|Reviews for Competence|
| KoscheiTepes chapter 21 . 12/2
Based on that last line I'm starting to wonder if Cordelia is going to be the one who will finally bring Colleen and Raina together. I certainly hope so since Raina could definitely use someone with a common frame of reference to talk to about what she's going through right now. I love Cordelia more and more each chapter by the way and I'm so glad that someone understanding and sympathetic like her is Raina's teacher. I'm sure most people in Elms would have gladly gotten Raina in trouble by spreading the news about what happened to everyone that they knew if they had been in her shoes. Elms' love of Jane Austen's books is certainly becoming clearer and clearer to me over time especially after finding how they deal with someone who tries to better themselves. How dare they try to do better in school? Can't have that. Everyone has to stay in their preassigned role in life. I wish I could say our own world was completely different than Elms in that respect about trying to label people but I'd like to think that we're at least somewhat better than Elms about it anyway. Kevin of course is living up to his usual high standards (he said sarcastically) as always and showing his true colors at every opportunity. It truly doesn't surprise me at all that he's hitting on Cordelia or acting as if that sort of thing is perfectly okay. The only thing that would surprise me about him at this point is if he actually did something purely good and noble that didn't benefit him in any way whatsoever. I think I might actually pass out. I was so glad that Cordelia told him off and seems to see him for what he really is. It's good that there are still some good people left in Elms and that despite the leaders of Elm's best efforts that love for their fellow human beings hasn't quite been stamped out in everyone just yet. I also find it interesting now that I think of it that Cordelia didn't have a violent reaction to seeing what happened to Raina as I assume the guard did to Colleen (or am I wrong about that?). Maybe it's simply because the brainwashing didn't take as well as it should have or could it be because somehow she was never brainwashed at all? Just a few things I'm pondering about as this story continues to unfold. It certainly seems more and more like Raina's concert is being threatened by what's happening to her but I don't feel anywhere near as worried about it as I probably should because of Colleen's appearance at the end of this chapter. I have hope now that maybe everything will eventually turn out alright after all and to slightly paraphrase the words of a famous song Raina will get by with a little help from her friends.
| shika-paprika chapter 2 . 11/29
Interesting chapter, it's nice to learn a little more about Elms and how "incompetents" fit into society. I don't really like Francesca, I'm sure she deserved a little sympathy for being a single parent raising a disabled child, but her treatment towards Raina and Vincent and her ignorance makes me dislike her. But it makes you think that people like her act like in real life. It's going to be interesting to see how Vincent will handle things and if anything happens to Francesca, I won't feel sorry for her.
| shika-paprika chapter 1 . 11/25
First off, I would like to say that as someone isn't much of a people person, I'd probably feel right at home in Elms. But jokes aside, this seems like like an interesting story. This is probably the first story I've read with an autistic protagonist, it's not something you usually find on a site like this. I do like how you took the time to really explain Vincent's backstory and, also, using it as a way to educate those who aren't too familiar with autism. I don't have it myself, but I can see how Vincent's experiences with him can be relatable with someone who has it. The characters seem pretty interesting and I couldn't really find any errors as far as grammar and spelling goes. Off to a good start.
| DemigodessOfEternity chapter 20 . 11/25
Wow... this story is incredible. It has compelling, interesting and well-rounded chacaters, a fascinating and intriguing yet easily accessible plot, and an important and hard-hitting lesson at its core. I am really enjoying this and look forward to an update.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 20 . 11/12
So it's finally happened to Raina too. At least she actually got to see something for the first time before the pain started even if it was only for a brief time. I wonder if Cordelia (who I really like by the way) will continue to train Raina now after this. She might be afraid that this will happen to Raina again and it probably will. Poor Raina. She was just about to have the concert and now this has to happen. Unless she can learn to block out the readjustment somehow then I'm not sure how she's ever going to be able to perform now. I hope she'll still manage to find a way somehow though. Maybe all she'll need is the help of some new friends. Funny how she didn't experience anything like this the last time this happened though when she had the vision. I wonder if it's because Cordelia was there and that somehow made things worse for her or maybe it had something to do with Raina's emotional state since she was so upset over the way Melanie was acting towards her. I really hope that this causes Melanie to talk to her a little more as a result. Maybe she'll feel so bad after this that she'll start spending more time with her again. At least something good would come out of this that way because it really bothers me too that Melanie seems to just be giving up on Raina completely now. Hopefully this will scare her and make her realize exactly what's really important to her. I really hope that somehow Raina will be able to move past this and still be able to perform at the concert because I'd hate for her to have to stop now when she's so close to finally realizing her dream at last. I can't wait to see the next chapter in which hopefully things won't be as dire for Raina as they seem.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 19 . 10/17
Did Raina somehow realize that someone was in pain that was watching her and help Rodney on purpose or did that happen entirely by accident? If it was an accident, then it shows how truly unpredictable that the effects of the visions of Raina really are if one of them can hurt Rodney and the very next one can help him. The process of readjustment seems just as unpredictable especially in Rodney's case. I actually like this aspect of the story though because none of our heroes really seem to know how the onset of readjustment will affect them at any given time especially with this new wild card of the side effects of seeing Raina to deal with now. It definitely makes the story more interesting and unpredictable. I still hate it that Rodney in particular has to go through so much pain as a result however but at least Raina has found a way around that, and I hope that she'll eventually be able to use her music to soothe Rodney's pain all of the time sometime in the future. Wouldn't it be amazing if her music had that same effect on the readjustment pain of others? I think Quinten is much too hard on himself and that Colleen is right about him. He is a natural leader and I bet he'll be very helpful to Raina one day in helping her to gain a greater sense of self-confidence. I knew that I sensed a Cyclops of the X-Men vibe about him. I'm glad other people can see that Raina and Melanie are sisters too by the way because they so are even if they themselves don't seem to realize it at the moment. Leave it to the people of Elms to even ruin the act of eating somehow. Somehow I'm not too surprised about that though. They truly seem to have found a way to suck all of the fun and joy out of every part of life which of course is their goal all along I'm sure with their attitude towards emotion. I definitely wouldn't last too long in that society. After this chapter I can definitely see that Raina is going to take on a far more special role than even I realized that she would and I'm so eager to see exactly what her true power really is.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 18 . 10/1
I thought readjustment was a good thing after the last chapter but now I think I'm starting to change my mind about it. There really are some serious limitations on it and the side effects aren't too nice either. Hopefully Dr. Newman can find a way to make things better for readjusters one day. I really loved Quinten, Colleen, and Rodney's relationship. You can tell that they've known each another for a long time and that they think of themselves as family. I think they're exactly the kind of people that Raina needs in her life and that her future is in good hands with them. They should have her feeling much better about herself in no time. It was interesting to see that Raina's father had such deep ties to Quinten and the others (not to mention finally learning some details about his mysterious past and his readjustment) and to find out that Quinten and Colleen had been watching over Raina for so long. I wonder if having so many people appear to Raina in the vision signifies that she's going to be as special as her father is in some way. I can't wait to see Raina eventually meet Quinten again and to see him introducing her to the others. I wonder if Colleen will get to play ninja with Raina too someday. That's always assuming that eventually Raina can temporarily gain her eyesight back at times because of readjustment of course and not just having it happen in visions. I really have a feeling that Raina's future is going to be a bright one now and I'm so glad about that because she certainly deserves it. I'm more eager than ever now to see how it all unfolds for her in future chapters.
| StoryGirlWrites chapter 17 . 9/16
OK, this just got really interesting. Many chapters of an insulting society that I just wanted to scream at. Not to mention a vermin of dad who just doesn't get it and a mom and sibling that cowers to societies wishes. This has been actually hard to read at times, but it's well written and creative. I just wanted to know what was next and what would happen to Reina. Speaking of which...
I can't believe you had her live as a ward in Vincent's room all this time. -shudder. - So, go on. do it. Break Reina out of that hell hole.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 17 . 9/9
So we finally get to learn the man in the wheelchair's name and a little more about him including the fact that he has far more special powers than I thought. I also finally understand why he's so interested in Raina. Quinten is starting to come across as a Professor X type figure now in the way that he wants to recruit other disabled people who have abilities like his own. If I'm right and Raina is about to join an X-Men type team then this story is going to get even better than it already is. Just when I think your stories can't get any better you always find a way to top yourself somehow. This whole readjustment process is pretty intriguing. I wonder if anyone has any idea what causes it and an answer to the question of why doesn't every disabled person have this happen to them. I suppose Quinten is trying to figure out those answers himself and is carrying on the scientists' research. Could this be why the harsh proposals against disabled people were passed in the first place? Was it because someone high up was afraid of what people with these abilities might do? It was also great to see that affectionate moment between Raina and Vincent. I'm glad that she's still got someone in her corner that she can rely on and talk to about what she's going through. I like the fact that Vincent seems to have taken on the role of a big brother towards Raina and that the two of them are obviously close to one another. Maybe she'll take Vincent along with her if she does get invited to Quinten's group. I wonder if she did leave how this would affect Melanie and Isabella. Would they try to get her to stay or be suspicious of Quinten? There are so many questions brought up by this chapter that I'm dying to have answers for and I can't wait to see what you come up with as the story progresses.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 16 . 8/27
I really wish that Melanie would have said that nothing is going to change between them at all and that she didn't care what anyone else thought of her relationship with Raina. I think that she's making a huge mistake that she's going to wind up regretting one day personally. I suppose I can't judge her too harshly though because I have a feeling that she thinks that this is what's best for Raina and her music career. I refuse to believe that she's doing it so that she can advance in her career because I just don't see her as being that sort of person. I have a feeling though that it doesn't matter even if she does stop going out in public with her. The very fact that Raina is trying to have a concert is still going to make certain people in Elms upset and wind up causing her trouble anyway. I hope I'm wrong of course but somehow I doubt that. I see Kevin hasn't really changed at all even after years of living with Raina. He's just pretending to be civil to her so that he doesn't upset Melanie. That's one saving grace for him is at least he cares about his daughter. Somehow I doubt he'd be trying to put on the appearance of being even semi-tolerant towards Raina if Melanie didn't love her so much. I'm sorry that I didn't review sooner but as I explained in my review of your other update I've had a particularly nasty sinus infection lately that's caused me to get behind on my e-mails. I really wish that I had seen this update sooner. Reading your two updates would have gone a long way towards making me feel better because your stories always help brighten my day.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 15 . 8/7
Now I'm really curious as to exactly what Raina's powers are and how they function. I really love how apparently her music can help her to actually see somehow even if it's only in visions. Or are they visions? Apparently these 'visions' are far more real than Raina ever realized before. I'm starting to wonder just how powerful the other disabled people really are and what it is that they're going to eventually reveal to Raina. I have a feeling that she's just taken her first step into a much larger world. This story has definitely kicked into high gear now as we finally start to discover the truth about Raina's abilities at last. I can't wait to see what Raina finds out next.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 14 . 7/22
The more I see of this society the more I hate it. So they don't even want siblings to be close to one another or to show love and affection? It sounds like they want to create a bunch of robots not human beings. Vincent is right about Isabella. I love seeing him again by the way! Isabella is definitely being much too harsh with the girls especially when she's demanding that they not have anything to do with one another anymore. That's just way too much to ask of them after they've grown up together like they have. I doubt that either of them are going to obey her judging from Melanie's actions at the end of the chapter and I couldn't be happier about that. Part of being an adult is deciding things for yourself after all so that means that Melanie can do whatever she pleases now and if she wants to spend time with Raina than that's just too bad for anyone who doesn't like it isn't it? At least that's how I hope she'll react anyway. It shows just how good a job that you've done with these characters that I'm so nervous about what's going to happen next because I want Melanie to stay close to Raina and not to give into what others say that they should do. I have faith in Melanie that she'll do the right thing in the end though and I hope that that faith will ultimately prove to be justified.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 13 . 7/8
I'm so glad that Raina finally knows that what's been happening isn't her fault. Hopefully this means that she won't be afraid to stand up for herself from now on and that she'll let people like the server have a piece of her mind. Does the man in the wheelchair know Raina somehow or was he just speaking to her in such a familiar way because she's a celebrity of sorts in the area and well known? It almost seemed as if it was more than that though and he was looking out for her. I guess I'll find out soon enough. I really love these scenes of Melanie and Raina together and how they reveal exactly how close that they've become to one another. Melanie really has become the overprotective big sister in a big way hasn't she? I always get the sense that it's being done out of love and concern though instead of because of the conditioning. The fact that she realizes just how much it irritates Raina is a good sign that hopefully one day she won't feel the need to act that way towards her anymore. I also liked how Raina is so enthusiastic about everything and truly places no limits on herself. The fact that she wants to go up into a skyscraper just to see if it feels any different up there shows that. It's so nice to see that her natural curiosity and sense of wonder hasn't been extinguished one bit despite all of the propaganda that I'm sure that she's heard all of her life about what she supposedly can and can't do. The scene where Raina is the one giving Melanie advice on how to handle being in public is proof of that and it was interesting to see how the conditioning harmed Melanie's self esteem so much. It does so much damage to people's psyches in every way that it's a wonder that there hasn't been something done about putting a stop to it long ago. I'll be interested to see what effect that learning that she has no mysterious power after all has on Raina. Great job as usual. I enjoyed it especially when the server got what he deserved. That was glorious.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 12 . 6/24
It was very unfortunate that Raina started to question herself and her role in life when she was completely happy and content before because of what Melanie said even though I'm certain that Melanie didn't mean to do that to her. Instead of making her limit herself though that incident seems to have caused Raina to strive to prove Melanie's mistaken belief that she'll never be 'normal' wrong which just makes me cheer for her. I'm so glad that while Melanie has been affected by the conditioning that it hasn't caused her to turn against Raina or to stop caring about her even if their relationship isn't what it once was. I love the bond that they've developed with one another and I'm glad that she's so protective of her. Her opinion of just how far Raina can go in life might just change after the concert and I hope it will because I'd love to see them become even closer once more. In fact hopefully Raina will change a lot of people's opinions afterward. Of course if she accidentally (or purposely) uses her 'power' anything could happen. It makes me wonder if her ability is actually real or if challenging the conditioning by what she can do is what makes everyone react that way. I expect that it's the latter because of how Melanie (who fought her conditioning) and Vincent (who was presumably never conditioned) are unaffected by it. If I'm right then this concert that she's going to have may just prove to have some very interesting effects on the audience. I hope it will all turn out alright in the end for Raina though and she can have the kind of life that she dreams about.
| KoscheiTepes chapter 11 . 5/30
Now you've really gotten me curious after that last scene. Just what is up with Colleen? When you say she looked around do you mean that she isn't really blind after all or am I misinterpreting your words? After all if she wasn't blind she wouldn't be able to look directly at the sun and yet she put her cane and sunglesses away and started walking without them so I'm not sure what to think. Exactly what is her interest in Francesca and Raina anyway? I can't wait to see what role she is about to play. Whatever it is I get the idea that she's going to be trying to help Raina and possibly Francesca in some way which is definitely good news. Raina's good bye to her mother was very painful for everyone involved (including me) but I can't help but hope that this isn't the last that she'll see of her. Maybe in the future when Raina's grown things will change somehow. You never know. It's good to see Kevin still trying to look out for Isabella by the way. It's a welcome change in his behavior that shows that he's not all bad at least as far as she's concerned anyway. I definitely can't wait to see the next part of this story and to find out what kind of person that Raina becomes and what her relationship with the others in the family will be like. I especially want to find out more about Raina's father and if my suspicion that Colleen is somehow linked to him in some way is true or not. This story just keeps getting better with each hew chapter and never fails to leave me desperately waiting for the next chapter to come out. This one is especially making me anxious for next time though because I really want to see what Colleen's story is now. Excellent job!