Here is the third interview in a series of character interviews from my August novel, Fathoming Egression. We have interviewed two side characters already: Theo (David) and Captain Victor the Coat-peg. Now it’s time for the one and only villain I have ever created to be introduced to the world. His name is Egress, and he wants to rule the world. Great start, right? Time for the interview.
- What is his occupation? He is one of the five rulers of Vorse. Invincible, he can only die from natural causes– no malicious intent allowed. A perk of his job is getting energy from the vast supplies that Vorse sucks in from its living and moving occupants; instead of having energy taken from him, he receives it, giving him a longer endurance, faster movement, and longer life.
- What are his obsessions? Would it be overkill to say “world domination”? As a ruler of Vorse, he has sworn to keep the human race safe from mass suicide, such as killing each other over the right to say nasty things about their respective mothers, or all migrating into the far reaches of inhospitable outer space. But he takes this to a new height: in his mind, the only way to keep humans from getting themselves killed is to repress them. He wants to enclose the Earth in a way that no one would have the desire to explore anything, and thus would never go into dangerous places. Trash couldn’t be dumped into outer space, and radioactivity would never really disperse– thereby reducing pollution of the globe and wanton nuclear demonstrations. It would take humans a few years to get used to the fact that anything they do affects everyone, but they’d get used to it. He is working for a good cause, but the only way he can think to do it is to rule the world with an iron fist.
- What is his dream? It should be obvious by now: a world so completely cut off from anything harmful that the humans couldn’t kill themselves if they tried. He wants to put the world in a straight-jacket and a padded cell, with himself as the overseer of the asylum. He dreams of a place where he doesn’t have to wait for his fellow rulers to vote on something he knows– or thinks he knows– the world needs. He wants control.
- Mental conditions? Does megalomania count? All of these questions just serve to emphasize the fact that he wants the power to save the Earth. He’s blind to any other alternatives.
- What is he good at? Dressing well. He loves his suits. His correspondent from Earth imports them to Vorse, specifically tailored to measurements he sends. He is also a brilliant plotter, though not very flexible. He has the ability to harden air, letting him walk on it, construct a barrier from it or even use it as extensions of his arms.
- What is he bad at? Change. He wants one period of change, in which everything goes to a place that won’t have to change ever again. His plan to get to that period of change is entirely inflexible, he being almost unable to change plans. Almost. When the change is too great, he will change with it.
- Where is he from? As with most in Vorse, he has no idea. He woke up one day underwater when he was about twenty, swam to the surface after a moment of confusion, and began a life in Vorse, starting when he was pulled aboard a schooner called the Silver Spike. He traveled around the islands for a time on the Spike, but eventually traveled inland on one of the islands toward the temporary location of the five rulers. He became the aide to one of them after being a secretary for a time, then eventually succeeded that ruler. The only reason he moved up so quickly was because he had woken up under water– water which would be poisonous to drink and painful to touch, but which had qualities that gave him powers that no other Vorsian had. The ability to harden air, for example. All of the rulers of Vorse have had powers like these, having each bathed in the waters at one point in their lives.
- What is his biggest accomplishment? According to him, it would be perfecting the idea of inverting the Earth. Of course, since it never came to fruition he can’t brag much more than that. He also once saved the Vorsian isles from catastrophe, when a large earthquake shook Vorse from end to end. With his air powers he was able to construct a makeshift suspension system and shield that kept the islands from flooding or breaking apart during the quake. Shock waves still traverse Vorse, causing the semi-yearly shifting of the islands as they pass.
- What is his age? He arrived in Vorse approximately fifty years after Victor became a coat-peg, and became a ruler slightly more than twenty years after that. With the energy he receives from Vorse, he is able to keep himself looking young, about 35. He is centuries old, but doesn’t look it in the least.
- What does he love? He loves words. Persuasive words. He is fascinated by crowd control and people-manipulation, and has tried his utmost to learn these skills. He also is partial to a good gubfish once in a while– charred, to take the sickly green color of the flesh away.
I realize that I’ve been using the same questions for each character so far, but I think they’re good questions, so I’ll stick with them. Next is either Fathom or Rowena. Probably Rowena, since I don’t have a clue what Fathom’s correspondent’s name will be…