22 Aug 2013

Lethal Ladies #3 - Commentary

As always, please read the chapter first.

A note on how I broke up the scenes: For a lack of a better idea, I went with a date, time, and location stamp.  I'm still working on finding a good length for the posting here.  The date belonged to the year following instead of the same year.  The time was worked out roughly based on when I wanted certain events to happen and adjusted accordingly.  The street names are real.  Google Maps are a great resource, especially with Street View.  If I needed to know the traffic density, Google could also provide that, as well as St. Louis newspapers and TV and radio stations.

Amber gets her big debut in this scene.  As I mentioned in the first commentary, Amber was adapted from filling the rigger role in the Shadowrun team idea I had.  She became the team's designated driver, which means it's a good thing she doesn't drink.  Instead, she enjoys coffee, or something that is coffee-like but more caffeinated.  Beyond coffee and cars, Amber's other interests include anime.  She also tends to speak far older than she really is.

The choice of the Lancer came from the video game Gran Turismo 2; I had raced it on rally courses.  Amber, being well into driving, has done her share of rallying, so the decision to have her drive a Lancer was easy to make.  Amber loves driving.  Not many people love being with her when she drives, though.  Elena is one such person, though an age difference also is in effect.  Amber also became my walking pop culture reference maker; the references are usually lost on Elena.

After the scene change, Allison finally get her proper intro.  Originally the decker in the Shadowrun idea, she became Velasco Investigations' IT expert and hacker.  Her stretch was one part fanservice (in a medium where she's not given a full description ^_^;;) and one part showing that she's graceful.  Allison maintains a desk in the server room as well as out in an office of her own.  Given that St. Louis has an average high of 30 degrees Celcius (86 Farenheit) in June before humidity, working in the server room, where air conditioning is needed to keep the computers from melting from their own heat output*.

In another technology marches on moment, the laptop losing its wired network connection wouldn't cause error beeps; it'd just switch over to wireless.  Well, it would provided the network administrator allowed for wireless connections.  Allison takes her job seriously and is up on security risks, both exploiting them and defending against them.  Of course, today, she'd have a laptop as her primary computer and a tablet PC for meetings.

I wanted to show that the Ladies aren't rookies.  "By the numbers" indicates that they have a set of procedures that they normally follow.  Allison's protests, in the form of math humour, shows that Rose is going outside normal processes.  Amber doesn't deal well with changes.  Read Elena's line to her as if she were Amber's parent and having to explain, patiently yet again, what has to be done.

Going back a bit, I once posted a Shadowrun snippet, an intro to the setting.  The correlation isn't one-to-one with the commenters - Numbers, Treehugger, Oswald, and Charles - there, but Numbers evolved a little from Allison while Treehugger evolved from Amber.  There are differences; Numbers is more reserved than Allison while Treehugger isn't caffeinated like Amber, but they runners share an evolutionary path with the Ladies.

Tomorrow, picking up daughters and tails.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, spin-offs.
Still to come, more character notes, more NaNo Prep, the Traveller story to get its own page, and more!

* Ottawa sees similar temperatures.  I once was very happy to go into a server room to reboot a connection because it was stupidly hot.  Sweat ran in sheets on my forehead.

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