Dear readers, tonight with us is a rebellion leader, a shrewd warrior struggling for years to liberate his planet. He’s here to tell us about disastrous missions and conflicting loyalties in the quest to save his people.

Tell us a little about where you grew up. What was it like there?

I was born on Zetherion. This planet isn’t a friendly place. The land is covered by dead deserts, and the seas are too salty for many aquatic animals. Basically, the only living organisms you can see here are insects, little reptiles and parched bushes. There are only two sources of potable: very deep wells and melting snow.

We live in caves, houses made of mud bricks or tents. I spent my childhood in a pretty big city. A city with over 70 000 inhabitants is pretty big for this planet. I had a room in a two-story brick house. It was poorly furnished, but also very cozy and warm at night.

My relationship with neighbours was just alright. The Zetherionian folks are stubborn and tough-minded but also helpful. The harsh environment forced us to be like this but I’m proud of this place and these people.

Any cherished childhood memories?

My childhood was completely dull. Wake up, do housework, read some textbooks (since schools weren’t very common) and go to sleep. My father used to live with me but he’s not worth mentioning here. He was nothing more than a flatmate. I was the only child and I’m not sure what happened to my mother. My father said she died during childbirth. There were no doctors in my neighbourhood.

The first memory I can call “cherished” was meeting my cellmates when I was 17. One of them, Khatesios, gave me his blanket and tried to talk with me. I regret fobbing him off. Khaty was the first person there who offered me help.

What do you do now?

I’m fighting for my world, Zetherion. Since I’m the leader of this rebellion unit, I cannot afford to make mistakes. I’m also the owner of the biggest spaceship ever built, so my missions usually focus on space battles and special land operations. I’m used to living in hard conditions too and sometimes I support special land operations. In my opinion, my most important duty is supporting my people, giving them hope and motivation.

What can you tell us about your latest adventure?

That was a disaster. This disaster caused a huge damage and civilian causalities. The worst thing is, the accident happened on Devi Kali’s planet. She is the main rebellion leader and she was furious.

What did you first think when you met Cerridwen ?

My first thought was to just shoot her. That’s what I do when I meet the Unions. That clever girl tricked me, so I spared her life. I’m really glad I didn’t kill her. 

What was the scariest thing in your adventures?

I face scary things almost every day – I may get killed, captured, interrogated, just typical occupational hazard. But there’s one fear I feel all the time. I’m afraid of failure. My people trust me and my friends need me, so I can’t just make a mistake. I can’t lose.

What is the worst thing about being a leader of a rebellion unit?

Listening to Devi Kali. She’s in the highest position here and she thinks she knows better than us. She tries to enrich her planet at our expense, but also she pretends to help us. She provides us with weapons and equipment. I can’t stand living under her orders, but I have no other way. I just need to suck it up and fight for my own world.

What is the best thing about it?

I can still have hope and share it with my people. Every day my bond with them is stronger. The longer we fight side by side, the stronger nation we become. And when I see my army winning, I feel proud. I’m always impressed by their tenacity, stubbornness and courage. This pride fills me with hope and the cycle repeats itself. I’m glad I have a chance to be a part of this nation.

Tell us a little about your friends.

I’m not going to mention my dead friends. It’s too draining.

I have two friends now. One of them, Jouni, is not only my friend but also my brother in arms. His full title is “Einherjer Jouni Kalma of The Owl Regiment under the command of Jarl Vindold”. We are so different. He’s sociable and glib and he likes to drink some spirit but we have a common enemy and a common goal.

The second one is Captain Quirinus Eadon. He’s 8 years younger than me. I’m guiding him through his teenage years. I taught him many things, and he’s a really clever student. He’s also brave, sometimes too brave, and I have to hold him back. Luckily, he trusts me and he sees a role model for me. I recently noticed a small change is his behaviour but I guess I’m just overprotective.

Any romantic involvement?

No, I’ve never been in love. I’m not a romantic person.

Whom (or what) do you really hate?

The Union. They pretend to save the poor worlds from the bad rebels, but in reality, they just prey on us all. My world was destroyed by them, and I’m not their only victim. I can’t let them run rampant across the galaxy. I want to reclaim what belongs to me.

What’s your favourite drink, colour, and relaxing pastime?

I will never forget the taste of water with sugar and some kind of spice. It’s a simple but tasty drink. Jouni said he invented it when he was on a mission. He spend a few days deep in the swamps and the spice was the only thing that repelled the insects.

My favourite colour is orange and purple. A combination of those colours reminds me of my home. Sunsets on Zetherion had these beautiful colours.

What does the future hold for you?

I have to survive an insane mission – capture a fortress. I know it will cost lives of my people, but at least we will prove our worth. It’s the Kali’s revenge. She treated us like a cannon fodder but she will learn we’re more than that.

Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?

I never show it but I live in fear. I can’t show it. My people see a fearless leader in me. Sometimes I want to talk with someone about it but I don’t want to look like a coward. Zetherionians aren’t cowards.

Dagmar Rokita is a Polish writer and an artist. She writes and illustrates dark sci-fi series called “Bloodstained Skies”. There are two things that inspire her: imaginary world of geek culture and the deepest corners of human psychology. Huge doses of heavy metal and history are her creative fuel. She wants to become a famous artist because she needs money to buy sophisticated food for her cat.

You can find Charon on the pages of Bloodstained Skies: The Core of Rage.

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