Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Timing of Codename: UnSub

As I mentioned the other day, Codename: UnSub ate the original book one of The Last Survivors.

Part of that devouring included the missionary priests who came to San Francisco, trained in hostage negotiation and the conversion of the newly disarmed. While we had considered parts of it -- mostly with how to get these people into San Francisco -- we never really talk about where we put them. How do they relate to the rest of the city? How do they make their mark? How do they deal with the Children of Thanatos?

Also, in Codename: Winterborn I made a mention of "the Burners." They set people on fire. That was it. It's the general shallow thinking of every other thug in San Francisco ... and most thugs in real life. It's taken from the concept of Bum Burning. However, most of these burners do not generally gather and operate in gangs. While they were in a throwaway scene in Codename: Winterborn, they are an entire subplot in UnSub as well as a major plot point.

While Codename: Winterborn ended with the beginning of 2094, literally at 12:01 on January 1, that's because I just wanted to end on a high note. Sure, I could have stretched it out with an additional three chapters, but... no, why? The arc in Winterborn's second half was to show exactly how Kevin's actions are the butterfly effect on acid. I established that when the priests showed up en mass. The priests and their side effects are another story.

So, since the chapters I had down were all about the priests and their introduction to San Francisco society, I would use them to introduce the readers to the society. It's a cheap maneuver, basically the Alice in Wonderland effect (or the X-Men film effect, pick one), but it works.

So Codename: UnSub backs up a bit. The prologue takes place right before Kevin meets the priests at the docks. It shows Kevin having a long conversation at arrow point with some burners, setting them up a little better. Chapter 1 takes place just after the priest pickup that is shown in Winterborn. And then we have a heartwarming Christmas chapter....

And then we have a dead body show up down the block from Kevin Anderson's place that's been beaten to death. Because San Francisco.

Why, yes, I have been to San Francisco, and I've had it swarmed by vampires in one series, and a distopian nightmare in another. Why do you ask?

But all in all, the main action in UnSub takes place a few months after the arrival of the priests. They'll be more of an established force within the city by the time the main action kicks into gear.

And then, the stage is set, and we're ready to nuke the entire city straight to hell. BWAHAHAAHAHAH.

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