Isra (Over)Plays Her Hand

I'm pretty sure I've said before that Isra is the most interesting and challenging of my main characters to write. Viekko is fun, he's all snark, sass, guns blazing, and obscene words in Martian.

Althea's gentle, restrained but has a bit of hellfire burning just below the surface.

Cronus is just nuts.

And then there's Isra...

Isra's story in Templum Veneris is one of control. She's losing it on Earth which is part of the strange sexually-charged dance that she and Joseph engage in way back in Chapter 1. And after that, the narrative more or less follows a woman desperate to prove herself to the Ministry, a group of people with whom power and control are the ultimate currency.

In the process, she meets Rainha Isabel and we learn how differently she sees power. The Ministry hordes it. It's a display. It's used to advance one's own position, punish rivals, raise up loyalists and then, maybe, MAYBE, some of it trickles out in a way that helps people. But mostly it's used in roughly the same way as a peacock uses feathers.

But Isabel wields it. She weaves it into a whole shared reality for her people and I think, on some level, Isra admires that. To be clear, I don't think she approves of the way it's being used, but I think she admires the skill and grace with which it is used. Perhaps like watching a skilled swordfighter killing innocent people. Admires the skill, wish it was put to better use.

Also, at this point, Isra sees cracks in said power. She has an idea in her mind that all she has to do is outwit and outflank the Rainha she can use the holes in her own narrative against her. And that's what's basically happening here. Isra is playing a dangerous game but she doesn't see it as such. For her, it's just a game. After all, she comes from a place where power essentially is just plumage.

But she knows but utterly fails to understand that this is not a game for Rainha Isabel. This is life and death for her.

The game is afoot, as Shakespeare once said.


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