There are three characters in my published novel, Beneath The Surface, that help the main protagonist, Maria, achieve her goal – preventing the takeover of the human race. In this series of posts I have been exploring the possibility of a sequel (which could possibly seen as a prequel, due to the perils of writing a book that involves time travel), further exploring the lives of these characters before the takeover. In this 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.
Golden is the last of the three original characters to be discussed. In Beneath The Surface, he is clearly the cynic of the group, complementing the personalities of the other two men that make up their trio; the three men that came together after the takeover and who try and keep the memories of the past alive for those who never experienced it. When I started to think about Golden’s early life, I wanted it to be made clear why such a dry and cynical man would want to do this. In Beneath The Surface, Maria/Rox’s description of Golden is as follows:
“That’s Golden. On earth, people called him Harry. He was 24 when the human race underwent the change, and he worked as a lawyer. Someone who dealt with criminals. He was from Scotland. He admits that being a lawyer was a tough job, even though he had only really just started. He says you have to have a strong personality to be able to be one, and he definitely has that. He can be very forceful when he wants to be, and we argue a lot. But we always make up quickly. “
I have an image in my mind of a young man who was always quite spolied. From a wealthy family, I imagine a boy growing up in a male orientated environment, doted on by his father, at the expense of his female siblings. So although Harry might grow up to be brash, a womanizer, and focused on little else other than earning money no matter what the moral cost, when it comes down to it, his goals have always been his father’s goals, not his own.
After a lifetime of flattery and privilege, a man like this would undoubtedly find it difficult, even during a time of social crisis, to give up everything he’d worked for. So I envisage Golden, a man used to getting whatever he wants out of life, determined to keep it that way, even after the collapse of society. He simply needs to find another way. And it is this other way that he ultimately becomes ashamed of, leading to his future desire to help Maria. So although he seems cynical and argumentative, it is merely because, even after so many years, he is finding it difficult to atone for some of the things he has done.
“It was obvious, really. The General had power. He knew exactly what was going on. Harry had spent weeks reading and listening to everything he possibly could about the man and his operation, and after a while he knew there was only one option left. Harry needed to go to the source.
Information was sketchy. The General was reported to be in either central Spain or eastern Germany, where the two alien pod sites in Europe were located. Harry liked having options, but he also knew the journey could take weeks. But what else was he going to do? Sit in his fancy apartment in London, all alone, surrounded by his now worthless posesssions, waiting for the anarchy of the streets to come to him, eating tinned food and pot noodles and hope he didnt starve to death, hope one day order would be restored so life could go on exactly as it had done before, all the while posessing the supernatural powers of a hybrid and using them for nothing more than kicking holes in the wall out of sheer boredom?
The General alone knew how powerful hybrids could be. He would have a plan. Harry kept this thought in his head as he travelled across the continent, sitting on trains and buses, standing in long queues of desperate people, sleeping in stations and dirty abandoned hotels, watching he world s0around him slip further and furher into chaos. The General would know what to do next. And Harry intended to help him do it.”