Name (s): Alan (Mac) McDonald
Please tell us a little about yourself. I was the officer commanding SBS 4 troop, UK Special Forces Anti-Terrorist Wing. My team and I are specialists in everything to do with killing bad guys in inventive and prejudicial ways. Since our transfer to Arden, however, we’ve transferred all that testosterone onto the Horde.
Describe your appearance in 10 words or less. What James Bond wishes he could look like.
Would you die for those you love? Was that a loaded question? I did die protecting those I love, and was transported to this hell-hole of a planet under attack from soul-hungry mutants. And although there was no one special back home, I must admit, I worry how my parents will take the news of my ‘death’. If only they knew.
What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? Strengths? I’d say it’s the ability to make the best of any situation. Life has taught me to be flexible, and to adapt to whatever circumstances I find myself in. Just as well really, seeing what happened eh?
As for my weaknesses? Although I try my best to be patient and courteous, I don’t suffer fools gladly.
Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why Well, my team will always hold a special place in my heart. We’ve seen each other through thick and thin, after all.
But, since I arrived in Rhomane, there’s Jayden. She’s pretty cool for a Tec-head, and has a great In-your-face sense of humour. If I manage not to get myself devoured, I think things could get very serious…if she wants to?
Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you? I’m 6th generation military. I think that says it all. Both my father and grandfather had a great deal on influence during my early years, and I suppose it was inevitable the course my life…and death would take.
Do you have any phobias? The Horde. Have you met them? Twelve foot high, esoteric concentrations of rabid hunger – with fangs and talons – just itching to shred your soul. Apart from that? Not much fazes me…except for Smurfs. They’re so small and blue…you just can’t trust them.
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. I know Victoria’s secret. And it makes me feel kinda…naughty? J
Tell Us About Your World
Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Arden is a planet on the far side of our galaxy, along the Scutum-Centaurus Arm (Sounds like a bad chest infection doesn’t it?). She has a red sun, and was once the home world of a civilization that had employed advanced technology for over twelve thousand years on more than thirty planets.
In some ways, it’s much like Earth, although the leaves and grass have a coppery-blue tinge, and the air has a permanent zesty tang to it. (Great for gin and tonic)
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? Travel is pretty much restricted because of the Horde. If we do go out, it’s only in small groups and only then with a heavily armed contingent, (which I so happen to oversee).
We use skimmers, an anti-grav form of hovercraft, and their larger counterpart, a skidder.
However, recently, we discovered an Avenger Class Cruiser in orbit, The Arch of Winter, so who knows what we might end up doing with that. (I know, boys and their toys, but c’mon…her guns are so big and shiny).
Name and describe a food from your world. Lolath is pretty good. It’s very similar in appearance and taste to a cow, although its milk yield is considerably lower. But by far my favourite is rhobexi. It’s what you’d get if you cross a deer with a bull. But how to describe the taste? Very rich, it’s like a blend of venison and lamb, and the more you chew, the more the flavour floods your mouth.
(Nom Nom!) (And I’ve got one of the griddle, right now)
What form of politics is dominant in your world? (Democracy, Theocracy, Meritocracy, Monarchy, Kakistocracy etc.) From what we can ascertain, the politics of the Ardenese people was senatorial based. Saying that obviously makes us think of the Roman Empire back on Earth, but the Ardenese form of government was quite different, as their society was extremely advanced and enjoyed a level of intellectual and cultural sophistication that simply has to be seen to be believed.
We’ve only been able to witness it from archived holo-clips & digi-crystals. However, the examples we saw blew our minds. All representatives worked for the greater good of the people, and, while everyone was viewed as equal, each had a personal responsibility to fulfil their individual roles within society.
Officers of the Senatum – Magisters – were elected each year from the prefects, normal members of society who had been voted to represent each of the cities. While each prefect served on an annual basis, once selected as a Magister, their responsibilities expanded to encompass an entire district. The presiding officer of the Senatum – the Chief Magister – was a tried and tested politician chosen by his peers to serve as their leader. He remained in office for five years.
What is the technology level for your world/place of residence? What item would you not be able to live without? Like you, I come from the twenty-first century. But I was transported the equivalent of twelve thousand years into the future, so, you can only imagine the level of technology the Ardenese must have employed.
I say – must have – because remember, even the most advanced group brought here by the Architect are only from the earth year 4200.
Think of a comparison:
My grandfather was born in the 1960’s. During his life, he saw the advent of space travel, the digital age, world-spanning communication devices you could keep in your pocket, and micro surgery. And they are but a few examples. His grandfather – just two generations before him – would never have dreamed of such things.
So…just try to imagine that level of advancement, multiplied over six hundred generations. That’s what we ended up inheriting.
The trouble is, we don’t know how to use it. The Architect has assisted us in this regard, with nano-technology that enhances our natural learning curve, but it’s still been a monumental struggle.
Out of all the delightful things we’ve discovered, I love the stealth technology, and the micro-singularity grenade. It’s a Special Forces wet dream come true, as it doesn’t leave any mess behind. No witnesses, no long and troublesome reports.
Look, I’d love to stay, but I’ve got a rhobexi burger on the barbecue. It’s just about done, and if I’m not there when it reaches perfection, some swine will eat the evidence.
Thanks for dropping by and asking a few questions. Any time you feel like swapping places, let me know J
Book(s) in which this character appears plus links
Andrew P. Weston
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