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  1. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Member

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    Sci-Fi/Cyberpunk Anti-Terrorist team of Misfits

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by DarkPen14, Apr 16, 2019.

    I'm still running this concept together, but the basic idea is that there's an international anti-terror division created among allied nations. They each send in candidates, and those candidates are sorted into teams, numbered by the order of the team's creation. Terror Squad 6, the focus of the story, looks something like this;

    The team leader is an American military amputee. She's got advanced prosthetics, PTSD with hospitals and dates her mechanic.
    There's a British midget who fancies himself a drone god, piloting basically transforming drones from the base. He's the eyes in the sky for the good guys and the camera in the vents watching your every movement
    There's a pair of Japanese bio-mechanically engineered twins, one's built for combat, and is a master of hand to hand and close range, while his sister is the opposite, built for stealth and better suited for long range.
    Then there's a guy from Tanzania who’s a hunter of many things, from convicts to animals, he is able to track most things.
    And then the team leader’s mechanic. An engineer, she's originally from Russia but was lured to America by the promise of greater job security because Americans excel at hurting themselves, and as a prosthetics mechanic, she’d always have work building or repairing mechanical limbs. She was hired as the team leader’s personal mechanic with the promise of decent pay, room and board. Eventually hooking up with the amputee she was charged with building an arm and legs for. She also sometimes builds vehicles.

    And that's TS6.

    Questions, comments, suggestions, concerns?
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  2. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter

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    Seems like an interesting concept. Is there anything in particular we can give thoughts on? Rainbow Six by Tom Clancy is a good example of an existing book that deals with a fictional international anti-terrorism organization. Though this kind of gives me a comic book vibe more than a realistic military fiction vibe. My recommendation would be to make sure your villains are just as far out there, genetically engineered cyborgs and stuff, otherwise the heroes may not have enough of a challenge given the powers that it looks like they have.

    I recommend avoiding this term, as it is often considered offensive. Something more appropriate would depend on the character's specific condition or height. See this link.
     
  3. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Member

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    The story takes place in 2534, so technology is definitely more advanced. There's plasma weaponry, stuff looks more like COD: Advanced Warfare combat wise. You're right, the team does seem a little OP in the context of our time period, however this is also like a mix between Stargate and COD as far as some of the concepts. You are right, though. Most of the things I come up with would be better suited for the comic format, and I'd do them that way except I can't draw and every time I find an artist who'd work with me, they ghost me when I ask to see samples of what they can do.

    Yeah, I realize "midget" might be offensive to some people, and considering the recent history of Earth involving "it offends me! It should be illegal!", it probably would not fly well in the future. I'm just calling him that in the concept. The shorty in question would probably have a short fuse where his height is concerned, cuz he can't reach nothin', but the others would probably joke around with him about it.
     
  4. GrJs

    GrJs Member

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    It's a decent concept but you also have to look at what will and will not be allowed in a team like this. For instance, your American leader with the PTSD that's got frequent hospital dates. Nobody is putting her in charge of a military operation unless she was moved from active duty to do this immediately after. Meaning she wasn't off active duty due to her amputations and then picked up specifically for this. There's too much room for a relapse at an inopportune moment if her PTSD requires frequent visits to a professional, not to mention the issues that come with PTSD such as paranoia, anxiety, often depression and how they will affect her day to day functioning and the mental exhaustion of dealing with all of that on a daily basis. The effects of her issues could keep her up at night leaving her exhausted and thus cognitively compromised when it comes to decision making, she wouldn't be able to react as swiftly as someone who was mentally sound and all of this can lead to life ending mistakes in the field.

    I'd suggest laying off the anger outbursts at being ribbed about being a midget with your midget. That implies there's something wrong with being a midget and will upset and annoy a lot of people on one hand because you have people teasing him about it but also because it's treated like a joke and that's not anything we haven't seen before. For example, Fullmetal Alchemist. Ed's not a midget but he's got a short fuse with his height and people joke about it with him and eventually you get sick of hearing "Who are you calling so small you wouldn't be able to see him with a microscope!" lines. Your midget is smart, I have no doubt that they've got a step ladder lying around their room, or, given the technologically advanced age and the no doubt socially advanced age, he could eve have his living spaces built in proportion to himself. Don't make him the comic relief. Make him a person who's fine with their lot in life. That's something we don't see often.

    You should also be aware of the stereotypes of black characters in fiction. They're always the trackers or those characters with 'street smarts' which is essentially what tracking is in a world full of scientific marvels. I'm assuming you're going with the idea that this character is tracking via footprints and stuff like that. He's also a needless character in this story if your midget is a technical expert on tracking people with drones and cameras. The midget can find people a hell of a lot faster than the tracker can with drones and cameras in a world 500 years in the future. Traditional tracking techniques would be forgotten and also useless that far into the future. Drones would be more powerful and efficient.

    Overall I think you've got quite a bit to think about regarding these characters. You've got too many characters for a team like this. You could cut out the Russian and the Tanzanian by giving both their jobs to the midget. If you really wanted the Tanzanian you could get rid of one of the Japanese characters and have them be half siblings or former mates in arms from a different part of the military. Pretty much it looks like half your cast is needless.
     
  5. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Member

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    Maybe I'm not understanding how PTSD works, then. (Wouldn't surprise me, It's a pain in the crack to find anything and no one can tell me anything other than "it's bad".) She woke up in the hospital with a third of her body gone, and later back in the hospital to have machines grafted in place. I don't pretend to know how that feels, but the people in my life with firsthand experience with extended stays in the hospital and surgery sometimes have breakdowns when made to enter these buildings. Her PTSD isn't battlefield trauma, she never saw the battlefield. She was blown up before she got there. The pain involved with having machines connected with her nerves hand re-route bloodflow is what she relives when hospital-esque sensory cues reach her brain. In her case this usually means she has to be sedated before being treated for injuries.

    I realize how that could be seen as worn out and offensive, and you're right, his living space would be down to scale for him. I thought about making him normal height, but then I'd just have James Bond with drones. I'd considered taking him out and letting the Russian mechanic fill in the spot, but then I remembered that lovers being on the same team in a military operation might not be allowed as far as military rules are concerned or be well received. But as I said in the original post, this is still being workshopped.

    Yeah, I realized how that would probably be perceived. I don't pretend to have experience writing black characters, but I realized as soon as I had the rest of the cast that it was an international organization that ignored Africa. I could say something along the lines of "Africa wanted no part of this BS" or something like that I can't come up with a legitimate justification for it.

    The idea is still being workshopped. I've got a lot of research to do, and a few things to figure out before this gets too crazy. The story would probably be rather episodic, to be honest
     
  6. Maggie May

    Maggie May Member

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    I agree that you need to rework some of the characters. Have you ideas of what kind of terrorism they are fighting, that might help to develop their tools that they fight with. Do you need a chemist?
     
  7. GrJs

    GrJs Member

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    She really wouldn't be selected to lead an elite anti-terrorism task force with no field experience and PTSD of any kind. The military does psychological evaluations for everyone entering the force. Obviously the triggers for PTSD you've chosen are different to battlefield triggers but the people you know could also get triggered watching a medical show or even talking about medical treatment could incite anxiety.

    If they have the mentality for it, they could think along the lines of many people go through treatments worse/more invasive/ etc and think they're weak for reacting the way they do which is a blow to their self-esteem and thus depression can be triggered if they have that sort of psychology. It is up to you how severe you want this to impact her, it could be an intense phobia instead of PTSD or it could be full blown PTSD. But I would suggest researching PSTD thoroughly so you have a solid understanding of what it entails. You have a leg up by knowing people with the issue you're trying to portray. But PTSD looks different for everyone even if it is the same disorder.

    Here's a website with information on PTSD https://www.brainline.org/military-veterans/ptsd

    Information isn't hard to come by if you search for the right phrase. Effects of PTSD. Symptoms of PTSD. That sort of thing. Looking for personal accounts on PTSD will muddy the information if you don't know the basics of the disorder to begin with. It all seems overwhelming because it manifests in different ways for everyone. The link I gave has a link to the DSM-5 which is 'the' psychology manual on all documented disorders and I say 'the' because it's the main reference material all mental health professionals use for diagnosis of mental disorders.


    Yeah there's a rule in militaries about people in a relationship being on a team together, they can't because it can cause a conflict of interest with the mission objective if one of them is captured. It can also lead to preferential treatment if it's a superior office and their employee.


    If you do go along the lines of 'Africa wanted none of this BS' you'd have to add a political element to the story and make it a part of the plot. You don't have to represent every continent in one team. Leaving someone out isn't offensive.

    You have to think of the political climate of the time, is it a future of our timeline? If so, you could have it that America screwed over too many countries in Africa and the Middle East and they banded together to protect their homes and the whole terrorist thing is propaganda spewed out by America to get resources like oil from their countries, which they'd need a lot of if many people have high end, presumably mecha, prosthetics. The gears and joints to move the arm would need to be oiled so they don't rust or grind together.

    I mean, if we're talking about leaving people out. Nobody ever remembers South America unless they're escaping prison forever and need a place to hide.


     
  8. mrieder79

    mrieder79 Probably not a ground squirrel Contributor

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    I'd read it if the characters are solid and the plot is intriguing. Good stakes. Good motivations. Good villain and I'm in.
     

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