Character Interview – Casteneda

Commissioner Bellarbi’s administration of the Information Systems Investigation Authority isn’t going well. Communications networks are crumbling and a series of high-profile industrial and food production failures have threatened safety and cost jobs. He believes the global technology infrastructure is under attack from cyber-terrorists. With public protests rising and his job under threat, he needs answers fast. Leaving him only one choice: to seek help from her… Mayrum Casteneda, the legendary founder of the Authority, is a relic from a bygone age who definitely doesn’t suffer fools. She might just be the only person who can help, but are the answers buried too deep?

Once again, David has returned.  This time he has brought Maryum Casteneda with him.  She’s a native New Yorker, and a bit of a spitfire.  I hope you all enjoy learning more about her as much as I did talking with her a little before this interview.

Ms. Casteneda, have you ever been given a nickname?

  • I undoubtedly have many, none of them in the least flattering. Iron bitch, is one. The Raven, is another. My personal favorite is Desalmada which means soul-less.

Do you have any special gifts from being a different race?

  • No. I’m entirely human. And the only “special gift” I have is that I use my brain, unlike the majority of people.

Can you tells us a little more about your family life, and when you were born?

  • I was born in New York, in 2011.  I grew up in Newark after my parents relocated to avoid the floods. I have no siblings.
  • I think my parents were, for the most part, confused. They had me quite late after many years believing that they couldn’t have children and subsequently were amazed at their successful procreation and bewildered by my intelligence. My father was a computer engineer and my other taught in elementary school.

Did this affect help define the way you think about your personality?

  • I know I am rational and unbiased.  I chose to use my mind.

Do you consider yourself to be a good or bad force in the world?

  • Good and bad are subjective human words that describe actions in relative terms. They’re not absolute conditions or characteristics. In most cases, something is considered “bad” if it effects someone in a negative personal way, regardless of the overall benefit of the act.

Do you consider yourself a team player, especially under pressure?

  • I can get along with anybody; the reverse is not always true however.
  • I’ve dealt with pressure my entire career; usually as a result of the actions of thoughtless men. A good example was when I retired. Despite how they feel about me on a personal level they recognize how valuable I am and wanted me to stay on, but I refused.

Do you have anyone you would like to see go away?

  • I loathe stupid people – who act or make decisions without thought. They are the curse of humankind. They’re easy to spot; they congregate in large numbers in political institutions and military circles.

Do you have anyone you wish would come around more often, like an ally or friend?

  • I have no “allies”. I depend entirely on my own resources. So far that has been more than enough.

If you could change anything about yourself, what would that be?

  • What a bizarre idea. It sounds like the kind of ridiculous daydreaming that people waste far too much time on. I can’t change anything about me, so this question is pointless. Next question.

How do you handle insults and complements?

  • Compliments are the most insincere form of communication that occurs. They are designed to produce an effect in someone, to manipulate them to achieve an unnatural result. If someone were to compliment me, I’d check my credit chip was still in my pocket.
  • I’d be insulting myself. Which would be both a waste of time and ridiculous. Responding would mean I’d clearly gone insane.

What do you enjoy doing for a living?

  • I was a Systems Engineer. Now I’m retired. The only tiresome aspect was having to deal with people.

Can you share your biggest fear?

  • Losing my mind and being unable to think coherently. What could possibly be worse?

 

What do you consider your crowning achievement?

  • I’m proud of my intelligence. It’s the one thing that separates humans from lesser species and yet, bizarrely the most underused quality.

 

Well, there you have it.  Thank you Desalmada for coming in today.  David, it was great seeing you again.  If anyone is interested in following David or Ms. Casteneda you can find the work on David’s web page davidmkelly.net or David Kelly on amazon.  Thank you all, and I look forward to next week’s installment of Author and Character Interviews.

Hope you are having a wonderful day (evening/night)!

 

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