I keep asking myself. I think I know what I want to write… there’s just, oh, what to say, no fervor in the idea. Likely, if I set an irrational deadline, it will get done, but I keep messing about. Rambling and mild spoilers below the fold.
My idea is backstory: what happened with Lily’s father, Clive Barrett, in the nascent Republic of Texas after the Breakup of the US? We know from “T4L” that he set up an organization of ExComm, around 3000 people – based on the Cheka – to act as ‘the sword and shield’ of the newly independent republic. We know there are a few dedicated, patriotic agents; we also know that “in the last nine months we’ve put together the biggest gang of nasties you’ll find this side of Hell.” And that he ordered the crucifixion of over 66,000 people, both to liquidate ‘enemies of the state’ and to discourage illegal border crossings. A real asshole, in other words. Not good character material.
Sylvia Fernandez; late 20’s. Lawyer. Parents immigrated to the US from the Philippines. A mix of Tagalog, Spanish, Chinese. Doing work for a company in Texas, during the Breakup and Formation War she’s hired by ExComm (the “Extraordinary Commission for the Preservation of the Republic”); idealistic, she wants to help build a new world. She rather quickly rises to the right hand of Clive Barrett, providing the legal cover of the activities of ExComm. She is also increasing disgusted and horrified as events unfold. I want to tell the backstory through her eyes: an outsider who is first swept up in the emotion of the Revolution, uses fantastic lies to justify to herself what she’s doing isn’t wrong, then finally has a moment where she steps back from the abyss and turns against XC. Of course, since this is a book of the Machine Civilization series, those people must somehow be involved. I’m thinking two of them: a prototype named Christopher that is overly obsessed with the First Law in Sylvia’s corner, and a ‘young’ Thaad, focused on ‘order and peace’ in Clive’s corner.
Now, I just have to write 50-60,000 words. Need more coffee, I think.