I had my third Advanced Profession Test at Dystopia Rising this past weekend and I wanted to try and recreate it here as best as I could. This isn’t a perfect recreation, but goodness am I so happy with every part of it. The test was fantastic and wonderful and I loved it so so much. Such great RP and a great way to get me ready for DR:Evolved coming out. Note – this isn’t me talking about my opinions on the system but just me saying my rp has led up to me knowing exactly how to handle the time skip and re-entering game when 3.0 starts. EITHER WAY, I hope you enjoy my memory of the weekend.
Jeanie happily sat on the ground next to her uncle, joking about the outfit she was wearing. It had become obvious, even to the iron, how much her confidence had grown over the past few months. And while she was nervous about her test happening today, likely from Delta, she was still happy. Though, definitely still nervous. It was hard to not be nervous when she found out that Dr. Hibiki, from last night’s medical procedure with patient zero of this unknown disease, had given samples of the disease to Delta, her teacher. The nervousness got worse when she had been told that those who were working on learning to be saint’s of their faith were told they were going to be involved in her test. Then again, she could do this. She’d succeeded so far. She had grown confidence in herself and knew what she was capable of. She could do this, no matter how deadly it would likely be.
Take a deep breath. Don’t worry about. Focus on the fact that Charles is judging the red and black Krey outfit his seamstress had chosen. Focus on the fact that he had called her last outfit a sexy librarian. Anything but her nerves.
There were footsteps coming up behind her. Jeanie turned and looked to see who was walking up to the post office, where they all sat. Dr. Hibiki and Delta together. Dr. Hibiki held a briefcase in his hands.
“Hello!” Delta looked so incredibly excited. Today, his face was green like the leaves growing on most of the trees. But between some of the leaves, hidden in the shadows they created, twinkled two bright childish eyes.
“I should probably get up,” Jeanie muttered under her breath, nervous, but ready. It was time. With a deep breath and some continued conversation that she only half heard, she headed into the library with Delta and Dr. Hibiki to find Idle and gather everyone else who was going to be involved.
“So Delta, I heard that Dr. Hibiki gave you a blood sample from last night’s diseased patient,” Jeanie turned to her teacher, refusing to acknowledge all the hurt that she still held from his actions a few years ago.
“Nah! We’re gonna take that sample and put it inside you! Cause you’ve already had so many diseases and been so irradiated that it’ll either force your body to mutate past the disease or it’ll kill you. But you’re the best person to test and study this disease on! I think you’ll evolve past it.”
Jeanie took a deep breath and turned to Idle and Lyra who were setting up the library into a make shift surgery bay. “Remember what I told you about the disease last night and what I thought would happen? Yeah? Well, I knew it!” She turned back to Delta.
“So what do you think about that?” he asked with a huge grin! He was practically bouncing with excitement.
Jeanie rocked her head from side to side. “Given what I saw of the disease last night, it has solid scientific theory behind it and I understand why I’m the most valid test subject for this research. That said, as a scientist, I’m a little angry that I can’t be watching this happen to take down notes and data because this disease is utterly fascinating. I’m not saying I won’t do it. Just that I wish I could watch it happen.”
She looked over at those continuing to set up. Idle was taking charge and discussing notes and theories with Dr. Hibiki. Quinzie, Sigmund, and Lyra were helping set up and praying. Dr. Candy was there prepping the area and ensuring tools were clean and people were inoculated so that they wouldn’t catch the disease. Jeanie made a quick comment about how she’d be right back. She wanted to make sure she had water near by since it would likely be an exhausting process. Plus, it would let her find Charles and Spooky Jak. She wanted them to know that it was time. She wanted them to know who had her will and what to do with her items on the off chance that something went horrifically wrong. She didn’t believe anything would go wrong, but it didn’t hurt to be ready. Especially with how deadly this disease could be.
It wasn’t long til she was laying down on the bed with everyone surrounding her.
Dr. Hibiki took a syringe full of diseased blood and grabbed her right arm, pumping it into her body. Jeanie balled her hand into a fist trying to ignore the sensation of a needle piercing through the skin for the first time in almost two years. It had to be her right forearm. That was a sensation she wanted to forget.
It wasn’t long before her body started showing symptoms of the infection now raging within her. She started shivering as her body started to spike a fever. Her joints started to ache. Quinzie looked over Jeanie and let everyone know what was going on. The iron closed her eyes and listened as Spooky Jak, Tri, and Idle were debating what brew to use next. Jeanie reminded everyone in the group that the brews would not work as normal and to not expect that any of them would do what this team wanted.
They helped Jeanie up and Idle poured a brew down Jeanie’s throat. Then new symptoms would appear as the disease mutated in response to the brew. Over and over. Help the Iron sit up. Help her drink another brew. Take syringes of people’s blood and pump them into her arms. Repeat the process with addictive drugs, including drugs the Iron had struggled with. Over and over the symptoms would change. Her nerves were on fire. She was shaking with fever. She was dissociating and losing chunks of memory and comprehension. She curled onto her side in pain as a tumorous growth started forming in her stomach and then popped with a burst of radiation through the room. Her heart stopped and then she jumped up with a gasp as one of the priests called down the power of their faith into her. At one point, Idle asked for permission to put Mother’s Milk into Jeanie’s arm. Jeanie shuddered and agreed, if only because none of the drugs were acting as they were supposed to and she had yet to feel any of the familiar responses to any of the drugs that she already knew. Besides, it was for science. It was for faith. She had to believe that she would get through this and the team truly believed that Mother’s Milk was the right option at the time.
Thank Savanna that Jak Warner wasn’t around to see it at least.
It was going relatively well, for the most part. Til things started to spiral in the wrong direction. Something was wrong. Jeanie could feel it. Something was horribly horribly wrong. Something was mutating painfully. Her mind raced. What could be going on? What happened last night that could explain this? She remembered the image of the Remnant from last night. Watching as the woman’s eyes started to physically grown and the ridges that were her remnant mutation started shrinking and disappearing. Jeanie screamed, asking to know what was happening. Was she still glowing? Was she even still an Iron? She had worked so hard to come to an understanding with her strain. Her confidence in herself had grown. She didn’t know if she wanted that to change anymore. What was she becoming?
Jeanie started to cry and dropped the rad rods she had been holding for comfort. Tears sliding down her face. “Why am I doing this? What’s the point?” The iron had grown so much and gained so much. Was evolution worth it if it meant changing everything that brought her to this point? Even Delta had said to not ignore what she had been through and what she was? So why were they changing it now? Was everything a lie? It had to be a lie. Finch was wrong. Sparrow was wrong. Delta. Spooky Jak. They were all wrong. She couldn’t do this. It was wrong. She had to get up. She had to go.
Jeanie sat up and a burst of power shot through her hands and into Nell, freezing the Rover into place. She had to get out of here. Hands started trying to stop her and sit her down. She was carrying an unknown disease that was incredibly deadly after all. They couldn’t let her leave, but she couldn’t stay. People wouldn’t leave her alone. Goodness, why wouldn’t they leave her alone? She felt the power burst out of her hands again. Over and over. Everyone kept trying to stop her from leaving. Everyone kept trying to push her down onto the bed. And every time she shot a burst of power out of her hands, freezing them and keeping them from touching her. Charles picked up his niece. She struggled in his arms, trying to get free, shooting power into him that he kept resisting.
“Hold her down. Get rope. We have to tie her down,” he shouted as he placed her back on the bed. Everyone’s hands were pushing down on the iron. She kept fighting back. It wasn’t worth it. She had to leave. She kept fighting back as they rolled her over to her side. She kept fighting back til she felt her uncle’s fist slam into the back of her head and the world went black.
She woke up convulsing and straining against the ropes that held her down as the procedure continued. More syringes. More brews being poured down her throat. More pain and fire and ache. More exhaustion as more and more of her body struggled.
It wasn’t long before she closed her eyes and her body relaxed. It wasn’t long before she slipped into a coma.
“Darwinism is about getting stronger than you already are. About getting better. A curie is our leader. Like a mom. Disco is like the mom of our church,” Cal carefully explained to the scared and curious Iron as they both sat in the Double Tap. It was her first time in a town after finally escaping from Motor City two months ago.
“Jeanie you can do this,” someone said.
“Darwinism is like the butterfly in the story I just read to you,” Disco explained. “You’re the caterpillar. But you’ll grow and things will be rough. You’ll find yourself hurting and feeling awful. That’s like being in the cocoon. But then, you’ll break free of it all. You’ll find you changed. You’ll be the butterfly.”
“Jeanie’s cocooned herself. She’s stuck in her head. She’s turning into her butterfly and we just have to give her the strength to break free. Everyone grab hands. We can get her out of this.”
Jeanie stared out the door of the room where the nuclear reactor sat under the Double Tap. Disco had just run out into the snow to grab the rad rod that had shot out when Jeanie found it in the pipes. The rest of the crew smiled at the fact that they had together fixed the reich’s computer and figured out how to get the reactor working finally. Disco walked back in and held out the glowing green rod. “Hey kid. Here’s the rad rod you shot out of the reactor. Welcome to the faith!” Disco’s smile peaked out from under the metal mask that hid her rotting skin. There was pride there in the young Iron who had just figured out how to fix the nuclear reactor and save the town.
“Jeanie,” Spooky Jak’s voice could faintly be heard from far away. “You’ve come so far. Believe in yourself. This is your chance to grow.”
“Prove to me why you want this radiation again?” Jenna asked, the rainbow mohawk fluttering in the breeze from the window. Jeanie thought quietly a moment before answering “because radiation leads to mutation and growth. There’s scientific evidence for that. I want to grow and I trust it to help me.” Jenna smiled and opened the led box she held, revealing the blue glow inside it.
“It’s time to wake up!” another voice called to her.
“I see the changes in your body already,” Tiren explained as they sat on the steps of the Church in the summer night’s heat. “Your genes are already changing. You’re going to do great things one day.”
“Jeanie,” Nell’s voice cut through the memories. “You don’t need me to be your therapist anymore. Now I’m just your friend.”
Jeanie looked down at the dying Ascensorite in her arms. His blood covered the snowy ground. His blood covered the Iron’s hands. Delta coldly stared down at the broken Iron and the mutilated man she held. “Evolution is supposed to be painful,” he spat out.
“There is no future. There is no past.” Charles began to sing. “I live this moment as my last.”
Jeanie cried. This was the man who had cheered her on. This was the one who understood her struggles as an Iron. This was the one who knew how to help her grow. This was the love of her life. “Jeanie,” he croaked out with ragged breath, “Be the bird I know you’re meant to become.”
“Jeanie,” Delta’s voice cut through everything she was reliving. “It’s time to break your chains. It’s time to fly.”
Slowly the iron began twitching on the cot. Her body started shifting as her mind returned to the present. To the people around her, cheering her on. Her eyes fluttered open and she slowly sat up.
Everyone quietly watched, waiting.
The iron’s body shuddered and convulsed. Her head flew backward as a rad cloud burst from her chest and into the room. Most of the room dropped to the floor with shouts of pain. Jeanie sat there, feeling the warmth of the glow settling around her. It felt soothing. It gave her strength.
Jeanie caught eyes with Delta and his face burst into a grin.
Jeanie had evolved.