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October 12th, 2017, 5:17 pm #136

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Blastinus
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Joined: September 19th, 2008, 8:57 pm

October 12th, 2017, 6:16 pm #137

Eddie Serjeantson is an example of a Dodd character who doesn't revolve around Dodd, which means that he actually has personality. Is that a good thing? Yeh...Maybe? I've already talked about Sarge and his really weird speaking habits, but let's focus on that a little more. The guy's a history buff who has a jock-esque appearance but is actually smart. And I guess that Dodd wanted to manifest that in him doing a lot of rapid-fire banter. Is it jarring and tonally-dissonant? I don't know. It could just be a guy trying to deal with a stressful scenario by bantering his way through it in order to stay sane. It's hard to tell, because his story doesn't last long enough to answer that question.

We've seen a good chunk of Sarge's story because of following Glenn, so let's just skip to something important that he does at the Gazebo. Given what we know of Jacob Starr, it wouldn't be a surprise that Sarge decides to pragmatically take him on. What follows is a long OOC argument on the nature of bullet-dodging and how it relates to GMing that leaves Eddie on the run from Jacob and separated from Glenn's group. Running literally into Miranda Grey, he once again acts pragmatically and cautiously, telling her to lose her weapon. The back and forth between them, since they're exes, is both sarcastic and ribbing, and I really enjoyed the banter. Neither of them truly trust the other and have some bad vibes from their previous relationship, but the situation of the island necessitates putting that aside and working together.

Coming into a heated argument in a very chaotic scene, Eddie finds it all very amusing, and I'm kinda loving the guy. He's taking the situation seriously enough, but he's actually got a sense of humor and is trying to find the good side of things. It's too bad that he's about to be murderbush'd. Yes, it's that thread. He kicks the rock into the bush all casual-like and Daphne springs forth with the stabbing, putting an early and ignominious end to this strange guy. It's a shame, because we don't get a clear picture of who he is beyond his joking and his pragmatism. Considering how doom and gloom the rest of V1 was, he could have been a good comic relief.

Oh well, can I get another?
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October 12th, 2017, 6:23 pm #138

Blastinus: Angelina Kaige
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October 12th, 2017, 7:10 pm #139

D-D-D-ODDSTREAK
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Blastinus
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October 12th, 2017, 7:42 pm #140

Now for something completely different. As a weird twist midway through the game, it was revealed that three of Danya's terrorist henchmen had accidentally turned on the PA system while reading fanfiction on their computers. As punishment for making Danya seem like an idiot, he decided that he would exile these three henchmen to the island, to fight for their own lives. One of these henchmen was Angelina Kaige, controlled by Dodd. The sensible one of the three who'd been chiding the other two for their frivolous activities, she would take more than a little umbrage about her situation, but chalk up an impressive kill record regardless, judging by her profile. I'm kind of interested to see where it goes.

First order of business, to prevent any unwanted leaks about his activities, Danya has gone and removed Angelina's vocal chords, along with those of her hapless colleagues. This is going to make any significant character interaction kind of difficult. Fortunately, Dodd is kind enough to give her a significant amount of thought and analysis to make up for it. Matter of fact, her first act is to try to blend in with the rest of the student body. Rather than wearing the obvious military gear she'd arrived in, she steals a dead girl's clothes and bag, and I have to say, this act alone makes me kind of root for her a little. What I expected with this twist was that she'd be another mad gunman like the kids on the island, but no, she's making strategic moves and playing intelligently.

Case in point, when she encounters a group of kids, instead of immediately opening fire, she instead crafts a story in the dirt about being a mute girl who found one of the terrorists and stole their gun. It's not the best excuse, and she gets caught in the lie fairly quickly, but at least she's trying. A fight breaks out, and one of the kids gets shot in the collar by accident, so technically not a kill for her, but it does provide enough of a distraction for her to escape, where she comes across a couple kids at the gazebo. Having been armed with a number of grenades, she throws one and takes them both out, demonstrating perhaps why it is that explosives are in short supply in these games.

Then she casually shoots Aiden Ambrose and breaks his neck just to be sure, and I'm beginning to see a problem emerging, which only becomes intensified with her kill of Lyndi. Angelina has no connections with any of these kids, and she's already a seasoned killer, so there's no development leading to her murder spree. She's the equivalent of a premade player, only even worse because she can't talk, so there's no emotion with any kills. She just kills because she wants to win, and that's that. Throw a grenade into a warehouse to kill several kids at once while picking off the survivors from a distance? Why, that's just business. Well, okay, she has one moment of characterization, and it's apparently that she's uncomfortable with gay sex. Woohoo for that, I guess.

Then "Cause I fell on black days" happens, and Angelina succumbs to the schlock factor. Turns out that she gets off on killing people, and so she curses herself for paralyzing a guy so he can't feel her slowly killing him. In an instant, suddenly her entire professional veneer vanishes, and we're left with one of the most cliched characterizations for a female villain you can get. The kind of thing you'd reserve for a Bond villain. This is somehow worse than she was before, when she was just flatly killing people for the sake of the game, and it really kills whatever hope I had for the character. Sure enough, next thread, she's forcing herself onto a 16-year old kid and it's just so, so painful. Like, what the heck, Dodd? You had a decent thing going with her, and you decided to just turn her into the sleaziest thing possible.

Thank goodness the next thread is her last one. Let's just cut to the chase. She snaps a kid's neck, another kid ambushes her, and she takes a bullet to the forehead. I don't even want to dignify her with a more in-depth analysis, because those last two threads killed whatever appreciation I had for the character. Ultimately, she ended up scoring 11 kills, most of which had no impact behind them and the few that did made me want to gouge my eyes out. So...thanks for that.

Another?
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October 12th, 2017, 9:01 pm #141

Blastinus: Ken Mendel
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October 12th, 2017, 9:20 pm #142

wrote:[and so ends Ken. Along one of my longest posts. And either most or second most graphic death, not sure...probably most. What do you all think? >>;]
I'll tell you what I think, Asano. I think that was friggin' awesome! Ken Mendel's only thread was an escape attempt where he tried to swim away from the island. The terrorists, having surrounded the entire island with patrol boats, give chase. And what follows is one of the most intense and horrifying scenes in V1 for violence. Not content to simply have him get shot up, not even to let him be crushed by one of the larger ships, Asano goes whole-hog and essentially liquifies him in the propellers of the boat that ran him over. No detail is spared, and the actions of the terrorists provide a lot of humanity to the folks keeping these kids prisoner, as even they're horrified and disgusted by what just happened in front of them. It's a violent cautionary tale that holds nothing back, and lets all the other handlers know just what is at stake if they try to do something similar.

I think that Asano made Ken purposely uninteresting in his profile just for this moment. Ken is a sacrifice for the sake of horror, and boy oh boy is it effective. His time on the island is incredibly short, but this is the kind of single-post death that deserves a read, for some of the best writing that I've seen in the game thus far.

Keep 'em coming!
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October 12th, 2017, 9:29 pm #143

Blastinus: Sydney Morvran
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October 13th, 2017, 4:36 am #144

Sydney Morvran's big secret is that he's actually from a version previous to V1, but the kids on the island don't know this at first. Instead, he's introduced stalking Xian Chun through the bamboo coppice, seeming to be deranged and scarred up for no apparent reason. Sydney seems to be almost desperate to find someone to use as an ally, to the point of assuming that Xian's friend Tayli was trying to attack her and throwing one of his flashbangs. Once that misunderstanding is cleared up, Xian, Sydney, and Tayli run off together, with Sydney implying that not only does he know this island up and down, but that he's been here for longer than you'd think. In fact, he was the winner of his version, and that's why he's missing some fingers and looks as messed-up as he does.

Immediately, this draws the group's attention, but they don't probe Sydney for details long before more people show up, including Gabrielle Minase. Sydney is the one who scoops up Minase's weapon almost the instant it hits the ground, but in turn, he gets shot by accident when Tayli drops her gun, so it all balances out. Sydney never gets the opportunity to explain why it was that he was put back onto the island, nor does he give any useful information that can help the next batch of kids. Guess you can chalk that up to early rolls. It makes me wonder what his handler was intending to do with the character, whether there was more that Kaishi was planning to reveal about the previous programs. I suppose we'll never know.

One more!
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October 13th, 2017, 5:31 am #145

Blastinus: Sidney Crosby
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MurderWeasel
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October 13th, 2017, 6:59 am #146

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Alrighty. First off, Tayli has a middle name, which is cool. It's a little detail, but the sort that's often not included in profiles even today. Tayli's profile is almost entirely about her family; apart from them most of what we learn is:
wrote:The three healthy Vreeland children [including Tayli] all excel in a wide area of talents, all smart and athletic as well as congenial... although Tayli will admit she cannot sing. ... Tayli is well liked by her peers because she has a genuine practice of being kind to everyone she meets.
This is pretty minimal even by V1 standards. We also learn Tayli was molested as a child but has repressed the memories. This is not dealt with particularly sensitively, but rather as an afterthought. That said, profiles tend to have pretty little to do with how good or bad characters actually are, especially in earlier versions, so let's get into Tayli's story.

Tayli awakens, finds her assigned Glock, and immediately intervenes in an encounter between Xian Chun and Sydney Morvran, the winner of V0. Both girls are confused by the presence of this stranger, but Syndey, fearing the worst, pulls Xian away, shouting that Tayli will kill them and throwing a flashbang behind him. Xian resists, shouting that Tayli won't hurt them. For some reason, Xian's dialogue is denoted by red text rather than quotation marks, which makes it a little obnoxious to read.

Blinded, Tayli falls to the ground, terrified that she's going to die. Sydney realizes he's messed up and runs back to the girl, trying to help her to her feet. The three get moving. Niniko Kishinawa, having awakened nearby and decided to play, moves towards them. Sydney tries to ward him off with Tayli's gun. Selene Acton also appears, but watches from hiding. Tayli's handler GMs everyone, including writing dialogue for Sydney, and gets chewed out for it by Kaishi. Everyone leaves.

The star of this first thread is probably Sydney—everyone else is clearly getting their bearings. Ironically, the big issue I have with a lot of what's going on with Tayli and Xian is the same thing that cropped back up in some parts of V5; the posts are so utilitarian as to be rather devoid of soul. Nothing that happens in them is bad, but they don't do much besides giving the direct facts and actions and thoughts in a super blunt fashion. It seems that a lot of what this thread is about is really the novelty of the SOTF situation, which makes sense given the era but does not translate so well a decade of SOTF later.

Anyhow, the trio heads to the school. Sydney casually notes to himself that a. this was where he and his friends holed up in V0 (meaning that the island is the same used for that) and b. his finger stumps are still bleeding (meaning that V0 was really really recent). This ties into the abandoned V1 concept of a never-ending game with characters constantly added to the mix, which is seen in a number of early V1 quirks like the kids from all over the world and the getting-dropped-into-the-game-on-Day-Three and such. Sydney wants to barricade the place and assemble a crew of five, like before; I question the wisdom of this since obviously it didn't work so well in V0, but it's a fine character moment as Sydney is sorta weird and traumatized and such.

Anya Vendvmagli arrives and, hipster-style, preempts later trends both by directly saying "I'm not playing" and by having her entrance tag at the end of her post instead of the start for absolutely no reason. Xian questions Sydney's history but he doesn't share, and Anya arrives and there's a moment of tension before Xian and Tayli vouch for her, but overall it's a pretty smooth settling in. Sydney is nicely on-edge, and Tayli gets a bit of family history (and also sees a couple of students teased who feel like they were probably getting set up to participate but never were actually submitted). Tayli has a pretty solid idea for securing the weapons, but it sort of misses that they could be attacked and having one person with the key to the guns and another with a key to the ammo could be bad news in a pinch. I love that, though; Tayli shouldn't be a tactical genius and her plan has tons of interesting RPing potential.

The infamous Gabrielle Minase arrives, and his entrance post is tagged at both the top and the bottom so folks really need to get on his level. Minase is the one moving the scene at this point; he's edgy and seems to be toying with playing. Tayli tells Minase to walk right on by if he's looking for trouble. The post ends with this:
wrote:OOC: This is sort of like the cover of the second manga!
I actually think that's pretty adorable in its way.

Kaishi declares that there are too many characters here so the thread is now private. This is worthy of note because there've been a lot of these little moments in Tayli's story; we've seen the genesis of post order, GMing rules, private threads, and more. This gives Tayli some historical value aside from just her story.

Sydney's posts are full of inaccuracies about how flashbangs work and Kaishi keeps repeating them (spoilers: flashbangs blind you for a few seconds, not an hour). I think this is to sorta ward folks off but it's really awkward reading it again and again—it's kind of proto-text-fighting and doesn't land well.

The confrontation explodes into action of a sort, as Xian intercedes and accidentally catches a flashbang in the back, prompting Minase to catch her on instinct. Sydney grabs the gun, Xian flees, Minase stands in shock, and Sydney follows Xian, who suddenly freaks out and screams about how all boys are liars. I haven't mentioned Tayli in a while because she has no posts during this; it's awkward because she's the one who's actually armed. Minase freaks out, and while his narrative is self-aware of his rapidly-changing emotions it's not sold super well. Anya is drinking a lot of gin—I assume it's little travel bottles since she's not dead.

Tayli finally gets more posts. She decides to go check on the others, instead falls asleep in a janitor's closet, then wakes up a post later after dreaming about her poorly-handled molestation to discover a laptop, then goes to tell Sydney and Xian but trips and accidentally shoots Sydney due to poor trigger discipline. This post feels really rushed because it slides a ton of stuff together and all that happens between Tayli falling asleep and waking back up is Sydney saying a couple sentences. Minase goes to check it out (Minase has this issue where he's acting like they're all in one room and everyone else is acting like they're in two. Anya is following him around retconning it to make sense). Xian flees, Minase tries to help, Tayli lies in a heap, and Sydney dies.

Everyone splits up, and Tayli rocks in a corner until her collar detonates due to a Danger Zone.

So, the good about Tayli is that she's a fascinating read from a historical perspective, setting up tons of the elements that echo through SOTF to this day. She's tied closely to an important character in the metaplot (Sydney) and her arc, in its way, is actually a pretty decent SOTF standard. The skeleton is there for something pretty contemporary.

The downside is it's just that: skeletal. Everyone's rushing through everything at a mile a minute, mostly bluntly telling character motivations and developments, and so while the ideas may be good, the execution forces the reader to bring a lot to it on their own; I don't know that you get a much better experience reading Tayli for yourself than you do reading her summary on the wiki. She's interesting in this intellectual way, and there's nothing wrong with her arc per se aside from the poorly-handled sexual assault, but it's all delivered in such a sketch-like fashion that it's hard to really take much from it.
Another, if you will!
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October 13th, 2017, 9:26 am #147

MurderWeasel: Lyndi Thibodeaux
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October 14th, 2017, 6:42 am #148

Sidney Crosby is a Canadian hockey player who currently serves as the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins. During his time with the Penguins, Sid the Kid has won three Stanley Cups and scored 57 goals this season alone. But enough about him, let's talk about Sidney Crosby, the 17-year old high school student who apparently has almost supernatural powers of prediction. Yup, it's another eccentric Dodd character, this one based on a real ice hockey superstar. As if being the vice president's daughter wasn't weird enough. Sidney Crosby (that is, the real Sidney Crosby) was born in 1987, so back in 2005, he'd have been the right age for Dodd's portrayal of him, more or less. I'm not sure that a 17-year old would be the new darling of the NHL, but I don't know much about hockey.
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From his first thread, what I can tell about Sidney is that he's friendly and non-confrontational, buying into Toby Valerik's ruse that he's got a gun when it's just a disguised stick. He seems hesitant to use profanity, which is a rarity for this game, and yes, he IS the actual Sidney Crosby. As in, he has a flashback where he's abducted from his locker room...somehow. I'm not going to go over the logistics of how you kidnap a dude from a sports stadium without being caught on every single camera imaginable. Let's just roll with it. This origin does result in him feeling out of the loop, since he has no idea who any of these kids are and he has to basically work his way from the bottom. No prior relationships or friendships that he can fall back on. But at the same time, you get the feeling that he enjoys the anonymity. Instead of being constantly singled out as THE Sidney Crosby, he can just be Sidney on this island, another frightened kid who can blend with the pack.

Unfortunately, no good Dodd character can stay separated from Dodd for long, so we pop in on the Doddsquad just in time to see Madelaine's death one more time. I was hoping not to have to read that again. Since Sidney is the one who got shot at but dodged the bullets, that means that Dodd blames him for Amanda's subsequent death. There's a logic there, but it's hiding behind a few giant leaps. But at least this makes Dodd storm off on his own to seek revenge on the actual culprit, meaning that Sidney doesn't have to become yet another Dodd-centric character. Instead, he reflects on how much Dodd must have been suffering and why he survived instead of the other Dodd character. Still, small favors. At least he recovers enough in order for Gun Wizard Kousaka to wuss out in his presence, and then the place gets danger zoned so he and a few others have to leave suddenly.

During the confusion of the previous thread, Sidney got his foot injured, so he's been having to depend on Chance Burton to keep him going. As a result, when Angelina Kaige comes bursting in, he's not in much of a position to angle himself properly, which means that he ends up shooting Chance in the neck by accident. Unable to cope with his mistake, he takes off surprisingly quickly. All he did was put a bandage on his foot, and apparently it doesn't bother him anymore? Odd. And then he demonstrates a sudden lack of awareness (which you'd think a pro hockey player would have) when he careens full-tilt into the warehouse wall. During his recovery there, he delivers a quote that I think sums up his view of the game quite nicely:
wrote:"And hey, you know...give the girl a break, I'm sure that you probably point a gun at the majority of the people that you run into on this island too, otherwise, well, you'd be dead. We're all fighting for our lives here, none of us gets to leave unless everyone else is dead, so yeah, we're all going to try and avoid getting ourselves dead. You may have had enough of people pointing a gun at you, but damnit, it's going to happen again, stop pretending it isn't."
Basically yeah, everyone's fighting for their lives, and rather than constantly complaining every time a gun is drawn, people should expect it and live with it.

Of course, he doesn't get much time to establish a new group before Angelina shows up again and the warehouse massacre occurs. By some stroke of luck, he manages to get away from that, only to accidentally wander right back, just in time to panic fire at Nevera Aero. And it's here that I have to wonder: what exactly is Dodd trying to do with his fanfic version of this hockey player? Every kill he accomplishes is a result of him being terrible with firearms, and he's survived thus far based primarily on blind luck. Did Dodd choose Sidney because he liked him? If so, why does he make him such a loser?

Then in the next thread, he's basically useless in combat against one of the exiled terrorists and he has to be rescued by Adam Dodd, who does one of the most nonsensical things I've seen in V1, and that's saying something. In one swift motion, he unsheathes a saber and (I'm going to assume one-handed) cuts the terrorist in half, right before being incapacitated by Angelina while she does...erm...nasty things to him. And if the next thread is to be believed, Sidney got to watch the whole thing from the bushes. Seriously Dodd, why is this even a thing?

That being said, Sidney is one of the endgame kids, and it really doesn't feel like he deserved to be there. If anything, he was just fortunate enough to not be rolled, because his portrayal demonstrated no particular survival quality that would have taken him there instead. Case in point, when round 1 of endgame is Sidney versus Cody, he's clearly presented as outmatched and just scrambling for his life. The banter that results suggests that Cody also had dreams of going pro, but "The Next Thing" had taken the spot that he believed that he deserved. In a sense, Cody's one-sided rivalry for Sidney, while they'd only barely interacted directly, is something that was fomenting even before V1. How the two of them can yell at each other while one is trying to back up repeatedly and the other is fighting back internal bleeding is a matter best left to the philosophers.

Anyway, Cody eventually gets Sidney onto the ground and starts the grand tradition of over-the-top mutilations which would continue into V2 and V3, cutting him everywhere and breaking his fingers. Then naturally, Adam Dodd jumps in to the rescue AGAIN and Sidney watches while Adam fights. But wait, this time, despite internal bleeding, despite expending so much energy on fighting Sidney, despite being described as dehydrated and half-starved, Cody somehow gets the drop on Adam and it's Sidney who has to go to the rescue, taking a bullet or three so that the destined hero can live or whatever.

But despite all that, Cody STILL somehow gets Adam dead to rights AGAIN. How many friggin' health bars does this kid have? Just when it seems like it's all over for Adam, suddenly a miracle occurs, and Sidney springs up and grabs Cody by the leg, receiving a shot to the face for his trouble but allowing Adam to gain the upper hand and finally, FINALLY put this stupid kid down for good.
I'll admit to sort of liking Sidney. He's obviously the weak link in the final four, but rather than have him go out like a chump, Adam gives him a decent showing and lets him be a pivotal part of the battle with Cody. He's obviously not suited for murdering folks and he's framed as almost kind of a danger to those around him, but he's got enough positive traits that I found him overall to be a fun read. That being said, I can't help but wonder how the real Sidney would have taken this portrayal if he'd known that someone had written a glorified fanfic about him. Probably not very glowingly, I'd imagine.

One more please!
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October 14th, 2017, 8:11 am #149

Blastinus: Angharad Davies
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October 17th, 2017, 8:28 pm #150

Angharad Davies caught my eye for multiple reasons. First, of all the characters I've read, she appears to have the most threads, which suggests she actually branched out on her own rather than just becoming part of one of those 17-page mega threads like everyone who followed Dodd. Second, her character is of Welsh descent, and therefore she'll be throwing in Welsh words during average conversation. I like that, because Welsh in itself is a fascinating language to read. Thirdly, she starts with a set of cat claws, and I really wanted to see how she makes any use out of those, since unlike all the guns and grenades and blunt instruments, those would require a degree more creativity.

All that being said, let's dive right in.
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Sure enough, the cat claws prove to be a bit of a problem for Angharad, who concludes that she has basically no idea how to use these things. She's somewhat confrontational with the first group she encounters, but it comes off almost like playfulness. She uses her Welsh as a way to basically joke about people without them realizing what she's saying, and I find that an interesting direction to go. In her next thread, she encounters Hawley Faust who shoots at her instantly, turns to yell at David Jackson, then leaves the thread, while I guess the bullet is just hanging there suspended in midair. I found that to be a bit of a cheapo move in all respects, since that basically gave her no recourse for retaliation and put the impetus on her handler to explain how she could dodge a bullet aimed at center mass. I normally like how Hawley Faust is written, but that was a low blow.

Taking that whole parting shot thing in stride, she meets Dorian Graywood, whose name I had to look up on the wiki because his handler just refers to him as "he" all the time. She does the playful Welsh again, and he just responds dismissively and rudely, which takes her from "Should I play the game" to straight up "Imma murder this kid!" and Dorian runs screaming to the hills, which I found immensely satisfying. Frustrated but moving on, she sidles on over to Duncan Wright's intro thread, where she catches him trying to signal for help with a Frisbee. Considering her options, she decides that she might as well pal around with him, even though she feels like her prospects of actually accomplishing anything in this alliance are slim to none.

On the other hand, he does make for a decent traveling companion. As the two of them poke around the Lighthouse, they share a quiet moment out on a balcony and then have a meal together in a room that isn't full of corpses. But her skepticism about Duncan's plans get the better of her, since she figures that his attempts at fooling Danya will just get them killed, and so she decides to say adios to their group. A bit premature of a move, since her next stop is none other than Peri, Steven, and Shinya. She tries to be diplomatic, laying down her claws and surrendering, but this IS Peri we're talking about.
wrote:"Take whatever she has and then shoot her in the face" he said with a sigh
Fortunately for her, he finds her ability to dodge his bullets amusing, and so he gives her his revolver with a single round, offering her an ultimatum: kill someone with it, and she'll get her gear back. As he leaves, he imparts us with this shocking revelation, one that alters the very nature of how I'd perceived Peri up until now:
wrote:"The Names Peri..BloodBoy to some"
It all suddenly makes sense.

Single bullet gun in hand, she discovers that Dorian has allied himself with Jacob freakin' Starr. Tailing them through a thread transition, she confronts them at the warehouse, where in true V1 fashion, everyone starts pointing guns and growling threats at one another. But who should come to the rescue but Amanda Jones, pointing another gun yet talking reasonably. This seems to calm the situation down. So in conclusion: gun good, shouting bad. However, taking a cue from Hawley Faust, Angharad takes this opportunity to do the ol' shoot and run. Apparently Swoosh was expecting someone to take a potshot at Angharad there, but in the confusion, nobody did, so she gets away scot free in the next post. The fact that Swoosh gave a post for people to react before their character ran puts them a step up in my book.

Next thread is just a single death post, with Angharad reuniting with Duncan, hitting him in the privates, and then kicking him while he's down, all approved beforehand, of course. Duncan doesn't try to fight her off at all and it almost seems a little too easy, like he doesn't even try to block her kicks or anything. Was this really what Duncan's handler wanted for the character, or had Swoosh improvised it? Without knowing the background behind it, I'm really not impressed.

Then we get to the bathroom, and this scene is just kind of nonsensical. It starts off normally enough, with an unhinged girl called Xian dropping in and the two of them having a tense confrontation. But then a couple of guys pop in, one looking for tissues and the other trying to use the john, and Angharad is understandably flabbergasted. There she is, trying to hold a lady at gunpoint, and these two guys just try to walk through like nothing's happening. I'm about as confused as she is. But deciding to make the most of it, the four of them form a tenuous alliance.

Next thread, Xian decides to make a move the instant that the announcements come, trying to get the group to turn against Angharad, but displaying some quick thinking, she does some acting of her own, portraying Duncan as the aggressor in their confrontation. It works, and the situation is defused, up until Peri shows up and decides to be his old Peri self, spraying the scene with gunfire. Calling his debt to her, she is surprised to find that Peri is 100% willing to follow through on his promises, and the two of them suddenly become shooting buddies. It's a friendly exchange between villains and I found it oddly refreshing. They're not trying to one-up the other. They're actually working as partners.

Leaving the scene together, Peri and she would return to the bathroom, almost right after Angharad left it. Getting on Peri's nerves due to her constant gabbing, she'd find herself the lucky winner of a year's supply of bullets, but fortunately they don't hit anything vital. Then she somehow springs up with enough energy to randomly behead a lady who runs into the scene. For my thoughts on that death, see Duncan above.

But wait, there's more! More bullets, that is! It is remarkable just how much punishment Angharad is taking. As she passes out from the pain, Peri fires two more rounds into her stomach to seal the deal, but somehow, SOMEHOW, she isn't actually dead, because she wakes up later on and has enough energy to lunge for the guy who tries to help her, but not enough to fight back when Xian arrives and proceeds to do...well, let's just skip it. It's long and gratuitous and I don't want to talk about it.

The point is that eventually Vince Noir tries to intervene and gets corkscrewed for it, and Angharad is able to use the shock of his death to calm Xian down. With sanity temporarily restored, the two of them discuss why they did the things they did and how they got to this point. Both of them are at least a little unhinged, and in a sense, Angharad argues, they're mirrors of one another. And I think this is Angharad's big strength, her ability to connect with people, no matter how much they're messed up in the head. Nobody else would actually be willing to play Peri's game or try to win at his rules, nor would they build and dismantle as many alliances as she did. But unfortunately, it's Angelina time. Angharad's been able to shrug off all kinds of abuse, but a close-range grenade isn't something you just sleep off.
To be honest, aside from the craziness of how much damage she took in her last two threads, I found Angharad to be a good read. She's got this ability to connect with folks and lie that you don't see too much in V1. If there were more deceptive villains instead of crazies, I think V1 would have been less eye-rolling at times.

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