This interview originally ran at Nicole Peeler’s blog as part of my first blog tour. Thanks to Nicole for the invite to visit her blog on my tour. I wanted to rerun it again here because it was a fun post to write and because I wanted to share it with you. This is a fictional interview with the antagonist of my debut novel. I wanted to sit down with one of my characters, the deposed High Lord Counselor of the Boralian Alliance, Lord Xalivar, for a chat.
Xalivar: Deposed? I was not desposed! I was violated!
BTS: Sorry. So Mr., Xalivar should I call you?
X: I prefer, my Lord.
BTS: Uh, ok, my Lord…that’s weird for me.
X: Yes, that’s what my enemies said and now they’ve written that scandalous tome of lies about me.
BTS: Well, I wrote it, actually, just as they told it to me.
X: So you’re a co-conspirator! Why should I trust you?
BTS: Well, I really did want to get it right, so if there’s something you’d like to set the record straight about, I’m listening.
X: (clears throat) It didn’t happen like that.
BTS: It didn’t happen like what?
X: I thought you said you were listening.
BTS: I am.
X: No, you’re not. You’re interrupting. It’s not the same thing. I am the High Lord Councilor of the Borali Alliance. Interrupting me is tantamount to treason!
BTS: Actually, you were deposed…
X: Shhhhhhh! LISTEN!
BTS: OK, sorry.
X: My family served the Alliance for generations. With honor! We have always done what was best for the Alliance and her people.
BTS: Some would argue with that.
X: Because they’re fools! Fools who don’t know what’s best for them. That’s why they need leadership. Wise leadership, like I have always provided.
BTS: I see.
X: Stop interrupting or my LSP men will arrest you.
BTS: Oh, well, I don’t want that.
X: (laughs) No, you don’t. Anyway, as I was saying, the accusations made against me were made of ignorance, from a total lack of perspective.
BTS: Allegations of abuse of slaves? Enslaving fellow humans? Trying to usurp the Council?
X: Lies! Why are you spreading them? I already told you these were lies.
BTS: But the existence of slavery is documented—
X: Yes, but I did not enslave them. My grandfather did. I merely preserved the system. It was working just fine for both of our peoples.
BTS: The slaves might beg to differ.
X: Slaves always do, but they are not intellectually capable of making such statements with any accuracy.
BTS: They’re human beings.
X: That’s your opinion. Not a fact.
BTS: But they came from Earth to colonize the stars just as your ancestors did.
X: Earth has many species.
BTS: But only one species of humanoids—humans themselves.
X: Evolved from apes. Some of us evolved longer and more advanced than others.
BTS: So there are levels of evolution?
X: There are levels to everything. It’s the natural order of things.
BTS: The Vertullians don’t believe in Evolutionary theory. They believe in creation by their God.
X: See? They haven’t intellectually evolved enough to understand Evolution. And here you and everyone else go writing their story as if it’s history, as if it’s truth. It’s a total sham! Slander! I should sue you all!
BTS: They just wanted the same rights as your own people. Is that so bad?
X: You have to earn rights. They are not inherent.
BTS: Well, the workers believe differently.
X: Because they’re inferior.
BTS: I see. Anything else?
X: I did not betray the Council. The Council listened to lies told them by my sister.
BTS: I heard you two were very close.
X: (laughs) I thought so once. I was wrong. It’s clear our family had some weak genes which she was victim of.
BTS: So she’s not evolved?
X: She’s lesser evolved than I am, yes.
BTS: Wow. Ok. And Davi Rhii? He was raised as your nephew and heir, yet you betrayed him.
X: I did not. He betrayed himself. He set out to destroy our superior Alliance and was revealed in his ignorance.
BTS: You didn’t send men to kill him?
X: I did not. And I never abused the slaves. They were treated as slaves deserve—like property, herded and directed, incapable of making proper decisions on their own and born to serve their masters. It’s natural, not abuse.
BTS: I see.
X: It’s a matter of perspective. Creatures of their level of low intellectual ability are prone to exaggerating because they don’t fully grasp reality.
BTS: But the Council and many of your citizens agreed with them?
X: Low intellects all.
BTS: So anyone who disagrees with you is less intellectually developed?
X: Isn’t that obvious? They replaced me with one of their own, tried to arrest me. They criminalized me by slandering my reputation. It’s all a manipulation and distortion by inferior minds.
BTS: Some might regard your attitude as arrogance.
X: Only intellectually underdeveloped persons would think so.
BTS: I think we’re done here.
X: I have not even begun to give you the correct story.
BTS: You believe I’m too intellectually inferior to understand it.
X: Ah ha! You’re on their side, despite your earlier denials.
BTS: I tried to be a neutral third party but they seem more credible.
X: Credible? Ha! Barely more than apes!
BTS: I have a headache.
X: I’ve worn out your inferior brain. Told you!
BTS: Thank you very much for your time.
X: It’s really sad you can’t handle the truth.
Bryan Thomas Schmidt is the author of the space opera novel The Worker Prince, the collection The North Star Serial, and has several short stories forthcoming in anthologies and magazines. His second novel, The Returning, is forthcoming from Diminished Media Group in 2012. He’s also the host of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer’s Chatevery Wednesday at 9 pm EST on Twitter, where he interviews people like Mike Resnick, AC Crispin, Kevin J. Anderson and Kristine Kathryn Rusch. He can be found online as @BryanThomasS on Twitter or via his website. Excerpts from The Worker Prince can be found on his blog.
Xalivar Rhii, once the High Lord Counselor of the Boralian Alliance, the continuation of an honorable line of fine leadership, now spends his days fighting to redress the injustice done to him by others. An innocent victim, he and his minions hang at their favorite secret hideaway preparing to enact revenge with great vengeance and restore balance to the Universe.