Sci-Fi Romance Blue Moon Blog Hop
May 21st is a blue moon night. A blue moon is an additional full moon that appears in a subdivision of a year: either the third of four full moons in a season, or a second full moon in a month of the common calendar. Owing to the rarity of a blue moon, the term “blue moon” is used colloquially to mean a rare event, as in the phrase “once in a blue moon”[wikipedia]
We’re celebrating by featuring science fiction romance books and authors that feature ‘blue’ heros and doing a huge prize giveaway!
For my stop on the hop, I’ll be discussing my blue hero, Ethan, from Ghost In The Machine. When I first wrote Ethan’s character, I already had the blue skin in my mind. He’s a Mechatronic Automaton – the term used for android in the Corwint universe. Although the Corwint universe has many Mecha who have natural-colored skin and can appear more ‘organic’, I wanted Ethan to stand out in more ways than one.
The differences highlight his ‘otherness’, and are part of something he must overcome and accept as his character develops. There are reasons behind his design – at first seen as flaws until they are revealed to be incredibly special in later books in the series. He was designed with a purpose; a role to fulfil that has the power to send ripples through the universe and bring a dying planet back to life.
“How old are you?”
Ethan let out a light chuckle. “I guess I opened myself up for that one. I’m sixty-two years of Corwint.”
“Sixty-two?” Orynn leaned back in surprise. She’d thought, due to his advanced nature, that he was much older. “That is actually quite young for a Mecha. Much younger than I suspected.”
“I hope you aren’t trying to say I look old?”
Her cheeks warmed with a flush of color as her eyes looked away from him. His face was not at all old-looking. It had a strong but youthful appearance with a well-defined jaw line. He had a small dimple that would appear on his chin when he laughed, and she enjoyed the playful way his dark blue hair arched over his brow. The strong thin frame of his body was also pleasing to look at.
And his eyes. Blue sapphires that held more depth than she had seen in most Organics. She couldn’t deny that she found him attractive.
“No, not at all. I meant that your social abilities seem so advanced. I have worked with Mecha three times your age that had evolved less personality than the hydrator in the kitchen.”
She looked back at him as he let out another laugh. She hadn’t intended for her words to be amusing, but when she thought back on it, she supposed that they were. Her own light laughter joined his. “Well, it is true. The way in which you socialize with others, and the emotions you exhibit, it all seems so…” She stopped.
“Organic?” Ethan gave voice to her thought. “It’s true. It’s how I was designed.”
Her fear of insulting him diminished. “I would assume that it was not a factory design, as I have never met another with your specifications.”
“Correct. My designer was a Mechatronics engineer at Central Command’s Research and Development department. He was actually quite a genius in his own right, and he felt limited by the A.I. governance laws that were in place at the time. So, he built several models on his own time using a lab he built in the basement of his home. I was his fifth attempt.”
“You were built in a single man’s spare time? In a basement?” Her eyes roamed his body again in amazement. “But how is this possible?”
“He had several connections on the Mechatronics black market.” He held up his hand and flexed it. “My hands, for example, were designed using a schematic that was still under development and smuggled out of a lab on Merae. The design never made it to production due to a flaw in the servo motor timing relays, but Marcus was able to compensate.”
“Marcus was your designer’s name?” She stared at his hand, taking new appreciation at how natural its movements were. The digit of every finger moved without a single stutter or pause.
“Yes.” He dropped his hand, his reply full of the unspoken pain she could see in his aura as clear as any Organic’s.
Their eyes met and she saw how truly deep the sadness dwelled. It was the reserved melancholy that only came with time after a wound on the soul had begun to heal. “He must have been very proud of you.”
“I was actually one of his greatest disappointments, and it was something he reminded me of every day, until the day I left.”
“But, why?” She shook her head slowly, unable to comprehend how anyone could have looked at Ethan, especially his designer, and been disappointed.
“He was trying to engineer the next generation of Mechatronic advancements that would allow us to cross the line with Organics, and, as he liked to say, he got me instead.”
He sighed “Marcus had an obsession with perfection. Despite his genius, he wasn’t able to overcome subtle flaws in my design, such as the tinting of my skin, which is caused by the cooling fluid required for the multi-processor construct and nanite designs he used. My height, another giveaway that I’m either not Organic or I’m a very odd looking Ruisk, was needed to compensate for a stabilization issue he never quite worked out. I became the embodiment of his failure to overcome those obstacles.”
He let out a bitter laugh. “Even my name was an afterthought for him. I went two years without one, until one day he ranted about how he’d gotten tired of referring to me as the Mechatronic Automaton Number Five in the research papers he was writing. He yelled and said ‘every thing has a name!’, E.T.H.A.N., and that became my name.”
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