"Maiden of Ice": The Inside Track....

The general premise of Maiden of Ice -- matching Beamer up with a young lady who had a unique disability -- was part of the original cluster of ideas I had from the very beginning of this latest iteration of the Hearthstone stories; having her be the one who helped him solve the Cartel "missile mystery" came a bit later. Once that was settled, the main lines of the stort underwent very little change up until now, save that both prime aspects of the bonus scene (assuming you know what those are) were "last minute" inspirations. So....there's really not much to say for this Insider.

Jelica's disability, as far as I know, is not a real one. As readers have noted, the disability is an emotional one, which makes it hard for Jelica to express emotion. In an agonistic society like eastern Hearthstone's continents, that's especially troublesome because you're expected to offer appropriate displays of emotion even if you don't mean it. They're all shunning her, basically, because she doesn't cry at funerals, or laugh at jokes, etc. While this resembles some forms of autism, perhaps, I am told that there is no disability that matches Jelica's exactly...so consider that to be a touch of storytelling license...

I was asked: But why is Lady Hubred an exception to the "shunning"? We can assume that Lady Hubred knew Jelica's father and that the dealings with her family have been extensive. In addition, it is not for no reason that I have plotted it so that Lady Hubred is an Amentazari. Of all the races in the East they would be the most likely to "overlook" something like Jelica's disability or even encourage her.

Time references for the first online conversation were carefully evaluated in terms of the vastly different time zones Beamer and Jelica are in....it works. Trust me.

The scene at the harbor, and the conclusion where Brett closes by "lighting up," was a scene that underwent some serious consideration. I was trying to decide who should accompany Beamer to the harbor. Brett was the natural choice since he was the marriage broker, but I couldn't think of how to get around the fact that he'd turn into a fireball without Annabelle around. So for a while I was going to have Sheila be the one who accompanied Beamer. I finally did settle on Brett going, and the dialogue on the first page was going to be the only explanation (that he was using some sort of prescribed exercises to hold back the thermal power), when it occurred to me halfway through the inks that it would make for a great closing gag to have Brett "blow up" at the customs desk.

Also, the lionlike character in the foreground is a sort of "fursona" of one of our readers.

Look for those Range Patrol action figures again in Shrike Team #7 -- Brom's going to have a surprise encounter with them, and they'll also pave the way for the Range Patrol crew to become prominent citizens of Hearthstone. We'll also see another example of the Tilkrig "psychic connection" process though with siblings. I have not yet decided on all the mechanics of the process...it's open whether things like memory sharing occur, for example.

The scene with the wedding video (rather than covering it "live") was designed to incorporate the wedding and fill in the space between that and when the happy couple left for the East.

That's it for now...

Chapter Jump
Pariah 1-4 Changes of Heart 36-41
Getting Online 4-7 Mystery Solved 42-46
Connections 8-18 Mission: Honeymoon 47-49
Engagement Arrangements 18-28 Bonus Scene 50-54
Prenuptials 29-35 RP #7 "Insider"