Hippy and Goldilocks
By Gil Hale
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 28th October 2001 (6)
I stayed up far too late reading this story, I just couldn't put it down. This being a Sentinel/Professionals crossover, it's definitely AU for both series. It is set in a universe reminiscent of Susan Foster's GDP series or CiceroCat's "Bright New Future" -- Guides are empathic, Sentinels and Guides have a psychic bond, and Guides are second-class citizens who need medication to suppress their empathy or they can't cope. Unfortunately, we got all this information at the start in an info-dump disguised as Jim's musings. There was too much telling and not enough showing. But once we got past the introduction, and into the section where unbonded Sentinel Jim Ellison was working with unbonded Sentinel Bodie, things picked up. I love the title of the story -- it's very Bodie.
Jim rammed his fist into the ground in frustration. "Do you think I haven't tried everything?"
"Not everything," Bodie said, looking irritatingly in control. "I'd say you haven't tried subtle."
The use of some familiar names alerted us to who the Evil Gad Buy of the story would be... I'm not sure whether that was a good idea or not. But I liked how the two pairs were working on different ends of the problem, though they knew it not. I liked the way the author was subtle (there's that word again!) in the way that the attraction (and mutual assistance) between Sentinel and Guide pairs was manifesting without either party being aware of it (except the one party who'd had some little experience of it). And I liked some of the parallels between Jim + Bodie and Blair + Doyle. I feel that the characterisation of Bodie and Doyle was actually better (deeper) than that of Jim & Blair, which isn't that surprising since the author has written more Professionals stories than Sentinel ones. I can't say more for fear of spoilers, but let's say that I found certain events more emotionally satisfying and plausible when they happened to Bodie and Doyle than with Jim and Blair, and maybe that was because they were more plausible, and maybe that was because we saw more of Bodie's thought-processes than Jim's, I'm not sure. Be that as it may, I like this Bodie and Doyle muchly, and I want to see more of them.
(2) Rogues (Sentinel/Professionals)
By Gil Hale
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 18th August 2002 (3)
I was surprised and pleased to see that this author had written a sequel to her previous heavily AU crossover "You Watch the Hippy, I'll Take Goldilocks" which is set in a future Cascade which somewhat resembles Susan Foster's GDP universe, in that Sentinels and Guides are well known, Guides are empaths who bond with their Sentinels for life, and Guides are not treated that well (but no way as badly as they are treated in Susan Foster's universe). Another difference in this universe is that Guides can take medication to suppress their empathy (but it is illegal to get outside official channels, and is unhealthy in the long term) and that here, someone invented the Resonator, a machine whose broadcast brings latent Guides on-line, often painfully. The previous story ended with newly bonded Sentinel and Guide Jim Ellison and Blair Sandburg working for Major Crimes, pretending not to be bonded, but Simon Banks knowing they are, and newly bonded Sentinel and Guide Bodie and Doyle, CI5 agents both, being sent by Cowley to Macklin for retraining.
This story brings the foursome back together again, as "There's some new technology in Cascade and everybody wants a piece of the action." And there sure is action, starting from the first dramatic paragraph. Well, perhaps not all that much action, but the plot does have some unexpected twists and surprises, partly because there are many different players on the board, and they don't all want the same thing; and also because some of the things we thought we knew, we find out a different slant on. Characterwise, Bodie and Doyle have partner troubles, a source of angst, which, while they did resolve it at the end, I feel they have more to work through. Jim and Blair have troubles also, but they manage them better (with some lovely smarmish scenes too). Not that there wasn't a bit of fun sprinkled in the midst of the tension as well.
And the title, I have to say a word about the title. Of course it is a reference to the episode "Rogue" because a Certain Person turns up, but it's "Rogues" because there's more than one rogue, and indeed one could consider that there's more than one set of rogues. Rogues of different stripe and purpose. A fitting title, I think.
(3) Fear (Sentinel/Professionals)
By Gil Hale
Reviewed by Kathryn A on 23rd February 2003 (4)
This is the third story in the "Hippy and Goldilocks" AU crossover series, and continues on just as well as the other two. This time most of the action takes place in England, and, naturally, this does end up feeling rather more like a Profs story than a TS story, in the style of its plot -- nicely so. Bodie and Doyle are themselves, even in this odd universe; and Jim and Blair and Simon open the proceedings in style.
"Sorry we took so long," he said to Simon. "Too much Australian beer; Sandburg kept falling over his feet."
There was an indignant noise from the back seat. "That's not what slowed us up! He stopped to arm-wrestle, Simon. If you ask me it's a primp... primt... caveman attempt to impress Megan."
"You're just jealous, Chief. Especially as I won."
"Not. It's beneath me. Anyway, I didn't say you did impress her, I said you tried to. She didn't look impressed to me."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the Atlantic, things aren't quite so lighthearted...
Bodie was ankle deep in mud in a field on the edge of the South Downs. It was pitch dark, raining, and although for early December the weather could probably be called mild, it was cold enough to numb his hands. Doyle, following his lead almost silently, was as miserable as a wet cat.
Bodie was enjoying himself.
Never mind that Cowley had sent them out like a couple of hunting dogs -- "Seek! Fetch! Don't kill!" Never mind that they were probably going to spend the night out of doors getting colder and muddier. He was moving through the darkness tracking his man with a certainty that exhilarated him.
A few things tie in from the previous story, but one doesn't need to go and re-read it to refresh one's memory; they aren't that tightly tied. This one is strong on the plot, and doesn't have so much character development as the previous stories. But it's a good plot with action and twists and things to make one uneasy. I loved the way that the title ended up meaning more than it seemed on the surface.