Friday, 19 December 2014

When Stus Stalk Sues

Who in the world are Rina and Randa, and why is their Response Centre an unfileable number?

Okay, so the console network confirms that they're two of our newer Assassins, though it doesn't shed any light on that RC number. Nor, sadly, does it explain why a mission report from theirs is stuck to my ceiling, but I've learnt not to ask.

Mission: When Stus Stalk Sues
Agents: Rina Dives & Randa Roan, DMS
Continuum: Harry Potter

I get the impression from the agents' report that they expect me to have read their previous missions (which shows an astonishing lack of understanding of just how busy I am - do they think I'm made of time?) (Yes, I suppose it's just possible I'm not their target audience, but frankly, I've given up expecting such sanity). Fortunately, though, they haven't relied on it - while the discussions of a 'tree-gunk free' bow and the inadvisability of bleeprin are incomprehensible, they're also brief. The agents haven't gone in for the recent fashion of writing ten pages of pre-mission spiel, either - they simply get on with it. I approve of the professionalism; we could do with some of that here in DOGA about now.

I am, generally, impressed by the agents' knowledge. They recognise wilver on sight from its description - 'white silvery' - and frequently cite what might be called 'PPC trivia' such as the Department of Redundancy Department. It's refreshing to see someone who knows what they're doing.

The writer (whichever of the two it is) does fall foul of one of Agent Soul's pet peeves - attaching actions to the wrong person:

"Holy cliché overload!" Rina yelled. Randa glanced at her. 

"Was the shouting really necessary?" she demanded.

As Agent Soul would point out (loudly and with vigour), Randa's glance should really have been placed at the beginning of the second line, not the end of the first. Similarly there are some extra line breaks which really didn't need to happen.

That said, the interaction between the agents feels... natural, really. They bicker a little, but don't outright fight in front of their targets. Sometimes they disagree, sometimes they agree, depending on the subject. In general, it feels like they genuinely wrote down their conversations, rather than engaging in the editing common to agents' reports.

Agents Dives and Roan (can I call them R&R, or is that too casual? Yes, I think it is) have fallen prey to the modern trend of writing 'MST reports' - mission reports that include practically every other line of the badfic. It's a regrettable habit, particularly among agents who are actually capable of writing the story's actions themselves (as this pair seem to be); unfortunately, it's a habit that is proving hard to shake for the PPC at large.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read (insofar as that is possible). The agents comparisons between the badfic and Twilight were not unwarranted - and they did an excellent job of highlighting the scenes that formed the basis of the similarity - and there was a certain satisfaction in seeing the Mary-Sue and her stalker killed. So as far as unwanted reading goes, this was relatively benign.

In conclusion: lavender.

Yes, I only said that to see if I can get a reaction out of Agent Rina.

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