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This is a brand new nomination. I haven't read it, but I remember reading "Undying" a long while back and liking it a lot. I just read her post-ep for "Deep Throat." I liked it. Then I read her post-ep for "Conduit." I liked it, too.

Summary: Five missing women, all Salvadoran immigrants. A mass grave on the slope of a volcano, the bodies burned beyond recognition. What's the connection? An anonymous tip sends Mulder and Scully on a dangerous search for the truth. R for violence, gore, disturbing subject matter, and sex. X-File, Mytharc, Angst, MSR. 212 K.

The nomination post is always open for your suggestions. I look forward to your thoughts on "Salvador." Don't forget to send feedback to the author.


Read Salvador. The link is to her old geocities site where more of her fic can be found. This can also be read at Gossamer and Fugues Fiction Archive.

Date: 2014-06-13 12:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
I am (re)reading this. Just incredibly slowly. It is very well-written and I'm enjoying it. I don't actually remember how it ends, so it's kind of like reading it for the first time. Will hopefully come back and say something more substantial later...

Date: 2014-06-14 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
So, upfront, this is the kind of story that makes me wish I remembered the mytharc / conspiracy stuff better than I do. Most of the time, I am fine living in blissful ignorance :) From my murky memory, though, Salvador seems to fit right into the late season 7, post amor fati, pre requiem x-files world, while taking us farther down the mytharc path (and with better possibilities for subsequent events) than the show did. It seems like you could read this story as an insert into canon (and see William as what the aliens want from M&S) or you could read this as diverging from canon (and be left to imagine what happens next).

I like this Mulder and Scully; they are the Mulder and Scully in my head. Mulder remains ruthless in his pursuit of the truth, but there is a weariness about him and a sense of resignation to the idea that he is at the mercy of those who dangle leads in front of him. I liked the line when he is about to leave for Miami to meet Leda Mendez: "And he gets ready to jump through one more hoop."

Scully is totally Scully. She is ready to plow down to El Salvador, despite the dangers of this mission to her in particular, with the hope of learning something about what has been done to her. While down there, without Mulder, she plays his role with the others of the group (as usual):
"I'd be very interested to hear *your* interpretation of the evidence, Agent Dunlap," Scully says blandly.
....
She pauses, marveling at her own words. She can almost hear Mulder giving this same speech a hundred times over the years. I sound more like him every year, Scully thinks. Does he think he sounds more like me? Whose quest am I on anyway - his or mine?
Is there even a difference any more?

She is tough and no-nonsense on the outside, but we get glimpses of the internal worries she has about Mulder (how scared she feels as she remembers him being locked up in biogenesis when the artifact was affecting his mind and in amor fati when she found him strapped to the table having undergone some brain procedure) and how vulnerable she feels because of what has happened to her - toward the end, she tells Mulder "I'm just so tired of not being able to trust my memory," she says at last. "I hate having these...these gaps."

This story was also really sad, but in an understated way. There are strong parallels between the Mulder family and the Mendez family, with the fathers sacrificing one child and the remaining sibling spending a lifetime (along with their personal happiness) searching. Mulder might easily have become Leda, totally isolated and caring about nothing except the search for her/his sister. Except that Scully comes into his life and pulls him back from that extreme. We also have the words of Emilio Vasquez talking about his lost sister Irma to Mulder: "My mother knew she wasn't coming back all along. We argued about that. She thinks Irma was taken by angels. Can you believe that?" He looks at Mulder with wet eyes and breaks down. "Oh God, she is so fucking ignorant. Angels." Poor Mulder on so many levels. This echoes his own mother's refusal to acknowledge what really happened to Samantha and it also kind of pokes a stick at Mulder's new belief that Samantha was saved by walk-ins (or whatever that crap in Closure was).

The ending! Wow. I totally didn't remember that Iphi was Marita (or, Marita was Iphi). I just went back and re-read the prologue and I guess that should have helped. I always was terrible at paying attention to those first few minutes of the show, before the opening credits, where you get some clues to help you with the rest of the episode; I was always just impatient to get to Mulder and Scully. :) But, seriously, though, this was a great idea, to bring Marita into it this way. And, chalk up another parallel, not just between Marita and Samantha, but between Marita and Scully; both are victims but they are dealing with it in completely different ways. Am I interpreting correctly if I say that Marita had the report sent to Mulder and to Leda basically in order to find her father and kill him?

Date: 2014-06-20 09:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
See, when you can read something like this in a single evening it makes you a sweeter person.

I didn't like "Closure" either. Silly little ghosties.

I stick with my desire for brevity. Hmm. This story could actually be cannibalized to make several shorter pieces. The backstory for Marita is very strong. And the parallels all over with Mulder's past--I'm thinking a kind of circular structure. Maybe messing with time. I really have a feeling that the this-happened-and-then-that-happened approach was wrong.

So all we have to do is contact Elinor and give her my arrogant, mean advice. But I hear betas do that to their victims all the time.

You know--I'm being serious here, which it's sometimes necessary to say--there are differences between the responses of someone new to a specific fanfic and someone who has been reading it twenty years. A certain impatience sets in. But I don't want, truly, to spoil anyone's pleasure.

Date: 2014-06-16 02:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
I really liked this. Plot-driven, good Mulder/Scully characterization (particularly Scully, there were quite a few scenes in this story where I could just picture Gillian delivering those lines). This easily could have been a two-parter episode in the seventh season.

I think the only other thing I've ever read by this author was "Exorcist Stairs." I'll definitely be reading the rest of her stuff.

Date: 2014-06-20 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Okay, this is going to be pretty self-centered. And difficult. Because I agree with the positive things said about Salvador. It is well-structured, has believable characters, reveals truckloads of research and hard work. I thoroughly approved of it.

I did not, however, enjoy it. Part of that was reading multiple things under deadline and developing eye strain. Poor me. But I have never wished so strongly that I was *watching* the two-part episode mentioned above rather than going through so many words, words, words--many of which, IMO, could have been eliminated.

This may be a central and unsolvable problem with fanfic: we already know the characters in a thousand permutations. We know more about them than they ever discovered themselves. So one more sympathetic take on the ship, one more re-imagining of the theme issues (no matter how original), one more description of sinister enemies and an ominous environment, does not to me make a riveting novel-length experience. Yes, Salvador was a good idea, but I'd rather see it's tropical exoticism. Yes, the parallels between Mulder's family experience and those he encounters are arresting, but they could have found great actors to play great scenes. I would love to have seen the alien. I would have been ambivalently thrilled to see MC slip the death needle into her father's arm.

I realize I'm being unreasonable and somewhat unfair to a conscientious author. But this was a long, long work, and somehow I never wondered what would happen next. It all seemed inevitable. My mantra is: shorter is better. I'm thinking some trimming would have helped.

I loved the Marita reveal. I loved Octavio: a wasted character. I wish he had lived to give Mulder some buddy chemistry and to rescue Leta from her inebriated isolation. I thought the mutual worry of the characters rather dull. An intense fight might have been more interesting.

But mostly I wanted acting, camera-work, and Mark Snow's music.

Date: 2014-06-20 06:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
A mini rewatch would be cool with me. And/or we could read something short and fun/ny next. I wish I had something specific in mind in that category...I will see if I can think of some ideas.

I will read anything, and most likely like it. I'm sort of easy that way.

Date: 2014-06-20 10:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
I actually recall the casefile portion of "Seeds of Synchronicity" to be pretty great, but I'm a sucker for stuff that revisits old episodes (particularly old episodes like Aubrey that don't get much love or attention.) Mountainphile takes the mythology established in that episode and runs with it in an interesting and convincing direction. But yeah, the sex is gratuitous and there's so much of it. There's even post-getting-hit-by-a-car sex, which is about the most unsexy thing I can imagine.

Date: 2014-06-21 10:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
PG version would be great. It also would be a lot shorter.

There are plenty of stories out there for which the sex is integral to the plot and the story would suffer without it, but there are waaaaay more stories where I find it wholly unnecessary and generally distracting from the story the author is trying to tell. I skim past or outright skip a lot of those scenes in fic.

Date: 2014-06-20 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
C'mon, admit it. You need me. I'm the designated grouch.

Date: 2014-06-20 06:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tri-sbr.livejournal.com
Although we had different reactions to the story, I do strongly agree that I would have loved to have seen this as an episode (and possibly loved it more than I liked reading it). And I was very sad to see Octavio go. I so wanted a happy (well, relatively speaking) ending there, for him and Leda. I sort of figured that was just me being sorta sappy, though ;)

Date: 2014-06-20 06:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Hey, don't knock the sap! It keeps trees alive.

Date: 2014-06-21 10:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordantwords.livejournal.com
It's funny, I'm on the flip side of the same coin here. I enjoyed this so much because it felt so much like an episode, and I could imagine the actors, and the music and even the commercial breaks. When the show was on the air, I read to fill in the gaps between what we saw on screen. Now that the show is long gone, I miss it so much that I love finding stories that give me "this could have been an episode!" feeling.

Date: 2016-07-20 03:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Funny, when I read a fic and feel it would be really great to watch it as an episode (or two), then I figure that is pretty much what I'm looking for. Of course, there are those fics that are just no way no how suited for television audiences that we love nonetheless, but still, I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Date: 2016-07-20 04:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Also, was I the only one who pretty much immediately thought MC was Leda's long lost sister? It just felt clear as soon as I read a description of the child, of Mulder meeting Leda and feeling a strange familiarity, etc etc etc. Anyone??

Date: 2016-07-20 08:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
OMG I didn't realize you were REREADING these along with me! Whoa. Thank you! It makes things way more lively for me! And... I'm still just working my way through those tagged as casefiles, I suppose I'll look through those tagged as X-Files next, unless you have a different category to suggest?

Date: 2016-07-20 08:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bmerb.livejournal.com
Glad you are rereading them with me! Its great to have someone to discuss with, plus this is totally my guilty pleasure and escape from adulting. Once I'm employed full time again my reading time will disappear, but right now I can still steal reads during the kids naptime!

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