So here's why that had to happen.
Author's Commentary: Here's why that had to happenAt the end of chapter 19 there is an event that, so far, has gotten a reaction from nearly everyone I've talked to about it..
Madison, my editor mentioned it in the notes as a moment where she audibly gasped to the point that her boyfriend asked if she was okay.
While we were recording Producer Shaun also gasped as I was reading it, which made for a nice outtake.
Both reactions, I'm not going to lie, gave my little writerly heart a little throb of joy because that is exactly what I was going for. And nothing makes me happier then knowing that the emotions I'm trying to convey using nothing but multi-colored pixels, little drops of ink or a series of ones and zeros decoded by an audio codex actually make it through.
So I'm gonna talk about that moment.
Seriously, you should probably listen to the podcast episode before going any farther.
Okay let's do this.
So here's why Sergent Carr had to die:
Besides being a testosterone torqued imbecile (As Viekko so eloquently put it in chapter 3) that was clearly there to antagonize the group, Sergent Car served a couple of functions in the narrative.
First he was the antagonist at the beginning. The walking talking immovable object to Isra's unstoppable force. The team was 'A'. Sergent Carr was 'B'. And the City was 'C'
No wait.. that's something different.
No, 'A' and 'B' had were in a race to get to 'C'. If 'A' got to C first then the heroes win and there is much rejoicing.
If 'B' gets to 'C' first then Evil wins and that makes us sad.
It was a simpler time back then. Shit's gotten more complicated recently, hasn't it? You've got at least three factions ready to set the world on fire in order to get what they want. You have competing interests even within the ranks of Isra's Human Recconection Project, nevermind that the world itself appears to be reacting to the events....
The point is that the simple race to the finish between Isra and Sergent Carr is over. Carr won... sort of. Actually you could say that Isra won.... except... you know that she still hasn't accomplished what she set out to do. But it was time to wrap up that little story line and nothing says final like a good o'fashioned killing.
Sergent Carr also represented something larger. He was the arrogance and brutality of the Corporation and, perhaps, of Civilization as a whole made manifest. He represents this strange idea that a with enough manpower, weapons and political will you can just show up, issue instructions and everything will go according to plan. In my, admiteddly, incomplete study of history I have yet to stumble on a single example where this works out in real life.
And, yet, this dillusion exists. It's a lesson that has caused and will continue to cause death and destruction often directed at people who don't always deserve it.
In that way Sergent Carr's death carries with it a sort of pathos. He is, in my mind, a rather tragic figure. Or, as Cronus sort of eulogized:
"... he wasn't a good person. The specifics were fuzzy. But he didn't deserve this."