Cronus: The Straw That Stirs The Drink

Authors Commentary: Cronus: The Straw That Stirs The Drink

A little more creepy title in the year that plastic straws were banned across the country for seemingly inexplicable reasons.

So yeah, Cronus is up to some shit.  Which always had a feeling of inevitability to it even when I first started cobbling together some basic concepts for the character.  His goals and ambitions have been at odds with the rest of the group almost from the moment he first appeared.  And now we start to see the team start to fracture along those lines.

An outsider among outsiders.

Early concept art for Cronus.  I have no explanation for the axe.  None.

As the sociopaths in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia pointed out, for a successful team you need a few key rolls: The brains, the looks, the muscle and the wildcard. 

When I drew up the concept for the team, it seemed obvious to have some sort of hacker or computer whiz on the crew.  Because that's how science fiction works.  It basically fulfills the magical element in the story.  Need some shit to happen, just have your hacker inexplicably bang away at a keyboard until it's all better.

But, as opposed to just being this force that just magically solves everything, I wanted him also to be a force that just as often magically throws the shit into the fan.  It kind of evens things out. 

From my earliest notes, I knew Cronus was going to be the odd one out of the group.  None of the characters fit within their own society but Cronus especially doesn't.  He was going to be a renegade from a kind of virtual nation.  Thus, even reality as the rest of the characters know it was going to be something that didn't always apply to Cronus.

The problem that I had, however was trying to get inside this character's head and hear his voice.  (Yes my characters talk to me.  Yes that is totally a writer cliche.  I'm sorry, but it is a thing.)  Like many other parts of this book, I was tempted to make him a lot like Edward from Cowboy Bebop.  Not only because she was a master hacker, but because her cryptic and inexplicable speech patters seemed perfect for a guy who seemed to have a tenious grasp with reality at the best of times.

Except, like I've mentioned before, Cowboy Bebop provided a lot of inspiration for this book.  Some of it probably bordering on outright plagiarism. So I kept searching.

I experimented with different ideas.  Everything from the language and mannerisms of Nigerian hackers, to pirates to modern netspeak and nothing seemed to click for me

At some point I started to watch the History Channel show, Vikings.  And as I watched that show and continued to write, Cronus' voice started to sound more and more like the semi-crazed pyromaniac Loki.

You can't tell if he's plotting something or just wants a sandwich.
 Not only his voice, but the way he looks, the way he talks, the way his mind seems to work all of it seemed to almost screamed 'Cronus' to me.  Add this feeling that he could turn on you the moment that his goals and yours no longer line up and I had found a good basic template on which to build the rest of the character.

Add a splash of Edward's speech patterns and general intelligence and a little bit of my own anti-social awkward tendencies and you have Cronus. 

Now.  Let's sit back while we watch him ruin everything,


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