Ron, usually referred to as “Ronny” throughout the story, first introduces himself to Voi as a social worker. Though, it isn’t long before Voi realizes he is an altogether different sort of government agent! (I’ve written about his character once before in my flash story, “Betrayal.”)
Ronny’s character is revealed a lot more slowly than Milia’s and Voi’s, I’ve realized, so I’m going to fast forward and share a snippet from further in, after Voi’s already had the chance to exchange some words with him. We don’t really get to see much of his personality here, more the nature of his relationship with Voi. It’s definitely one of the more complex relationships out of all my characters, I think. Very nebulous. Though, when I think about it, Ronny isn’t the most straightforward, easy-to-understand character to begin with.
Of course, there are reasons for this.
Anyway, at this point, Ronny has just visited Voi’s home and has caught her skipping doses of the medication she’s supposed to be taking to manage her condition, emelesia (summary here). In Voi’s world, it’s a serious thing when a social worker comes to check in on you. Emelesiacs live under fairly close government scrutiny and dread the day they’ll be sent to live in an insane asylum—as most are at a relatively young age.
Even though she’d never admit it, Voi is pretty darn scared that Ronny is here to take action on her noncompliance.
However, much to her surprise, Ronny instead starts asking Voi to describe what it’s like for her to go back on her meds after she’s been off of them for an extended period of time. Caught off-guard by his curiosity, she hesitantly begins to explain but then pauses. He asks her to elaborate.
He’s waiting patiently for her reply but is still sensing some hesitation from her. This is what happens next.
Suddenly, the warmth of his aura seemed to reach out to hers subtly—like a soothing brush of the hand.
Voi closed her eyes, embracing the foreign calmness of that moment. Though, she soon sensed his energy pull away and reopened them.
He stood there with his arms folded.
After clearing her throat and licking her lips, she explained, “I meant…my pores, they close up. I noticed my senses become duller, as well, as if…as if they’re being suppressed.”
Mr. Callahan drew his eyebrows together. “Ever wonder what else it is they’re trying to suppress?”
What were your first impressions of Ronny’s character?
What do you suspect is the nature of the relationship he and Voi will share? Let me know in the comments!