30 Aug 2018

dba LTV Paranormalists - Hauntings Anonymous - Commentary 6

Not the video the Paranormalists were expecting, in dba LTV Paranormalists Chapter 6.

How do you tell when there's a ghost on camera?  The difficult part with the video was making sure that what was seen by the characters followed what they did in Chapter 4.  At the same time, the point of view of the scene is now the camera's.  Except, none of the Paranormalists are in the video.  The other side of the scene was figuring out what sort of security the warehouse has.  Cameras made sense, with a recording.  A camera where people enter, cameras in the storage area, and, something I forgot to add, a camera watching the parking lot.  The last camera could just watch where deliveries are made and not the employee or visitor lot.

Ayel realized that there's a slight problem with what they're researching.  They haven't crossed into being private investigators, but they're right on the edge.  The Paranormalists have a business license, not an investigator's license.  While Aiden is on the books just in case, it's easier to realize that the problem is mundane, not magical, and direct the client to the police or a PI.  Kristi is far more into the investigation; she's doing everything she can to maintain the fiction that she isn't acting as a PI.  As long as no one files a complaint, she's safe.  For now, though, she should be focusing on the supernatural.

Aztec carvings, always good for some dark magic.  I needed some sort of clue for the Paranormalists to pick up and run with, and narrowing the art down and giving a price filled the role.  No specific artwork was in mind when I wrote the part.  I didn't want a real world item, just something that sounded good.  Older art tends to be more valuable, though that also depends on how well it's known.  Kristi is the Art History major, not me.  But her studies did become useful.  I also got to reinforce Kieu's linguistic abilities.  In the unpublished first episode, Kieu gets to demonstrate her command of a number of languages, including Vietnamese and German.  Spanish is just something she picked up.

Kristi is from Moose Factory, Ontario, a short boat ride from Moosonee on the coast of James Bay.  It's as Northern Ontario as you can get.  Makes for interesting discussions with her roomies about where to set the thermostat in the winter; Zaina is from Lebanon, which isn't known for -30 degree Celcius weather.  Janelle is from Kingston, where Lake Ontario moderates the temperature a bit.  I did keep an eye on the weather for Moosonee while writing; the temperature was always a few degrees colder.  I kept checking over this past winter (2017-2018), when Ottawa set some frigid records, with lows of -30 Celcius and windchills reaching -40; Moosenee was a few degrees colder then, too, but without the wind.

All that to say that yes, Kieu, Moose Factory is a real place.  Every community mentioned - Dildo and Come-by-Chance, Newfoundland; Flin Flon, Manitoba; Vulcan, Alberta - are real places.  Newfoundland may have more odd names per capita than other provinces, but every province can produce an oddly named town.  That aside in the story added a few dozen words without ever having to work on the plot and came out of me trying to figure out how Kristi ever goes home for a visit and what there was in town.  Turns out, there's a Google street view of sorts for Moose Factory.

Since it would come up, I tossed in a Ghostbusters reference.  The Paranormalists don't carry around unlicensed nuclear accelerators on their backs.  While Kieu is working on her own version of a PKE meter, she's using smartphones and tablets, not building brand new hardware.  My main inspiration here is still Scooby-DooGhostbusters is more mad science than I want for the series.

Friday, murkier and murkier, in Hauntings Anonymous Chapter 6, "Ejected Disc".
Also Friday, over at Psycho Drive-In, The Bond Project contunues with The Living Daylights.
Saturday, over at The Seventh Sanctum, a bonus Bond Project entry with Octopussy.

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