To be naïve or to hold a grudge, to yearn for companionship or to want nothing but solitude, to desire new experiences or to shun all that’s different.
To seem as perfect opposites, yet being rather similar.
And curiously enough, I didn’t envision Mizelle and Haudrica to be such way from the get-go, but ideas started rolling on their own, and I kind of rolled with them. However, there is much more to them that what initially may seem, and I plan to slowly unravel it as the story follows its course.
Also, I… kinda did not expect them to end up in a draw at the poll, and it did not feel right for me to just do them individually one before the other. So I will detail them both individually and together (as that also matches their usual relationship in the story).
In a manner similar to Zalura, both of their names were made on the fly; the first name-esque words that popped up in my mind. And while their designs seemed as such even for me at the beginning, after a while, I began to realize my own source of inspiration in both of them.
Haudrica is the easiest one; I based quite a bit of her race’s insectoid appearance and war-like behavior off one of my favorite space-faring game races: the Mantises from FTL. They were always a favorite of mine, and there’s one particular fan design that I liked a lot and was undeniably of inspiration (similarities are clear as day, specially in the attire) but I wanted to create something different to the usual space bug race, so I took more than a handful of cues from whom I consider the best artist/mangaka ever to draw insectoid characters; Nakamura Regura , whom I’ve always liked for the way he/she skims the edges of the uncanny valley but never going fully into it, and I think this feeling went quite a bit into the narrative as well.
From the very first mention of her name (by Desri), Haudrica is portrayed negatively, and her first meeting with Cole is enough of a big scare to him to actually make him fear for his life and realize the grim side of the situation he is in; his first crash against reality that dimmed the glittering cover he had mentally put all over his newfound situation. And while, initially, Haudrica showed no change or development of her established behavior, Cole saw enough glimpses of something else to wonder if there was more to her, and so did she, but on a lesser scale.
And while I cannot fully detail what I am trying to do with her character-wise (as that would be Spoilers™), I’ll just say that she’s barely past the beginning of her character arc; there’s still a lot to come with her.
On the other hand, just as Zalura was alien to Cole, but he could still relate to her in some ways, Haudrica is the exact other way around. Although she seems ”humanoid”, enough of her non-human traits are featured up front to create that sense of strangeness, of ”xenophobia” if I may use that term; she’s different enough to create certain aversion, but it’s not these physical differences that create such feeling, it’s her behavior, and the outright hostility she shows towards almost everyone, for reasons unclear.
For Mizelle, on the other hand, the sources of inspiration for her design took far more mind scrying for me to pinpoint it (there could have been so many different ones!), as I initially thought I had done my usual ”kitbashing” of different ideas (and unlike with Zalura, there were so many possibilities here…), so while I was looking for reference material for .less to do his epic work, I found THIS…. I have no doubt I must’ve seen that pic at some point, and then buried it within my subconscious so deep I totally forgot about it, but the resemblance is too great, and I had seen other pics from that artist on my Tumblr, so I’m pretty sure that’s at least the main source; there may be more than that.
Her first meeting with Cole is not just her saving him from what would’ve been some severe injuries (and having to look for a different place to sleep), but his first encounter with someone who is, not only rather ”human-esque”, but physically appealing to him; remember, he had just told Desri moments ago that he was ”more of a cat person”, and now all of a sudden, what could easily pass for a ”cat person” in the more literal sense had shown herself in front of him. But, as her shy and scaredy personality is revealed (as well as her close bonds with Haudrica), Cole starts keeping some distance from her. Not out of fear of death by sharp objects, but out of his own desire of not wanting to scare her or make her uncomfortable. But she is actually the one who approaches to him instead. And through a series of similar exchanges with her, a certain amount of mutual trust begins to build between them, until they are comfortable with each others. This concept of the ”extremely shy girl having a more extrovert hidden side” was something I wanted to try out for a long time, but that’s just the surface of her character (I’m drawing the line here, Spoilers™).
However, there’s much more to her than a behavioral counterpart to Haudrica. Despite this seemingly outwards weakness, she is capable of holding her own; between her telekinetic powers, fast-learning of new skills and sheer determination to understand the world and people around her. And yet, her ignorance of said world and people also put her in the same level as Cole; they are, in a sense, both newcomers, learning on the go, making mistakes and trying to piece together what everyone around them takes for granted. And yet, when it comes to common knowledge of life, even Cole surpasses her in a few things, as he DID live on a society before, while Mizelle will show certain amounts of ignorance of even these most basic things once in a while.
So, once again I ask the questions: What is that you found interesting on them? Was there something specific that was your main point of interest? Any details in particular you might want to know about them? I’d like to hear your thoughts on this at the comments.
P.D. While the picture may give out that idea, Mizelle isn’t left-handed; just flipped the pic as I thought it would be weird for them both to be looking to the same side. And sorry this took so long. Real Life ensued….