Home > World-Building > Day Two Hundred and Two: Her Weapon is Her Mind

Day Two Hundred and Two: Her Weapon is Her Mind

For the month of December, I’ll be world-building. This means taking a look at the people, places, and institutions that I have created over the last six months and trying to figure out more about them. This will involve a look at the stories in which they’ve appeared, and then some speculation, stream-of-consciousness writing, and with any luck a few revelations. In addition, I may come back and add new material as the Elves in my unconscious ship out new ideas, so I’ll be sure to link them up.

Your feedback as readers is, of course, more than welcome. There are probably questions that I’m forgetting to ask and holes that I need to fill.

Wish me luck!


Man, between today and tomorrow, my time just is not my own. I guess that’s why I have the iPad, but even then… I suppose that is one of the attractions of being a professional writer: your time is more or less your own, and you don’t have to sneak writing into the cracks between whatever projects or responsibilities your bosses give you.

Anyway, this isn’t the self-pity blog. I have another space to play those kinds of games.

Let’s go for another character sketch, and this time we’ll talk about someone who was kind of key to yesterday’s post on Ravensbrook High School: Carly Siminsky.

First off, I just want to say that telekinesis is the superpower I would pick, if I could. There’s just something so cool about being able to have complete control over the physical universe, and if you’re good enough at it then there really is nothing you can’t do. It goes so far beyond just grabbing a beer from the fridge while you’re still on the couch, hard as that may be to imagine. And as disappointing as the third X-Men movie was, there was one thing I think they got absolutely right: when Jean Grey killed people, she didn’t fling them around like dolls or rip them apart or anything like that. She just unmade them. Turned them to dust, which is exactly how a telekinetic should do it.

Having said that, I’m pretty sure that I cannot be trusted with telekinetic powers. Carly is only marginally more trustworthy. Let’s see what the stories say about her:

104: Discipline

  • Carly’s powers first manifested during softball practice.
  • She killed nearly one hundred people before she was subdued by her coach with a baseball bat.
  • She was taken by the Department of National Security for training.
  • She “caused millions of dollars in damage during that time, and it resulted in the deaths of five doctors and seven medical technicians.”
  • She’s had a remote-controlled pump installed in her abdomen, just under the skin. When triggered, it releases a very powerful sedative.
  • The DNS is running her through a series of tests to help her gain control over her powers.
  • Martin Allsoct is her case worker at the DNS. She scares him a little.
  • Carly wants to go home.

119: Interview – Carly Siminsky

  • She went to Ravensbrook High School in Ravensbrook, IL.
  • She was a freshman when her powers manifested – 13/14 years old.
  • Her parents are divorced. Her father moved to Tennessee.
  • Her mother is a writer of Young Adult novels, Veronica Siminsky.
  • Carly has a hard time in English class.
  • She plays the piano.
  • She has some talented friends, but thinks that she doesn’t have any real talents of her own.
  • She feels terrible about what she did with her powers.
  • She wants to be able to control her powers so that she can go home.

189: The Bad News

  • Carly has red hair. It’s currently long and she wears it in a braid.
  • She’s been at the DNS training facility for five or six years, making her about twenty years old.
  • She has a younger brother, probably in high school.
  • The director of the DNS center played a recording of her mother saying, “My daughter is a monster, and I hate to think what she could do if she was free. Keep her away from everyone. Keep her away from me and my family.” Carly reacted by killing him and nearly destroying the facility before her sedative pump kicked in.
  • She believes she is a monster.

So there’s what we know about Carly, and she’s one of the few characters for which I have a story planned out in the future. For example, I know what’s going on with that message from her mother, and I know how Carly is eventually going to get out of that facility. What happens to her after that, I don’t know, but she certainly won’t be the same pliant, slightly naive girl that she’d been before The Bad News.

I actually think there’s some bleed-over from Ender’s Game going on in her story. They share some similarities, after all – taken away from their families, forced to train in a government installation, both of them inadvertent murderers. Carly doesn’t want to be whatever it is she’s become, but she doesn’t see that she has any choices anymore. As far as she knows, that testing center is the only place she’ll ever call home, and Martin is the only person who is even remotely a friend to her. The key will be trying to maintain her humanity long enough to get her out.

What she does after that is still a mystery to me. My mental storyline has her escaping, but that’s it. I like to think she goes off the grid and manages to live a normal life with her telekinesis. But on the other hand, she’s being trained to use it and rely on it. There’s the possibility that they’ll do too good a job in turning her into a weapon. What happens when that weapon turns around and fires back at them?

In sheer storytelling / Hero With a Thousand Faces terms, Carly still has to go through the underworld and come out again. I’m pretty sure she can do it, but it won’t be a pretty trip. Regardless, she’s a character I like, so I think we’ll be seeing more of her.

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  1. December 27, 2011 at 9:35 PM

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