Today in Fun Facts, a series of articles about characters and plot devices I’ve used in my stories, I’ll be talking about Sheriff Peggy-Ann Muller and her SODs.
Who’s Peg? What’s she a Sheriff of, and what’s a SOD, and why’s it capitalized?
Let’s begin with the SODs then. “SOD” is an abreviation for Sheriff’s Office Deputy – so every deputy or sheriff, is a SOD – regardless of whether they’re nice guys or not! Police cruisers on Deanna all have “SOD” on the doors, hence they aren’t squad cars as much as “SOD cars”! It may seem at first glance that whoever set up the original law enforcement system on the Terran colony of Deanna, they never really thought too carefully about the name of it! However, as the creator of this little planet, I can assure you that a lot of careful thought went into this!
Despite Atro City and several other larger cities being populated by several million inhabitants, the entire local law enforcement system is still run like a rather large conglomeration of interlocking Sheriff’s offices. The cities are still subdivided into precincts – and each precinct is run by a Sheriff.
Peg – or rather, Peggy-Ann Muller – is introduced in “Black Sunrise” as the Sheriff of the Central precinct of Atro City, the capital of Deanna. By the time “Prodigal Sun” (book 5) rolls around, she’s advanced in rank quite a bit – she’s the Chief Sheriff of Atro City, and attends meetings at City Hall, working alongside the Mayor and Governor as occasions demand.
Called “Peg” for short, she’s one of the good guys – er, girls, and is well-known around town. She’s one of the heroes of what’s often called “the Battle of Atro City”, in which she led the entire SOD’s department of the city against a force of Ruminarii when the aliens arrived at the space port to start their invasion. Peg is a good friend to one of the lead characters of Quantum , Beck the Badfeller, aka Gary Beck – one of Deanna’s most famous sons, being by reputation a bounty hunter so good at his job he could find the missing day in a leap year!
Peg is also friends with Gary’s girlfriend, Cindy-Mei Winter, although things were a little awkward between them for a while at first, considering that Peg and Gary had known each other a lot longer before Mei came into the picture! Although she is made aware (sometime later) that Cindy-Mei is transgender and once lived a male life as Agent Winter with the C.I.A. (Colonial Intelligence Agency), she’s not in the least bit unsettled by the revelation. In fact, she’s more curious than anything else, and relates naturally to Mei as another woman. Peg is a strong character who strikes fear into the hearts of criminals and is known for being “the law around here!“
Peg is very much a loner in her private life – she’s made her work her life, and she’s good at it. While she builds friendships with her staff and colleagues, she retreats home at night to live as a hermit, but more often than not, spends the night on her couch at the office. If she was allowed to move in permanently, she probably would – on the grounds that it would save her a whole lot of trouble and time wasted in commuting! At work she’s efficient and her dedication to justice is commendable. She often rummages through her drawers to find the headache tablets she’s fairly convinced are deliberately hiding from her – and given the weird nature of half her cases, that wouldn’t surprise her if it were true!
As a secondary character, Peg often comes to the fore as deeper than she at first appears. From a writer’s perspective, she’s very useful: over the years, she’s introduced Gary Beck to Time Agent Scrooby (although unwittingly), and Cindy-Mei Winter to Gary Beck – a fact which hadn’t been entirely lost to Peg, with some regret. She’s not afraid of much – she’s strong, in a position of authority, and yet also not afraid to show emotion. She gets things done, and her SODs are unwaveringly loyal to her. Her overriding drive however is that true justice often supercedes blindly adhering to the letter of the law – although she would probably never admit it on the record 😉
If you want a taste of the Quantum Series, you can read these free sample short stories that include material not seen in the rest of the series.
Where can you get “the Quantum Series“? Right here!
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All material copyright © Christina Engela, 2019.