I have approximately 14k words written of my NaNo.

I made some unsettling discoveries yesterday while writing an Emperor’s Council Meeting. Jazz, at this point in the story, hasn’t become Emperor (yet). He will be, eventually.

And apparently, the previous Emperor, Richard Casio, has essentially groomed him for the part. But he’s also been erm, grooming him in other ways, too. Like, my first thought was, “Oh god, I think Jazz and Casio had a thing.”

Then it went, “Oh, god, I don’t think it was consensual.”

Because in the Council scene, Jazz is tense. It’s a little obvious (to me) that he finds Richard attractive; he doesn’t usually describe any characters to me (ie, I don’t end up writing prose about their appearance) unless the detail stands out to him ( women) or they’re attractive to him (men). And he basically gave me this image of Richard that was similar to Anderson Cooper.

And then I got the image of Richard circling the meeting room table. I got a mounting tension (of the bad kind) as he approached Jazz’s chair. As he stood behind Jazz. As he spoke, while standing behind Jazz. The exact weight and feel of his hand on Jazz’s shoulder once he agreed with something Jazz had said in the meeting.

I’m digesting this. Jazz always seemed a little too perfect for the part of Emperor. It always seemed a little too convenient that Casio chose him. I mean, he’s 23 at the time of this story — that’s fucking young to give someone the responsibility of Emperor. And originally, I thought Casio passes unexpectedly, leaving no family behind, and with Jazz listed as his first choice amongst his Council to succeed him.

Except now, I’m starting to see the whole picture — of how Casio handpicked this kid, taught him the ways of the Empire and law, shaped him into a perfect potential Emperor. And how he used his position of power to almost coerce this young man into a sort of relationship — whether it’s sexual in nature or not, I’m not entirely sure, but there’s definitely sexual undertones to it.

And I think this “relationship” is discovered. I think that Casio is blackmailed into resigning — with his ill-health (later revealed in the story) as the excuse. I don’t think Jazz is aware that he was forced to step down and disappear, essentially. Just that he felt he was too unhealthy to run the Empire.

Worst part?

I think it’s Mitchel who comes to Jazz’s quasi-rescue. Not Savin. Because Savin wouldn’t allow himself to get that close to the inner workings of his Empire; it holds no interest to him, other than it’s what Jazz eats, lives, breathes.

And that, to me, opens up a lot of questions for the progression of GM, as well.

So I guess I really needed to do this damn novel, after all. >(