16 Oct 2014

By the Numbers Commentary - Numbers

As with the previous three Thursdays, I'll go into Numbers as a character in a narrative as opposed to a game.  Numbers was the first to be cast.  It wasn't that I needed a hacker right away so much as I knew Saeder-Krupp would be involved.  Numbers, with her background and her nemesis, made for conflict.  The goal of By the Numbers was to have the story feel like it could have been part of a campaign.  Having someone with an enemy on the character sheet meant having that enemy show up.  Numbers had the perfect nemesis.

The background Herr Wulfe gives in Chapter 16 is an abbreviated version but accurate enough.  Numbers was an accountant at a Saeder-Krupp subsidiary that became the target of a shadowrun.  Because the runners knew exactly where to look, S-K security suspected an inside job, leading to Wulfe taking charge.  Wulfe is good at his job and a bit zealous.  Numbers figured that, even if she was found innocent, her career and possibly her life would be over and used her hacking skills to disappear.

Once Numbers starting becoming core to the story, I began regretting the working title.  By the Numbers would fit better as either the series title, reflecting a focus on Numbers, or the potential follow up story, which would bring Ms Page back.  For now, the story can keep the title.  I've referred to it as such for several years now.

Numbers turned into the team mascot.  Each of the others kept an eye out for her even if Numbers didn't need the protection.  Part of it could be her natural likability and her augmented pheromones, but there's more.  Numbers is the only member of the crew to have worked in a corporate job that didn't interact with the streets.  Charles and Treehugger are products of the street; Oswald was a cop.  Numbers was an accountant and was chased into being a runner.  Her corporate experience is an asset; she can fit in at an office.  At a big enough firm, very few people will recognize everyone working at the company.  Security could, as long as the person on duty doesn't rely on his computer for verification.  In 2070, that person would be very dedicated to his job.  In a cafeteria, though, of the hundreds sitting down for lunch, what's one more person wearing corporate colours?  Other teams wait for the dead of night to break into a building.  Numbers walks in like she belongs.

Numbers does have a long-term goal; she wants her life and looks back.  She has a macro that will restore her original hair colour and chest size to help the plastic surgeons remove the cybernetic hair and breast implants and restore her to normal.  Numbers doesn't know how she'll accomplish getting her life back yet.  She needs to deal with Herr Wulfe first.

Today's post wraps up /By the Numbers/, at least for now.  The crew was fun to work with and gave me a chance to write something with a bit of action in it.  A bit of a bonus today, too.  I had a picture commissioned at Anime NorthMathie X had a post a while back about creating pictures for characters as the story is being written, to help keep details straight.  While I didn't do that with the crew, I did get one of them drawn.  Naturally, I selected the one character who doesn't have a regular appearance, the one who has an animated waterfall screen saver for her hair.  The artist, Simon Phommaneth did a good job, even with an intermediary in play.  (I couldn't get down to Toronto, so I asked a friend to get the commission for me.)

Numbers amid vidwindows, commissioned.  Art by Simon Phommaneth.

 Thank you for reading By the Numbers.

Tomorrow, the start of a new serial.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, a sudden October news round up, because major announcements came out over the hiatus.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, the 1998 Godzilla.  There goes TokyoNew York.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

No comments:

Post a Comment