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The Good Daughter

by on March 17, 2015

There is an art to faking your own death. For one thing, you can’t actually die. This part is crucial. It is also difficult to do. You want to arrange affairs so that your fake death appears convincing, but if it becomes so convincing that it turns fatal for you, the whole exercise becomes pointless. The key problem, of course, is the body. A body is the ultimate convincer of a death; but if you’re not actually dying, you obviously won’t have left a body for people to find. Without an actual body, people tend to be skeptical that you’ve actually gone and joined the choir invisible. Therefore, the ideal fake death is one where you’ve “died” in such circumstances that everyone knows a body would be irrecoverable. For instance, if a moon you were known to be living on has been disintegrated from orbit, everyone assumes that you were disintegrated with it.

A second problem is an escape plan. The problem with using a moon’s destruction to fake your death is that there needs to be evidence you were on the moon when it blew, but of course you don’t want to be on the moon yourself (see above). A good solution here is to arrange some sort of time-delayed transmission from your lunar-side quarters to someone else off-world. An especially elegant touch is to time the transmission so that it is interrupted by the explosion. Whoever’s watching will be so upset that they won’t think of investigating further. Meanwhile, you will have left the moon days before.

Finally, there is the reason you’re arranging your own demise .Faking one’s death is a one-shot deal. You can’t do it, for instance, just to avoid paying the licensing fees for your new pet terrier. Once you’ve “died” and started your new life somewhere else, you can’t go back. Ending a relationship beyond recall is one reason.

Bianca Carmine is very good at this. She’s faked her death in five systems. No one suspects she is alive, no one who shouldn’t, anyway. Now she sits in a suns-drenched cafe on a planet light-years away from the latest moon she’d supposedly died on, staring at a yellow-pink tinted glass in her paw. The Swirling Supernova is the most expensive drink the cafe offers. She can afford it. The Carmine otter family dominates the intergalactic crime scene. She is well provided for. She would not have been if, in another life, she had married someone working for the Otter Space Corps. The Corps takes a dim view of otter families that dominate intergalactic crime scenes. Otters, they felt, should know better.

So Bianca runs. If anyone gets too close, she runs. Even if it hurts, even if she’s met someone who’s solid and true and cares about her… she runs. She’ll probably keep running. Swirling Supernovas can only make her forget so much.

This story references characters and events in the ongoing Angel and the Space Otter series. Thanks for reading!

  1. Ooo! How does Bianca fit into all this? She’s got a great backstory so she’s gotta be a player. I love how she’s hanging out after fake killing herself five times. But, how did she get the drink in her paw without thumbs? Describing that scene could be hilarious.

    • I’ll have to remember that scene for next time. 🙂 Bianca is definitely a player; I’m not sure if I indicated clearly enough who she is, relative to Mr. Stamper, but in any case that should be clear pretty soon. *dun dun dunn…*

  2. Oh, I like that. That was good stuff.

  3. I love Bianca. I love the change of pace with this story, how you took your time to lead us to Bianca. Really nice.

    • Thanks! I was going with a method I’ve seen Matthew Stover use in his Star Wars novelization of Revenge of the Sith, where he does some introductory bits that lead up to an introduction of a character. It’s an interesting technique, and definitely fun.

  4. Love this and I second my love for Bianca! Can’t wait to learn more about her and her backstory 🙂 Well done!

    • Oh, I will definitely be exploring her backstory. 😛 As Don Corleone might’ve said, she’s an otter you can’t refuse. 😀

  5. New to reading your posts, so I wonder why this is called “The Good Daughter.” I am hooked, can’t wait for more!

    • It’s a reference to InnateJames‘ post in the yeahwrite coffeehouse where he offered a writing suggestion based on the first Frasier episode, “The Good Son”. I went a bit afield with it; Frasier, while a brilliant show, was somewhat fuzzy on the subject of otter mobster families. 🙂

  6. Great opening sentence, great pacing, and such an intriguing character!

    • Thanks! I’m glad you liked the character. She will definitely be coming back. 🙂

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