Zander—or Zed, as we like to call him—is our white knight, our hero. But, like all heroes, that’s not all he is. The man is self-sacrificing to an annoying degree. He wants to SAVE THE WORLD, and everyone in it. His career has a soldier has taught him that he can’t. But, like all of us, Zed sometimes ignores that lesson and tries anyway. It’s who he is.
He’s still very human, though. He has wants and desires, and they can blind him to his ambitions on occasion. That’s a fancy way of saying he’s gloriously flawed. In Chaos Station, his initial attempts to save everyone meant slipping away and hiding from the world. Following a path to oblivion alone. He ignored and broke promises. Got a little selfish—and why not? He’d been cast adrift by the Allied Earth Forces. Put in a life raft with a puncture in one side, and his supplies did not include a roll of duct tape.
But, when called to action—first to find Emma, then to help her—Zed doesn’t hesitate. In fact, the only reticence he shows in Chaos Station is in rekindling his affair with Felix. And that’s another of those annoyingly self-sacrificing acts. He knows he’s not going to be able to be who or what Felix needs. But love conquers all, right? Or beats our protests into pulped submission. Or just makes us stupid enough to ignore all the other stuff.
So, Zed’s songs need to cover all of these things. It’s a tough call! A song I like for Zed is “The Pretender”, by Foo Fighters. The sound, the lyrics. I think all heroes are pretenders, on some level. They’re the last person to believe in themselves. Jenn and I also really love “Come Alive”. This song. It’s impossible to listen to it and NOT think about our guys and that moment Zed steps aboard the Chaos, and discovers Felix is alive. In that instant, everything he thinks and feels changes.
“You saved me the day you came alive.”
(Being saved isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be, which is another theme we explore over and over in these books)
What does Jenn like for her character? I know she has sorted through many tracks on the way to finding Zander Gold. Here’s what she had to say on the subject:
Often when I start working on a new character, I like to find a song that fits some aspect of their personality or journey. Something that I can attach to them in my head so I can easily pull them to the forefront just by listening to it—which definitely helps when the character is new. (Sometimes the song precedes the character, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.)
When I started coming up with the concept for Zed—rich boy with some grit, a broken super soldier, a guy who has a well-developed martyr complex, and one who regrets losing the love of his life very, very deeply—one song in particular looped around in my brain: “Do I Wanna Know?” by the Arctic Monkeys.
There are so many parts of this song that just scream ZED! to me.
Listening to a song on repeat because it makes him think of Felix—this lyric actually inspired Zed’s musical talent, but beyond that, I could definitely see him doing this after he and Felix parted ways following graduation from the Academy.
Wanting to know if he’s alone in feeling the way he does about Flick—particularly after their reunion in Chaos Station.
Wondering if Felix’s heart is still open, if he still has a chance, and desperately wanting to kiss him, always.
Hiding himself and his feelings, but still wanting, still looking for the courage to say what he wants in the daylight.
Admitting that he’s never moved on, that he’s always belonged to Felix.
Not to mention, the song has that strong, slow beat and bass riff that just gives it a dark, steamy feel—which fits with the darkness in Zed’s personality. Also, it’s sexy. And these guys are nothing if not sexy.
Next challenge is to choose songs for the rest of the crew, individually and together. We should probably get them some art too. Elias wants art. Nessa’s indifferent to the idea and Qek is curious. Very, very curious. ♥