Worlds of Wonder Author Hop, Day 4: Interview With Angela Smith, Protagonist of First Cause

Hi again, and welcome to the next First Cause contribution to the Worlds of Wonder Author Hop. In today’s stop, we’re going to read a Q&A with one of the First Cause protagonists, Angela Smith. This hypothetical interview is set during the events of the Terranaut Trilogy.

How would you describe where you’re from?

While I was there, I might have described it very differently. I was raised on a militaristic compound, and contemplation of our lives was discouraged…the outside world on Lucero was very different from life on our compound, but we were never exposed to it. In fact, as we were told, Luceri citizens were spoiled children with highly advanced toys, who required our protection even though they would not have appreciated us. We were taught that we were the defenders of the Luceri future, and we didn’t think of the contradictions involved with protecting a future in which we would likely not participate.

How would you describe it now?

Brutish, Spartan, militaristic, regimented, pressurized and yet in some ways quite advanced in technique. The world in which I now find myself often fits these same descriptions, but it can also be quite inspiring and interesting.

How do you feel about your involvement in the Terra Project?

I could not feel sorrier for my involvement, though it was obviously not by choice. I have come to the belief that I would do anything to stop the Project. My time here on Earth–I would not necessarily say that my time on Earth has changed me, but it has allowed me to feel more complete. It has allowed me to be more complete. I was always vaguely discontent on the compound, moreso than my peers, but I was never able to articulate why. My experience here has given me context to do so.

But you just said that the world here mirrors the negative aspects of the compound.

It does. But being here, seeing the things I have seen, meeting the people I have met, has proven to me that the problems of Earth and the problems of the compound are the same–but so are the possibilities of Lucero and the possibilities on Earth. We were lied to, on the compound, about Lucero. Lucero is the product of two things: the problems on Earth, which mirror those on the compound, and the capability of terrestrial humankind to transcend the problems of Earth. If people here were exposed to the better aspects of the Luceri example, the Terra Project might move beyond its original aims and become a positive thing. I don’t know the larger aims of the Project, despite my relatively high status among the Terranauts; but I can say that, based on what I do know, and based on the methods and philosophy implied by our life on the compound, they do not reflect the better aspects of the human personality. By human, in this instance, I obviously mean both terrestrial and Luceri.

By ‘people I have met,’ do you mean Adam Grey?

I do mean Adam Grey, but not only Adam Grey. Adam represents a salient part of a larger process, for me. Without having met him, I don’t know how my life here would presently be. I would like to repay him…he’s certainly one of the reasons I’m so focused on stopping the Project. He’s a reason I’m willing to sacrifice my life to impede the success of the Project, and help him spread awareness of everything I know about the Project. But he’s not the only reason. It would be nearly impossible for me to list the reasons it is now my primary mission to stop the Project.

You sound as though you’re driven by regret.

Terrible regret…yes.

You say you would sacrifice your life. But at the same time, it sounds as if your experience on Earth has given you, so to speak, a ‘new lease on life.’ There’s some contradiction there. Which is a higher priority for you? Redemption, or moving forward with your new perspective?

My new perspective has altered my sense of purpose. More specifically, it has given me the sense of purpose that my training on the compound was not able to instill. For me, stopping the Project is more of a mission than my original mission ever was. I wish to survive, but my survival is secondary to the redemption you speak of.

And if you do survive? What then?

If I successfully contribute to stopping the Project, it will be a difficult process. It is hard for me to speculate on how exactly the Project can be stopped, so it is hard for me to speculate on what I’ll do if that occurs. I know I’ll be happy to have secured Adam’s safety, to have made a positive contribution to a world that I nearly had a hand in destroying, and…if Adam will have me, I believe I’d like to spend my life with him. I’m grateful for the chance to reconsider, and escape, my previous failures of perspective. I am grateful for Adam, and Gabriel, and Professor Stock, and the other terrestri–people who represent my new hope for the human race. I will do my best to cherish, and spend well, my time here on Earth. If I am so fortunate.

With all of this in mind, what are you most afraid of?

I’m afraid of failing at my new mission. I am terribly afraid of seeing Adam further harmed as a result of the Project. I have nightmares–I have always had nightmares, but lately they are always the same. In my nightmares, I wake up in my room, on the compound.

Cover of First Cause: A Novel About Human Possibility

Cover of First Cause

Thanks for reading! For more stops on the Worlds of Wonder Author Hop, click the link below:


About Paul West

Paul West offers thoughtful analysis of on-field and off-field sports topics via PDub's sports Hub, and for years was a core staff writer for Through The Fence Baseball. A recurrent guest on Fox Sports Radio New Mexico, Paul is available for radio and other media appearances. To follow Paul on @firstcausenyc on Twitter, visit View all posts by Paul West

7 responses to “Worlds of Wonder Author Hop, Day 4: Interview With Angela Smith, Protagonist of First Cause

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