…for virgins, one assumes
After The Change Came
A Day For Being Interviewed
Well, the Grizzlies lost by 2 points yesterday. Gigi won her bet with Roscoe, so she will be off to the Napa Valley wine country with Grace, Mom, Lily and assorted girlfriends for a weekend of spas, wine and fine food, all on the old hound dog’s nickel. I lost a bottle of 12 year old single malt scotch to Kelly, who chose the damned lucky Sharks. If it hadn’t been for that summoned Earth Elemental, the Grizzlies would have won.
Anyway, today I’m going to post the first of several Times of Luna interviews that Lena Kostrova did with members of our family and friends at a big party my folks had to celebrate their 70th anniversary. It was part of a year long series where Times reporters interviewed families around the world. I think we all came off looking pretty good.
The Times Interview: Doc & Roscoe
Times: So, first off let me congratulate both of you on your fairly recent fatherhood.
Doc: Thanks, although I had been a father for about 13 years prior to that. Still, it is a bit different being a father to human babies.
Roscoe: Try being a father to four babies at once. But yeah, it’s all good and fatherhood does change you.
Times: Speaking of you, Roscoe, you’re also pretty recently married, right?
Roscoe: Just shy of two years. It’s great, you know. I think I’d known for years that Gigi was the one. We make a very good team and she’s beautiful and all that. Yeah, it’s good being married.
Times: And Doc, you just celebrated 38 years of marriage?
Doc: Yep, and it’s just as good as it was on day one.
Times: Ok, so moving to another subject via a reader submitted question, why did the two of you form a vidgame production house instead of just staying freelancers?
Roscoe: It was all about working together and getting games out in less time. See, Dad has always been better at thinking things up and fleshing them out, but I’ve got the better skills at going into C-Space and putting things together. We were always helping each other out anyway, so this was just a small step, really.
Doc: Right. I’ve been playing RPGs and GMing and creating worlds since D&D first came out. That stuff I can do in my sleep, but Roscoe grew up messing around with C-Space apps like WorldMaker and Game Factory, so by the time I started working on my first QuestWorld module, he was knocking out world skins and stuff in his spare time. He did most of the actual building on my first three or four modules.
Roscoe: It was fun. Dad comes up with some great off the wall concepts. The scavenger hunt during a robot uprising? The jewel heist during a party at the White House, Reagan Era? The zero gee bar fight in Module G-15, “Moon Dust Rock”? All classics! And very popular, I might add.
Times: Another reader question is for Doc. What is it like being able to speak so many languages and why can’t you read them, too?
Doc: Well, actually, about a year ago, the Wizards sort of upgraded Speakers so that we can, over time, learn to read the languages we speak most often. So far, I’m pretty good at reading Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Fae, Japanese, Troll and Hebrew. As for what it’s like being able to speak with so many sentients, well, it’s enlightening. First thing you find out is that most people are pretty much like most other people. They want a good life, good health and a nice world that’s fun to live in. Now, their ideas of what’s “fun” can vary wildly, but by and large folks are the same regardless of species or bodily form.
Times: Roscoe, this question is for you. How do you feel about the Wizard ruling on Smart Animals?
Roscoe: I’m a big supporter of it. First off, the Smart Animals who were raised up just by talking with First Gen Smart Animals are good folks, but they are still full of regular animal tendencies. This tends to lead to some internal conflicts. Fortunately, wizards & mages have been great about helping them get through that, but it was still pretty rough for most of them. And the world needs just regular animals, ordinary dogs & cats & such.
Of course, getting our Hands was just a crazy popular thing. I can’t tell you how much easier it made our lives. I can hardly wait to play fetch with my kids once they get a bit older. It’s pretty hard to throw a ball any distance using your mouth.
Times: One more, related question. Why do no Smart Dogs ever “go Anthro”, but 8 out of 10 Smart Cats do?
Roscoe: Well, for the best answer, you’ll have to ask my sister, but it pretty much boils down to the fact that Smart Cats never fully mature, mentally. They all kind of stop at about the 15 year old point, but they are intelligent enough to realize that. Going Anthro lets them become adults. And there’s the whole opposable thumb thing. And I think cats have always kind of been jealous of humans.
Smart Dogs, on the other hand, mature pretty quickly. I graduated high school when I was 7 years old. Gigi had her teaching credentials by the time she was 8. Also, Smart Dogs are very comfortable with remaining dogs. The hands & thumb thing would be useful, but it was never enough to tempt us. We like being the shapes and sizes we are. We work well with people like this. Besides, computer sims that show us how going Anthro would affect us show that Dog People would be pretty ugly/strange looking. Cat People are all good looking.
I’ll also point out that very few Smart Animals other than cats ever go Anthro. There are a few Fox People out there and a couple of Pig People, who are really smart, but butt ugly, and maybe a dozen assorted others. It also doesn’t help that once you go Anthro, you can’t go back.
Times: Doc, here’s a twofer for you, from a young lady working at Lunar South Pole Colony. First, how much of the Potter books were based on you and your friends, including Doctor Candace Coleman, at Hobart’s. Second, are you ever going to write a book or do a vid about the 1972-1973 Looking For Trouble World Tour?
Doc: (laughing) I’ll answer the second part first. We have actually been contacted by a publisher about this and are in negotiations, both with the publisher and among ourselves. Revelation of what went on over the course of that 366 days is a subject of various degrees of concern among the four of us. It was a particularly wild part of our wild & misspent youth…well, ok, not so wild for Avis and Candy, who was not yet anywhere near being an astronomer or an astronaut, compared to Sin & I…so there might be parts we want to leave out or edit, so as not to shock the children.
Times: (at this point, Roscoe collapses in laughter)
Doc: Oh yeah, laugh it up, you floppy eared goob. Wait until your kids are old enough for Grandpa to tell them about YOUR youthful antics.
So yes, there will be a book at some point. We all kept journals of the trip, so putting the book together will be fairly easy. There are also tons of photos and about 6 hours of 8mm movies, some of which are pretty funny.
As far as a movie goes, I can’t say, but it would be pretty cool and might have to be done as a couple of movies or a miniseries. Quite a bit happened on that trip.
Now, the question about the Potter books is one we all get asked very often. The answer is that the school and Mr. Hobart had a whole lot more influence on the books than we did. Well, them and Mr. Snade and Miss MacDougal. I think it was more some of the stories that came from our exploits at school, as well as the exploits of other students, that went into the main characters than us personally. I mean, J.K. didn’t even start at Hobarts until four years after we graduated, so she never knew us in person. We did meet her at our 10th reunion, which took place at the school just as she was returning for her final year. She was Head Girl for Grizzly House, which was our House. I mostly remember that she was a very polite young lady.
Come to think of it, the drinks did flow freely that night and the four of us did sit around retelling old school stories, so she might have heard them straight from the perpetrator’s mouths.
Times: Alright, one last question for the both of you, and it comes from none other than Lunar President Jasmine Cook. How strange is your life?
Roscoe: It’s not strange at all. This life, this world is all I’ve ever known. For me, all of this is totally normal. I suspect this question is more aimed at Dad, since he was around well before the change.
Doc: I think you’re right, son. Well, I was around for 45 and a half years before the Change came. Aside from growing up with my family, going to Hobarts, being a big old science fiction/fantasy/gaming fan and being a nature geek, I spent a year raising hell all over the world, then spent the next 10 years roaming North and South America with the woman I love. We tried a few years of living a normal life, but that failed so we roamed the world for a few more years. Finally, in 1999, at ages 45 and 43, we decided to start thinking about adopting a couple of kids, but first we adopted a puppy and kitten and took a two month road trip that was interrupted by the Change.
After that, well…
I live in a world where magic really exists and is pervasive. In August of 1999 I went from being 45 years old physically to being 18. I’m a Mutant that can converse with everyone and everything that has a language. My wife is a green skinned, smells of nature and is one of 10,000 female avatars of the worldwide biosphere. My dog and cat got Smart and became my son & daughter. I’m a grandfather to four Smart Puppies.
Most of my family and many of my friends became Gnomes, except for the ones who became giants, witches, elves, centaurs or other New Races. My best male friend, who is a cross dresser and died 5 years before the Change, became a Computer guide, then about 11 years later came back from the dead and now lives in a treehouse with a Smart Rabbit. My best female friend is a Mutant who can step through any door on Earth and step out any other. She’s married to a Scottish Mage and they live in a house that looks like a hamburger.
Two of my nephews live on the Moon and one of them is going to Mars. I live in a house that is kept clean and functioning by House Elves, the male of whom is also my gentleman’s gentleman, which I assure you is a total oxymoron, since neither of us are. And he sounds like Obi Wan Kenobi, filtered through Jeeves and Alfred Pennyworth.
My mule is Smart and a wicked good poker player. My wife’s best friend is a dragon that can only enter our home if she shrinks down to human size. I often hang out with Wizards, all of whom were famous human scientists, writers, actors, comedians and other creative types. Many of them were dead before the change, some for over a century. All of them are screwy.
I buy most of my beer from a 7 foot tall Troll named Jim, who runs a farm and brewery. I regularly ride buses that are part dog, cat or rabbit. My favorite mode of travel is on steampunk looking airships.
I’m trying to prevent civil war in China. My eldest daughter went from Smart Cat to Catgirl and is a high school student in the middle of puberty. None of the dozens of windows in my house are the same shape. At the chronological age of 58, I became a father to a Mutant and A Green Lady In Waiting.
And I’m being interviewed by a young woman from the Moon.
So you tell me, how strange is that?
Times: I’ll leave that for the readers to decide. Thank you for your time, gentlemen.