The Decision

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Guys and gals! I’m back with another Dystopia Rising piece based on the events of the past game I went to. As always, my character is the main character in this piece (in this case, an Unborn known most commonly as She) but the world is the creation of the people at Eschaton Media and the other characters are the creations of the other amazing players who partake in this world. Anything said by the other characters are things they actually said at this past game. Gotta make sure to give credit to all the amazing people who were involved in my writing this story, even if that was them creating a bad ass character for me to have bad ass memories from game with.

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“You know, I’m being merciful keeping you alive and all. Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

She undid the knot that held the bag to her belt. Green hands carefully opened the bag and let the herb slide out of the bag and onto the table. With practiced hands, she carefully tore the herb into small pieces that she piled in front of her on the table.

“The best you can hope for is that you never develop your curse and you keep from dragging anyone down with you.”

She carefully slid her fingertips through the pile, trying to make sure that all of the pieces were of similar sizes. Any that were too big were pulled from the pile and torn smaller. Any stems from the herb were pulled out of the pile and tossed aside.

“But if the curse develops anyway, you’ll be ready. You know the tenants, Rahab. You know how to combat the undead and give others their second chance. If the curse develops, you will be ready to join the students of the blind.”

She slid the herb from the table into her left hand. Practiced fingers pulled the lid off part of the still and dropped them to the bottom of the container. Then she brushed her hands against her skirt, removing any remaining herb bits from her palm.

“It won’t save you though. As the abomination that you are, there is nothing you can do to keep from being damned.”

She sighed and stood, grabbing the empty bottle that was with her. She walked over to the pot of boiling water in the fire place and began to ladle some of the water into her bottle. This would then be poured into the still with the herb, now that the whole piece was free of the toxins that filled water these days. Not that it would bother her to just use the water plain from the river, but for whatever reason that makes the rest of the people in town sick and it wasn’t something she wanted to do. So, pre-boil the water she would.

A few bottles of water were poured into the still and then the lid placed over it. She carefully arranged the kindling and wood underneath it before grabbing her flint and steel to light the pile under the still. Though, there was a part of her that felt it would be easier if the Ancestors had gifted… or cursed… her with the ability to produce fire from her fingers, not that she had ever actually seen anyone do that, but it would be very helpful at this moment.

And now, the worst part of brewing.

Waiting.

Waiting with the thoughts and memories that were plaguing her at the moment.

“If you develop psionics and don’t know it, we’ll work it out,” the Rainbow man waved his hands in the air, “But if you ever knowingly use those powers, even for good, you will be put to death. That is the law.”

She looked down at her green hands, the purple lines snacking across her wrists and up her forearms. No one else in town had such visible veins. Except for the One Who Bleeds Red, White, and Blue, but that wasn’t the purple that made everyone know she was from the Ancestors and not just another half breed. It was part of what made everyone fear that she was a witch, even if she was never gifted… or cursed with those abilities by the ancestors.

“Mom, what if she ends up losing control because she ended up with a power she didn’t know she had?”

“Then,” the Dead One threw his hands up, “we’ll address that when it happens. Not much else we can do.”

She glanced around the room a moment. It was empty. There was no one she could frighten by fully revealing that she was from the Ancestors. She sighed with a bit of relief and unwound the scarf from her head before pulling the gauze wrapping off her white eyes. It was nice when she had a chance to take it off.

“Those who are gifted, and it can be a gift, will be offered an opportunity to be a part of the Students of the Blind.” The Minster General paused and looked around, matching eyes with every psion in the room that he knew, “Now, while we would hope that you would consider joining the Fallow Hope, we know that many of you are very firm believers in your own faith and we will not ask you to leave that when you join.”

Those of the town who had begun to accept her had all made it very clear that the things she experienced on the caravan, by the hands of the Fallow Hope, were wrong. Even the Colonel had said that they were sorry for what the Fallow had said to her and done when they had tried once before to prepare her for the students of the blind.

“If you are a psion,” the Old Man shook his head as he spoke, “and the Minister General here will vouch for your position within the students of the blind, we can work something out.”

Only now, the fear of her gift… or curse… whatever it was called… the fear of it developing without any ability to control it meant She had a decision to make.

“I don’t like it,” the White Haired Pocket muttered, looking over to the Unborn, “I don’t like any of it. The new law or this new offer. What if something goes wrong?”

Her white haired friend was right. What if something goes wrong?

She could take comfort in the protection that her new family and friends would try to provide, but without anyone to try and help her learn to control any power that might develop, She would likely be put to death.

She could join the students of the blind, become the weapon that the caravan had always told her she would be. She could be required to leave her family and return to the pain of her past.

She sighed and carefully opened the tap at the bottom of the still and poured the Snake Oil into the bottle. Carefully, not to miss a drop. Especially when the brew could save her sister or one of her new friends. Especially when the current feelings about psions could possibly mean war with the Fallow Hope.

She carefully screwed the lid onto the bottle and slipped it into her bag. She made sure all her things were gathered and the still cleaned for the Red Worker who owned it. Her white haired friend’s words ringing in her mind.

“I don’t like it.”

“Neither does She.”

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Belonging

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It’s another Dystopia Rising story. This one is about my new character She and not about Jeanie. If you have yet to check out Dystopia Rising, you seriously should. It’s utterly amazing stuff from the amazing people at Eschaton Media.

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Spin the spindle. Let the fibers twist together into the thread above the dangling wooden dowel. Grab the dowel and wrap the fine thread around it. Repeat the process.

Spinning yarn. It was simple and beautiful. And mindless enough that She didn’t have to think about all the things confusing Her. It was easier to understand.

She glanced up and looked around at the currently empty room. Over on the bar was the record player, quiet and with no disc spinning and revealing messages of the Kings. Her mom had started to tell her about his kings and the great union. It sounded so much like the great whole and seemed to make so much sense. She would have to ask the true believer priest who usually sat at the record player about them. She’d also have to ask Her mom to tell more.

Mom.

It was almost a strange concept. She vaguely remembered having a mom before the caravan had come to take Her away. Her mom had begun to teach her about the requirements of brewing for the elders. Mom had explained that it is very important to share the knowledge of the generations past with the ones to come. She never could ask Her mom what that had meant. And now, now She had a new mom. And a sister.

The dead one was kind and made sure to guide Her when She was worried or confused. The smiling girl was sweet and didn’t seem to judge Her at all. They were both kind. Was it the right decision to join the neighborhood and join with them? She hoped so. They were trying to help Her and guide Her.

But they weren’t the only ones.

There was the white haired pocket. That one was always trying to make sure She was safe. That one wanted Her to feel like She belonged here. It was strange to have a pocket that would get so bothered by understanding the things that She thought, but still stand up for Her and defend Her. She liked the white haired pocket.

There was also the tea commies. They were generally helpful and always got so angry at the thought of someone hurting Her in any way. Even the loud visiting doctor and the priest at the record both respected Her and treated Her and Her thoughts as though they were very okay.

It was strange that there was anyone who wanted Her around. She was used to all the many in town who were afraid of Her or didn’t want Her to exist. But to realize that many wanted Her around and were willing to protect Her.

Could it be that She might have found a place to belong again? Could it be that She might have found a place where She could one day feel like She was allowed to be herself?

She shook her head. It was too much think about right now. No, spin the spindle. Work the strands of fiber into workable yarn. That was easier to understand right now.