This morning I spent a fair amount of time researching North Carolina’s fish and wildlife regulations.
That may not sound particularly exciting, but to my plotbunnies, poking through this information produced a multitude of manic giggles. It has to do with law, magic, and human psychology.
It is very, very easy for a community or social group to turn on a Hero, especially a hero who solves a monster problem. After all, said hero has just demonstrated everything the group was doing up to that point to stave off the monster wasn’t enough. On top of that, the hero has just demonstrated they’re scarier than the monster. After all, they beat it.
So. Assume you’re a bunch of people with power in a community – say, politicians and government officials – and a Rag-Tag Bunch of Misfits has just saved the day. Not to mention made it very obvious the day needed saving. Which doesn’t make any guys in charge look very good, now does it?
But a proper politician knows what to do! Show there never really was a problem – or if there was, these people’s way of handling it was oh, so terribly wrong. And make it clear the consequences for repeating this act of heroism – er, barbarity, are far too grave to risk. Easily done: Send in the lawyers!
I am so mean to my characters, yes….
Now, given the mills of justice grind slowly, not all of the legal consequences are likely to bite our heroes by the end of the book. Homicide, manslaughter, arson, massive property damage; these investigations can take months, and bringing charges even longer.
But various wildlife-related offenses? Those can be brought to court relatively quickly. And in the aftermath of this mess, probably would be, by bureaucrats involved in a mass terrified CYA operation meant to make these very disconcerting heroes go away.
Of course, if you build a case in a tearing hurry, a lot depends on what the defense can bring to the table. And the judge. Hee.
*Sits in the audience with popcorn….*