Malaya is an obedient and upstanding citizen in human society. She has a deep love for her home and her people. However, she is aware that the isolation of her people greatly limits their potential. The humans of her colony have become stagnant. Despite being self-sufficient, it is clear there must be innovation to keep up with the demands of the growing population. She believes that investing more in outside exploration will bring new opportunities to help the colony.
During her travels away from home, the guilt of leaving her family behind often causes her to fall into an emotional spiral. Mala is use to following rules, staying in line, and being told what to do. Often time she struggles with forming her own opinion about things, because she gets frustrated when it feels like her thoughts are not her own. She eventually recognizes the flaws of her previous life and wishes to break the conformity by seeing what is beyond The Colony.
Kalo is a nomadic beast that takes on local hunts to fill his pocket. He usually keeps to himself and minds his own business to avoid any unnecessary altercations. One day, a monster that Kalo is hunting threatens the hidden, isolated human colony. Kalo manages to defeat the monster, but the colonists see him as a threat as well and threaten to kill him. Mala realizes the injustice and attempts to protect Kalo, but this is only seen as an act of betrayal to the other colonists. Mala is then driven out of her home by the very people she loved and trusted. Kalo, feeling responsible for Mala’s exile, takes it upon himself to help her navigate the outside world.
Mala is optimistic and generous, but also naive and confirmative. Despite her good intentions, she is easily manipulated and taken advantage of. On the other hand, Kalo is more level headed and assertive, but also cynical and isolated. Unlike Mala, he has strong resolve and is in confident in his beliefs. However, he prefers to keep to himself and not get mixed up in other people’s conflicts. Apart they’re not perfect, but together, they balance each other out. Mala learns how to be more independent and confident in her beliefs while Kalo learns how to be more empathetic and charitable to others.
The Colony is Mala’s home. It’s physical appearance is based off of termite mounds and rock formations like the tufa towers from Mono Lake. The Colony prioritizes efficiency and resourcefulness. It prides itself on providing for each other and strong communal bonds. However, a transparency is created through the people themselves and their relationships with each other.
The colonists are generally friendly and personable. It is a neighborly community where everyone knows each other, their roles in The Colony, and the details of their personal lives. Everyone strives to do their share to help The Colony. Overall, they are efficient, organized, and resourceful. Since the beginning, they have been known to not waste resources that have been given to them or that they have collected. They take what they need and share the rest. Over several decades, the climate became less favorable, and humans were driven underground. They adapted and learned how to be self sufficient underneath the surface, making a majority of the colony isolated from the outside world.
The people find joy in doing everything they can in order to benefit The Colony. By dedicating their lives to The Colony, they ensure the well-being of their families and neighbors. To not dedicate all hours of the day to benefit the Colony is seen as selfish and is looked down upon. Everyone is familiar with each other and know the details of their lives. This leaves little room for secrets and suspicious behavior. With The Colony being so organized, irregularities are noticed quickly and reported throughout the community. Many consider those that choose to leave The Colony as selfish and naive. Usually younger generations have this desire, but it is quickly smothered due to societal pressure.