This series of posts is a chance for me to explore the possibilities of a sequel (which could possibly seen as a prequel, due to the perils of writing a book that involves time travel), to my published novel, Beneath The Surface. In Beneath The Surface, there are three characters who help the main protagonist, Maria, to achieve her goal – preventing the takeover of the human race. In the follow up, I would like to explore the backgrounds of these three characters, telling their “story that never was,” in a sense (again, the perils of time travel), the story of the takeover that wasn’t explored in Beneath The Surface. But to this I also want to add some new characters; people whose lives were also affected by the takeover, albeit in different ways. People who are all connected, whether they know it or not.
The first of these new characters I have already discussed – Lance, a soldier working for General Randall, the man who orchestrated the takeover. The other three original characters, two of whom I have also already discussed, are also male and aged between 20-50. So my thoughts about the next new character were firstly that the story needed something completely different. And so I introduced Bethan – an 8 year old girl living with her father in Sydney, Australia. She, unlike the older characters, will have a completely alternative experience. General Randall arranges the coming to pass of a genetic alteration to human DNA, changing everyone on the planet into an alien hybrid, and for young children, the changes that take place are even more pronounced. So for an average, healthy 8 year old like Bethan, a normal girl who goes to school and has friends and loves her ballet lessons, it will be difficult to understand why the whole world is changing. Why her own self is changing. For an adult to understand this would be difficult enough.
But, as Bethan changes and grows and becomes an adult well before her time, she starts to see just how much she has lost. With the help of her friends, she decides to fight back in the only way she knows how – she develops Progress Civilisation, a website where like minded people can gather, share their stories, share information, and vent their frustrations. Progress Civilisation grows into something even Bethan could never have imagined, gaining global attention, and connecting her to people across the globe who want the same thing she wants – a voice.
“I can vaguely remember how my life used to be. I used to be 8 years old. I used to go to school. My friend Samantha and I used to go to ballet lessons. I used to dream about going to Rome and visiting my pen pal. I wanted to be a ballet dancer or a vet when I grew up. I used to have a lot of dreams like that. I used to be Bethan Connors.
I think now about the girl I might have grown into. I think about the freedoms we have lost, the freedoms we never even knew we had. Back then, as a child, there was no right or wrong, not of any real consequence. No problems to solve, nothing that could ever change things – as a child, you think things will stay the same forever. Becoming an adult virtually overnight, waiting for my young body to catch up, gives you a certain perspective on life, on reality. And so Progress Civilisation was born.
You might be thinking this is just another rebel group, like all the rest, promoting resistance and uprising and violent rebellion. But we are different. We believe in the right for people to express their feelings about this man who gambled all of our lives on a knife point. We know in our hearts that we can never go back. So we believe in progress, and in overcoming the many obstacles that stand in our way.”