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The Secret Return of Alex Mack

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Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from DieselDriver
Review:
I love that last line. The rest of it was smart thinking. Having a "fansite" and having her answer a question like that. Still, there are a lot of idiots out there who would be quite willing to weed themselves out of the gene pool by trying to get super powers regardless of the odds. Because they either are to stupid to understand or don't believe the odds. I like the comparison to the lottery. Ok, I blow enough money on the lottery in a year to buy a nice TV. I'm not going to die or be mutated into a hairy(er) monster or something if I don't win. With those consequences I wouldn't take the chemical even if the odds were 50/50 unless there was an overpowering reason that we (people in general) NEEDED someone with superpowers to do the mighty mouse trick. Sheesh, with my luck I'd turn into mighty mouse and save the day but never be a normal human again. It would have to be a dire emergency for that to be worth it.

I have to wonder, how did Atron keep from having some of those consequences if she tried it over and over and over again to get powers she wanted? Or was that some other story and I'm mixed up?

Just read Speakertocustomers' comments and have to agree totally. They could very easily bring on an "On The Beach" scenario where everyone and everything above the level of a cockroach dies. Even cockroaches succumb to the blob. Probably we end up with a planet covered in "blob" that is a deathtrap for any aliens who might attempt to land.

Had a funny idea earlier today, for a crossover I'd be interested to read: Johnny Storm in place of Joe in "Joe and the Volcano". Anyone who wants to feel free to give it a go. I hereby give up any rights to the idea and any story that results from it.
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [21 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from DieselDriver
Review:
You know, it might seem like not much happens in this chapter but it brings out the character of the characters in the story and lets them expand in our thoughts to be more real. I really like Alex's attitude about herself for a superhero. Modest to the point of being humble, it's certainly going to keep her from being like some of the "superheros" in some of the stories I've read, so full of themselves they turn into villains.

Thank you also for the new word. I never heard the word "affray" before. Cool to learn a new word. I suppose I've led a sheltered life. I think I had the opposite problem from what Alex has. My older sister took College prep classes and got "C's" so I said "Why bother. I can get "C's" in regular classes a lot easier." By the time I learned my mistake (I am a LOT smarter than my sister) it was almost to late to do anything about it. Alex is learning her abilities and methods to maximize her abilities, and if nothing else, maybe I can help a kid or two to learn them too. I like it when an author teaches me stuff like that in the stories. I think that's one of the things I liked about a lot of Larry Niven's stories. I know it's one of the things I like about Your stories. Thanks Diane.
Review By [DieselDriver] • Date [21 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
In revealing that Klar is totally colour-blind Alex/Willow have given away information that may help an enemy. A secret lair could be set up with a mined entrance with a twisting safe path marked out in a colour. It would be easy for minions to stay on the path but Klar would blow himself up. Or they could deter him by having a big black-and-white sign saying 'Minefield; stay off the red sections' but not bothering with either minefield or red sections.
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [21 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
TheEyes said: "Which makes me wonder what Wacky Maggie was thinking when she made the silicates. As far as I can tell those things are an extinction level event, not just in the "kill everyone I don't like" way but more in the "kill everyone on Earth" way. The Resident Evil stuff was likely an accident or incompetence in the containment of an experimental virus, but the silicates were deliberately released."

Maggie drastically overestimates her own competence and fails to allow for Murphy's Law. She said about the green slime “This is nothing like our projects, where we always have controls to protect ourselves from the products. Even the Davenport project after that extremely clumsy sabotage.” But this can't apply to the physical damage they do. The Collective might be immune to the Lanzhou Lesson prion but they wouldn't be immune to someone infected by it putting bullets through their heads. A dog mutated by the T-virus might not be able to infect a Collective member but it could rip out her throat. And if one country started chucking around nuclear weapons to eliminate Collective releases, and this triggered an all-out war with weapons of mass destruction, what's to stop the Collective getting incinerated or irradiated by accident or finding that someone has released an independently-designed weaponised virus to which they are as vulnerable as anyone else?

Also there are several scenarios in which one of their biological weapons could run completely out of control. For instance the disposal of the Blob could have gone wrong and spread it over the entire country if the SRI hadn't disinfected the bandsaw blade and it had scattered tiny Blob fragments, some of which may have been eaten by birds or got on the feet of birds and been carried for hundreds of miles before they absorbed enough tissue to bring the bird down. The silicates could be stopped by a water barrier (assuming they can drown, which might not be true) but that wouldn't apply to Blob fragments or to birds infected by the T-virus.

That's why I rate the Collective as even stupider than the Rainbow 6 villains. That outfit's plans would never have worked; the Sydney Olympics were at the wrong time of year for the air-condition system to be on, for a start, and so the virus would never have been disseminated. But if it had been then they would have been immune. Well, at least until the virus mutated and killed them too.

And if I wanted to wipe out the majority of human life on Earth, and had their resources, I'd do it the easy way. Use an H-bomb to trigger a super-eruption at Yellowstone. Much easier than all this clarting around with genetically-modified hamsters and so on. Still, she's a geneticist, and when the only tool you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [21 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from Jezzibel
Review:
This is amazing. In every way. Yes.
Review By [Jezzibel] • Date [21 Apr 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Next Mission" from TheEyes
Review:
"And yes, it's a good thing Colonel Watanabe's people didn't invade the research lab three or four hours before Alex could get there. After a certain point, you start running out of tranq darts and/or the right radioactive isotopes."

Which makes me wonder what Wacky Maggie was thinking when she made the silicates. As far as I can tell those things are an extinction level event, not just in the "kill everyone I don't like" way but more in the "kill everyone on Earth" way. The Resident Evil stuff was likely an accident or incompetence in the containment of an experimental virus, but the silicates were deliberately released.
Review By [TheEyes] • Date [21 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Mission Improbable" from (Current Donor)Speakertocustomers
Review:
"Sitting in an X-37B orbital vehicle"

Shouldn't that say X-37C? I reached this in my re-read and I thought "Hang on, isn't the X-37 unmanned?" So I checked and it is, and the X37-B is unmanned too; there are plans for a variant with space for 6 astronauts but that will be the X-37C.

Something else that occurred to me during the re-read is to do with the importance of secondary characters. It struck me that if the competence levels of Colonel Leonetti and Colonel Watanabe had been the other way around then the silicate crisis in Rome would have been resolved with no fuss, and with minimal casualties, whereas in Tokyo the casualty figures would have resembled those from a major battle and they could well have lost so much of the city before Terawatt arrived that they would have had to use the Failsafe Option.
Comments from author:
Dang. The research I did said that the X-37A was unmanned but the X-37B was manned. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

And yes, it's a good thing Colonel Watanabe's people didn't invade the research lab three or four hours before Alex could get there. After a certain point, you start running out of tranq darts and/or the right radioactive isotopes.
Review By [(Current Donor)Speakertocustomers] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from VillageOrchid
Review:
Hmm. My browser cut out. I'll cut to the point. Good way of leaking some information about the Korean incident to support her argument and world safety. Hoping that was cleared with O'Neill. Probably was, but not sure.
Comments from author:
I hope Willow cleared it with someone a lot higher than Jack! George Hammond would be a good starting point.
Review By [VillageOrchid] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from Lyssippe
Review:
Alex is going to have such fun when everybody in school is talking about her webpost. Thanks, though. it's really well written and clearly a collaboration between willow and Alex. Also, it was nice, a chapter earlier to see her leading her team and associates. Alex doesn't see herself that way, but she's also emerging as a leader who has her team's trust and encourages them to grow and be the best they can be.
Comments from author:
Assuming her schoolmates will be talking about the webpost, instead of important high school stuff, like whether the head cheerleader broke up with the star athlete.
Review By [Lyssippe] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from starwolf
Review:
very well put. risk and consequences.
Comments from author:
Alex wrote the page, but Willow edited it and added to it.
Review By [starwolf] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Rating [9 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from MarcusRowland
Review:
I think that ending with "me, Homeland Security and the others who helped take down Gojira and the Umbrella Corporation" might make the point a bit better. She also doesn't make it clear that she is as likely as the others to have the long-term problems faced by the other superhumans, which seems a bit unlike her.
Comments from author:
Well, if Alex had written that part, it would look a lot more like the way you expressed it. But we all know Alex wouldn't write that last sentence. That was definitely Willow.
Review By [MarcusRowland] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from Hecatonchires
Review:
Nice essay. Reprinted with permission in Time magazine? :)
Comments from author:
Does 'Time' bother getting permission from websites?
Review By [Hecatonchires] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from Iceflame
Review:
You know, given her track record, I'm sure her last comment kinda killed ALOT of enthusiasm for getting super powers >:).
Comments from author:
And people think her track record is even more impressive than what the reader sees, because the average person has no idea about her pre-Terawatt life or her assorted problems along the way.
Review By [Iceflame] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Rating [10 out of 10]
Review of chapter "Interlude XXVII" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
I notice that Terawatt, Willow or whoever wrote it _carefully_ didn't mention the GCI drug, which has a vastly higher "mutation" rate and a much lower "horror story" rate, barring possible brain biochemistry problems. NTM the possibility of using the GCI antidote for "fine tuning", ala what Danielle Atron did, or to chicken out after trying GCI for the first and last time.

Wondering how long it would be before Atron or the Orphans made sure that the _good_ news about GCI is widely released, while minimizing mention of its nastier effects......
They might also release GCI's formula and production info, w or w/o "errors" that might increase the odd of producing its nastier effects. Purely for the increased chaos and their amusement of course. Image of the SRI and Terawatt kept busy running around capturing and neutralizing criminals, idiots and _now_ crazies who used or were involuntarily dosed with GCI. Image of chaos seeking radicals, scumbags and idiot pranksters dosing individuals (personal enemies and rivals), foods and water supplies with GCI. Image of an HS after idiots dosed the cafeteria foods......
This would leave the SRI and the other good guys frantically trying to clean up the mess, tying them up, exhausting them and increasing the chances of taking casualties. Image of an SRI "capture team" dead tired, nursing injuries and mourning dead comrades.
Comments from author:
Yes. But most of the biochemistry nightmares going on in Alex's world right now are not GC-161 cases. And we'll see how Wacky Maggie wants to play this.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
Review of chapter "Return" from fanreaderonetwo
Review:
re
"I think of "By His Bootstraps" as the 'immutability of time' mechanic, although the 'plate of spaghetti' is a great hprase for what he did. At the time it was new and almost unheard of. Now it's been done a lot, so it's not as impressive for the reader.

Analogously, "Them!" was novel and shocking when it came out, and now it's trite and 'seen it'."

******

That is the fate of "revolutionary" trope namers. Startling and thought provoking when they arrive, a generation later a newby seeing/reading it say "yawn".
Comments from author:
Yes. Consider that in the original story, the Jekyll/Hyde deal is the big plot twist that you don't see coming. Now it's so "It Was His Sled" that no one reads that story and gets surprised at the big reveal.
Review By [fanreaderonetwo] • Date [20 Apr 14] • Not Rated
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