AS seen with Gliese, ignorance; especially willful ignorance, can be dangerous in the mind of the wielder of a weapon. She finds herself in the dark, convinced of her actions, until she’s directed to a powerful piece of evidence. She fights it but the scales inevitably fall from her eyes. Realizing what she has done to humanity, she seeks to correct her actions and aide the plight of humanity toward liberation. During her quest, she discovers truths about the world that paints a dystopia of social injustice.
The characters are more than protagonists; they have dark sides to them. While their intentions seem good, the consequences of their actions speak to contradict them. I wanted to create characters with hidden truths that people can relate to, sympathize with, and understand. They are real in their personalities and reactions. It was difficult to incorporate these less than preferable traits, but with research into psychology and observing the raw reactions of real people, I was able to draw up a mind-map for each character.
I don’t think of them as villains; each character has their belief in what they’re doing is right. It serves to highlight how easy it is to cast prejudice and ignore outside perspective when introduced to people with contradicting beliefs and actions. Like my characters, their world is influenced by real-world social issues. Andrometre’s society is based on the perceived utopia of the privileged.
I chose literature as the commodity, to represent the large gap in real-world literacy; the lack of resources and access to knowledge in the underprivileged that make up the majority of the population. An issue otherwise unknown to the privileged of the world. Such as in the real world, Andrometre’s society actively and discreetly oppresses those it deems unworthy, through the limiting of career opportunities and access to resources that improve quality of life. In Andrometre, despite the technology available to create automated systems, humans are forced into the menial and undesired jobs those systems can easily take care of.
As with the real-world, there are exceptions in the careers of humans. Some do gain desired occupations in positions of influence. This, however, is deliberately implemented to keep the veil of oppression from falling. The oppression of humanity also serves to keep the truth of the Majoris hidden. I didn’t want to make them aliens, and initially began by making them cyborgs. The Majoris, originally called orcyform in the story’s history, were born through one of the prompts that began the story. I was still not satisfied with that idea and started research into genetic manipulation.
The origin that the High Council kept hidden for so long, was the fact that the orcyform are mutated humans: Majoris and humans are the same. What sets them apart is the symbiotic material that was implanted into the orcyform ancestors. This material is an organic metal extracted from an alien organism called Xenodrymis.
The extract itself isn’t alive, but several alien species of bacteria live in it, and they mutate DNA. The bacteria lives off of the nutrients of the host, and humans are a source of many nutrients the alien plant can’t provide. The humans who experimented with it, were able to engineer the material’s bacteria and mutate the host DNA to form several integrated implants within the host’s body using the organic metal, along with metals found in the human body.
The bacteria were engineered to survive in the process of the host’s reproduction in order to infect each new offspring. Through the presence of the bacteria and its effects on genetic disorders, Gliese and other orcyform suffer from Beta Thalassemia, a blood disorder that causes anemia. This disorder is why Gliese and Orion have a pale complexion, aching joints, and heart murmur.
The bacteria feeds on, and thereby hinders, folic acid absorption, which leads to every orcyform having a cleft lip. It also stimulates some regressed DNA that triggers the increase of bodily hair. With the bacteria still carrying DNA of a floral nature, and its ability to integrate its genetic material with that of the host, this hair became fur similar to plants. Chlorophyll and pheromones are also present in the orcyform body, which causes the blue undertone of skin and the ability to recognize another orcyform by scent.
Projection in the Librarians is possible by a specialized modification to the bacteria in the Xenodrymis, that manipulate the organic metal to form an implant capable of manipulating gravitons (a theorized particle responsible for gravity) and photons. It interacts with the brain to create conditions for projection, somewhat similar to the process of a 3-D printer. The projections are holograms that can interact with matter thanks to gravitons that lend it mass. The implant creates a magnetic field which bends the particles to the desire outcome.