Host: Hello everyone and welcome back to character interviews! Today we’ve got a very special guest with us! Straight out of Jefferson County, Idaho. Please give a warm welcome to the leading lady of her own recently-published story, Drakin: The Orphans of Haven. Qira, it is an absolute pleasure to have you with us.
Qira: Thanks for having me… it’s nice to have a break from the wastelands.
Host: Wastelands? In Idaho?
Qira: Yes… it’s all that remains of the civilization there now that the Red War is over.
Host: Yes, we actually had Raiya as a guest on here a while back. She was quite the fiery one. I heard she’s now considered the ‘Hero of the Red War’.
Qira: She may have ended the war… but I have a feeling that her actions may have only postponed the inevitable.
Host: Oh? What do you mean?
Qira: Don’t you see it? Haven’t you been outside recently?
Host: Well… that’s a little complicated. Let’s pretend I’ve been living on another planet. Humor me, okay?
Qira: (sigh) Dragons are hunted throughout the land. We’re taken from our homes, our caves, and where ever else we try to nest. We’re then sent to a barren wasteland set up for us on the Western Coast of what used to be known as the United States. Dragons are not allowed to be among regular people. It’s called the Exclusion Zone.
Host: Why not?
Qira: They say it’s for our own protection… that because of the bad feelings from the war, we’d likely have to deal with mob justice. I’m starting to wonder if it was a good idea for any of us to remain on Earth after the war ended.
Host: So why did you decide to stick around?
Qira: I was born here. I don’t know our old homeworld. However, many dragons asked to stay because they were weary of constant violence and war. We just wanted to live peacefully.
Host: So what is life like for you in the Exclusion Zone?
Qira: I’ve never actually been there, but I’ve heard stories. It’s a wasteland where very little grows. Dragons have a hard time feeding themselves and constantly find themselves at odds with the canbans that have made the area their home.
Qira: Feral humans. People who have either lost their minds and turned wild. They’re often religious fanatics and have taken to engaging in cannibalism.
Host: Goodness… but you say you’ve never been there?
Qira: No, my family went far north to get away from the war. We were pacifists. We didn’t want to exterminate humanity. We thought we could share the planet, but Eutherys wanted nothing of it. After the war ended, we slowly made our way back down through Canada to the Western Coalition Territory. Within a few years, the Western Coalition expanded its territory and invaded my home. My father and I fled and… well… we got separated. I’ve spent the last year looking for him.
Host: The last year? What do you think happened to him?
Qira: I… I think he’s dead.
Host: Oh no, are you sure?
Qira: (Sobbing) He would have found me by now. If he was still out there, he would have found me.
Host: He may just be lost, or maybe he went to the Exclusion Zone?
Qira: No… he would have found a way to break out. I’ve heard rumors of what happens when dragons are captured outside of their designated areas. Often they’re just put back, but…
Host: What is it?
Qira: Let’s just say that a lot of the people working with the relocation division of internal security are Red War Veterans… and many of them are holding a grudge.
Host: I imagine that must be difficult.
Qira: I sleep in ruins, try to stay in the shadows during the day… Nearly get caught about once a week… I’m lucky if I get to eat every day.
Host: That’s awful.
Qira: It’s not different than what my people suffer in the Exclusion Zone.
Host: So when you leave here, what are you going to do?
Qira: I don’t know… I’m getting sick… I’m running out of energy. I’m going to try to take refuge somewhere… anywhere. Hopefully, I can find someone that’s willing to help me or at least give me a place to rest for a while.
Host: Well for what it’s worth, I have a feeling you’re going to find exactly what you’re hoping for, but we’ll see. Thank you for joining us today, Qira.
Qira: Thanks… it’s nice to have someone to talk to.
Host: That’s it for us, check out Qira’s story in her new book, Drakin: The Orphans of Haven. Here’s hoping Qira finds someone that can help her.
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