The following is a supporting work of fiction for readers of the Martian Symbiont series. The Smart Interface interview program, e-zine, host, and guests are the intellectual property of science fiction author, Phyllis K Twombly.
Smart Interface (SI): Welcome to another brand new edition of Smart Interface.Our very special guest today is Kelly Ravell, the Martian matriarch. Thank you for agreeing to today’s interview, Matriarch.
Kelly: Thank you, Andrea. Please, call me Kelly. It’s a pleasure to be here.
SI: It’s an honor for everyone here at SI. Now, I have to tell you how much I enjoyed your visit to the Smart Interface studios.
Kelly: We did have fun, didn’t we?
SI: I have to admit, the tomato was a surprise.
Kelly: Anything to make a point. I hope you managed to get the stains out.
SI: My clothes came clean. We decided it was easier to just replace the rug. Now, give us a bit of background. How did you go from being an ordinary human to becoming the Martian matriarch.
Kelly: It was more or less an accident. My flight was laid over in Martianville, which is almost on the Arizona/New Mexico border. Since they had no idea when I could get another flight, they gave me a visitor package which included a pass to the movie studio where I met Jerod.
SI: Jerod told us that you saved his life. Tell us about that.
Kelly: At the time Jerod was an actor. He walked under a bank of spotlights just as it started to fall. Lucky for him, I was close enough to yank him away. We ended up on the floor wrapped in each other’s arms in a sea of shattered glass and twisted metal.
SI: That sounds romantic, in an odd sort of way.
Kelly: (laughs) He tried to stay in character and be creepy but it fell flat. The important thing was that he kissed me to thank me.
SI: That must have been some kiss.
Kelly: I did notice fading blue color in Jerod’s face afterwards, but he said it must be the lights. It was easier to accept that than admitting I was falling in love with a complete stranger.
SI: I guess you didn’t plan on falling in love.
Kelly: I don’t think anyone ever does.
SI: Then the symbiont recognized you as ‘a willing female?’
Kelly: I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, but I guess it did.
SI: do you ever regret becoming the Martian matriarch?
Kelly: No, but there were times when it seemed almost overwhelming. It’s a huge responsibility to look after the entire Martian community.
SI: Is there anything you miss about not being ‘just human?’ I mean, you’ve become so much more, but do you find yourself limited in any way?
Kelly: No, not really. I’ve always been someone who likes a challenge. I think I would have missed being the person I was meant to be if I had turned down the position. There was just so much potential, so many ways in which to help people. Developing the symbiont has expanded my outlook.
SI: Soon after you developed the symbiont it spread to most of mankind. Do you think you started things off?
Kelly: Perhaps, although my sister developed one before I did. It was the computer’s symbiont interface that seemed to recognize me as the new matriarch. Doctor Coren suggested the symbiont responded to my desire to help the world.
SI: As you know, the underground has blamed you for most of the world ‘going Martian.’ How do you respond to that?
Kelly: Nobody develops the symbiont without some inherent willingness on their part. In fact, a large number of people who don’t have one wish it would spread to them.
SI: The official numbers say eight percent of humanity has not developed the symbiont. Why have they seemingly been left out?
Kelly: We’re not entirely sure but we think it may have to do with the correlations between creativity and ambition. Creative people tend to strive harder to change things, while the symbiont looks to settle conflict among its hosts. It may be that extreme individuality is simply incompatible.
SI: But isn’t that a quality of leadership you have to practice?
Kelly: I coordinate much of symbiont’s activity on an intellectual level. It could be that my individuality and leadership skills are augmented or synchronized with those of the symbiont.
SI: Forgive me if this seems impertenent, but what about the age gap between you and Jerod, or between all of the first wave of Martians and modern women? Your husband is the youngest of the original group that came to Earth, and he’s nearly a thousand years old. Isn’t that big an age difference awkward?
Kelly: (shrugs) It wasn’t like they had any hope of finding women their own age. Until I blued Jerod the Martian community had more or less resigned itself to impending extinction. As it turns out, deceny and strength of character count for far more than actual years lived.
SI: I’m afraid we’re out of time and space. Thanks again for agreeing to this interview, Kelly.
Kelly: You’re welcome, Andrea.
SI: This has been another Smart Interface interview with the Martian matriarch, Kelly Ravell.
It would be nice to have some feedback–do you like the character interviews? Why or why not? Thanks for reading. 🙂
Phyllis K Twombly