Story germ

The insertion of Dawn into Buffy's life, and into the lives of her family & friends, is quite an interesting act.

The potential for reality-tampering is set up by the very silly "Superstar", which is one of my favorites from season 4 because it's so silly. I liked Jonathan, and was disappointed to see the character ruined as part of the Legion of Dim.

The reality-tampering that produced Dawn is, however, an act of assault on the mental integrity of the people affected. It's non-consensual and, in my book, extremely bad behavior. If it happened to me, and I figured it out, I'd freak. My sense of self would be attacked: you mean my sister is imaginary? You altered my brain? No, sorry, you don't get to do that.

And it was done in service of a fairly stupid scheme. Buffy was utterly unable to protect the key. And even more unable to protect it because she didn't have a clue what the issues were, what was at stake, until very late. Some of it was because she was unresourceful and in a long, slow descent toward suicide the entire year. But really, couldn't the monks have just told her what the deal was? (Yeah, yeah, no season 5 then. But I do hate plots that depend on one of the protagonists being idiotic.)

Also: Dawn is not real. Dawn is not a human being. Dawn is a construct, rather like the Buffybot.

Unless something other than God can create life and give something a soul. And I am not ready to cope with the changes to the Buffyverse cosmology that little idea would entail. And yes, I know the real answer is that the writers were fallible, even in writing one of Buffy's best seasons.

But I promised a story germ. What if Buffy, instead of being a puppet to the monks' every silly whim, reacts with anger and horror? And Giles disagrees? Or vice versa, but that's kinda close to the impasse they were in when she was such an idiot in the season closer.

[ Aside about that conversation: Sorry, moron, if it's a choice between sacrificing your sister and sacrificing the world, you have to kill your sister. Be reasonable. No one is saying it wouldn't suck... How did Buffy know that the tower dive she did would even work? And that idea has already made for a wrenching story, the amazing "All Set Down" by desoto_hia873, complete with Scooby idiocy afterward. ]

Though I might have a hard time getting the practical Giles, with his oath to protect this sorry world, to oppose Buffy on this. The situation needs strong conflict, though, from somebody with some moral authority.

Things to explore:
- how she figures it out
- what Giles does with the information
- how she reaches the decision to kill her own sister
- how the people around her react
- what happens after the death: do the memories remain or vanish?
- what it does to Buffy if they remain

A grim story in many variations, I think. Or I could write a purely SFnal approach to it, with resourceful protagonists figuring stuff out and solving the problem practically.
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Just a quick thought on this because Rainne and I were discussing it the other day. The monk never, never, never, NEVER tells Buffy they made Dawn from her. It's a huge gaping hole in what happens in the finale that has never sat well with me. Just food for thought.


Must off to work now!
How did Buffy know that the tower dive she did would even work?

*nods* That's always been my question. Even if the monks did make Dawn out of Buffy (a revelation that, when I first watched s5 incomplete and out of order, I thought SURELY must have an antecedent somewhere. But no, Buffy just pulls it out of her butt at the last minute), it's weird for the essence of the Key to be blood when the whole flesh thing is just supposed to be an envelope for the beautiful pure green energy.
Wow, I was certain I'd just missed a line of dialog somewhere. Though I guess it makes sense that this is a gaping hole: how do they know anything at all about the monks? Or what was done?

If I were the monks I'd have impregnated her with a key-baby. Also an act of assault, but at least it creates a real connection instead of a false one. And dodges the whole "how did Dawn get a soul anyway? and what if she doesn't have one?" thing.
Well, dying!monk told Buffy about the Key being "sent" to her in the form of a sister, but being chuman and chelpless (those ch-s are like in Bach). But I don't think there's anything about "they made her out of Buffy" until "The Gift." When Buffy has her revelation on the tower, the stuff she flashes to is stuff she said - "they made her out of me" earlier in the Magic Box, and "It's Summers blood" in the hospital with Dawn.

(er. yes, I just cracked out the DVD.)

The soul point is excellent and bears examination.
Cool, interesting, *makes note*. I don't have my DVDs as mentioned above. (Evil friends borrowing things so they can watch Buffy too!)

The whole Glory/Ben equivalence thing needs to be dumped as stupid. Plot devicium. Bah.
Selfish people! What, they think you run a library?

Dude, you don't know how many times, in conversation with my mother, I have wanted to make a "But wait... do with think that Ben and Glory may share some connection?" joke. Sadly, no one in my family would get it.

That made me almost snort food out my nose when I read it. Much more painful than snorting pop.

As much as I am not a fan of Spike, it's always been my opinion that one of his best moments is when he whacks Xander for one of those conversations and they both grab their heads.
Unless something other than God can create life and give something a soul.
The metaphysical elephant in the room. This is an enormous issue that was never addressed in any form. Can a being not created by God have a soul? If not, what is she? Sort of along the lines of, if Willow can drag Buffy out of heaven, is Willow more powerful than God?

Alas for the idiocies of the latter seasons of Buffy!
Part of me was wondering if the introduction of the Buffy- and April-bots (the shark-jumping moment for the series, for me) was for commentary on Dawn. Look, here are other artificial beings that do not want to die. But no.

The other reaction I had as I watched was: This moral dilemma is exactly the same as at the end of season 2, when Angel is ensouled, but the vortex has already been triggered. Buffy made the correct decision then, the only one she could make. She stuck the sword into Angel and sent him through. Retread! But she doesn't allow herself to make the right decision this time.

She jumps off the tower because she wants to commit suicide.

That's another rich mine for story, I believe.
I think the key is envisioned as being a living being in its own right, that's just been given a change of scenery, and a much more limited existence. Yeah, it's lame. But nwhepcat is writing a very interesting story just now exploring Dawn's keyness-- with Ethan.

That said, I'd still love to see what you do with this idea.

Interesting! In that case, you might argue for freeing the Key from the confines of this annoying human shell that was foisted on it... the Key itself might even have an opinion. But I'm going with "lame" on this one. Is this canon, btw? Argh, I'm going to have to re-watch season 5. (Okay, that's not miserable, like the task of watching season 7 would be!)
Yeah, it did kind of irk me that a lot about Dawn was not explained, she was just an easy plot device, a McGuffin, for the writers to use. And the whole, she's made out of me, came from nowhere so they could have their big dramatic cliffhanger ending.

But that just makes for a lot of easy fixing by us fanfic writers. They definitely dropped the ball after 'The Gift'. It's like all of a sudden, just because Glory is gone, they all assume Danw is human, is not harmful anymore. I think the Virtual Lunatics in the Virtual Season 8 did a good job of exploring this. And I personally am trying to do something with this in "Healing." More authors need to explore this, I think. It's such a rich vein to explore.
Oh man, this just gave me another idea about Willow, and energy for resurrection, and a setup where they all resent Dawn badly for living while Buffy died. Set Giles in opposition to Willow, and ...
Hey, I've said for years that Dawn is not human, has never been human and will never be human. I'd have chucked her off that tower with no problem at all.
Wasn't there some bushwa about "when the blood stops flowing" the portal will close? I'm thinking bandage here, people. The whole concept was flawed and disjointed with more plot holes than Swiss cheese. You are absolutely right when you say there was no indication that Buffy's death would affect the portal at all, and the sudden brain storm that led her to suppose the monks made Dawn from Buffy...well, Buffy hasn't ever been the sharpest knife in the drawer, has she? Let's explore that whole concept. Are we talking DNA cloning, done by magic perhaps? I imagine that Buffy has left tons of DNA all over Sunnydale, but how did the monks managed to get hold of it? I'm no scientist, but I'd think that it's probably fairly perishable, especially if it's in blood form. I guess hair would be stable. So, somebody snuck into Buffy's house and pulled hair from her brush while nobody noticed. Right.
I believe Mr Pedia shouted "Band-aid! Band-aid!" at the screen at that point, yeah. Then he called Buffy a "ponghead", which I believe is supposed to evoke the image of a pingpong ball.

Steal a toothbrush; great way to get somebody's DNA. But it's magic, so we can just handwave that one.

I've just had another plot idea about this, involving the Key as source for the enormous amounts of energy it takes to create & maintain the reality tampering, but alas the energy turns out to be finite. And then...

Plot bunnies open to use by anybody, btw. I don't own Buffy!
Tangent fic plot
I was reading this thread about the Dawn/Glory/Buffy of Heaven plot and had a side thought that I wish I could turn into a story. My must is in Puerto Vallerto, though, so . . .

Anyway, the thought I had is based on the assumption that Giles and Buffy share a Bond and that when Buffy jumped, she found that 'wanting to die' and 'ready to die' aren't the same thing. Thus, as she was falling, she 'reached' for Giles, trying to stop the inevitable -- and, as her Bonded Watcher, he somehow kept a part of her soul -- anchored it, if you will. And *that* is how Willow was able to bring her back.

It's a side plot, but it seems like it'd be an awesome story. And on that note, I'm done. Thanks for letting me emote.
Re: Tangent fic plot
This is interesting. Sort of the opposite of Reconnection's concept, that the bond/connection/whatever was severed. In this setup, Giles would probably be aware something was happening when Willow did her rezzing mojo. And perhaps he had some sense of her the entire time she was dead, which could be weird.

I could write this. (forcibly prevents self)
Re: Tangent fic plot
There shall be no forcible preventing of self! If ye olde plot bunny nibbles, you bow to the inevitable, hide the shotgun, and grab the $100 an ounce rabbit food (wouldn't want the thing to starve, now would we?). Go for it!
Re: Tangent fic plot
I think sweetdoggie might shoot me if I started another story without finishing one first :) But I have notes file started on this one. Am chewing on plot ideas slowly.
Re: Tangent fic plot
Fair enough; if I don't get more of 'Reconnection' soon, I think I'm going to cry (and aren't I subtle?).

I'd apologize for giving you another rabbit to feed, but I didn't want you to get bored over the holidays.
Re: Tangent fic plot
You have no idea how stuck I am on that. I need to spend a day thinking about that plot and nothing else. I know where I need to end up, and I know a few places they'll travel through, but... AIGH!
Re: Tangent fic plot
I have sympathy -- and a shot of vokda. Absolut, at that. And if you get tired of The Kitten sitting on your head at all hours of the day, I've found that a leopard-print ball attached to several feathers (thrown at what we'll pretend is an impressive distance) helps immensely.

And if you need help for ;Reconnection,' or someone to throw ideas at, or an early reader or . . . you know, 'or,' I'm here for you. ;-)
Just stumbled across this post today--thanks for the nice words about All Set Down! :-)

I wasn't really sure if the Scoobies would be mad at Giles after what he did or not, but I figured that Giles would be so hard on himself that he believed they wouldn't speak to him, so I went with it. I think the Scoobies would eventually come around and realize that Giles did what he had to do, but it would take Giles longer to forgive himself.
Yeah, I can completely buy that reading as well. Initial shock, followed by calmer reflection from the friends. And maybe from the vampires. But for Giles, who had to think and then do the unthinkable... healing would be a long time coming.

Such a wonderful story that is.