Fia and Family: After Anacapa

I’ve finished my follow-up tale of Fia’s makeover and romance after “Orphans of Opry Tower” (see also my first and third posts on the topic) and it sprawled out to novella length. Yay me, I guess. But it does cement in the storyline that Fia, like her twin brother, now has a beloved…who happens to be the nephew of her twin brother’s beloved. How does that work, exactly?

Double Cousins…and Half-Again Cousins?

As I’ve explored before, if a brother-sister pair marry and have children with another brother-sister pair, the resulting offspring will be first cousins through both the paternal and maternal lines; they will be twice as related as normal first cousins, hence the moniker “double first cousins”. Going by coefficient of relationship, a normal first cousin is 12.5% related, whereas a double first cousin is 25% related, as much as a half-sibling normally is!

But that’s for brother-sister pairs. What if a brother-sister pair marry not another brother-sister pair, but rather an aunt-nephew pair? Well, in that case instead of being 50% related the aunt-nephew pair are 25% related, so the end result in terms of relatedness between the offspring is intermediate between normal first cousins and double first cousins: 18.75% related. “Half-again first cousins”? Meh.

Put another way, they’re full first cousins through one path, but through another path they’re first cousins once removed. Normal first cousins are full first cousins through one path and otherwise unrelated; double first cousins are full first cousins through two paths.

More Kissing Cousins…

If each of the couples (Fintan and Katenka; Fia and Kolya) each have just one child each, the possibility exists that these half-again first cousins could fall in love with and marry each other. This would be especially convenient in a way, because the Katenka and Kolya side of the family are the only heirs to the diamond-mining fortune built by Kolya’s grandfather (Katenka’s father). If the cousins marry and have just one child, that one child is the sole heir to the entire fortune.

The ultimate Woman?

Let’s call her Sola. Instead of the normal 8 great-grandparents, she would have 6. Given this concentration of inheritance, what would she be like? Both Fia and Katenka were very pretty (Fia only needing some work to reach “OMG she should be a fashion model” pretty, Katenka looking like that from the get-go), and Fintan and Fia are both champion dancers, with even Katenka having pianist talent, and Kolya being more technically-minded and adventuresome but still into the rather artsy endeavor of making video games. Hernando, on the other hand, didn’t have much dance talent; neither, as far as we know, did the Siberian diamond-mine patriarch or any other members of the family tree.

So it could go any which way. It’s entirely possible that she’d get the best traits from all of them, being a drop-dead gorgeous girl with abundant artistic talent, dancing like a champion, while also having formidable business acumen and a thirst for adventure…oh, and not to mention being very rich from birth. Essentially the ultimate woman.

Rosy for sure, but Cleopatra was a woman as beautiful as she was formidable, and she was the product of multiple generations of sibling marriage, so despite admonitions about inbreeding “the ultimate woman” is hardly an unrealistic outcome of such a family tree.

The Family Tree of this, the Last of her Line

I like the idea of a lonesome girl being so dreamy but also the last of her line, wistfully wondering throughout her youth as she stares out at the Malibu sunset what will become of her, who she should be, as the fortune and the hopes and dreams of the whole family all rest solely on her shoulders.

Unlike, say, the Reinhardts, who in this universe basically built the entire modern world, her family isn’t particularly important to history, but it is important to her.

Fia and Fintan are both 17 when they get hitched, with Katenka being perhaps 20 and Kolya being perhaps 19. Let’s say they have their kids at these same ages, since their honeymoons and their pregnancies will come quick.

It’s entirely possible that their kids will follow the same path; if the cousins like each other that much, already know each other, and frequently meet each other, they could fall in love and get married pretty early in life. Let’s say they tie the knot at 16.

At that point, Fia and Fintan will be 33, Katenka will be 36, and Kolya will be 35. So they’re all still fairly young; certainly Fia and Fintan could still be out there chewing up the dance floor like the pros they are. At this point the cousins have their one and only kid, who we’ve designated “Sola” for the sake of this post.

Now let’s fast forward to when Sola is a teenage girl looking out at the twilight waters of the Pacific wondering what her path in life will be. Let’s say she’s 16.

At this point in time, Sola is 16, her parents are both 32. Fia and Fintan are 49, Katenka is 52, and Kolya is 51. So the main characters in Fia’s story are all middle-aged at this point; much too old to be in peak dance form, but more than young enough to help out their grandchild a lot.

Who will be around to help out our lonesome Girl?

What of the rest of the family? Their ages are undetermined, but I do have some guesses. Keep in mind Kolya has parents of his own, one of whom must be Katenka’s sibling; I’m thinking a brother. Katenka is only a year older than Kolya; the usual way a person has a nephew like this is having a much older sibling. So let’s say Katenka’s brother is 20 years older than she is and found a bride of about the same age.

That puts Katenka’s brother and his wife, i.e. Kolya’s parents, his child’s grandparents, and Sola’s great-grandparents, at the age of 37 as of “Orphans of Opry Tower”. When the cousins get married 16 years later, they’ll be 53, and when Sola is a teenage girl they’ll be 69. Truly old, but perhaps not too decrepit yet. They too could help out Sola.

The Patriarch’s Backstory

Where it gets a bit fancy is supposing the ages of the patriarch and matriarch of this diamond-enriched clan. The very fact this man had two children with a 20-year age gap would suggest he was on the older side when he had Katenka. Even if he had his first child at 15, about the earliest age that’s probably realistic, Katenka’s father would still have been 35 when she was born.

But he very likely didn’t have any kids when he was 15. Indeed, his whole backstory is of an adventurer trekking through the Siberian wilderness hunting down his great fortune. That sort of thing takes some real experience to work up to, and usually quite a lot of time before you actually strike it big, as he did.

I always pictured this man as being a bit seasoned even when he first got started with his diamond strike in Yakutia. Just a bit, mind you: still with some youth left in him, but clearly past that supple peak of virility. Think Stewart Granger in his early 1950s swashbucklers; as of “The Prisoner of Zenda” he was 39.

It’ll take our patriarch a few years to get everything up and running with his big business, and perhaps even a few years more to find himself a good woman, someone he can love and start a family with now that he’s established. I’m thinking he finds himself a wholesome young thing in Kamchatka; part of the backstory is that the patriarch’s descendants, including Katenka, are all raised in essentially a luxury vacation home on the Kamchatka coast, with the woman being adamant that neither she nor their children will live in what amounts to a work camp (her husband, for his part, agrees wholeheartedly that it’s no place for a family to live).

I’m thinking the woman will be from Kamchatka originally, having longstanding roots there (in stark contrast to the husband, who’s a recent immigrant from European Russia), including some native Kamchatkan ancestry (think Yul Brynner, who was part native Siberian), which carries over to Katenka and makes her look slightly “exotic” even while being well within that most-desired snow-white European goddess range overall.

The patriarch has a child with his wife right away I’m thinking, but this still puts some constraints on the age this woman could be. Keep in mind Katenka is born around 20 years after her brother. Even if Katenka’s mother is 50 when she’s born (which is really pushing it), she couldn’t possibly be much older than 30 when she has her first child.

More realistically we’re talking around 40 for when Katenka is born, which would push her older brother’s birth back to when her mother was around 20. Yes, another young bride. And, considering the patriarch’s background, another large-age-gap relationship. Oh well.

How large? Considering that I only envision him finding the mine when he’s perhaps 35, he’d probably be around 40 when he meets his woman and has a child with her. Maybe even a bit older. Which is a pretty large gap even by my universe’s standards. On the flip side, however, he is just the sort of older man a young women might fall for: dashing, adventuresome, wealthy, and probably good-looking too. As for the woman, the more I think about it the more I’m getting trophy wife vibes: young and glamorous, a status symbol for her successful husband, but in a more wholesome and maternal way than a stereotypical trophy wife would, perhaps with her vibe also embodying what we’d call a trad mom influencer type. At least it would explain where Katenka got her gorgeous sweetheart qualities from…

Anyway, let’s say the patriarch is 40 and his wife is 20 when they have their first child. That would put, as mentioned before, Katenka’s mother at 40 when she’s born and her father at 60. Yikes. For comparison, Barron Trump was born when his father was 59 and his mother was 35; pretty similar. As I touched upon in another post, this might actually lend Katenka a more antique vibe than others of her generation, and, paradoxically, make her seem more youthful than she actually is. It might even enhance her quasi-divine aura, by lending her an air of timelessness.

Anyway, as of “Orphans of Opry Tower”, Katenka is 20, which means her mother is 60 and her father is 80. And to think I envisioned him still busily working every day at that mine! Well, he is the owner of it, and can manage it however he wants while choosing his own schedule, so it’s entirely possible he could still be working there into his eighties. Seems a bit rough, but maybe (considering his background) he likes it a bit rough.

As of when the offspring of Fintan and Katenka as well as Fia and Kolya get hitched at 16, Katenka’s parents will be correspondingly older; Katenka’s mother will be 76 and her father will be 96. Assuming he’s even still alive by then; possible, considering the family tend to age relatively slowly and gently, but I’m thinking he’ll die sometime during Katenka’s offspring’s childhood. Or perhaps in their adolescence; after all, his funeral after he died at the age of 96 (and when the youngest descendants are both 16) would be an excellent time for the cousins to meet and draw much closer during their hour of grief, perhaps as close as it is possible for a man and a woman to be…

And as a bonus it would be quite gothic, in keeping with the vibes established in “Orphans of Opry Tower” and even its sequel. Mary Shelley, the original goth girl, lost her virginity on her mother’s grave (yes, really).

When Sola is a teenage girl herself, the sweet and tender age of 16, Katenka’s mother is 92. She may well be gone by that point, and even if she were still alive she’d be very old; likely not too much help to her, bar perhaps the dispensing of sage wisdom. The father, even if we don’t kill him off at 96, would be 112 at this stage, and I certainly don’t envision him being any Imogen of Thalassa as far as longevity genetics goes, so he’s definitely gone by that point.

The Other Side of the Family Tree

What of the other characters? Hernando, father of Fintan and Fia, is supposed to be about 40 as of “Orphans of Opry Tower”, and he seems to be the only living relative Fintan and Fia have. Their mother perished in a tornado…and the father (who became a storm chaser afterwards) was almost killed by a tornado in Mississippi not too long after that, so they came close to having both parents killed by tornadoes.

Which would be super weird; on the other hand, the Kovačević triplets in “Orphans of Opry Tower” do mention climate changes, a theory that the sudden emissions of and then drawdowns of so much greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is engendering much more severe and extreme weather, so for all we know this world might see more deadly tornadoes that have what we’d consider unusual characteristics. Being orphaned by tornadoes would still be unusual, but perhaps not as freakish as it is in our timeline.

Anyway, when Fintan’s and Fia’s children get hitched, Hernando is 56, so still only middle-aged. As of when Sola is a teenage girl, Hernando will be 72. So he could be around for that whole time period, either retired from storm chasing or a still-active old master at it.

Outside the Family Tree

Fintan and Fia do have a stepmother in the form of Decca, though she considers herself more of an aunt figure than anybody’s mother; she’s childless by choice, yet finds herself the closest thing Fintan, Fia, Sasha, Draža, and Tallulah have to a mother figure in their lives. That’s a lot of mentoring. How long will she be able to help? As of “Orphans of Opry Tower” Decca is supposed to be around 30, so as of the cousins coupling she’ll be 46 and as of Sola being a teenager she’ll be 62. Aged, but she could easily still be at her dance studio being twirled around by eager students and partygoers past midnight. With how she plunked herself down in Music City and is so at home there that’s probably exactly where she’ll be.

The triplets, meanwhile, are of a slightly ambiguous age but let’s use a round number and say they’re 10 as of “Orphans of Opry Tower”. That means as of when the cousins get hitched they’ll be 26, and as of when Sola is a teenage girl they’ll be 42. I’m not sure how much help they’ll be, since they were friends to Fintan and Fia rather than family, but considering how taken they were with Katenka they may well stick around and have a role in the descendants’ lives.

Particularly if Sola inherits an adventurous streak and is drawn to the sea, the triplets have been sailing around the world by themselves since childhood, so they might take a keen interest in her development. Dancing too will be a fun point they’ll have in common with her, as well as perhaps musical talent (Katenka is good at playing the piano…).

Triplet Ships…

For that matter, might there be a romance between Sola and a Kovačević triplet? The thought crosses my mind; after all, both Sasha and Draža will probably grow into fine young men, and they have some things in common with Sola. On the flip side, however, Sola is just 16 and both Sasha and Draža are 42. Which means they’d be pushing three times her age. And may well have helped bring her up from early childhood. In this universe such relationships aren’t nearly as taboo as they are in real life, but it seems pretty unlikely that any serious feelings would develop. Another showstopper would be the rather strong possibility that Sasha and Draža are already spoken for by this point. So I don’t think that idea works.

It remains possible, though, that one of Sasha’s or Draža’s children might entice Sola. If Sasha or Draža have a child at 26 said child would even be the same age as Sola!

A more off-the-wall possibility would be a pairing with the sole woman among the triplets: Tallulah. Their mother, Zara, appears to have been a lesbian, proud of her lifelong virginity. She used a sperm donor for her children, and never had relations with a man. Women are a different matter; I’ve hit upon the idea that losing one’s virginity is defined by being penetrated by a man (which is a view some people hold in real life) is more mainstream in this universe, so lesbians are often thought of as virgins (it’s one of those weird things that makes sense when you think about it, even if it is still weird).

I envisioned Tallulah as slutting it up to the max, being very promiscuous with men when she comes into womanhood, but who’s to say she doesn’t like women too? If Sola has a taste for women as well they just might fall for each other. A large-age-gap relationship between two women might be really interesting, but with these two characters in particular I just don’t feel like it works. In my mind’s eye the spark just wouldn’t be there. Once again, perhaps Tallulah has a daughter who’s about the same age as Sola and Sola and the daughter have sparks fly for each other; I could maybe see that.

Can Sola have it All?

Of course I could also see Sola falling for a man very early in life, much like Katenka and her own mother did…or waiting until very late on to couple with anybody, or even find anyone who’s compatible. She might also become a single mother by choice at that late stage if she comes up empty (entirely possible, considering the limited supply of men who are of comparable or higher status than a woman like her).

For that matter, Sola could become a single mother by choice very early in life, pre-empting the possibility of something happening to her and thus ending her lineage before she’s able to find anybody. That indeed was a key part of Zara’s thought process when she became a choice mother in her mid-teens, fulfilling her dream of having a whole family of beautiful children as soon as she was able to; luckily for her she got to experience it before she was killed in the tornado. That successful (?) example would no doubt loom large in Sola’s mind, because she will have been told about it from childhood by the family (and perhaps by the triplets themselves).

If Sola’s sexual tastes are for men, she might have even more urgency than Zara did. The earlier she starts on having a family, the earlier her children will be grown, leaving her with more time to find a man she can love and have a family with in the natural way while she’s still young. Let’s say she has her children alone at 16. They’d be basically out of childhood before she even reaches 30!

In that regard, Sola really would be a solo girl (he!), and the mid teens would be a real decision point for her: it’s where the window starts to close on that plan, to have a family and be finished raising them while you’re still young and attractive. Throughout her teens and twenties she might date men and have fun (and sex!), but keep them strictly walled off from her domestic life. She might even be a courtesan or high-class escort girl; somehow I could totally see that occupation being a great fit for her.

If she finds a good husband at around the age of 30, so much the better; a whole new batch of beautiful babies come into her life throughout her thirties. Between her two families she may well birth a dozen total, all while enjoying the company of awesome men and pursuing her artistic and adventurous interests. Like I said, the ultimate woman.

That’s one possibility for Sola, anyway. Quite a brainstorm, this post was, but it was fun! A seed for a future story? We shall see.

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