6 Jun 2013

Subject 13 #22 - Commentary

As always, please read the issue before continuing.

Nasty gets to return to school, this time at an exclusive school for girls in Rochester.  But, before I get started with the meat of the issue...  Anne's assumed surname, for the sake of Nasty's undercover work.  The issue was written prior to August of 2001, when The Princess Diaries was released to theatres.  I may have heard ads and made the subconscious connection between "Anne" and "Hathaway".  May.  Who knew the actress would go on to be popular?

Naming coincidences aside, Anne and Nasty now get to pose as mother and daughter.  Nasty is now about three levels deep in secret ID.  The school uniform becomes another annoyance for Nasty; she feels exposed in a short skirt.  It's not that Nasty hates skirts.  It's been established, through her actions and thoughts, that she doesn't like how her body looks.  Nasty also doesn't like feeling exposed, in part in rebellion from her mother.  Back at Seward in New York, Nasty took the pants option with her school uniform.  The option doesn't exist for her at her new school.

Nasty's preference for small groups appears as well.  Rusty, Jessica's new best friend, has to work hard at drawing more than one word from the new girl, even with the new girl knowing she has to be friendly.  Nasty's new classmates get introductions, both with full names and with nicknames.  Note that Nasty compares both her old schools.  With the grand entrance of Cynthia and Emily, Nasty believes she has her suspects.  She just needs proof, thus the arc that has begun.  Will Cynthia and Emily make a mistake that reveals them as the villainous pyro twins, Cinder and Ember?  Can Nasty catch them before they start setting the world on fire?  Later issues have the answer.

The final scene has Nasty finishing her Phys. Ed. class and meeting her new friend for lunch.  Rusty, naturally, wants to get to know Jessica a little more.  The new girl could be interesting, could be dull.  Once Rusty has gone to get her lunch, Nasty starts realizing how much she doesn't really fit in; a brown bag lunch that she made when everyone else buys lunch is a huge factor, especially when a school is targeted for the upper income parents.  The enormity of what is happening finally gets through Nasty's outer shell.

Tomorrow, Nasty continues her investigation to find the Pyro Twins.
Saturday, at Fan To Pro, unofficial adaptations under new names.
Coming soon, more NaNo Prep, more Traveller.


  1. Nailed it in one! I was hoping you'd start by addressing the name that caused my eyebrows to go up. You've started to repeat yourself btw - the pants option was mentioned last time. You've mentioned the feeling exposed and mother comparisons before too. The dangers of a serial, I'm sitting here going "yeah... I know... what else is new..." Granted sometimes it's warranted, like the Seward name thing, which I remember you saying before but the details eluded me.

    Regards plot. First, I'm waffling on you recapping, since technically there were six days in there, but for me it was six minutes. I'm coming down on the side of okay, but there's much BIGGER questions I wished had been answered. For instance:
    -Why is it news to Nasty that Emily and Cynthia are "new" students? What happened to the Foundation doing research? Getting a list of all new enrollments? Or STAFF? For that matter, why is she so sure the students are at this school? Weren't there two all-girls in the area? Is someone else on assignment there?
    -Why doesn't Jessica have a better cover story? WHAT COVER STORY HAS SHE BEEN USING WITH THE FOUNDATION? Why is she back to school on ASSIGNMENT, as opposed to back to school because, well, she doesn't have a high school diploma yet? She doesn't seem like she's very good at coming up with stuff on the fly, so again, Foundation: easiest organization to infiltrate ever.
    -Why *is* she on assignment? Micki just gave her a talking to saying she "has to maintain equipment" has "has to know where Peregrine is AT ALL TIMES" - how can she accomplish those things while on assignment?! If she's obviously not, WHO is doing it in her absence? Edward? (By the way, I'd forgotten about his earlier appearance, that was another good call before).
    -Where is the Consortium? They never said they're backing off, in fact, they sent three guys. With the addition of another school here, I'm starting to feel a bit like I've entered PART II of a series without finishing PART I. (Which is mitigated somewhat by Nasty's comparisons and regrets.) You say later issues reveal if Nasty can stop the Pyro twins, I call duh, and want to know about the guys from Issues 1-15.

    I'll conclude on a good note, I liked the remarks about creating your own school as referenced in the last commentary. It also avoids people saying "but it's not quite like that!" or "did you put me into this story?!".

    1. It took me time to piece together Anne's name again in the commentaries. It was a fluke, unintentional, but I may have heard ads for her movie. In a way, the commentaries are a serial, too; though, this time, I should be able to go back a week to see if I mentioned something.

      Nasty's surprised because she didn't think two new girls would act that way so fast. There's only so much research that can be done; again, in 2001, the amount of detail needed and available online wasn't as great as today. Fake IDs are harder to do now. And, yes, there are two all-girls schools.

      At this point, the best explanation I have is that Anne works in mysterious ways. Anne is more aware of what's going on than Nasty could imagine. Issue 29 goes further with the idea you mentioned - Jessica really should go to school.

      Anne is using Jessica the best way she knows. Jessica can pass as a student because she's the right age. Next best choice is Micki, who really didn't get fully developed yet. Edward's a good guess, really. :) (Again, there are details that would fit best under an American Eagle serial that just don't fit in Subject 13.)

      They're sort of in the background right now. They'll make cameos later, but I wanted an arc where Nasty could focus on one problem instead a number. They just sort of fell in the cracks for a bit; they didn't fit with the current storyline, but still count towards Nasty's disadvantages.

      I like to use real cities - maps are easier to make - but once there, create a school that is fictional to avoid people pointing out errors. As long as the school feels right, differences get chalked up to being a different school.