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- Read this specific chapter here.
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Here I continue the new style of interludes, in which we explore what’s going on with Cal and Holt. One interesting aspect here is seeing Locque inhabitants from the point of view of an Earth human, as up until now the story has mostly been told from the perspective of Kay, with the various genotypes depicted in a deliberately mundane fashion. In Interlude #5 we open with Holt’s evident prejudice against Cal, whereby he continues to refer to Locque people as animals – it was rats back in one of the Arc 2 interludes, and now he’s calling Kay a snake and Cal a salamander.
Of course, the quirky thing here is that that’s exactly what they are. Both in the lore itself (their genotypes are human/animal hybrids), and also in the meta of me writing it (”ooh, it’d be cool if the protagonist was kinda like a reptile or a snake or something, and everyone just thought it was normal!”).
Anyway, the temptation to have the interludes be an Epic Fight for the whole arc was pretty strong. Originally it was going to be a battle across multiple dimensions, which would have been pretty rad, but also wouldn’t have made total sense. It would be cool in a movie, but probably less compelling in prose form. Instead the story takes an unexpected turn, with Cal and Holt forming something of a truce.
This works primarily because they can’t stay out in the sun on this planet without frying. That provided a useful built-in ticking clock, forcing them both to make quick, awkward decisions.
Interlude #6 is going to be a good’un.
Soundtrack: I forgot to make a note, and have long since forgotten.