Scott Westerfeld Forum

Author Topic: Dr. Cable  (Read 1772 times)


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Dr. Cable
« on: November 30, 2018, 08:57:11 PM »

I wish we had more backstory on Dr. Cable -- as far as I can tell, we don't even know her first name?!

I have imagined my own backstory that Dr. Cable had loved Ellie, but because the concept of being gay doesn’t seem to exist in their world, Dr. Cable has no idea how to deal with what she’s feeling.

Once Sol, Ellie, and Cable have all turned Pretty, Sol and Ellie eventually get together and have a baby whereas Dr. Cable fights the effects of the lesions through a shockingly unhealthy combination of jealousy and self-hate (because she thought the operation would somehow make her less gay, but really all it did was put her among a bunch of pretty girls), eventually leading Special Circumstances to recruit her because she keeps taking her frustration out by being trickier than any other Pretty in the history of ever (at least until Tally comes along later).

As a Special, Dr. Cable becomes ruthless, rising to the top of the ranks quickly to make Special Circumstances become the juggernaut we see in the original trilogy. She is completely career-focused and seldom thinks of her past until she hears about a particularly tricky Ugly named Tally Youngblood, whose last name immediately catches Cable’s attention. From then on, Dr. Cable monitors Tally closely because she wants to 1) locate the Smoke as we already know from the books, and 2) take control of her own past feelings which she has buried, and at this point Cable’s brain has become so twisted by being Special that she sees manipulation as her only means of control. She can’t exactly go into Middle Prettyville and talk to Sol and Ellie, nor would she even be able to vocalize her emotions if she tried. But what she CAN do is use their child as a pawn and eventually offer her the opportunity to become Special.

To clarify, I don’t think Dr. Cable is attracted to Tally in any way whatsoever. I don’t think she is capable of ANY sort of attraction by the time she’s Special; she has cast it aside due to shame and is only concerned with the objectives of Special Circumstances. Seeing Tally stirs up her memories unpleasantly, so she feels she must do everything in her power to control Tally and thus control her own repressed pain.

Let me know what you think and whether you have imagined about what Dr. Cable might have been like in her younger years.


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Re: Dr. Cable
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2020, 11:19:48 AM »

I think in this universe being gay wouldn't be an issue, they believe that wars about skin color are bogus so I can imagine it would be the same for that. Cable being rejected is a good idea, either platonically or romantically. It could have made her more reckless in her ugly/pretty years and put her on the track to becoming Special.

I also think it's interesting that Ellie and her would be close. Maybe Ellie hadn't seen Cable for years and then she drops by to 'check on' Ellie in her lab after she made her discovery. That would be a cool scene, an expired reunion that's really a threat.