29 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition, Wrapping Up

Welcome back to the short series testing out the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook.  If you've missed a part, the list is below.

Part I - Reverence, tiefling monk
Part II - Liga Dawnspringer, Kagonesti barbarian
Part III - Aelfward Shadowstar V, half-elf swashbuckler
Part IV - Roscoe P. Tealeaf, halfling entertainer
Part V - June, priestess of Istus

For those just joining in, I've been giving the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook a test drive.  To give the new rules a fair shake, and because it was fun, I tried a character for different campaign settings.  Now the ultimate question, how does the new system feel?

It feels right.

Simple answer, yes, but accurate.  I had no problem staying to concept where I started with one and getting a concept while following the character creations steps.  Aelfward is a swashbuckler, one who can impress the observers while being effective in a fight while still keeping a swashbuckling flavour even outside battle.  June, on the other hand, came together well as I went through the steps.  Fifth edition is easy enough to follow for a beginner while still giving the experienced player room to poke and prod the system to see how flexible it is.

Some older character concepts may not work ideally; this will happen if the concept is based on an older mechanic.  The drow mage/thief concept I had from when the first edition's Unearthed Arcana came out falls apart, but can still be approximated using the right background.  That said, playing a halfling archaeologist, a human warlord-in-training, or the bard, Elvish Presley, is easily done.  Each character should come out as an individual, not stamped by a cookie-cutter, with chocolate chips for eyes and icing for mouths.

The easiest campaign settings to create a character for were the Realms and Greyhawk.  Greyhawk was the default world in the first and third editions, and fifth leans heavily on both.  The Realms allows for a greater range of concept for both high adventure and low.  Roscoe may not fit in well in Greyhawk; he's a colourful character for the Realms.  Dragonlance will need its own setting book; there were many changes done to the character section of the rules in earlier editions to be able to adjust easily.  Part of the need comes from the available races.  Humans, elves, dwarves, and half-elves are straightforward enough.  Halflings were changed into kender, with a different set of racial abilities.  Gnomes were based on the rock gnomes, but with a curse that forced them to be constantly tinkering with their inventions which would never work.  There were also changes to classes.  Wizards had to either declare a robe colour, based on the character's alignment, or go rogue.  Fifth edition wizards might work, at least for now, but the GM will have to impose alignment restrictions on the school of wizardry chosen.

Overall, the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons is forgiving to character concepts.  It should be possible for a player to create a character that he or she wants to play.

28 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition V

Welcome back to the short series testing out the /D&D/ 5th edition /Player's Handbook/.  If you've missed a part, the list is below.

Part I - Reverence, tiefling monk
Part II - Liga Dawnspringer, Kagonesti barbarian
Part III - Aelfward Shadowstar V, swashbuckler
Part IV - Roscoe P. Tealeaf, halfling entertainer

In this series, I want to test some character ideas based on setting.  In Part I, the setting was assumed to be a homebrew where the GM would let anything go.  For the rest, I'll be using the Dragonlance, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms campaign worlds.  The PHB has some info on each of those worlds, enough for a start.  Today's world is Greyhawk.

26 Sep 2014

By the Numbers - Behind the Scenes IV

Welcome back.  This week's character study is Treehugger, the crew's getaway driver.  Treehugger's stats are the same ones for the Smuggler archetype in the fourth edition anniversary release of Shadowrun.  I didn't feel like creating TH from scratch, and the Smuggler archetype seemed interesting as written.  To save time, I just went with the sheet as written, then interpreted the concept.  More after the jump.

25 Sep 2014

By the Numbers Commentary - Charles

Last week, I put up the character sheet for Charles, with comments interspersed.  That sheet was more about the game mechanics and potential role he could play in By the Numbers.  Today, the actual role.

Charles was the second character added to the roster, the first being Numbers.  The team would need a heavy hitter, someone who could both take and dish out punishing blows that, at the time of conception, Numbers couldn't.  Troll bodyguards are a known element in Shadowrun; their size and increased strength compared to a human makes them a natural.  I ran with that idea, then played a bit more with it.  Troll street muscle is almost a stereotype in the game; big as ox, strong as tractor, dumb as tractor.  Charles, though, is a little below human average in mental stats.  He's not thick as a brick.  He just acts as a wall of muscle.

Still, Charles didn't have as big a role in the story as I'd hoped.  The strong, silent type doesn't do much during dialogue, and tends to be the one watching.  Very much in line with Charles' personality, but, as a story element, strong and silent leaves Charles on the sideline.  With the opening chapter, I made sure to show off each member of the crew, giving them time to shine before the plot started.  Charles also had his lines of investigation; he has the in with the Seattle Mob, not ex-cop Oswald, not the former accountant Numbers, and not the flighty elf-wannabe rigger Treehugger.

If I write a follow up, I do want Charles to be more active.  The first half of the plot was bodyguard work, notoriously reactive in nature.  Worse, I had him stuck inside the hotel during the meeting while Oz and Treehugger retrieved Nabi's daughter.  I've written a snippet for the follow up, starting with a break and enter at a corporate facility; Charles will get a chance to be more than the imposing wall looming over everyone else.

Tomorrow, Treehugger's character sheet.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Ocean's Eleven.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, the September news round-up for adaptations and remakes.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

23 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition IV

Welcome back to the short series testing out the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook.  If you've missed a part, the list is below.

Part I - Reverence, tiefling monk
Part II - Liga Dawnspringer, Kagonesti barbarian
Part III - Aelfward Shadowstar V, swashbuckler

In this series, I want to test some character ideas based on setting.  In Part I, the setting was assumed to be a homebrew where the GM would let anything go.  For the rest, I'll be using the Dragonlance, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms campaign worlds.  The PHB has some info on each of those worlds, enough for a start.  Today's world is once again Faerun, the setting for The Forgotten Realms.

21 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition III

Welcome back to the short series testing out the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook.  If you've missed a part, the list is below.

Part I - Reverence, tiefling monk
Part II - Liga Dawnspringer, Kagonesti barbarian

In this series, I want to test some character ideas based on setting.  In Part I, the setting was assumed to be a homebrew where the GM would let anything go.  For the rest, I'll be using the Dragonlance, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms campaign worlds.  The PHB has some info on each of those worlds, enough for a start.  Today's world is Faerun, the setting for The Forgotten Realms.

19 Sep 2014

By the Numbers – Behind the Scenes II

The next few weeks are going to focus on the crew and how they came into being. The goal of the NaNoWriMo 2010 was to make sure that the story matched the game. I find it annoying when a tie-in novel ignores key elements of game play. Thus, I made sure that the characters could be created in the core rules. More after the break.

18 Sep 2014

By the Numbers - Outline Commentary

There's not much left to say, but you may want the outline open while you read.  The timeline served its purpose, to make sure I knew when things were happening, especially when using time stamps in the story.  The outline, though, may need some extra comments.

Normally, I don't outline.  NaNoWriMo encourages writing by the seat of one's pants.  The idea is that if an outline doesn't cover everything, being able to adapt on the fly, especially when trying to get at least 1667 words in one day, is a handy skill to have.  With the focus on the crew and a lot of off-camera scheming going on, knowing what the opposition was up to was useful.  It did feel like I was writing the story twice, though, which takes away from the process.  Using point form did leave details open for me to fill in, like in Chapter 6.  Chapter 6 is also a good example of me ignoring the outline.  The outline isn't set in stone.  I gave myself permission to ignore it if the story wanted to go elsewhere.  The epilogue is another part where the outline and the story diverge.  The outlined ending didn't work; Wulfe would easily find Numbers after he was done breaking Ms Evo.  Numbers had to disappear.  The reveal of Graves isn't in the outline but was a last minute addition as I realized that the audience wouldn't know why events happened the way they did.  There's still information missing, such as the depth of the infiltration by Graves' people, but that was going to be for another novel.

The big meeting in Chapter 7 did need the background info in the outline.  I needed to know which companies were at the meet and who was bringing which bodyguards.  I also worked out which corporations weren't hit and which ones were.  Wulfe got the code name "Nemesis", mainly because I didn't have a name for him yet.  From here, I have the details for later installments.  Evo is infiltrated, but the main contact is going through interrogation.  I do have an rough idea for the next story, including where Numbers is and what the crew is doing without their sociable hacker.

The longer chapter outlines are the ones with the more elaborate stage directions and action choreography.  Drama, like in Chapter 12 with the stand-off between Numbers and Nabi, just had a few notes.  The gunfight in Chapter 15 and the chase in Chapter 21 needed things worked out to know where I wanted to end.  Note that I use film jargon, such as "off-camera" and "choreography".  It stems from how I approach writing a scene.  I picture the scene in my head, moving the camera, the point-of-view, around until I get the best angle.  I let dialogue play out, reworking lines until everyone sounds right.  The process may not work for everyone, but it does work for me.

Will I use an outline in future projects?  Not to this degree.  The prep work I'm doing for the Unrulies isn't going into as much detail.  I'm more concerned about getting to know the characters so that I have an idea of they'll react when something unexpected occurs.  I did something similar with the crew for By the Numbers, too.  Going through the story and commenting reminded me of the background work I did for almost every character who appeared.  Having characters with motive goes far when writing by the seat of my pants.

Tomorrow, the start of the character sheets.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Battle Beyond the Stars.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Ocean's Eleven.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

16 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition II

Welcome back to the short series testing out the D&D 5th edition Player's Handbook.  If you've missed a part, the list is below.

Part I - Reverence, tiefling monk

In this series, I want to test some character ideas based on setting.  In Part I, the setting was assumed to be a homebrew where the GM would let anything go.  For the rest, I'll be using the Dragonlance, Greyhawk, and Forgotten Realms campaign worlds.  The PHB has some info on each of those worlds, enough for a start.  Today's world is Krynn, the setting for Dragonlance.

14 Sep 2014

Fun With Traveller - The Lab Ship Researcher

A bit of a test run this time around.  I recently purchased Book 10: Cosmopolite, the citizens and scholars supplement for Mongoose Traveller.  The book allows players to create characters who are the common people, the bulk of civilization.  Two additions in the book help.  First, post-secondary education.  While Book 2: High Guard did have naval academies, they were specific to the Navy career.  Cosmopolite's approach is similar that /High Guard/'s academies aren't broken or obsolete.  Second, an expanded Life Events table to match the extended Events tables in the other career books.  The new table lets characters who have life events differentiate a little more from other characters who also have rolled on the table.

I'll be trying out the new table in this installment.  As always, though, I need a concept or goal to work with.  Why not see if I can create one of the crew of the lab ship Spencer is helping refuel in the non-existent Traveller fic I have in mind?  The resulting character doesn't need to fill a specific crew position; half the fun is seeing how the character comes together and what he can do.

From the basics, I need a name, a homeworld, and the characteristics.  Danilo Peck will be from D'Ganzio in the Lanth subsector of the Spinward Marches.  D'Ganzio is a poor, small, high tech world with a very thin tainted atmospher, little surface water to be found, and no industrial base, and is owned by Instellarms.  For Danilo's characteristics, I rolled 7, 8, 10, 11, 8, and 2.  Ouch on that last roll, but I still average higher than 7.  Danilo will be heading to university, so I need his Intelligence and Education to be high.  I assign the 11 and the 10 in that order.  Danilo's an average citizen, thus his Social Standing gets the 7.  Danilo is suddenly clumsy as Dexterity gets the 2, leaving the remaining 8s for Strength and Endurance.

The basic education Danilo has before his eighteenth birthday leaves him with four background skills.  He must take Animals and Computers from the trade codes Poor and High Tech, leaving him with two choices left.  His first choice is Space Sciences; there's not much planet beneath his feet to study properly, but a whole lot of space above his head.  The second choice is Carouse; he gets along with others.

Danilo's ready to head out into the galaxy.  He applies to the All-Lanth University, and rolls 9.  Adding his Education bonus, the total of 10 is more than the 8 needed to be admitted.  He gets two skills, one at 0, the other at 1, from the list in Cosmopolite; Danilo takes Space Science (Planetology) at 1 and Social Science at 0.  Danilo's Education increases by 1 as well.  During his time at university, Danilo does have an event occur, as all university students do.  Danilo joins a political movement and now needs to make a Social Standing roll to see if he becomes a leading figure.  The roll is 8, which is what he needed; Danilo gains an Ally in the movement but an Enemy in wider society.  The last thing to do is check for graduation.  Danilo needs to beat 8 using his Intelligence modifier; a 10 or higher makes him an honours graduate.  The roll, with the modifier, is 10; Danilo graduates with honours.  The graduation grants him bonus to the skills he learned, an increase to his Education, and a +2 modifier when trying to enter his career as a scholar.  Social Science requires a specialty beyond level 0; Danilo takes Archaeology.

With his diploma, Danilo looks for his new career.  All-Lanth does have a lab ship, purchased with help of the Imperial Interstellar Scout Service.  Lab ships are a great way to study planets, first by being able to get to the planet and then by scanning it and having labs to analyze samples.  Danilo applies to All-Lanth not as a student but as a potential Academician.  To qualify, Danilo must roll 6 or higher, adding his Education modifier and the +2 from being an honours graduate.  The roll, after modifiers, is 12.  All-Lanth has a new researcher for its lab ship.

Not mentioned in the Pre-Career Education section is how enlisting in a career afterwards works.  As seen with Danilo, the number of skills is low, in line with a term in a career not including basic training.  Thus, Danilo still gets basic training despite his degree.  Real life works much the same way.  Danilo's basic training gets him up to speed with Comms, Diplomat, Medic, Investigate, and a Science skill.  He already has training with Computers; the refresher course doesn't increase his understanding.  Danilo takes Life Science to better understand how organisms interact with the natural course of a planet's life.  As an Intern, Danilo gets Science (any) 1; he chooses to add to his Space Sciences with Xenology.  His first skill roll is taken on the Lab Ship Researcher table, getting Science (any), allowing Danilo to improve his Planetology.  Danilo must now check for survival, needing to roll 6 or better after adding his non-existant Endurance modifier.  The roll is 11; Danilo has not tripped over his feet into an airlock.  He now checks for an event, the roll is 31; he is fascinated with exploration and may automatically join the Scout Service next term.  While tempting, his low Dexterity may make that a very short career.  Danilo hopes his staying put helps him with a promotion.  He needs to roll 8 or higher with his Education modifier; he gets 5 total and remains an Intern.

Despite the low roll, Danilo gets to continue in his career.  First thing he does is roll on the Lab Ship Researcher skills table and gets Science (any) and applies it to Planetology.  Next, he must try to survive and rolls 8, more than enough.  The event rolled is 61; he pilots a drone into an erupting volcano and gets Remote Operations as a skill.  Finally, it's promotion time.  Danilo really wants stop being an Intern and rolls 8.  Still an Intern, but he's no longer Rank 0.  His bonus skill roll is taken on the Personal Development table; he wants to be less clumsy but instead gains a point of Endurance.

Danilo's third term as an Academican starts.  He rolls on the Lab Ship Researcher table again and gets Science (any); he applies that to Vulcanology.  His survival roll, now with a modifier from his Endurance, is 8; no problems with tripping over his own feet.  The event rolled is 55, Danilo is given the team leader position in an experiment, getting a +1 to any one Benefit roll.  Danilo's achievements in Space Science is getting noticed, but does that lead to a promotion?  The roll is 9; Danilo is promoted to Scientist, and he is shown how to use the lab ship's sensors.  The bonus skill roll is taken on the Personal Development table, getting another increase to Endurance.  However, this is the end of the fourth term, even though Danilo has only spent three in his current career.  Danilo must check for aging results; if he can roll a 1 or higher after subtracting the number of terms so far, he doesn't have to worry; the roll is 3.  Nothing, yet.  Danilo could start anagathics, but he'll hold off for now.

The newly minted Scientist returns to work.  The first skill roll is taken on the Lab Ship Researcher table, getting Engineer (any); Danilo takes Power Plant as the specialty.  The survival roll is 7, just enough to avoid a mishap.  For the event, Danilo rolls 56; he is offered the chance to field test a science robot and gains Engineering (Robotics).  Finally, the promotion roll; the result is 6, not enough.  At the end of the term, Danilo again checks for aging; the modified roll is 2.

Danilo continues his career as a Lab Ship Researcher.  He's done far more than he dreamed about on D'Ganzio so far and wants to see where it leads.  The first skill roll is again on the Lab Ship Researcher, getting Science (any), which Danilo decides to use to improve his Xenology.  Next, the survival roll is 8, more than enough.  The event rolled is 16; Danilo is given advanced training as long as he rolls 8 or better after adding his Education.  The result is 9; Danilo chooses Leadership as he wants to show that he's ready to move up.  The promotion roll is 11; his efforts are rewarded.  The bonus skill roll is taken on the Advanced Education table this time, getting Computers.  However, Danilo must check for aging; he rolls a total of -2; all three physical characteristics are reduced by one each.  With his Dexterity at 1, this is as far as Danilo will go.

Technically, Danilo is still working at All-Lanth, but for the sake of completeness, I'll go through his mustering out.  Danilo served five terms as a Lab Ship Researcher, finishing with rank 3, getting him seven rolls on the Benefits tables.  For the purposes of mustering out, Danilo is retired, getting Cr10 000 per year in retirement pay.  The first two rolls are taken on the Cash table, getting Cr30 000 and Cr60 000 for a total of Cr90 000.  The remaining rolls are taken on the Other Benefits table, with the following results of 2, 5, 6, 1, and 5.  Danilo bumps the 6 to a 7 with the +1 modifier earned earlier, getting him a Travellers' Aid Society membership in recognition of his work in Planetology.  The other rolls get an increase to Education, Scientific Equipment, an increase to Intelligence, and Scientific Equipment.  The second instance of Scientific Equipment gets used to increase Danilo's Comms skill.

Overall, Danillo is one of the top planetologists in the Lanth Subsector, and in the top 100 in the Spinward Marches.  His shipboard experience will allow him to compete for an engineering position on board a starship, with his bridge skills - Comms, Sensors - being an added benefit.  At age 42, though, Danilo is starting to look dangerously clumsy.  He may be better off looking into changing careers, becoming a lecturer at All-Lanth instead of serving on the RV Poni Pride*.

Danilo's character sheet:
Name: Danilo Peck
Age: 42
Species: Human (Solomani/Vilani mix)
Homeworld: D'Ganzio/Lanth (B121410-D Naval Base, Poor, Non-Industrial, High Tech)
Rank: Scientist (3)

Characteristics
  Str 7/+0
  Dex 1/-2
  End 9/+1
  Int 12/+2
  Edu 13/+2
  Soc 7/+0

Skills
  Animals 0
  Carouse 0
  Comms 1
  Computers 1
  Diplomat 0
  Engineering 0
    Power Plant 1
    Robotics 1
  Investigate 0
  Leadership 1
  Life Science 0
  Medic 0
  Remote Operations 1
  Sensors 1
  Social Science 0
    Archaeology 1
  Space Science 0
    Planetology 4
    Vulcanology 1
    Xenology 2

Career - 1-University; 2-Academician, Lab Ship Researcher
Term 1: All-Lanth University, led political movement, graduated with honours.
Term 2: Fascinated by exploration but turns down Scout service.
Term 3: Piloted a drone into an erupting volcano; promoted.
Term 4: Given the team leader position in an experiment; promoted.
Term 5: Field tested a science robot.
Term 6: Given advance training in Leadership; promoted.

Cr90 000
Retirement Pay: Cr10 000

Ally: In political movement
Enemy: Lanth political junkie

Gear:
  TAS Membership
  Scientific tool kit
As always, if you wind up playing this character, let me know how it goes.

* Ponis are six-legged riding animals adopted as the symbol of the Scout Service after a mistake was made when describing the old Pony Express in the history of Terra/Sol/Solomani Rim.  (That would be Earth.)  Go Ponis!

12 Sep 2014

By the Numbers - Behind the Scenes I

Welcome back!  The story has wrapped up and is complete on its own page now.  Over the next few weeks, I'll post some of the behind the scenes work while I prep the next serial.  Today, the basic outline.

11 Sep 2014

By the Numbers Epilogue - Commentary

As always, please read the epilogue first.

First, why the epilogue?  I don't normally have one in my writing.  Usually, the characters figure things out by the end.  By the Numbers, however, has a conspiracy driving events.  The characters aren't in a position to discover the depth behind the events.  Readers may want a bit more closure than the crew getting paid.  The other reason is that payment is not the end of a shadowrun.  There are times when getting paid starts a new set of problems.  Thus, the epilogue is split into two parts.  The first part steps away from the crew to give the reader a different look at the events.  The second returns to the crew.

The first part shows what happened to Middlemas, the mage involved in the kidnapping of Nabi's daughter.  He's not a normal street asset, as a few elements show.  First, he's using his name instead of an alias.  Second, there's arrogance that wise runners wouldn't display.  The skin grafts are for the burns he suffered in his fight with Oswald.  Again, fire elementals and open flame are never a good idea in an abandoned building in a bad part of town.

The fate of the fixer, K-Bob, is definitely a warning.  Acts of violence tend to leave a body in one location.  Spreading the pieces around is a graphic but effective way of saying, "Get off my turf."  Either Baba Ganoush or Mister Macro arranged for the hit; last thing they want is runners being more paranoid than normal about being crossed by an employer.

The heart of the conspiracy is Graves.  Graves is a dragon, a western dragon to be specific.  He isn't one of the greats, like Lofwyr, CEO of Saeder-Krupp, is.  However, a "normal" dragon is still formidable.  A dragon with a claw in several corporations, manipulating cells, influencing companies large and small, is one to beware of.  Graves' plan is to carve out a home of his own, starting with Seattle.  Controlling corporations such as Fed-Boeing, Knight Errant, Lone Star, Gaiatronics, and even Evo and Telestrian means getting control of the services the metroplex uses.  Fed-Boeing provides a source of aircraft, small and large, ideal for protecting and controlling Seattle air space.  Graves is still around at the end of the story.  This means I can create a sequel if I choose.

The second part returns to the crew and the aftermath of the shadowrun.  Numbers says her goodbyes to the team.  This went completely different than what I had planned in the outline, but there's no other outcome possible.  Numbers needs to leave.  Wulfe knows where she lives and has an Inspector Javert level of dedication to breaking her.

At the end of writing, I didn't feel comfortable with the story.  I was feeling out of sorts, dejected.  The loss of Numbers was the main reason; she was a key part of the story that not having her at the end, with no resolution, put me off the story.  Getting the story ready for posting let me see it with new eyes after a few years.  It holds up, and the end, while not anticipated, is the only way the story could end.

Since 2010, I have worked out where Numbers went, what Graves is doing next, and what the rest of the crew is doing.  That story is for another serial.

In the coming weeks, as I prep the next serial, I'll be posting some background work for By the Numbers, including the original outline and character sheets for the cast.

Thanks for reading!

Tomorrow, the outline.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Daredevil.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Battle Beyond the Stars.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.

10 Sep 2014

Test Drive - D&D 5th Edition

Not too long ago, I wrote up a Project Natasha on the D&D Basic rules.  Since then, the 5th edition Player's Handbook has come out, with a full line of options for creating characters.  Natasha, however, doesn't need to change.  The rules in the Basic set were enough to create her.  Natasha doesn't work as a Monk, Paladin, Warlock, or Barbarian.  She's a Fighter, perfectly playable even without the PHB.

Even without Natasha, I can still come up with a character or five.  This test drive will be spread over a few posts, using different settings to see what I can do with and to the game.  In the coming posts, I'll create characters for the Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms, and Greyhawk settings*.  For today, my goal is to create a character that'd fit in a GM's home brew setting.  It'll be a chance for me to exploit the rules.  More after the break.

5 Sep 2014

By the Numbers - Epilogue

Epilogue
Shadowrun © 2013 The Topps Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Shadowrun and Matrix are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of The Topps Company, Inc., in the United States and/or other countries. Catalyst Game Labs and the Catalyst Game Labs logo are trademarks of InMediaRes Productions, LLC.
Wednesday, April 28, 2071
1158 hours

    James Middlemas strode into the luxurious executive office.  The administrative assistant got up as he approached.  "Mr. Graves is expecting me."  He gave the admin assistant an approving look-over.

    The assistant looked over her list of approved visitors.  "Mr. Graves is expecting you, sir."

4 Sep 2014

By the Numbers Chapter 22 - Commentary

Welcome back.  As always, please read the chapter first.

The crew has the package and meets the Saeder-Krupp entourage for the hand-off.  Chapter 22 was the last chapter of the story, though there are some loose ends to wrap up.  Getting to the last chapter during NaNoWriMo is always a relief.  November requires a steady rate of output, at least 1667 words a day; more is ideal.  My personal goal was to average 2000 words a day.  At the end of writing, By the Numbers had 58 563 words as verified by the NaNo site.  A little under 2000 words a day and not quite at a decent number for publishing in print.  Thus, it's here instead of submitted to Catalyst.

Some translation, again.  The German was through Google Translate again.  For a proper publication, I'd get someone who spoke and, more importantly, wrote German fluently to smooth things out.  For the record, here's what Wulfe is saying while rudely speaking a language most of the crew can't: "I still object.  Miss Page is wanted for the destruction of corporate property.  I must take her in."  Fraulein Johnson, while not necessarily helping Numbers, sees Ms Evo as a more pressing matter.  Giving Numbers the one month headstart on running away, which was part of the payment worked out for the run, means that if Fraulein Johnson needs to hire the crew again, they're more likely to agree.  Having Wulfe interrogate Ms Evo keeps him busy.

As mentioned, I have loose ends despite wrapping up the main plot here.  The crew was never in a position to really discover the depth of the issue.  They were hired to protect the head of Federated-Boeing security, then to extract one part of the conspiracy to be given to Saeder-Krupp.  At no point were they able to investigate further, nor were they being paid to dig up dirt.  Thus, the need for an epilogue, but that's another chapter.

Tomorrow, wrapping up By the Numbers.
Also tomorrow, over at Psycho Drive-In, Star Wreck: In the Pirkinning.
Saturday, over at MuseHack, Daredevil.
Also Saturday, check out Comics Bulletin for comics-related reposts of Lost in Translation.