Here are some thoughts about what I was tring to do with this story. I hope I was successful at getting this across.
Independence carries some responsibilities with it. We have to respect other people. A purley free society is anarchy where everyone is responsible only for themselves. A free world is one where you make your own clothes, grow your own food, and look to no one else to help you. Still, law and order must be maintained and that’s what I wanted to explore here. We have to live with each other. In a free society, there are laws. There’s a fight for independence in this story, two states form, and we only see the beginnings of it. But it is a fight for independence none-the-less.
Also, in an independent society, there is free speech. And the downside of free speech is that sometimes you come to a consensus that is dangerous or against the greater good. I point to the laws of the colonies of the British Empire when battling with the question of slavery. Money reversed many progressive laws concerning slavery and it was justified using religion. That’s a real-world example of what is happening here. Free speech leads to that revolution that makes for a worse outcome. We can go backwards.
We long for leadership—someone to make the tough decisions at the end of the day. And we question that person, but still grant them the power. When societies break down, there is no trust between the government and the people, whether it’s justified or not. Again, it’s something I was trying to explore here. This is partly why Riker has a problem with what happened and who’s running the decisions. It’s the same problem, but a different society.
On a personal level, Ya’Hale is trying to find her way in this world. She needs the resources of society—food, shelter, clothes, school, parents, skyscrapers, the city—in order to make her way in this world. And she is coming of age, she’s supposed to be 18, and a sheltered 18-year-old at that. She is foiled by Yosh’inra who has been trained his entire life to be independent and has long since come to grips with challenging authority when he feels he’s right. While she is free to make her own choices, she isn’t capable of doing it alone and I think many of us would wander through this world with unfulfilled potential if we didn’t have the appropriate leadership. In many ways, her admiration of her father, and relying on him, has caused her to suffer. This is not unlike Ducks who will crawl to the top of a tree and have to fall off the branches to get out of the nest and respond to their mother’s call. That may seem like child abuse, but it makes for strong ducks that can survive in this world. So this story deals a little with parenting as well.
Anyway, those are my thoughts on what I was trying to do. I hope it was interesting and worthwhile for you to read.
BTW, #5 post is the final draft of the story and the one I submitted for the contest.