Hey guys, this is my first literature-based post on the blog. I’m formulating a plot for a short story I’ll be writing, and I want to get input. So instead of comments being welcome, they’re all but required this time! Please let me know what you think!
Before I get into the plot of the story, I need to let you understand my frame of mind and what I want to present within this story. The other day I was thinking about firearms and ethics, one of my favorite cross-topics. I was thinking about how having a gun increases your power to the point that in most cases, anyone without a gun is helpless to stop you from doing as you please. I was considering the fact that this can be a good thing, or a bad thing.
Usually people consider it to be a bad thing. That’s their knee-jerk reflex. It makes sense, on some level. Most people consider that in a large group of people, the majority of them will be good. I would contest that, but I will concede that while the majority of them may not be good, the overwhelming majority of them will at least be bystanders, or not directly evil. The important part here is that in any given room with a normal sample of the population, the majority of the people in there will not wish any harm upon the others in the room. Therefore, if the one person in the room with a gun is a bad person, that is an evil person exerting his evil will upon the rest of the people, who are at worst innocent of any mortal crime. This is obviously a bad thing.
That element of power being focused in one person can be a good thing too, though. While it is true that an evil man with a large amount of power can impose his will upon a large number of innocents with little or no fear of reprisal, the same can be said of a good man imposing his will upon a large number of evil ones. Usually the argument for having firearms, or–we shall crystallize this concept to its core–any concentrated power in the hands of one man, is that it levels the playing field against evil men, and allows the good man to fight against him on even ground.
That is not the concept I want to explore. In this story, I want to explore the ethical, emotional and logical ramifications of a single man with unusual power using it to impose good upon an evil and unwilling populace who lacks the power to stop him. Is it right? Can the populace determine what is right for themselves? Do they have a right to expel the good man? If they could, would that be right? Would it be right for our hero not to act, to leave them to their evil, whatever it may be?
The thing I love most about Fantasy is that it allows the author to crystallize concepts that are simply not capable of existing within the real world in their purest forms. It lets us remove complicating factors and paint in vivid color the question of “What if?” It allows us to attack moral, ethical, logical and philosophical questions from angles previously unconsidered.
In this case, I have crystallized the concept of one man possessing an irresistible power within Paul Alturis. Anyone who has read my previous works featuring him (“A Shield Against the Darkness” and “A Blade Against the Wicked”) know that Paul is a man with strong moral convictions and a way of bringing out the hero within people around him. This will be the story of how he came to be who he is.
Paul was born with a very special quality. He sucks the anima from the air around him and from everything he touches. In this universe, anima is the energy particle present in every living creature that facilitates the use of magic. In practice, this makes it impossible to cast spells around Paul, and any magic item or ward loses its potency at Paul’s touch or prolonged presence. The absorbed anima is then assimilated into his body, making him stronger, faster and tougher than any unenhanced being by far. He is thus completely unstoppable to any magic user, and a great threat to any mundane enemy who wishes to do him harm. This magic-draining aura makes him an outcast from most human societies, which are highly dependent upon anima-based technology and spells. People fear him, as any of the weak are prone to fear those they cannot control and do not understand.
In this story, Paul comes upon a village that he quickly discovers is not what it seems. The inhabitants are facilitating a dark ritual that grants them unusual longevity and prosperity. Paul is presented with a choice: Does he leave them to their depravity and move on, or will he use his special power to force his own idea of good and right upon an entire village of unwilling people, possibly destroying their livelihood in the process?
Ah, and the tentative title: “Unstoppable”