While the first Null Paradox book and first two music albums focused on the relationship and adventures of Gertrude & Grace, the second book tells the tale of Victoria & Seth and their tumultuous relationship.
It also brings to light more of how The Bully plays into the overall story. He seemingly has a role in everyone’s life–the psychological torturer of Gertrude, a business partner of Seth’s, and a strange relationship with Annabelle.
Null Paradox | The Bully
The Bully is a complex character who operates under the guise of pretense and deception.
Seth has ordered him to embark on a quest to find Victoria, Seth’s love, who has ghosted him.
But he also has a personal agenda with Victoria, so he tolerates Seth’s order because he believes that she has a crucial understanding of why Seth is waging what The Bully considers to be a misguided war.
Utilizing his expertise in psychological torture, honed through years of trial and error, The Bully sees it as a means to extract crucial information efficiently.
But after encountering Annabelle, another of Seth’s employees, he recognizes that she also has ulterior motives for staying within Seth’s sphere of influence. More concerning, she has unintentionally reignited the ethical implications of his methods–a dilemma within himself that he thought he had successfully set aside a long time ago.
Here’s the tricky part | Zero, One, and Two
The Gertrude, Grace, Victoria, and Seth that you read about are technically the primary ones. I’ve appended the suffix Zero to their names to reduce the confusion. For example, the universe in which Gertrude & Grace is set is the primary universe which includes the character of Victoria Zero. The adjacent universe has a Victoria One. And so on, for all of them.
But the version of The Bully you read about in Gertrude & Grace features The Bully One. In other words, The Bully One interacts with Victoria Zero, and The Bully Two interacts with Victoria One.
There’s a disconnect.
Seth One is aware of Seth Zero and, to some extent, vice versa; he’s ahead of most people in this respect.
But while The Bully One understands significantly more about the multiverse than just about anyone, he’s unable to locate The Bully Zero. This disconnect is one of his primary motivations for many of his actions because he suspects his inability to find The Bully Zero and communicate with him has been brought about intentionally.
Annabelle couldn’t have picked a worse time to dredge up The Bully’s age-old question about the moral complexities of his actions and his forgotten need to reconcile the means and the ends.
The Bully needs to extract crucial information efficiently, especially now with Seth’s ongoing ware becoming more heated. Instead, he feels the slightest bit of self-doubt for the first time in ages.
Courtesy of my work with images AIs, here’s a glimpse of The Bully Two. This image is based on photographs of Zach Ferrin playing the role of The Bully and from a photoshoot I did at the Fair Lane Manor, the home of Henry and Clara Ford in Dearborn, Michigan.
Note: while AI can be prompted to create photorealistic images, I intentionally made this image less realistic to retain the feel of the Null Paradox world.