Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Going Solo

Once before, I've discussed the joy of having characters go something completely and totally alone. After all, it's what Jack Bauer and Harry Potter have in common: no one listens to them, so they have to do it themselves. In their respective cases, "no one" is a bureaucracy and know it all grown ups who are so busy "protecting" the poor innocent children while ignoring that they're the ones in the crossfire.


Somehow, I've avoiding using what I've coined as The Cassandra Effect, and replaced it with good, old fashioned paranoia.

Let's face it, in The Pius Trilogy, there's a lot of "We don't know how far the bad guys have reach, or who's on their payroll" (okay, with a touch of Sean AP Ryan saying "Screw it, I'm the ultimate badass, I don't need no stinking authorities"). There's even a bit of that in Honor at Stake (though much of that is tempered with "vampires? No one will believe us." )

In Codename: Winterborn, the majority of why Kevin Anderson rides out into battle all by himself is because .... okay, to start with, he's a little insane at the moment. He's had everyone he's close with blown up, the people at the top of his command structure are responsible, and trusting anyone in between seems like a Really Bad Idea. And he's cynical enough that he's relatively certain that leaking a covert operation, getting operatives killed, would only be worth a slap on the wrist for Senators.

I can't imagine where he would get that idea. Can you? I mean, it's not like Senators can get away with mishandling classified material and getting away with it, or commit out and out felonies and get off with just a slap on the wrist.

.... Yes. Obviously, I'm being sarcastic.

But in Kevin's case, after a while, even the bad guys in Codename Winterborn were explaining ways for Kevin to just stop killing people, and just turn over the remaining victims on his hit list, and perhaps even the media would call for their blood.  While this suggestion was never directly made to Kevin, had it been, it would have been scoffed at. Then again, I've had people dismiss the Senators in Winterborn as cardboard cutouts with no redeeming qualities. It only so happens that I've smashed together the vices of real life politicians, most of whom have actually gotten away with it. Had I only but known about Leland Yee at the time...

And what about now? What could Kevin possibly do for help in San Francisco? Who would even consider coming to his aid. This entire city looks like Thomas Hobbes on acid with a cocaine chaser. Man is a wolf to man, it's always a full moon, and there are no silver bullets. Kevin has some acquaintances: he's befriended an assassin .... the assassin has some contacts. The priests might be useful ... if they weren't under siege just by virtue of living in this town that most people forgot.

Sometimes, it helps to have the grand finale be one-on-one when everyone else in town wants nothing to do with it. "Aww, there's a serial killer in town. Is there any chance he's going to kill me? No? Then screw it, have fun, leave me alone."

Okay, so I rely heavily on paranoia and solipsistic douche bags.

Granted, this time, Kevin isn't totally alone. After all, the assassin, Kyle Elsen, will gladly step in if someone is trying to kill Anderson right in front of him.

Kevin runs into a woman in San Francisco named Nevaeh Kraft, a Eurasian woman with midnight blue eyes, and she runs a shop called Artful Krafts. You could even say she's ... magic.

And if you don't know that there's an in-joke there.... well, I suggest reading Honor at Stake. Heh.

As for Mandy, she's a subject for another time. Tomorrow, to be precise.


  1. "Okay, so I rely heavily on paranoia and solipsistic douche bags."

    I was unaware that you had found your way into a political career.

    1. What are you saying? It's an awesome place to find villains and plot points.

    2. After Sad Puppies 3, it felt like I was in politics in 2015.


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