(as a bit of fun, Cindy Young-Turner (http://cindyyoungturner.com/) and I did up a little inter-character interview together with characters from our novels: Thief of Hope, by Cindy, and Fluctuations: Book One of the Connemara Chronicles, by me. We may be doing another one, so keep your eye out!)
The interview room was cooler than Martha liked, but she padded over to the two seats to wait for her interviewee. She made sure that all her claws were fully retracted; the first time she’d encountered carpeting, she’d kept getting tangled. Really, humans could be so spoiled, putting coverings on the floors.
She hopped up onto one of the chairs and decided to groom herself while waiting. The data-stream had shown her a young woman named Sydney who’d been selected at random, but Martha thought it rather more than that. Having read the young woman’s extraordinary bio, her selection as interviewee seemed almost a foregone conclusion. Sydney was very bright, often thought out-of-the-box, as humans liked to say, and had a unique way of looking at the world due to her orphaned status and unusual lineage.
The door opened at last and Martha glanced over to find a poorly dressed young woman striding her way in rough-cut clothes, boots, and an attitude that reminded her of something halfway between a cornered animal and arrogant youngling who thought she knew better than everyone else.
Sydney stopped a short distance from her, finally noticing Martha. Her green eyes widened. “Nice kitty. Um… very nice, very big kitty. You just, you just stay there… Where the hell is Vadnae when I need her?”
Martha grinned as Sydney slowly backed away and the youngling flinched, probably at all the exposed fangs, but kept backing towards the door. Taking pity on the girl, Martha thought at her, Surely one who deals with wizards, faery folk, and princes has no qualms dealing with a being such as myself?
Sydney froze. “Did you just talk in my head?”
I did, yes. My name is Martha and I’m here to interview you for the “Women of the Ages” anthology.
“I thought I was meeting someone named Rosaria?”
You were but, well, once the AI compared your personality with Rosaria’s, it was decided you were a little too much alike.
Sydney smirked and walked closer. “Too bad I don’t get to meet her then.”
Martha chuffed in amusement. Chances are the two of you would either take over the galaxy together or start a war. Neither of which anyone wished to chance.
Sydney sat in the other chair, sprawled would be more accurate, and said, “Can’t figure why you’d want to know about me, but go ahead. Ask away.”
Martha smiled, already liking the youngling.
Sydney shivered a bit and asked, “Could you not do that? Makes me think I’m going to be dinner.”
Deadpan, Martha thought at her, You’re much too small to be dinner. Dessert, perhaps.
Sydney’s gaze narrowed like an emerald laser. “You’re making fun of me.”
Maybe a little, but only because I like you, Martha said, sending her thoughts with humor.
The young woman relaxed into the chair; really relaxed this time and a smile hovered on her dirty face.
Martha touched a claw delicately to the data-film on the back of her hand. Shall we begin?
…excerpt from ‘Women of the Ages’ anthology…
Martha: So you never let the circumstances of how you grew up dictate your life.
Sydney: Oh no. No, if there was one thing Edgar taught me, it was to fight for what you believe in. He found me on the streets as a babe and took me in, raised me like his own. It just took me a while to see there was something worth fighting for.
Martha: For those who don’t know much of your world, tell us about Last Hope, the Guild, and magic.
Sydney: People don’t know about magic?
Martha: Well, you have to understand we’re pretty much driven by science in this part of the universe.
Sydney: Huh. Never heard of science where I’m from. Last Hope is pretty much as bad as the name says. Most people got nothing. I’ve lived on the streets all my life, doing whatever I had to do to survive. The Guild controls everything in Last Hope. You go against them and you’re dead. Edgar tried to fight against it, stand up for the people. They hanged him for it.
Martha: That sounds terrible!
Sydney: It is. And that’s why I’ve gotta make a change. Finish what Edgar started. Make him proud. I’d never seen magic with my own eyes until recently. It’s incredible. You should see the things wizards can do. And it’s not evil, like people think. The wizards want to make things better. They want to help defeat the Guild and give the commoners a chance at a decent life.
Martha: You’re obviously very passionate about this.
Sydney: Yeah, well, you grow up the way I did and you either get bitter or stay hopeful. I thought I wasn’t going to live even this long, but with the help of some really good friends, I’ve learned there’s a whole world out there, and there’s even some good in it.
Martha: Of course. Speaking of passion. Now then… what about Willem?
Sydney: What about Willem? He’s the prince and he’s going to defeat the Guild and become king. That’s mostly why we’re fighting; to help him win.
Martha: There’s nothing going on between you two?
Sydney: Why does everyone keep asking that? I mean, just because we … that is … Oh hell, it’s none of anyone’s damn business what’s going on between us.
Martha: And that’s another similarity between you and Rosaria: complicated love lives. One last question. If you could impart some kind of wisdom to girls growing up in difficult circumstances, what would it be?
Sydney: You’ve gotta stand up for yourself because no one else will do that for you. Don’t ever let the bastards get you down.
Martha: Thank you so much for your time, Sydney.
Martha hopped down from the chair and walked to the door with Sydney. You’re really a very remarkable youngling.
Sydney grinned down at her and said, “Thanks. You’re not so bad yourself.”
They walked out of the room together.