20 comments

  1. Well, that went in a different direction than I imagined! I rather expected the normal male impatience with shopping for clothes with women, but not crossed with the functional equivalent of PTSD. I’d have to believe that there would be a way to turn down the combat augments, if for nothing else to reduce the stress to the user. Honestly I’d set up the system with a series of stages that gradually activate the various features based on the user’s risk assessment. Certain things would automatically trigger higher states like weapons fire or explosions unless the user deliberately disabled them knowing that he was in an environment that contained such indicators by its very nature. Quarry, shooting range, etc.

    You are keeping me intrigued, so lay on MacDuff!

    1. I think you are not considering the psychological effect of using the augments. If you spend much time at the fully augmented settings, particularly in a high threat environment, you are likely to feel blind at low settings. Even if logically you know you don’t “need” the higher settings, as long as there is no overt harm to using them you would likely keep them on “just in case”. And to quiet the itchiness that turning them down creates.

      1. Perhaps so. I can certainly see how the fact that they’re not on the highest level could be a source of anxiety in itself. Much depends on how they’re actually implemented, although I’d hope that the soldiers equipped with them were trained about the dangers of staying at high level and how to counteract the long-term effects of doing so.

        Now if there were a on-going terror campaign in this world, that would certainly argue against reducing alertness levels.

        1. One of the causes of PTSD is that combat level situational awareness acts/feels a lot like the description of in-skin. And it d@mned addictive. I speak from personal experience. For a while the only way I could “seitch it off” was by injudicious application of ethanol. And given the condition of major cities these days, it is difficult to say the heightened level of awareness isn’t useful.

    2. The book prior to this one, which will be out this month *knocks on wood*, centers on Twitch and AJ. And in it, AJ is clearly regarded by his ground-pounding teammates as the spacer who’s been out on the sharp end a wee bit too long, and is having trouble adjusting to civilian life.

      This book… this book happened when two influences ran into each other. The first, as chronicled in the earlier posts of “Whose book is this, anyway?”, was clearly “I run away from the vineyard project and do a shopping trip!”

      But the second was… I never intended for AJ to be anything more than a minor character. However, one of my beta readers, a quiet, thoughtful prior-service guy, turned in his impressions on the last story starting with “AJ needs his story.”

      I initially took this for ribbing. After all, I hadn’t planned for Twitch (who’s in the team on Going Ballistic) to pop up at the ball and decide that if the fairy god-gunny sgt. wasn’t there, he was clearly assigned by fate to keep an eye on that girl in his stead. So I was just being teased… But no. The quiet insistence continued, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s to pay attention to the quiet, calm, competent men when they insist on something. And then my Calmer Half, when I told him about the hair-tearing frustration of “Why does he think AJ needs his book!”…

      My Calmer Half said quietly, “Because everyone ought to get a path out of their own hell, and to fight for their happiness.” and gave me a Significant Look.

      And suddenly I knew who the two guys in the bored-husband chairs were. Even if AJ just thought he was there for overwatch on Lizzes, after having put this much effort into keeping her alive for Twitch.

      1. I’d forgotten that this was in the Going Ballistic universe. Which means I’m due for a reread! I thought you did a really great job with that book and will be on the alert for the sequel whenever it comes out. And for this one, which is very intriguing thus far.

  2. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the whole thing. And I am pretty sure I want an inskin, despite some rather obvious drawbacks.

  3. Woohoo!

    I think you know what you’ve done here that is great.

    I appreciate it.

  4. Her blog says it takes five chapters to, uh, reach high gear… So I’m thinking, not yet. I suppose that might have changed…. and anyway I think you already know… πŸ˜‰

    1. I will neither confirm nor deny any knowledge of the next few chapters of the book (in very general terms – stuff happens, someone says the dreaded Q word, more stuff happens, and someone has a Brilliant Idea!)

  5. Love it, can’t wait for more!

    One small comment. Maybe it’s just me, but the paragraph that starts “Twitch never appreciated …” feels to me like we’re switching into the inside of Twitch’s head for a moment. It was bit disorienting. I think it’s just that the paragraph starts with Twitch’s name. A possible fix could be something like “AJ suddenly remembered that Twitch never appreciated …”

  6. I liked it. Had to stop halfway though this morning and actually remembered that I wanted to finish it when I got back from work. Rare occurrence for me…

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