1. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Reaction of Significant other

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by James Berkley, Dec 16, 2011.

    Ok, so background, or you could skip to the past paragraph
    Science fiction setting, inside a large interplanetary government. One of the planets under this government has a minority group on it that is different and is the manpower base for a elite military unit, that is kept under the radar to the public. One benefit of belonging to this unit is more freedom to travel and they are allowed to carry their distinctive knife (a futuristic Kukri) off duty. No other unit is allowed to carry weapons off duty and civilians are not allowed lethal weapons.
    One character is a member of this elite unit. its peace time and she has no military duty’s right now but she still carries her knife. Now this military side to her is not really shown and is an unknown to her girlfriend and friends. I was thinking of having this come to the forefront by having the two of them get attacked on the street or something similar.
    In summery in front of her girlfriend the character defeats these attackers easily in close quarters combat with her knife. now the more difficult part for me. what would be an appropriate reaction for the girlfriend after shock? How would someone react to learning there significant other totes a weapon civilians could never own and is the like a modern day member of Delta Force, SAS, Spetsnaz, fill in the blank.? I imagine shock would come first, but what about after that?
     
  2. UnknownBearing
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    I imagine gratitude would come first, actually, seeing as she just saved them both from being killed or something vague. Then shock, confusion, and naturally a demand for answers.
     
  3. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'd say it'd be the other way round. It'd be something like a huge betrayal of trust to suddenly find out that they're someone totally different, you know? Shock, confusion, and demanding answers would come at once. Gratitude would come later, maybe with make-up sex.
     
  4. UnknownBearing
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    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

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    The character isn't going to automatically assume she's secret police or whatever just by the fact that she has a knife. They're outlawed for civilians, but that doesn't mean she couldn't have conceivably stolen it or something. Putting the character in immediate shock is tearing down barriers of realism; it wouldn't immediately occur to girl that her girlfriend is part of some secret military section. Shock would actually probably come last when she starts to become suspicious and wants answers. When she gets answers, then the shock arrives.
     
  5. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    The OP succinctly states that it's a "distinctive knife".
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    The OP succinctly states that it's a "distinctive knife".
     
  7. UnknownBearing
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    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

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    That belongs to an "under the radar" military group. It doesn't matter if it's distinctive, she wouldn't know what it means until told. Meaning that's when the greatest shock would develop, not when she sees the knife. Shallow feelings of confusion and suspicion would take hold of her immediately after the thrill of the attack.

    For example:

    -During the attack, alarm
    -When her girlfriend uses the knife, "Where did she get that??"
    -After the attack, "I've never seen a knife like that before"
    -Asking questions like "How did you get that?"
    -When/if she is told, *shock*
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    "Under the radar" doesn't mean perfectly secretive. We'll have to wait for James Berkley to tell us how it is for sure, though. If the weapon isn't known to civilians, then you'd be along the right lines. If it is known to civilians, then I'm closer, I think.
    I'd be more willing to believe it is known to civilians, though, considering that he called it "distinctive". If nobody knows about it, who is it supposed to be distinctive to? That's not to mention that unless this is actually a very very efficient military, that most people are going to know they exist anyway. They're just not going to know how they operate or where/who they are. So they'll probably recognise the knife.

    Again, until the OP lets us know, we can't be sure, but I think we're both covering it pretty well for whatever situation prevails.
     
  9. UnknownBearing
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    Right. I was basing my response on his post. And solely on the information he already gave us about the story.
     
  10. Marge
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    I think initial shock would be more believable. Yes, she might be stunned later on as well when she finds out the truth, but if the person you believe to be a “normal civilian” suddenly and easily defeats two or more attackers (regardless of the type of weapon), I don’t see a calm, grateful response as the first one.

    Another reaction after the shock/confusion might be anger, especially if she’s the kind of person who doesn’t trust easily and feels betrayed. She might demand answers and not be satisfied with them. She might wonder why this was kept secret from her, and is there anything else she isn’t being told? This could lead to resentment, despite the fact that her life was saved.

    Or, maybe she’s so impressed with her friend’s fighting skills that it won’t matter that she wasn’t told. I think it depends on your character’s personality as to what reaction she might have.
     
  11. James Berkley
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    This unit more exists on the level of an urban legend for most civilians. They have heard of it, heard of their knives, but most have never seen one before, and do not know that they (the elite soldiers) are a different ethnicity. Being a different ethnic group then most citizens this unit is also used a lot when it comes to putting down rebellions and protests against the government.
    As for the girlfriend. She was an only child raised by a single mother. This single mother was very overbearing and would disown her if she knew about the relationship. Also this is the girlfriend’s first relationship.
     
  12. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    So... she recognises the knife, then?
     
  13. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    Yes, she might not have thought they actually existed before, but the average person would recognize it from description.
     
  14. UnknownBearing
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    Then initial shock is well warranted and would play to the advantage of the plot. Subsequent emotions as stated before should include anger, confusion, and a demand for answers.
     
  15. naturemage
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    I would also say it depends on how the unit is viewed, even if they are an urban legend. Sure, the government uses them for good, but being of a different ethnicity and also "secretive" plays a part. It also depends on how the girlfriend views the unit. You don't mention what she thinks about it, even thinks about the urban legends. If she is scared of the unit (or its legend), then perhaps she'd run away, thinking she might be killed for finding out the info. If she respects the unit, perhaps this would bring their relationship to a new level, because now she respects the main character more, and probably feels a lot safer around her. I, personally, would say to start off with what the girlfriend thinks of the unit and go from there. Maybe post that up so we can get an idea.
     
  16. Ettina
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    I'd say first she'd be shocked - not at her friend saving her, but at being attacked.

    Then she'd express gratitude to her friend, and at the same time start questioning how it is that her friend has those skills and that knife.

    When she finds out why, shock again.

    Of course, this depends on her personality. For example, imagine if she's a streetsmart person used to 'not asking questions' about other people's secrets - in that case, she'd probably just mentally file away the fact that her friend has unexpected skills, and simply act like nothing happened. Sometimes it's not such a good idea to know too much.
     
  17. Tesoro
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    I think the reaction depends on what impression you wanna give of this character. Her reaction will say a lot about her. So it's practically impossible for US to say how she "should" react, since we don't know what kind of person you have in mind.
     
  18. James Berkley
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    The military establishment in general was well respected during the last war. However now in peace time they are used more and more to oppress the citizens. This is true of the unit as they are used to violently put down opposition at the time of this event.
    The girlfriend is sort of a spoiled brat so the reaction could nicely highlight this.
     
  19. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    thanks everyone
     
  20. Caldenfor
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    Prayers for the Assassin by Robert Ferrigno.

    Never "the same thing", but similar in a at least a few regards. Should check it out.
     
  21. James Berkley
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    James Berkley Banned

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    I liked that book quite a bit, read the second one too. And definitely a good point.
     

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