"All that slayer power running loose would make the crack in the door from the resurrection spell turn into a wide open gate, complete with red carpet."
Yeah, really. That's sort of the problem with Chosen, isn't it? It makes literally no sense as a plot.[Report This]
If Whistler could flash them through time why did they need Willow and why didn't he just do that then pause time. Still interesting concept that I myself never thought of. The First practically whispered to Buffy to have Willow do the Slayer spell. Very good catch.
Whistler's "pause" moment in 2003 was him making a small move to cause a bigger one. His bosses weren't going to step in with the big move (sending Spike and Buffy back in time) unless they had to, and were going to wait to see if it all fell apart and the mortals didn't fix it themselves, first. Remember in chapter 3, when Whistler said his bosses were surprised about them going to Plan B? It doesn't look like Whistler was even authorized to make that small move. The question is, how much are his bosses being straightforward with him? Were they actually surprised? Did they know how the time travel would play out if it was done sooner? Are they snickering behind his back because he thinks he's hot shit for making it happen? We established in Becoming (and mentioned in Connective Issues) that the PTB don't always tell Whistler everything, even though he's an agent. He's not the puppet master. He's just a higher ranking puppet than the people on this plane of existence.
The First handing Buffy Plan A (in addition to the obvious idiocy of ignoring the Eye of Beljoxa) always really bugged me. So I wrote Echoes to fix it.
So Glory sent a minion after Angel, probably to be there if someone was sent to him. A goodcthing it was killed then, but Glory could send more, it's not really a secrer where Angel is living. He was in a brooding mode then. Well it must be a loss for him so he can't feel that good. Willow asked if they needed her and Buffy more or less said no. That could have been handled better, but it's not easy to find the right words. It must feel bad for Willow, being replaced and without purpose in the group. Buffy really don't know what to do with Willow.
It's probably a good thing to tell Dawn about all this. She has proven that she can keep a secret, and she is family. She felt some anger of course for not being told soner, but she is starting to realize that it's not easy to know and act "normal".
Time for Whistler again, the things he showed here made things clearer, about the plans and how Willow is a reason for so many things. Making all the potentials Slayers would have had consecvenses, there's also the fact that all those potentials would have been forced into this, their old life gone. It did feel strange on the show that the robbing of normal from all these girls wasn't even mentioned, whe Buffy so offten complained that she didn't have any choice.
We more or less knew much of the information, it feels like this was mostly for Dawn and Tara's sake. To show them the reasoning and thoughts behind all this, and Whistler did have something he wanted them to do.
Buffy and Spike are shown a future now. It will be interesting to see if it's Willow who is affecting that too.
You're giving Glory's minions a ton of credit that they clearly don't deserve. We know from canon that Glory's minions can't even recognize a vampire when they've kidnapped one. Why would we assume they can identify and place Angel on sight?
The minion was probably sent to find out where Angel would be if someone was sent to him. Remember how Jinx reported about Angel to Glory? "The tall man." Team Glory doesn't know who he is. Why would they? He just showed up one night out of nowhere, was seen chatting with Buffy and Spike, and (because the minion sent to stalk him never reported back), they have nothing else to go on. They don't even know Spike by name, and Glory's had a face to face encounter with him. They know Spike as "the slayer's vampire" (only because Glory herself recognized his species) and know Angel as "the tall man."
Of course Angel came home to do a little brooding. I can't imagine him NOT doing so. Taking it well or not, he's still Angel. :P
Buffy's not the most tactful person ever. Add that she really needs Willow to stay focused on her studies and not on Sunnydale (specifically herself), and you essentially have Buffy shoving Willow out the door with a weak effort to be subtle about it. Poor Willow. She probably feels like a second class Scooby, and doesn't even know why.
I often feel like an observer in my own story, not the architect. As such, *I* felt relief when Dawn was calm about the time travel stuff. She could have flown off the handle. But the structure for calmness was already built. They've been trying to treat her as a grown up. As such, she's less bratty and screechy. Reflecting what Buffy said about 2003 Dawn to Giles in Dance Partners, she can be mad at Buffy quietly. Dawn also handled the marriage secret flawlessly. Not one person found out from her. She's learning the weight of keeping big secrets (after acing her test run). She's also totally in this mess with her housemates. As of now, the entirety of the household is completely read-in (with the caveat that there are details and future stories Dawn and -to a lesser extent Tara- don't really know). And Giles is the only Sunnydale person outside of the household who knows as much as those within it. The dynamics are definitely shifting.
Obviously, I touched on the stupidity of the canon ending for the series in chapter one, as the reasoning for needing a Plan B. I got a little deeper into it here (30 chapters later - which is crazy, I know). It all comes back to the title, and back to the first three words of the story, repeated in this chapter. What Beljoxa explained about how the First was able to rise, and Anya's succinct summary: "We did this." They put the Beljoxa explanation in canon, and then did the opposite of logical follow through for the finale. It left me with a big, fat "Huh?" look on my face. None of it made any sense at all. Echoes went in a lot of different, unplanned directions, but the original idea comes right back to that logic fail on the part of the writers.
No, this wasn't a lot of new info for the readers, more like a congealing of background information, presented so that you could actually see the moment canon and Echoes truly split apart. Mostly, we're showing Tara and Dawn a little of the harsh reality of the season seven world (that included nearly casual conversations with the root of all evil), clarifying Willow's incessant influences over events, getting into Buffy's train of thought, and squinting at Whistler, trying to figure him out. It's a lot of little details, wrapped up in the cloak of retelling a story the readers more or less know.
And then BOOM. Buffy and Spike get unceremoniously shipped off to 2036. Oh, boy... Now, what? *evil grin*
You'r right about Glorys minions. My thought was that Glory would tell them where to go, but Glory isn't much of a planner herself.
Buffy and Spike Quantum Leap Style lol. Loved the chapter and maybe Angel isn't reacting as well as I thought. Glad Dawnie is in on it but that damned Whister and his interference lol.
I didn't even make the Quantum Leap connection! LOL Nice catch! I kept a note in my "final edits" file for ages about possibly rewriting the entire Whistler scene to make Buffy and Spike observers to the pseudo-flashback (with Dawn and Tara), to have them ALL watch it play out as third parties, but I couldn't make it work. So "Quantum Leap style" stayed.
Angel's ok. Handling it well doesn't negate the fact that he's still Captain Broody Pants. He needs to dwell on this for a bit, but he'll be alright.
It feels so good to finally be at the point where the entire household is "in on" the time travel game. Dawn's proven she can be trusted, and she's clearly trying to handle all this maturely, even if she is struggling a little.
Long ago, I said in at least one review response that you (the readers) would eventually want to punch Whistler. Are we there yet? hehe
Delurking for a moment to say how much I am loving this story. Very well plotted, inventive, and great character voices. I think the Buffy - Spike banter and Whistler are especially well done. I am intruiged by this take on Willow's centrality to basically everything. Also curious to know if you are in any way obliquely referencing the comics as a "potential future" that is being rewritten, as that's how I'm imagining it! Can't wait to see what happens next, and to re-read the whole fic once it's complete!
No comics references are intended, as I haven't even read them. I know almost nothing about even the basic plotlines from comics-era canon. Any overlap in concepts is entirely accidental.
I'm glad you're enjoying the character voices. That's the most fun part, hearing them in my head. It drives me crazy when I have something I need a character to say, but I can't hear the words coming out of their mouths. Most of the time, I find a way around it, to keep them "in voice." The banter and bickering between Buffy and Spike form some of my favorite sections of the entire story. So, so fun.
Thanks for coming out of lurk-mode to review! I appreciate it!
Willow really did have an enormous effest on events all through the series, frequently unintentionally, usually with her magic. I never put it all together like that before.
The FE really did sow the seeds for Plan A, didn't it? That Plan B 30 seconds so easily could have happened!
Now then, what are B&S going to see in the future?
It's funny, I never really put the Willow stuff altogether, either... Not until I started getting into the "meat" of writing Echoes. I think it was somewhere around Heaven Sent I realized exactly how many of the twists and turns in canon revolved around Willow's magic. From that point on, a lot of the framework and reasoning for certain actions wrote themselves. By the time I was writing the first "Is it all about Willow?" scene in Lost Pupil, I knew there was no way Willow could stay in Sunnydale. She was too dangerous. Non-local training was going to have to happen.
Pulling the FE and Buffy convo quotes from canon really told half the "genesis of Echoes" story for me. It really did hand her Plan A on a silver platter. ...And canon Buffy should have been smart enough to see that. As for the other half, canon Buffy should have been smart enough to see the Eye of Beljoxa's point: Magically raised extra slayer = very bad. More magically raised extra slayers = recklessly stupid.
It did seem fairly convenient that Buffy thought of empowering all the potentials the split second the First left the basement. He wanted that outcome. If having two slayers again because Buffy was resurrected using magic (dark magic) gave the First Evil an opening then making thousands of slayers using magic would be catastrophic. Willow always was a loose cannon.
She's been doing spells beyond her level of understanding from the first. No matter how much power she has she was never taught properly how to use that power and she has messed up a lot of things because of it. And frankly baking cookies doesn't do a damn thing to make up for it.
So Willow knows but doesn't know she knows about the bond. I'm hoping she keeps being in the dark about what she knows for a while yet. Because who knows what she will do with that information! I know Willow isn't evil. But she is a petulant child a lot of the time especially when things don't go the way she thinks they should. Add her magical power and bad news kiddies.
At least Angel killed that demon before it could report back to Glory. But that isn't exactly the greatest news. While Glory might not know where Angel is she will know something is up if someone from Buffy's group disappears. If that happens she is probably going to grab one of the gang to find out where they sent Dawn. My bet? Spike will wind up chained to her ceiling again getting poked full of holes.
What could Whistler have for Dawn and Tara to do?
Exactly! The canon version may as well have been this:
FE: Use your unstable witch to make more slayers. It will be fun. Really.
Buffy: Hey, everybody! I have a great idea!
Eye of Beljoxa: *headdesk*
Willow: *high as a kite* That was nifty!
PTB: You people are idiots.
No, not "Willow knows but doesn't know she knows about the bond." Whistler told Spike "Your woman knows. She doesn't know she knows..." Not "your witch." Buffy knows what it is Whistler has to play clean up crew for, but she hasn't put the pieces together yet. There's loose data in her head she hasn't figured out.
As for Whistler's assignment for Tara and Dawn, you're about to find out. :)
ACK! Sorry! I forgot I edited that line in the final run-through. I took out "your woman" and replaced it with a glance at Buffy and "she." Sorry I made it less clear!
Oh no - poor memory don't fail me now! What exactly was the other thing Drusilla alluded to? Something about immortality? Babies?! *goes to re-read*
This story is killing me!
In the best way possible of course. So glad you're back to a regular posting schedule.
Dru actually alluded to a lot of things, some of which we'll see happen in Echoes, some of which we won't.
Yes, I'm evil.
and the ones which we won't we will see occur in the already much-anticipated sequel? ;) please and thank you.
Or the eventual follow up, one way or another. Basically, I already have mapped out when a ton of stuff is going to happen in the time line, but I don't know how much time the sequel is going to cover.
Dawn's in on it and I am glad.
Your disection of the stupidity of calling all the Slayers is brilliant IMHO. In canon it made no sense. The absolute most all those girls could have done was slowed the Tuork-han down briefly. It took Spike's sacrifice and only that to kill them and seal the hellmouth. Maybe all the Slayers bought him time but that is all. Meanwhile Willow was well and truly off the wagon and lots of girls (not all of them really suited for that power) suddenly out there activated. How was that a good idea?
Another great update.
Dawn knowing is definitely of the good.
The canon solution to the FE problem was definitely not.
Even if you take out my Echoes 'verse theories on the long term ramifications, the idea doesn't work. The amulet is necessary.
And when you consider what the Eye of Beljoxa said, my theory on the possible outcomes with the First -and with Willow- isn't exactly far-fetched. I'm sure time travel wouldn't have been involved in the solution if it had played out on screen, but SOMETHING drastic would have been needed.
*sigh* more intrigue and questions... good for plot... sad for romance *smile* Good thing I like plot along with my Spuffy-ness.
Thank you for yet another chapter of fun to read time travel-y stuff. I will look forward to the far future visit as well as the new mission for the faux and true keys.
Surprise! Echoes is officially 100% back on its normal posting schedule. The 2036 chapter just went up.
Wow this just took the story and turned left....I loved it. I may have to read it again or two to make sure I caught it all.
And it keeps turning. We're not even to the best part yet.
Arg! Now I want to punch Whistler in the face! What could he be talking about??? I'm not surprised it's all about Willow. Everyone knows she's the most powerful of the bunch.
I don't remember who I was addressing, but in a much earlier review response, I promised someone you (the readers) would eventually want to punch Whistler as badly as Buffy usually does.