M is for—Mommy Issues
Though not exactly otherwise describable in any way, shape or form as a typical Mama's boy, our frilly Mister Pargeter is nevertheless doomed from his first appearance in A Book of Tongues—when a drunken San Francisco idjit tries valiantly to insult him by explicitly comparing him to his drug-addicted (literal) whore of a mother, “English” Oona—to always be thinking about the ways in which they're either similar or different. Doesn't help that they're both small, red-headed, vicious and apt to trade sex for favours, of course...but from the very minute I decided to have Chess let his boyfriend dispose of Oona long-distance, I knew that the worst place he could ever end up after that would be getting stuck in some version of Hell with only his dead Ma for company. Not exactly coincidentally (and not a spoiler, per se), it is this exact situation Chess finds himself in at the end of A Rope of Thorns/beginning of A Tree of Bones. Cue bonding! Sort of. Let's put it this way: Oona and her flamin' molly of an only child will never not have far more in common than either of them are happy to admit. And frankly, I like it that way.
N is for—Normals (Badass)
Much like Hawkeye, Black Widow and Nick Fury when compared with the rest of the Avengers, “normal” people often tend to take a certain background stance when everybody else in a given narrative has genuine superpowers. Except, of course, that all three of the above-mentioned actually do have a shared superpower: Being badass. In a funny way, part of the internal debate driving Chess Pargeter at this point has a lot to do with the fact is that while he started out thinking he was awesome/cursed for being so special-snowflake different, it actually turns out he was part of a bigger picture all along—that at least part of him, possibly the most important part, comes with a semi-predictable set of rules attached. Having always been a hex explains his ridiculous way with guns, if not the inclinations that prompted him to take them up, in the first place; does it automatically dismiss every other ingredient of what makes him him?
Meanwhile, my favourite badass normal—Ed Morrow—just keeps on keepin' on, even surrounded as he is by magic-addicted once and future bosses, drunken arcanists, various hexacological consorts, his demigod pal with benefits and the not-exactly-girlfriend he thought was normal when they first hooked up, but is now carving out a corner of the board for herself, using a completely different set of powers. Luckily, he has good instincts, stamina and a fair sense of humour to support him, so I'm pretty sure he'll manage to come out of things all right.
Tomorrow: O and P!