Saturday, September 29, 2012

Team Free Will

((SPOILERS AHEAD for Psych and Supernatural, and the crossover fanfiction "The Voice of Shawn" by Somilge

I've been thinking about this a lot lately in regards to my book, The Lucky One, which is still in editing and revising stages (and probably will continue to be until I can find the time to actually work on it again). Exactly how much of what we do is our own choice? I mean, Lucky was destined to be the first seraphim hybrid in existence, the only one with the luck hex, the only one with a preordained death date. He's one of a kind-- but is that because his already rare-blooded mother decided to fall in love with a demon, her sworn enemy? Did she know what she was getting into, that her son would be the one to fulfill a prophecy spoken long before she was even born?

And what about Lucky? He could decide to let the world hang and refuse to participate in the war, in which the Apocalypse, the height of the Great War, comes to pass. He could hunker down and hide, never to be seen again, regardless of his distinctive heritage and attraction of trouble. But he doesn't. He does the right thing... but what, in any case, is the right thing to do? And how do we know?

There are a couple of reasons this train of thought has been drilled into my head as of late. One, I just read Helen Boswell's Mythology (as seen in my previous post, a review of her amazing book). I like Hope, the protagonist, who adamantly stands by her non-belief in Fate. Even though it couldn't possibly be coincidental that someone like her could run into angels and demons after years of not coming into contact with them in the span of a week. At the same time, Micah displays extraordinary free will when he insists on loving Hope, rebuking the demon side of him and giving Fate the finger. So even though in this book, there is a ton of evidence that points to Hope's entire life being mapped out on parchment, there are also tons of instances in which Hope makes her own decisions.

I also just read an amazing crossover fanfiction (yes, I am a fanfiction author/reader in my downtime-- I am not ashamed) between Psych and Supernatural. It was mostly focused on the Supernatural side of things, set during the Apocalypse wherein Lucifer walks freely (sort of) and angels need Dean to say yes to becoming Michael's vessel so they could defeat Lucifer (whose vessel is, ironically, Dean's brother Sam). So yeah, where Shawn comes in (the MC of Psych, who is an immature man-child with an eidetic memory who solves mysteries while pretending to be psychic) the Voice of God Metatron needs a vessel and he needs Shawn to do it.

Shawn has a huge dilemma. If he says yes to being Metatron's vessel, Metatron could use him to find God (who mysteriously disappeared for the last two millenia), which may ultimately stop the Apocalypse from coming to pass while simultaneously dealing with the war between angels and demons and the sudden civil war between angels and angels all at once. That's the plus side. The downside is that once Metatron's done using his body as a meat suit, Shawn will be left as a brain-dead walking, drooling zombie-- that is to say, he'll be a vegetable, which is a suckish way to live (no offense to the incapacitated out there in the world).

If he says no, he'll get to keep his body and super sharp mind... but he'll have a target on his head for both angels and demons. And Shawn's only human. A brilliant human, but still. He'll only survive for so long, and he'll never be safe as long as he lives.

In the end, Shawn said no to Metatron.

This is kind of mind-boggling to me. Safety over freedom, right? Or maybe not. Maybe the reason that ultimately drives us to decide for ourselves is that people would rather be free than be a prisoner, even for a good cause. Selfish, maybe. But maybe that's what makes us human.

It's important for me to be thinking about these things if I'm going to be putting them into The Lucky One. Lucky's got a choice, too-- save the world, or save himself. Unlike Shawn, Lucky doesn't choose himself. But maybe the conditions are different. In the Supernatural world, angels are assholes. But to Lucky, they're just people. And people make mistakes.

What do you think? What would you choose? And do you believe in freedom or destiny? Or both?

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