Dystopia Rising story? Dystopia Rising story! This one is my Unborn, She. As always, the world is the property of Eschaton Media. The main character is my own original character. The rest are the property of those who created them in the game (and the Rover in this story was used with permission).
The night was still young. A large bonfire in the center of the beach while the three Marsh Walker tribes and their guests celebrated and enjoyed fellowship with each other in the light of the flames. The new crew mates all cheered each other with pride for surviving and succeeding at the trials they had faced through the rest of the holiday. Tomorrow, they would awaken, climb into their boats and return to the water with the families they had joined. The guests would make their way back to the Grove, likely with a few members of the Katama guiding the way.
One particular Unborn of the Sankaty stood in front of the bonfire, staring into the flames. Her green skinned hands tightly gripped the scraps of the skirt she’d worn for years. Unlike the other new crew members, her face wasn’t covered with the joy of the night’s festivities. Her white eyes were focused on the dancing flames, free of their mask. Her cheeks, covered in soot and ash war designs, shifted softly as she chewed on the insides of her cheeks.
“What do you think of the party?” a voice asked.
“Huh?” The Unborn turned. Purple hair and a studded pink jacket adorned the Rover who had addressed her.
“The party? You enjoying it?”
She nodded. “Yes. It’s nice to find others of her kind so ready to welcome her.”
“You’ve got that in the Grove. Warsong. Your mom and dad.”
“They’re not like her. They all have others of their kind. Others who understand. Her mom understands a lot. He even guided her to the Kings who sing for the outcasts that are rejected. But he is still not of her kind. The ancestors made that very clear, to be careful of those who are not like her. She will make them proud again. Her new crew mates of the Sankaty are helping.”
“They are reminding her what it means to be one of the ancestors’ chosen people. They are helping her remember what the Fallow Hope caravan tried to destroy.”
“The Fallow Hope?”
The Unborn nodded and shifted her gaze to the skirt in her hands. “They called her an abomination. Prepared her to join the students of the blind. The Sankaty are helping her to reclaim her pride.”
“Good.” The Rover placed hands on their hips and nodded. “You should be proud. You’re medical professional, like your mom, and you do a lot of good for the town.”
White eyes glanced back to the Rover. “The town cannot decide if they want her kind. One minute they work hard to remind her that she’s not what the Fallow taught her and the next they use zed-be-gone to keep her trapped in the corner of the bar and unable to help or go anywhere.”
The Rover shook her head. “That shouldn’t have happened.”
There was silence between the two punks for a moment as they stood in front of the dancing flames. Around them, people laughed. On the other side of the beach, the four Grove Katama all sassed each other in ways that most of the Grove could not imagine.
“What’s that?” The Rover broke the silence and pointed to the skirt in the Unborn’s hands.
“The past.” The Unborn looked down at the skirt. Green and brown, faded with age. She saw the years of being hidden away when the caravan entered a settlement. She heard the harsh voice of the Ascended one who believed to the point of his skin bleeding the tenants of the faith. She heard the insults hidden in fake concern and the malice with which they gave her a name.
The Unborn tossed the fabric into the flames of the bonfire and watched as the green cloth burned with the dancing golden fire.
“You’ve got to make a choice, if the music drowns you out. And raise your voice every single time they try to shut your mouth.”