Untouchables named the Masterpiece where a professional killer named Pittsburgh Phil comes to town with orders to murder a gunsmith. Ness warns the man that the killer has come for him, and the gunsmith makes a silencer which he demonstrates to Phil as to how silent it is. Then a bit later, gives the killer a copy of the silencer.

However the silencer is just a hollow tube, and when the Phil decides to use it to kill his target in a crowded speakeasy with Ness observing, the noise is not muffled, so Ness literally catches him in the act killing his target with the gun in his hand.

Of course the episode ins pure fiction. Pittsburgh Phil, better known as Harry Strauss was executed for an entirely different crime.

The Legendary Zhuge Liang III

Continuation of the previous piece: The final battle approaches, and more than military skill is needed.

Again, confusing sentence structure. 'the beautiful and skilled in swordsmanship and zither, Xiao Qiao' would make more sense written with her name in the previous sentence, as follows using just what has been clipped, 'Xiao Qiao. Not only beautiful but skilled both in swordsmanship and zither.'.

The piece is confusing. You're going from actual military tactics (The chain link makes sense in creating a bridge); the Romans who were excellent infantry but only mediocre sailors used the same basic presence by mounting ramps on the bows of their ships that slammed down and immediately created a bridge to attack across. But then you devolve into magic and mysticism. The main character is going to save the day and his mortal enemy.

Endings and Reunions

Side story to the story arc from last week: Revan and Bastila reunite in the Force

One thing, pirates live by their profits not only from cargoes, but also ship itself, if they can man it. So any shooting they do would be to disable so they can board. In the SW universe, they would have been using ion cannon more likely to temporarily disable the systems rather than turbolasers.

The only other negative was also the cutest part, that in the Force it's a lot like the Christian version of Heaven.

It reminded me of a joke. A lawyer dies, and goes to heaven the same day the pope does, so he's standing behind the late Pontiff. Both are escorted to a huge hotel, and the pope gets a little room like you'd expect in a nice hotel. The lawyer is led back to the elevator, which shoots up, and here he is ushered into one of those Penthouse suites you sometimes see.

“Wait,' he asks. “The Pope got some little room, and I get all this?”

“Sure.” His guide replies. “Just about every pope ended up here, but so far, you're only the third Lawyer to make it.”

Very nice ending

Pick of the Week


TSL on Dantooine after the death of the Masters: Eleima has some quiet time with Atton

For a first ever fan fic, it's very well done. A slice of life most don't even consider. In my own Return From Exile they were too busy getting ready for the run to Telos, so taking just a moment to look at the stars never even occurred to me.

Pick of the Week
Knight of the Old Republic: The Dark Lord
Kianda Daemon

Beginning at Malachor V: Revan prepares for the new war

The piece is a bit confusing because Revan appear to be just on the cusp of becoming the dark lord at the start. His intent to slaughter all of the enemy troops remaining even after killing Manda'lor doesn't make a lot of sense.

When I review, I use what I have learned, and one of my special studies through my life is military history. While just about everyone remembers the quote by William (Bull) Halsey from Tora! Tora! Tora! where he says 'when this war is over, the only place they will speak Japanese is in hell', that was at the start of the war, and he didn't order Caedite Eos (A portion of a phrase from the Albigensian Crusade. Better remembered for the American version a reporter claimed was used during Vitenam; [Kill them all] and let god sort it out) during his campaigns in the Pacific.

His actions crippling all of the remaining enemy warships makes even less sense. As my name sake (Properly spelled Machiavelli) said, 'never do your enemy a minor injury'. All he would have done is assured that a century or so later the Mando'a would return to get even. It is unthinking actions like this that create slogans for war such as 'remember the Maine!' or 'Remember the Alamo!'.

I used the same premise, albeit in reverse in my Family of Choice, where after the fact, Revan discovers that the atrocity she used to convince her followers was one committed by her own side, then blamed on the enemy.

Juhani and Belaya

Post KOTOR: Two friends reunite, and decide what they mean to each other

The piece covers one possibility few had thought of. As the author pointed out, there is no list of who did get killed when the temple of Dantooine was destroyed, and since we only know of the ones dealt with directly, such a list would not be hard to work out. But those few would not be the only Jedi, even masters, assigned.

As for the interaction between the two, I understand both sides of the discussion, and have always wondered why they hadn't 'pulled a Jolee' as Bradwart, one of the authors I have recently reviewed called it.

Celibacy makes sense for a priest as with the Catholic Church because after a certain point, you have to remove countervailing responsibilities. But it isn't the norm if you consider every modern codified religion. Considering just the Roman Catholics it has been where you can't be married, but having mistresses has been winked at through history.

So the bar is primarily because it is against their teachings, which Belaya uses as an excuse, and Juhani's master (Revan) saying never take the first no as an answer, is hers. So they do find a middle ground at last.

Revelations and Realizations

Companion piece to Endings and Reunions: Cade goes through the same process

My primary disagreement is with the idea that joining the Force is like heaven and hell, with Cade going to Limbo.

I am not a Christian, (a choice I made for myself over 35 years ago) because the entire cant of most organized religions is pretty much 'do it our way or go to hell'. Since every religion except for my present one seems to follow this, I have been unwilling to join a mainstream church. So their ideas of what comes after death are tainted by that.

If you are a Christian, my question is (And I am not the only one to ever ask the question) why does a god you claim loves all of his children create a place of eternal torment? Especially when the church itself is constantly changing what is defined as right and wrong? As a simple explanation of that argument, the Catholic Church of the 11th Century would try and convict you for heresy if you said a witch had magical powers, and less than a century later, would try you again for the same crime if you said they didn't?

So stripping him of his Force connection, then blinding him makes no sense.


Ten years Post KOTOR, follow on to the previous story arc: A gift for their daughter

The piece, like all of this author's work to date, has been well done. The idea that they are talking about letting the girl enter the order was fun, and the only thing I really wonder about is how close her version of the Exile (Teren) got to Visas...

Pick of the Week

Ambushed on the Landing Pad

TSL on Nar Shaddaa: The outnumbered crew faces their biggest challenge

The piece is short and sweet. The only negative I would have is having them meekly surrender, though having not only people on the ramp but also in the air forcing the issue made sense.

A Space Heater?

KOTOR aboard Ebon Hawk: The heating system is down... Whatever will we do?

The piece snuck up on me and smacked me upside the head. The one thing I enjoy is when that happens, which is why Josh Whelan is one of my favorite writer/producers at the moment. The scene was a lot of fun, and having the author's idea that Carth is now Helena's 'space heater' was just icing on the cake.

Tied for Best of the Week


KOTOR Starting on Endar Spire: The main character struggles to survive and escape

Technical note, Grenades: Modern grenades still do have pins, but as more than one author has pointed out, it's a movie affectation to pull the ring with your teeth. The cotter pin that holds down the safety lever is bent far enough to assure it will not be pulled accidentally. In real life, you'd probably break your teeth doing so.

A better design (and after 25000 years, there would have been) is to use a small knob factory set at a safe mark that is first turned to a timing mark, then depressed so that you have a delay you choose, since the only reason for the pin is to assure the striker doesn't hit the blasting cap and arm it. A grenade as I have described with a dial and timer has been a staple of science fiction for about thirty years.

There was actually an impact fused grenade tested by the Americans during WWII where a grip safety was part of it, and it was shaped like a baseball because of our love of the game. Since it was lighter (About the weight of a softball) and would be easier to aim, it could be thrown accurately through a window or open door for example.

The safety kept the grenade from arming for three seconds, and unless it was released for that full time, it didn't arm. Unfortunately the man demonstrating it was a semi professional pitcher who had a habit of tossing the ball in the air and catching it. As the reps for the manufacturer were explaining what he was going to do, he was tossing it higher and higher, until the grenade activated before he caught it, with predictable results.

The main character was an interesting contrast in herself. A scout logically would feel more comfortable with an edged weapon considering the specialty, after all, the job is to get in, get the information, and get back out unnoticed if possible. But having her also like to make things go boom was an amusing quirk. A pity I couldn't read further than chapter one, it was getting interesting when I find she's almost as paranoid as Carth.

Follow your bliss and destroy the beauty

Rewrite of TSL: A returning Revan finds that things have not gotten better since she left...

The primary negative I had (I was only able to read a chapter in) is that all this does at the start is follow the basic story of the original TSL with Revan instead of the Exile.

Admittedly, there isn't a lot of choices the character would have beyond following through that same basic story until the escape to Telos, so this is not a ding on the style or subject, just a comment.

It would get really interesting once they do leave Peragus, since Carth would know who she was, as would Manda'lor.

The one thing she would have that the Exile did not would be she is already fully connected to the Force, and doesn't need to be as tightly linked to Kreia, since Force links were not (according to the story so far) something she was renowned for.

No Matter What
Val Perham

TSL on Dxun: Sometimes you need someone to talk to

The piece is heavy with bad old memories. The Exile (Deirdre) comes across as a bit sarcastic, but when someone describes you as Bao-Dur did, it makes sense, and his explanation is very well done.

The Other Perspective

KOTOR: Seen from Malak's POV

Since it is so short, I read it all. My question is this:

Why haven't you continued it? The version of Malak here is deliciously evil, and his punishment of the spy choice. I especially liked his comment that he had only asked Bandon's opinion.

The only negative I had was calling his ship a star destroyer.

Brava! Encore!

Tied for Best of the Week

'To argue with those who have renounced the use and authority of reason is as futile as to administer medicine to the dead.' Now who said that?

From the one who brought you;
What we die for...
KOTOR excerpts
Star Wars: The Beginning
Star Wars: Republic Dawn
Return From Exile
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