8 Sept 2016

NaNo Backgrounder - Tempest T. Pot Commentary 1

Last week, I posted the first part of what was supposed to be a quick background story for Tempest.  The idea was to get a better idea of who the cast is, something I've discovered helps for NaNoWriMo.  My goal was to have a self-contained story.  That, well, didn't quite work out.

Once again I am playing in the Shadowrun setting, something I did with By the Numbers.  Tempest, as a character, started when I wondered if I could create someone with a potentially crippling flaw and still want to play her.  My choice for the flaw was an addiction, and with Shadowrun's cyberpunk setting and computer-brain interfaces, the Better Than Life, or BTL, chip seemed like the best way to go.  Tempest is a chiphead in the game's lingo, addicted to software that stimulates the brain without having to deal with the dangers of artificial chemicals.  Problem is, even with the type of person who would become a expendable deniable asset*, that addiction means Tempest isn't considered reliable.

Tempest has teammates for this run, though she doesn't normally work with them.  I'm not sure how much of that came through, but at least Greyline is up front about his objections.  Greyline is the rigger, the getaway driver who can plug into his vehicles.  Blaze is a street samurai, much like Molly from William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy.  Mr. Crab is the decker, a hacker like Case from Gibson's Neuromancer.  All that's missing is magical support, but magicians are supposed to be rare.  The team needed a face for the job, thus Tempest's involvement.

The job is an extraction.  Someone, and for the purpose of the story, it's not important who, wants Darren Mason, alive if at all possible.  The plan is to use Tempest as the lure using Mason's habits and known preferences.  From the writer's point-of-view, this let me show Tempest off in a good light, using her strengths - her ability to get along with people.  In this case, her ability to fake being sympathetic to a mark.  It's a knack for her.  Her goal is to flirt with Mason, get him to choose her for his Thursday night fun, and make sure that the rest of the team can take him without being seen.  And contrary to what Blaze thinks, Tempest is the best choice for the role, as will be shown in Part 2.  However, her mentioning Cal Hots, or California Hots, is a hint.  Cal Hots are simsense chips that aren't quite BTLs but push the legal limits on what is allowed.

The awkward phrase, "At least he's not that skeevy to follow a teenage band if he doesn't recognize Aimee Klein right away," refers to how Tempest looks.  For reasons that will be revealed in next week's commentary, Tempest has had plastic surgery to resemble Aimee Klein, the bass player of the teenaged pop band, the Latchkey Kids, as introduced in the 4th edition supplement, Attitude.  The lead singer, Trish Scallenger, is mentioned as being about fifteen years old in 2073; Tempest is older than that.  I went over that bit a few times and couldn't find a better way to phrase it.  sigh

For what was meant to be background work, not much of Tempest's background gets revealed.  It's mostly characterization, though that is what I wanted.  The story she told Mason is just that, a story.  Tempest is from Seattle, not Pittsburgh, but the lie lets her explain why Mason has never seen her before.  If this was a longer con, she'd have a better story for him, but she's not expecting to see him after he's been delivered.  Mason is a target for her, not even a hookup.

Tomorrow, the conclusion of Tempest's NaNo 2016 Backgrounder.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG.
Saturday, over at Seventh Sanctum[http://codex.seventhsanctum.com], Electra-Woman and Dyna Girl.  Yes, really.

* AKA a shadowrunner.

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