Men! Its Time!

 

Time to Explore

It is clear this is when women are to become empowered. Do we stand on the sidelines and wish them well or oppose what must come?

There is a third alternative. Seize the moment to look at ourselves so that we may have perspective on who we are in history and who we are to become. I’m finding our silence stunning. Certainly some of us are embedded in one of the other two alternatives but I hear precious little about who we are to become. In fact, I hear little discussion of who and what we are.

Beyond Alternatives

Perhaps the most compelling possibility right now is not whether we support or oppose the women’s movement. I would suggest it is time for us to decide about our identity and the future we might choose.

As I’ve explored thoughts about what is happening I find I am sifting issues about politics and power. In our current climate I find almost everything these days is reduced to politics and I find that narrow. At the same time I see a lot which seems related to power. Not just power among men in our government but whether our response to the women’s movement is about our view of our power—over women.

Why Power?

It is so curious that we are having this crisis. Yes, it is a crisis because, like or not, the outcome of the empowerment of women is a world changing process. If what men are fighting is about power then we have an issue which badly needs attention. Why the hell do we need to have power over women?

Are we so insecure that we think we must have control over women. If we have fallen in love with her, are we afraid she will leave us? Does that mean we hold ourselves in such low regard? Certainly relationships and marriages break up. Do we fear the process of life so much that we have to maintain a grip over women and for what reasons? Or do we have such a low understanding of what is being demanded of us that we fear any change?

More Questions 

This whole issue about men in the era of women’s empowerment is driving me down a path with many more questions than answers. At base It is my feeling that men badly need to examine themselves. One way to put it is that it is almost as if men need to be empowered. And that is not about having power over women but about the possibility of our own insecurity and fear of inadequacy.

Answers

Surely there are answers but I caution us against an easy dismissal. We really need to look at ourselves. The pictures of the freshman class in the House of Representatives was stunning. On the one hand was the picture of white Republican men in dark suits. On the other was a picture of Democrats with a large contingent of women in multiple colors. Was it past and future?

When I started writing this post I thought i had a focus. But when I began to explore I found I had no focus because I think men need to explore what has not been explored. And I feel we cannot accept easy answers and dismissals.

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Don’t Miss My Developing Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

I refer to it as a work of magical realism. It is a series with a strong mythological element and a real world setting in this time when women are being empowered at last. It is a time of wonder and awakening for all of humankind.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power – Book 1

(Available now in Kindle and paperback on Amazon.) 

Avery had dedicated her life to work for the future of third world women. Her life was enhanced when she met the man who became the love of her life. They could not know that they shared a destiny and that a mission set long ago by our Earth Goddess was to be revealed before them.

Gaia’s Majesty-Challenge: The Chosen Rise – Book 2

(Available now in Pre-Order and goes on sale April 29 on Amazon)

These people, called Tethyans, live in cities in the sea but can morph into fully human form and come to land to form families. They join with the warrior women called the Andromeda to fight against the forces working to impair the future of humankind. Avery has found her birth name of Chantia and she and Beck find there is soon to be a child of seeming great import just as the world falls into terrible strife with millions already dead. 

Moving Forward Together – For Change

 

Complex Issues

Of course men and women do form partnerships. We marry and we do have each other as friends and colleagues. But what we are coming to see is that there have been severe limits imposed and we aren’t clear why they are imposed. We have a sense of how it might be and do participate in some evaluation of how we relate to each other from time to time. But there may be so much more.

The Patriarchy

One definition of patriarchy is “a system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it.” Certainly there are exceptions, but, in general, we see that the participation of women has been limited. In the United States we are seeing greater participation of women in government and business but we are experiencing the resistance to their participation. It goes beyond even what we call “the glass ceiling”.

Last year began a new series specifically about patriarchy. It proved to be complex and it was only possible to touch on it lightly in this blog format. Surely there are detailed studies and formulations to be explored, but at least it needed to be introduced. Thinking about it led to the recognition of the need for the Masculinism movement.

Posts Already Published

These posts can be found on the blog www.cuspofreality.com.

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 1 – Shifting the Focus Regarding Women. (7/31/17)
We are seeing what’s called radical feminism related to the call to end subjugation. There are a number of definitions, each worth thought and exploration. Then we have to ask what the justification is for subjugation. And then there are questions regarding supposed perceived benefits for the maintenance of the patriarchy.

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 2 Why Are Women Subjugated? (9/11/17)
When the question “Were women always subjugated?” is asked, it opens a fascinating history. Cavemen dragging women away by their hair is one common image. But there are women warriors in history. One supposition is that subjugation began in earnest with the agricultural revolution when more and more children were needed as workers.

A Focus on Patriarchy – Pt. 3 The Meaning and Substance of the Subjugation of Women (10/2/17)
It takes some exploration, but it is fascinating to think in detail about why this happens. Certainly one usual assumption is that it has distinct benefits for men, but often that assumption is simplistic. Examination requires looking at losses for women and society. It is also apparent that it is carried in the extrasomatic stream of culture.

More to Come
In the series about patriarchy there is more to come. Clearly thinking about it led to the series related to a masculinist movement. As we enter this period where we are seriously reevaluating these issues and the demands for change are increasing, there will surely be many more posts. This is going to get really interesting.

AND your thoughts and sharing are invited. Please send to roger.burt@earthlink.net.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Women of Andromeda – Brigid Lynch

 

A Core Person

One of my readers of Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called referred to Brigid as the “flaming haired assassin-for-good”. I have to confess I’m not entirely sure where she came from. Each of the Andromeda women seemed to show up unbidden. Of course, as a psychologist I understand they don’t materialize in the author’s mind our of the ether.

My initial concept of Andromeda was not that these women were ruled by men. That is not exactly how the world of the Tethyans is. What fell into place was that the warrior women had to have some form of autonomy although clearly there would be some form of organization. It was all curious because they had a mission but it was not like they came from a corporation or an established government. So Brigid was chosen as the early leader and she had relationships with other leaders among the people.

The Tethys, or cities in the sea, were reasonably autonomous, certainly from each other but there was some form of general independence among other parts of the Tethyan people. I have to admit I’m not sure how this all came about.

Brigid as a Symbol

Certainly Brigid was needed as a warrior. There would inevitably be considerable conflict and leaders had to exist or emerge. As the story developed it was clear that Gaia had to be giving some guidance and where Brigid was placed suggested that she was part of that guidance. In the story she is indicative of women who are strong and independent and it was apparent to me that she probably had to have a troubled history to push her into this position. So she was a symbol of the strength of women and their dedication.

Curious Origins

I’m still trying to figure out where a lot of this came from and specifically what the origin of Brigid is. It was only later that I found Adrienne Mayor’s book The Amazons. As I’ve said elsewhere, I thought Amazons were mythological. And I came to find out that they were real.

In the ancient world the women of Greece were subjugated but just outside of that region were the Steppes of Asia. And on that plane were nomadic and semi nomadic tribes. The warrior Amazon women rode with their men into battle. They were skilled archers and excellent horsewomen. Women seem to have an edge in horse management as we see today.

And before I knew about the real Amazons I chose her to be a flaming redhead. Such hair color speaks to origins in Scotland and Ireland but what I learned was that the Amazon women were often redheads.

Something Else

And then later I learned about my own genetic heritage. My most prominent group is made up of people who were celtic,viking and saxon followed by a generic far northern European people. It included 5% neanderthal. That’s right, we now know their genetic code and are finding they are among us. When I looked farther back I could see that these people from whom I was descended came out of near Asia as the last ice age ended. In short they were part of the tribes made up of Amazons.

What I had done was create a character who was clearly from my own background when I didn’t even know about my background. It becomes kind of creepy.

Knowing that I wanted this woman to do battle with the Overlords I wrote (in my head) a background in the estate of a brutal Overlord who abused her mother. Finally her mother committed suicide which devastated Brigid. She was cast out of the estate and was taken in by the Tethyans.

Another Book

As you can see the story kept growing. It is clear to me that I may well be writing books about each of the lead women of the Andromeda. A similar process occurred for each of them and their stories continue to unfold in my head.

Have you had similar things emerge from inside of you?

 

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Mermaids and Mermen

Who do you think mermaids are?

Fundamental Myth

Some stories or concepts we call myths are more widespread than others. I’ve always been fascinated by the widespread stories about the sighting of mermaids. In one form or another they show up in an amazing array of cultures. Which led me to ask why? If mermaids are real, why do they exist? And if they are pure myth, what is the true meaning of the myth? Since I’m inclined to speculation I would speculate.

I should also note that mermen are nowhere nearly as prevalent. And I can’t recall being especially intrigued when they do appear. It seems that this myth has something special to say about women. For one thing they are pretty routinely not evil although they may be powerful or at least lovely and endearing. They tend to enrapture men. And naturally these women appear in water. Water bears on the meaning of the myth.

Mermaid Meaning and Power

I don’t know of a really good way to research the true meaning of a myth so I’m going to throw out some thoughts. These women of the waters are generally benign or very positive. They may be love objects with endearing powers. And often they are innocent. I think of the status of the mermaid sitting on the rock in Copenhagen harbor.

But they do not just come to us lovingly. Power seems implicit. And to me the water theme suggests generative powers and birth. After all it would seem that life came from the waters. I think we are seeing a powerful theme which touches upon an inherent positive view of women and it suggests considerable power of various kinds.

Being Endearing

The nature of the mermaids in the myths begs for involvement. On occasions these women may be threatening but generally they are not threatening. There is surely a deep feeling, a conveyance of what might be. In the water they do not often challenge men and in these myths we see caring and loving possibilities along with all the special creative and endearing parts of women.

It Could Happen to You

There is a song in which the singer tells us, “It could happen to you.” The listener (most likely a man) is instructed to run when church bells ring and the meaning is that the woman will surely draw him into marriage. But why should a man run? Is it so bad to have it happen to you? But the involvement indicates change and there is an inherent power which the woman has. And men don’t like to give up power.

Going Deeper

It was these perceptions which led me to see women of the sea as being not just powerful but possibly representing a route to a fulfillment of a transformation of humankind. Women are rising across the world and holding out to us the possibility of deep and fulfilling partnership on a broader level. The prospects are truly intriguing and exciting. I could not resist building a mythologically based trilogy to portray wonderful stories of women rising for this transformation for humankind and in true partnership with men at last.

What of this have you experienced?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Reframing This Blog’s Focus

 

Having concluded the two series called Women and Our Future and How Are You America?, its time to bring on new foci. These foci will be interwoven. Among them will be the transformation of the world as we empower women. It is very far from over. Also I will be returning to the inner life of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy and bring in some other adventures.

Examining Patriarchy

In the coming months I’m going to mix the sequence of the themes. I found I could not continue with the examination of the coming role of women without looking at men. Oh them? Yes, them and, of course, I’m one of them. And quite honestly in my life I find so much about men and their culture distressing. Certainly there are remarkable men who have made significant contributions, but I am also troubled by much of what I’ve seen and experienced. And so from a different standpoint I’m going to explore the issue of patriarchy. It turns out to be a complex subject open to evaluation and, yes, speculation. As we go forward in our changing world we need to look at patriarchy, what it may represent and where it might be leading us. The road ahead is complex and for me searching possibilities ahead is my daily bread.

More on the Roots of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy

We will continue to look more deeply into the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy. Books have roots and many forms of inspiration. One root is my support of feminism, but there are other things feeding the books which deserve an airing.

Post War Europe

And there will also be departure. I’m going to share some memories. As I’ve been writing my posts I find I suddenly am touching memories of things I and my family encountered in Europe over the years after World War II.

A Caribbean Adventure

Also on the international front will be posts about the Caribbean. My wife and I had a fifteen year adventure in St. Lucia. We stumbled upon it with friends and were entranced. We built a home and then also stumbled into a business. You notice I use the word “stumble” because so much of what we do in life is exactly that no matter how planful we are. Getting to know such a culture in depth is truly interesting.

More on the Andromeda Women

With a different slant there will be another series related to the Gaia’s Majesty books. I’ve given a little information about my view of the women who are so central to the story. Their history is diverse, fascinating and revealing. Yes, they are fictional characters, but I no longer view them as such. For me they came alive and have substantive meaning. I feel a need to share my thoughts.

Come join in the fun.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

The Women of the Andromeda

 

What do you think is happening to women?

Numerous Roles for Women

From the beginning, in writing the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy, I was clear that the women had to be extraordinary. Related is the fact that I have always been captivated and intrigued by the movement to empower women. There is a battle and clearly there was untapped potential. And in that battle women are showing how tenacious they can be.

But I felt I could not begin from pure fantasy. Of course part of what intrigued me was my love of mythology and how it speaks to us. Mermaids keep appearing in myth and I chose them to join us for the adventure. But there were other elements in history that were intriguing. In Adrienne Major’s book The Amazons I learned about some of the real warrior women in history.

Presenting Themsleves

And so the women of the Andromeda came into being. Many Tethyan women were reserved in the sea against the day when the mission for the salvation of our beloved blue planet and humankind would be called. But especially on land there was presently to be a confrontation and warrior women were needed to help.

In the Beginning

But in opening the series it did not seem right to simply have the women rush into battle. Two realities collided. One was that major human conflicts often begin in a low key fashion. One thing with which I collided was myself. I wanted a “normal” beginning related to how people are. So I chose innocent Avery as the lead character who thought she had lost her family and felt abandoned. Little did she know she had an extraordinary family.

But her family wasn’t merely hiding in the sea. It had an organization and women had been chosen and chose themselves to be defenders in the movement to come. And there were certainly enough issues to be combatted in the real world as we understand it today.

Among the People

The Tethyan people fell generally into three groups. The people who lived in cities in the sea called the Primals, the women who came to the land to form families and the defense force of women called the Andromeda. The women in the sea cities searched history and precious documents for the meaning and substance related to their future. The families on land positioned themselves for future dedicated possibilities. And the Andromeda women took on real world missions. These women could be dangerous and violent if needed.

Dedicated Women

The roles women assume are often complicated and in what they feel they must do they often have to resist restraints imposed by the larger society. And such was the case for the Andromeda women. Certainly they could embed themselves in government and corporations, but they could also engage in other forms of intrusion which might be useful. And so some of them became consorts with the powerful, greedy men called the Overlords. From that position they gained valuable insights and information.

I’m sure there are those who will criticize me for putting these women in such positions which are often frowned upon and they may be unfairly criticized for what they dedicated themselves to do. But that was a component of the real world and it needed inclusion.

These women took terrible risks, gave valiant service and, in the writing, addressed a reality which exists now and will in the future. I took delight in them. Brigid was most prominent and strong. She came to her position through tragedy which, of course, is often what leads to dedication. And darling Luisa was irresistible. She was so engaging and clever and seemed innocent. Except she was not innocent but dedicated.

And so fantasy and reality meld and talk truths about our world as it is whether realized or not and the future as it may be. Such dedication often leads to transformation of many kinds.

And I think in the future I may just write detailed stories focused on these amazing women. In the near term there will be posts on each of them.

Do you admire such women?

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Dedication

The Sources of Inspiration

In writing we often get so focused on the work at hand that we forget that our inspiration requires a statement of dedication. I find that defining the dedication may not be simple and may require attention to the diversity. Our inspiration may be somewhere close at hand or may involve much larger players or forces.

Dedication To Women

Yes, in our love stories men celebrate the women they come to love. But there is a larger context to which we often don’t attend. For the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy I wish to propose a dedication to women in general. They are a creative force in all regards, through their activities and through the children they bear for our future. For too long they have been subjugated. And now, at last, their empowerment is gaining force. They are to be celebrated in their diversity in the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy and just now in the publication of the first book of the trilogy, Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power.

A Specific Dedication

And then I must make a specific dedication to the woman who is especially inspirational to me. Together we enjoyed the television series The Vikings partly because we both have viking blood and fight life’s battles in partnership. We were amazed and delighted to see the women called Shield Maidens who fought side by side with their men. And so I am dedicating Gaia’s Majesty:Mission Called to my wife Mala, my love and Shield Maiden.

Gaia’s Majesty-Mission Called: Women in Power by Roger B. Burt

Roger B. Burt’s Amazon home page

Creating Characters and Plots by Roger B. Burt

Whatever Happened to Community Mental Health by Roger B. Burt

Fiction Writing Process I – The Birth and Shaping of Fiction

Various Sources and Resources

Technology in the hands of businessmen
The writing process is fascinating. There is conventional wisdom about how to do it, but there is considerable variation among those of us who write fiction. Nothing is universal. Clearly we are using our personal resources, but certainly we all need editors and a proofreader at the end. Of course there is the matter of inspiration. For me, I found some surprises. And those surprises came at many levels. First I noticed that I reached a point in the development of the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy when I realized that I had been working on it, in what I call the back of my brain, for decades.

Sources of Inspiration

And I found the source of inspiration was anything but confined. Over my life I’ve worked in a number of environments from medical establishments, helping people with personal conflicts, assisting in vocational choices and addressing inner city poverty. In the latter, our staff had to do battle with entrenched interests among the higher ups. While they were not despoiling the earth, they were working against the development of a rich new way to deliver services. Such opposition can be seen at all levels of our lives and in our societies.

Many Changes and Sources

And at the time women were becoming more and more central and influential. My mentor was an extraordinarily bright black women. My feminist orientation was born in those days. Later I moved on to dealing with the crisis management of stepfamilies in formation. And through it all I was getting deep into people’s personal lives in psychotherapy and some of it was simply life management.

From my educational background I had acquired a fascination with mythology and cultural processes. All of these elements coalesced in causing me to watch the world stage and political intrigue as our social life on this planet developed and we descended into environmental and social crises.

And more recently women rising to power has become more central as they gained control over their fertility and cultural events defined a need for new roles. I won’t try to detail the process because it is complex and is well covered elsewhere. But we can see their rise worldwide and the benefits attached are truly stunning.
Melding Sources and Themes

When I put all these components together a story was taking shape in my brain. It was attuned to feminism, the reality of growing conflicts and portrayed the need for stewardship of all kinds. And,of course, it had to have a mythological context which enhanced its creative shape.

Shaping the Story

At some point the question becomes how to shape the story. The author can simply start writing, can make notes and can also organize. My wife writes screenplays and in her work I saw something fascinating in the form of Dara Marks’ (see www.DaraMarks.com) Transformational Arc. I recognized it immediately. It is apparent at the movies. Specific elements are built including high points and culminations such as “as bad as it gets” which is the crisis which generally comes about three quarters of the way through a movie. The system does a wonderful job of shaping stories so they thrive rather than plod. I also used Carl Jung’s personality typology to help guide me in developing and joining characters. In fact, I present this tool in my book Creating Characters and Plots which is available as an ebook on Amazon.

But there was also the matter of containment when inspiration was truly sparked. The outpouring began which led to three books. I refer to it as coming from the back of my brain, but we know such things are fortified by the contributions of the right brain. And, with my knowledge of Carl Jung’s personality typology I could see that my personality components were making a contribution. My primary function of Intuition was leading me to speculative fiction and my auxiliary function of thinking was saving me from utter disorganization because it forced me toward organization.

In subsequent posts I’ll give more details on various components of what I call the writing process and what aids its organization and development.

What shapes the story of your life?

Roger B. Burt’s Creating Characters and Plots

Irrational Control

 

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Why do you think women are controlled?
Breadth of Threat

To me the image I chose to go with this post is extraordinary! I chose it because it conveys power and threat. Both are at issue in the interactions of men and women and this image clearly has a mythological quality to it.

The Mysterium Tremendum alludes to something most often seen in the realm of the myth. As indicated, it is of interest in this context because I believe it relates to the apparent need to keep women “under control” but certainly with relatively less power. It seems that women pose extraordinary threat. The fair sex? How interesting!

Naturally it may be that the need to keep women controlled or contained may merely be a matter of men wanting to retain as much power as possible. Often the argument is made that the restriction of women’s rights and freedom relate to the issue of knowing the paternity of children. While there may be betrayals, it seems unlikely to be the complete reason. Again, it is hard to come up with a totally clear and complete reason because in so many ways it is irrational. It hints at some underlying force.

The Female Power

What might that force be? As already noted, it may be the extraordinary attraction to a woman felt by a man. We stress a woman’s appearance certainly more than that of a man. At celebratory gatherings the men are routinely dressed in dark suits or black formal attire. It is an entirely different matter for the women.

When we look back into mythology we see the men are often dynamic warriors but dangerous women take another form entirely. They do not classically attack as much as they use extraordinary powers. Certainly in the Odyssey there are examples of the dangers Odysseus faced. There was Scylla who was originally a sea nymph loved by the sea god Poseidon. His wife poisoned her bath water and created a creature with 12 feet and six heads on long snaky necks. Her loins were girded with the heads of baying dogs. Clearly a very dangerous woman. And there was Charybdis, also female, who was a dangerous whirlpool.

At a more generic level we see the contrast between witches and warlocks. Witches are generally more dangerous or are more often portrayed as so. We use the term bewitched to refer to the power of a woman over a man.

Real World Mythic Power

Again I have to come back to the point that it is unlikely we can rationally define the reason women are so controlled. We often make superficial analyses but my suspicion is that the root of the issue is the power of sex and sex is certainly powerful because it is related to reproduction and the continuity of our species. And this power takes on mythic proportions.

The reason for even discussing this issue is that we all suffer from this kind of discrimination and virtual imprisonment. It is clear that freeing women and empowering them is having remarkable benefits for everyone. If we detach ourselves from the prejudice and discrimination, then we can all benefit. Need I say it is also only fair.

Do you have an alternative explanation?

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The Myth Underlying the Gaia’s Majesty Trilogy : Part 3

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All I can ask is, What if?

Gaia understood that struggle and conflict is at the core of the nature of life both within and among creatures. Central to this struggle would be the matter of power which was not easily shaped or yielded – especially by predators. But Gaia had a plan.

She did not want to give up on her experiment easily and so she reserved a population which might be needed if she had to start the experiment all over again. These people were called the Progenitors. Since the females were central to the continuation of humankind, she reserved cities in the sea where these women would live. If need be, from them could spring a new race. These cities were called Tethys and among the women were a few men to insure diversity and because they might be needed if the population was to be restored to the land. The people who lived in the Tethys and those who came to land to live were collectively known as Tethyans.

While the existence of the Tethys was not widely known, some of the residents of these cities were sighted from time to time. The legends about mermaids were born of those sightings. And, of course, as with all legends, they took many forms going well beyond the matter of what actually existed. But in other regards they never touched on the wonder of the reality. But one reality was essential. While in the sea Progenitors had partly fishlike bodies with tails and webbed fingers. The image we have of the mermaid is correct in many regards.

Andromeda Defense Force

Brigid Lynch
My editor called her the “flaming haired assassin-for-good”. Life seemed to hold a cruel fate for her after her mother’s suicide. The evil Overlord of the Irish estate where she had lived with her mother had her dumped on the street with no future at all. But she was taken under the care of people who were chosen to defend and direct humankind. Her pain was transformed into dedication as she came to head the crucial Andromeda defense force.