Twenty Questions from Harlequin: Barry’s answers

Please answer all questions to the best of your ability— write what you believe. (Flip and sassy answers are entertaining but seldom useful for these purposes. False answers designed to mislead me and protect your identity will waste our time, and annoy the pig.) I will keep the answers in strictest confidence. If a question seems ambiguous, choose an interpretation and answer that. Answers may be as long or short as you deem appropriate. You need not be sober when answering these questions: in vino veritas. If you find yourself considering “I don’t know” for an answer, try thinking of all the answers you would disagree with until you find something acceptable to yourself.

  1. What’s your favourite colour?

    Black is simple and elegant and a superb basis for bringing in other colors.

  2. What do you want to wear at your next costume party?

    If I can afford the rental, a suit of armor— lacquered black, I think, since I am a black knight these days, hiding my allegiances.

  3. Under what circumstances, if any, would you sacrifice your life?

    I would gladly sacrifice my life if it made the difference between the world being one in which I would like to live and one in which I would prefer not to.

  4. What do you like or dislike about traveling?

    Travel is a delight: the vistas, the people, the cultures. I only wish my professional journeys gave more time for learning about each location as I travel.

  5. What makes life worthwhile for you?

    Making a positive difference in the world. Breaking the stereotypes and expectations that others hold, opening their eyes to new realms of possibilities.

  6. What’s the best thing you’ve ever done?

    I will have no way of knowing which particular deed is the best until I am called to account for my actions. I have slain psychopaths, rescued damsels in distress, severely inconvenienced malcontents and cretins, and done my very best to open the eyes of those trapped in stereotypes; I may even have made some lasting impressions here and there. I believe that whichever of my deeds has most helped someone else to turn their life around and improve their lot is my best.

  7. Do you want to study warfare or magic?

    Temptations, temptations. The display of swordplay I saw is most tempting, but I am even more curious about the manner of magic I may learn.

  8. What’s your favourite number?

    I’ve never really considered that before... but I think that would be three. Most people think in terms of black and white, yes and no, zero and one, two choices. I like to bring threes, and higher numbers, into such realms of thought.

  9. How do you believe the universe works?

    The Tao moves, and the wise move with it.

  10. What sort of education have you acquired, and how? Did you enjoy the process?

    I have a BA in English Literature, and had a fairly pleasant time earning it. Learning from good teachers who are enthused by their subject is a delight; drudging through droning lectures by academicians who cannot wait to fulfill their quotas of teaching so they can return to their cubbyholes is a dreadful bore.

    I have also studied the martial arts for many years; I was fortunate enough to have a sensei capable of bashing a surly, freshly-goblinized adolescent Troll into a civilized metahuman being. The martial arts are more gruelling than literature, but more immediately rewarding.

    Education is available outside the realms of the university and the dojo; it is a neverending process for those who open their eyes to the possibility. I have learned a great many things in the school of hard knocks and the halls of friendship; some lessons are painful, but all well worthwhile.

  11. Is there a great figure from mythology, literature, or the media that you identify with? If so, which?


  12. What kinds of animal do you like to spend time with? Why?

    I enjoy the fierceness of cats and the calm competence of large dogs, but by far my favorite animals are (meta)humans, in all their foibles and delights.

  13. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done?


  14. Why are you running the shadows?

    I initially started because there are few jobs available to Trollish physical adepts that I would wish to take. Over time, I have come to realize that no legitimate job could encompass my desire to excel: society in its present day would not stand for it.

  15. Under what circumstances, if any, would you betray your friends?

    None whatsoever.

  16. What’s your best party trick or show-off stunt?

    If I do it just right, I can gather my ki to smash coffee beans to powder in my fist.

  17. What manner of dying do you fear most?

    Ineffectuality. When I die, I want to do so having accomplished a great deed— I would prefer that deed to have been living a long and full and daring life, but I would not object to perishing in pursuit of a great good.

  18. What do you expect to experience after you die?

    Another life. Whether I shall return as a metahuman, an animal, or a higher form of life, I do not know.

  19. Is there an aspect of yourself you would like to change or part with? If so, what?

    I am content with myself as I am.

  20. How would you like to retire?

    I would like to become a well-connected fixer, arranging people who need each other for reasons personal or professional to meet or get in contact.