Trust those two not to cooperate! Sevi and Va’el, both awkward go-my-own-way characters, showed great promise of almighty clash if I would only put them together – being total opposites in demeanor and control – and what happens? They’ve worked it out, the sods! They’ve come to an amicable agreement!
When Sevi came along and joined the well-established team in the first book in the Khekarian series, The Khekarian Threat, she promptly caused me a lot of trouble, all to do with her professionalism. Quite frankly, she wouldn’t show anything less than absolute control over herself and her situation.
Any soldier striving for the ranks of the professional elite have to show more than a talent for fighting and a high level of intelligence. Their demeanor is important, too. They have to have a high level of self-control, a calm outlook. Anyone likely to fly off the handle would prove a liability to the mission and to the team around them. They simply don’t make the ranks.
So, here was Sevi, cool, calm, intelligent, quiet, yet very capable of being very deadly. But how was I to show her potential to be deadly to my readers? Well, the obvious solution was to have someone step out of line and have her cold-bloodedly take them down or take them out. Sounds easy, right? A nice juicy bit of action someplace. Wrong! Every time I tried it, she ended up wanting to kill everybody. Not because she went out of control, quite the opposite. Her mission was to look after Sturn, an exiled Khekarian prince. Any aggression shown by any member of the team would bring the whole team into question. It made sense!
In that situation, Sevi could either try and keep an eye on everyone, or she could deal with the problem before it developed. Guess what she would do. Right!
The problem was solved by taking it elsewhere, but I won’t spoil anything for those who haven’t read the book. I will say it was good fun and turned out to be one of the highlights of the story. Sevi proved to be fantastic.
In the second book in the series, The King’s Sacrifice, along came Va’el, ten years old, Sturn’s son, born after his father was kicked out of the Khekarian Empire. He has, to put it mildly, issues. He’s loud, spoilt, obnoxious and has absolutely no control whatsoever. He also has a quick and vile temper and is not adverse to physically hitting out at anyone who displeases him.
He wants the throne. As a bastard son of a bastard prince, he’s not likely to get it, so he has to prove himself worthy in the eyes of his father and he is desperate to excel at all things, even if it means bullying, shouting, demanding and generally causing havoc.
So…. A delicious proposition, then, to put these two characters together. Sevi with her icy control deadliness and Va’el with his boisterous lack of control, anger and bullying. How far out of line would he have to step before she lost control?
I thought I could have some fun. But Sevi? Lose control? Not possible. I thought it tempting to see how far he can push before she decides to drop him on his head. But wait! She’s not allowed to – Va’el is Sturn’s son. He might inherit the throne, he might not. She’s not allowed to kill him or rough him up, even a little bit, and this isn’t the sort of boy you can put in a corner under Time Out.
Even that should be fun, right? I thought so, too.
They spend time together in the third book, The Bastard Line (currently a work in progress), and things might get interesting there (for me, too, I mean). So far, they hate each other to be sure, but they’ve both put space around themselves so they can be in the same room together without either one of them losing control and trying to disembowel the other. Damn it!
That wasn’t at all what I intended… but both of these characters have so far gone their own way and they shine for it, so together going their own way ought to lead to something special. Even though they’re not giving the big clash-wallop I was expecting, I do think they have some surprises in store. I’m willing to run with them and find out.
Happy writing, everybody!