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for What You Fight Against: The Second X-Games

4/25 c10 5So hard to choose usernames
Alvin: I love Alvin so much, especially the fact that he always gets a late start and stays for food before kidnapping a contestant. I also like how his thought process is centered around his love of probability in how he tries to predict people's behaviours. It's different from Lillian's views on people and it's nice to see the contrast in their thoughts. Plus, Alvin is just awesome.

Elio: I'm glad that Elio found some peace and happiness after his parents kicked him out. His mutation is also really interesting to me, it's a religion based mutation with quite a few layers to it. I'm looking forward to seeing more of Elio using his mutation. I also really enjoy how honest Alvin is when it comes to confronting the mutants he's taking, and how he did it in public to satisfy his own curiosity.

Kylena: I really enjoyed seeing this type of family dynamic, with not everyone being on one side in either accepting mutations or hating people with mutations. It was a nice mix with Kylena's sister being afraid while her parents loved and accepted her. Alvin trying to help Nymeria say something nice to her sister was a good touch, I love how honest he is without revealing the actual truth.

Manaka: Honestly, he's one of my favourite characters so far. He just has a personality I find adorable, especially with him hiding in a dumpster to avoid Alvin. Poor Alvin trying to find him though, he was already running so late.

Henry: I love this kid too, their interaction with Alvin was nice to read as they're both rather honest and blunt with each other. Henry had a rough life and they have a pretty great power, so I'm looking forward to seeing just how far they will make it in the Games.

Alvin part 2: Honestly, I love how he's always the last one back and how he always procrastinates putting on the contestants collars. His thought process in this POV reminds me of the quote his face claim said in Jurassic Park "Life finds a way". I also think the idea of colour coordinating the contestants is an interesting twist, I know it won't have much of an effect on this but I'm interested in seeing the dynamics of any potential future games.
4/24 c9 So hard to choose usernames
Lillian: Not much to really say about Lillian, in terms of MAAB members she tends to fly under the radar for me. Not exactly memorable. Still, her thought process is interesting to read especially when it comes to people's perceptions on Sentinels even though they can likely do more harm than good. People are ignoring the faults in what they believe is protecting them, and it's very realistic.

Alphonso: I find his character interesting, both in the fact that his dad seemingly left due to the fact that he was a mutant and the fact that I believe Alphonso is the first contestant struggling with an addiction. If he wasn't paired with Seb I'd be interested in seeing how possible withdrawl would play into how his mutation works.
I also like how Lillian let her curiosity get the better of her by allowing Alphonso to mess around in her head for a moment.

Mackenzie: I think it's nice reading about the mutants who are generally excepted by their community and who aren't feared or face any negative repercussions. She's just a normal girl who controls her shadow, and her using it for her school play was a fun way to incorporate it into her life. I also enjoyed how she compared the first X-Games to gun violence, as that many people do seem to die quite often due to mass shooters in the States and yet no serious action is being taken on gun control laws. I just thought that was a nice little touch.

Lilith: Not much to say about her, just that she had a smart plan and it makes me wish I had an identical twin to try and confuse people with. Unfortunately for her robots don't seem to be fooled by their tricks.

Liv: I found it interesting that asking if they were a mutant on scholarships was interesting, it's a shame there wasn't any antidiscrimination laws for mutants in this little universe, although the fear is too strong for that right now. I also think she has a pretty badass power although her thinking of it as a nuisance is a little funny but understandable. She's an interesting character overall and I'm looking forward to seeing how she grows.

Lillian part 2: She's the psychologist so I'm not too surprised by her thought process being centered on how humanity will react when the truth is eventually revealed. Still, it's nice seeing how each MAAB member focuses on something different, either relating to their field, morals, or both.
4/24 c8 So hard to choose usernames
Hans: I can't say I like Hans, he really creeps me out and the way he collects the contestants just rubs me the wrong way. Hans was also thinking about their location of choice and how it wasn't as removed from civilization as the last one, I am wondering if that will end up biting them in the butt later. The shock collars are effective in keeping the speedsters confined but what if Seb wrote something like: my collar doesn't work. Or: I can't be electrocuted. Would that even work? I don't think anyone else's mutation is far reaching though.

Ansel: Honestly, I'd love to have his mutation. There are a few things I would love to inspire myself to do (such as not fall so far behind on reviewing and also homework). His thought process is sweet, he wants to help others but seems a bit frustrated that mutants can't use their gift because of a gene that they carry that other special and talented people don't. He seems like a very normal kid and I enjoyed that about him.
What I didn't enjoy was Hans being so creepy when collecting him. He's so calm and he lies so easily that it just creeps me out. No remorse, no doubt, he tricks people into thinking that they're helping others. I am wondering if the mention of compensation in both Ansels and Kiara's collection is a nod to the fact that the victors in the original HG are set for life upon winning.

Kiara: This is my tribute so I don't have much to say beyond thanks for accepting her and Hans tricking her into coming with him (and the idea of Hans convincing her Mom to tell her where Kiara went, imagine the guilt when she figures out what she really set her daughter up for) creeped me out.

Iola: Like someone else noted (can't remember who) it's nice seeing the contrast between Ansel's normal life and Iola's life that could really be from the X-Men comics. I like how despite everything she views her mutation as a gift and she's built a new family for herself, one she'll do anything for and one who will do anything for her (as evidenced by Ekon attacking Hans). I really like Iola, and she seemed like she could go really far before she was deafened.

Joseph: God, this was such a child. Despite everything he went through you could really feel the fact that he is still just a kid through reading his POV. To his desire to call his friend but not wanting to be pushy, to being easily manipulated by Hans into sneaking away with him. Also, the fact that people didn't believe him when he tried to tell them he was a mutant or told him it was a silly mutation is gold. It's a shame the MAAB believed him.

Hans part 2: Like I said before, the way he collects people and his thought process in general just rubs me the wrong way. He's not blatantly hostile like Judah (no casualties) he's just ... I don't know how to pinpoint it. It's an ick factor I guess? I enjoy having him as a MAAB member due to the contrasting personalities but he's my least favourite among them. Also, his thought process on wanting to conduct some unethical experiments on mutants ... laws exist for a reason buddy. That's a slippery slope.
4/24 c7 So hard to choose usernames
Francine: She's one of my favourite MAAB members, I just enjoy her thought process and how she just tries to delay the inevitable with the snooze button. Still, she's got nothing on Alvin. I also like reading about someone who is reflecting on the mortality of their actions, and who doesn't really seem to view mutants and humans as separate. Francine reflecting on how everything kind of snowballed out of control reminds me of the phrase "the road to hell is paved with good intentions".

Lee: The most interesting thing to me was his job and how it was more of a expectation vs reality thing, how he expected smuggling mutants across the border to be more like the movies but it's mostly just paperwork and hiding. Still, it's an interesting route to take and I wonder if maybe they could have been behind a potential contestant or two disappearing instead of Piper or if any of the mutants he helped ended up finding Magneto and Piper. Also, poor Lee with Marcus not listening to his plan and just panicking and exposing himself as a mutant.

Elena: Like I said earlier, I enjoy reading about mutants who do not know how to control their mutations. It adds an interesting element to it all. I also like how her mutation was triggered a bit late in her life through a stressful, but unfortunately not out of the ordinary, event. I also like the fact that she took a risk to live her life the way she wanted instead of how her parents wanted her to live. Plus, the fact that Francine took the time to find a replacement DJ for the wedding was a nice little touch. No need to ruin a couples happy day with kidnapping their DJ after all.

Fredrick: I'm curious about what happened to his brother, and if his brother was a mutant as well or not. His relationship with his parents is nice and sweet and I'm glad they took the time to figure out how to help him. Although I have to admit I would hate having Frederick's mutation. It reminds me of Midas' golden touch, poor Frederick can't touch anything without gloves. His desire to meet other mutants was sweet but unfortunately he's in for a rude awakening.

Sybil: She used her mutation in a really creative way, it was such a cool and unique power and execution of it. So props to the creator because I never would of thought of something like that. I also enjoyed the twist with Isaac, he used Sybil to advance his career just like she (presumably) used Virgil to advance hers. She was quick to put together what was happening and I honestly thought she'd go farther in the X-Games.

Francine part 2: I enjoyed reading her thought process of trying to justify her actions before realizing that she couldn't. Her moral conflicts and desire to help without knowing how is really interesting to read and I can't wait to read more of her (although Alvin is my favourite hands down).
4/24 c6 So hard to choose usernames
Okay so I am far behind on my reviews, my plan is to review the pick up chapters, the three pretraining chapters, and the Games before going for the training days. Just because I really enjoy your version of story telling and you really deserve reviews because all of your chapters are awesome.

Judah: I'm not surprised that he's started collecting that contestants at such an ungodly hour, since he's flying the helicopter I don't even know what time he would have gotten up to leave if he's collecting Emery at 5:30. His thought process was also pretty interesting, although I have to disagree with mutants being the only monsters as plenty of humans can be monsters too. I'm also looking forward to reading about Judah's thought process about the Games being aired live, as it seems like he kind of wants some recognition for doing his job of "protecting people from dangerous mutants" (in quotes because some of the mutants he collects haven't hurt anyone).

Emery: She had a hard life so far but she's resilient. Her backstory kind of reminds me of the Fairy Tale of Hansel and Gretel, although with no witch and the mutation. I also think that it's nice how when she noticed the Sentinel's coming she forfeited the opportunity to sneak away in order to protect her brother and the rest of the kids in the orphanage. I also liked the little throwback to the collections of the last X-Games by Judah wearing protective arm padding to protect himself from dog bites.

Florence: I like reading about the mutants who have mutant parents, I feel like they have a bit of a leg up when it comes to learning about their mutations. While Florence might not have spent a lot of time with her parents she did grow up with mutants and I like that she got to learn about her mutation at Xaviers. It's cool learning in the future chapter that Florence ended up going to school with Kenji's parents, and I'm curious about what student she attacked. I also find that the hunger aspect of her mutation is interesting, especially how it developed 100 years into her life. I wonder if something new would develop at the 200 year mark, and so on and so forth. Her maturity really shines through though when she turns herself in instead of trying to run or fight the Sentinels.

Seb: I like how he managed to live a relatively normal life, using his awesome mutation in the most mundane and adorable way. Summoning socks and sweets when you can magic literally anything into existence? He's so adorable. I also like how his Uncle talks about how mutants and humans can work together, it's a nice sentiment but it's doubtful that his mussing's will ever come to pass. It's a shame what happened to his Uncle, and I'm hoping that Seb's future thoughts about writing his Uncle into existence won't be put into action. I can't imagine trying to bring back the dead will end in a way that everyone comes out happy.

Savannah: Not much to say about her honestly, I just like how she has such a close relationship with her father. Kind of the opposite of Rick's relationship with his Dad, as the loss of her mother pushed Savannah and her Dad closer together while it tore Rick and his Dad apart, although they did die in different ways. She has a pretty destructive power and it's interesting to see mutants who do not have the greatest control of their mutations. I also thought it was interesting that Judah decided to make a bit of a scene when collecting her for the Games.

Vi: I love this kid, that's all there is to say. His luck is so awful and his thought process gives me such a "I'm too old for the shit" vibe even though he's just a child. I just don't think he got the hint that the luggage hold opening for him wasn't good luck, he's now partaking in the X-Games and that's pretty terrible luck. Vi being a volunteer is an interesting path to take.

Judah part 2: Honestly, poor Vi for being manipulated into joining the X-Games. It was quick thinking on Judah's part though.
4/10 c28 So hard to choose usernames
Okay so I have a lot of chapters to catch up on for reviews, but I'm going to review this chapter first and then play catch up. I'll review it section by section. Apologies for any mistakes, I haven't proofread this.

Honestly, I love Alvin he's always been my favourite character. He's such a loveable stubborn guy who really doesn't treat the coaches differently because they have mutations. And now the coaches know the Games have been leaked and no one is coming to save them, I'm looking forward to getting one of their POVs to see just how they are taking the news. I'm also looking forward to seeing how they decide to shake up the Games.

Elio's power is pretty interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing more of this voice and guidance aspect of it. Is it trying to help them avoid Elena, Lee, and Liv? Although he seems to be kind of doubting their plan now. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with Elio and Lea.

I'm kind of curious about what Liv could accomplish if she had the time to practice or had gone to Xaviers School for Gifted Youngsters. She seems pretty self reflective and even though she seems to have impatient moments she has too allies that are able to reign her in. I can see them making it far as Lee and Elena are more cautious while Liv can push them into action if needed, it's a good balance of personalities.

Rick and Vi are my all time favourite contestants and I'm glad to see them still alive and kicking. Rick isn't about to give up and I'm so excited, I really doubt he'll survive to the top ten or the finale due to their extensive injuries but I'll be happy to read about them for a while longer. This seems to be the Games of injuries and not quick deaths.

And Manaka and Marcus finally hit the barrier. I'd been hoping Sentinels would be around to round them up or their collars would shut off and deactivate their collars but the shock collars are the obvious move, just ... ouch. Poor Manaka and Marcus, I'm hoping the electricity hasn't caused any lasting damage to Manaka but I'm not sure. He likely needs medical attention but I'm not sure if shaking up the Games will get him that opportunity. Marcus and Manaka are a great duo so I'm hoping this isn't the end for them.

And Seb and Al have a dog! I love Phantom! If the dog dies I will be so upset, but this would have been a good year for Jayden, since there's actually an animal to talk to. Still, I'm curious to see about how creating a living creature will work out in the long run. It's got me more interested in their storyline.

Kylena and Jamie have a bit of a pessimistic outlook on the Games, although given what they've been through I can't blame them. It's nice that they haven't given up though.

And a little Diana cameo, it's nice that she didn't let Lilth die alone and gave her information about her sister. I wonder if Meghan will meet up with Piper at some point or if she's taking part in marches and those types of protests. At least Coburn and Savannah still have each other, it'll be interesting to see what will happen now that Lilith isn't around to keep their mutations in check.

The section with Kenji and Emery was so adorable. You can really see Emery being a protective older sister here, from reassuring Kenji to turning into a wolf and letting him burrow into her to sleep. She seems to be treating him like Hunter and he seems to be treating her like the older siblings he lost. Their sibling dynamic is nice to read about but I'm not looking forward to their first fight together.

Henrys golem may have saved his life before but it seems to be annoying him now. I wonder how long he can keep a golem before he gets tired. Does he ever get tired? It's an interesting power and even though he's hurt he's still one of the powerhouses in the arena, he's being cautious and I'm hoping he makes it in the long run.

I know Iola doesn't have much of a chance of winning this thing but I'm hoping she doesn't continue down this rabbit hole of dark thoughts. She might not be the best at fighting now but she's got good instincts and had she not gone deaf I would have put her in the top ten for certain. I like Iola and I'm hoping she gets to go out saving her allies or have a death that would be meaningful in some way, just in a way that she'd be okay with.

And Mack! Not my favourite MAAB member but also not my least favourite. It's always interesting seeing Alvin's circular arguments with people and how frustrated they get. Yet I feel like Alvin is one of the only ones not really feeling overconfident. I'm looking forward to see if any of Alvin's predictions come true and how they come to pass.

Great chapter! I'm looking forward to seeing how this all plays out.
12/19/2020 c24 23symphorophilia
alvin, ever the strategist - honestly it seems like the maab would really be floundering without this guy, regardless of his differing perspective in regards to the x-games. piper making an effort to get in touch with more of the tributes' families is smart, and definitely could help to sway public opinion if their group ever goes public with trying to oppose the maab (esp since maab has the advantage of government backing). subplots are always such fun and we're really getting some thick content here!

aaa the sybil/henry confrontation finally comes! i think henry had it right by turning down sybil's almost-offer of an alliance, sheerly because they know what the stakes are and it's probably safer in some ways to go it alone; the fight was masterfully done, if quite short, but sometimes it's not a messy fray of clashing weapons and powers and everything else, and i think the quick escalation here was great for the overall momentum of the chapter. henry's injured, spiralling a bit with self-doubt and trying to mask their whirlwind of feelings with a spot of humor, which as an aside is just such a demonstration of their character. i really hope they stick it out and come out okay ;-;

liv, lee and elena are all starting to feel a bit restless, the former most of all; it's clear she's not the sort of person who's comfortable with staying still, and she needs productivity in order to really be at peace with herself. elena's plan is great, they could definitely use more food, and it's a nice way to channel their need for action without as great a risk! still, when it comes down to it and they have to fight, i'm not entirely sure how either lee or elena will do, and liv's getting close to the point evelyn was where she's almost eager for it.

kiara and fae reuniting with iola! so good to see this alliance remains intact and that kiara managed to calm fae a bit with her words and support last chapter. they're a sweet trio, and really seem to care for one another. heading away from screaming's usually the best solution, yeah... self-preservation and all yknow. striking camp and moving on is just sensible, although the lack of direction... yikes?

definitely true that even though it was moderate idiocy to just create a house in the middle of nowhere and advertise your position so openly, it at least did stave off the feeling of vulnerability. now that frederick's alone, outside, and for the most part just bleakly wandering without any idea where he's going, his nerves are starting to spike - he didnt think through the loner thing super well, even though i maintain that it was the smartest decision for his own longevity with the way alphonso's been fucking about. we'll see how he fares.

aa emery's fishing! i totally didnt think about how useful her wolf form would be in this environment, she's basically got everything she needs to take care of herself out in the wild. getting kenji involved in an effort to lift his spirits was real good of her, the kid clearly needs a distraction; he's wary of his own powers, and for good reason. changing time can be good, sure, but there's just as much opportunity for something to go horribly wrong.

oo okay yep... with all five of these kids tracking the same group it makes total sense for them to team up, although their foundations for allying are shaky to say the least. evelyn's just so brazen and reckless i cant even - you've done such a good job with her (and i know she dies in a couple chapters here, which i'm really not surprised about because of how impulsive and brash she was starting to get but again big thank you for writing her and executing her character so brilliantly). their plan's not horrible but trying to ambush coburn, savannah and lilith in the exact same manner they'd approached before seems like a bit of a long shot. kylena's uncertainty is well-founded!

these three actually do have a compass! super lucky, super helpful, altho they dont seem to be the best with reading it. aa elena's starting to crack a bit, voicing her feelings aloud and drowning in her thoughts as she realizes how truly her life will have been changed by this experience, even if she manages to make it out. she's right, even if she wins she cant go home, and even if she could, things would just never be the same. lee's careful analysis of his allies' different motivations and actions shows just how observant and empathic he can be, and elena's fortunate to have him in her group right now; i dont imagine she'd be holding up nearly as well if it were just her and liv, because their responses to the games thus far have just been so different.

elio and lea are taking care if themselves alright, but lea's second guessing of their refusal to train back when they had a chance is going to weigh on her - and it seems that she's starting to question both her own decisions and elio's in light of losing makenzie. there's a bit of self-blame and projected blame peeking out in her thoughts now even as she tries to tamp it down. nice to really see elio's power in action, i dont think we got any glimpses before of just what he did or how it worked so this is a great reveal. and now he's also being struck with self-doubt - bit late for it bro! sorry but yall made your choice! anyway, they're still in a pretty safe spot, which is nice and all ig... waiting for something else to shake them up though. they're getting some good development with this "what if" reflection but idk they're still feeling pretty static to me.

they're still running lmaoo! feels like they should be out of bounds by now, but damn this "arena" is big! oh no marcus got bit Dx "yeah probably" re the rabies im dying. needed a good little laugh after the last few sections. wasnt super invested in these two in the pre-games but theyre really starting to grow on me! good section.

coburn's starting to wonder if cari's still connected with him... that's a fruitful point, if she's watching she could definitely be reaching out to try and help him if the scope of her powers are great enough. the vigilance is serving him well given what we know about the group of five trying to hurt them down. aw a little bit of bonding? ;-; love that for them. they're setting off again though more from anxiety than any want to move, and even if the encounter earlier didnt do much damage its pretty apparent it did shake all of them. "if they all just avoided each other what would the maab do?" coburn asking the real questions here and oh boy. oh honey. i dont think you wanna know.

things are really getting shook up! great cameo and reflection on the previous games from piper here as the chapter draws to a close. all your updates are just fabulous and the speed at which youve been cranking these phenomenal chapters out is just! wild! thanks so much for writing, and i'll try and leave some thoughts on 26/27 here soon because ive got a lot to say. sorry for a bit of a shorter review this time. take care!
12/19/2020 c27 2sock-feet-and-stirring-sand
shaking things up, eh? i’m here for it!

I was just thinking about how your games already have a much different pacing than a lot of games i’ve read but honestly it works really well. I think you’re absolutely right in that most tributes would want to stay as far away as possible from one another rather than start killing right away. but at some point this is no longer possible and I think we’re getting there, whether the tributes like it or not.

interesting to see vi get more of a spotlight this chapter! I really love the tension of his fear of having his collar shut off and how that affects his choices. it makes things really interesting with rick, too.

excited to see what’s next!
11/27/2020 c22 23symphorophilia
alright… twenty-two. let’s get down to business.

immediately, i see mack’s pov expanding on the same facet of the games reveal you briefly touched on last chapter, regarding how society sees the mutants and how it’s choosing to portray them - there’s clearly sympathy and outrage over what the maab’s chosen to do, but it’s somewhat undermined by the fact that, as mack states, most of these kids have kinda shady pasts. what happened to alannah’s family… coburn starting the fire, vi’s string of accidents… yeah, there’s reasons why the human populace might wanna support the maab - and lillian’s hit the nail on the head by saying that people actively search for reasons to turn a blind eye to injustice. it’s such a painful reality of human nature, but for as inhibitory and wrong as stasis might be, it’s familiar, and it’s easy; that counts for more than it maybe should.

vi and rick have knives! among other supplies, but knives are definitely useful, especially with the particulars of their (unusable/ineffective) powers. im still with elena about the mallets tbh. anyhow, moving on - so right here we have a set of contestants immediately proving wrong coburn’s point from the last chapter. you cannot expect desperate people to act rationally; when everyone’s prioritizing themselves, especially with such high stakes, there’s a lot of unpredictability. and given vi is literally terrified of the repercussions of his own power, he’s gonna keep acting unpredictably to try and save himself from the fate of being plagued by it again… yeah. also, getting some attachment with rick! that’s nice. it’s also very very bad because if his power DOES come into play, they’re now both in immediate danger, and i have no doubt rick’s right that the maab wont fully keep their word on keeping his collar on. wary for what’s gonna happen with these two…

they have a plan :’) already this trio’s going into survival mode by hunting and trying to keep a ration on their supplies, so huge kudos where its deserved. it’s true that they’re unlikely to get more supplies unless they take them from other (dead) tributes. they’re also making an effort to keep moving in order to put distance between their current and previous position, and it’s a huge pros they didnt stay in the same place where they fired off that lightning. stargazing... why is that SO soft ugh i wanna protect these kids why is this happening. and savannah’s never had a chance to really see the constellations before. Is this bonding? it’s cute. it hurts. some good talk about their family situations/how being a mutant has impacted the relationships they had before the games. no time to practice :( they are untrained and not super adept at using their abilities though these three could be a powerhouse for causing damage. mm… is this foreshadowing?

theyre sharing a blanket :’) snuggling for warmth :’) it’s just so pure. and thats the wild thing about deathmatches is that suddenly mundane things in general just take on these surreal connotations where they make you feel unnaturally happy because its like hey, there’s something nice happening in the midst of all this bad. :’) still can’t make a fire though… “how hard can it be” as a mountaineer can confirm its a lot harder than it looks. oof again with that foreshadow of possible danger! although marcus and manaka are far enough away i cant see it coming from another contestant. wildlife tho… am *eyes*

yeah the wilderness can be really spooky at night! especially if you’re alone, it’s hard as hell to get even a wink of sleep out there. not unusual at all for henry to be feeling on edge, although they’re right that they NEED the rest. keeping vigilant isn’t exactly ideal (because vigilance can easily become paranoia) but it’s necessary when you’re as vulnerable as these kids are gonna be. using their power to give themselves a guard! yes that’s brilliant, and it serves the purpose of helping them relax a bit - at least enough that they can recoup from the traumas of the day. xtcyv henry hurts me though (they all do okay? ;-;) - “they’d thought that maybe, just maybe, this would be the time things worked out” UM? WHO SAID YOU COULD DO THIS TO MY FEELINGS? WHY? the way i just wanna adopt this kid rn ;-;

liv’s definitely beating herself up a bit over not being able to stop the rain - she’s got a real high need for control and a definitely desire to keep productive (something tells me she values herself by her productivity which, while understandable, isn’t healthy) so this situation’s definitely playing into her insecurities. and then ansel’s continual jibes about it are just pushing her closer and closer to a snapping point. and she’s stressed enough, man! who can blame her for lashing out? sure, her words are harsh, but they aren’t coming from a place of anger at him, they’re coming from the anger she has toward herself and that’s entirely different, even though we know ansel will take it as a pointed attack. the cracks in the foundation are just getting worse.

kylena, jaime and evelyn are holding strong! again more huddling for warmth :’) why does this just feel so precious :’) okay anyhow. I CANT BELIEVE THEY NOSE GOES’ED ON KEEPING WATCH dxdcfgbhj omg that’s adorable and mildly ridiculous and yeah evelyn’s basically thirteen but yknow what i still love her for it :’) jaime’s gotta take watch bc theyre the oldest haha. wow i just adore these little tidbits of humor amidst the tension, maybe they aren’t wholesome but they sure feel that way. oof, that ending though, what a way to change tone and instill some darkness! the inevitability of having to kill/possibly die will haunt every action in the games and you’re doing excellent at keeping that awareness front and center.

coming from a warmer climate is definitely going to make the harsh weather in wyoming feel even worse. im in a neighboring state and if they’re anything like us, major drops in the night at random, freezing rain and snowstorms are all big possibilities… so yeah, it’s not gonna be fun for an arizonan. elio’s looking out for her and that makes my heart melt. and now there’s a little tidbit of insight into what’s going on with him - he knows their strategy is flawed and yet he persists anyway because he’s an idealist and he wants to believe things will work out, even though its misplaced hope. can’t blame him for wanting to believe otherwise; but keeping it to just the two of them is for the best. im expecting they’ll just try to get by and outlast the others without inciting conflict and honestly? passive strategy, but it works for them, and it’s not half-bad if they can keep out of contact with everyone else.

oh no. the EARPLUGS. fffffffff ! fae’s immediately starting to go into “what if thinking” now and that’s just gonna make her feel even worse about iola. she already blames herself and now she’s found evidence there was a possibility iola might’ve been okay if they’d just done something different. ;-; and she’s also keeping mum about it all and not talking about what’s going on. they lost henry too... and she’s trying to focus on the positives but its evident that its hard. “At least she had done something right” stop im so sad. fae! baby! sweet summer child! i just want her to feel okay.

why are they drinking. in what universe was alphonso or seb possibly possessed enough to believe that getting drunk in THE MIDDLE OF A MURDER COMPETITION is okay? like wanting to escape and avoid the situation? valid. being a bit crazy with how you choose to use your abilities? still mostly valid. making an actual house, acting foolhardy, getting drunk, playing cards and pretending that you have literally no cause for concern to the point where its actually reckless endangerment? very not valid here! i’m trying not to just go on a rambling of profanities here but BRO. SERIOUSLY. are you THAT stupid? the commentary’s still fun though. but geez, seb needs to wake up and screw his head back on; i am chalking a lot of this up to alphonso’s influence and it’s pretty clear he couldn’t give less of a damn about seb’s actual wellbeing… i cant. done.

LMAOOO and emery/florence/kenji are literally RIGHT THERE. man i wish there was pizza in the backpacks. i wish i had pizza. though emery has reason to be irritated im not really sure kenji could’ve done much even if he’d been there with them, and he’s the reason they’ve got supplies right now so… kenji’s an mvp? that’s what i’m hearing. more snuggling, these three cute. literally the snuggling is 90% of whats keeping me going rn because the circumstances overall are miserable. rip. deathmatch laughter is unnerving, yes! oh. oh, wow, so he’s actually considering going back - mixing things up to try and save florence’s hearing? and even if he doesnt mean to, he might do it subconsciously? i can’t remember if that was touched on before but damn, does that add another layer to the issues with using his power. this alliance has got a lot to work through but they’re still my favorite and i really wanna see them power past all the hurt and uncertainties here.

frederick struck out on his own… i can’t blame him. he took the gun, but seb can just write another one into existence so ultimately its only noteworthy as long as he’s away from his former allies. kid just scored MAJOR likability points in my book though for being the Sole Sane Person in that alliance and addressing that alphonso and seb are LITERALLY JUST TEMPING FATE. that’s exactly it. It’s grandiose, its arrogant, and its delusional to pretend they’re entirely safe when they’re actually drunk sitting ducks that aren’t taking the danger they’re in seriously. good luck frederick!

oh no. oh ansel. ansel why. why are you going off alone. what are you doing. that one comment from liv and he’s internalized it so badly that he’s letting emotions override sensibility - he wandered off alone, without telling the others, to steal another group’s supplies on a whim because he feels like he’s gotta prove himself? bro ;-; bro no. he’s very ill equipped for this anyway, and there are THREE of them there against ONE of him! dxfcgjvhbj this all went sour so quickly.

and then, naturally, ansel gets killed. i guess his allies wont know per se that he’s dead, but even just his leaving i expect will weigh on liv’s conscience. kiara’s using that awesome injury/pain/ailment inducement thing she learned she could do to slow him down and then… iola straight up attacks. because ansel inspired her to kill him? was it to protect his allies so she couldnt keep asking questions or was it a byproduct of his fear/what he thought was gonna happen? and fae’s gone too… more scattering, more tension. iola’s trying to keep everything together on her own and kiara’s off in pursuit of fae, who hopefully wasnt affected enough that she’ll actually end up leaving them. (she wasnt ik but… in this passage it definitely seemed she might).

nice little tie up to the chapter with vincent, keeping track on where everyone is and letting the reader get a sense for what might come next for the contestants. ian assisting vincent with his balance is lovely ;-; the coaches truly care about one another and its so evident every time we see them. the way the maab set up these games seems quite ineffective and i cant imagine its not gonna be an issue for their overall plans, how long they might last overall. anita and the group outside definitely have a chance to turn things in their favor with that in mind - is it possible we might see a successful x-games takedown/contestant escape arc?

originally i wanted to do more reviews today and get thru 25 but my hands are honestly killing me and i dont think i can keep it up given how long these are getting, so i’ll leave a couple of my usual and be back some time before the years up to drop a few more here. 4k today and i still havent said everything i want to but just know that these chapters are brilliant and i admire and respect you so so much for all the effort you put into your stories! truly i wish i could say more because even that feels inadequate - your writing’s honestly what inspired me to come back during quarantine and start an syot of my own and i just look up to you and your work so much as a fellow syoter and a fellow writer. thank you for everything you’ve shared with us and everything you’re continuing to share with the fandom. i hope you’re doing well and staying safe! happy holiday season, elim! and a late good luck/congratulations for nanowrimo :)
11/27/2020 c21 symphorophilia
hello there! i'm sorry that i've been slacking on reviews again - your chapters are always so impressive and long that i feel they deserve at least 2k words but i dont really have the ability to do that right now... so i'm just gonna keep it short and sweet in order to knock out all the chapters i'm behind on today because smaller reviews (difficult for me tbh!) are definitely better than straight up not reviewing so djdekekek xD okay, there's my ramble, gonna just jump right in -

francine - honestly, the x-games generating more friction/discourse after the reveal makes a lot of sense, even though it wasn't something id immediately expected. in the x-men canon we continually see humans using even the smallest infractions by mutants as an excuse to color public perception of him, and enough of these kids have got trouble in their backgrounds for some of the populace to buy into the idea the maab's been trying to promote - that this is for public safety and the greater good of society. it was super smart of the magneto/piper crew to leak the games in order to try and sway opinion to their side, but ultimately it doesnt seem itll prove as effective as originally hoped - and furthermore, the maab now seems to know their "inside source" isnt vincent so anita could be in trouble! yikes. nothing good is happening here Dx

back into the games!

lea and elio are both not faring too great, but at the very least theyre both alive - not quite in one piece, as lea's injury would suggest, but definitely alive. it's evident that even watching the killings from the beginning of the games has taken its toll on lea and she's starting to feel a bit more inured... accepting that theyll have to fight if they want to make it out, realizing that the other tributes wont accede to pacifism even if she wants them to. i see some good growth room for her in the next few chaps! she and elio overall are in a pretty good spot, seeing as they got such a solid number of supplies - not to mention bandages and stuff to help patch that head wound of lea's. hopefully she's not concussed. i'm not a huge fan of elio, but one of the few things i like about him is how persistent he is, and how collected he's able to keep himself - he reassures lea, gives them a plan for what to do that's simple enough for flexibility but has a good sense of direction so they've got some guidance. definitely the sort of person you want with you in a crisis, even if his methods are flawed! he just radiates leadership, and hopefully he and lea can keep each other going with the arena getting uglier.

and here it comes. the big deafness reveal - iola's hearing is gone, and they're all behinning to realize it can't be fixed/that vincent lied to them. naturally, fae is distraught and blaming herself for it - it's tearing her up just as vincent thought it would, and ultimately, his quietude was more of a negative than a positive from what we're seeing here. and then henry's response leaves the others to immediately deduce that they knew what was going to happen (to a degree at least) which means friction is starting to build and their alliance is beginning to splinter. of course the girls are gonna feel betrayed that they didnt tell them - and now henry doesnt feel secure around them at all, and backpedals to using their instincts in order to escape the situation. this HURTS. knew the reveal was gonna be a mess but its chewing this entire alliance up and spitting them out to more hurt than before. iola's not giving up, though, and the others are supporting her the best they can... which isn't a surprise, though the guilt thats involved is gonna complicate things more once they have cause for friction or fighting again. interested to see where these four go! (as if i havent read the next few chaps already lol)

so kenji reunites with emery and florence and florence is DEFINITELY deaf. no superior vampire healing factor? that sucks. its good that kenji got some supplies and - right he has a deaf sister, so he and florence can still communicate! thats fantastic and ironic - luck seems to be on their side right now even with the loss theyve (florence has) taken. kenji slipped something into his pocket?! *eyes* what is it? so curious. so they're backing off and going passive for a while til florence recovers... ultimately thats gonna be for the best. with the balance/coordination problems fae's scream caused she wont be as effective as she might need to be to play an offensive game.

manaka and marcus are doing okay! those rain ponchos are gonna be extremely helpful given what the weather's been like thus far (and with the stress i cant imagine either liv or rick will be able to deviate from bringing some rain their way later haha)... "at least we'll kmow for next time"? damn, boy, getting some confidence! that's good. these two already have an advantage in how fast they're able to traverse the landscape, which means the "arena' is sort of theirs to control if they want to. they can go wherever they want and none of the other contestants will be able to stop them from running/see them coming. and then what? mallets? why mallets? that seems so... ineffective? xD i guess they work as well as a rock though so hey, cant really complain.

lunchtime. this group is doing alright - the tarp is certainly useful against the rain, and theyve got a solid number of supplies overall to keep them at ease. though it seems ansel's already been pegged for a weak link in the group... and he's internalizing what he sees as his ineffectiveness in an unhealthy way which i assume is a setup for more tension tbd. so liv's realizing she can't really control whats going on and that there's another weather manipulator out there... which is setting her on edge. lee's reassurance is a boon for her but also doesnt seem to have relieved any of her tension. still, at least he's trying - and keeping an open mind for how to proceed! im inclined to agree with elena im not sure how much good mallets are gonna do them against some of these powers - if youre fighting somebody who could fry you with lightning or melt anything they get their hands on theres no way youre not gonna get murked! aw elena got supplies and shes happy about feeling useful ;-; she's so baby i love her. i dont like the dark either and her fear is beyond reasonable here - hopefully she can channel it in an effective way if needed.

THEY HAVE A HOUSE. ive legit been laughing about this since you posted this chapter and the fact that on the blog its legit included in seb's inventory has me ROLLING. okay yeah talk about a major asset; and alphonso's directing it wholly for his own means, the snake. wish seb realized that he's being manipulated but at least he's got a useful ally for now. frederick actually went back to them! wow! unexpected, but not wholly unreasonable - seb IS about the most useful ally to have here. and so he lied about killing to make himself seem like more of a threat... not such a bad idea when alphonso's around, and the mutual distrust still lingers. cements his safety and paints him as a threat, which is something frederick could definitely use here.

sybil's frustration is reasonable but again, how about maybe not betting all your chips on one person next time? if she'd sought out other options for allies she'd be in a much better situation. at least she has a knife... better weapon than a mallet. she makes a good point about the arena being less contained too; who knows how long itll take for contestants to wander into each other?

jaime making the decision to leave with kylena and evelyn is ultimately the best they couldve done; elio and lea's strategy is far from an effective one, even if they mean well, and elio's insistence on keeping with it is detrimental and foolhardy as im concerned. with these two, they have a fighting chance. oof and there's my girl starting to let her restlessness/aggression take over... another step toward going on the offensive completely? she's TOTALLY lucky to be alive, no kidding... ntm the extra boots and coat she got because ive no doubt she'd have caught cold otherwise. her hair :( but if anyone in this fic can make a bald look work its evelyn, just saying. makenzie's loss is weighing on them heavy and its true that theyre gonna need to rest up on the chance theyll run into other contestants soon. they've got food, blankets, flashlights, painkillers... they arent too bad off! yet. fingers crossed it stays that way.

rick and vi just kill me. and the way they're starting to read each other and rely on each other more? yes this is it! i think they have good potential for longevity given they're both trying to put their morals and unease at bay to keep pressing forward and fighting... there's no question about what the priority is here, even if killing unsettles them. sabotaging the supplies/setting bait is very big brain of my kid im so proud. looks like they're going on the move, and i cant wait!

lilith and coburn are keeping steady while savannah's anxiety is putting her on edge. getting rid of her excess energy is both a plus for the immediate future and a negative for the longer term one; it's definitely gonna signal their location to the others. even though coburn's right that most people probably wouldnt want to attack someone that can shoot lightning from their hands, the other contestants aren't "most people." theyre desperate and in a fight for survival; there will be a few to pursue for sure. savannah's got pretty keen senses to realize what she did about the weather... wonder if rick or liv can effect her powers with how closely there's a possibility to tie electrokinesis with a storm. curious. and aww theyre a team! lilith and coburn have her back! I'M SOFT ;-; these three are giving me feels at 8am and i wasnt ready.

ian reassuring penelope... she needs it. mentoring is tough stuff and it blows me away how much care and focus you give to showing that in all of your fics! i love your worldbuilding and how you set up these dynamics, its just it. poor kid's still going thru it though :( ugh. she really didnt ever have a chance at a normal childhood and that hurts.

no deaths but sometimes that's a good thing for buildup! a long games just means a chance to read more of your writing and im totally okay with that, hehe. this entire story is beautiful and im sorry i havent recently been giving it the praise it deserves! thank you so much for keeping with it and producing content for all of us readers, every single update is brilliant and it just makes my day whenever i get an email for this story.

... aaand i was wrong about short bc this review ended up 1900 words anyway. well... onto the next!
10/10/2020 c22 2sock-feet-and-stirring-sand
hello hello!

I’ve been shite about reviewing, and I think a large part of that is me getting so behind and then wanting to give proper long reviews because you write such lovely long chapters and my reviews should reflect that— but then I end up doing nothing. so— short review while i’ve just read because you deserve more reviews for your exceptional worldbuilding and overall storytelling.

first off, just wanted to say you’ve done an excellent job with liv so far. i’m intrigued by her alliance and I was into her snapping this chapter a bit. I think you’ve done a great job differentiating the two girls who have similar powers and it makes for an interesting thought process for liv, who is very much a high achiever and even though she’s sort of shunted her mutant-ness to the side for most of her life, she still expects the best from herself even in regard to this.

I also wanted to mention that I really enjoy the slow-moving-ness of these games. I think a lot of authors are tempted to rush through their games but you’re thoughtful with your chapters and going slow really allows you to express these thought processes in every alliance. as a reader it also makes me slow down and feel as if i’m in this arena, where there’s so much going on and no tributes are coasting through. even when there’s less action there’s ample conversation and/or thought processes going on and I just think the pacing is perfect. I think we need more “slow” games (and slow does not refer to the speed or interest level of the chapter, just the death rate!).

i’m also continually impressed by how you’ve managed these powers and made them an important part of the story without making them overwhelm the characters. i’m still able to separate the characters from their powers and part of that is because so many of them are less competent with their powers but also because you haven’t allowed their powers to define them as people! their culture could take notes from you...

anyways this review is less about the chapter and more a summary of what I should have been saying for months but I figure now is as good a time to leave a review as any! in all honesty I got this notification at a (covid safe) lil party we were having at my place and i’m currently sideways on the couch reviewing the chapter. I look half passed out so one of my roommates just went “ali are you past the point of no return” and I had to explain that i’m not drunk, just reading good fanfic that I need to focus on. you know how it be.

also the power to literally create anything out of nowhere is so damn OP i’m obsessed. I was so stuck when I made liv’s so I wish I had that creativity.

anyways i’m here and reading and very much involved in this story. hoping to continue to review from this point! thanks for another great update and i’ll see you in the next!
9/13/2020 c20 10BamItsTyler
Great job. How is school for you, I wonder? Probably in person. Like I said, purely online up here. Our Dinosaur professors dont know much about online stuff, so I'm still slowly trying to "get used" to my new reality.

Not to mention work, and more reserves training. But enough talk, the bloodbath has begun!

A mountain valley area, not bad. Very vanilla, so unlike to be crumbled off the face of the earth. A twelve year old girl destroyed an entire island...which wasn't too too big, but still a land mass. I wonder how these guys may mess things up. "forest fire" perhaps? I think that even though this arena seems "basic" there are going to be some contestants who rock the boat.

Cob, Liv and Marcus are alright. That's good.

Alphonso and Seb have obviously left Fredrick. Fred was the odd man out from the beginning. I wonder how Alphonso and seb will develop. They peg me as long-timers, end game people, a lot of contestants this time around peg me as people who will live a long time.

And then we get into the fight...

I thought Fred was gonna melt someone. When he does, im going to feel bad for the poor person.

Mackenzie...She might have teetered on the border for me. Sad. Sybil again, reminds me of that previous contestant. Defo antagonist for sure. I thought she would be one of the first to die, because she pegged me as a "bimbo" type. Very pretty, seductive, etc. But here she is, alive. Kylena saves the day...sorta.

The bigger alliance remains ok...for now. They could go anywhere to be honest.

The attack on Fae..it failed! I'll credit that to their training. There was *barely* any issue. They were all pretty solid as a team and that worked in their favor. Florence is deaf now..sorta possibly. I wonder how that'll hinder her or aid her. Are Bats deaf, can they rely on echolocation...that means they're blind-ish...Anyways, it serves as a neat narrative device.

When I thought about Florence's bat mode, I thought of a itty bitty thing, but a medium sized bat seems up her alley.

Joseph and Alannah didn't deserve that. And the rock!? C'mon ugh. Circumstances I guess. So like I said, Vi is really coming into his own. His very first Point of view kinda signalled that he'd be someone to look out for and here he is, playing the Game. I don't think we could've expected anything less. He volunteered!

A great, twisty bloodbath as per usual. And great next chapter. I read ahead but I cant remember the contents exactly.
8/22/2020 c20 23symphorophilia
we've… reached the games. what? already? granted its been a good while since WYFA began but its still so hard to believe we're about to lose some of these kids here! the x-games are officially about to begin!

interesting that they kept the color coding up on the tribute uniforms; they're still making that distinction, even though the contestants are headed into the games? wondering if there's a significant purpose behind it. warm clothes… admittedly wyoming isn't the coziest place to live through most of the year. the bits on the blog regarding landscape appearance is also fascinating; it's partially wilderness, partially plains. we got craigs and a rocky outcrop but also a lot of barren landscape… both of which could definitely be a pain as tribute survival goes; i'm assuming they aren't equipped for mountaineering and there's not a lot of space to hide in the environment.

so the collars arent getting turned off until the tributes exit the tunnel? an attempt to prevent another ky incident, perhaps... regardless, it seems like we've already got a few tributes scheming as a result of this, namely joseph/alannah and vi. let's see where it goes

i'm going to just quickly give a rundown of my thoughts for each pov we get in this chapter - some will be a bit less involved than others sheerly because i don't have a tonne to say yet… but all in good time!

coburn stuck to the tried and true "get in and get out" bloodbath strategy and it served him well; got a couple backpacks, escaped unharmed and ultimately reunited with his allies. overall, this group's in a solid position.

liv also going for the backpacks, but encountering unexpected resistance as she gathers supplies. though there's no way that lea would've posed a threat here (i mean, cmon, we're talking about one of the most vocal pacifists here), simply seeing a person rush toward you is probably enough for reflex to kick in. and that's what liv's acting on - reflex. it's telling that she spared lea; she's still holding survival as her primary goal, which led her to run instead of go through with the kill. but liv's proven she's adept in fighting and (perhaps more significantly) is willing to fight, so i think she's probably got some range for development from that standpoint. she's choosing her alliance and survival now, but she might prioritize combat later.

marcus and manaka following coburn's lead; get supplies and get out. they avoided the fighting and managed to travel quite a distance from the… are we calling it a cornucopia? lets stick with tried and true - which spells good things for their longevity. and they found a lake! water's an essential. they're in good shape for a bit, i think.

alphonso choosing not to go for the supplies, and simply booking it instead; good idea to avoid the fighting, but now they'll have to forage for supplies instead which can be more difficult. still, i suppose he has seb, which means they can pretty much just magic some food and water into existence whenever? ditching frederick doesn't surprise me as alphonso goes, but i could see it causing some division with seb… and frederick clearly will be pissed.

yeah, yeah, here we go! it's already getting to him… the plans he was making are being disrupted, he's already wondering if alphonso was feeling suspicious. so he goes for the supplies and then changes his focus to trying to do some damage; good in theory, but not quite as good in practice.

oof, and then the girls gang up on him! makenzie and evelyn were handling it pretty well (aside from evelyn's hair melting… which… ouch? least it wasnt worse but i'm sure my girl's gonna be feeling that for awhile! still, holding her own with frederick right next to her is impressive. her clothes though! fjjfkdkd in a landscape like this, she's missing a jacket and a boot? big yikes! i can't wait to hear from her later about how much damage she's actually taken) - seemed like they actually could've taken him down until sybil swooped in. sad to lose makenzie so early on but she wasn't one of the strongest competitors, and after being caught off-guard by sybil, her odds got significantly worse. still, she was such a sweetheart and we're gonna miss her! rip makenzie!

kylena showing up just a little too late, yikes! she pulled a similar move to sybil, striking at her back while she was occupied with another contestant, and it's pretty ironic how well it worked. sybil probably shouldve seen it coming. so frederick books it - ditching sybil and striking out in his own, it seems, while also abandoning his gloves! is that gonna spell disaster for his future time in the arena? hell yes. i dont see him returning to any of his allies without some contention either so it might be safe to assume he's alone for now? sybil too.

aaaand the large alliance is already splintering. totally didnt see that one coming! evelyn's got every right to be annoyed, and it speaks a lot to their overall cohesiveness as a group that one of their party is already dead and two are quite injured. the divide is exactly where i thought it would be too; with evelyn and kylena pitted against lea and elio. the rationals versus the empaths, if you will. jaime finally making the decision to fight for their survival was something foreshadowed quite a bit during the training chapters and watching them finally break away from elio and lea offers them more of a chance to come into their own in the games, i think; evelyn and kylena are a better match.

emery and florence strike at their intended targets, and kiara's almost taken down! great save by henry; this alliance would've been in a very bad position if their resident medic got taken out. for a moment i forgot emery was a werewolf and i was like "wait is a random wolf attacking her?! do we get wildlife?" but then the bat came in and everything clicked. florence and emery are an impressive and well coordinated team, actually, they were just a bit outmatched by the other groups numbers and abilities. iola mimicking fae was a smart plan; too bad it didn't pan out. florence alert and keeping on the offensive, but then fae lets out her scream of death! and then! we get more deafness.

man, it's gonna be such a scene for the henry/iola/fae/kiara group when they realize kiara won't be able to heal iola's deafness. it'll put her at a huge disadvantage in the arena, but if her allies stick by her she still has a decent chance… though its possible this revelation will splinter their group. and fae's probably gonna blame herself which is :( :( ugh why couldnt vincent have just told her beforehand? i mean, i know why, but also - the arena seems like a worse place for guilt than training! its gonna eat her up. still, her scream effectively saved her alliance. florence's also suffering hearing loss and that's an interesting route to take her down… personally given her agelessness and other slew of vampiric abilities, i'm surprised she took damage like she did and emery didn't.

tldr its too early for me to ramble and i cant find the energy to summon my usual chaotic verve for reviews but! djidjdjrjdnd this entire situation is brilliant and was executed perfectly. fae's scream and the way she used it in hopes that she could be helpful to her allies and protect them, the harm and damage it actually caused, florence falling from the sky and emery not yet realizing the extent of the damage she's taken, henry being the real mvp in saving kiara, iola's insistence that because she has kiara she'll be fine when readers know the case is that she's anything but… i'm! so! hyped! to see the aftermath of this altercation next chapter. this is premium content. like your bloodbath chapters always slam but with the added volatility that superpowers bring to the situation? its even more intense than normal!

okay… onto rick and vi. and here we get the reveal of what you foreshadowed so expertly at the beginning of the chapter; vi's set a plan in place to take out joseph and alannah. and i mean. what? i'm not shocked that he took advantage of an opportunity - quite pleased and proud actually - but this kid legit kicked out a rock to use as a weapon in preparation for murder and it's weirdly horrifying as much as it is impressive? rick's totally right to feel a bit iffy about it all; the plan is so opportunistic that it seems unfair, even if the situation is kill or be killed. still, he demonstrates resolve by adhering to what vi intends and following through with it. the death scenes for alannah and joseph were heartwrenching and painful, just seeing how little chance they had to fight back and how quickly they were overwhelmed by the other duo… joseph calling for alannah to help him HURT, not to mention his begging and just how clearly overwhelmed he was by rick. and then alannah wanted to assist but she was petrified and scared and her chance was over before she really even had an opportunity to act. the "that's not fair" / "i know" exchange was short but powerful, and to follow it up with this immediate beatdown from allanah's perspective was tragic. this scene was painful in all the right ways, and damn, what a note to end the "bloodbath" with!

like i continually say how surprised i am by the direction you've taken vi in, and that stands true still, but i'm absolutely here for it! he's basically filling the role of a pseudo-career right now, as is rick (though he kind of got roped into it). it's interesting to really see their differences be pulled out here; rick giving into his emotions, vi staying jaded and hardened. i'd expected it to be the other way around when we first started training, but vi's really sort of come into his own because of the games situation; his amorality, his cynicism and his selfishness are featuring much more strongly than his insecurity and mercurial feelings at this point. rick's the opposite; he's got clearer values and his emotions have always played a large role in defining his story, especially sentiment regarding the information about his mother and his reluctance to actually kill. so joseph did manage to amplify rick's powers… and with them being linked so closely with rick's emotion it'll probably cause some tumult the further into the games we get.

it hasn't slipped my notice that vi and rick are basically "holding down the fort" at the unofficial cornucopia. vi's a volunteer, these two made some of the first kills, now they're sitting with the supply pile. yeah, pseudo-careers indeed! if the x-verse progresses, this gives a lot of material for worldbuilding in the sense that we're getting hints it could be possible for mutants to volunteer for and actively train for an x-games. sybil's on her own, but she's the other early killer and the other tribute who practiced fighting with judah… it'd be very interesting to see her possibly encounter or team up with rick and vi at some point.

judah! this pov was… ominous. and yeah, there's the mentions of his trainees being the first killers in the games! his detachment and tactical view of the first bit of the games is callous, but fair; as far as judah's concerned, the maab holds all the power. nothing else is much threat. the end of this pov though! ohoho look at that - magneto's team (and piper especially) throwing a wrench in all their plans. x-games are trending?! how is THIS gonna go over! djkfkfjdnd i'm shaking with anticipation. can't wait for the next update! congrats on reaching the games, and i hope you're faring well!
8/21/2020 c19 10BamItsTyler
We're online. My campus is located downtown in the most busiest district hotbed for a outbreak. I'm enjoying the extended leave...I imagine that fall next year, things might be better to come back. More opportunity to make money. Heheheh. Good luck to you as well. Here's hoping your local government has enough sense to limit class sizes and whatnot, our local government is...weird.

I eagerly await those poll results.

...I said tomorrow, but tommorow means a lot of things! I owe a lot of people reviews..

It must be jarring to be deaf. How do you hear yourself speak? Vincent is the mole with Anita being the mastermind. I guess being the doctor to tend to the fallen contestants can get a little taxing...Even if it was only one time, times thirty or so children. Now that I have an understanding, I'm curious to see how Anita will try to throw a wrench in this system..

Ill bounce around a little bit. I'm enjoying what you're doing with Florence. The age factor...even though she's (I think) chronologically...14, serves as a critical factor in the coaxing and bond she has with Kenji and Emery. If the next chapter is any idea, there will be setbacks but I can't wait to see how her 'wizened' persona will develop. And perhaps how it will propel Emery and Kenji. She realizes what she needs to do. The tidbit about the 'limbo' between the School and her lifelong friend was also enjoyable.

Piper's little scene was pretty cool as well. I read the next chapter sort of, so its already making headwind. I guess I'll speak to that soon...Snowy Owl. She has her own X-name! Not my first choice, but I'm not complaining. Will they snatch a tribute or two? Will their attempts to thwart MAAB work?

I forgot how...willing Vi was. He *was* the volunteer afterall. Rick surprised me too, but Rick was more human about his combat while Vi was so...not human. My interest is renewed due to these facts. Kinda forgot about him a little bit.

I look forward to seeing Savannah rock. I forget the next chapter and I'll have to go over it again. These guys are pretty squared away so no prblems there. Lilith is the conduit but like Alannah, she too is hesitant.

OKAY, since I am free from my #essentialworker duties, I can probably crank some reivews out tommorow. In advance, great 'bloodbath', and awesome blog update. It's something I want to replicate in the future for sure.
8/15/2020 c18 BamItsTyler
I too wonder about how this subplot will end...Since I've already read ahead, I guess I'll save my ramblings about it until then.

In terms of Alannah...Whatever I put in Penelope's form in terms of personality doesnt hold a candle to what you've done with her. I recall putting world-weary and stoic? as personality strengths and flaws. She's 13 now...but I could only imagine how...Asocial she'd be at...20. Alvin cowering - given his famous FC (I think) makes for an amusing scene. Her hesitance doesn't bode well in terms of combat, but I'm here for it in terms of the drama it could cause. Here's hoping she can *stock up* and hone her powers just a little bit more...chances are...probably not.

In terms of Joseph, at least she has some nice allies to depend on, and a coach who is a straight talker. I'd like to believe this group has a chance. I enjoy this group the most, among others.

30 is a lot, but I got tabs on most of em. Now that Kiera knows how to bring up past injuries, she could give people a new lease on life, or screw them over..

Fae/Kenji/Emery: Fae can do more than just manipulate feelings based on her tempo. I'm not sure how this plot against Fae could go. I'm looking forward to the moment that they cross paths, however. I very much enjoyed the animalisitc side of Florence and Emery reacting to the harsh noise. This alliance - excluding Kenji have accepted the reality of their situation...Kenji's reaction is typical. And due to his reaction...I could see him in these games for the long haul. He's 12...and his power is a technical one. It's legit mentality to have.

Florence's calculating though...I've forgotten her form, makes sense though.

Her scream caused Vincent to have messed up hearing. Will Fae find out...? I sorta read through the next chapter, I don't recall seeing it.

A nice touch, giving a pistol to Mack Urban...Why? They wouldnt get far if they shot the MAAB anyway, soo... Alphonso and Seb get closer while Fred is...on the sidelines. He spoke to Sybil didn't he? Jealousy and apprehension is a bad thing in the Games, I see him making a move...but on the other hand, that ruins the chance that Seb makes something cool appear. If he really wanted to, he could take out most of the contestants if he cooked up something nasty. Another alliance that I enjoy so far. Tons of potential in terms of arena advancement.

Kylena I think reperesents the ills of having a big alliance...people just in it for protection but when the fighting actually happens, how will they perform. I think it's only fate that one or two of them may fall during the scramble. If not, then a conflict might dissolve the alliance in general.

There are a lot of plots being made, that I can see. It'll be nice when the games start to really sift through the damage report - so to speak - and compare the training chapters to the opening flights and people beginning to leave us. I'd like to think I have abeat on Kylena's alliance, but I'm uncertain. This goes for a lot more alliances as well. Next chapter might tie some loose ends up we'lll see.

Nicholas was right. First Alvin being mauled, now Vincent being deaf. Lets see if the next chapter sheds some light on his perspective and how he appears to the other tributes in kind following the accident.

...Of course...Tommorow.
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