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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from fpb
Review:
Malthusianism is not an ideology, it's a pahtology - or, ot be precise, a symptom. its predictive record is so pathetic it makes Marxism look like a sane and useful tool of interpretation by comparison; Marxism, at least, has produced some useful interpretative tools and categories, such as class interest and false consciousness. Nothing of the kind has ever come from Malthusianism; in fact, far from helping us understand reality, it prevents us from seeing what is under our own eyes - such as that every single major hunger in modern history is the fruit either of a war or of a governmental decision to cause starvation, or both. Malthusianism has even led us to believe that hunger might cause war, as if the most fucking expensive of all human activities, and the one that demands the best fed and fittest men, may begin in lack of men and means!
The extent to which Malthusianism is literally a feature of insanity may be seen by the fact that it was first proclaimed and believed (God forgive them!) in a country that had, over the previous two centuries, multiplied its population fivefold and its food production correspondingly, namely England in the Napoleonic age. Since then, every twenty years some git has made himself rich (it is nearly always a man) by revisiting the same stale rubbish about the inevitable starvation of mankind. The fact that a country the size of Italy produces 97% of its own food necessities even today should alone show that the amount of slack in the system is enormous. The US could easily feed five times its current population (that is what they would have if they had a population density like Italy's). The truth is that Malthusianism is a superstition that tries to shift the guilt for poverty and exploitition on the poor and exploited, and to that extent relieve the sense of guilt of a rich upper class. It's the poor's fault!! They have too many children!! Translated into the language of real meaning; "I see too many poor people, and they annoy me. There ought to be fewer of them, so I would not see them so often, and I would feel better." That was its point in the days of the very unreverend reverend Malthus (yes, the bastard was an Anglican clergyman - nothing new under the sun), and that is what it serves now.
Review By [fpb] • Date [20 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from fpb
Review:
...QUADRUPLE post!!
Review By [fpb] • Date [20 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from fpb
Review:
...about the...
Review By [fpb] • Date [20 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from fpb
Review:
OMG, sorry...
Review By [fpb] • Date [20 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
"A lot of stories have bad guys that take a reasonable concern and carry it to unconscionable extremes, but while the hero's are undoubtedly fighting for the light, it seems like they often end up ignoring the grain of truth in the villains motivations. Diane, I'm curious if you personally agree that we are eventually going to outgrow our planet, and if so will you have your characters try to do something about it? Right now it seems like their only global goals are to clean up existing messes and deal with the problems they cause, rather than trying to take some of the Collectives ideas and perhaps work them into a more palatable solution. After all they have a Power Point presentation, there's got to be some good graphs on there they can use."

*****

Any group that pretends to ecologic concerns that _deliberately_ produces such ecologic horrors as the Arizona Spiders, the Blob, the Silicoids and their other schemes are either delusional, outright insane or lying.

Arguably Gojira would have killed "only" people living in his route to his target power plants (plus the people the loss of those plants' electricity would kill in one way or another), and would _radically_ reduce humanity's carbon footprint, so a fanatical ecologist could argue about his value.
But most or all of the other Orphan created or backed critters would have utterly devastated the ecology of the areas they passed thru. Image of a Blob passing the Amazon rain forest, leaving a lifeless wasteland behind.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [20 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from mooncowthree
Review:
A lot of stories have bad guys that take a reasonable concern and carry it to unconscionable extremes, but while the hero's are undoubtedly fighting for the light, it seems like they often end up ignoring the grain of truth in the villains motivations. Diane, I'm curious if you personally agree that we are eventually going to outgrow our planet, and if so will you have your characters try to do something about it? Right now it seems like their only global goals are to clean up existing messes and deal with the problems they cause, rather than trying to take some of the Collectives ideas and perhaps work them into a more palatable solution. After all they have a Power Point presentation, there's got to be some good graphs on there they can use.
Comments from author:
And we all love PowerPoint!

All right, I think Malthus and Paul Ehrlich used suspect math to reach their conclusions, but that doesn't change the fact that we keep growing our world population and we're not increasing our sources of food and potable water at the same rate. People who have argued that our growth curves are just fine have used even worse math and science. That spells trouble if we don't act to resolve these issues before we get 'Soylent Green'. :D However, we're a curious and creative species. I just don't think that space is the answer (yet), because we have yet to figure out how to put people in space without having to keep providing them with lots of Earth-stuff. And I don't think the answer is 'kill off everyone until we are back to a sustainable population'.
Review By [mooncowthree] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from mooncowthree
Review:
@asqwerth - yeah there is a bit of refrigerator logic involved in the emails, but if I recall correctly, the emails were sent out by the India block who had no reason to take anyone off the list. Although given that psyco was shown to be working for the main bloc, he could have easily trimmed the list, but on the other hand you don't want your deep cover operative doing *too* much to help you. As a mole for the main bloc, Jo absolutely did the right thing taking it straight to her CO, but Edding's decision is totally understandable, when you are so deep into the lies and deceit, it becomes very easy to make mistakes that you wouldn't normally.

On the assumption that Jo is actually a triple agent, which I'm pretty sure Diane has *wink*confirmed, I am curious when she was first recruited to the collective vs when she defected to Jack because he really didn't know that much about the Collective (which Jo would have presumably briefed him on initially) for quite some time and Jo found out Alex's identity quite quickly so it seems like there would have been a window where she was still loyally reporting to Maggie where she could have told her about Alex.
Comments from author:
Maybe I'll talk about this later.
Review By [mooncowthree] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from (Current Donor)ColBlack
Review:
So, Terrawatt is back in action, the mole is revealed and the appearance of Cordelia Chase.

It looks like I'm going to be wrong about my theory for Cordy - I thought she turn up with a power like being an empath or something similar, that means she HAS to be kind to other people because she feels their pain otherwise.
Comments from author:
No, it does not look like this Cordy is particularly empathic or empathetic.
Review By [(Current Donor)ColBlack] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
"Have you heard of J J Arms? He is a private detective that lost both hands when he was 13. He has/had a single shot 22 in one of them that he used once to save himself from an attack.

Comments from author:

[5] I've even seen J J Arms and read his biography. I learned about him back when the original Hawaii Five-O aired, as he played a sniper seeking vengeance for the loss of his hands. Yes, I remember individual episodes of Hawaii Five-O. I am that nerdy. "Book 'em, Danno."

*****

Noting that _I_ remember that episode also.....

from Armes Wikipedia....

Television[edit]

Armes played the villain in the Hawaii Five-O episode "Hookman" (11 September 1973). The updated series, Hawaii Five-0, remade the episode with the same scenes and title on 4 February 2013; Peter Weller remade the role and directed the episode.[3]
Comments from author:
>> Noting that _I_ remember that episode also.....

Well, I'm glad to see I'm not the only old fogey on the site. :D :D


"Tonight on Hawaii Five-O, Steve McGarrett smiles... and his face cracks!" ~ Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from Zeviz
Review:
Asqwerth, it was pointed out in-story that Friday's list contained only those Orphans the main block wanted to get in trouble, plus the dead ones (to make it less obvious that it was the "enemies of the Collective" list). The original release consisted mostly of the members of the American Block, and the second release included mostly the people killed in Africa, and members of the Indian Block.

For people asking why there was no security on the girlfriends and the Macks, if there was security there, who would be guarding the families of the soldiers guarding the families of the soldiers guarding the families? Carson is a relatively junior Sergeant, and Miller is just a team leader who isn't even an orphan, so if their families aren't safe on a military base, nobody's families are. (Besides, considering how easily Jack's guards were eliminated, the guards would have to be particularly effective soldiers... such as Carson and Miller. :D) As for Macks, guarding them would expose Terawatt's secret identity: Why is SRI guarding a "random" civilian family?

PS It would be interesting to see more details of Hanna's offscreen character development going from somebody who sounded almost like a robot to a more regular daredevil teenager. I think the ending of this chapter shows the culmination of this development: The early Hanna wouldn't have abandoned the optimal tactical approach simply because she got a confirmation that her DNA contains sufficient reptile material to fool Friend/Foe Identification system of guard dinosaurs. (I think she would have focused more on the advantage this gives her during the current operation.)
Comments from author:
Maybe someday, someone will decide to write some of Hanna's POV through part of this story.
Review By [Zeviz] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from asqwerth
Review:
SirLee, that's a good stab at an explanation, but I don't think it answers everything.

"...10. Main block decides to make life difficult for unattached Orphans, and feeds Joe Frady a list of Orphans they deem unlikely to be able to recruit. They leave out Lupo and Eddings because they have already "recruited" both,..."

But wouldn't that look mighty suspicious? As Lupo said, she stands out as an obvious orphan. If she was recruited (or so it seems) only after the email, then even more so the Collective would know/expect that SRI know she's an orphan. Surely subsequently excluding her from the list leaked to Frady would make SRI wonder why she's not on it.

Possibilities:

1. Jo isn't really a mole and SRI just managed to get hold of the code phrase. Then why did the Collective exclude her name from the list? Sowing seeds of suspicion so SRI won't trust her? But Eddings was also excluded. Wouldn't they want him to be trusted if he's the only mole? Surely they couldn't just optimistically hope that he would remain unidentified? On the other hand, I suppose there could be yet another mole, especially if Jo isn't one.

2. Frady's list was leaked by someone other than the Collective, for another purpose, Jack maybe? (maybe something in earlier chapters contradicts this, I can't recall).

3. Jo is a real mole and Eddings was being used as a distraction to draw suspicion away from her, which is why she confessed and reported the email where he kept silent. But then, the Collective should have kept her name on the list, just like Finn's and Carlson's were. No point raising any hint of suspicion in her direction.

4. Jo is a triple agent - she's confessed to SRI that she's a mole, says she wants to cross over to the good guys, but actually she's still loyal to the Collective. However, with the threat that Alex is to the Collective's plans, surely she would have revealed Alex's identity to Walsh long time ago. Can't see that there was any benefit to keeping that a secret from Walsh just for some longer term gain.

5. the Collective really didn't think this through properly when they leaked that list? Meaning they are pretty silly for being made up of smart people? :-)
Comments from author:
5. Walsh's bloc clearly knew that Khan's bloc was making a serious error with their 'Uncle Khan Wants You' emails, even if they worked on some of the Orphans. Walsh's bloc took advantage of that error in multiple ways: outing Khan and his people, leading the SRI to Khan's base, outing the American bloc Orphans and making life more difficult for them, etc.
Review By [asqwerth] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from SirLee
Review:
Ah, Harold... one of the jewels of the Grant/Breyfogle period. Back when the comic had a sense of humor (well _Batman_ didn't so much, but the _comic_ did. Take the opening to the "Tulpa" episode, when someone in a Ferrari Testarossa challenges Batman to street race...). Unfortunately, Harold was written out of the comic in the train wreck that was "Knightfall." And worse, eventually killed off (I think it was in "Hush").

About the moles... I'm going to spell out my interpretation of the sequence of the events.

1. Eddings is recruited by the Collective.
2. Since he was going to be used for deep infiltration, he was kept "off the books" internally.
3. Indian block decides to go in a recruiting spree; looks through their copy of Orphan database, removes the known-recruited ones and sends the e-mails (which explains also why they did the singularly stupid move of attempting to recruit the SRI Orphans -- they didn't filter out "non-recruited, but known hostile" Orphans)
4. Eddings is surprised but keeps quiet.
5. Willow, Riley, Lupo and Carlson come clean.
6. Profiling points to Eddings. Willow may even have been able to check server logs to ascertain he did receive the message.
7. Jack decides to keep Eddings where he is and feed him carefully designed disinformation -- designed to _look_ useful, but not really secret and with critical details wrong -- so the Collective doesn't see the need to insert another mole. Eventually, surveillance reveals the contact password.
8. Jack may have also requested Lupo to answer the e-mail, to keep a similar handle on the postulated (later confirmed as India) splinter block. Why Lupo? Well, Riley was too high-level and is a bad liar; Carson is a noncom, and this would be more of an officer's job.
9. Since Billy-Bob was working for the main block all along and Lupo was deemed an important asset, her contact info was forwarded to the main block.
10. Main block decides to make life difficult for unattached Orphans, and feeds Joe Frady a list of Orphans they deem unlikely to be able to recruit. They leave out Lupo and Eddings because they have already "recruited" both, Buffy because they think she might yet be recruited, and Bruce Paine because... well, because he's too juicy a target and don't want to write him off as a recruit potential yet.
Comments from author:
Sounds pretty convincing. But then, you have a lot of experience seeing how weird my brain is. :D
Review By [SirLee] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from fpb
Review:
Comments from author:
I think you lost your posted message.
Review By [fpb] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from bookalicious
Review:
@ Mooncow3: re.: 'Alex has obviously been building up to taking a life, but I'm curious if she will do a rage kill or just the usual 'kill them to stop them' cop out.' I really doubt that Alex will 'do a rage kill' at all. She's had too many 'opportunities' to kill in this story alone to make that even feasible for her way of thinking. If she only did a beat down on Atron after she kidnapped her parents *again*, why would she go over the edge now? Plus, I think that any sort of 'rage kill' would so destroy Alex, that Terawatt would become a villain. She's seen evil. She helped defeat a hell-god in another dimension. She'd sooner suicide than become what she hates. That being said, Even a 'heat of battle' death at her hands is going to deeply disturb Alex.
Comments from author:
So we'll just have to see what Alex does. I'm still hoping no one has guessed.
Review By [bookalicious] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Where Raptors Dare" from asqwerth
Review:
A cracker of a chapter, Diane!

All the pieces are moving into place for the finale.


Some comments:

1. Corrine being shocked at the cost of her prosthetic foot - umm, was it 6 million dollars? LOL! (of course with inflation, I'm sure it costs more than 6 mil nowadays...). Jack probably got the idea from Alex telling him about Jaime.

2. I think Wacky Maggie has grossly underestimated the loved ones of the people she perceives as threats. She doesn't get that friendship, concern and mutual support for one another means that her targets are not likely to be alone just ripe for the taking, and that others will be there for them. She's also assumed they have remained defenseless.

Also, I don't think she expects that Batman had already been approached by Alex and become part of the network, albeit reluctantly, and kept very much aware of the whole Collective situation.

Teamwork and Friendship FTW!

3. finally, I'm a bit confused about the Orphan mole and email thing now. Let's take Eddings, and possibly Lupo. He/they are moles. So they would already be working for the Collective prior to the orphan emails since they had been sent to infiltrate SRI. He didn't feature in the list given to Frady so he could stay concealed. Let's say that is the case for Jo's omission as well.

Then why in the world would the Collective send the orphan notification email to both of them anyway, after removing them from the Frady list, when that would reveal them to SRI? I would think that either:

a) they wouldn't receive the email at all because it wasn't necessary (no point sending the "congrats, you're an orphan!" message to their super secret drop point for receiving Collective communications) ; or

b) for Eddings and Jo to seem like innocent orphans (the emails were after all sent to various uninitiated orphans, like Finn), the emails would have been sent through normal channels, probably scannable/retrievable by Air Force security.

But if the latter is the case, it's silly not to tell Eddings in advance he was to 'fess up in order to be seen as one of the good guys, particularly if they expected that the Air Force might peg them from their profile.

On the other hand, if it was a double bluff by the Collective meant to give their moles some credibility with SRI as innocent/unaffiliated orphans, then why remove their names from the Frady list, and again, why didn't they warn their moles to expect the email and what their response should be ?

Tying me up in knots here, argh.
Comments from author:
[2] Maggie is not a 'friends and family' type. But she's not the only scientist/researcher who is great on the mathematical/logical intelligence scale and lousy on the 'interpersonal intelligence' scale. I've known plenty.

[3] Eddings and Lupo both got their emails when Carlson and Finn got theirs.
Review By [asqwerth] • Date [19 Oct 14] • Not Rated
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