17 Oct 2013

Lethal Ladies #10 - Commentary

As always, please read the chapter first.  Spoilers, you know.

Back to the main action, Amber leads off by focusing on a detail while missing the obvious.  Yes, indeed, I did use character names from War and Peace.  I had run out of useful names from hockey teams.  Amber also let me show off the research, such as it was.  I probably shouldn't do that.  Allison did get the point of the story; Rose and Elena were spies.  How Elena came to the US would be handled elsewhere.

Once again, the march of time turns an explanation into a "well, duh," moment.  Remember, though, that the iPhone came out in the summer of 2007 and Lethal Ladies was written in 2006.  Blackberries were already out, though seen more in corporate and government use than in the home consumer market.  Cell phones weren't really Internet capable yet; cameras were a new feature.  As for Allison's preference for a high-speed connection, again, 2006 still saw dial up as a primary method of connection, though fading as high-speed Internet such as DSL and cable gained in popularity.

The address on Main Street was a stab at pinning down a location first then checking it later.  Main Street in St. Louis turned out to be residential, which worked for my needs.  The bit about the senior FBI officials being followed by KGB agents riffs off an idea from the old TV series, Adderly, where the Soviets thought that the department Adderly got assigned to after his injury had to be important because it had a vague name and was hidden in the basement.  In truth, Miscellaneous Affairs was a dumping ground, with two other people in it, in the basement because the head of Misc. Affairs had zero pull to get a better location.  My twist is that the FBI officials were fans of the NFL's St. Louis Rams, and came out when they could get tickets.  The KGB, not listening to Elena, followed because they were sure that something else was happening.

The core idea of the "disguises" the Ladies use is to make them look different from their usual appearances.  Amber and Allison essentially trade places, with the scruffy Amber having to dress properly and Allison going with geek chic.  Haircuts can also drastically change appearance, at least long enough to slip away unnoticed.  Wireless hot spots were not as common in 2006 as they are today; Internet cafés sprouted to introduce a new service.  Today, even McDonald's and Tim Horton's have wifi.  War driving, though, has slowly fallen out of favour since 2006; the risks of having open Internet access on a home network got too great.

The bit about Belgrade was to add a mini-flashback to add to my word count without disrupting the flow of the plot.  Rose and Elena mentioned several of the active terrorist groups.  Once again, time marched on, but for the characters and not the story.  In 1990, the Soviet Union was mired in Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban.  A 007 movie, The Living Daylights, teams Bond with the Taliban.  Time indeed marched on.

Tomorrow, find out what the Ladies were hired to steal.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, the October news round up for Lost in Translation
Coming soon, more notes for NaNoWriMo 2013 as I finish putting the main character together, and the rest of the CanCon 2013 review.

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