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Assessment II: Fan Fiction Essay


I have written this fanfiction story creating correlation with multiple aspects of Pop Genres course. Firstly, this piece of work connects with Cult TV by its mere heading. Plus, the scene where this text has come to an end, hints that a next episode would be made.  Secondly, I have used aspects of Chris Vogler’s hero’s journey. For example, from Act 1, Ordinary World, where Zara is shown that she is part of the living world which we are. Similarly, her daily routines resemble with an ordinary person’s concerns. Furthermore, Zara shows her heroic skills and by passing the threshold and amplifies herself to the greater world as to what else she is capable of. Ultimately, she has reached the innermost cave of her journey which is, to practice her profession in New Zealand. That is when she is invited by Chris, who offers her the dream job she has been desperate for. She also seizes the reward offered to her and now proceeded with the concept of The Road Back but to her surprise, something which she never expected comes out of the blues. This scene is considered to be the Climax of this story. Additionally, I have also illustrated the reality behind the treatment of women in India which, corresponds with our last two weeks of lectures around Reality TV. Nevertheless, the purpose of finishing the story at this very moment was to leave the emotion of “helplessness”, which was introduced by H.P. Lovecraft in his Cthulhu Mythos. This emotion is supposed to work as a symbol, that is to remind the reader that, even though this essay is the last piece of work I am presenting but it has its roots all the way from the beginning of this course.  

Shortland Street 

Zara Mandal came from India to New Zealand in the pursuit of a better quality of free life. By profession, she is a qualified doctor (Cardiologist) but currently drives a taxi in New Zealand. Her reason for driving a taxi was solely to acquire the adequate amount of funds which is required from her to accredit her cardiologist certification into New Zealand’s standards and to upgrade her academic qualification. Zara’s daily routine is, to get up early in the morning and shoot off from her one-bedroom apartment. Sit behind the steering wheels of her friends Toyota Prius and begin to search for customers until sunset. 

Her customers used to ask her questions such as, “how have you been?”,  

“how long have you been driving a taxi for?”, etc. while replying Back to her customers question, she also used to give them the purpose of driving a taxi and the hardships she was facing. Sometimes, there would be customers who would give Zara so much confidence and motivation in her pursuit of achievement and her ultimate goal which would kindle the fire of hope in her heart. Three months had already past from the time Zara’s arrived in New Zealand when the burning flame in Zara’s heart began to heighten.  

One day she picked a passenger from Shortland Street Hospital who told Zara to drop him off at Mission heights. Zara, oblivious of the fact that her customer was none other than the CEO of Shortland Street hospital, Chris. She turned her taxi meter on and began to drive towards Mission heights. A little conversation took place between them but nothing particular. While Zara was on her way to drop her passenger to his required destination, they happened to witness a car collide into another car which resulted in being rolled down from the over bridge into the road at the bottom. It was one of a kind accident which Zara witnessed. 

So, Zara being a doctor, always available to save others life, she stopped her vehicle and asked permission from her passenger and off she went towards the accident ground. when she reached the accident point, Zara noticed that in one of the cars there was a pregnant woman whose name read Kate on her badge. She had already died due to the severity of the accident and blood could be witnessed pouring out from the bottom part of her body. Zara shouted on top of her lungs, “Someone call 111, please” rushing towards the car which got smashed, Zara ran. There was a man who seemed to be severely injured and was breathing heavily. When Zara saw the man’s condition, she ran swiftly towards him and began to apply her medical skills on that man. Zara responded to him with such confidence in her actions and profoundly doing exactly the right steps which took Chris into amazement. He was truly fascinated and taken aback by the skills a taxi driver was conducting. A big scene was created in the time being, news media had arrived at the location and live broadcast began to take place and. After 10 minutes, they heard the siren of an ambulance, fire brigade and police heading towards the location. They hastily responded to the victims and transported them directly to the hospital. Hence, without many conversations being able to take, Zara dropped her passenger at his requested address, which was only 1 minute away and went back to work. Before Chris walked out of the car, he asked the driver, “what is your name?”, Zara replied, “Zara!”  

The following day, Zara came into Shortland Street Hospital, to find out about the condition of the patient she helped yesterday. While she was walking in the corridor, she happened to bump into the same person who was in her taxi yesterday, but only this time he was in a doctor’s outfit. “Hi, I’m Chris,” said Chris, while handing over his hand towards Zara. As Zara reached out towards his hand, she began to get a flashback of his husband back in India. She hastily retracted her hand back. This took Chris as a surprise, but he was calm. Chris asked Zara as to why was she here?  

Zara replied, “I came to see visit the man who was caught in an accident” Chris replied, “Let’s go, come with me”. They both began to walk towards the patient’s room. On the way to the room, Chris began to question Zara about who she is and how was she so bravely able to respond to yesterday’s incident. Zara was telling Chris regarding her profession and her experiences along the way. Once they reached the room, Chris asked Zara if she can meet him after she has visited that man in level 5 room number 17. Zara replied, “why do you want me there?” Chris replied, “I have great news for you” she then replied in affirmative, saying she will come.  

Back in India, Zara had a very tough life. She had a very bad experience with her previous husband. She was always tortured, abused and treated like a prostitute whenever they had intimacy. From that time, she had a very negative image resonating with males. Zara’s mother told Zara, that she would definitely find someone very caring and loving but Zara always took this prayer of her mother as a fantasy.   

Knock! Knock, Zara taps on the 17th room of the 5th floor in the hospital. Outcomes Chris opening the door from inside. Welcome! Welcome! Said Chris. “Take a seat, Zara” “How is your patient?” “my patient?”, asks Zara surprisingly. “Yes! Your patient” replied Chris. Zara’s eyes were filled with tears when she heard this statement. “You have been given the role of a Cardiologist at Shortland Street” proclaimed Chris. “No! no! this is unbelievable” replied Zara. How…? Chris told Zara, “from tomorrow you begin your work at this very hospital and if you require any assistance, which I doubt you would, I will be at your service. “But why are you doing all this for me?”, questioned Zara. Chris replied, “I don’t know, but there is something in you which speaks that you are capable of this job”. Dumbfounded, Zara says, “I have to undertake the certification accreditation done before I begin this job” Chris replied, “don’t worry, that is not a difficult task which needs to be accomplished”  

Happily, shooting off from the hospital, Zara rushes towards the main entrance of the hospital. To her surprise, she saw her husband standing at the door. What! “Aap yaha kiya kar rahe ho?” [1] Zara surprisingly asked Jav Mandal. “Main tumhe wapas lee gaa ne ke liye ayaa hun[2]” replied Zara’s husband. “Nahi[3]! This cannot happen” shouted Zara. Jav Mandal held the right hand of Zara and headed towards the exit of Shortland Street Hospital.   


[1] Aap yaha kiya kar rahe ho?: What are you doing here? 

[2] Main tumhe wapas lee gaa ne ke liye ayaa hun: I have come here to take you back home 

[3] Nahi!: No! 

Buffy Fanfiction



WILLIAMS, SIMON. Born 1982. Passed away on July 14, 2004. Loyal son of James, brother to Gareth, captain of the Sunnydale High football team and friend to all. An inspiration. Taken too early. No service be held.




JULY 14 2004



A high school student was found dead outside of Sunnydale early in the morning.


It is known that a loud noise preceded the event and flashing lights of uncertain origin were seen before it occurred.


The place where the body was found has been cordoned off indefinitely. A police spokesman has said that officers were alerted as soon as the body was discovered.


A short statement was released to the press. “We are working to establish the facts of the case. We don’t need speculation.”







I always loved you Simon. You will forever be in my heart. That night we spent together will live forever in my heart. I still have the necklace you gave me, and I’ll keep your secret. – 1Lover

Fuck off. If you really dated him or had his secrets you wouldn’t be on here trying to get us to ask you what they were. I’ve seen you posting this shit so many times before. Stop being an attention whore. – RealNinja7777

ouch – Toocan.


good riddance. The bathrooms will be safer without him. – din viesel

What’s that supposed to mean? – RogerMoorefan91

If you don’t know you don’t know. – din viesel


does anyone else thingk the librarian’s pretty hot? –

lol no – meangirl

fuck no – twentytwentytwenty

I mena, kinda… –


Whose the guy who’s been hanging out with lately? Geeky looking guy. I heard the police want him to talk to him so if you know where he is call them up.

I think his name’s Harris or something? – Toocan

I think you’re mistaken. It’s definitely something else. – Alexxx

What makes you so sure? – Too can

I just know. – Alexxx

??? Well forgive me if I don’t take the word of a stranger on the internet as gospel. – Toocan




Does anyone know how he died?

I’m the one who found his body. He was torn up pretty badly. I didn’t know a human could do that sort of thing. – anon

Oh shiiiit. Maybe it wasn’t human? – 69Guy


Tbh I wish those protestors would just SHUT THE FUCK UP and leave the school alone. I’ve got a GPA to maintain.

There’s things that are more important than your grades. There’s a world. – RealNinja777


FYI to the cheerleaders in the library yesterday – just cause you decided to date guys who aren’t jocks doesn’t make you smart. If you’re gonna come to the library than keep ur mouths shut. Some of us are trying to study. Ur just idiots.

Preach. – anon


Heyooo that girl with the blue sandals at the fountain the other day? Fred Lawson likes you. You should get him to ask you out on a date.

Wish we had more of these. Things have gotten so negative around here lately. – Mollly

Complaining about problems is just creating new problems. You should let go of your tension. – Um, okay?

Uh, okay? – Mollly

Anyone know what happened to that blonde girl in Ms. Moran’s history class? She’s stopped coming to class lately.

Is everyone just gonna talk about Simon Williams now? I’m just worried about midterms. Least we got a few days off school now.

This has gone on long enough .






Dear diary,

No, that sounds stupid. I haven’t written inside this diary since I was eight so I guess I don’t need to bother with the formalities now. Only picked this up because I was feeling nostalgic. then the only thing I wrote about was Xander…


He’s been acting strange lately. And not like a boy going through puberty way but in a way that’s just off. Ever since Oz and me started dating he’s been distant. He started hanging out with a new crowd recently. He’s never reallyhad guy friends to talk to about stuff with so it’s good for him, but sometimes I feel a little left out. Oz doesn’t really get along with them but I’m glad he’s finally found his people, you know what I mean?…


Anyway, I’ll always be his best friend. I probably don’t even need to write that, but it’s true.



CHAT LOGS – 7/13/04


Are you sure this is safe?


Positive. I’m going out tonight.


Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit. I don’t know man. Maybe we should just ask my friend Buffy to help out. This is a Slayer job.


You know what she’d say. We’ve relied on the Slayer too long to solve our problems. The people of Sunnydale have just been ignoring their duties as citizens. It’s out turn to take responsibility. We’ve talked about this.


I know. I understand.


Do you still have the thing I gave you?


Yeah. Why?


I need it.




Xander? You still there.


I don’t think you need it.


Yeah, I do.



Xander. Please.





Okay, I’ll give it to you.




JULY 17 2004

By Done Redford


A group of around thirty protesters wearing ‘demon’ masks were spotted outside Sunnydale Town Council at approximately 12-4pm yesterday. The messages on the protest signs were directed towards the perceived negligence of the Town Council to curb the recent rash of unexplained deaths and to open up the possibility they were murders, including football captain and beloved symbol of the town Simon Williams.


Protestors also claimed that Sunnydale was being run by demonic forces and that people had simply turned a blind eye. However, none of them would give their name or the name of their organization despite extensive talks with reporters.


“We don’t know who could out there to get us. Sunnydale is stranger than you think.” One protestor said. “I’ve seen things. Women who’ll suck the blood right out your blood if you pay them. Creatures that will make your skin crawl just by looking at them. One time while walking home I saw a little blonde girl fighting a homeless man who came up to her begging for food – she stabbed and disintegrated him to dust right in front of me.”


One of the young men who seemed to be the de facto leader of the group, leading the chants said, “The time has come to take back the night. We will show them who the real monsters in Sunnydale are. If the Council doesn’t join us then we’ll have to take matters into our own hands.”


Further questions were met with dismissive comments.


Acting Mayor Huell Carson declined to comment. After the sudden, unexplained departure of the previous Mayor Richard Wilkins he has taken up office temporarily until the next election.


Reports of vandalism by the protest group have also surfaced. Eyewitness accounts claim they were found drawing strange runes with chalk on the building’s surface, but when none could be found when police officers searched. When questioned the activists neglected to comment.


“There’s always been something wrong with this city,” one mother of two said, while overlooking . “I’m just surprised it hadn’t happened sooner.”







Due to the limited scope of this assignment and most examples of Gomez’s Collective Journey that I could find being in the form of longform content such as television shows, I decided that rather than a short story it may be more effective to take a decentralized approach to the narrative. This fanfiction’s structure was inspired by Lizzie Borden’s film Born In Flames (1983), a documentary style feminist film which utilized fictionalized excerpts from various media outlets (both mainstream and alternative, audio, visual and written) to highlight the multiple perspectives at play and the intersectionality of the issues the film tackled.


At heart Buffy The Vampire Slayer is a superhero narrative drawing heavily from Campbell’s Hero’s Journey (1993), where one character is elevated as the protector of the community as an exceptional individual. I wanted to problematize the idea of the superhero or elevated individuals in general, and the idea of vigilantes – people who step outside of the system to correct it. Simon Williams is a character I created to reflect that, as his status is elevated to legend and the person he really was is obscured by the conflicting reports of his personality, as well as the characters’ relationships to him. In another way I wanted Buffy’s role as the Slayer to be called into question, as the person who holds both the power and authority over Sunnydale for all supernatural matters is absent and hides her identity from the people who need her most.


Gomez’s Collective Journey (2016) prefers a diverse cast rather than a singular hero, highlighting systemic problems and the various solutions that the community as a whole can offer rather than a singular antagonist to defeat. As a non-linear model for storytelling it is easier to isolate and use elements within the short stories. For my fanfiction I chose to focus on the concept of super positioning and the various ways people project their identity both onto the internet and to the real world, and how that can affect social change on a wider scale. In different contexts online we may behave different and  (Gomez). For those familiar with the show they will be able to place this show around early season four.


In an age of superpositioned identities a critical eye becomes important to sorting through the apocryphal nature of internet discourse. I utilized the linguistic tool of passivation Goatly & Hiradhar’s (2016) in the first article written to omit information about who discovered the body, trying to immediately raise questions about who or what could have created. This is an attempt to place the reader into the shoes of the average citizen of Sunnydale, who only has hushed rumours to go on and several contradicting sources from which to choose.


BtVS takes place during the early 2000s when the internet was still in its infancy and before social media had fully taken hold, but this nascent form of the internet could still provide a world a space in which people could be anonymous or create wholesale personas with which to express their opinions, especially in a small town such as Sunnydale. This is further compounded by the presence of old media such as newspapers which have their own spin on events. Its portrayal of the internet and technology in general has varied from passably entertaining to wildly inaccurate (Season One’s “I, Robot… You Jane” being the worst offender) but there is much untapped potential here.


I did not accomplish as much as I would have hoped to and the execution needs a lot of work, but I believe I have at least communicated the main ideas with this fanfiction. My intent was to leave things up to interpretation so that the reader could puzzle out. Xander Harris’ presence is hidden among the various texts of this page, under the guise of anonymity. I intentionally chose him because he is the most “normal” out of the main characters, without superpowers or special skills, but also represents what much of the alt-right looks for in terms of recruitment as a pop culture obsessed straight white male. I also intended to add a blog post from Simon Williams in which he would act as a sort of gateway into the group of masked protestors who would eventually be shown to commit acts of violence or torture towards demons. Despite the Slayer’s job to face evil she is completely absent from the conversation of how the community should handle ,  and as a result the citizens who do realize that something is going on are left in the dark and feel the need to take the law into their own hands. It is an intensely flawed approach but it is still an attempt to correct injustice.














Borden, L. (Director). (1983). Born in flames [Motion picture]. United States: Lizzie Borden


Campbell, J. (1993). The hero with a thousand faces. Fontana. Retrieved from

Gomez, J. (n.d.) Collective journey. Retrieved from


Goatly, A., & Hiradhar, P. (2016). Critical reading and writing in the digital age : An introductory       coursebook. Retrieved from



Dominic McAlpine

The Promise

Fanfiction and Commentary by Ashleigh Carter. Based on the cult Anime series Blood-C created by CLAMP.


“I am sorry my love. But I can no longer keep my promise to you. Humans have become creatures of a despicable nature; I no longer feel pity or compassion towards them. I must find a way to break my contract…forgive me, Azami…

The Old Ones. Ancient monsters of unknown origin whose main form of sustenance is human flesh. So great is their strength, humanity stood no chance against them. Out of desperation, the humans sought to try to commune with the elders in order to come up with some sort of compromise which would cause the least amount of life lost. This led to the creation of the covenant – the Shrovetide. This agreement meant that the old ones could continue to feed on humans however they would be restricted to a specified time and place.

The old ones fear me; the one that feeds on their kind. The product of a union between an old one and a human. The humans have come to call me, a vampire…

Location: Kyoto City, Japan Year: 1860 Edo Period

Chapter 1 – Fated Meeting

Loneliness. It’s all I’ve ever known. That, and hunger; a hunger that I can’t control. I’m certain my eyes are glowing crimson red; pupils in slits, revealing to anyone that might see, that I am anything but human, despite my appearance.

Earlier in the day, I had caught the most delectable scent that I had ever smelled in my long life. That’s how I found myself stalking my prey through a dark, deserted street this night. How can a human smell so good? Instinct is taking over, I must control myself; I am not an animal, not like the rest of my kind who devour their prey on sight, without even being hungry. Animals. So hungry…

Zeroing in on my meal of the night, I lunge at the human preparing to sink my teeth into their neck severing their carotid artery; that’s when I feel the pain. I’ve been electrocuted, falling to the ground with a thud. Confusion hits me.


I look up and standing over me is the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. Her eyes glaring at me, not an ounce of fear, her eyes were like a stormy sea; long dark locks of hair in a wave down her back, skin like porcelain. So strong and yet, beneath it all, a soul so pure…

I was broken out of my daze by a hand coming across my face hard.

“what happened?! You tried to kill me is what happened! Who do you think you are?!”

“I was hungry, you are human, aren’t you?” I say standing up, hmm this girl is taller than me…

“you’re one of them, aren’t you?” to my surprise she does not look at me with disgust or hatred as other humans do. Instead she holds out her hand, I look and she’s handing me a blood bag. I look up at her in confusion.

“I know it’s not as good as the real thing, but it should help; here take it” she says sympathetically placing the bag in my hand I had not realized was outstretched.

I am speechless, I stare back and forth between her and the blood bag a few times before she gives me a slight smile and nods. I place the bag to my lips and the blood pours down my throat, moaning a little; she was right, it was not as good as the real thing but, damn it was GOOD.

“better?” she asked

“much. Thank you…?”

“Azami. my name is Azami. and you are welcome… And what should I call you?”

No one’s ever asked my name before, let alone used it…this human is peculiar

“my name is Saya.”

She smiles again and I can’t help but smile back. What is wrong with me? the strange, beautiful human turns and begins walking away from me. it’s then i notice the sword sheathed on her side. a samurai? she turns her head to look at me once again. “well? you coming or what?”

“why should i trust you, human?”

“was my giving you my blood not enough to convince you?”

that was her blood? why would this human do this? she turns back and continues walking away down the path. i sigh. fine; i’ll play, but only because i want to know what this humans game is. not because her hair smells like jasmine…ugh. i catch up to her quickly and we walk in silence for what seems like an eternity. i don’t realise i have not taken my eyes off of her, she smirks, flipping her hair back over her shoulder. “you must have questions. you’ve been staring at me for the last ten minutes.”

i quickly turn my head away. am i blushing? slowly i turn to look at her again, she’s looking at me curiously; her eyes sparkle in the moonlight.

clearing my throat “so where are we going anyway?”…

“you rely too much on your baser instincts, you let the animal side control you. i want to teach you, there’s more to you than that. i’ve decided, i’m going to teach you the ways of my clan. control. technique. humanity..”

“why?….why would you do this for someone like me? you don’t even know me; i just tried to eat you.”

“i know. there was just something in your eyes that made me want to help you.”

she held her sincerity and compassion on her sleeve; that sort of person could get themselves longer in a haze of hunger i’m able to think clearly. i make a decision that will protect this human no matter what; especially from myself.

Chapter Two – Love gained and lost

6 Months Later…..

The clash of metal can be heard throughout the compound as we bring our swords together, grunting in effort. We’ve been at this swordplay for little over an hour now and though I was only slightly tired, I could tell Azami was exhausted, she won’t last much longer. “getting tired? Ready to give up?” I tease her. “not even close.” She grins lunging forward with her sword, I have the advantage when it comes to speed and so I easily dodge her attack, swinging my sword knocking hers out of her hand pointing my sword to her throat in victory, I smile “I win”. Lowering my sword dropping it to the ground with a clang, and walking off to grab my towel.

“you’re really fast; I don’t think I have any more to teach you. The student has surpassed the master” she giggles and takes a drink of water from the fountain. The sight mesmerises me, her laugh is like bells, the most beautiful sound. “ready to hit the baths?” she breaks me out of my thoughts. I’m always losing focus around her.

“yeah, sure, let’s go” we head off to the bathhouse, which houses a large natural hot spring. Stripping down I lower myself into the water wincing with slight pain from the earlier training session. I can’t help the moan I let out when my body sinks into the healing waters; I love baths, I can feel myself slightly dozing off when I feel soft fingers on my face brushing my unruly hair out of my face then tracing my jaw. I open my eyes only to find Azami’s looking intently at me, reaching up to cup her face in my hand gently. “you’re so beautiful” she whispers as if to herself. I am overwhelmed by a feeling unfamiliar to me; slowly leaning in closer to her til our foreheads and lips are brushing against each other, she takes the last few centimetres and her soft lips are against mine in the softest of kisses; I kiss her back deepening our embrace. I am home.

i wake up in agony; i had forgotten to eat yesterday, mentally slapping myself, soo hungry…that’s when that familiar scent hits my nose, i turn to the person sleeping next to me; last night had been perfect, and now i was struggling to remember anything but how delicious she i can’t do this, please don’t make me. i lean in closer, the animal inside is taking over, my nose up against her throat i take a deep inhale, teeth now bared. closer i can feel my sharp canine teeth begin to pierce my prays flesh. “NO!!” i scream, launching myself backwards with such strength i hit my head against the wall behind me. this comotion finally awakens Azami who sits up frantically looking around until she spots me, up against the wall now with my head in my hands, shaking. she rushes over to me. “Saya?! are you ok? what happened?”

Tears begin streaming uncontrollably down my cheeks, i take her hand in mine and place it over the small puncture wound on her neck, letting go of her; i have no right to touch her. confused she looks at her fingers now with blood on them gasping. “Saya…”

“i’m so sorry! i never wanted to hurt you! i couldn’t control it, i so sorry!” i cry, shrinking into myself; she’ll never forgive me..

“but you did control yourself Saya”. she lifts my face up with her gentle loving hands to look at her; she wipes away my tears with her thumb. “you stopped yourself and i’m so proud of you, it’s only a little cut, see.” she leans in cautiously softly kissing me, looking me in the eye she smiles that smile i love.

“i…i love you Azami”

“i love you too Saya, soo much” she takes me into a deep embrace then gets up taking me with her, my hand in hers “now, how about we go get you something to eat?”

after we had eaten, i turn to Azami, taking her hand in mine. “Azami…i never want to hurt you…i need to protect you, even if its from me.”

“what are you saying Saya?”

“i will make a contract with you that can never be broken; a promise, that i can never again kill a human.”

“but, Saya; are you sure? how will you live without eating humans?”

“i will hunt old ones instead.”

“alright Saya; if this is what you want”

“i want to keep you safe. you are all that matters to me in this world Azami.”

And so the pact was written. i could no longer harm humans, nor consume their flesh. and so i became the feared one amongst the old ones; the one who kills and consumes her own kind in order to live; and more importantly, to protect the woman i love.

Weeks later….

i was walking home from gathering ingrediants to cook Azami our anniversary dinner tonight, all her favorite foods, i smile to myself thinking about what we might do after dinner..thats when i heard it; the crash from a building nearby and a blood curdling scream. i recognised the voice “Azami!” i sprinted in the direction of the scream, spilling the food on the ground. i turn the corner and the sight before me is monstrous. a bat shaped humanoid old one had crashed through the dojo by our home and had found her. i was too late; the old one had torn her in pieces before it looked up at me, dropping her leg in the process. all i saw was red, a wretched cry screamed it’s way from my throat as i ran at the monster who had taken my love from me. tearing into it with my bare hands, even using my teeth, i tear out its jugular killing it instantly, now covered in blood i fall to the ground next to what remains of Azami; the tears are a river from my eyes “no no no please no” i cry but it’s too late, there’s nothing i can do. her beautiful eyes are closed as if she were sleeping i smooth her hair out of her untouched face. the rain has now begun to pelt onto us. i gather her body into my arms cradling her to my chest. “NO!!!” my scream of agonized grief fills the night air. I am alone.


I decided to write a prequel to the cult Anime Series created by CLAMP. Blood-C. the tale of how Saya became under a contract with someone to not be able to eat humans has never been revealed and so I took the opportunity to write my own spin on what could have happened.

The story starts off with Saya at a future time, thinking back on the past and how she is now trying to break her “curse” so that she can eat humans again as she hates humans. She then explains her world and her role in it.

The story begins with Saya meeting her girlfriend Azami. a Japanese Edo Period Samurai who takes Saya in and teaches her how to fight and Saya gains some humanity and the two end up falling in love.

Saya out of the need to protect Azami from her; makes a contract that binds Saya to not be able to harm humans.

The fateful night comes when Saya stumbles upon the massacre of her beloved and is enraged sparking a century long killing spree up until she is caught and experimented on in the Anime.

The Anime uses elements from H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu Mythos and so I attempted to use these elements within my fanfiction.

Week 5 – Cult TV

In the opening section of their book which discussed the television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Wilcox & Lavery (2002) set out to see how well the show fared against a set of attributes media scholar Robert Thompson felt were exhibited by “quality television”. For this blog post, I will be applying some of these attributes to HBO’s Baltimore set drama The Wire.

The first attribute discussed was one which related to the pedigree of a show’s creator. Wilcox & Lavery (2002) noted that while Joss Whedon’s work prior to the development of Buffy consisted mostly of being a sort of doctor for film screenplays. His pedigree comes from being part of a lineage of television writers who contributed to a number of popular shows of the 20th century. In the case of The Wire though, its creator’s pedigree arguably comes from their past work and experience. Prior to The Wire, David Simon (the show’s creator) was a crime journalist at The Baltimore Sun for over 13 years. During which he released his first novel titled Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. Which went on to win an Edgar Award and was eventually adapted into an award-winning television series that lasted for over seven seasons on NBC (Britannica, 2019).

The second attribute discussed referred to the ongoing struggle of a show’s viability in the eyes of its broadcaster. Whilst critically acclaimed throughout its run, the amount of people who actually tuned in to watch The Wire could be described as middling, especially when compared with the viewership of other HBO shows of the time. With Simon citing a myriad of factors for its low ratings such as the show’s timeslot, or its heavy use of regional dialects and urban terminology that would have alienated some viewers.

The presence of an ensemble cast is also noted as being another attribute of quality television. The Wire featured an expansive cast of actors that included the likes of Idris Elba, Michael B. Jordan and Lance Reddick. Who alongside their fellow cast members played roles ranging from police officers and gang members/criminals which are common place in crime drama and police procedurals, to anything from local politicians and dock employees.  Each of these characters are integral in helping accurately portray the various facets of Baltimore life the show attempted to explore. Which in itself lead to the show feeling like a blend of multiple genres at times. Which in itself is another defining aspect of “quality television” (Wilcox & Lavery, 2002). With scenes involving mayoral candidates and state senators giving the show the kind of overtly political undertones you’d expect from something created by the likes of Aaron Sorkin, and interactions between gang members and police giving The Wire its crime drama feel.

Lastly, there is memory. As noted in Wilcox & Lavery (2002), Whedon expressed disappointment over shows such as the X-Files whose characters seemingly forgot interactions or events in prior episodes. Both the characters of The Wire and the show itself however retain memories of past events. And use them to propel story arcs forward. Whether they be the death of recurring characters or a violent altercation. A prime example is the character of Omar Little, the show’s recurring stick up (a form of robbery) artist who enters a seemingly endless cycle of revenge and violence with the show’s focal gangs due to the death of a love interest.

If there is another characteristic to be added to this list. I would say that whether a show is discussed long after its run could be used as a defining characteristic of “quality television”. Something which Buffy fits the criteria for given talk about reboots or its use in a certain course at an Auckland based university. Or in the case of The Wire, its moniker of sometimes being referred to as the “best tv show ever” even to this day.


Augustyn, A. (2019). David Simon. Retrieved September 16, 2019, from

Wilcox, R., & Lavery, D. (2002). Introduction. In Fighting the forces: What’s at stake in buffy the vampire slayer (pp. 3-9). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.


Assessment 2: Fan fiction + Commentary

Buffy Fanfiction

It was little over a day since Buffy and Dawn said goodbye to their mother. They and the rest of the Scooby Gang still trying to make sense of Joyce’s sudden death. For a group of friends who had dealt with everything from the Master’s apocalyptic plans for the world, to the Initiative’s failed science project Adam. The gang had seemingly reached their breaking point with the weight of the world resting on their shoulder’s once more, along with Joyce’s death still fresh in their minds.

For Dawn in particular, the death hit especially hard. Having only just come to terms with her seemingly predestined fate as “the key”. Trapped in the house with nothing but one of Willow’s old computers she had given to the Summers. Dawn become somewhat accustomed to using it and browsing what Willow referred to as “the web”. It was a seemingly endless world, full of anything from animated pictures called GIFs, to a website full of reviews for Giles’ magic shop. However, using the web meant that the house phone wasn’t able to work. For technical reasons beyond Buffy and Dawn’s understanding despite Willow’s best efforts.

But even the web couldn’t quell the boredom of a recently bereaved teenage girl under what felt like house arrest. So Dawn did what rebellious teenagers do best and snuck out of the house. She unfortunately doesn’t get far before Buffy notices something is up when she can actually use the home phone. Buffy eventually finds Dawn in Sunnydale’s favourite video rental store named “Rent a Tape”. Where she’s finds her tearing up at the sight of Thelma & Louise, a film their mother had loved dearly and had rented several times even during Dawn’s short time with the family.

After a quick sisterly embrace, Buffy asks: “Should we rent it out? One last time? For mom?”

To which Dawn nods agreeingly. The sisters walk home with the tape in Buffy’s hands. Weary of the looming threat of Glory’s minions at any moment. They arrive home, rewind the tape and prepare for one last viewing of Thelma & Louise. The one thing in the world Joyce Summers loved watching more than the soap opera Passions. As the film plays, Dawn’s struggles to stay focussed. Her mind drifting between memories of her mother and pondering the idea of a means of resurrection knowing what she does of the mystical forces at play within Sunnydale. But she puts these thoughts aside and watches the film one last time as if her mother was in the room.

The next day arrives, and Dawn has a clear idea of what her plans are going to be. She is going to find a way to resurrect her mother. But does she ask Willow and Tara for help? Or does she go digging through Giles’ store? Willow and Tara would likely never help. Not wanting to interfere with the natural order of things and the consequences that would bring. While Giles would try to talk her out of it or tell Buffy if he caught her snooping around his store full of mysterious, magical things. So that left Dawn with one option, the endless world of the web. She starts by searching “RESSURECTION MAGIC” on Boogle. But is only met with discussions around various fantasy novels.

After hours of searching, she finally stumbles upon a promising lead. A thread created by user named M@GIK M@N on a message board dedicated to the teaching of magic, curses and a lot of weird things. The thread describes the summoning of a powerful being known by the name of Srnik. With the powers to give anyone what they desire most.

The thread details the seemingly simple summoning process:

“At night, when the moon has risen”

“Step forth, into its light”

“Sing your favourite song”

“Ring your loudest bell”

“And Srnik shall appear”

So Dawn waits until night arrives to attempt the ritual. But in between this and all her research. Giles has arrived at the Summers’ house to take over from Buffy in looking after Dawn for the evening. Giles knocks on Dawn’s door to check in on her.

“Dawn, it’s me Giles.”

“Buffy’s left some money for us. So we can order in some Chinese food or Pizza if you’d like”

“Chinese sounds great Giles.”

“Alright, well if you need me. You’ll know where I am.”

“Thanks Giles”

Giles returns to the living room. As does Dawn to the computer. Eventually, after what felt like an eternity to her. The moon had finally risen, and with it came the night sky. She opens the window in her bedroom, steps onto the balcony and does what the website asked.

Giles tries to order Chinese food but is met with the weird, high pitched noise that meant Dawn’s computer was using the web. Dawn repeats the process, but nothing seems to happen. Frustrated, she decides to call it a day. Soon both her and Giles fall asleep.

They awake to different dreams. For Giles he is back at Sunnydale High with his beloved Jenny. For Dawn, she is helping Joyce prepare dinner for the eventual arrival of the Scooby Gang. For a moment, both of them are the happiest they’ve ever been. But the mood is cut short when Giles reaches in for a passionate kiss and Dawn a hug only her mother could give. Suddenly they are transported to a mysterious place neither could recognise. Where they were greeted by an unknown figure.

“Hello, I’m deeply sorry to interrupt your dream.”


“I believe you’ve used my services in hope of bringing back a loved one.”


“But I regret to inform you that I cannot, and will not do that”


“I can only provide you with glimpses in whatever your heart desires”


“And even then, only for a brief window of time”


“I must also recommend that you do not pursue acts of necromancy, resurrection or any form of magic that interferes with the natural order of your world. The consequences would be too severe for your mortal bodies and minds.”

Before Dawn or Giles even have a chance to speak. The mysterious figure vanishes from sight, and they both awake from their pleasant experiences. With Giles thinking it was nothing but a weird dream, and Dawn unsure if it was due to the ritual or purely a coincidence. Nonetheless, Dawn is able to find some sense of closure from seeing Joyce as she remembered her for one last time. Instead of the lifeless, pale body she saw in the morgue. Suddenly, loud noises are heard coming from the house’s backdoor. Giles reaches for the phone, but is met by the weird, high pitched noises that meant Dawn’s computer was connected to the web.

To Be Continued …


Initially this fan fiction was centred around the character of Rupert Giles, and him pursuing a way to bring back Jenny Calendar from the dead. However, for anyone who has seen Buffy. They’d know Giles with all his experience as a watcher would likely never pursue anything as drastic as this. However, one could argue against this reasoning by citing the character of Wesley Wyndam-Pryce in Angel. Another former watcher, but one who undergoes a drastic change in personality following the death of a love interest.

So I set out to make a fan fiction centred around the themes of loss and grief. Naturally turning to the episodes of “The Body” and “Forever” for inspiration. Deciding on an episode, arc or chapter which focussed on Dawn’s grieving process for her mother. A character that is often derided amongst fans. Knowing Dawn’s relative uselessness in combatting the threats of Sunnydale, I had to avoid relying on the monster of the week approach earlier seasons had done.

The story starts off in the seemingly normal world of Sunnydale. The inclusion of the internet as a recurring plot device was my way of implementing the narrative beat referred to as “tapping the digital oracle” in Jones (2019). However, I also felt that it was a thematically appropriate plot device given the distance between the Summers sisters in the arc of Buffy, Dawn not having the mentor relationship that Giles and Buffy had, and the somewhat mysterious status the internet had in the late 90s and early 2000s. Joyce Summers’ death on the other hand acts as “the shift” (Jones, 2019) which sets the story in motion. The inclusion of Thelma & Louise alongside the soap opera Passions were small nods to little details about the character (Joyce) that were revealed over the course of the show. Which helped make the fanfiction feel more plausible in the world of Buffy.

Ending the chapter with Dawn having a little bit of closure, instead of pursuing resurrection to the lengths she does in the show’s canon was how I tried to implement the beat of embracing the reversal.


Jones, N. (2019). The Collective Journey [Word Document]. Retrieved from


ASSIGNMENT 2: Fanfiction + Commentary

Part One: FanFiction

Based on Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984)

Chapter One  

Branches snap and leaves rustle as a shadow frantically stumbles through a thick maze of dark green and grey hues. The figure abruptly comes to a halt behind the trunk of a large tree. A Shohki mask is revealed. The wearer tries to calm their breathing. A faint buzzing sound can be heard in the distance. 


Two more shadows bound through the immense forest in unison. They descend upon the Shohki mask wearer. They tower over him and reveal an adolescent boy with familiar brown eyes. 

“You won’t be young and fit forever,” says one of the figures in an authoritative tone.

“You need to think further ahead,” the other adds. 

The buzzing sound is dramatically increasing. All three of them turn their heads towards the sound. They look back at each other.

The first shadow addresses the boy once more, “Remember, staying alive is the most important thing.” 

Both shadow figures leap backwards and blend into the backdrop of the forest. The boy lets out a sigh before following suit.

The three of them reconvene on the desert dunes just outside the edge of the forest. They are greeted by a duo of hitched up horseclaws. The boy is hunched over panting as he unclips his mask. 

Both figures remove their masks as well. Behind one mask is a friendly looking man sporting a bushy grey moustache. Behind the other is a woman with a very warm and pearly smile. They look over at the exhausted boy and exchange a laugh with each other.

“Come on now, no time to rest. We need to put more distance between us and the toxic jungle before nightfall” says the man from behind his large moustache.

The trio pack items into the horseclaw saddles before mounting them and departing. The boy rides in tandem with the woman, while the man’s horseclaw is stockpiled with more supplies and resources. They are heading towards a set of vast mountains just ahead in the distance.

Time passes by as they journey up the mountain trail and the sun begins to set.

Later on that night, the troupe have set up camp at cave entrance some distance up the mountain. There is a small campfire burning with all three members gathered around. The man is sharpening a sword, while the other two gaze up into the starry night sky. The woman turns to speak to the boy.

“You know we still have faith in Dorok,” confided the woman.

“What do you mean?” the boy asks curiously.

“Well we all grew up there, even you did for a little while,” explains the woman.

“So why did we leave then?” the boys questions.

“To find more answers,” responds the woman.

“Answers to what exactly?” ponders the boy.

“Life,” answers the woman.

“Life?” the boys replies, puzzled by her answer.

“Yeah, life… because we all want to live right?”

“Yes,” agreed the boy.

“In peace and harmony, and without war?” the woman continued.

“Sure,” nodded the boy.

“So, if we all want the same thing, why are we still fighting each other?” asked the woman.


The man strikes his sword loudly as he sharpens it, interrupting the conversation. The two look over at the man.

“Staying alive is the most important thing. As long as we are alive, we have all the answers we need,” he interjects.

The woman sighs but smiles at the man before turning to the boy. 

She leaned in closer and whispered, “That’s why we teach you these things. So, one day you can live long enough to see a better world than this one.” 

“Time to get some rest. We leave at daybreak,” ordered the man.

The woman put the fire out and the troupe retreat inside the cave entrance to sleep for the night.


A sudden screech from one of the horseclaws wakes the boy. The muffled sound of a struggle can be heard just outside the cave entrance. 

“SWORD!” bellows the man.

The boy looks around confused. The woman grabs the man’s sword and tosses it to him as he breaks free from a tussle. He partly unsheathes his sword. A bunch of worms scatter away as the masked man draws his sword completely. He’s a worm-handler. 

“Just give us whatever you have in the horseclaw packs,” demands the worm-handler. “No one needs to get hurt”.

The man’s eyes stay fixated on the worm-handler poised to strike despite his sword only being half drawn. 

“It’s not worth it, just let him have it,” advises the woman.

The man glances at the woman briefly. Then, with one swift movement he disarms the worm-handler and knocks him to the ground. The man stands over the worm-handler with his foot pressed on his chest and sword against his throat. Everyone is silent.


The woman drops the horseclaw pack on the ground, narrowly missing the worm-handler’s head. The worm-handler squirms. The man grins.

“You’re right, Leo, it’s time to get going,” the man calmly remarks towards the woman.

The man sheathes his sword and helps the worm-handler to his feet. He gathers the horseclaw pack from the ground and as he shoves it into the worm-handler’s arms he recognises a marking on the worm-handler’s worm canister. He inspects it further. It was just as he had suspected.

“Hey, you tell Zirene; Lupen sends his regards,” declares the man as he stares directly into the worm-handler’s mask.

The worm-handler nods and scurries away with the pack. The boy is still sitting there stunned by the whole interaction. Leo looks over to the boy.

“Come on, Yupa, dear. Quickly pack up your things. It’s time to go,” says Leo with warm affection.

Yupa nods and gathers his things. The trio set off again on horseclaw, scaling up the mountain as daylight begins to break. 

As they rode off towards the sun Yupa whispers to Leo, “why did you just hand over our stuff?”

“Because we’re all just trying to survive out here. They must have needed it more than us right now,” Leo replies diplomatically. “There was probably more of them just around the corner,” she says as she peered over her shoulder, smiling at Yupa, “Don’t worry, we’ll get it back when we need it.”

Yupa sat there pondering about the whole situation. He was beginning to understand what Lupen means when he says staying alive in the most important thing. The troupe continue up the mountain and disappeared beyond a ridge.

Part Two: Commentary

My piece of fanfiction is an extension of the narrative and fictional universe of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (1984). It is the first chapter, set some thirty years before the events of the anime film and mostly follows the journey of a young Yupa and his life prior to becoming a renowned swordsman. Beyond the first chapter as the main story progresses it diversifies into other characters’ stories from other cities like Dorok and fringe groups like the worm-handlers. They all contribute to understanding the rich context of the world prior to the events of the anime. 

I chose to apply the “Collective Journey Structure” by Gomez (2017) to my fanfiction as I felt it was a better way of exploring some of the themes of the anime as it has “less to do with right and wrong, or good and evil, and more to do with infinite diversity and infinite combinations.” (Gomez, 2017). There is also more creative freedom to use the various elements at different times as opposed to the traditional mythic structure. I will reference a few of the elements I used in my fanfiction below.

One of the elements of the collective journey I incorporated was the ENDLESS UNIVERSE. This characteristic involves the idea that there is a greater story narrative currently in motion, than just what is currently presented in the plot. My fanfiction chapter is really just about survival. Whether it be from the toxic forest or from rogue scavengers like the worm-handlers, staying alive is central to this part of the story. However, the larger narrative alluded to by the character of Leo is trying to find “peace and harmony” for all. Which, Lupen pragmatically thinks is less important than staying alive. The ENDLESS UNIVERSE concept also refers to the greater theme of nature versus mankind, which is central to the Nausicaa anime and underpins my entire fanfiction.

This leads into my next aspect of PATHS WILL CROSS. This element is the idea that in large collective journey narratives, characters will cross paths and intersect at various stages. Although it doesn’t explicitly happen in the first chapter, it sets the scene for these to occur in the future. We see this when Lupen tells the worm-handler to send his regards to a character by the name of “Zirene” implying Lupen has a history with worm-handlers and will cross paths with them again. In this passage, there is also another aspect in play, SIGNS AND IMAGES. Here iconography and symbols help a story’s progression. When Lupen notices the familiar marking on the worm-handler’s canisters, he is further encouraged to release the worm-handler unscathed.

The altercation with the worm-handler is also an example of MULTIPLE SOLUTIONS. This is where there are multiple ways to resolve conflict. At the chapter’s end, Yuba thinks he is beginning to understand what Lupen means when he says staying alive is the most important thing. During the worm-handler altercation it appears that Lupen may justly execute the worm-handler as a means of securing their livelihood and keeping them alive. However, with influence from Leo, Lupen decides to leave the worm-handler alive and even send him off with the goods he was trying to steal. Although, the worm-handler is in the wrong, he still ends up getting what he wants, which confuses Yuba. Leo explains there could have been more of them and that they’ll get the things back when they need them. Yuba then begins to understand that although their actions didn’t make sense to him at first, it was really still done for their own survival. 


Gomez, J. (2017). The hero’s journey is no longer serving us [Video file]. Retrieved from

Miyazaki, H. (Director). (1984). Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind [Motion picture]. Japan: Topcraft.

The Future of Reality TV and YouTube

  1. Where do you think the future of reality television shows is heading? Will new forms of technology for example make an impact?


Reality television has become ingrained into the current cultural landscape, but it has shifted definitions and features so much overlap between itself and other genres it takes elements from (such as documentaries, educational content and cinema) that while reality television began has a bengre it has “evolved into a discourse” (Lorenzo-Dus & Blitvich, 2013, p11). However, as move deeper into the information the worst excesses of reality television have come to the forefront as controversial or sensationalist news, whether true or not. Attention translates more readily into money and advertising potential than factual accuracy.


I would argue that much of the original appeal of reality television – that of seeing normal people (as opposed to celebrities) in unique situations or going about their daily lives – has been somewhat supplanted by websites like YouTube or Instagram. Sometimes entire formats find themselves transplanted into these new environments. For example Allen Funt’s candid camera, which he claimed to be for the purposes of informing and educating the public, find themselves echoed by the “social experiments” which are meant to reveal how the public would react to unique situations. Likewise, stunt reality television are echoed by prank channels and the However, these two genres of videos overlap with each other, and the majority of the time are faked. While this could usually be passed off as harmless entertainment the majority of the time many of these contain outright hateful messages and faked news. For example, in the leadup to the 2016 American elections the YouTuber Joey Salads performed a “social experiment” where a car full of pro-Trump propaganda was left in a neighbourhood with a predominantly black population, and a camera was supposedly left there filming as a gang of black men found and vandalized the car. It was later revealed that those men were paid actors and the entire video was staged, despite being presented as true (Sommer, 2019).


This reduces reality television to its basest form, “…a morbid and depressing display of dysfunctional people whose lives are in turmoil. … a human form of bear baiting which goes under the guise of entertainment.” (Cadwalladr, 2008, p. 5). Social media influencers brand themselves and sell a heightened version of their personality and lives, or project a persona in order to reach a mass market. Much like Lamb’s (2016) comparison of Cathy Comes Home and Benefit Streets, although the Salad’s video pretends to be educational content it is completely fabricated, and has the potential to cause lasting damage to society as a whole. He has since announced his big for Congress in a move reminiscent of Donald Trump’s move from reality television to politics.


Perhaps most disconcerting about reality television’s translation into the age social media is the lack of consistent regulation on these videos. Jake Paul, one of YouTube’s are aggressively being targeted towards children with tactics that would not be allowed on television in the United States due to its manipulative marketing, sexually inappropriate content and up to 50% of the videos’ runtime being advertisement. However, because it is on YouTube they do not have to abide by these laws and the influencers can talk to their fans directly – equivalent to a child’s favourite character on a show telling them to buy toys for the show (Nerd City, 2018). “Children under the age of 8 are mentally incapable of interpreting advertisements with a critical eye, and have difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality” (the American Psychological Association, as cited by Nerdy City, 2018) One of the greatest controversies to come out of YouTube in recent years comes as a result of this uneasy blend of reality and fiction. Jake Paul’s brother Logan, who stars in his videos and creates the same type of content, found the body of a man who had committed suicide in Japan. Rather than stop filming he continued to keep vlogging and delivered a woefully inappropriate speech about the value of life in an attempt to promote his brand and image as a positive role model.



Cadwallader, C. (2008). When reality bites, it leaves deep scars. The Observer, September 7.

Cook, J. (2019). 1 year after his infamous ‘Suicide Forest’ video, Logan Paul is bigger than ever. Retrieved from

  1. Klein, H. Klein. [h3h3Productions]. (2016, March 13). The deleted social experiment. Retrieved from

Lamb, B. (2016). Cathy Come Off Benefits: A comparative ideological analysis of Cathy Come Home and Benefits Street. Journalism and Discourse studies. Retrieved from 

Lorenzo-Dus, N & Blitvich, P. (2013). Real Talk – Reality television and discourse analysis in action. Basingstoke, UK:  Palgrave Macmillan.

Nerd City. (2018, September 1). Parents’ worst nightmare: Jake Paul [Video file]. Retrieved from

Sommer, W. (2019). Joey Salads, YouTube star famous for racist pranks, launches congressional bid. Retrieved from


Dominic McAlpine