Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Peek Beneath the Duct Tape: Sleepwalkers, Chapter 6

This is a difficult chapter of Sleepwalkers to write a Peek on. I think it's a powerful chapter (although, looking back over it last night, I realized I should have given it one more polish). I just don't have much to "peek" on because everything's right there in the text.

Charlotte's sacrifice is one of the most poignant parts of the story for me. She and Aimee seem, on the surface, to be rather soft; but they're just powerful in a different way from the other characters. They had the courage to do something no one else did, even though everyone could see the need for it. They also knew what a terrible price they'd pay, and they accepted it. Charlotte's price is clear, but at least it doesn't give her any pain. Imagine, for a moment, how Aimee must feel now.

I'm not going to say anything about Wizard today, but I'll have plenty to tell you in later Peeks.

You should be able to figure out most, if not all, of the process by which one Level Zero turned LeFebvre into another Level Zero; but I've kept it a tad mysterious. The next chapter will spell things out clearly.

I didn't mention before now that Ian is gay for two reasons:
1. I didn't want it to affect your opinion of him in any way, good or bad
2. There's so much overt sexuality in the world I've created that it leaves no room for homophobia. You should assume most characters are at least a little bi, whether or not I've spelled it out. Only LeFebvre is an exception: until this chapter, he's been obsessed with blonde Amazons. Now he's interested in blondes of a different sort. ;-)


Lygah said...

One question I had, that I thought I would wait until after the peek for. What level is Charlotte? I would think "0" because Aimee was free when imprinting her. But quite a point was made about how different she was.

Also, I can't shake a horrible feeling, the PP team seems very close to making exactly what Hawthorne wanted them to make, even if it is a roundabout way of getting there.

magic9mushroom said...

Huh. Not often you give away things that were left open in the chapter itself. I was left wondering whether the ruse with the d-suit had worked.

(And if it did work, doesn't that mean they've actually succeeded at creating endless high-level imprints? Endless L0s, at that - better than even Hawthorne wanted!)

Uzobono said...

That's the same feeling I got as well...and another reason I feel there's *not* a good outcome for the team really.

I doubt Hawthorne knows exactly what's going on, but they did just do what she asked them to do, a very quick acting Dreamer, though it doesn't seem possible to create a sleeper like Charlotte or Lefebvre without the person being free or Level 0 at least.

thrall said...

I'll try to answer everyone's questions in order.

Lygah, Charlotte is indeed a Level Zero. The reason her case is different is that until now no one's ever been Awakened and then re-imprinted. Since this is a first, and since the sleepwalking gene was designed to be dominant rather than recessive, making it dominant a second time might mean Charlotte can never Awaken again. But that's a chance she's willing to take for the team's safety.

magic9mushroom: I suppose I shouldn't have told everyone that LeFebvre's imprint definitely worked, but it didn't occur to me that anyone would question it. ;-)

magic9mushroom and Uzobono: No, the geneticists can't create a Level Zero using just any imprinter. If the imprinter is a Level Zero, he or she can create another Level Zero with the help of a d-suit. It's a step up the chain, since a Level Zero would normally produce a Level One. But if a Level One had tried to imprint LeFebvre with the new technique, there's no telling what the result would be.

Everyone: Yes, the team really has created something very close to what Hawthorne wanted (and in some ways it's even better), and Paul is very lucky that he Woke Up before the project was complete. Right now, Hawthorne doesn't know that D2.0 exists, and she's never considered the possibility of a pacemaker gene or using a d-suit. But if she found out, it would definitely grab her attention.

magic9mushroom said...

What I meant, thrall, was that instead of free -> L0 -> L1 -> L2 etc, they've worked out a way to have free -> L0 -> L0 -> L0 etc. In that sense, it's "endless".

thrall said...

Oh, I see. Yes, that would work as long as the Level Zero had a chip - for reasons I discuss briefly in the next chapter.