3 Jul 2014

By The Numbers Chapter 13 - Commentary

As always, please read the chapter first.

The contract wraps up nicely.  Mr. Johnson wasn't hurt, which is the prime means of determining if a bodyguard job was successful.  Creative interpretation of the terms of the contract allowed for the rescue of Sun Jung, and what Tarkov doesn't know won't get him killed.  Tarkov, being the type to not hire shadowrunners in the first place, doesn't have the knowledge of how things should go.  For all he knew, he could have hired a crew of runners that engage in performance Dadaism* on the job.  However, Tarkov's happy, and what happens to him afterwards is off the crew's radar.

The crew does have a tradition of celebrating payment.  Contract's done, everyone's off the clock, so a drink or two before heading off to hole up a few days and cleaning off evidence is a good way to wind down after a run.  The Alabaster Maiden is another bar that comes from the sourcebooks; it originally appeared in the first edition's Seattle Sourcebook and is known as a popular bar amongst magical types.  Oswald's choice.  Numbers started celebrating early for reasons that will appear in later chapters.  Her approach to beer is similar to mine, except she will drink it.  Charles, though, is a beer connoisseur.  It's even on his character sheet**.

Oswald pulled information from his magical oppenent's head last chapter.  He managed to do this in the time between stunning him and tackling Sun Jung while invisible.  Oswald's going to need sleep just to recover from the number of spells he cast, but Mind Probe allowed him to get some info on the apparent brains of the operation.  He also spent some time with Nabi after returning the woman's daughter to her.  There's no denying that Oz gets along with women, so Numbers got a small jab in on him.  That's more the hacker being drunk than anything else; this is the first time her professional demeanor has dropped.

Nabi's description is deliberately vague.  If I were to write Nabi's character sheet up, she'd have the quality Bland, which leads to witnesses being able to only give a vague description.  Thus, Numbers only remembering the augmented reflexes Nabi has.  Even Oz saw that and he spent the most time in a relaxed atmosphere with her; Numbers was more focused on Nabi's machine pistol.

Treehugger brought up a good point.  The crew isn't getting paid to solve the mystery.  While some thought needs to be put into what happened, it's to make sure that no one will be gunning for them over the next few days.  Oz is concerned for Nabi and Sun Jung, but that's coming from his background, not because they're paying him.  There was a balance I was aiming for.  Shadowrunners are freelance corporate spies, but they are people, too.  As people, each runner has his or her own personality, goals, wants, fears, and motives that drive them in the career.  At the same time, runners are contractors, and any time not spent working is time where money isn't coming in.  Each runner needs to figure out a balance between paid work and unpaid personal projects that works for them.  Treehugger likes getting paid, the money lets her buy new toys.  However, she also likes playing with her toys*** and getting killed interferes with her fun.

Tomorrow, legwork as the story continues.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the June wrap up of adaptation and remake news
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Dilbert.
Coming soon, more Traveller and the return of /Project Natasha/.

* Extracting a scientist through the use of a Godzilla flash mob film festival is a viable method that leaves both security and GM scratching their heads.
** I'll add the character sheets after the last chapter is posted.  There are some details on them that act as spoilers to the story.
*** Her favourite game is "See How Long Knight Errant Will Pursue Me" in her shiny Westwind 3000.

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