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Author Topic: [Archived] Old Just 'cause Thread  (Read 12846 times)
Gatac
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« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2007, 01:29:20 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Chapter 8 is done and will be posted later today. Mucho boom and gunfire in there. But first, a little insight into the production process.

When I say I worry about realism, this does not mean that I have a team of military advisors on board sharing every little detail with me. Most of the time, I go by what info I can find quickly, by what I know. The rest I extrapolate or guess. I usually err on the side of competence more than technical capability - i.e. I have less of a problem letting people fire two handguns at once than with doing the Hollywood routine of blowing people across the room with a shotgun. I know both are unrealistic, the latter just bothers me more because it violates the laws of physics - I have less of a problem saying that a character is just that good.

That said, sometimes I dig myself into a hole when I write too quickly.

For example, the auction is for four R-39 SLBMs (submarine-launched ballistic missiles). The aircraft used to airlift them to the buyer's choice of location is an Antonov 124-300, a new strategic airlifter. (I haven't named it yet - this was a good bit of foresight as it left me wiggle room, the reason for which you'll see in a minute.) This is a near-future aircraft, proposed but not built yet, so I used one and used it like it was newly built to Dr. Krueger's specs - you'll see some of its features later in the story. Anyway, one R-39 missile has a launch weight of 90 tons.

No aircraft that exists today could carry four of them in that configuration.

So I began to look for things to shave off. First, the auction was explicitly not for the warheads - taking the payload section off reduces the missile length by about *half*, but does not seem to reduce weight enough. (No exact figures were available, but payload was listed as 2.5 tons. I assume it's a bit more if you take off the whole front section.) Dimensions were not the problem - the Antonov's fuselage is easily big enough to take on the missiles lying flat in two pairs with room to spare. Weight, however, still concerned me - again, no exact figures for the aircraft's max capacity, but extrapolating from the An-124 and the heavier An-225 (The -300 is a hybrid of both), I estimated about 300 tons of difference between a dry aircraft and max takeoff weight. Obviously, some of that weight would also be fuel, so I thought that you could probably make it take off with about 200 tons of cargo.

Four missiles were still too much.

But wait! I forgot that a significant part of ICBM launch weight is the fuel. The question was just, how much? Cue two hours of frantic Googling and book research, since nobody seemed to have any data on the fuel weights for ICBMs. Finally, in a Powerpoint presentation on future missile tech, I found some useful references, and using them, estimated that about 40 tons of the R-39s launch weight could be assumed to be fuel.

That way, I could *just about* justify having four dry missiles in the Antonov's cargo hold. For added safety margin, I'm having the Antonov start with a minimal fuel load and refueling in air - this is a system that would make sense for Krueger to have on his cargo aircraft that is regularly asked to make long flights.

Throughout all of this, I had little if any solid data to go on. But I'm satisfied that it's at least somewhat plausible.

Back to your regularly scheduled program...
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Gatac
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« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2007, 01:29:59 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

And here's Chapter 8. Did I promise too much?
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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2007, 01:30:22 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Chapter 9 brings more pop culture references! Trinity doesn't agree with Mark's Executive Decision. Rowena goes Solid Snake. And Krueger spouts some foreshadowing.
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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2007, 01:31:16 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Chapter 10. It's only on Livejournal for now, since Blogger has some technical difficulties. Will notify you guys when it's on Blogger.

Rowena learns that she has only two eyes. Mark calls in the big guns. And...Dennis Gray? What the hell?

Chapter 10 now also available on Blogger.
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« Reply #19 on: June 16, 2007, 01:32:08 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Posting will resume soon-ish, but there are three things I'd like to mention:

a) Music for the chapters will be making a return. I'm not entirely satisfied with the "shoot from the hip" style the blog posts have acquired, and I'm looking to fix it.

b) Equinox, if you read this, I'd like to talk to you.

c) My fragile artistic ego requires lots of feedback. Validate me, filthy masses! Validate me with your comments! Cheesy
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« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2007, 01:33:07 AM »

Originally posted by Shadow

ask for comments, and ye shall recieve:
while most of me has been really enjoying your "coming of age as a hitman" story that focuses on rowena, that little frat boy that lives inside me says "dude, blow something else up! shoot some more people!" and the behavioral psychologist in me is saying "man, reinforced trauma on an identity confused young girl. she's going to have trouble adjusting as an adult, and will probably not have relationships very easily"; finally, the writer in me enjoys your style, which mixes action and dialogue in such a manner that it easily fits in the "over-the-top" spy genre that is the ultimates universe. it makes me wanna write some more

all in all, i'd give your story so far a 4 out of 5 explosions. oh, and add more ninjas!
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« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2007, 01:33:39 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Unfortunately, Equinox hasn't responded yet - this sucks, because I need to settle a few continuity issues before I can continue Just 'cause.

In lieu of leaving you guys high and dry, I'll pause Just 'cause for now and pull another story I was planning to do later out of my hat.

Look forward to "Wayward Son" soon-ish. (As you may have guessed, it takes place during and after "Rising Son".)
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« Reply #22 on: June 16, 2007, 01:34:09 AM »

Originally posted by Equinox

I'm back! I shot you a quick reply, so I should be able to allow you to get back on track very shortly.

It's funny: Rowena was "my" baby and I sort of handed her to you to grow and develop. In a lot of ways, I understand her brother more than I understood her and I figured you would do a much better job at developing her motivations. Similarly, Equinox gave Rowena to Mark for many of the same reasons, and in both cases, it turned out to be better than expected, with results well beyond what could be anticipated.

I'll do some textual criticism later - right now, I'm enjoying the overall story too much to really analyze plot and flow. I will say that I do enjoy your writing style; your characters tend to be more open, vulnerable and unsure - which is different than mine (and certainly different than when Equinox is a main character - confidence and mystery is one of his defining characteristics, after all).
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« Reply #23 on: June 16, 2007, 01:34:40 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

...um, I lied.

Here's Chapter 11 of Just 'cause. Wayward Son is still in the works, the two stories will probably run at the same time (depends on how I feel about writing either of them any given day).

This one's a tiny bit nastier than usual. Oh, but the music is back! Grab your Metal Gear Solid 3 soundtrack and cue up "Escape".
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« Reply #24 on: June 16, 2007, 01:35:13 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Chapter 12, as Rowena continues to cut her own little swath of destruction and ruin through South America. Where's the rest of the guys, you ask? Oh, they're doing...something. You'll see. I bet the Archer Pacts regrets not watching South America closely now...

Does the prominent Jesus imagery in a chapter dealing with only Rowena mean *anything*? I only noticed it after I wrote it. Stuff like that happens sometimes. Incidentally, this is also the most rewritten chapter yet, hence the long production time. I think I had like two independant versions worked out completely before this one, and countless little sub-versions and edits I was fighting myself over. That usually means that I need to take a break and start with a blank sheet, which is what I ended up doing.

That is, in fact, the longest description for what happens when you fire a gun I have ever written. I can see how it could be made even longer, but honestly, I hate decompression. (Says the pilot, "Don't we all?") Narrative decompression, I mean. Screw art, let's kill people.

Music for this one is - depending on your tastes and availability - Kanye West's Jesus Walks and "No Man's Land" from the Madlax OST. (What, you thought I was only gonna use one song from it?)
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« Reply #25 on: June 16, 2007, 01:35:53 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

Chapter 13.

Rest assured that nothing that happened between the departure from Krueger's base to their arrival at the HoG base will be the event of further spotlighting. A) Nothing important happened, everybody did their job and B) I've already got my hands full with Wayward Son (which, yes, I'm still working on).

I think all uses of German words and speech can be understood from context, but if anyone has problems with that, I'll be glad to provide a full translation.

You may ask "Why didn't they fringewalk into the base to begin with?" Well, in case you haven't noticed yet, I've sorta-established that fringewalking for teleportation purposes can't be done "blind" - you either need to know the place where you're going (from having been there), or have to have someone in position whose psionic / mystical emanation you can hone in on. With the chaotic properties of the Fringe, I think it makes sense that it's not as precise as other methods. As we can see from the last lines, it's also not quite without its dangers. This is mostly my own nerf bat talking, since heroes who can teleport anywhere on Earth without any problems will have a modus operandi that'll leave pretty much anyone else in the dust. Hence, the danger and drawbacks to make it a useful, but not overpowering ability.

Where are Done, Mark and Gray? Somewhere...else.

I freely admit that both the guard duty explanation and the rank joke stem from my own military experience, short as it was.

"Zis is meine hood" was shamelessly stolen from "Neon Exodus Evangelion : Apotheosis Now". It's a damn good read (as is the entire series that preceeds it) and available at http://www.eyrie-productions.com/NXE/ - it was too good a fit to pass up.

Also, if I recall correctly, Valentina did a "Street Sweeper" prestige class way back on the old boards for 1.0, which had some South American flavor for becoming a shotgun master. You'll be seeing some of that...

Music is Prodigy - Mindfields. Dig out your Matrix OST.

Comments still appreciated, though I guess my growing Director's Commentary Track keeps the word count pretty high all by itself...
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2007, 01:36:35 AM »

Originally posted by Valentina

^^
Indeed I did.
If you've got questions I've got hazy recollections.
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2007, 01:37:06 AM »

Originally posted by Gatac

I'm not sure if I have questions per se, it's more like I'd like to ask if you've still got it lying around, in which case I'd gladly fix things to be closer to that interpretation.
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« Reply #28 on: June 16, 2007, 01:37:36 AM »

Originally posted by Valentina

I do, but it's essentially the CT with This is my Boomstick! as of 2.0.
It's about playing to the shotgun's strengths -short range combat, employing a wide selection of ammunition, defeating cover via overpenetration, moving in an out of melee as desired instead of as required (bonus speed? ...), probably shave the Imprecise quality off later in the class and the game-breaker is Cleave Supremacy with the shotty.

General strategy is shock and destruction. Get into position for maximum effect and kill. Force Morale saves, paint walls with opposition and draw fire. Sort of modern-day Berzerker in some ways.
Hmm. Upping morale save DC's would make an awesome PrC ability as well, actually...

Stats would probably be d12 vite, "A" grade Defense, full BAB, high Initiative, weak saves -Reflex Primary, and no gear to speak of (W, S, V, all at lowest progression). Prereqs might include Quick Draw, This is my Boomstick!, and...uh...not sure. Probably a stat. Combat Mobility and Surge of Speed are also solid choices. CQB chain would be as well of course.

Origins are crime enforcer on a budget.
When the poor go to war, they bring shotguns. Shotguns have been around a long time, and are one of the most ubiquitously legal guns even in societies that despise firearms because of their hunting utility. That they're also hideously effective on soft targets is but a side effect -one popular with militias and criminals alike. For them who can't afford battle rifles and SMG's, and who want someone carrying something heavier then a sidearm the Sweeper is the answer.

The Street Sweeper is the fury and the focus of that tradition, bringing ability to necessity. They are the Counter-Terrorist's predecessor in many ways, an urban combat focused warrior from back when gangs rode horses and courage meant standing up to a law that only served the highest bidder. The Sweeper was pioneered by people with no body armor, no military training or arms, and the will to step into the fire to take theirs from whoever brought the law of the gun to the corner that day (so come to think on it they're natural folk-hero stuff as well as well as crims).

What this has to do with central and south america is that the basis is the cities not the open range -places where a shotgun really was the most effective choice over a rifle. Slaughterhouse range, close enough to wear the kill. In cities notorious for corrupt cops and rampant crime since the colonial authorities landed.

Now I'm just rambling.
You get it. Could be a real danger to Mis Row, given that they both play at the same range with similiar methods. Sweeper doesn't use Combat Expertise, preferring more to rely on his/her innate defense and ability to simply kill anything s/she can target using the largest shotgun they can wrangle. Being built around a class that uses Takedown weapons almost exclusively makes for short fights.
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« Reply #29 on: June 16, 2007, 01:38:08 AM »

Originally posted by Valentina

*Poke, Poke*

Hail, Gatac. What say ye? I'm not about to the let the suspense actually kill me, but I am shaving down my lifespan. Cool
What's up? Need more Row, hell...need more PROGENY, too.
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