8FOLD/HCC: Orphans of Mars # 1, "Imperatrix Rex!"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Tue Jul 23 22:37:07 PDT 2013

On Wed, 17 Jul 2013 03:34:24 +0000 (UTC), Tom Russell wrote:

> The society from which they hail is very religious, ordered, and bound to
> traditions. They are not particularly tolerant of, say, snarky atheist
> vegetarians. (And even the vegetarianism might be an offense when you're
> talking about a society that actually has bottles specifically designed to
> store the blood of one's enemies for drinking later). 

Nice. <3

> So Quasha lashing out or threatening
> her might not play to the other Daughters as mad-with-power, but 
> finally,-someone-who-will-lay-down-the-law-on-that-godless-heretic. So it
> might even be a populist gesture and populism, as the Gracchi discovered,
> is an excellent way to keep and hold power. Though in this particular case,
> it did not work out so well.

Yeah, but in this case, it was pretty much everything else she did as well.
I mean, it was a *really* quick transition.

>> Everybody seems to have signed onto this really quickly!
> Well, this is also meant to be a little bit of world-building, but perhaps
> I could have established it with a bit more finesse. The idea is that the
> Imperatrix has absolute authority, and so what they so, goes. This power is
> supposed to be divinely-derived. The little speech that Quasha gives, that
> rather than ask if something is right (morally), they do a thing, and
> because they did it, it must have been right. So if Quasha declares herself
> Imperatrix, it is the goddess's will that she be Imperatrix, and if Nerrine
> becomes Imperatrix, well, it is also divine will. Everything that happens
> is meant to happen. Now, there's a lot wrong with that logic, but it's not
> anything that bothers the Daughters of Mars (other than perhaps Petara).

Hmmmmmmmm. The thing is, the Daughters of Mars are the people who
(apparently?) utterly wrecked the existing order; and while you can
certainly be willing to get rid of one part of the order while keeping
another, they seem like they'd be more likely to at least grasp the central
problem/opportunity of divine right; namely, that it's literally just a way
to justify whatever you were going to anyway - and then try to use it

> That said, it's Jarissy that "honestly" submits without harboring any
> doubts. And Jarissy is the brawny crazy warrior type who would sign on
> whole-heartedly and enthusiastically to Quasha's plan.

That's fair.

> That's a fair criticism certainly. I would say that Quasha perhaps does
> not have a huge amount of competence *in this context*. In a context with
> which our Daughters of Mars are more familiar-- say, warfare against other
> humanoids, or even the beastly fauna of the now-red planet-- Quasha, and
> Garaka before her, might be very competent leaders both militarily and
> socially.

And I can see how, even though they've broken the rules, they wouldn't know
which rules still apply. The fact of Quasha's powergrab isn't a problem.

> Anyway-- yeah, I can see how the basic outlines of the plot (that Quasha's
> leadership would lead to disaster and Nerrine would step up to the plate)
> pretty obvious. What we intended as the "twist"/unpredictable element was
> how things went haywire-- that being that we went in a more comical
> direction (the massive sauropods ignoring everything) rather than, say,
> everyone getting eaten by a T-rex. That was my co-writer's rather inspired
> idea, as I probably would've went for them being in deadly danger.

That's fair, and a good way to do something like this. Still, I was
expecting some kind of second twist at the end - but I don't know if that
was a reasonable expectation?

> Being that the plot was pretty bare bones-- and, fair warning, with this
> series the plots are likely to be pretty straightforward-- I tried to focus
> more attention on the world-building details and character elements
> (specifically Nerrine and Ress). I'm glad I had enough of both in the story
> for you to enjoy it despite the predictability of the plotline.

Oh, yes, those were good. I'd like even more in the future! <3

>> Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, hm hum hum
> Thank you for reading, and the kind words.

Soitinly! <3

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, I want to rock and roll all night, and
blow the hell out of my home planet

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