Casualties of War

(1) Casualties of War (Sentinel)

By Fyresong
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th December 2000 (6)

The summary for this was intriguing, so I thought I would read it. I should have been warned by the author's disclaimer that she had only seen a handful of episodes and read a ton of fan fiction. Or even more so, that the first episodes she saw were Sentinel Too parts 1 and 2. She seems to have taken Jim's behaviour in those episodes as the norm, and laid all of the blame for the events there completely at Jim's feet. At least she makes him angst well enough. But it's a pity, because it wouldn't take all that much work to fix the characterisation here. Simon is inconsistent too, with one breath he's worried about Jim, and with the next one he's blaming him.

There are some things that don't really fit. For example, here's Jim recalling one of those fateful conversations with Blair:
    ("Oh, hey, I was down at the station doing some work and I met this woman . . ."
    "Look Chief, why don't you spare me the details?")
    Blair HAD tried to tell Jim, to tell him about Alex, he realized grimly, guiltily.

The problem with this is simply that there is no way that Jim could have deduced from what Blair actually said that he was trying to tell Jim about Alex; combined with the high improbability of Jim actually remembering that conversation word-for-word anyway, considering how much he had on his mind at the time, it's not fair to pile guilt on Jim about it.

That's just one example.

One also has to watch out for the occasional typo, but apparently the author is dyslexic... but maybe she needs to get someone else to proof-read it, then, considering that she's aware of the problem.

The other thing to be aware of is that this is not a complete story; it continues in the next one.

(2) Covert Operations (Sentinel/Stargate)

By Fyresong
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th December 2000 (7)

Reading this, I felt I had ended up in a weird parallel universe where doppelgangers abound - people who look exactly the same as the people you know, but they are actually completely different. Not only is Simon more techy than I can believe, the Major Crimes gang are Blairphiles to the nth degree, Jim is an utter asshole (whereas in the real universe he's only a 50% asshole at worst), but Blair has been replaced by an ex-military covert operative on a hair-trigger. I know! Someone cast a perfection spell (like in that Buffy episode) on Blair!

The pity is that if it had been more in character, I might actually have liked it, what with the dreams and visions and phone conversations between Jim and Blair. If only the author could refrain from bashing Jim every other page, and had made Simon more like Simon and as for Blair, it might have been an interesting idea if it weren't completely and utterly unbelievable. The irony of that is that I have actually read one story where the author explored the question "What if Blair hadn't been lying when he said 'I flew Apaches in Desert Storm' in _Siege_?" and it was more plausible than this story. So it wasn't so much the fact of Blair having been in the military that was the problem, but having Blair be a SuperBlair who could out-covert Jim Ellison that was unbelievable.

The author's note at the end annoyed me too; I don't like being blackmailed into giving feedback.

(3) Standard Operating Procedure (Stargate/Sentinel)

By Fyresong
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th December 2000 (8)

This is the companion piece to "Covert Operations", from the Stargate point of view. One can tell that the author has a better grasp of the Stargate characters than she has of the Sentinel ones, though there is a touch of Stargate fanon here too, and I don't really think that General Hammond actually thinks of Daniel the way that he does here. There's also a bit of a rushed feeling in this, it felt as if Daniel put things together a little too quickly.

But I did like the bit where the SG folks assumed that the Tahuantinsuyu had a technological solution.

The story had potential.

(4) Broken Soldiers (Sentinel/Stargate)

By Fyresong
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th December 2000 (9)

Well. It seems this author isn't content with the unbelievable, with distortions that swing all interpretations of Jim's character into the worst possible light (and making Jim go around with his foot permanently in his mouth) -- she's now descended into outright lies in her campaign against Jim Ellison.

And I quote (Blair's PoV):

"Weren't they partners, even if Jim never admitted it in public except that first time as a joke to Joel?"

That is a complete fabrication. Jim has called Blair his partner on plenty of occasions, and not as a joke. (If you're curious as to how often and in what way, read my article "Blair Sandburg: Anthropologist -- and what else?" on my Sentinel web page, Sentinel & Guide).

Even if she hasn't seen that many episodes, the transcripts are freely available to all on Becky's site, so she is without excuse.

The other thing that gets me about this is that both here and in the earlier encounters that Jack O'Neill has with Jim, she makes Jack immediately jump to the conclusion that Jim is a cold-hearted bastard, without any evidence whatsoever. This, IMHO, is doing a disservice to Jack, who not only knows what the military life can do to grind the warm-heartedness out of a person, but knows, from the inside, what being a cold-hearted bastard is, because that was the way he was after his son Charlie died (ref. Stargate the movie); and therefore is one of the most likely people to actually have some sympathy towards Jim even if Jim really was such a cold-hearted bastard as he's being painted to be.

I wonder, after reading this, exactly what fan fiction the author had read, that she liked so much. She seems to have avoided everything which speaks of the love and friendship between the guys, instead portraying two guys who hate each other bound by an instinct that they can't escape.

Why on earth is the author bothering to write about characters that are so horrible? The way she portrays Jim is like an atheist talking about God; if Jim was really like that, I wouldn't be a fan of the show! Why doesn't she just kill Jim and get it over with?

No matter how much I like Sentinel/Stargate crossovers, I simply can't read any more of this... defamation. I cannot trust the author not to get into another orgy of Jim-bashing, even though by this story Jim and Blair have supposedly patched up their differences.