I am fascinated by the stories that define the very edges of our humanity. Stories and circumstances can push us beyond our limitations to achieve great things, like George Washington, Ghandi, or Nelson Mandella. Or, on the other side, dire situations and out-of-balance values can drive us to perform terrible acts, like Hitler or Charles Manson.
These are the stories I need to explore to better understand the world. During the day, I manage a wonderful team of production operators in the high-tech industry. At night, I write in my mountain home in Colorado, where I live with my Sweet Bride and our anxious cat, Lili'uokalani (the last queen of Hawaii).
How can a city, entirely people by wicked souls, exist and sustain? It is not a city we can comprehend. Civil services, neighborhoods, markets, and even individuals cannot behave in a way we would consider civilized. Aggressive self-interest, or secrecy would be two likely paths to survival - both based on distrust.
I believe evil consumes. In the end, when all else is gone, it will consume itself in its ongoing need to destroy. The only force to delay it's self-hunger is a strong fear fueled by some powerful role, person, or belief.
For this story, I'm building Sodom as a character, with it's own inward desires and fears, memories and beliefs. King Bera will play a role in the fear mongering of the city, but even he is ultimately a product of Sodom's own inherent fear.
Upon reaching the gate, the traveller was accosted by scorpions - spear-waving soldiers afraid of their duties, distrustful of their comrades, and annoyed by anyone unknown coming to the gate. Their first order of business was to turn away strangers and be done. Sodom didn't want any people but his own - bred and raised to understand this world. People raised on fear and hate, torture and duty, and caught forever in a web of power. These people made the right citizens, soldiers, and merchants. A stranger at the gate was an assault to the sacred beliefs of the Sodom and his appointed King, Bera.