This is how writers get on NSA watch lists. The adage, "Write what you know," means researching areas that you've never considered before. I got to research the illegal drug trade and specific mind benders just to figure out what would be involved in the three-way deal Jack's setting up. I guessed at the amounts based on arrests and numbers tossed around on Miami Vice. Three hundred kilograms of cocaine should be enough to keep Wall Street high until the end of time. I needed the larger numbers to show how far up the chain Jack has gone.
Adding to the fun of the above research is krokodil, which gained notoriety in 2013 because it tended to eat away at its user base. Krokodil is not a good substance to deal in; repeat users become scarce. Ione pushes for it because she knows it'll be off the streets if Jack's plan works out.
With the weapons, I did some online research, but the bulk of my information came from tabletop RPGs set in the now. The M-16 is the standard rifle for the US military, so was an easy weapon to choose. Add in cases of a pistol, the Glock, and a few extras, and everyone is happy. Except that the AK-74, like its predecessor the AK-47, was meant to be an export to nations that had limited manufacturing. Get the assault rifle from the wrong supplier and it could be a shoddy weapon.
Ione now has enough evidence to put these guys away. She just has to turn the information over to the police. However, that's not why she's there. As seen in Chapter 19, there is a bigger threat. How will she deal with it? Um, later.
Mara raises a good point. Angels are awesome and terrifying. Think about the greeting, "Fear not." It's not "Hello," or, "How's it going," or even "Greetings, puny Earthling." The angel said, "Fear not," like it was expected for Mary and Joseph to run away, or worse, in fright. If you go back to Chapter 1, Ione ran. Sure, part of it was because a warehouse had just exploded, but there was more going on. You now may be wondering, why didn't Ben cause the same reaction? Ben's working on muting his frightful side. He's been among humanity for a while, just like Jack, so he knows how not to be frightening.
You may have noticed the TBA for next week. I ran out of steam after crossing the 50k mark in 2013. I have a start on Chapter 21, but it is in now way complete. I felt like I had written myself into a corner. Four years later, I think I have an endpoint to hit. I will be working on it to have up as soon as possible. This week, though, I'll put up the first chapter of Mecha Academy, raw, no edits, to show what I've been working on this year. After that, it'll be week by week until I have The Devil You Know complete, with past short works appearing. However, if TDYK goes much like The Soul Blade did, it shouldn't take long. I have everything I need laid out. It's time to pull everything together.
For an added bonus, I've designed Mara through The Sims 3. While I figured I had a good idea of what she looked like while writing - she is a temptation demon, so what could tempt me? - it's always good to see if I can get the image in my head out. I don't draw well, so games that allow for character customization are a huge help.
Friday, a sneak peak of Mecha Academy while I get the rest of The Devil You Know written.
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, wrapping up the MST3K remakes.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, to be announced.