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The AU That’s Got Religion #6

The AU That’s Got Religion #6 published on 27 Comments on The AU That’s Got Religion #6

[FWOOFH]

Leif: Thån!

Thorn: Leif?

Leif: Tell me you want me.

Thorn: What . . . ?

Leif: Or don’t! Tell me you don’t, and I’ll turn around right now and we never have to mention this again. Just tell me.

Thorn: . . .

. . . I want you.

[MMPH]

Also, I don’t want to take off any of my clothes until it’s summer.

Leif: I can work with that.

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27 Comments

Actually really disappointed with Leif on this one. He knew what he was getting into when he signed that line, so he can only blame himself when this comes into the light .

Blame? Leif doesn’t seem like the type of person to blame others for his own decisions and actions. If anything, he seems more likely to blame himself for All The Things (his own stuff AND others’), poor guy. 😉

I’m not disappointed in Leif. There are such things as regret and change of heart, and our boys aren’t perfect (how boring if they were).

Maybe, but it reminds me of the guys who bitch about things like having to pull duty or hit the range when it’s inconvenient for them. You chose this, you don’t get to pick and choose when you have to follow orders.

Except that religious affiliation is frequently not exactly voluntary. That’s not to say that it’s usually involuntary, exactly, but if you grow up in an environment that is passively or explicitly hostile to those who aren’t a part of the religion you are taught is true from birth, it can lead to some pretty powerful indoctrination. When you complain about doing your duty in the military, that’s not really valid because you signed up, then went to boot camp.

Boot camp is designed to break you down and build you back up as a soldier over the course of weeks or months.

A religious upbringing is designed to build you up from the beginning as a soldier for your god. Literally. I was raised christian and repeatedly told that I was a soldier in god’s army.

And I don’t mean that in a creepy cult way, either. That’s just standard rhetoric. Monotheism especially does this, where the faith is treated like a military campaign, and they say it’s a metaphor, but they’re still talking about having the kind of devotion to duty that it takes to volunteer to stand on a battlefield and kill or be killed for your cause. Martyrs and generals are the heroes of a lot of religions.

So Lief basically went through boot camp and then was offered the chance to sign up. That wasn’t voluntary. If you spend a child’s life telling them they’ll burn in hell if they don’t follow the teachings of your god, when someone offers them the opportunity to become a monk and they take it, it isn’t about tranquility so much as it’s about fear and brainwashing.

I am surprised that Lief hasn’t been utterly destroyed by this decision for weeks, months, or years. I am pleasantly surprised that someone so indoctrinated is being depicted as able to throw it off like that, but it’s not that easy.

I’m an atheist, and I still catch myself talking to a god that isn’t there sometimes, because this stuff is as ingrained in me as your military training is in you. Religious thinking is not honestly much different from aiming for center of mass or saluting a general. They are reflexive things. But you asked someone to give you the reflex and the duty. Lief was raised in a culture where “celibate monk” is possibly the only career his friends and family would have expected.

There is no dereliction of duty where the duty is not voluntary, and there is no voluntary duty in a religious context, because religion, especially that you are raised with, holds a metaphysical gun to your temple to make you conform and promote the faith.

I actually thought Leif was forced into religious servitude instead of government work in this AU, I don’t think he got to pick.

Until I’m shown otherwise, I’m operating on the presumption that no one had a gun to his head and he chose this freely.

There are other ways how to force someone to do something than literally holding a gun to his head. For example, convince him he doesn’t have a choice – or that his choice is limited to things from which the one you are forcing looks best.

Weird presumption to make, considering what we know about Leif in the main canon (and most of the other AUs, for that matter)…

It’s an AU isn’t it?

Right, which means it’s not an unconnected story with no relation to the original. The characters are going to behave in recognizable ways.

The way acolyte!Leif deals with the Temple’s control echoes the way gardener!Leif deals with the Embassy’s control. (Also, the High Priest is an AU version of his manager at the Embassy.) So a logical deduction would be that he’s in an analogous position in both settings.

One of my several theories relates to the concept of a child being “promised to the church,” So, involuntary, but Leif being Leif, he’d see it as his duty and responsibility to fulfill the family obligation (like in the “real” story?). He’d do his darnedest to be the best slave, I mean, servant, I mean, monk/priest/etc. possible. All glory to the owner, I mean, church, etc.! Then beat himself up for any missteps, whether his fault or not.

Oh, Leif!

Anyway, things are never as simple as they appear, with Leif & Thorn, methinks.

And this is when we learn Leif is secretly Agatha.

Agatha? (I don’t get it, sorry.)

I think they’re talking about Girl Genius (http://www.girlgeniusonline.com). And I wouldn’t mind Leif secretly being the Heterodyne; the question is whether Thorn is Gil or Tarvek, and who the other one is. (Kale maybe?)

From a story beat/personality perspective:
Thorn takes the Gil AND Tarvek roles. Kale as Klaus. Katya fills Krosp’s role, with Thorn’s Knights and The Backup as Master Payne’s Circus. Juniper would fit best into Zeetha’s place in the story. Holly as Balthazar, but ends up pulled along for the Castle Heterodyne arc. I so want to put Imri in as Dupree, but he plans too well.

Not sure who to slot for Violetta. No one has her mix of competence and self-loathing.

There seems to be some kind of issue with the dialogue bubbles; I found them really hard to read when they’re this dark.

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