The Mello Code - 01 The Mello CodeThe Mello Code is the detective code established by Mello.
The Mello Code - 02 HierophantThe Hierophant is a Major Arcana tarot card. Taken in isolation from the other cards, it generally means a source of knowledge. I've seen it variously called the Headteacher, the Pope, the Librarian and the Sage, so that might give you an idea of this card's role. In the journey through the Major Arcana, the Fool has usually learned of his/her destiny and been given spiritual and earthly reasons to go after it. Then the Fool meets the Hierophant. What ensues is a period of training and learning. The Fool leaves the Hierophant with the knowledge and skills to actually achieve their destiny.
In this chapter, Mello is the Hierophant for Hal. She's called him with a list of things that she wants and doesn't know how to achieve. Mello tells her what she can do next.
The Mello Code - 03 AmbushMello ambushes Matt while he's trying to put clean linen on their bed. However, there's a potential second ambush, if their fears about the case are correct.
The Mello Code - 04 Rude AwakeningThe rude awakening is Matt realising just how stressed Mello is about establishing the Mello Code.
The Mello Code - 05 HurtMello and Matt both start with their feelings hurt. There's an implication that their relationship could be hurt. It ends with a better kind of being hurt.
The Mello Code - 06 In Search of GodThe book that Mello buys is called 'In Search of Kira'. The chapter begins with Matt starting his Catholic initiation classes. 'God' has a double meaning as the Christian God and Kira.
The Mello Code - 07 LegaciesMello and Matt both carry with them, or inside them, legacies from the past. It might be experience of Kira or Wammy's House, or their shared personal histories; it might be physical or chemical, such as Mello's scars and Matt's oxytocin deficiency; or it might be material, like Mello's rosary. All of these are implied, but the main legacy that they are dealing with is Mello's past involvement with the Mafia and how that impacts their lives now.
The Mello Code - 08 In The FrameTo be 'in the frame' then you're a part of the picture. Mello and Matt are worrying that Hal is part of the supposed conspiracy to indict Mello for Mafia offences.
The Mello Code - 09 This Love AffairThe love affair under scrutiny is Mello and Matt's. Despite what they're doing, it's love rather than lust that Mello, in particular, is analysing.
The Mello Code - 10 SanctuaryMatt is claiming sanctuary, as per his entitlement in the resolution passed for the running of Wammy's House and the Watari Network.
The Mello Code - 11 Uncertain ThreatsEveryone is suspicious of each other here with no-one sure who is, or isn't, a threat.
The Mello Code - 12 An InvasionMatt feels invaded in his home by Hal.
The Mello Code - 13 GraceThere's the Christian grace spoken before their meal, but in another sense of the word, grace is that state of power which allow progression. By allowing Hal into his home, Mello is attempting to initiate a state of grace with her that will salvage their relationship.
The Mello Code - 14 GameplayLike all good Wammy's alumni, Mello and Matt sometimes fall into the trap of playing games with each other for supremacy. It is basically oneupmanship of the kind which Matt claims to be repulsed by, but Mello tends to live his life by.
The Mello Code - 15 MasqueradeThis is a song from 'Phantom of the Opera', but 'Maskerade' is also a DiscWorld novel by Terry Pratchett. I was reading it at the time.
The Mello Code - 16 Saints and MonstersHuman beings have the propensity to see things in black and white, wherein it's possible to be a saint or a monster. In reality, humans tend to have the potential for both and the actuality of neither. They might do monstrous or saintly things, but it is never the whole story. Mello usually sees himself as a bit of a monster and, as counterbalance, Matt is therefore forced to view his husband more as a saint. It's only when they calm down that Mello is revealed as he truly is - a human being, with all the poles of good and evil inside him.
The Mello Code - 17 ExposedMatt hides behind his hair and goggles. Without either, he's feeling very exposed to the world. Mello similarly is beating himself up, over his previous actions, and therefore feels like his dark side is exposed.
The Mello Code - 18 Negotiating BusinessA brief glimpse of the consigliere in Mello as he goes goggle shopping.
The Mello Code - 19 HelheimHelheim is the realm of the goddess Hel. By the time it had been through a couple of thousand years of Christianity, it had turned into something a lot more sinister.
The Mello Code - 20 Point of No ReturnIt's named for the song 'Point of No Return' from 'Phantom of the Opera'. Rochelle is going to kill me for showing the video of the film version, but for those who don't know 'Phantom of the Opera' it does actually show the pure sex of the song. I know it's a bit of a leap to imagine Matt as Christine, but Mello could pull off a Phantom/Erik, surely. It's not even the scar. It's the prancing around, being camp, in black clothes and setting fire to the place.
I personally prefer the Graham Bickley and Claire Moore version.
The Mello Code - 21 Fragmented and FuriousThe fragmented part could refer to Mello's code, but both of these refer to Mello's mind. He's finding it hard to put everything together and that's making him furious.
The Mello Code - 22 This Charming ManMello and Matt are in Manchester and The Smiths are a famous Mancunian band. 'This Charming Man' was one of their songs. 'Why pamper life's complexities, when the leather runs smooth on the passenger seat?'
The Mello Code - 23 The Theatre of DreamsThe Theatre of Dreams is a nickname for Old Trafford, where Manchester United play.
The video shows fans singing 'Glory, Glory Man United'.
Incidentally, I'm not a Manchester United fan. I've never been to Old Trafford. Football is very important in Britain. The late Bill Shankley said that football is not a matter of life and death, it's much more important than that. He pretty much sums up the quasi-religious feeling that us Britons can muster over our teams (though apparently mostly the working classes there). It would have been too Mary-Sueish to have Mello supporting my own team, because they lose a lot of matches and Mello would have gone for the most successful team at the time.
The Mello Code - 24 DetectivesMello and Matt are being detectives. Yes, a very uninspired chapter title there. -.-
The Mello Code - 25 Pieces of a CaseMello and Matt are assembling the jigsaw pieces that will give them a picture of the whole case.
The Mello Code - 26 ControlMatt's phenomenal control over a car, coupled with their self-control over their own minds and emotions later. Then you get Mello being a control freak again. This chapter is all about control.
The Mello Code - 27 JourneyMello and Matt are engaged in one of those interminable journeys, where they just want it to end, but it's going on and on and on. In the end, that sort of journey has to end up being accepted for sanity's sake. Then the mind slips on to feeling one's whole life has been this journey and it's all good.
The Mello Code - 28 A Class of His OwnIt's a lyrics from The Libertines's song, 'Time for Heroes': 'And we'll die in the class we were born, but that's a class of our own, my love'. Mello finds himself momentarily thinking like a British person and almost grasping the class system, then stops himself doing that. LOL
The Mello Code - 29 The L CodeThe L Code is what it's always been about for the Wammy's House alumni. Kira was just another bout in the larger battle. However, most of them don't stop and think about what the prize actually means.
The Mello Code - 30 Planet Hell'Planet Hell' is a song by Nightwish, who are mentioned in this story as one of Mello's favourite groups.
The Mello Code - 31 Volim TeVolim te is Serbo-Croatian for 'I love you'. Mello is Croatian and wants some love.
The Mello Code - 32 HouseworkThis is one of those rare glimpses into my scraps folder. I wrote the beginning of this chapter months ago, probably around the end of 'Poisoned Rationality'. Sometimes, when I'm feeling something strongly, I'll write it then shove it in there until it can be used. Things languish in there. I live with a Saggitarian. One day, the dude was doing housework with menaces and I felt compelled to join in. The first paragraphs of this chapter were knocked off somewhere between cleaning the bathroom and starting with the hoovering. I entitled it 'housework' in my scraps folder, so I'd know what it was if I came to look for it again.
The Mello Code - 33 StitchesMatt's having his stitches taken out; Mello is having his stitches put in. It's really not any more involved that than.
The Mello Code - 34 Of Gods and MenRabbie Burns wrote, in 'To a Mouse', 'The best laid schemes o' mice an' men/Gang aft agley.' (Trans.: 'The best laid schemes of mice and men, often go awry') This chapter title was a nod to that. In this chapter, both Mello and Peter are aiming for something Godly, but they end up as men nontheless.
The Mello Code - 35 The Passion of MelloThe Passion, with a capital P, is a Christian term refering to Jesus Christ's last days on earth. It focuses on his suffering, mental, spirital and physical. It might be a little hyperbolic to apply such things to Mello, but in this chapter he's completing his journey from devout Catholic to something more honest to his temperament, past and lifestyle.
The Mello Code - 36 Twenty-OneIt's Mello's twenty-first birthday.
The Mello Code - 37 Traces and TraceursThere are traces of Mello's Catholicism having a line drawn under them here; plus traces of their breaking into a church. A traceur is someone who engages in Parkour.
The Mello Code - 38 No Greater LoveI was having such difficulty finishing this story. For the first time in the entire series, I had very real writers' block. I started this chapter about ten times, and scrapped each version. I wondered what everyone would say if I announced, 'I'm sorry, I really don't know what to write'.
Then I was playing SuperMario Bros., with my iTunes running on shuffle. New Model Army's 'No Greater Love' came on. I caught a flicker of storyline. I put the tune on repeat. It was like a dam had burst and suddenly I could do this thing. This chapter is named for the saviour song of 'The Mello Code' - 'No Greater Love' by New Model Army.
Unfortunately the only video I can find of it is so grainy, with such bad sound quality, that I'm loathe to add it here. Perhaps someone who's good at videos, and/or one of the cosplaying teams, could make one. I'll display it. *grins*
The Mello Code - 39 Running Up That HillFollowing the almost epic fail averted by New Model Army, I knew where I was going, but needed the music. I had four different versions of 'Running Up That Hill' running on repeat. The Patrick Wolf, Placebo, Within Temptation and, the original, Kate Bush versions. They pretty much defined the mood of this chapter, which is a rare moment of complete honesty on both Mello and Matt's parts.
Here is the Placebo version.