World Building – Landscapes

Can a novel be inspired by landscapes? Usually, a story is derived from either plot or character. Locations mostly come into play when the story is specifically about them. Climbing Mount Everest or the siege of the Alamo, to name just a few, have specific locales as their driving force.

If you look at the picture below, can’t you just taste and smell and see the possibilities for a story? Who are the people who live there? What is a day like in this world? How deep do those buildings go into the ground? How did those cracks appear?

In my early twenties, I was introduced to a German painter named Hans Werner Sahm (if you google his name and click on “Images,” you can see most of his paintings.) His landscapes spoke to me on a very deep and personal level. It was as if the scenes stirred some ancient memory within me.

When I started my first novel, a fable called The Three Feathers, I had not thought about the paintings for a few years. But the subconscious is a fascinating thing and when I began drawing a map of the world that opened up before me, the images came back. Thanks to the internet, I suddenly had all of them at my fingertips.

From that point on, roughly around chapter 6 in the book, the plot was mostly motivated by the landscapes in the paintings. And because they somehow stir up stuff from the subconscious, the story that appeared also felt as if it rose from deep down somewhere. I was soon swept away in it.

Take the above image, for example. It became the inspiration for the Porte Des Lioness, an ancient gate into the mountain, the heroes had to find. From that scene a character appeared. His name is Broga, he’s a peeper frog who, despite his size, was the mighty guardian of the gate – the only one who could open it. This is a major plot point in the story and one that, without that image, would not have been there.

Once inside the mountain, another image served as the foundation for a good third of the story all the way to its fantastical climax: An ancient abandoned mining town deep underground. The light source never changed; the pillars were, as the legend states, carved by dragons.

I believe that for every writer there are triggers fueling the stories from a well beyond the rational mind. We all have different means to fuel our imagination. Landscapes is just one of them.  For me images like this one open the door to those hidden chambers inside – the ones where the stories come from.

 

Cheers,

Stefan

Through Darkness to Light – Writing the Hero's Journey

I see a massive pendulum suspended high above an ancient, vast landscape. One side of the image is bathed in light, the other lies in darkness. The pendulum swings from the darkness to the light and back in the opposite direction.

When we meet our hero, a young warrior, she is about to step onto the pendulum. At that moment it has swung from the light toward the darkness and is now half way across and closest to the ground, in the place where light and darkness meet in eternal twilight.

She looks back briefly, toward the light, and then turns to face the darkness ahead.

The pendulum will bring her into the depth of it and to a place where no light can ever enter. She must pass through this and reach the tipping point, the moment of suspended stillness where, for one single instant, it hovers in the place where there is nothing but the dark. From there her head turns and she can see, far in the distance, the light as it increases, slowly but with absolute certainty.

A lot of stories, I believe, entail that very same journey.

We meet the hero in the twilight, the space between darkness and light that is neither here nor there, where there is no real happiness but also only a relatively small amount of pain. From that point, we accompany her into the darkness and through it to the light at the end. And we don’t do that just once. We don’t just read one story. We read dozens, hundreds, thousands even.

Why is that?

I think it is ultimately our own story we are reading each time we open a book. We are not completely filled with joy (a.k.a. the light side), neither are we so depressed that we can’t even pick up a book (the darkness). We are, usually and in general, somewhere in between. The reason we jump onto the pendulum is that this state of twilight is no longer able to sustain us. We spend most of our lives in a no-mans-land. We know we need to change something but we also know that, in order to get to the light, we must first conquer the darkness.

In the metaphor of the pendulum, there is, for me, a moment where we could step off, where we realize we don’t need to be on this journey anymore. But the only place where we can do this is at the tipping point of the light side. That is the place where we are the closest to our true identity. At any other spot on the long journey, we are strangers in a strange land. We cannot stand the darkness and are, at the same time, fully accustomed to the twilight. And yet, something seems to call us home and into the light. That voice is small but persistent, like a steady feeling of dread, a longing we cannot explain, that pushes us to do something, anything,

to get back to where we came from.

We know we ultimately can’t stay in the twilight. We have to step onto the pendulum one day. That will be the day when our own hero’s journey begins.

 

Cheers,

Stefan

 

Stefan is an author living and working in New Paltz, New York. Check out his work here.

 

 

 

 

Purple Flowers – A Short Story

A while back I participated in a 1,000 word flash fiction contest with this story, over at the leighendarium. It reminded me of “Stand By Me” and a time in my childhood when my friends and I seemed to come up with a dare every single day. I hope you enjoy it. (Instead of reading it, you can also listen/watch it on youtube here).


Purple Flowers

 There were three of us. Kelly Myers, Jonah Appelbaum, and myself. Every day after school, we’d ride our bicycles down Louis Avenue, jumping the pot holes and screaming from the top of our lungs. We’d race each other on the steep part all the way down and across the train tracks into the Nature Sanctuary.

The park extends to the river, a downhill slope past a school of weeping willow trees, across the narrow stone bridge and through the barren meadow where small purple flowers would stick out from the hardened soil.

The challenge was to ride as fast as possible toward the edge — the spot where the steep cliff fell forty feet down into the water — and hit the breaks in the last possible moment. I lost each time, breaking too soon. Jonah usually came in second, leaving Kelly the winner with only a few feet of distance between his bike and the sharp edge.

We called it the line of no return. We had carved it out of the dirt and filled it with charcoal dust so it was visible against the sandy soil. It was a straight line parallel to the edge. To come to a safe stop, you had to have the brakes fully engaged before the line.

That day, Kelly hit the brakes when he was on top of the line, not before. When his front wheel crossed it and he still had not made any attempt to break, I knew he wouldn’t make it.

I was already at a standstill, the fine dust of the dried up dirt swirling around me, when he approached. I saw his face, the moment of panic when he realized he hit the brakes too late.

“Alex!” he cried out. Then he went over the edge. Actually, he let himself fall onto his side in an attempt to slow down his momentum. It probably did. But not enough.

I was frozen. He didn’t scream or anything. It was as if he simply left this world without saying goodbye. I remember thinking that he was a good swimmer, that he could probably make it to shore. But I knew that the fall would most likely kill him — the fall onto the large boulders that stick out of the water this time of year.

Our town is in a drought from May through August. During that time, the river loses four feet of its water. Sometimes five. Kelly could have survived in March. He could have survived in September. Not in June. Not today.

I heard the metallic clanking sound of the bike crashing onto the rocks below. I didn’t want to see him. I didn’t want to have the image of his broken body be the last thing I remember. Jonah, his face pale as the moon, was much more courageous. He let go of his bike and ran the few feet to the edge. Jonah lived next door to Kelly. They were like brothers. They fought and teased each other as only ten-year-old boys could. They loved each other too. They looked out for each other. They looked out for me.

I moved here only two years ago from Chicago. I’m smaller than most boys my age and had very thick glasses. I got teased a lot. I got pushed and intimidated and made fun of but when one of the other boys hit me, Kelly hit him back. That day I didn’t walk home alone after school. Kelly and Jonah walked next to me, one on each side. We were inseparable ever since, sometimes to the detriment of our teachers and our parents. We were trouble. We built a dam in the Shallow Creek that was so high, it flooded the nearby walkway making it impossible for pedestrians to cross.

We’d use the thin green plastic pipes you find in aquariums and turn them into spitball shooters. Armed with a bag of dried peas we’d declare war on some of our classmates, teachers, and unsuspected civilians. We’d sneak out of the house at night, meet up, and switch garden ornaments between houses, convinced that we had just pulled off the heist of the century. Kelly and Jonah said they were the muscle and I was the brains of the operation. I never had better friends.

“Kelly,” Jonah cried. He looked down toward the water.

I approached as if in trance. The afternoon sun sat golden on the surface of the river. I remember the ripples in the current, the sparks of light dancing on the surface, the quiet terror I felt when I moved closer to the edge, stretching out my hand as if to reach all the way down to the bottom and lifting my friend up and save him.

“Kelly,” I whispered.

The bike lay broken on top of a huge boulder forty feet below. The front wheel was bent forward, the steering column snapped in half. The cards he had pinned onto the back wheel to make the bike sound like an airplane propeller, lay next to it.

I couldn’t breathe. Jonah said something. He yelled something, first down toward the water, then to me.

“…go!”

“What?” I said.

“Don’t let go!” he said. Not to me. He didn’t say it to me.

I saw Kelly’s hand first. It was holding on to a root that stuck out of the cliff wall a foot below the top. Then I saw his face. His smiling face.

“Holy shit!” I said. Then I yelled it. I shouted it. “Holly shit! Holy shit! HOLY SHIT!”

Jonah grabbed him by the arm, I held on to his wrist as we pulled him up. We fell on our backs.

“That was close,” Kellly said nonchalantly.

“You’re such an asshole,” Jonah said.

The clouds flew across the sky high above.

While My Guitar Gently Weeps

I taught myself to play the guitar in my mid teens with songs like House of the Rising Sun, Heart of Gold, Nights in White Satin, Stairway to Heaven, and such. My friends and I spent many a night around camp fires, strumming and singing while reading from crumpled up hand written song lyrics. Now almost 30 years later, I exchanged the guitar for the keyboard and I write.

I just finished a novel called Six String. It tells the story of a sixteen year old girl who runs away from an abusive home, with only her broken six string guitar on her back. The story grabbed me right from the start. The main character’s pain was so powerful and palpable, I found myself weeping numerous times while writing it.

There is one quote by Ernest Hemingway I always come back to. It goes something like this: “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit in front of a type writer and bleed.”

I realized eventually that this quote can be translated into any art form. During my teenage years, I had tons of guitar idols, like Ritchie Blackmore, Angus Young, The Scorpions’ Michael Schenker and many others. I lost myself in Carlos Santana’s guitar solos as much as in Iron Maiden’s riffs. What all of them had in common for me was that I felt something when I listened. There was an emotion that was transferred from the player through the guitar to me, the listener.

I strive to do the same in my books. Learning the craft is hard work but once that’s done, I believe there’s another step to take to go beyond the average artist. In this sense, “there is nothing to playing the guitar. All you have to do is let it weep.”

 

In Space No One Can Hear You Scream

A while back, I participated in an online screenwriting workshop that was all about finding the essence of your work. It was brilliant in its simplicity and even though it took a while, I arrived at the conclusion that this is the most important piece of knowledge about writing I have gathered so far.

“What is the story about?”

My friend Nick Cole, great writer and excellent marketer, is very big on pitches, specifically on how to condense a story to four lines. If you read his books you’ll know why he believes so strongly that the pitch is important. It helps boil the story down to its fundamentals and by doing that, exposes the reason why people want to read it.

Boiling it down is also a great tool to conquer writer’s block. We all know the feeling of being stuck in the murky mud. Asking the question what the story is about will loosen up the rocks. Doing that allows us to dive deeper into it and find the hidden treasures that are buried there. Only if we as writers know what the story is about, and only if we are emotionally affected by it, will the reader get swept away.

Let’s go one step further: Capturing the emotional essence of a story in one single sentence will increase the chances of having our work read tremendously. Think back to Alien’s “In space no one can hear you scream” tagline. You don’t need to know anything else about the movie. Deep and utter terror lies in those eight words.

In order to find the essence of the story, there is another question that might have to be answered. What is the essence of the writer? What am I about? Why am I writing? What is it that burns deep inside my soul that needs to come out? The essence of the writer informs the essence of each story she writes. There is no other way.

Writing is deeply personal. We can always only write about ourselves – our fears and nightmares as well as our dreams. What do we stand for? What are we about? What is our essence? That is obviously a larger process and not done over a few weeks, months, or even years. But if we’re in this for the long run, why not ask the question early on and discover the answer through our writing?

Cheers,

Stefan

Six String – Creating Emotion in Writing

The writer’s main goal is to elicit emotion in the reader. Why else would we turn the page and read until the end if not for being emotionally invested? Character traits can elicit emotion, so can certain acts like saving a child from a monstrous creature. Landscapes can be emotional. Anyone who has read Lord of the Rings can attest to that. In Hugh Howey’s Wool, the description of the silos brings forth a sense of terror and claustrophobia all by itself.

A while back, during my days of studying screenwriting, I watched a DVD called The Hero’s Two Journeys. Michael Hauge and Chris Vogler taught a workshop, incorporating Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey into Hollywood screenwriting and storytelling.

For the purpose of this article, I’d like to focus on the two items of the hero’s journey that elicit the most emotion in the reader. Without those two components, the story falls short. Mastering them, however, ensures success (if you define success in transferring an emotion from the writer through the written word to the reader).

The two items are:

A) The main character has to have a burning desire. I’d like to say she has to have a capital B BURNING DESIRE. The bigger the desire, the more emotionally invested we are as readers.

In Six String, the main character, Jennifer Dalton, lives in poverty in an abusive home, and when her little brother dies, the emotional toll on her becomes so overpowering that she runs away, taking with her only her broken six string guitar. For as long as she can remember Jennifer has dreamed of becoming a singer but nothing in her life, other than a raw and untrained voice, has pointed her toward fulfillment of this dream. Now living on the streets, she has no money, no prospects, not even enough strings on her guitar to play.

Jennifer’s burning desire is two-fold. Her most fervent desire is to get rid of the pain over the loss of her brother. The only way to do that is through singing and playing her guitar. That’s her coping mechanism and has been for most of her life. Becoming a singer and getting rid of the pain are interchangeable to her.

B) The second component, besides the hero’s burning desire is an insurmountable obstacle. The burning desire has to run against the obstacle for most of the story up until the climax. Initially, the obstacle has to be bigger and far more powerful than the desire. The bigger the gap between the desire and the obstacle, the better. Only in the final battle (whatever that may be) can the desire become so strong that it literally crushes the obstacle. The hero’s arc has been completed. The grail has been found, and the journey has been completed.

In Six String, the insurmountable obstacle is Jennifer’s homelessness, lack of means, lack of food, and symbolic of that, the lack of guitar strings. She runs away form her home in Twin Falls, Idaho with $18 to her name and a few clothes in her school bag. The obstacles to her ridding herself of the pain she experiences are tremendous as the journey only seems to add to her pain not lessen it. Her desire has to become so big and all encompassing that it eventually overcomes the obstacle.

In looking at successful stories, there is a definite pattern to the “Desire/Obstacle” approach. Basically, any story that grabs us and wont’ let go, has those two elements in it. If one is missing, it won’t work but bringing both to the forefront of the story makes for a wonderful read.

Cheers,

Stefan

 

The Call to Greatness

obama

Eight years ago — I remember sitting at my kitchen table with the sun streaming in through the window — the TV was on with President Obama’s Inauguration address. His speech contained the most inspired words I had ever heard from any politician, or any public figure for that matter.

I felt lifted up, suddenly filled with purpose and hope. This was a significant moment as it reaffirmed my wish to become a writer, to inspire people as much as I was inspired at that very moment. I jotted down a few lines.  They turned into a poem that would stay with me from then on. Whenever I feel unprepared for this journey, whenever I feel lacking the very basic modules of inspiring others, I turn to the poem, knowing that it didn’t come from me but from something much bigger, something that connects all of us on a level we very rarely have access to. This place seems to be what we all aspire to reach, in whatever shape or form we do so. I strive, at times in vain, to get close to it. But sometimes, not often enough, I can hear the call with such clarity, it cannot be dismissed.

 

The Call to Greatness

 

The call to greatness, ever present

Lifts us up to higher ground

Calls us to our highest purpose

Freedom’s choice, no longer bound

*

We will meet it either trembling

Or with steady resting hand

For we cannot hide forever

From our destiny’s command

*

Our oath has not been broken

Our promise’s still our word

From afar, our truth has spoken

All through time has it been heard

*

Here I stand on ground made holy

By this ancient symphony

As I reach for my own glory

For my Father’s company

*

There, with cold and bloodless fingers

Darkened veil, and evil sense

Grips my throat, my heart and lingers

Fear, employed for my defense

*

Fear of death has lost its power

And its ever present threat

It is not the great deceiver

But my greatness that I dread

*

Should I dare to leave my smallness

And my littleness behind

Should I forfeit my own blindness

For a vision that is kind

*

And then one day, maybe not this day

And maybe not even tomorrow

But one day, I know it for sure, my friend

We will exchange joy for our sorrow

*

That day will come and it will be the day

When we take a deep breath

And we pick ourselves up

And we dust ourselves off

*

And with outstretched fingers

We touch the face of God.

I'm a Refugee's Child

The time: Summer of 1951.

The place: A small town a few kilometers from the border inside the Russian sector in East Germany.

That border, the one my father, his parents and three siblings, fled across that night, would become one of the world’s most heavily fortified frontiers, defined by a continuous line of high metal fences and walls, barbed wire, alarms, anti-vehicle ditches, watchtowers, automatic booby traps and minefields. It would be patrolled around the clock by 50,000 armed GDR guards. [source: Wikipedia]

publishable

It was very simple: Russia, having lost thousands of men during the war against Germany, needed workers. After the war ended, they began scouting German villages in their sector for able bodied craftsmen. Welders and carpenters, blacksmiths and painters, all were in high demand. Those were the fathers who had just returned from the war, now trying to build their families and lives in peace. Whoever would be taken by the Russian authorities, would disappear and end up in a mine somewhere deep inside Russia, never to return.

My grandfather was one of them.  Being a master craftsman, he knew, they all knew, that it was only a matter of time for him. So he left, crossed the yet relatively open border to stay with friends on the other side for a year.

The second, not less terrifying prospect was the imminent closing of the border.

My grandmother, now alone with four children, was friends with the soccer coach who knew one of the border guards. For one year, knowing where the guards were at any given time, she smuggled their belongings on her back at night, through a stretch of forest and to the other side – the free side.

And then, on a Wednesday morning at 2:30 am, when the guards had just passed through their part of the border, they fled. Taking with them only what they could carry on their backs, my grandmother and her four children, ranging from six to fourteen, made their way through the woods. They landed in a small village in West Germany where friends took them in and they reunited with my grandfather. Here, the six of them stayed in one room for a year. My grandfather worked as a painter and my grandmother helped the family who had taken them in.

They began to rebuild their lives and family in peace.

I was born fifteen years later.

Follow the White Rabbit Into the Hole of the Surveillance State

Judging by what’s happening presently, how long do you think it will take until corporations have replaced our government?

This is not a rhetorical question.

What do you think? Thirty years? Twenty-five years?

Large corporate entities are already deeply involved in major decision making on a high political level. Phone companies are handing over our data, the NSA listens to our conversations, reads our emails, and gathers every possible piece of information about us. We are being tracked.

The things we buy, the places we visit, the people we talk to. We are being tracked. Not enough for us to notice and just a tad below the level where we become aware of it. But the fact is, you, me, us — we are being followed, watched, listened to, and surveilled. And, no, this isn’t conspiracy theory 101. It’s just what is. We are not private anymore.

city_cameras

Writing any kind of science fiction or dystopian fiction, one of the steps involved is, naturally, to think about what if… What if artificial intelligence becomes self aware? What if robots take over? What if wormholes are able to transport us to other places? What if most of the population has been wiped out by a nuclear blast or a virus or the zombie apocalypse? In my case, I asked the opposite question. What if not…? 

If nothing changes in the way things are, then what happens to us in the not-so-distant future?

If we slow down for a moment and follow the white rabbit into the hole, we realize that whatever is going on won’t stop any time soon. The train is in motion. It’s a runaway train — an eight thousand ton runaway train — and the faster it goes, the less possible it will be to stop it. It will only get worse. Unless you’re Denzel Washington, of course, but even then.

denzel-washington-unstoppable-still

So, here’s my what if not.

  • Do you think surveillance will increase or decrease over the next two decades?
  • Do you think the environmental issues will get better or worse in the next twenty years?
  • Do you think that any major corporation whose sole purpose lies in increasing profit, will not pursue this goal and  to reach it push the limits of legality as far as possible?

Complete control is the ultimate goal of any entity that has profit as its purpose. I think that’s a pretty common concept. The question is, how do you control the people you want to profit from? You control with distraction, with confusion and misdirection. If that doesn’t quite work, you throw in a little fear. Fear of loss is a great way to control someone.

Large corporations own all major news outlets. Not only that. They control the very means the material we watch gets delivered into our houses. We have access to 24 hours of entertainment per day. Televisions, computers, phones, tablets. We can watch a show in one room, walk into the next and the thing follows us so we can seamlessly continue to watch there. We consume TV shows while we’re on our laptops, with our phones beside us. We don’t realize that all of it, from the perspective of the corporations who provide it, is to distract us from asking some serious questions.

If a magician doesn’t want you do know what his right hand is doing, he does something with his left hand.
you might have heard all this before. me too.

But here’s the thing: What’s the most powerful concept in this world? Power itself? Control? Freedom? Love? Fear?

No. The most powerful concept in this world is purpose.

I’m not talking about divine purpose. I’m talking about the  motivation behind any behavior. I’m talking about the question “why?”

Ask the question “why” often enough and you get to the bottom of everything. Try it. Don’t take the first answer. Don’t take the second answer. Those are all smoke screens. Take the sixth answer. Or the tenth. You will be amazed what you find out when you ask why more than a few times.

We have to realize something and it is possibly the most important realization we can have:
purpose is everything

Take a lion in the wild who hasn’t eaten in three days. Its purpose is clean, remorseless, and conflict free. It has to eat.

It hunts its prey until it has killed it. There are no distractions. There are no second thoughts. There is no hesitation.

The purpose of survival controls everything. You can’t negotiate with a lion. You can’t reason with it. Neither should you. The undivided purpose is what gives it such power and would scare the hell out of us if we’d encounter one.

Any corporation who has profit at its goal, has that very profit as its single purpose. There are no distractions. There are no second thoughts. There is no hesitation. The only hesitation has to do with how the consumer is going to react.

If the consumer doesn’t like something, the corporation might change it. Not because it’s better for the consumer but because it can make more profit if it does. If profit is the goal, everything else becomes secondary. Everything else.

If profit is the purpose, the corporation will push any agenda to the limit of where it can be pushed. Be that environmental, health related, in education, or otherwise.

money-where-does-it-go

Our schools are crumbling. Common Core, if not stopped, will become the educational system for everyone. Corporations will control what our children are learning. If profit is the goal, how can that possibly be in the best interest of the child?

Without the limitations put in place by unions, workers would still be pushed to the maximum of hours for the least amount of pay possible.
if the purpose is profit, everything else becomes secondary.

I’m not saying all the corporations are that way. But the system itself is set up and based on making a profit and not on care for others and the welfare of everyone.
there are many people who fight actively against this but here’s the thing:

If purpose is everything and a corporation, by and large, pursues its goal with 100% conviction, we would have to be as strong in our purpose to oppose it.

Are we? Or are we more likely to watch another episode of the latest Netflix show?

I’m not talking about the artistic expression in TV shows or any form of entertainment that is pure and good and reach from one human to another. I’m talking about a lion who hasn’t eaten in three days and who has no other purpose than the hunt. I’m talking about corporations who have, as their sole purpose, to make profit. It might look different but if the purpose is profit, everything that is not directly related to that becomes secondary.

McDonald’s isn’t there to make us feel less hungry. It’s there to make a profit. Large pharmaceuticals aren’t there to heal us and help us be less sick. They are here to make a profit. Maybelline isn’t here to make us value ourselves more while putting on makeup. It’s here to make a profit. And if telling us, “you’re worth it” makes more profit, the line will be used. Otherwise it won’t.
given all this, what does our future look like?

Take where we are right now and project it twenty, thirty, or fifty years ahead. Do you think the purpose of corporations will have changed in 50 years?

How will our rain forests look in 50 years? How will our water situation be in 50 years? Will we have bottled air? Twenty years ago, the thought of selling bottled water was considered preposterous, now it’s every day.

Will we live in super structures where we are all contained, controlled, under 100% surveillance 24/7?

Will we still have a government that was chosen by the people, for the people?

Will we?
ask the question why often enough and you get to the bottom of everything.

eye

When I wrote The Fourth Sage, it wasn’t that hard to envision a future where large corporations control everything; where we live in super high rises, three hundred stories high, towering over abandoned cities. In that future, there is very little crime. There is also no privacy. There are no schools, no government and no freedom. Especially the freedom part was what got me when I thought about it.
freedom for all has lost its final battle to power to a few.

In that future, the windows of our rooms are large screens. Depending on what we can pay, we can watch sunsets, oceans, and wheat fields in the morning light. As we can’t have those anymore in real life, we can only see the pictorial representation of a past that has long since been forgotten. We have lost it all and we’re not quite aware of it.

The hero of our story is a smart fifteen-year-old kid who has figured out a way to create a loop with her room cameras to have one hour per night to herself. For that hour, she is not being watched. Instead, she roams the building via the air ducts. That’s her slice of freedom, her escape from the rest of the world. One night during one of her excursions, she discovers something that has the power to change her life completely. But not only her life but the lives of everyone around her.

She has to make a choice between continuing to live her life as if nothing’s wrong or become an enemy of the state.

What do you think she’ll  do? 🙂

As the hunt for her unravels and she flees ever deeper into the belly of her building, she comes across a group of gifted children — discarded and left to rot on an abandoned floor. The corporation’s most coveted secret now lies in their hands and they have no other choice than to reveal it. But their young lives have certainly not prepared them for what is to come, for what they must do, and for what price they might have to pay.
we can be heroes. we all can.

I leave you with a pivotal paragraph from the book:

“We are far superior to any android, be that a single one or tens of thousands,” Ty continues. “And what makes us superior to them is one simple thing. It’s so simple it escapes us. I realized it when you said something to me. You said that if you ask ‘why’ enough times, you’ll get to the bottom of everything. You’re young, Aries. And I’m not sure if you picked that line up somewhere or if you actually thought about it, but I’m going to assume it’s the latter. What I’m saying is, in order for us to do this, whatever ‘this’ is, we need to answer the question ‘why?’ And we can’t be okay with the first answer. We have to ask it again and again until we come to the truth all the way at the bottom. Only then can we even think about continuing.”

Cheers,

Stefan

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