Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Peek Beneath the Duct Tape: Sleepwalkers, Chapter 2

This is the chapter I blogged about several months ago, where I said I'd come up with an M/f induction so cruel that I could barely bring myself to write it. The thing is, once I committed to this particular storyline, the scene became necessary; and once it became necessary, I had to go all the way with it. I knew I couldn't wimp out. You have to know how far Paolo has sunk, and you have to see the change in Shara from furious Resister to eager slave. Early reader reactions indicate that people are taking it just the way I want them to: they're horrified but also (at least in some cases) turned on. It turns me on, too, a bit...but then I feel bad about that. This is the nastiest thing I've ever written.

On a somewhat lighter note, now is a good time to talk about the original fantasy that sparked this story. Like I've said before, I came up with it when I was about twelve. I thought I was straight, so I made the MC'er a man; and I was too innocent to realize being controlled was what got me off, so the main characters in the story weren't really MC'ed at all. They were just pretending. Here's how it played out.

Shara was the central character of the fantasy. She was a completely different person than she is in "Sleepwalkers," and the world she lived in was somewhat different than the empire Hawthorne creates. Certain people had Bene Gesserit-like control over their bodies and minds, and Shara was one of them (If you don't know what a Bene Gesserit is, go read Dune - or at least Wiki it). Paul was another. The fantasy began with Shara being arrested by the Master's troops and taken to his headquarters for brainwashing. Paul was on the ship that carried her there. He'd been captured long before and made a doctor, so he was on site in case she was injured during the arrest. Later, when they were alone in the imprinting chamber, he revealed that he was only pretending to be brainwashed; and that whenever he ran across someone with abilities like his and Shara's, he saved them from brainwashing too. He hoped to eventually create a force that was strong enough to take down the Master.

The rest of the fantasy involved him coaching Shara in how to fool the Master, then the faux-brainwashing scene with the Master gloating over them both. That part of the fantasy played out a lot like my story Mirrored in Your Eyes, as I blogged about here. Interestingly, the mind-controlling drug and the will-replacing chip were parts of the story from the very beginning. So was the bit where Paul's chip gets turned off to horrify Shara; but in the early fantasy, it was the Master who turned off Paul's chip, Paul was only pretending to be catatonic, and Shara was only pretending to be horrified.

Not much drama there, eh? Or much originality, either. But after all, I was only twelve. I'm just proud of myself for coming up with the turning-off-the-chip thing that early in my EMC career.


fembotheather said...

It's the most totally evil thing I've read in a long time!

Read it twice, so I know. ;)

Brainwashing, corruption, serial recruitment... Some of the hotter of my hot buttons.

Can't wait for more. :)

fembotheather said...

As for feeling "bad" about it...

You've written something very dark which, if real would be absolutely horrible, this is true, but you've written it powerfully and it felt authentic, and like you committed your all to it.

To me these are the marks of good writing. In a lot of ways this reads like a horror story, showing the worst of things in a terrifying way, but in these dark places seduction can often live, and the only way for that seductive darkness to emerge on the page, the author must write with total honesty and not hold back.

You shouldn’t feel bad for having written and written well, ever.


thrall said...

Thanks for the kind words, FBH. You'll notice that even though I do feel kind of bad about what I wrote, it didn't stop me from writing it! Yes, the dark places in my mind can be very seductive, and the internet is a safe place to explore them.