Watari Part 2: Wammy's House - References
by MRS Jeevas

The experimentation of Dr Frankenstein had nothing on us.
Roger, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 1

'Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus' is a Gothic novel by Mary Shelley. The central figure, Victor Frankenstein, creates a human creature by stitching together parts from human corpses. He then brings the creature to life, though the novel is vague on precisely how he does this, other than the fact that he's channelled lightning through a conductor. He is then so frightened by his own success that he flees and leaves the creature to its own devices. Fundamentally a newborn child in a grotesque, adult body, the creature survives only to encounter violence and ultimately tragedy.

Roger is sharing the opinion that he believes himself and Quillsh Wammy were more irresponsible than Victor Frankenstein.


I am put in mind of standing beside you at that cenotaph, waiting our turn to place our poppies.
Roger, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 1

Cenotaph's are usually stone columns with the names of the war dead on them. On November 11th, Memorial Day, poppies are placed against them to commemorate the dead.


The moralistic battle to snuff out the evils of the Holocaust.
Roger, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 1

The Holocaust technically refers to the genocide of Jews per se. It has, however, come to mean specifically those killed in the Death and Concentration Camps and the ghettos, in Europe, during the 1930s and 1940s. The camps held not only Jews, but a whole range of other races, communities and people, including gypsies, homosexuals, criminals, political dissenters, Poles, mentally or physically disabled and many others besides. It remains the single largest wholesale slaughter of people in recorded history. Roger meant it in the wider sense of everyone who was killed.


He secured it with several chains and a quick prayer to Saint Columbanus of Bobbio, then walked back towards the car.
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 7: The Tower

Saint Columbanus of Bobbio is the patron saint of motorcyclists.


Matt jumped in his seat and opened it. "Random blonde, bio, high density rhythm, blonde boy, blonde country, blonde high density," He grinned back, "You are my drug boy, you're real boy... timing Mello." He paused the music. "Sorry, I thought you'd gone."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 11: Dirty, Numb Angel Boy

Matt is singing 'Born Slippy' by Underworld.


It was a biography of Nikola Tesla, the other great Slavic genius, whose main attraction at the moment was his eidetic memory.
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 12: Watari

Ethnically a Serb, Tesla was born in Croatia. Tesla's inventions and contributions to electrical and magnetic science were immense. So much so, that he can probably be blamed for everything electrical that you have around you as you read this. Find out more about him on Wikipedia.

By 'other great Slavic genius', Mello is counting himself.


"'Puedes oir los tambores, Fernando?'" Mello dropped his eye-liner back into his bag and, with a final look in the mirror, shut that too and zipped it inside the bag. Matt frowned and turned, his mind not needing to translate his native language. 'Can you hear the drums, Fernando?', Mello had said. Matt wasn't quite sure what that meant, but Mello was smirking mischeviously at him. "Tenía tanto miedo, Fernando, éramos jóvenes y llenos de vida y ninguno estaba preparado para morir, y no me avergüenzo de decirque el rugir de las pistolas y los cañones casi me hizo llorar.'"
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 13: A New Song

Mello is reciting the lyrics to 'Fernando' by ABBA. It is a song about two veterans reminiscing about a lost friend killed during the Mexican Revolution.


"Something by Rafael Alberti? Hemingsway?"
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 13: A New Song

Rafael Alberti was a Spanish poet and playwright, who received the Premio Cervantes for his work. His writing in the 1930s were very political and militant, hence Matt thinking that the theme of Fernando could be Rafael Alberti.

Ernest Hemingsway was an American writer, who wrote about the Spanish Civil War.


I'm going to go and play Zelda and then I'll be fine.
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 14: Fracture Lines

Zelda is the protagonist in a series of games by Nintendo.


"I know you're hurting, Mail. I really know you're hurting. But guess what? The sun is still in the sky and shining above us."... "'Chiquitito tell me the truth, I'm a shoulder you can cry on, your best friend, and the one you must rely on.'"
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 14: Fracture Lines

Mello is quoting 'Chiquitita' by ABBA, but changing it slightly to refer to a little boy rather than a little girl.


"Damn! I need to work on my Parkour again."
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 14: Fracture Lines

The central tenet of Parkour is to move from one place to another with the maximum of efficency and speed. In this context, Mello didn't walk down the stairs, he vaulted the bannister and leapt down to the hallway.


"Great, now I sound like a character from a manga or something."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 15: Changes

Manga is a genre of comics or cartoons, generally originating in the Japanese language and designed according to a Japanese style developed in the 20th century. A notable Japanese manga character is Matt from 'Death Note'.


"It's practically down to your mouth again. You look like Cousin It."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 15: Changes

Cousin Itt is a member of the 'Addams Family' in the American television series. He is very short and has long hair down to his feet. His face and body cannot be seen through his hair.


He was in the common room, playing PacMan, and his Dad had been sitting on the settee.
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 16: Ghosts

PacMan is an arcade game created by Namco. It was released for the GameBoy in 1991 and this was the version that Matt was playing in 1993.


"Post traumatic stress disorder. You left Wammy's and went to war, then came back with post traumatic stress disorder. That's how I saw it."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 16: Ghosts

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an anxiety disorder. It's an ongoing emotional reaction to an extremely traumatic event that caused, or threatened to cause, physical harm. Mello's Mafia experiences, the explosion that killed him and the near miss with Takada nearly killing him are enough to cause PTSD.


"I found a really mad site as well. Pornographic Alice in Wonderland. Real slash. The writers were probably tripping as much as Lewis Carroll was. There was this bit with an orgy at the Mad Hatter's tea-party. The hare got off with an aardvark."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 17: Project Planning

The Mad Hatter's Tea-Party is from Lewis Carroll's 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'. The real reference though is from a conversation between myself and Melissa, when a chapter from 'Watari Pt 1', 'The MayDay Line', was posted on DeviantART. Melissa's pseudonym there is Mad-Hatters-Hare and the discussion degenerated swiftly, because she is a corrupting influence on my innocent mind. *nods*


"I'm getting the urge to do find successive approximations of zeros using the Newton-Raphson Method."
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 18: Setting an Example

Named after Isaac Newton and Joseph Raphson, the Newton-Raphson Method is an iterative process that follows set guidelines to find the root 'true zero'.


"Mother of God! The Celts have invaded!"
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 18: Setting an Example

As Fenian is Irish and Century is Welsh, they are both Celts.


Chrissie's voice spoke from one of the laptops. "Matt, we are all here now and no-one has a gun at our heads. You're being insecure. Now, I'm looking at this document from the Office of the High Commission of Human Rights. Say it."

"This is the document, ratified in 1991 by the United Kingdom, wherein we were raised. 'Convention on the Rights of the Child' or, in short, our inalienable rights."
Chrissie and Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 19: Birthright

The 'Convention on the Rights of the Child' was agreed upon and ratified by every country in the United Nations, except the USA and Somalia. Somalia has been in a state of war, without a central government to ratify it, for the past sixteen years, whilst the USA reserves the right to execute children. For more detail about how this document affects the Wammy's House children, please see the titles section under 'Birthright'.


You are prosecuting Wammy's House in the High Commission of Human Rights in Geneva.
Chrissie, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 19: Birthright

Matt would have to take his petition to the United Nations, because he is technically stateless.


"Stockholm Syndrome, alive and well in Winchester."
Luigi, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 19: Birthright

Stockholm Syndrome was named after a robbery, in Stockholm, where hostages were taken in a bank. After six days, the captives started to identify with their captors. The condition occurs when individuals or groups are effectively brainwashed, even to the point of colluding with their own endangerment.

Luigi is suggesting that each of the Wammy's House alumni agree with the objectives of the Watari Network because they have been brainwashed. He is implying that sane people ought to disagree with being abducted, raised in their circumstances and then told to be detectives.


You take a mind like Century's. The best historian I have ever known. I remember sitting with him in the common room, when he about eleven, and he was ripping apart Oppenheimer's theories on the origins of the British for fun!
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 19: Birthright

Stephen Oppenheimer wrote 'The Origins of the British - A Genetic Detective Story', wherein he argued that neither the Celts or the Saxons had much genetic imprint on the British people. In fact, the Britons are still genetically the Palaeolithic Iberian people who arrived after the third ice age. In the modern world, the other enclave of these people are those in Basque Country.


You'd rather be at the mercy of the NHS? I have a friend who's had her gallstone operation cancelled and put back four times now.
Linda, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 19: Birthright

The National Health Service (NHS) provides free healthcare to everyone in Great Britain. However, it is notorious for becoming overwhelmed or being underfunded. Everyone is treated, but life-threatening conditions are given priority.


Mello danced back across the room and sat down at the desk. "Erm, so there's fun in unhappiness, so how does that link Hamm with Hamlet? Death at the end.... erm." He bit his lip. "I think I understand it now. The endless repetition and the curse of having to constantly restage your life, along the same groove, in the same situations; the same old battles, in the same old places. I hope I can beat Near. Not many more points now." The titters had ceased behind him, but a constant clicking had not taken its place. "You think I can be number one, don't you, Matty?" He turned and Matt was just staring at him from the mattress, the game hovering, ignored, above his head. "Mail? You think I can beat him this time? I get Beckett so much better now." Mello stood and wandered across the room. "We're just moving slowly, inevitably, towards nothingness and it has to be nearly finished. We're doomed to go on repeating everything, over and over again, until it finishes."
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 21: Hiraeth

'Fin de Partie' is a play by Samuel Beckett. Two people are in a room waiting for death and discussing the futility of life. There's an implication that it is post-nuclear and they are in a bunker, with the rest of the world destroyed. Here Mello is quoting and analysing themes from it and comparing it to William Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'.


"Mail, you call yourself Spanish because you are here. If Cisco Heras was your father, then you are more correctly Basque, and at least your sire would have disowned you for claiming Spanish nationality. Though you were certainly recovered from Spain, and conversed with us in the Spanish language. If you had remained there and not been orphaned, then your genius would now be in the hands of ETA.
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 21: Hiraeth

Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA) is an armed group fighting for Basque Separatism. Basque Country straggles the border between Spain and France.


The Wammy children moved back, like the parting of the Red Sea, and Roger's door never opened.
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 22: Almost a History

In Judaism, Islam and Christianity, the prophet Moses raised his staff and the Red Sea parted to allow refugees to safely walk across the ocean floor.


"Just because you've got what you want, it doesn't make it all Mary Poppins."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 22: Almost a History

The 'Mary Poppins' series of children's book were written by P.L. Travers and later adapted for film and play. Mary Poppins is a nanny, who combines being strict with having a touch of magic. She makes everything alright again.


Matt caught his gaze and held it. "Because the full lyric, as in the relevant lines, are 'I'd rather my man would hit me than for him to jump up and quit me; ain't nobody's business if I do.'"
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 24: Lifeline

Matt is quoting lyrics from Billie Holiday's 'Ain't Nobody's Business if I Do'.


"L'art du deplacement." Mello grinned happily. "Your turn."
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 25: Breaking and Entering

L'art du deplacement is another name for Parkour.


We're doing chemical weapons. Depleted uranian. The babies with hydrocephalus and zyklopie.
Dylan, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 25: Breaking and Entering

The pictures that Dylan was looking at are under this link (graphic images warning).


"He's my husband actually, not my boyfriend. How can I put this? You know what Charlotte Bronte said about her sister, Emily, that there should always be an interpreter between her and the world?"
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 26: The Great Love of my Life

Charlotte Bronte wrote a biographical note, in the preface to the 1850 edition of 'Wuthering Heights', about her sister, Emily. It was this note wherein Charlotte wrote, 'An interpreter ought always to have stood between her and the world. Her will was not very flexible, and it generally opposed her interest. Her temper was magnanimous, but warm and sudden; her spirit altogether unbending.'


'He's my 'north, south, east and west, my working week and my Sunday best'
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 26: The Great Love of my Life

Mello is quoting from 'Funeral Blues' by WH Auden:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message 'He is Dead'.
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


"The point I was making," Salvo continued archly, "is that attempting to teach everyone in their own language is quickly going to reduce Wammy's House to sounding something like the Tower of Babel."
Salvo, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 26: The Great Love of my Life

In Judaism, Christianity and Islam, humanity originally spoke the same language. After the Great Flood, the Tower of Babel was built, however it signified the glory of humanity, not the glory of God. This upset the deity who took his revenge by creating different languages, so that the builders couldn't communicate with each other, then scattered the people across the land, so that they weren't all congregating in the Tower.


"Can anyone prove to me that the reason Mello wasn't the clear successor to the L title wasn't because he was receiving his lessons in a foreign language? Century, this is the 1930s Welsh Not! In your case, downright identically."
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 26: The Great Love of my Life

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the 'Welsh Not' was used in some Welsh schools. The idea, obviously decided in England, was to wipe out the Welsh language at a time when most were monoglot Welsh speakers. All school classes were taught in English and the children were banned from speaking Welsh there or in the playground. Any child caught speaking in Welsh, even with their friends outside the classroom, would be given the 'Welsh Not' to wear.

The 'Welsh Not' was a board with 'WN' engraved on it, which was worn around the neck on a cord. It was quite heavy after a while, especially for young children. The only way to stop wearing the 'Welsh Not' was to report another child for speaking in Welsh. The 'Welsh Not' would then be passed onto that child. Whoever was wearing it at the end of the day would be caned by the teacher.

Unofficially, wearing the 'Welsh Not' also gave licence to other children (and even adults) to hit the child without fear of retribution.

The astute would have spotted that Matt said 'the 1930s', while the reality was the 18th and 19th centuries. This was to set up a scene between Century and Matt later, but I didn't write it in the end. What has happened is that Matt's read 'How Green Was my Valley?' by Richard Llewellyn. This was published in 1939 and flicks back and forth in time between the 1930s and the 19th century. In chapter 27, Huw Morgan spots an infant wearing the 'Welsh Not' and he breaks into the school to beat the schoolteacher to a pulp.

And the board dragged her down, for she was small, an infant, and the card rasped the flesh of her neck, and there were marks upon her shins where the edge of the board had cut. Loud she cried, with a rise and fall in the tone, holding her breath until you wanted to breathe for her, with her tongue between her teeth and spit falling helpless, and in her eyes the big tears of a child who is in hurt, and has shame, and is frightened.

Let's just say then that there is a background story here, involving Century and Fenian, which hasn't been explored. Matt could have easily got Century on side here, but his getting the date wrong communicated instead to Century this: 'I know enough about Welsh history to use it to try and manipulate you, but not enough to get it right.'


"It would take more than a CRB check to ensure the background security of someone moving in here, wouldn't you agree, Near?"
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 28: The New Watari

Criminal Records Bureau check. People working with children have to have a CRB check to ensure that they haven't got any previous convictions for anything harmful to children.


"No, no, no, no, no." Mello reached out to hold her arm. "Your role would be more like the president. We're all the senate. We've had a tyrant and now we're striving towards a republic, where all the people have freedoms that are enshrined in the law."
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 28: The New Watari

Though Mello is talking about the Wammy's House policy, he is using the kind of language that American's use about their nation's constitution. The reference wasn't lost on Hal.


Mello uttered an ironic snort. "Et tu, Brutus?"
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 29: Alumni Aftercare

'Et tu, Brutus?' are said to be the last words of Julius Caesar. They translate as 'you too, Brutus?' Caesar was attacked by a mob of senators, which included his close friend, Marcus Junius Brutus. As soon as Caesar saw Brutus, he stopped fighting back and was killed.


"The first is that poor Catholic Mello is being faced down by these three women." She indicated Hal, Madeleine and Ann. "They look like the maiden, mother and crone of Paganism. I find that amusing."
Lamond, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 29: Alumni Aftercare

In some Pagan religions, notably Wicca, the feminine deity is rendered as the Triple Goddess. The Three-in-One is actually a single Goddess split into three aspects. The young girl (maiden), the young to middle-aged woman (mother) and the elderly lady (crone).


"No claiming religious immunity to having tests for hypoglycemia, because I have looked that up since, Mello, and it does not exist. If I'm right, then I'm sure we can come up with a better solution than you constantly eating chocolate. Matt, you've been on anti-depressants for way too long and I'm testing you for algolagnia."
Madeleine, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 29: Alumni Aftercare

Hypoglycemia is a condition caused by a low level of glucose in the blood and it is linked to diabetes. In its worst form, it can be fatal.

Algolagnia is a condition whereby the brain receives alerts of pain from the body, but translates them as pleasure. Ordinarily, the brain will respond to pain alerts by instructing the body to do whatever is necessary to stop the pain. Those with algolagnia will be given the opposite message and will therefore ensure that the thing causing pain will continue.


"He tried to claim that the Vatican prohibits tests for diabetes?"
Fenian, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 29: Alumni Aftercare

The Pope is the head of Roman Catholicism and resides in the Vatican.


Warping the tenets of the Ten Commandments, because there was always a good reason for one or the other to be broken.
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 30: Healing

There are different versions of the Ten Commandments, depending upon the religious denomination. The following is the how it is rendered in Catholicism:

1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day
4. Honour your father and your mother
5. You shall not kill
6. You shall not commit adultery
7. You shall not steal
8. You shall not bear false witness
9. You shall not covet your neighbour's wife
10. You shall not covet your neighbour's goods


I sometimes think that you read about what love should be, then look for Cathy and Heathcliff in us.
Matt, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 30: Healing

'Wuthering Heights' again.


"Come on, Matty! Jupiter just aligned with Mars! Be merry, we can deal with the war another day."
Mello, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 32: Epilogue

Mello is quoting lyrics from the Fifth Dimension's 'Aquarius'.


And I come from a long history of women hiding our fine Irish men from the English.
Kiana, Watari Pt 2: Wammy's House, chapter 34: TYVM for 1000 Hits

There is an implication here that Kiana's family were/are Irish Nationalists.