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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from MarcusRowland
Review:
Just realised that there have to be Shar-analogues in the Buffyverse, Hermione's world, DC, etc. etc., in the same way that Batman exists in multiple universes - she's an embodiment of The Plot, and way too important not to have some role in every story. Maybe she's going to turn up as an exceptionally powerful young witch in the Potterverse, or a metahuman in the DC verse. Her part in this story is over, but every universe needs a child to sacrifice to The Plot.

If you're wondering why I capitalise The Plot, this article may help

http://news.ansible.co.uk/plotdev.html
Review By [MarcusRowland] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
Author: "Also, when I chose Charlie McGee, I knew I was going to have to nerf her, sideline her, or get rid of her. She is too powerful for the Alexverse."

That's one reason why I hated her.

DavidEmpey: "I did notice that Alex is/was almost obsessively fond of Shar (Oh no, she'll have to call herself "O'Neill", boo hoo. "Just thinking about the name change made Alex want to cry." Seriously, Alex? Seriously? Get a grip, woman!)"

And that's the other. Charlene was *ruining* Alex's life. And I genuinely do believe that the little brat was psychically manipulating Alex, and Alex's parents, and others.
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from asqwerth
Review:
Sad now.

And this is while already half expecting it after being partially spoilt by reading batzulger's last chapter and its reviews before reading this one (learnt my lesson! Always read the main material first, from now on!).

In hindsight, I suppose one could say it was inevitable. But still.
Review By [asqwerth] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from fpb
Review:
I was about to comment when I saw the last comment. Well, my view is that if I were a villain wanting to do something unpleasant to a heroine who has never lost a fight (so far as the world knows), I would not only think about my plans over and over again, but I would look for a period of grief and unsettlement in her life. If I were Maggie or DAnielle Atron, I would start on my long-planned murder or subversion campaign right now.
EDITED IN: " Until that sudden bolt or bullet from the blue hits a guy you were just joking with fifteen seconds ago, you just can't understand." Maybe not. But I had a wonderful two-hour phone conversation with my lifelong best friend, of the kind that had brightened our lives since I was eighteen, and four days later I was told he had died of cancer. I think that is quite sudden enough.
Review By [fpb] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from batzulger
Review:
re:"I REALLY feel bad for the next villain to cross Terawatt. :)"

'clink! clink! clink'

Maggie Wall-allsh come out and play-yay! Oh Maggie Walllllsh! Come out and Play-eeee!

'clink! clink! clink'

(apologies to Walter Hill, Sol Yurick, and David Patrick Kelley)


EDIT: I honestly don't know, people process grief differently. Alex has spent her life in a mostly protected bubble in some ways. She knows that the outside world is tough and can be cruel, but this is absolutely the first time it's hit home. The first time that all her powers and skills were completely useless. It happened so fast that she couldn't comprehend what was happening as it happened.

Jack and Willow both understand sudden loss happening out of the blue. So do Hermione, Harry, and Ron. So does Az actually. If Alex talks to any of them, maybe she won't slip off the precipice. I fought in Panama, Desert Storm, and Somalia. Until that sudden bolt or bullet from the blue hits a guy you were just joking with fifteen seconds ago, you just can't understand. You have absolutely nothing to compare it to and when people lack a frame of reference they make assumptions and second guess. That way leads to really big trouble.

Will Alex recover?

Yes, people do all the time from loss. Alex has an advantage on that since she does have friends and family that are all very concerned with her physical and mental well-being. 'Will she recover in time?' is the bigger question. Especially since with the American and Indian branches gone, the Collective has basically nothing to slow it down now...
Comments from author:
Is Alex going to be out superheroing any time soon?
Review By [batzulger] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from Greywizard
Review:
I'd been wondering over the course of the past few chapters, just exactly who was going to die, and when, in order to give Alex/Terawatt one of life's little 'backhand to the face when you least expect it' moments, which everyone receives sooner or later, and which is such a necessary step in attaining full adult maturity.

After all, pretty much every bad thing that affected Alex throughout the story, up to this point, ended up getting resolved in kind of a family hour TV-series kind of way, and all of the various important characters recovered, sooner or later, from whatever bad thing had happened to them in the whichever incident was being discussed.

As soon as I read the part where Shar had tried to perform CPR on the dead woman, my first thought was 'Oh, no - possible source of infection,' but I pushed that aside, since I didn't think that you'd actually sacrifice a little girl - who had become essentially Alex's surrogate daughter - in order to make Alex realize just how cruel, capricious and arbitrary life can be.

It's the mark of a great writer who can do things like this - introduce characters who are just so lifelike and appealing, while also being quite realistically annoying and irritating - and seamlessly merge them into the story, as part of the groundwork necessary to provide so much necessary emotional growth for other characters in the story, and you've proven yourself to be just such a writer.

Thanks for sharing this with us.
Comments from author:
Thanks! I'm glad you're still reading. And I'm glad my directions are clear to the reader. Also, this chapter was hard to write.
Review By [Greywizard] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from DavidEmpey
Review:
Wow. What a gut-punch! I did NOT see that coming, although in retrospect, it seems I should have been expecting something like it.
I did notice that Alex is/was almost obsessively fond of Shar (Oh no, she'll have to call herself "O'Neill", boo hoo. "Just thinking about the name change made Alex want to cry." Seriously, Alex? Seriously? Get a grip, woman!)
I wonder if Batman will have to take down a berserk Terawatt? Guess we'll find out.
Comments from author:
Hey, the Batman is prepared for *anything*. Even Alex's Batman.
Review By [DavidEmpey] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
"I recommend skipping the whole process and just shrinking a fancy research sub down to microscopic size and injecting it into an artery."

*****

Can Raquel Welch command the sub this time? grin

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fantastic_Voyage
Comments from author:
Yes, that is *exactly* the story I had in mind. I saw it in the theater in technicolor. Pretty impressive special effects for the time. And the Isaac Asimov novelization of the screenplay fixed the plotholes.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from justsomeguy
Review:
I'm curious, actually. Diane has mentioned several times that she's the kind of writer that plans out most, if not all, of her work prior to writing it. As such, Diane: would you mind sharing why you decided that Shar was the one for this particular scene? I'm sure you have actual reasons :-)
Comments from author:
Okay, I'll tell you a little bit. I wanted Alex to have to face what she's been lucky enough to avoid throughout the story: the loss of someone that close to her. There are only a couple contenders for that title. I thought for a while about who I wanted to misuse.

Also, when I chose Charlie McGee, I knew I was going to have to nerf her, sideline her, or get rid of her. She is too powerful for the Alexverse. That's canon Charlie. We are talking about someone who is growing into the power to crack the planet like a dinner plate or to destroy the sun. We are talking 'Silver Age Justice League of America opponent' power levels. I chose Option B for the middle part of the story, with Shar stopping Gojira but ruining her chance to move into superheroing early.
Review By [justsomeguy] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from Amberdrake
Review:
Wow. This is probably the most foreshadowed event that I never saw coming. Well done. It's also very un-American. Kids and pets just don't die like that.... if they die at all. Decades of comic books say that Shar's not dead until we see the body, but this is not a comic book. I love Shar and I'll miss her until the next time I re-read this story but I take comfort in the fact that she got to make the same choice her hero would have made.

I REALLY feel bad for the next villain to cross Terawatt. :)
Comments from author:
Alex is not likely to be happy and carefree if a supervillain crosses her path tomorrow.
Review By [Amberdrake] • Date [21 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from HMaxMarius
Review:
Well... I choose to remember that at the end of Iron Giant all of the scattered parts were converging on the Giant's head to reassemble themselves.

I do kinda wonder what might have happened if the Grey Goo had tried to take over Willow... Just how fast can she write code anyway? ;)
Comments from author:
Would she have to write much code? Nanotech is really, really tiny pieces of really, really simple code. Otherwise you couldn't get the nanites to do anything useful, and you couldn't get them small enough to do what you wanted.

I recommend skipping the whole process and just shrinking a fancy research sub down to microscopic size and injecting it into an artery.
Review By [HMaxMarius] • Date [20 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from Traszgo
Review:
I kind of had the feeling Shar would die when you introduced her. The fact that she ended up with Alex rather than possibly better choices like Hammond solidified it, and her obsession with Iron Giant pointed at the heroic sacrifice route. Well, it's all there in retrospect, but I had the feeling right away (though not as strongly as ElrodW's Kayda story at Whateley, I am pretty sure he has a checklist for the Humiliation Conga with either Julie or (more likely) Cornflower on the chopping block at some point, but that's neither here nor there). Anyway, very good job. I found Shar annoying (though probably not as much so as SpeakerToCustomers), but Alex's attachment to her was obvious and heartwarming. I hope her Roaring Rampage of Revenge doesn't break her spirit.
Comments from author:
I did organize all of it. I mean, this was the game plan from before I completed chapter 1.
Review By [Traszgo] • Date [20 Sep 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from Zarthrax
Review:
Wow.

That was....impressively heartbreaking.

I hope that there's a way Shar survived. If not?

I think Alex may actually snap, and it will be GLORIOUS!
Comments from author:
Life is seldom kind to superheroes. Just ask Peter Parker. Or Green Lantern. Or the canon Buffy Summers. Or...
Review By [Zarthrax] • Date [20 Sep 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Return" from thapagan
Review:
fire fire bunring bright
cleansing evil with your light
you saved the world with white hot flame
only a child, much to our shame

from vengeance in west virgina
to vigilance in the siberian waste
fortitude shown near hiroshima
in the desert an act of final grace

when our time comes to stand tall
may your example lead us all



posted by thapagan on terrathehero message board
Comments from author:
:D :D The death of Pyre in a battle with Orphan forces will be all over the news in a matter of hours.
Review By [thapagan] • Date [20 Sep 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Vegas Vacation" from ScorpioP
Review:
NO. This is not acceptable. You've got a whole slew of characters whose death would impact Alex -- Hanna, Willow, Klar, Riley, Lupo, Ray -- and you choose to kill a little girl. I do not approve of killing children.

The payoff better be immense.
Comments from author:
Just assume that I'm a horrible person.
Review By [ScorpioP] • Date [20 Sep 14] • Not Rated
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