So I’ve been racking my brain, trying to figure out how I can show you all what I’ve been up to since the release of Fiction Junction, and I’ve basically settled on previews. I toss out some artwork and passages from the work-in-progress, talk about the concepts, themes, and intentions, and essentially give you a peek at what’s to come. So, without further ado (or adon’t), here’s your first look into Situation 0 -Amor Fati-…
“The War” was always looming
I was never really good at making big decisions…
I thought that by joining the military, I’d finally made a good one. Truth be told, the only reason I did it was because I was tired of always having to think for myself, having to make choices and end up making mistakes, making the wrong choice; suffering the consequences of silly little decisions. I was tired of feeling like every step I took was just one more towards me disappointing myself or someone else. I figured that if I joined the military, I’d be giving someone else control of my life, making decisions for me. Taking orders from people who were good at giving them seemed to work for a lot of people. They’d be able to tell me what I’m good at, tell me where to go, and how I could excel. So I joined up, and found myself shipped off to a world embroiled by the flames of war.
The Meridian Engangement had already been going on for countless years. A harbor full of sunken ships sparks an international incident, and suddenly everyone is taking sides and getting themselves all geared up. Situations had reached critical points and the war could have been won by anyone, and both sides spent their time trying to tip those scales back in their favor. It was an endlessly teetering chess board, pieces sliding around, gaining and losing spaces. The Allies of the Western world clashed against the Axis forces of the East, perpetually locked in what seemed to many an endless waltz of mayhem. Almagest was this giant conglomerate that originally supplied the Allies, but they were somehow able to start a massive Private Military Company several years ago, the Almagest Regular Army. Aside from bolstering the Allies’ ranks, the ARA soldiers were fortunate enough to use top-of-the-line and sometimes experimental gear, which was then later on sold for use to the Allied forces as a whole.
I grew up knowing “the War” was always looming somewhere. My father was a journalist, and had always been privy to information from the frontlines, which he used to move us around constantly, keeping us out of the war’s path. We ended up down in Australis, with the Ozzies. I had enlisted with the Almagest Regular Army at sixteen to find guidance in life, to find a sense of worth to count against the mistakes I had made in the past. Thinking back on it, I guess my leaving for the military really was a slap in the face to my father, who spent the better part of my life making sure I was far away from the war. Some daughter I am.
I was never really good at making big decisions…
Karamia’s Battle Log–Prior to her drop into the Hell’s Traverse
Situation 0 (hereafter Sit-0) follows the military career of Karamia Westburn, a young woman who, as you can see above, is thrust into a world war. During her time as a member of the Almagest Regular Army, she’ll come to terms with how brutal and chaotic war is on the body and mind, she’ll befriend and grieve for those she serves alongside, and she’ll grow with the events she faces, but while she becomes battle-hardened, tempered through the fires of war, will her heart remain soft?
This plays into the story’s subtitle, Amor Fati, which is a concept of accepting and embracing fate, and acknowledging everything encompassed therein, good and bad, is meant to forge you into someone greater.
Those of you who had gotten the chance to read through Fiction Junction should recognize the character of Karamia, as well as one of her exploits with a certain military force. That was only a small peek into the universe in which Karamia lives, and through Sit-0 you’ll learn all about her tribulations. In this entry, “the War” is a main component of the setting, and it will have Karamia taken to many places, and encountering different people and diverse circumstances. Maybe an unwanted secret or two might be revealed in the process, and Karamia will soldier on with what she learns weighing on her mind.
Who is this soldier? Who is Karamia Westburn?
Karamia is a young woman who always felt that her life was a series of disappointments due to her poor decision-making skills. It’s not that her decisions have caused lots of trouble or gotten people hurt, she just felt that the world was always a bit more complex than she could comprehend, and she would make “uneducated” guesses as a result. She often regretted things upon hindsight. Although only an average student, Karamia felt school was perfect for her, as she was simply told what to do and learn. Unfortunately, it dawned on her that she would soon have to choose what to do beyond high school, and because the War was constantly in the news, she figured maybe the military might be a decent next step. Whether this was a decision made in panic is a matter yet to be seen.
By no means is Karamia subservient, however, as she can very much think for herself. It’s more that she’s just apprehensive so often worrying about the outcome, that she’d rather have someone else expedite the decision for her.
Karamia is also an accomplished writer, having loved to put pen to paper and just unload her thoughts and feelings onto a page. Keeping any manner of journal to get down what was on her mind and how her day was going became a past-time to her. It also transferred well into her relationships, as it extended to a love of emailing those she knows to keep in contact with them. Because of how her father moved their family around so much, Karamia has a somewhat stunted set of social skills, where she feels an almost immediate connection with those she meets, or who acknowledge her, in turn regarding them as a friend whom she should keep in contact with. On the opposite end of that spectrum however, those who unduly cross her are met with disdain, oftentimes with little chance for reconciliation. Although, this doesn’t mean that she can’t admit fault when it is pointed out by others.
In creating a character like Karamia, I wanted to make one who could be strong, and independent, but whose flaws undermine those very concepts at times. Since Karamia views the world as a series of complex equations, difficult to solve, I wanted to convey a sense of curiosity in her without making her seem like a simpleton. She understands generally how things work, as anyone does, but can get caught up in the minutia of certain things. Karamia is the type of person who would look at the oddities and idiocies of the world and be compelled to ask, “Why?” Karamia has somewhat strong convictions, although they are sometimes subverted by her curiosity and retrospection, which cause her to worry whether she is following a proper path – which plays back into her apprehensive nature and willingness to let others “set the course” sometimes.
So far the biggest challenge in the character of Karamia is balancing out her strongest points, but not denying those points in order to shoehorn turmoil into her in order to make it all interesting. I wanted her to be strong and independent, but not the generic “tough as nails” female archetype who feels it’s a show of weakness to accept help from others. At the same time, the last thing I want to do is turn her into some “wounded little girl” underneath the warrior persona that would make her an admirable character to begin with. I don’t want her to be a coin with two different, opposite-themed sides, because it seems cheap to simply “flip” her when the narrative calls for something dramatic. She needs to be more like a d20, with many subtle sides (modifiers notwithstanding).
Plenty of other characters will be met as the third-person narrative follows Karamia, and we’ll see how she feels about those people, and the events unfolding around her.
Check back in a few weeks to see another sneak peek of Situation 0 -Amor Fati-, where we’ll take a deeper look into the stage that this play of war and chaos unfolds on!