Tuesday, April 17, 2012

O is for Ordinary people

On Saturday, I talked about the extraordinary side of Magentis.

The planet's public face is the machinery of Imperial government: military might, ancient landmarks, ridiculous costumes and ceremonies.

To the cynical, this means a hive of strutting soldiers, arrogant bureaucrats, and corrupt officials.

All this is true. And to most of the outside world, even to the assiduous researcher, this is the only face accessible.

But behind the facade, locked away behind almost impenetrable security, the remaining 99% of the planet presents another face entirely.

Step outside the capital city, steer clear of the official Imperial palaces and residences, and you could be on just about any planet.

There are towns and villages, farms and factories. Most of the two billion inhabitants live lives that could be lived practically anywhere. There's rich and poor, honest folk and scoundrels, fishermen, artisans, teachers, doctors, merchants, just like anywhere else.

These people just happened to be born here. They live their lives, and have their own dreams and aspirations that have nothing to do with Empire and conquest.

Shayla never suspected this face of Magentis until she slipped through the tight security and began living and working amongst its people.

Even within the exalted walls of the Mosaic Palace, the people - all those Imperial lackeys, as she would have put it - were pretty darned ordinary. Motivated by the same petty hopes and fears, greeds and lusts, as anyone else.

This ordinariness catches Shayla off balance when she comes face to face with the reality she's setting out to destroy. It sows the seeds of doubt needed to sway her from her deadly course.


  1. Well I'm glad something can slow Miss Destructo down.

  2. You can't forget the little people. Really, they are what all the struggle is for in the first place in most instances.

  3. Not everyone can be a hero, and there's nothing wrong with being the underdog either.

  4. It's a shame when the ordinary get swept up in the battles of the imperial world, especially because of the differences in what they value most.

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  5. Those ordinary people, take it in the shorts, don't they? I mean they're the ones who would like to go on with their lives while warring forces are trying to kill each other. I like the idea of juxtaposing the ordinaries with the heroes--maybe influencing those heroic types a bit by stirring up a touch of compassion.

  6. Delores: When she's set on a course, it's difficult to stop her :)

    Deana: That's what the "big people" keep forgetting.

    Kimberlee: If you think about it, 99.99% of the world is made up of the underdogs. Nothing wrong at all.

    Nicole: Isn't that the way it's always been?

    Lee: That's exactly what happens here :)

  7. Ahh... The spark of humanity that provides a counterpoint to the assassin... Awesome!


  8. It's nothing wrong with being ordinary. People get so passionate in their wars they lose sight of just the ordinary things and people that deserve to exist.

  9. J: Yeah, Shayla's actually rather messed up and not quite as focused as she'd like to think :)

    Debra: That is so true!


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