Date: 16 Sep 2013 19:06 Title: The High Cost of Dissidence
Now I'm very very depressed and sad. Thanks for that. Uggh...and a picture. Very very very depressed and sad.
What a completely hopeless life you present us with in the MU. The things we take for granted as rights today are the very things the empire would limit or downright deny, and you presented it wonderfully (if I can even use that word in this context). Hate hate hate that they had to round the family up when Lilli came home (was it from school or a visit someplace else?) - maybe she would have been spared and raised someplace better if it hadn't happened that way. Or she would have grown up in an orphanage and...yeah...all the miserable horrors her parents were fearing for her would have come true.
That one final act of defiance against the empire though...I'm seeing a very large trend in a lot of you MU writers. We like to try and hold on to what makes US in our universe good, and show people in the MU trying desperately to hold on to those same ideals. Even in this hopeless situation, they went out together, and didn't give the executioner his satisfaction.
But an incredibly hopeless place to live in, if death is better than "living."
I am here to depress you.
No, wait, that didn't come out right.
I think the MU isn't much better than Nazi Germany. I see it as a place where the lower classes will often get this sort of a knock on the door. Or they might report someone like this. Or they might be the ones to do the knocking.
That kind of intimidation is how and why a totalitarian regime can stay in business, as it were.
Charlotte (Lili's counterpart, of course) is home from boarding school. Much like Doug in Paving Stones, she's being schooled apart from her family. Unlike him, though, she also takes the big test but she scores as artistic. I write artists as being elites in the MU (along with politicians and physicians and a few other small groups), so she could have had a very good life if her father had kept his mouth shut. But what Pete did is so small, and the punishment so large, that he and Marie Helêne know that they'll never see him again.
And of course the final, desperate act of defiance.
I had written this fic because I established a long time ago that the prime universe Lili loses her parents to a house fire at age 9 (same day), and I got to wondering about how the comparable act had occurred in the MU, and decided it would be interesting to explore it as a political act.
Thank you for reading.
Date: 20 Aug 2013 22:49 Title: The High Cost of Dissidence
Wow, that was chilling. I think you may have missed a fairly prime opportunity to spend a moment on the raw emotion of it, though. Intellectually, I feel for them. Emotionally, though, the final choice and the final goodbye read almost dry. You were hitting good notes with the fair, but the picture at the end resonated almost more than the words. Try to really get into the hearts and skulls, if you could? This living thing is messy and it does absolutely give us those moments of slow-time, where frenetic energy pauses and we can think a million things in the space of a heartbeat that feels more like a lifetime.
There are definitely missed opportunities in the series. Charlotte only gets this as screen time, same with her folks. Her father is no dissident; he's just some guy who says the wrong thing. And then it all goes downhill, fast, fast, fast. That knock on the door - that's the thing I find most personally terrifying.