Dear readers, tonight with us is Desu. She is a Crawler, a member of a genetically bred race of caretakers who have watched over the last remnants of humanity. She is here to talk with us about humanity’s travels across the universe in it’s Hollow Earth spaceship.
We had the chance to interview her as part of her blog tour around the Earth. You can find more info about Desu, Jenna and the rest of the tour stop in the links below.
Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?
I was created in the depths of the earth, Assaph, by human scientists bent on the survival of their species. I am one of a horde of creatures, genetically modified to best suit the underground environment of the humans’ sanctuary.
Did you have any favourite toys as a child? Any cherished memories?
I had no childhood, no cherished memories…and I wish I did. It is something that brings me great sadness; that the humans have these things, and take them for granted. I would give anything to be one of them. They have families and happy memories–all I know is awakening in the darkness, fully grown, and ready to protect the humans with the rest of my kind.
What do you do now?
I protect the humans! For…I don’t know how long, I lived underground inside the hollow earth with them, watching over them, making sure they stayed in the city limits and stayed safe. But when the watership awoke and told us–all of my kind, the Crawlers–to take the humans and put them inside the ship, ready for departure, everything changed. Now I watch over the humans in a far more volatile environment–inside the watership, in space.
What can you tell us about your latest adventure?
Well, when the earth began to collapse, all of my kind took the humans of the cities to the watership, ready to leave before the implosion. I…I am not one of the hivemind of the Crawlers. I don’t know why, but I can think independently from them. And I love all humans, so in this one case, I went against my programming, the instincts the scientists placed in us from the beginning, and I took and hid the rejected humans in the ship as well. The ‘genetically inferior’ ones that had chosen to live outside the cities and had no idea that had sealed their doom. I saved as many as I could!
What did you first think when… ?
When I entered space? I was terrified. Absolutely terrified, but so excited. My true purpose was just beginning. The rest of my kind began their rest–their only purpose being to watch over the humans until the watership awoke, and the denizens onboard could take over that job. But I saw that was not what was best for the humans. They were ripped from their ‘safety’ in their homes in the cities, taken to an entirely foreign place, put all together–strangers and enemies alike–and introduced to even more alien aspects of the ship. They needed a leader they could trust, and I needed to give them one.
What was the scariest thing in your adventures?
Realising how uncontrollable the humans were, wantonly killing or ostracizing each other, fighting amongst themselves in fear and confusion…leading them was not a thing I could do on my own, but anyone I could find to help had their own agenda as well! And then the aeromancers awoke, and decided they would kill the humans in order to further their own survival…that was the most terrifying part of all.
What is the worst thing about…?
Living on the watership? Ugh. Trying to handle all of the humans, the ones I had snuck aboard–trying to keep them secret, the various aspects of the watership as they awoke (the core’s Caretaker, the Aspects that were creatures born solely to communicate between the core and the humans) and trying to keep everyone from harming each other!
What is the best thing about it?
Seeing Kira, the little girl I adopted, grow and flourish. Seeing the humans begin to learn to stand up for themselves and work together against a common foe, to stop bowing to others’ leadership.
Tell us a little about your friends.
Other than Kira, I do not have friends. That is a human thing…I don’t really understand it.
Any romantic involvement?
Uh. *laughs* No, goodness no. My own kind are mindless, roaming beasts, now that their task is fulfilled. And who on the ship would want anything to do with me other than the barest necessities of talking with me as a leader? I am a beast, created from an amalgamation of creatures on the earth now long-dead. I do wish I had the freedom of caring the humans do, but I don’t.
Whom (or what) do you really hate?
I hate all those that seek to harm the humans–be they one of the humans themselves, the aeromancers, or anyone else. I protect my humans at all costs.
What does the future hold for you?
It holds hope. Hope for a new life and a new world!
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
Well…I’m not sure what to tell you. I can tell you that I watched over the humans far more than they thought; I touched one’s hand through the glass of their window, yes, but that was not the last time I touched one. Even when Kira hugs me, I think back to seeing the humans in the communes, outside the city, and their kindness to me. Sometimes–most times–they feared me, but some stayed and talked with me once they saw I was not like the other mindless Crawlers, the mad borers…none of the other creatures of the darkness underground. I treasure those moments.
Jenna Whittaker is an Australian author who has been writing fantasy, science fiction, and horror novels for as long as she can remember! She love writing, her artwork, and caring for animals. You can find Desu on the pages of Watership.
Other stops on Desu’s, Jenna’s and the Watership blog tour:
We will resume our regular schedule on Friday, when we will host a combat medic, serving in the Roman Empire’s most dangerous province – Britain. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right), via Twitter or like our Facebook page to be notified when the next interview is posted.