Beyond Good and Evil
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06.07.2013 , 07:33 PM |
Notes to Chapter VII
Once again, the title owes something to
an episode of
Avatar: the Last Airbender
, mostly because of the training sequences in common. Aang and Zuko go to work on Earthbending and redirecting lightning, respectively, while Jaesa starts to find her balance on hand-to-hand.
The quote is from a very good, very long history book. Schroeder was talking about the things that Napoleon did to Europe, and how many of them had ultimately positive effects. But those positive effects were mostly reactions
Napoleon, who played the role of a sort of scourge of God. And then there's Aly, who...well, some pretty terrible things happened to her, too, and just because they helped make her into the sort of person she is doesn't mean that they weren't, you know, terrible things. Instead of a mugger's blow or a lover's betrayal, she got a childhood of abuse.
Speaking of abuse: this chapter started out very easy to write. Picking on Quinn and writing fight scenes are both fun things for me to do. The conversation at the end was much more difficult. I
I managed to strike a reasonable balance between informative and "not breaking the forum rules" and being overly graphic, but, you know, I
worry. I've had friends who've been abused, although not nearly like that, and I tried to use the experience of talking to them to make the conversation as realistic as it could be while doing my best to avoid the sort of tawdry garbage you get in a lot of the mass-market fantasy novels that are aimed at teenage girls these days. But if you think it was over the top or not explicit enough or sent the wrong message or if it just didn't work, please let me know.
I'm sorry for making the chapter "hook" something that could've come
straight out of the
. In my defense, maps are cool.
With that "preparation for chaos" line, Quinn's paraphrasing a very bad late-Roman author named Vegetius, who in
De Re Militari
igitvr qvi desiderat pacem, praeparet bellvm
, commonly abbreviated to
si vis pacem, para bellvm
, or "if you want peace, prepare for war". It's a shame that Vegetius' text was one of the few Roman military pieces that was well circulated in the Renaissance and Enlightenment, because it got unjustly famous while better works (like the
of Maurikios) languished by the wayside.
Aly's little strategy puzzle is a blatant reference to the situation in Western Europe in the late summer and fall of 1944, as the Allies pressed on toward the frontiers of Nazi Germany. It's framed the way it is because back when I originally wrote it, I'd recently read John A. Adams'
The Battle for Western Europe, Fall 1944: An Operational Assessment
, which is a decent book, if something of a polemic. And yes, before Jaesa came around, Aly and Quinn had those conversations because Aly wanted to show off and Quinn wanted to improve his efficiency. There have been less promising matrices for pedagogy.
Oh, and "the old, the sick, and the young" comes, I think, from watching my little brother play one of his
Call of Duty
games. The one where Gary Oldman and the Red Army besiege Berlin.
I think I got "mynock" as an insult from Aaron Allston's
duology, in the New Jedi Order. Hilarious books. Luke Skywalker says it to...Face Loran, I think.
Jaesa's "cheekbones" line is unabashedly taken from the excellent
, unlike Irene Adler, wasn't really trying to hit on Aly. Jaesa's just awkward like that. And really, that particular female Pureblood face
have ridiculously sharp cheekbones.
Like I said before, Alypia's named after the daughter of a Roman Emperor. Ricimer was the power broker that the real Alypia's father married her off to. He's also regarded by a lot of people as something of a villain in the history of the late Roman West; it's not really a fair portrayal, but I figured it was good enough to name our Aly's father, who is rather
villainous, after him.
Cameo time! Arho and Loyat are from the Republic quests on Ilum, of course. And she really is mostly involved in all of this because of him. Funnily enough, he finally
abandon her on Ilum, and an LS player can have her put in Jedi custody for psychological treatment/redemption. I think I used the phrasing "flavor of the week" because I was listening to
at the time. And yeah, Kel'eth Ur is from that quest in the Dark Temple, "Buried Power". It's sort of unclear whether his appearance is just a holocron recording or an actual manifestation of his spirit, so I sort of fudged it. Maybe the cron that Aly gave to Lord Alaric - hey, another late Roman reference - was a fake or something.
If it's not clear yet, the person that Jaesa was talking about in the first part of Chapter I - the person who thought that the story of her life is
how she became who she is
- is Aly.
(n., Greek) - "mirth, merriment"