Dystopian Domination 3 – Character interview with Ash Fisher

“Ash, over here!” I wave at him as he enters the hotel bar and gesture toward the empty leather chair in front of me. His sparkling black eyes dart about the room, searching for signs of danger as he strides over to me, drawing the attention of every woman in the bar. A few smile up at him as he passes by, but they might as well be invisible for all the interest he shows them. He kicks back the leather chair and slumps down, raking a hand through his rippling black hair. He’s wearing the uniform of the Workboots – black pants, tight shirt, old leather boots. The only splash of color in his wardrobe is a tattered, dark green military jacket. A two-of-hearts playing card pokes out of the breast pocket. “Thanks for making the effort to dress up for me,” I mock. He smirks, taking out a packet of cigarettes and placing one between his pale lips, showing a glimpse of fang. A waiter walks over to us and places two drinks on the table: straight gin for me and a bright red cocktail for Ash. He quirks a brow. “It’s called a Bloody Mary,” I explain. “It’s the closest thing they had to Sanguis wine.” He sniffs it and grimaces. “I’ll pass, thanks,” he says, taking a box of matches out of his pockets and lighting the cigarette still dangling between his lips. “There’s no smoking inside, sir,” the waiter says. Ash fixes him with a hard look. The waiter moves on. He leans back against the chair, soaking in the atmosphere while I place a Dictaphone between us. I loosen my patchwork jacket, feeling a little overheated by the fire roaring in the nearby hearth.

“This is Juno Jones from Black City News speaking to Ash Fisher, September 2012,” I say into the Dictaphone. “Thanks for agreeing to do this interview, Ash.” “For you Juno? Anything,” he says. I roll my eyes, blushing a little. I’m starting to see why my little sister Amy has such a crush on him. “What’s this for anyway?” he asks. “It’s for Dystopian Domination 3. They’re the guys who paid for your trip. It’s really cool, you’ll love it,” I say. “Okay, first question. Can you tell us about yourself?” He sits up and rubs the back of his neck, suddenly awkward. Wisps of smoke spiral out of cigarette held in his other hand. “I dunno. I’m just a regular guy, I guess. No different to anyone else,” he says. I smirk. “Other than the fact you’re a twin-blood?” Ash grins. “Yeah, okay, there’s that.” He sinks back against the seat, relaxing a little. “Well, where do I start? I was born and raised in Black City. I currently live with my dad in an old church, located in the crappy end of town known as The Rise.” “It must be a culture shock coming here after life in The Rise?” I say, making a sweeping gesture with my hand, indicating toward the plush leather sofas, marble pillars and HD screens constantly playing entertainment news and sport. He laughs, taking another drag of his cigarette. “That’s an understatement. I’ve never been outside Black City, so this is quite…something.” “What do you think of things here in the ‘present world’?” He shrugs. “So far I like it. The city’s not on fire and no one’s tried to kill me yet. All in all, it’s shaping up to be a good day.” “What’s the first thing you did when you got here?” I ask.

Ash looks sheepishly at me through his black bangs. “I bought a packet of smokes. Beetle’s always stealing mine. Don’t tell Natalie though, I’m supposed to be quitting.” “Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me,” I say. “Right, here’s a bit of a brain teaser. If you lived here, in this time, who would you be and what would you do?” “I don’t know this world well enough to say,” he admits, glancing up at the television screens, which are currently showing a football game. “I’d like to do that though. Looks fun.” “I think you’d have an unfair advantage,” I say, eyeing him up and down. Even sitting down he’s taller than most people are standing up and he’s packed with muscle. “Aren’t your bones reinforced?” He grins. “You gotta make the most of what you got.” I take a sip of my gin. It goes down smoother than the Shine I’m used to. “So what’s your favorite thing about 2012 and why?” “That’s easy. Democracy,” he says. “Having lived under Purian Rose’s rule my whole life, I know what it’s like to not have any liberties. It’s time we changed that.” His eyes lock on mine, meaning passing between us. “No fear,” I whisper. “No power,” he replies. A thrill of fear runs through me at our open dissent of Purian Rose, expecting a platoon of Trackers to swoop in and arrest us at any moment. But of course they don’t. They’re not here. We’re safe. I flick through my notebook, trying to steady my nerves. I clear my throat. “So…if you could have three wishes, what would you wish for and why?” “Fragg…that’s a good one.” He leans forward and grinds his cigarette out against the table. “Okay. My first wish is that Natalie will live a long and happy life.” I smile. “Well, that goes without saying.”

He grins. “Second wish, we overthrow Purian Rose.” “And your third wish?” “They introduce Taco Tuesdays at school. Beetle’s always complaining about the food.” I laugh. “Well, it was lovely seeing you again Ash. Enjoy the rest of your visit.” He shakes my hand. “I will. Say ‘hi’ to Precious for me.” With that he gets up and strolls out of the room, passing the fire roaring in the hearth. The flames flicker, making shadows dance over his eyes and cheeks, and for a fraction of a second I glimpse the man he’s going to become…

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