Gabol Raimes gives this interview just days after publication of The Sanctification Molecule, a book that tells the story of a traumatic event in his life and career.
Hello Mr Raimes and welcome. Thank you very much for being here to talk with us.
You’re welcome, I’m happy to be here. Call me Gabol, please.
Can you start by telling us a little about yourself.
Okay, well my name is Gabol Raimes and I’m a merchant trader and captain of The Paladin, the ship that is both my work and my home. I’m Thirty Seven years old, unmarried and unattached. My crew and I haul and trade in anything my customers ask for, up to and including class five substances.
If you don’t mind me saying, you have a very unique look. Those eyes are unusual.
Yes they are and they’re hard to ignore aren’t they? (he smiles). I’m originally from Kylhari 6, which is where everyone has red eyes like mine. As far as my look is concerned, I feel that being memorable for my appearance means that when people are talking about needing a trader to haul something for them, they’re more likely to remember, “that red eyed dude with the coat and boots,” than other traders. It helps me get work.
That’s an interesting strategy. Does it work for you?
It does indeed. People might not remember my name but they remember my look. It’s what I’m known for and if you ask around for the red eyed guy with the coat and boots, you’ll get my number pretty quickly.
I’ll have to remember that. (he blushes and laughs nervously). Can I ask you to outline what happened during the events explained in The Sanctification Molecule.
Without going into too much detail that might ruin it for readers, I was asked to find and supply a product that is strictly controlled by law, due to it’s dangerous and volatile nature. I found out after I agreed to do the job, that the reason the guy wanted it was something that went totally against my ethics and moral standards.
But you went ahead and got the product?
We did, for reasons that become clear in the book.
Did doing that trouble you?
Yes of course it did, but it was necessary. It was the only way that we could attempt to rectify the situation. That sounds like a contradiction I know, but it is explained in the book.
Another thing that comes up in the book is your health problem. Do you mind me asking you about that?
No I don’t mind. I have seizures occasionally, when I’m under emotional stress. It’s usually around one a year, so it’s not too much of a bother to live with.
Was this something you were born with or are they the result of an accident?
I was born with the problem. I’m dual heritage, Kylhari and Earth and the two races genetics don’t mix well. Pregnancies are rare with this mix of genes, but those that do produce live births, always result in the baby having some disability. Mine is seizures. Other than that, I’m a normal guy with beautiful eyes and a unique style in clothes.
(Now it’s my turn to blush and give a nervous laugh).
A lot of stuff from your past came up as a result of this event. How has that changed you, if at all?
It was traumatic, emotionally speaking, but ultimately healthy to get that stuff out and dealt with finally. My crew will say I’m now more relaxed and open with them, that I smile more and happily mix with people now. I guess they’re right, they usually are. I certainly feel more at ease generally without all that stuff inside. It’s funny, you don’t realise how heavy a burden is until you put it down.
So now that this trauma is over, what does Gabol Raimes do for fun?
Fun? Wow that’s difficult. I don’t really take much time off. I enjoy my work and my crew are like my family so just being with them day to day doing what we do is fun for me. We have a lot of laughs, usually at the expense of others but none of it is meant harshly. Sometimes we’ll take a week or so off work and go camping on some out of the way planet, and my co pilot and I will have fishing competitions. I made us all sick for a week once, because of our competitive fishing. (he laughs at the memory).
Really? Do tell us about that.
Well, our competitions are simple, who can catch the biggest fish of the entire holiday. This particular time, we’d camped by a huge lake and I’d spent days trying to catch this huge orange fish I kept seeing near the dock. I eventually got it to bite and it took me over an hour to land it and I was confident I would win the competition easily. We cooked it and it was delicious, but then we were all sick for a week. We laugh about it now but my crew hated me for an entire week for that. After fighting to catch this thing for days, taking an hour to land it, then making everyone sick with it, my name was taboo for ages.
I like to work out every day, and I enjoy the occasional visit to the Warrior Games if we happen to find a Games Station on our travels. I don’t take it too seriously though, it’s just for fun but my engineer, Puffy, takes it extremely seriously and his progression through the levels proves that. I’m only on Platform Two, level Two and am happy if I don’t progress for a while. Puffy is on Platform Eight, level Three and we’re all very proud of him.
I listen to music a lot and usually have it up loud throughout the Paladin via the ship’s comm system. My co pilot, Beck, can often be found jigging around when he thinks no one is looking, but I managed to vidicom him one day and it’s always guaranteed to have us laughing. So long as I play music that everyone likes, they don’t mind the volume.
You make your life seem like great fun despite it being work and business. Everything you’ve described has involved your entire crew though. Does Gabol have fun alone?
No. I’m not a solitary person despite not liking to get involved with strangers or crowds. My crew are like family, I have no real family, and I enjoy their company most of all. My fun involves all of us together. We’ve been through a lot together, some if it extremely traumatic as you’ll read about in The Sanctification Molecule. That kind of stuff bonds people. It’s not dependency as some people have accused me of, it’s being bonded.
Do you have a special someone? (he blushes again)
No. I don’t feel the need for that right now. I’m happy being single and not involved. I’m not actively looking for anyone, but I don’t rule it out for the future. Equally, I won’t mind if it never happens either. My childhood experience, my teenage years and into my twenties were the kind of experiences that taught me not to rely on others for loyalty or compassion. I learned to be mistrustful of others, and in my defence, my mistrust was justified, as it turned out. I’m not bitter anymore, I’ve worked through that but I am a bit cynical. I admit that but I don’t see that as a failing but rather a blessing as it allows me to understand the true nature of people rather than the masks they wear.
Would you say then, that you live by the ‘look after yourself because no one else will,’ ethos?
Yes, that’s it exactly. It’s an emotional defence mechanism I know, and I’m constantly working on that side of myself as I know it’s never been that healthy. Who knows what the future will bring?
I hope yours continues to be positive and happy. Thank you so much for being here, it’s truly a pleasure to have met you.
You’re very welcome, anytime.