Justice Wing, Writing ProcessPatreon Exclusive: Worldbuilding and Notes for Greenhorn #3 2020-05-262020-06-02 Eric Burns-White Below is a sneak peek of this content! Everyone likes the phrase 'murder librarian.' I'm no exception. To view this content, you must be a member of Eric's Patreon at %%currency_sign_front%%0.01%%currency_sign_behind%% or more Unlock with Patreon
8 thoughts on “Patreon Exclusive: Worldbuilding and Notes for Greenhorn #3”
It occurs to me to wonder if maybe Cosette and Tabby should hire a PI and maybe a Lawyer to go back and see if they can close any outstanding open cases where Tabby is a suspect. I mean, if the police were certain Tabby did it, but couldn’t pin it on her, then that implies there’s some open cases that went cold due to “lack of evidence.” Granted, rubbing the police’s noses in just how badly they screwed up, yet again, probably would not go over well, but…I dunno. There might be a way to do that quietly and diplomatically that doesn’t involve the department taking another black eye and maybe helps Tabby get a bit of closure? Or at least gets her record expunged?
I’d be willing to bet that if anyone could manage that diplomatically it’d be Cosette. Granted, I’m sure she has enough on her plate, but…
Honestly, Anchor is probably the most dangerous/scariest genocidal madman in your series, because of how reasonable and practical he is. He’s arguably even kind from time to time. The Jack is very scary and very crazy and manages to inculcate true believers….but, for all the Jack’s power, ability, and the wide reach of the cult he’s built up… I honestly think Anchor is more likely to succeed in his ultimate goals. (assuming the Jack even HAS any ultimate goals) Anchor has a rep for being reasonable and practical, he has his own mercenary squad, he has a nice supply of banked favors, and he knows the score. I suspect he’s constantly positioning himself so that he can take advantage of any opportunity that comes up and I don’t doubt he’s got plans to make those opportunities happen. Meanwhile, the Jack…. Well who knows what the Jack really wants, but nobody mistakes the Jack for one of the “nice” ones.
Anchor? Anchor could be so mistaken. And that’s why I’m voting him most likely to succeed. Which is what makes him scary/dangerous.
I still feel sorry for Leather. Granted, as of “Now” in your series (I view Interviewing Trey as the “Now” given that it’s the farthest forward of your various stories) she’s definitely a full on Supervillain and loving it. It would take something pretty big to get her to reconsider her life choices and go straight (I’m actually rather curious as to how she’ll react the first time she actually kills someone.) Her going to jail for a long time would, almost certainly, make everyone else’s lives better and safer. And I suppose I’m rooting for that.
That doesn’t mean I’m not sad about how crappy her life has been at times and that I don’t think she got a raw deal in several areas.
….Actually, I wanna revisit the notion of Leather killing someone. Dynamo Girl got out of being a hero because, when the rubber met the road and she reached her lowest point, she just….couldn’t handle being a hero. (well and there was possible brain damage).
I don’t care how careful Leather is. In her line of work, it’s nearly certain that someone is gonna die sooner or later. The Darkhood thing was really close. At some point, there’s gonna be a dead body and it’s going to be Leather’s fault. Yes, it’ll probably be an accident. And no, she might not be the direct cause. But it’ll still be because she had to go out and be a famous villain.
I feel like that’s where the rubber meets the road for a supervillain. Will she rationalize that like she does everything else, call a lawyer and press agent to spin it as “self defense” so her popularity doesn’t take a hit, and skip along her merry way? Will she realize that, somewhere along the way, she actually did stop caring about others, and start relaxing her no-kill policy?
Or…will she start to actually think about what she’s doing?
Anchor and the Jack aren’t easy to compare — they’re very different. It’s a lot easier to compare Anchor and, say, the Buzzard. Both are almost frighteningly sane (if one discounts sociopathy) and extremely clever, and are extremely dangerous.
Is Anchor more dangerous than the Jack? That’s a matter of debate. Certainly if Anchor succeeds in his goals that’s kind of just it for humanity. On the other hand? Who knows what the Jack’s goals are, or what they’ll mean? Besides the Jack himself, anyway. Is it possible the Jack’s plans are worse than the destruction of the human race?
‘Possible’ is a weird word where the Jack is involved.
You’re spot on that Anchor’s a planner. There are reasons he doesn’t burn bridges he doesn’t have to burn, after all. And as nice as Anchor can seem? He’s a first tier villain with an apocalyptic plan, and that’s none too nice.
Yeah, I’m aware that he is a bad guy…. but, well, if you haven’t been directly impacted by Anchor, if he’s just some guy you’ve seen on TV and then you meet him in person and he’s….affable…. I think you could be forgiven for mistaking him for one of the “nice” villains when he’s, ya know, NOT.
As for comparing Anchor and the Jack…. Well, Anchor wants to destroy humanity, so I really needed another genocidal madman to compare him with. And, well, I recently got to read your thing about the Dark Gods of Greystone and found out what the Jack got up to during the Apocalypse Agenda. Soooo…. I mean, his goal there was less ambitious than killing all of humanity, but it’s definitely enough dead people to get him into the “freaking scary” category (even if all the other things hadn’t).
That said, you have a point about comparing him with the Buzzard. But, the thing there is that, the Buzzard wants to rule the city, not destroy all humans. The Buzzard might murder a bunch of people to make a point, but he’s not going to flood the city. So, when you’re looking at “how frighting is it if this person actually succeeds at one of their big plans?” I do think it’s fair to compare Anchor and the Jack.
All of which are fair conclusions, so don’t take this as debate — but you said something that made me think a bit:
It’s certainly and irrefutably true that Anchor’s a genocidal villain and almost by definition he’s one of the Jack’s peers. (There’s a reason Malie was there in Interviewing Trey representing Anchor as an investor in Dispater’s Pit, after all.) But… is he a madman?
I’m not pondering whether or not Anchor has a point. I’m firmly anti-genocide and anti-destruction-of-the-human-race, thank you very much. But is he insane? By your standards or mine, unquestionably, but do those standards apply?
For that matter, ‘madman’ implies ‘man,’ meaning (in this case) human.
Anchor is not human. Anchor is a bioengineered amphibious life form meant to carry the benefits of sapience and human understanding but be capable of living in almost any terrestrial biome comfortably and in close harmony with nature.
Is it insane for Anchor — in rapport with the ecosystem in ways human beings can’t understand — to see humanity as destructive and invasive? Is it insane for Anchor to act in what he sees as the best interest of his own potential race and countless other species of flora and fauna, even if one species needs to be eradicated as a result? Should Anchor prioritize humanity over the dolphins or whales? Why?
Again — I see Anchor’s plans as evil and horrifying. But is he a madman, given that he’s not human?
What about Malie the Destroyer? She’s fully sentient but she’s a shark. No matter how many human perspectives she absorbs through her digestive tract, she’s ultimately a super-powered tiger shark. How does morality apply? How about ethics? Or, for that matter, sanity?
I don’t know the answers, mind. But the questions can be fascinating.
You make a pretty good point here actually. Anchor has a point about how terrible humans are, how much we’ve screwed up the world, and, if he can actually feel that? Yeah…I really think trying to kill all humans is a sane and logical response, for someone who isn’t human.
That said, I certainly don’t agree with his method for getting humans to stop screwing up the planet, because yeah, horrible and terrifying.
Though….now I’m actually wondering. Was there ever a time when Anchor considered working with various environmental groups to try to fix the stuff we’ve done to the biosphere or did he just jump directly to genocide at the beginning?
(Also, I could imagine the right group of parahumans might be able to do things that would help reverse, say, ocean acidification, help bring back the forests, and so on. Anchor would probably dismiss that sort of thing by noting that it’s not sustainable and “magically making everything better” doesn’t encourage humans to change, so all you’re doing is pushing the problem down the road 50 years. Better to fucking solve the core problem now, right? )
It’s absolutely a possibility. It is worth noting the near-miss with Darkhood spooked Leather. Did that make it a teachable moment? Mm. Stay tuned. Among other things, the Defining Leather stories (what was Debriefing Leather, Diverged in a Wood, Invitational, and some other stuff) is definitely going to touch on what happened with Darkhood and what that means moving forward. Especially when we consider the other side — obviously you’re looking at this from Leather-as-villain and the risks she takes, and that’s probably the best thing to focus on. Other criminals, on the other hand, might have a different take on her code against killing and her moonlighting as Dynamo Girl that one night.
The crimes Tabby was (unfairly) accused of ultimately had their charges dismissed due to lack of evidence or had an entire case thrown out when it became clear that the ‘evidence’ was manufactured (because Zephyr walked into the courtroom with the stolen goods and confessed, with the Silver Horseman hot on her heels). It’s also worth noting that as of “The Kitten House Rules,” that all took place decades before (Tabby and Zeph moved out of Santa Domingo and to Empire City, then hopped over to Grantham, then founded the Cheshire Kittens and got Cozy as their manager, then got signed, then put out two albums — including Transparent — and then the Apocalypse Agenda happened. Around the era of Interviewing Trey I can literally account for at least sixteen and possibly as many as twenty-four years, and that doesn’t actually cover the full spread.
What’s my point? Just this — the sorts of crimes Tabby was being accused of would have statutes of limitations which had long since run out. Tabby is not currently a suspect or person of interest in any crime in Santa Domingo. Or anywhere else that I know of. Cozy discussed lawsuit options with Tabby, but Tabby didn’t see the point at the time and certainly doesn’t see the point now — but if any (retired) police officer tries to, say, publish a memoir dragging up any of the spurious charges? Cozy is ready to drop eight thousand tons of bricks with the word ‘libel’ written on them on said officer’s head.
(It’s also worth noting? Having a rap sheet — even one that’s actually clean since Tabby has no convictions on her record — isn’t exactly a disadvantage to a countercultural icon and activist.)
Granted, granted. However…. if the police are saying “Tabby did it, but we can’t prove it” then they’re not actually bothering to figure out who really did it. And, ok, yes, if it’s all fairly minor larceny charges, there’s probably not much point in digging it all back up.
But….I dunno. I suppose…. Some part of me wants her to be proven innocent of everything and actually get to be “innocent” instead of “got away with a technicality.”
However, that’s what would make me feel better, watching this from the outside. It’s a nice “TV” ending, where everyone gets a teachable moment about prejudice, but we don’t have to live with the details, like Tabby already did. Forcing someone with social anxiety into something like that would not be helpful to anyone, not really.
Good to know Cozy has the libel suit ready though.