Shawna Reppert has quite a bit in common with me–fellow Carina author, fellow NIWA author, and fellow writer of urban fantasy set in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve actually already featured this book, before on Boosting the Signal, but that was while she was running the Indiegogo campaign for it. Now the book is out and available, and Shawna’s sent me another piece for the book. This time, her character Chuckie would like to have a word with you!
Hi, Chuckie here.
I know I’m not the first image that comes to mind when you say the words ‘Guardian International Investigations.’ I’m built like a scarecrow and my defensive magic isn’t much better than above-average. You’re more likely to find me on a computer than at the gym. I’m an oddball even for GI-squared, and that’s saying something.
I mean, my boss’s ID may say ‘Abigail Andrews’, but everyone calls her ‘Sherlock’, as much for her pipe and her tweed as for her brilliant deductive skills and her Anglan accent.
My partner, at first blush, might seem like what the Joint Council had in mind when they set up GI-squared. Cass Greensdowne once clocked damned near a four-minute mile and she can outlift about half the men in the department. But it’s the strength of her magic and her creativity in using it that make her stand out. So, poster-girl Guardian material—except that she learned her chops apprenticing to Corwyn Ravenscroft back when he was still a dark mage. Of course, she didn’t believe at the time that he was a dark mage, no matter what anyone said, and—well, that’s a long story.
I have been accused of rambling.
So, I know I’m not the hero of any tale, and I’m okay with that. Heroes always catch the worst of whatever goes down. Honestly, when I see what Cass and Raven go through…though Raven would never admit to being a hero, he totally is. He risked not only death, but horrible death, to take down William, and took himself past the point of exhaustion to finish the job. Damned near killed himself.
He’ll tell you that it was atonement, or enlightened self-interest, blah, blah, blah. Just like all those cases he’s helped us with, the ones he’s worked night and day on, the ones where he’s saved lives, those were just because he was bored and needed the intellectual stimulation. Yeah, right.
And I’m rambling again. Cass, if she were here, would be glaring at me to warn me to get to the point already.
So, you asked me about my goals. Which I take it is a more polite way of asking what a scrawny geek like me is doing working for Guardian International Investigations. No, don’t bother to apologize, I get it all the time and, frankly, it doesn’t bother me. Much.
The thing is, as smart and as fast and as good at magic as the heroes are, there’s some things they can’t do. Let’s face it, given a Mundane computer, half the mages in the city don’t know a mouse from a mainframe. But there is a certain criminal element, mostly young and up-and-coming, that know how to interface computer knowledge with mage skills. I know, ’cause I used to be one. I was only out for a laugh, but I did some pretty major damage, and I’d like to think what I’m doing now makes up for that in some way. And hey, maybe I can stop some kid someday before he does something he’ll regret the rest of his life.
(Yeah, I know I seem all happy-go-lucky, but I still have nightmares sometimes.)
Even when someone isn’t getting creative with magic and Mundane technology for all the wrong reasons, the computer’s a useful tool in getting information fast, and that’s useful if you need to know now how many heirs there might be to a certain bloodline if only those heirs are capable of using a magical artifact that’s gone missing. Like, say, the Ravensblood.
I’m like the smith who shoes the knight’s horse before some fairytale battle. I may not be a hero, but I help make the heroism happen. And that’s good enough for this geek.