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26 July 2008 @ 02:45 pm
Numb3rs Fic: Seven Deadly Sins: Lust  
Written for numb3rs100 Summer of Sin/Seven Deadly Sins Challenge – Lust


Title: Seven Deadly Sins: Lust
Series/Universe: Seven Deadly Sins
Pairing/Characters: Don, David, OCs
Rating: PG13
Word Count: 300
Spoilers: Seasons 1-4
Summary: The killer is caught but too late to save one of their own
Notes/Warnings: Read the disclaimer on my LJ


LAPD arrived only seconds before Don and David's cars came to a screeching halt in front of the apartment building.

Throwing on their kevlar as they ran, they entered the building and bolted up the stairs - the officer with the battering ram first followed by Don, his forearms heavily bandaged.

The door to apartment 202 smashed and splintered open as the team made entry - bypassing the empty living room and heading for the open double doors to the bedroom.

Six guns drew a bead on the man standing on the bed.

"LAPD! Drop your weapon and put your hands up!"

Don tried to make his mouth work, but the sight of The Judge - one hand holding a bloody knife and the other fisted in Liz's hair, holding her body up like a limp rag doll - overwhelmed him. Liz had been sliced open from breasts to crotch right down the middle, blood and entrails spilling out over the bed.

"Sinners!" The Judge cried out, brandishing his bloody knife. "I die a martyr!" His rant halted abruptly as he recognized Don. "No! You're supposed to be dead!" he screamed.

He made to fling the knife at Don, but the nearest LAPD officer took the shot. The Judge crumpled, his body joining Liz's in a bloody tangle on the mattress.

"No! We needed him alive!" Don cried, rushing towards him. He quickly checked for a pulse, but shook his head: dead.

"Don, who is this guy?" David asked. "Why did he target us?"

Don pulled up the man's sleeve to reveal a familiar tattoo.

"I recognize this."

David stared aghast. "Corcoran... The guy who killed with all the biblical verses. That tattoo was on Jared Parr, his accomplice."

"It looks like he found another Judas," Don said mournfully. "And his Judas found us..."

=
 
 
 
Emma DeMarais: BlueEyeemmademarais on July 26th, 2008 09:45 pm (UTC)
Confession
Surprise!

In true evil fashion I rewrote this fic just before posting it so anyone who saw an earlier draft wouldn't know the real ending. /grins/

So Liz is dead, few tears are shed. She was an obvious choice given how lust is about all she had with Don during their adrenaline fueled romance. It was easy for Don to guess it would be her given all the people they know. I mean, Cal Sci? Least libidinous place, right? Hehehe

Thanks to Lady Shelley's Running the Numb3rs site I got the names I needed from Thirteen to tie this into canon. Judas was killed, but I figured it wasn't a stretch for the Thirteen killer to have had another Judas, perhaps an earlier one that ended up too unstable to do his bidding, but just dangerous enough to enact revenge on the FBI and Charlie for killing his messiah/mentor. I mean, Clay Porter watched them all and took pictures. It wasn't much of a stretch to think someone else could have watched the investigation and known who to blame - perhaps even seen Corcoran get shot in FBI custody.

So in lieu of an epilogue, Colby's lungs recover from being forcibly caffeinated, they get the drug out of Alan's system that caused his paralysis and he makes a full recovery, Amita gets offered a better position that will still allow her to do the Higgs boson project with Larry and Don's burns heal. The end!

Thanks for coming along on the ride! Hope you enjoyed it.

Thanks,

Emma DeMarais
મનીષાdelgaserasca on July 26th, 2008 10:12 pm (UTC)
Emma, you write well, and I would never deny that but I'm sorely disappointed by your choices here. Because obviously what this fandom needed was more gratuitous violence against its female cast.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 26th, 2008 10:22 pm (UTC)
Clearly this touched a nerve.

This whole series is filled with violence against cast of *both* genders.

Charlie almost got beheaded, Don got burned alive, Colby was drowned and Alan was shot up and left paralyzed.

Millie was suffocated and Liz cut. Amita got off scott free - something no man managed.

If the Judge had succeeded four men would be dead and two women. As it was the first person killed was a man and in the most gruesome fashion IMHO. He just wasn't a cast member.

You can choose to interpret this as you have. Just know that it doesn't match my intent. I mean, last night I posted fic where Don was shot and killed and three women weren't. I didn't stop and think that was abusive to men, nor did I stop and think this was abusive to women. I just told the story. YMMV
મનીષાdelgaserasca on July 26th, 2008 10:52 pm (UTC)
I think you chose an easy way out of a tight plot situation by managing to put everyone in a dangerous position, getting the glory of the promised death of one of their own, without actually having to properly deliver on that. I don't think that allowing Amita to live is an indication of equality on your part. I think that the two characters in this fic that got the harshest treatment were female and were secondary characters whose characterisations on the show are reductionist enough without fandom adding to the bundle. I think it's fandom's responsibility to say, hang on, we feel that female characters are entirely of value and constitute more than girlfriends, or emotional plot propulsion devices. I think it's a cop out to pick Liz or Millie for the most heinous of the violent crimes you've depicted because you don't have to deal with the emotional fall out of killing off a primary character but you still the death.

Neither Millie nor Liz have a voice in this series. Not once. They show no autonomy; they don't get the chance to defend themselves: they're just hapless victims. Amita survives not out of chance, like Charlie, but because she backs down from an authoritative position. The killer goes after her because of her aggressive approach, and she's essentially rewarded for being passive. That may not have been your intention, but the implication is there strong enough.

It's true, you only had 300 words per fic. But I honestly feel like this was more for easy shock value, and I feel that it could have been better.

I read yesterday's fic, too, by the way, and it's not comparable to this one: the endgame is different. But if you want me to pick that apart, I can do that too: three strong women brought together in their grief over a man, seeking comfort in one another because of his absence, indicating lack.

I know that the above fic was not written by you from a position of disdain, or dislike, or under appreciation for the female characters in this fandom, but that doesn't change the implications of what you've written. It may be an innocent oversight, but that doesn't make it any less of one. You're right, Em, I don't think you did think about the implications one way or another.
luvmyprius on July 27th, 2008 12:26 am (UTC)
Everyone writes fic in their own fashion. Everyone reads fic through their own unique perspective formed by events in their lives, things that they've learned, etc. In that vein, constructive criticism on the nuts and bolts of the actual writing would seem more apropos given this venue and any in depth discussion of the author's intent or lack there of beyond the usual author's note would be better suited to direct email contact with the author instead of the forum comments.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 27th, 2008 02:42 am (UTC)
FWIW, Delga and I know each other so she knows I'm okay with her opinions.

She actually took this debate to her LJ and referenced my fic - with my blessing.

Everyone writes fic in their own fashion. Everyone reads fic through their own unique perspective formed by events in their lives, things that they've learned, etc.

Ironically, I said almost the exact same thing in email within minutes of getting the notice on this post. I can't prevent people from viewing my fic any way they want, but I can keep writing the way I please.

P.S. I love my guy's Prius! Wish I had one!
મનીષાdelgaserasca on July 27th, 2008 09:08 am (UTC)
Firstly, constructive criticism doesn't amount to just telling people whether or not their writing is good. It does, in fact, also extend to an intelligent discussion of topic and theme, both of which are hugely relevant.

Secondly, in that vein, why should constructive criticism only be public if it has something positive to say about a fic?
luvmyprius on July 28th, 2008 10:25 am (UTC)
I apologize for saying anything. My intent wasn't to antagonize, but my personal perspective is as a new writer not published in this fandom or on this site and to see a review in this manner was both surprising and of concern. It's not that I don't appreciate reviews of this nature on my work but a public one at this point in my baby-level writing and publishing would send me packing since I don't consider these issues (or even consider them when reading) as yet but hope to when I'm more experienced.
Again, I apologize.

(FWIW, I enjoyed both the fic and the series, it worked for me.)
મનીષાdelgaserasca on July 28th, 2008 10:32 am (UTC)
No, no - don't apologise. Ach. OK, so my intention was not to come across a cow. Or, you know, any more than I usually do!

This isn't really the place for a huge discussion on the issue of constructive criticism, but if somebody asks for it, they shouldn't balk at getting it. Which is not to say that anybody takes thrill from giving more negative (rather than positive) feedback, or that anyone likes to hear the more negative stuff.

Ironically there was a good post on the topic at metafandom recently; if you're interested, I can link. But seriously: don't apologise; you don't have anything to apologise for. I didn't mean to come off so harsh, it's just the way I speak/type.
Cynthia: Slash Lifestyle1trackmind on July 27th, 2008 09:18 am (UTC)
I think it's fandom's responsibility to say, hang on, we feel that female characters are entirely of value and constitute more than girlfriends, or emotional plot propulsion devices.

I'm not sure I agree with that. I certainly think that generally speaking, female characters are of value. But I also think it's clear that the show itself doesn't think that the female characters are of any value except as girlfriends. It is abundantly clear that Amita was conceived of first, foremost, and solely as a girlfriend for Charlie. Even Terry was conceived that way (did you ever see her official bio? It consisted of about 2 lines and one of them was about rediscovering feelings for her old flame, Don). The only female character who wasn't conceived of strictly as a girlfriend for someone was Megan. It's true that she eventually ended up with someone, but I certainly don't think when they conceived of her character it was as Larry's girlfriend. On the other hand, any takers on to how soon Don and Megan's replacement get together?

But just because I like a show I'm not sure I'm obligated to give depth to the characters the show ignores, nor am I obligated not to put those characters in peril. I think much of the reason people read and write slash is because there are so very few female characters with any real depth on any show or movie that if you want to do something with a fully developed canon character that character has to be male. (By your rationale Emma shouldn't be able to do anything to David, either, because God knows he's as one dimensional as any of the women except Megan). I'm not obligated to include or focus on those characters. For example, the stories Mags and I write rarely mention any of the women, then again, they rarely mention any of the characters that aren't a part of whatever pairing we're writing about. The few things I've written on my own are very similar in that respect. I don't feel like I need to include every character and I certainly don't feel that even though I'm a woman and I consider myself a feminist I have some sort of obligation to make compelling characters out of and give depth to characters that utterly lack it in canon.

I do think that canonically they've done slightly better with Amita over the last season. I'm still not terribly interested in her, but I don't automatically groan whenever she appears on the screen either. On the other hand, I think they've really done Robin a disservice.

Amita survives not out of chance, like Charlie, but because she backs down from an authoritative position. The killer goes after her because of her aggressive approach, and she's essentially rewarded for being passive.

I actually do agree with that, although I hadn't really thought about it before.

But if you want me to pick that apart, I can do that too: three strong women brought together in their grief over a man, seeking comfort in one another because of his absence, indicating lack.

But what's wrong with that? They were all intimately involved with a particular male character who died and Emma was telling the story of what happened after. Yeah, they could have fallen into bed over some other reason, but that wasn't the story she wanted to tell and I don't see a problem with that. And there was a lack because someone they cared about (who happened to be male) was now missing from their life. Would it somehow be a better story if they'd theoretically all been involved with Amita and Amita died and so they fell into bed together? No doubt Larry would have felt the same way if Megan were to be killed, and Alan felt (and feels) a lack without Margaret. I don't think Emma's somehow at fault for choosing to show what happened when a male character died.

I don't think every story has to make a statement about the roles sex and gender play in canon, fanon, or society in general. I'm not saying an author should never consider those things, but I also think that an author should be able to write a story about women grieving over the loss of a male without being accused of being thoughtless or somehow irresponsible toward women.
મનીષાdelgaserasca on July 27th, 2008 10:29 am (UTC)
I'm going to answer this a little backwards, by which I mean start with where your comment ended up and reverse to the beginning.

Let me start by saying that the threesome fic and the sins fic are two different depictions of women in this fandom, and I actually have little to say about the threesome fic. I used it only because Emma brought it up herself; you're right, that is the story she chose to write, and the story there is more important than the few ideas I picked out. But to use that as a balance against the sins fic, I'm not sure that's entirely wise, especially as Don's death in that fic isn't graphically displayed, and isn't glorified. In fact, that fic isn't about Don's method of death, it's about the women's response to it. So, that fic is about emotionality, not about the death. My concern is more about violence against the female characters in this fandom, and the general level of acceptance that goes along with those depictions.

Okay, rewinding back to the top of the comment! Yeah, canon has a big part to play in fandom's perception of its characters, and that's something I've tackled elsewhere. (I know that my comments, because directed towards a specific fic seem like an attack, and seem incendiary. But I don't just make reactionary comments like the above, or reactionary posts like the one you saw in my journal. This is a topic I write about at length, and you make excellent points - some that I've covered, and some that I hadn't considered before now.)

I think much of the reason people read and write slash is because there are so very few female characters with any real depth on any show or movie that if you want to do something with a fully developed canon character that character has to be male.
I agree with this comment, and you've taken it a step forward because I hadn't thought about it necessitating the use of male characters. (re: Megan, no, originally she was conceived as a love interest for Charlie. Diane Farr changed the course on that one somewhat.) But we're not talking about slash right now.

I don't feel like I need to include every character and I certainly don't feel that even though I'm a woman and I consider myself a feminist I have some sort of obligation to make compelling characters out of and give depth to characters that utterly lack it in canon.
Again, I agree. I do think, though, that if someone is going to tackle the subject, then they have more responsibility to consider what they're writing.

And now back to your last line (disorganised; I apologise): I don't think every story has to make a statement about the roles sex and gender play in canon, fanon, or society in general. Neither do I. But, again, I do think that if you're going to broach the topic, it's yours to take what comes with it.
Cynthia1trackmind on July 27th, 2008 11:44 am (UTC)
My concern is more about violence against the female characters in this fandom, and the general level of acceptance that goes along with those depictions.

Okay, but there's at least as much if not more violence against the male characters, especially Charlie. And while many authors take great joy in killing off the female characters, a lot of authors also take great joy in torturing the male characters. I don't think there's as much joy in killing off the male characters because they're major characters whereas the women on the show are secondary or tertiary characters at best (save Megan and Terry) and so killing them off has a different emotional impact on the reader. I should also say I'm coming at this from a purely slash perspective. I very rarely read anything gen and almost never read anything that's purely het.

And they were drabbles. It's really hard to make up for four seasons of crappy characterization in 300 words especially when the focus of the series is not supposed to be on the person to whom thing are happening, but the act itself.

I think it could be a much longer, more fleshed out series and in that case yeah, I'd expect to see more depth on all the characters, but that would be a different thing from a drabble series. Colby wasn't really fleshed out for gluttony, for example. Nor was he portrayed as doing much to "deserve"/or prevent what happened to him. Nor was Alan. I'm not, by the way, saying it's poor story telling, I'm say that it wasn't the focus of the drabbles and that I don't think that Amita, Millie, or Liz were somehow more unworthy of the Judge's attention than Alan or Colby.

(re: Megan, no, originally she was conceived as a love interest for Charlie. Diane Farr changed the course on that one somewhat.)

Jesus. Seriously? You know what the worst part is? Cheryl Heuton thinks that Amita's all progressive and feminist and a strong female character.

But we're not talking about slash right now.

Sort of. I'm sure there is a fandom for het and/or gen Numb3rs stories but I have no idea where it is on LJ and I'm not a part of it. But you're right that I didn't make that clear so it's a fair point. And certainly the Sin series was not slash.

Again, I agree. I do think, though, that if someone is going to tackle the subject, then they have more responsibility to consider what they're writing.

By the subject do you mean including one or more female characters?

Neither do I. But, again, I do think that if you're going to broach the topic, it's yours to take what comes with it.

But she didn't. You did.

And now back to your last line (disorganised; I apologise)

No worries. It's late/early, at least where I am.







મનીષાdelgaserasca on July 27th, 2008 12:02 pm (UTC)
Okay, but there's at least as much if not more violence against the male characters, especially Charlie.
1) We may be coming at this differently because I read het/gen/slash (though not 'cest) and (2) whilst I don't think this excuses it, the violence there depicted is about connecting emotionally with the character being harmed. There's this word/genre that I can't accurately recall - woobie? whump? (lols, are those seriously words?) - where the whole aim of the fic is to exploit the angst of the situation. But often I find that killing off the female characters isn't about seeing how they deal with that situation; it's about facilitating other ships. In short, it's acidic and fuelled by malice.

And they were drabbles.
Sure, and I admit to that freely, and said as much to Emma. It's hard to work with word constraints. And sometimes, actually, the violence of a situation is exactly the point and then this discussion veers off into what is and isn't acceptable in fiction, yadda, yadda etc.

I don't think that Amita, Millie, or Liz were somehow more unworthy of the Judge's attention than Alan or Colby
Neither do I, and someone else brought up this topic in my journal - is it better if no women were killed, and just the men? Well: no. But what is the implication in a story where Millie and Liz die horrifically and Alan and Colby survive? And I don't mean what is the implication with regards to this specific fic, because we all know that Emma loves this fandom, and that she loves these characters and this universe, but what is the implication of it as a trend in the fandom? Whether she meant it or not, this fic suggests that its author agrees with this continued portrayal.

Heh, what time is it where you are? Doesn't your brain hurt?! (Middle of the day here, now, and I'm knackered. Generally there's a reason why I don't normally engage in fandom debates, lols.)
ladygray99ladygray99 on July 26th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
:-) You had us hanging there. I think Liz is a good choice for lust. Probably the only other person I'd peg for lust is Don but Don's already been hit once. Good job on finding ones for all seven.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 26th, 2008 10:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's unfortunate. Don would be great for lust, but he's better for wrath, given Pissy!Don as canon. I just figured the next best choice was to pick the person he had most indulged his lust with, ergo Liz.

Thanks for reading!
hear me roar: Kick Ass Brucemagisterequitum on July 26th, 2008 10:19 pm (UTC)
AH! I did not see that coming. Yes, for the Liz and Lust tie in, but no for who the Judge was.

Excellent job, Emma.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 26th, 2008 10:27 pm (UTC)
I figured people would guess Liz for Lust, especially since Don knew who it would be, but there was always the ending that people wouldn't know for sure in advance.

Thanks!
Jelsemium: Liz Warnerjelsemium on July 27th, 2008 12:27 am (UTC)
I actually guessed that Liz would be the target here.

I'm rather disappointed, though. Not because you killed Liz (it's your story and you did warn about a character death.)

What disappointed me was your comment: "So Liz is dead, few tears are shed". I like Liz and if she were to get killed on the show, I'm sure that I would shed quite a few tears.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 27th, 2008 12:37 am (UTC)
As you might have seen, this fic has generated a fair amount of debate already.

That comment was based on the fact that Liz, like Millie, is a minor recurring character *not* a lead or major supporting character. When I killed Don before, and when I threatened to kill him in this series, people went nuts over it. When I killed Millie? Few people made any fuss. It's just a fact of fandom - we care more about regulars then recurring.

Millie got a big funeral in the series so clearly people were hurt by her death. There just wasn't time to acknowledge the loss of Liz to anyone but Don. 300 words is rather limiting.

I've written quite a few Liz fic *and* a Liz centric series too, so clearly I'm not in the camp of people who want her to die and go away in that order. I'm just honest about how little screen time she's gotten and how that's contributed to people not caring as much about her demise.
Cynthia1trackmind on July 27th, 2008 08:14 am (UTC)
Oh, really nice wrap-up! Brilliant!

I think I may be the only person who kind of likes Liz.
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 27th, 2008 08:24 am (UTC)
Thank you!

I don't know why everyone seems to think I hate Liz. Hell, I wrote a whole Liz *series* and a bunch of Liz pairings - especially Don/Liz.

Hey, I admit to not being a big Millie fan, but I'm cool with writing Liz gen, het and femslash. I just like *my* Liz better than Canon!Liz. /shrugs/
Cynthia1trackmind on July 27th, 2008 08:29 am (UTC)
I don't think you hate Liz, but I think most of fandom does (hate Liz).
Emma DeMaraisemmademarais on July 27th, 2008 08:34 am (UTC)
That may be true, but clearly she has enough fans to cause a ruckus over this fic.
ladygray99: CharlieEvilladygray99 on July 27th, 2008 11:27 am (UTC)
I like Liz. Well like her better than Robin. Thought Don was a bit of an ass to her. I always sort of felt that Liz should have debouched Charlie as a rebound but that's just me.
autumnwriting: meganautumnwriting on July 27th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
*gasp*

: )
paranoid_womanparanoid_woman on July 28th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
Oh, wow. I didn't think it would be Liz! And I loved how you made that guy be the murderer. Great job on this series, Emma! :D

I liked a lot Don's last line, by the way. :)