His Name

Dear Reader,

Now that you finally know her name, I guess I should tell you his name too. There isn’t a “real” origin story for this name, at least nothing like Jing’s. But after much thought, I have decided to call him Victor, after Dr. Victor Frankenstein from Mary Shelley’s famous novel. Even if you haven’t read Frankenstein, I’m sure you know the general gist of the story–it is a tale about a young, hopeful university student who possesses a strong aptitude for the sciences, and chemistry in particular. He becomes obsessed with studying outdated theories on alchemy and natural philosophy, and somehow happens upon an extraordinary discovery that grants him the ability to give life to nonliving matter. That is how the monster–the creature we often mistakenly call Frankenstein–came to be.

As you have probably noticed, there are many resonances between the Victor of my story and that of Shelley’s Frankenstein. They are both driven, intelligent men who are captivated by the possibility of doing the impossible. And, more importantly, they succeed.

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Her Name

Dear Reader,

You might be wondering why I have’t given any of my characters names. Trust me, it isn’t because I want them to remain mysterious. I just have a hard time coming up with names because I want them to mean something, but I know it’s getting to that point in the story when I have to crack down and start making hard choices. Otherwise, I won’t be able to tell you about anyone besides “he” and “she,” and things will get confusing pretty fast.

I have thought long and hard about what to call her, but for you to understand how I came up with her name, I need to backtrack a bit. So forget for now what you’ve read about the interrogations and their decision to bring her to the academy. Instead, I want you to imagine her as a child, about five or six years old when he first found her. This moment occurs shortly after he discovers that she is different from the other children; it is the first time he takes her outside of the lab and gives her a glimpse of his home.

You can imagine her eyes taking in the lavish surroundings, the ornate patterns on the carpet, the beautiful paintings on the walls, the delicate sculptures and figurines decorating the shelves and tables, and the rows and rows of books. She didn’t know it at the time, but she was in his personal library. He had set out a pot of tea and a plate of cookies on the table, but when he prepared a serving for her, she just sat there immobile on the plush sofa, her hands clenched in her lap. She didn’t understand what this kindness meant.

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Characters, World Building


Dear Reader,

I told you here  that she was going to be freed, but that was probably a bit misleading. What I meant was that they decided to release her from the prison after their tests and interrogations proved that she did not pose an immediate threat. Her power was indeed still a mystery, but they reasoned that it didn’t justify keeping her locked up like a criminal, deprived of even the most basic comforts. After all, she was one of them. A gifted girl who had endured unimaginable suffering, ripped from the very community that should have been her birth right.

The real question was where to take her now, especially when she had no memory of a family or connections to speak of. They knew that a relentless investigation would have to be conducted to discover who she was and why her parents (obviously gifted persons) felt the need to hide her away. But all of those preparations would have to be made in due time. For now, they needed to find a solution, if only a temporary one.

Continue reading “Rumors”


The Interrogations

Dear Reader,

I left off here with the interrogations. If you remember, they brought her to a heavily reinforced prison intended for gifted criminals. After their tests revealed nothing, at least nothing their scientists could understand, they had no choice but to bring in their best interrogators- gifted persons with the ability to tell immediately if someone was speaking the truth (or not)- better than any lie detector.

They began with the expected questions: Who are you? Where did you come from? Who are your parents? How do you possess such powers? …Where have you been all this time? 

She responded to their questions with the truth, just like he had told her to. Anything less and they would have seen right through her. When he first spoke to her about his plans, there was one important lesson he told her she must learn: that the truth is flexible. “If you believe–truly believe–what you are saying, then they will believe you too.” His words ran through her mind as she answered their questions. One by one. With the truth.

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Her Gift

Dear Reader,

I told you here about her gift, the special power of generation that he gave her. The next step of their plan was to devise a way to introduce her to the world. He wanted it to be a sensation- something that would cause an uproar in the gifted community, something worthy of the years of research and testing he put into making her: this perfect specimen of a being more gifted than any others that have come before.

They knew that for their plan to work that she could not disclose her relationship to him. The gifted community could never know of his role in this plot; they had to believe that she was one of them- a person who was born with these gifts. Only after gaining their trust, could she begin the slow work of unraveling their secrets.

In the end, they decided that the most poetic way to stage her initiation into the world of the gifted was to return to the beginning, to the streets where he had found her…

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