Mall Rats - Characters
I am well aware I have at best a ... thin grasp of how People work, and a similarly thready grasp of the wider world. This has long been a fear of mine and why I tend to favor scifi or fantasy settings. Easier to buffalo the audiance when you're making up the whole world.
Sarah - A young woman of wealth and taste. She's well aware not just of the privilage her family's money provides, but also that her father has tried to shield her from becoming, in his words, 'a poor immitation of the walton brats.' So, she's spent highschool in public education rather than private schools and only has a limited amount of contact with her wider family and the circles they walk in. Covid was the perfect excuse of extracting her from the wealth bubble. She thinks she is well and truly free of the poor behavior and snobbish attitudes that define wealth, but even now in the year before collage she has so much to learn. Fortunately for her she's taken a recent argument and turned it into motivation to try doing better. She is why there is even the chance at doing something with a now years dead mall rather than watch as investment vultures bulldoze it down to nothing to slap yet another warehouse store there, or worse, a gated community that serves nobody in the wider community.
Anderson - On the one hand this guy is a dreamer. Where others say 'Things could be worse,' his mind pivots to 'Yes, but things can be so much better.' Identifies as an Anarchist, but given the place he lives doesn't so much as lean right wing as completely bowed down towards conservitive thought processes only a few friends are aware of the true extent of his views. Most see him as being 'a bit argumenetive, but guy shows up and will outwork most anyone even though he looks like he'd blow away in a stiff breeze.' In the past he's performed acts of 'artistic vandalism' to abandoned or closed down places either to showcase who he feels is responsible for the closure, or to show that a space could be better used. These bits of gurilla art are at best tolerated and at worst are quickly removed by locals. He had plans for the mall ever since it was shuttered when covid killed off the last stores that clung to the place. Now, he gets to put those plans into action.
Paul - Poor vision as well as other tics tend to excluse him from 'normal' society and so tends to either be relegated to house help with family concerns, or stick to what he knows as he is well aware of just how vulnerable he is without any sort of support. On the up side what few friends he has understand his fears, at least to some degree, and try to include him in doings and goings on while also keeping family looped in so he has more going on. Largely due to disability induced exclusion from normalcy as well as a percived need to be careful with avalible funds he has a long abiding interest in refurbishment of places, clothing, electronics, and so on. He'll be quick to point out he does not 'Horde.' That's a longstanding fear, that any sort of parts bins he keeps will overflow into burying himself alive in 'junk.' Unlike most of Anderson's other 'art installations' he sees the mall as a way to put several ideas he's had into practice. If nothing else it gives him something to do over the summer.
Karan and Faust - Everyone else knows them as the sort of shy twins that are 'there' but generally are the hangers around and pair of hands rather than debate and contribute to the discussion types. What nobody knows is they are not human. They were sent out by their enclave to keep tabs on the human settlement they're part of to make sure they aren't found out, or if they are that they have time to escape as they feel co-existance is impossible. That view might change, or it might not. At present they view Anderson's mall project as a way to keep a Genius Loci alive and through it a means for their community to have a place of safety and shelter.
I'm going to be perfectly blunt. I only have vague archatypes for everyone else. 'The supportive father that's trying to toughen his kid up for life,' 'The Disconnected Family,' 'The unknowing abuser,' etc etc. i want these people to feel like people, but they're not the focus. If this were a painting instead of a story I'd describe it as abusing the fact they are tucked away to not spend much more tha na few brush strokes on each.' Yet even then I do want them to feel like People instead of cardboard cut outs. Again, my fear is... I don't know how to People well and it terrifies me to essentially trot out into public and go 'Hey lookit me! I don't know what i"m doing or understand how humans work!'
The Mall and other Supernatural Things
At first I was going to have only The Mall as supernatural. Then I got to thinking that is both boring and unrealistic. It would not exist alone and would be part of a wider ecosystem. So, I'm trying to figure out why the humans largely do not know about this.
Rules for the Supernatural:
- They cannot unambiguously show their nature to humans. They can interact in ways that leave humans able to explain away what has happened, or under the belief that they are communicating with other humans. This is more flexable when it comes to creatures as opposed to Genius Loci. However creatures that break this rule tend to be (but are not always) predatory towards humans.
- The Creatures of the world do not Need to eat human food, but can derive sustainance from it based on factors such as freshness, care taken in preparation, or even if the food was intentionally left out. This is something akin to food offerings and the like for gods and spirits across polytheistic and other non-abrahamic faiths.
- Concerning Genius Loci such as The Mall. It's life is tied to the structures and activity within its domain. Id those structures were to be wiped away with nothing and no one there in any permanent fashion. It dies. In Nature this is all but impossible since there is always an ecosystem within a place. Within a ciy that is paved over if the structure falls there's no There there for anything to really grow.
- Genius Loci can take advantage of anything left within its sphere of influince either to communicate, or to learn. Say someone leaves their phone and it can internet. Or someone leaves books. Or a pad of paper. To an extent it can also replicate anything within its bounds to a degree but must leave whatever it creates in such a way that whoever comes across it does not know the origin. This explains situations where someone 'happens' to find their phone somewhere they didn't realize, or 'old notes left by mantinance, or other such events where 'someone did something or left something but nobody knows who.'
Mall Rats Index