Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore are on “The Ardent” in Pangaea


By Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore

517dBviDsyLIt’s entirely possible that we did this all wrong.

When Mike Friedman first told us about the Pangaea concept, there were a myriad of things that could have grabbed our attention. Stories set within societies of humans that developed on a theoretical supercontinent never separated by geodynamic processes? Okay, we’re listening. Characters of humans descended from Neanderthal as well as Cro-Magnon ancestors who live contemporarily? Yep, still got us. Plot lines driven in a culture shaped by technology roughly equivalent to that on 1980s Earth?

Okay, we’re totally in.

Mike asked us to create our story as a link between his, which begins the anthology, and Peter David’s, which concludes it. Since the baton we needed to pass was a clue in a criminal investigation, we knew it had to be a buddy-cop story evoking our favorite such tales from the ’80s. Most especially, we took a new look at Alien Nation, the single-season TV series inspired by the feature film of the same name. The relationship between that show’s main characters, human police detective Matthew Sikes and his Tenctonese partner, George Francisco, provided more than a bit of inspiration for the “odd couple” pairing of our buddy cop characters. Our guys work together despite their disparate backgrounds, navigating the various culture clashes between Pangaea’s Sachi and Fojoa sects, and it’s this relationship that’s at the heart of our tale.

When it came time to tell our story, we might have deviated from the norm just a little bit. Rather than present our tale from a narrative perspective that spent time detailing the world of Aristaya for a reader from our world, we leapt right into a view through the eyes of Ames, a Sachi and veteran Homicide detec—er, Peacekeeper partnered with the only Fojoa Peacekeeper on the force. Ames’ views on his partner, his assignment and his world would read as his—not ours—with the goal of creating a story that might have been written by authors from Pangaea for readers from Pangaea, complete with the slang of the dark alleys of the district. We had fun telling our story; we hope you have fun reading it, too.

See you on the streets, pal.

Pangaea is now available in digital and print editions.

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