FAQ: What exactly ARE the “Strange Ones?”
It’s time for a little clarity on the Strange Ones, if you recall those from the Lee Harden Series. I was recently asked a question about them, and thought this might be a good time to give my Wonderful Readers a bit more clarity on some things that weren’t overtly stated in the Lee Harden Series.
Before I get into it, I should warn you, if you haven’t read the Lee Harden Series, this explanation might spoil some of the plot twists for you. You have now been warned: Possible Spoilers Ahead!
So, the question was, what exactly ARE the Strange Ones?
The person that asked that question went on to say that he didn’t recall it being fully explained in the story, which he is absolutely correct about. And I’ll explain why that is in just a moment. But first, if you recall, during the Lee Harden Series, Sam discovers one of the places that the primals have been using to store incapacitated people (their legs and arms are broken) as food for later. He later recalls only seeing men stored as food. Sometime after that, Lee Harden assists Sam and his team with assaulting a colony of primals that is said to have taken women, which are believed to still be alive. During the assault, Lee and Sam discover human women, some of which are still alive. As they’re securing the structure, they encounter a small group of female primals, but they don’t look like primals. They are clearly not human, but their forms are not as mutated as the usual primals, and they seem to be capable of some reasoning and even language skills.
Now, to piece it all together, Sam and Lee end up confirming their worst fear: The primals are kidnapping human women and breeding with them to create human-primal hybrids, which serve the colony kind of like queens, or the top tier of a matriarchy. However, their more human-like form makes them vulnerable. They are protect biologically by the pheromones they secrete, and they are also protected by the Omegas, which are the middle-tier females in the matriarchy. These are the Strange Ones—the same things Lee and Sam encountered that didn’t look quite like full primals.
So why wasn’t this all spelled out in the story? Well, I’ll tell you. The name “The Strange Ones” isn’t what the humans in the story call them. In fact, the humans in the story never really call them anything officially, but just refer to them as “hybrids” or “queens.” The name comes from those scenes where the point of view was from “The Alpha,” which is one of the male primal pack leaders. He thinks of them as “The Strange Ones” because they’re confusing: They look like prey, but they also smell like one of the pack, and the Omegas make it very clear that they’re not to be fucked with, literally or figuratively. And therein ends poor Mr. Alpha’s ability to articulate himself clearly. If he had observed more, or drawn more conclusions, his POV would have felt too human, and not animal enough. So I couldn’t really have Mr. Alpha explain it. And, unfortunately, those human characters in the story that had a scientific interest in the inner workings of a primal colony never really got a chance to observe those intimate details, for obvious reasons.
I wanted to have a fuller explanation of the Strange Ones, but there just wasn’t a POV that could support it, and I felt that adding another sub-plot would have been one sub-plot too many for the story to carry. So I left it at hints and implications, and let the reader draw their own conclusion.
Hopefully, this didn’t piss you off, but hey, if it did, you now have all the behind-the-scenes info!