Contingent Upon Magenta is C.Drying’s debut book and is a science-fiction story that takes place in a world where mothers and daughters are exalted. An unprovoked attack on Earth prompts the U.S. military to send a small contingent to assassinate the matriarch of Magenta. A dissenting citizen from Magenta provides the US military with guidance by insisting a female be an operative in the contingent. Captain Joan Jones is the operative. She’s a mother of a young daughter and is conflicted and torn by her call to duty. The contingent faces a barrage of unexpected events while Captain Jones becomes captivated by the matriarch.
“The mother of invention is a very well-endowed woman, and she has been suckling technology forever at her perpetually full breasts.”
“Progress is not alone a matter of technology.”
“Too many dissenters dilute the potency of progress.”
“What else does she do?” I asked.
“Come now, certainly you are not that unaware,” he said.
“Hey, I only just dropped in recently.”
“She is the beloved leader of Magenta and the total ruler of the realm, and she’ll be the ruler of your realm too someday,” he said.
Well, it seemed we had the same Maerora Ma in mind. “So, tell me more about the Octobers,” I requested.
He chuckled and then corrected me in a hushed tone, “They are Oaktobrons. Oaktobron is the planet nearest to us.” He pulled in closer to me and lowered his voice even more to say, “We have a love-hate relationship with them. They constantly compete with us and abhor the fact that a Magentan rules the realm, but, nevertheless, we Magentans cannot resist exploiting their technology. We love it,” he said, putting on his pair of glasses and tapping one side of them with his index finger.
“Oh, so, what do those glasses do?” I asked.
“Everything, Captain Joan Jones,” he said, standing straight and looking in the direction of the Oaktobrons in the room.
—from chapter 3
“I dreamed of meeting you one day, but of course I’ll admit I did my due diligence in finding you here today, so I don’t mean to imply that there was any divine intervention, although there’s always that whisper in our minds . . . .”
“I’m not divine,” Maerora Ma said.
“Oh, I know that. Oaktobrons aren’t as gullible as Magentans. We don’t believe in gods or goddesses.”
“I recognize that the word ‘Magentan’ is a pejorative in your vocabulary. There’s something inauspicious about that.”
“Not every Oaktobron hates you, you know,” she said.
“I’m not so worried about every Oaktobron, just the one in front of me.”
—from chapter 14