24 Jul 2014

By the Numbers Chapter 16 - Commentary

As always, please read the chapter first.  Thanks!

Last commentary, I mentioned Raymond Chandler's advice, "In writing a novel, when in doubt, have two guys come through the door with guns."  Last chapter, two gunmen burst into a bar, shot it up, and got shot up.  Now, with the surviving gunmen tased and stunned, the crew can try to get information out of him.  Thus, the chapter title, a reference to the interrogation technique of Good Cop/Bad Cop.*

Oswald's off-colour suggestion to Numbers may have been out of place, but it got a reaction from her, something he wanted.  At this point, I should write a prequel, to show Numbers in her normal state of working.  Sure, the first chapter was a good example - show what's normal before completely destroying normalcy - but Numbers has been breaking down for a few chapters.  Fortunately, this is the chapter that explains why.

Back to Good Cop/Bad Cop.  Numbers is ideal for the Good Cop; her implants allow her to appear sympathetic.  However, she's distracting herself with hacking the gunman's commlink.  Treehugger's busy with keeping an eye out for trouble coming.  That leaves Oswald, a former cop, and Charles to interrogate.  Oswald leads off with the three options available, and Charles beating the info out is not the worst of the three.  Numbers has a fourth option.  She's off her game, and pointing a light pistol, the Cavalier Scout, at the gunman's knee means she's willing to get the information no matter what.

The gunman got a brief reprieve with German team bursting in.  Very brief.  When taking a hostage, always take one that has value, not one that's expendable.  The gunman's death was meant to show that Wulfe meant business.  He hates incompetence.

As mentioned before, shadowrunners use aliases, nicknames so that they can't be trace.  There is no offical birth record for a Treehugger or an Oswald.  There is one for Christa Page, even if Numbers wiped her past existance as much as possible.  Wulfe is yet another supporting character who has a background, this time, being the investigator of a corporate loss in an office Numbers worked in.  Saeder-Krupp is the number one AAA megacorporation and the only one where a dragon is the owner and CEO.  Megacorps are not forgiving, though they have time to plan retaliation.  Meanwhile, the likes of Wulfe can focus on a case and investigate, even if the investigator makes Inspecteur Javert say, "You've gone too far, mon ami."

There is gratuitous German.  I used Google Translate to get the translations, then translated the phrase back to make sure there wasn't any loss of info.  Even then, I can't say for sure if the German is correct.  Google Translate seems to have problems with the imperative, and Wulfe loves that tense.  So, for those who don't speak German, and those who do and want to know what I was aiming for, a translation.

"Sie zielen" - "Take aim"
"Legen Sie Ihre Waffen" - "Set down your weapons"
"Sagte ich, setzen Sie Ihre Waffen!" - "I said, set down your weapons!"**
"Was ist das?" - "What is this?"***
"Vielen Dank für das Finden der Federated-Boeing-Team. Ihre Dienste sind heute Abend nicht mehr benötigt" - "Thank you for finding the Federated-Boeing team.  Your services tonight are no longer needed."

Treehugger asked for a translation because I was pushing it with just that above.  Having Numbers translate also let me paraphrase what was going on between Wulfe and Fraulein Krupp, now Fraulein Johnson.  For Fraulein Johnson, picture a blonde woman wearing a well-tailored business suit comprising of a red blouse, grey blazer with matching mini-skirt, and high-heeled shoes that match the outfit.  Add confidence.

Tomorrow, negotiations with Fraulein Johnson and eliminating suspects.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, why I review bad movies along with the good.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Lost in Translation has the July news round up about remakes, reboots, and adaptations.
And peek at Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation, also on Saturdays.  Comes with illustrations!

* Not this guy.
** This was meant to be longer: "I said, set down your weapons!    Stand down!"  Google Translate couldn't get the right connotation of "stand", so I dropped the line for the post.
*** This, I knew, through high school French class.  The French window over a doorway is known as a vasitas in French because a German asked, "Was ist das?"

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