The test

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This is me attempting to rewrite a scene that happened at this past Dystopia Rising game. I don’t usually rewrite scenes from the game because I never remember them well enough to do them justice. They’re never exactly like they were in game and that kind of bugs me. However, this scene was extremely important to Jeanie’s character growth and it was a very big, exciting deal for me, so I wanted to share it. The other characters are creations of the players who played them (and were written here to the best of my ability as they were played out in the scene) and the world is from the amazing people at Eschaton Media.

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“Hey Jeanie! Delta’s here!”

Jeanie felt her breath catch in her throat. Delta. The Ascensor who had killed Caleb. Delta. The one who promised to be around so he could help her evolve. Delta. The one who disappeared for almost two years rather than keep his promise.

The Ascensor towered over her, his weapon dripping with blood. Tears streamed down her face as she held her dying mate in her arms.

“Evolution is supposed to hurt. Say your goodbyes.”

The Iron’s face felt red with anger. What could she even say to him that would make up for how far she fell when he refused to show back up and help, like he promised he would? What could make up for falling into so deep a personal hell that her struggles were colored by the drugs she shot into her arm, the desperate need for death, the deep struggle with even knowing how to get through to the next morning? Jeanie fought to focus on Spooky’s voice as he spoke of Richard Corey’s newest mechanical mess. She struggled to keep from turning and slamming her fists into the face of the smiling Darwin who didn’t quite realize how badly he’d hurt her.

It wasn’t long before her barely contained rage turned and starting spewing out on the young Ascensor.

“You left me! You promised to be back in a few weeks and you left me. It’s been almost two years now! Two years! You said you’d help me get through it. You promised. And you left me.”

“Yea…” he shrugged. “The seasons changed faster than I thought. I got caught up with the Hansfields that winter.”

“That winter? It was the last snowfall! The Hansfields had already left for the summer! They weren’t a threat in that moment!”

“I really was with them for awhile. They don’t really let people leave.”

“No, really?” Jeanie screamed at him. “You left and spent time with them. Meanwhile, I ended up far worse than I’ve ever lived.”

“So, what happened then?”

“Let’s see. I was more of a drug addict than ever before. I wanted to die and even tried to make it happen. Months of my life just lost to drugs and hating everything.”

“Okay, and did you grow?”

“I mean, I’m clean and sober. I don’t want to die anymore.”

“So then, I did keep my promise!” He grinned happily.

“Oh? And just how did you do that considering you left me!”

“I promised that I wouldn’t let you use me as a crutch.”

Jeanie rolled her eyes and glared at him.

“How about this,” Delta began, “How about we go find a place to see and we talk to a few people about how much you’ve grown since then.”

The two found their way over to a table in the bar and sat down. They called over a few people who have known Jeanie long enough to honestly answer how she’d been doing. Jeanie sat quietly listening to everyone tell Delta how she’d been doing, quietly listening as her anger slowly turned to embarrassment over the deep prying into her life.

“Jeanie can function by herself now,” Tri said quietly.

“I’m her therapist. She asked me for help and has been working very hard at learning how to manage her emotions and become her own person,” Nell explained carefully to Delta.

“I wouldn’t let her baptise me til she could stand on her own. I’ve watched her become her own person, with her own aspirations and dreams,” Spooky shared.

Victor came over and shared how Jeanie used to be bitter and now can attempt to do things. Bloo shouted loudly that Jeanie had grown into a better person.

“Okay Jeanie. Everyone’s saying you’re doing really well now. So, now, you have two options to choose from.” Delta started excitedly looking into the box he held. He opened and closed it a few times before looking over to the quiet iron. “You can choose to believe in your faith and trust in evolution. You can grow and learn. Or you can give in to everything and I’ll keep you happy for the rest of your life.”

Jeanie cocked her head confused. “I don’t understand. Can you explain it again?”

Delta’s eyes narrowed with a mischievous grin. He opened the box and pulled out a needle that he carefully placed on the table before Jeanie. “You have a choice.”

“What is it?” Jeanie quietly asked as she felt every muscle in her body tense up. She felt the itch that she’d fought to control return. The desperate want for the peace and calm that comes with shooting drugs into her arm. Delta placed another needle on the table.

And another.

“May I?” Spooky asked as he reached for a needle. He carefully sniffed at the needle, at the milky white liquid inside the needle, before quietly confirming her suspicions.

“It’s mother’s milk Jeanie. They’re all mother’s milk. Really good ones too.”

One by one, Delta kept placing needles on the table. All filled with swirling white liquid.

“Do you want it Jeanie?”

“No.” Jeanie’s voice was quiet.

“Are you sure?” Delta’s grin looked maniacal.

“I mean, yes, I crave it. But I’m not going to do this. I don’t like what I’m like on that and I fought really hard to get sober.”

“Why don’t you want it?”

“It makes me go numb. Lose all feeling but the need to get high. It’s not worth it.”

“Go ahead Jeanie. Hold one.”

“I don’t want to.”

“Hold one.”

“No.”

“Take one Jeanie!”

“Fine!” Jeanie grabbed one of the syringes and held it in her shaking hand.

“If you want it, just use it. Go ahead.”

“No. I’m not going to.”

“Prove it.”

Jeanie shifted her left arm so that everyone could see the needle and banner inked into her forearm over all the scarred track marks from shooting up without care. “I worked hard to stop. I got this tattoo after being clean for a year. I am not putting any more needles into my skin.”

“Are you sure?”

Jeanie threw the needle back onto the table. Her body was shaking. Her voice was unsteady. “I’m not doing it. I don’t know what you want from me. But I’m not taking one of those needles. I’m not shooting up. I don’t want it.” She pushed some of the needles away.

Delta turned to the others at the table. Nell and Spooky both sat watching quietly as Jeanie shook and fought to hold back tears. “Is she telling the truth?”

“I’ve seen her dealer put needles in her hand and she’s refused them. If she was going to shoot up, she would have already done it,” Nell answered quietly as she turned to give Jeanie an encouraging smile.

“I wouldn’t let her baptize me til she was good and sober. She’s serious,” Spooky reaffirmed.

“Good!” Delta sat up and grinned and then slid the box over to Jeanie. “So then, trust in your faith.”

Jeanie nodded. “Okay.”

Delta nodded towards the box. “Open it!”

Jeanie shrugged. Carefully, and without hesitation, Jeanie pulled the lid off the top of the box. A puff of smoke. A familiar gust of heat followed by a massive bout of nausea and the pain of feeling your body burn and melt away. Radiation. A lot of it. Jeanie keeled over on the table grimacing as her body struggled to breathe. She could hear everyone in the bar screaming around her.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Delta lean over and begin to whisper to her.

“They’re in reach Jeanie.  Just take one. It’s right there.”

Jeanie shook.

“You can save yourself. They’re right there.” Delta’s voice was sinister as he reminded her of all the needles on the table. All she had to do was move her hand a few more inches and she’d have the drug that could both save her and destroy her right now.

Jeanie pulled her hand into a fist and dragged her empty fist closer to her chest. She could hear Delta telling every doctor who came over to fix Jeanie that he would take care of her. Her chest was pounding. Her stomach had tightened into knots of intense pain. The world was starting to darken around her. She knew this feeling.

She was dying.

“Fine, if you’re not going to take one, then trust in your faith. Lean on your faith. You’re never going to stop wanting this. You’re never going to stop struggling with what you’ve been through. Stop trying to get rid of that. Stop ignoring it. Lean on your faith when you’re struggling. Gain strength from it and evolve. Choose evolution.”

She felt the familiar warmth of the green glow settling over her and slowly leaving as her heart beat returned to normal, her stomach settled down, her head stopped spinning and her vision cleared up.

Jeanie slowly sat up and took a deep breath. She took a moment to steady her thoughts by looking over the lead box she’d opened in detail.

A few slightly curious and annoyed town members surrounded the table seeking answers about what had just happened.

“You’re a priest Jeanie. You tell them. Tell them what just happened. Tell them why it was a lesson you desperately needed to learn. Tell them how you’ve evolved.” Delta began gathering his things.

Jeanie nodded and turned to those who were around. “I’m a priest of Darwin. We believe in getting stronger and improving our lives. Only, for the longest time, that was really difficult for me. I was hooked on drugs. I couldn’t get past being an Iron Slave and how I grew up. I’ve spent the past year fighting hard to grow from that. I’ve spent the past year trying to overcome that but still hating everything about my life and how I’ve struggled. He was teaching me. Helping me grow and learn. He was showing me that even though I’ll still struggle, I don’t have to hate that. I can learn from it and grow.” Jeanie paused a moment.

She glanced over to find that Delta had left.

Gain strength from it and evolve. Choose evolution.

Slowly, it dawned on her the depth of the test he’d just given her. Slowly, she realized what lesson he’d started to bestow upon her.

Jeanie knelt in the blood stained snow, tears falling upon Caleb’s tattooed face. She brushed his hair off his sweat covered brow as he gripped her free hand tightly in his paw. With his last breath, he whispered “Be the bird I know you’re meant to become.”

Jeanie turned back to the small crowd around her. “He’s teaching me how to evolve.”

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An Act of Faith

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Dystopia Rising had a bunch of events this past weekend. I was at one and holy crow was it good. I should be sleeping, but I can’t sleep so I wrote a story based on the weekend. If you haven’t checked out this game, you really really should. The story is based on events that happened to my character, Jeanie. The other characters are products of their players. The world is from the amazing brains at Eschaton Media.

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“Updated symptoms,” Jeanie muttered under her breath as she wrote her notes down in her science journal, “Skin has finished healing in both sites. Infection pushed the staples out of the stomach. Tress helped remove the last of the sutures from the chest.”

Jeanie paused and ran her fingers across the y shaped scar on her chest. She had known the experiment that she was helping out with would be dangerous. The theory was sound and had quite a bit of knowledge to back it up. Surround the irradiated tank heart with living infection to increase it’s life span. Increase the life of the tank heart to ensure greater chance it gets used to give people their second chance.

The scar on her chest was a strong reminder of how dangerous the experiment really was. She had a second heart in her abdomen, not attached to anything. Beating at it’s own, slow, undead rhythm. She had zombie flesh slowly rotting inside her body with the hope that her body can keep it from rotting out completely.

She closed her eyes and dropped her forehead onto the table. Her left hand pushing into her stomach as a wave of pain flashed over her. She carefully took deep breaths and focused her breathing. She didn’t want to let either heart (or both) start beating too fast again. The graverobber, Sig, had gone back to Eden. If something went wrong, the only one who could fix it was Doctor Plaggue and he was often out with the hats.

The iron was on her own then.

She sat up and glanced down at her notebook before continuing her notes. “Periodic flashes of pain. Focusing on breathing seems to be keeping the hearts in sync with each other… or at least not beating too fast.”

Jeanie paused. Tress was a doctor or a sawbones? The irons should probably chat about that soon. Make sure they’re on the same page and regularly checking up on Jeanie’s health. Maybe get Nell for when Tress wasn’t in town. Either way, a doctor needs to be involved. After all, she was under orders not to die.

What would Nell think? Would she be annoyed? Appreciative? Understanding of the iron’s decision? Worried like Charles? Or would she understand like Ted that this was Jeanie trying to make a step forward, an act of faith.

Faith. The graverobber said there was a small chance of death. Jeanie may not know much about bodies but she was a scientist and understood the grave and the undead. The chance was much much higher than Sig would actually say. But, she had faith. Faith that she would survive this. She had no proof, but she was certain it would work. She would help usher medicine into a new age of science. She would help humanity evolve.

An act of faith.

What would Finch say? Would he agree? Would Savannah speak though him? Jeanie sighed. She would have to tell him. They would likely have a long conversation about it. Hopefully he would see that it wasn’t a suicidal choice but her actually trying to move forward in her faith and act on the very painful lesson he taught her at Devil’s Rest.

Jeanie shook her head and went back to her notebook. “Lethargy still present. Subject is staying in well populated areas to ensure regular rest and nutrition. Will have regular check ins with medical staff to look for symptoms not visible to non medics.”

Jeanie yawned and took a deep breath before closing the notebook and putting it away. She curled up on the couch and glanced across the room at the bar and to the red headed Rover who was wiping down some glasses.

“Wake me up if something happens,” she called out to him.

“Sure thing, kid.”

Jeanie closed her eyes and took another deep breath. She would get through this. It would succeed. She just knew it. She had faith it would work.

It had to work.

It would work.

Right?

What is Freedom?

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My goodness. If you haven’t checked out Dystopia Rising by the amazing people at Eschaton Media, you need to do so. This past weekend was a game and it was intense and wonderful and made the world amazing. Seriously guys, play this game.

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Jeanie glanced over at the new ink on her left forearm. It was one of two new pieces. Or maybe one new piece and one updated piece. The updated piece was on her shoulder. The bow of ship leaving a cloud of smoke. A number added to the bow of the ship A-825. The new piece was down on the forearm, in purple. The number 25 and the Hedon triple X figure.

Do you want to be free?

What kind of question is that? Of course.

Do you want to be free?

Yes.

She slowly slid her fingers over the new number and sighed. She had spent years fighting to remove the numbers that had been tattooed to her face back in Motor City. She had searched and fought and cried. Mickey had gotten ahold of the syringe that removed the numbers branded into her skin. She had cried in agony as she remembered the pain of having it placed on her cheek while Caleb had held her and the brew burned the ink out of her skin.

Only to have not only the old number returned but a new one.

And by her own choice.

You know how the Dock Workers ink their story into their skin? Well, Irons sort of do the same. We claim the ink in our skin as our story and wear it with pride. Only I haven’t. And I’m trying. I’m trying to be proud.

As much as she wanted to be proud, there was a certain hurt that came every time she got new ink and remembered the pain of getting her first tattoo. There was a certain pain in the knowledge that she was once again marked as property of someone else, as a slave. She was trying so hard to reclaim pride in her life and in what she had lived.

It still hurt.

Hey Jeanie. Have you torn up your papers yet?

No. Why would I?

Slavery is illegal now. You’re free.

Her papers were still in Charles’ pocket. She had not torn them up yet. He had asked, but for some reason, she wasn’t ready. It wasn’t the right time yet. And despite numerous members of the town reassuring her that she was now free, she didn’t feel free.

She never had.

Remember the first question you asked me?

Yeah.

Well, I’ve never felt free. And every time someone reminds me that I’m an Iron or comments on my glow, I don’t feel free. And I’m trying, but honestly, it’s hard.

Jeanie sighed and stared down at the empty glass in front of her.

Would she ever feel free?

“Yo, asshole,” she shouted to the red headed rover chatting at the other end of the bar before waving a 5 chuck lager at him. “I want another.”

Withdrawal

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Dystopia Rising piece about Jeanie. You know the drill. The world is by the awesome folks at Eschaton Media (go explore all of their work. Seriously, just go do it.) And the characters are characters created by other players in the LARP and used with their permission (or it’s me quoting actual interactions we had while in play).

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Glowing red hands were tightly gripping the large mug of steaming hot tea. The retorgrade had warned her that it would be hot, but she didn’t care. Very calloused fingers desperate for warmth didn’t care that the mug was hot. It’s not like she’d burn her hands. The forge didn’t and that was hotter.

Jeanie sipped at the hot tea, trying to stop the shaking. She was certain it was from the cold. It had to be from the cold. It wasn’t unreasonable to think otherwise.

Got an itch you can’t scratch?

Jeanie dropped her forehead onto the counter and squeezed the mug tighter.

Years of addiction don’t go away with one conversation.

The iron sighed and bounced her forehead against the counter of the bar. It was difficult without the needles. Without the milk ensuring that she was calm and able to think. Without the salvation giving her comfort from the overwhelming stress caused by the Hansfields and the lack of Charles.

Fuck where was Charles? He hadn’t been seen since Pequod Port. He was her owner. He had the contract. But without him and the contract, his protection meant nothing. Did he even care? Would he ever come back? After Caleb died, he’s one of the few who still understood. Was this the time that his business would keep him away for good?

Charles is an Ascensorite. He’s not capable of loving. He just has those that are his and fuck anyone who messes with his things. It’s not love. It’s pretending to love things he’s decided to own.

Jeanie sat up and shook her head. No. Jak was wrong. Had to be wrong. Charles was like her. Emotions too strong to handle. Easier to control them with drugs. Stop feeling and then you know how to function again. That’s why he hadn’t stopped her from using until she went crying to him in Pequod. Right?

The iron scratched at her right fore arm.

The only reason he cares for you is because you’re his and he cares for what he owns.

“No,” she muttered under her breath before guzzling a large amount of the still scalding hot tea. “No, I won’t give in. I won’t do this. I’m gonna stay sober. I have to.”

The iron shuddered.

“I gotta find someone to talk to.”

“I hate withdrawal.”

Her

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Most of you are used to me posting stories about Jeanie, my original character for Dystopia Rising. Well, this is not a Jeanie story. This is a new character. The Dystopia Rising LARP allows me to have three active characters at once, even if I can only play two a game. Up till now, I’ve only ever had Jeanie. Now I have a new character. Her name, is Rahab. So, here you go, an introduction to Rahab. I apologize if the writing is a little clunky, as this character’s personality might make writing a bit on the tough side, but we’ll see. As always, the world of Dystopia Rising is put out by the amazing people as Eschaton Media and is totally something you should check out.

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“Pardon, but can he help her?”

The man looked up from where he knelt in a small garden patch. His eyes widened and he gulped a moment at what he saw. A woman, green skin, almost sick looking, veins stretching across the face in purple and blue, white gauze wrapped around the eyes. “‘Scuse me?”

“Can he help her, please. She got separated from the caravan and is lost.”

“She? She who?” He stood up and brushed his hands on his pants to get the dirt off.

“She is…” the woman paused and her shoulder slumped a moment. She took a deep breath and continued. “Would he understand if she said ‘I am lost’ instead of ‘she is lost’?”

“You? Yer talkin’ ’bout you?”

The sickly green woman nodded. “Yes. She is lost and in need of assistance.”

“Um…” He glanced down quickly at the rifle on the ground. “You ain’t gonna do none of that brain juju bull shit, right?”

The woman shook her head. “The ancestors did not give her the ability to use her mind that way. This is good as she was taught it is a sin. He doesn’t need to worry.”

“Um… alright… Were you headed anywhere in particular?”

The woman shrugged. “She doesn’t know. That one never told her where the caravan was headed.”

“That one?”

“The one who leads the caravan.”

“Right.” He looked behind her a bit, towards the treeline, scanning for anything he could see. “Where did you come from?”

“That one did not really permit her to leave the caravan camp when we had arrived in a town. That one said that people would be frightened by her and it would be unkind to scare them.”

The man forced a quick laugh as he glanced around, still looking to see if anything had changed. “Yeah, well, that one was probably right. Are you lookin’ fer anyone in particular?”

“She would feel comfortable finding those of the Fallow Hope. They would know what to do with her.”

“Then y’all probably wanna find yer way to town. It’s close. ‘Bout a day or so walk down the road.” He pointed behind him at the path leading into the woods. “That’s the Grove proper. Out here is a bit less busy an all. But there’s a trade meet comin’ up. Might find people there that leave home for it or even live in the Grove center instead of us folk here in the Outer Grove. That’s probably yer best shot.”

“Thanks. She is grateful for his help.”

The woman walked around the man, careful not to step on his gun or in his garden. Somehow, she seemed to know where to place her feet despite the fact that her eyes were covered up in cloth.

The man just stared at her as she walked away.

Logic

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It’s been awhile since I posted. In that time I have done a lot of things. I got married. I worked a Renaissance Faire. I went on my honeymoon to Waikiki (lovely place, try it sometimes, bring sunscreen). So, Jeanie and Dystopia Rising both got put on the back burner for awhile. But they’re back. I’m back to playing. And I’m back to writing things that are going on in Jeanie’s life. So, if you like the story, check out Dystopia Rising and any other work by Eschaton Media. Also, remember that while Jeanie is my original character, the other characters and locations are property of the people who created them (not me). And yes, when I write a story with/about other characters, I have the permission of the others involved and work closely with them to make sure it is true to their characters as well. Enjoy the story.

Trigger Warning – Descriptive drug use,

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She couldn’t stop shaking.

“If I drop, keep going. I can take it. Just get in and get out. Don’t worry about me.”

“Natasha’s gone. Just go. GO!”

Why did it bother her so much that Natasha died? She’s a Pure Blood. A fucking prissy rich and manipulative Pure Blood. All of them are manipulative. Doesn’t matter that Jeanie can’t figure out what Natasha’s ulterior motive is, she has one. She should be glad that Natasha got pulled under by the River Hunters.

But she’s not.

“Charles, I’m sorry. The River Hunters got Natasha. They pulled her under. She didn’t come back up. I know you wanted to be there for her. I know. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

Jeanie sat down on a log at the firepit with a groan before gripping her stomach. She took a deep breath and tried to will her hands to stop shaking. They wouldn’t stop. She wiped the sweat from her brow. Why won’t she stop shaking? Just fucking stop shaking, damn it!

Deep breath. Take a deep breath in. Slowly. Now let it out. In. Out.

“Tri, I saw it happen. They pulled her off the boat and dragged her under. She didn’t come back up.”

The Iron grabbed her head. Rocking back and forth. “I don’t care. I don’t care. She’s just a stupid Pure Blood. I don’t care. I don’t care. Why the fuck do I care?”

Jeanie punched both hands down into the dirt at her feet. Her fingers splayed out before gripping the soil and balling her hands into fists. “Fuck this shit. I need to calm down.”

She grabbed her brown bag and started rummaging through the pockets. Her fingers frantically dug into each pocket before hurrying to the next. Then, her fingers wrapped around a glass vial.

The Iron stopped shaking. Slowly, she pulled the vial out of the bag and stared at the familiar milky white liquid inside. This would calm her down. Put her emotions in check. Keep her from freaking out over a stupid Pure Blood, one who succeeded in manipulating Jeanie into caring. Rich bitch. Her hand slid into the back and pulled out a small scrap box. Practiced hands popped off the lid and dropped the contents onto her lap. Empty syringe. Small needle in an old world pill bottle to keep it from breaking. Get the needle out of the pill bottle, twist into place on the end of the syringe. Open the vial, slide needle inside. Pull up plunger of syringe to fill the syringe with Milk.

Jeanie shut her eyes for a moment and let some of the tension release from her shoulders. She opened her eyes and glanced down at her left forearm, covered in black ink. She glanced above the anchor to the crook of her elbow. A few visible blue veins. She didn’t stop to think as she lined the end of the needle up to the blue vein, pierced the needle into her skin and pressed down on the plunger.

The Iron’s eyes closed and she let out a deep breath. Her body relaxed and the stress from before disappeared. She let the feeling wash over her for a moment before sliding the needle out and dropping it onto the ground in front of her. No more shaking. No more worrying over Natasha. Just calm.

She smiled when she heard bells. Caleb was always good company.

The bells stopped and there was a moment of silence. “Why?”

“Why what?” Jeanie opened her eyes and glanced over to where Caleb stood at the end of the log. He was glaring.

“Why did you need to use?” His paws balled into fists.

“I couldn’t think clearly.”

“About what?”

“Natasha.”

“What about her? She wouldn’t tell you to take milk.” He shouts out. His paws unclench and then curl back into fists. Something was wrong. He’s not okay.

“She died. I watched it happen. And it bothered me. A lot.”

Caleb rolled his eyes and threw his hands up. “Even if it wasn’t her end,” he yells and grabs the syringe off the ground showing it to Jeanie, “you shouldn’t be doing this!”

“I shouldn’t think logically? I should let emotion cloud my thoughts?”

“Use fucking drugs because she died.” Caleb tosses the syringe to her feet. “You’ve seen deaths before.”

Jeanie shook her head. “No, I haven’t. They’ve always been saved, or out of sight, or awful… and… that’s not… her… anymore…”

“So, you’re destroying yourself for liking her?” He starts pulling his weapons out and tossing them to the ground. “What is your problem with liking her?” he shouts.

“She’s a Pure Blood,” Jeanie comments. “She’s supposed to be manipulative and doing everything for her own gain. She’s supposed to be like every other one. I’m not supposed to like her because she’s supposed to fit the data.”

“Your data is wrong!” Caleb shouts and turns to look at the flames for a moment before turning back to Jeanie. “Stop acting like you know everything when there is proof in front of your damn face that you’re wrong!”

Jeanie shrugs. “I can’t figure it out. I don’t understand why she doesn’t make sense. Why it bothers me. It shouldn’t. But it does and I can’t stop seeing her die and I can’t figure out why it bothers me.”

Caleb throws his arms up. “Because you can’t get over the fact that you like her. You only see her as a pure blood, not a person, like how she sees you.”

“I see pure bloods the same way you see the pack. How would you feel if you started liking one of them?”

“There’s a difference between seeing people that made a choice to harm me and seeing an entire strain that way.”

“Welcome to Motor City, where Pure Bloods rule over everything and decide everyone’s life.”

“Stop acting like you’re in Motor City. You’re safer here. You keep acting like you’re there and this place will become the same.”

“I’m not safer here! I’ve ended up in chains in multiple times since then.”

“I don’t see chains on you now,” he screams.

Jeanie grabs the syringe and hands it to the Ascensorite. “Mother’s milk is one of the ways you enslave an Iron.”

“You are being a slave to no one but yourself. You need to fight your weakness.”

Jeanie shrugged. “Well, I’m sorry. I failed.”

“Don’t be sorry,” Caleb growls. “Adapt! Evolve!”

“Maybe I’m doing everything I can! Maybe I’m afraid that I’m stagnant and will never be anything else.”

“Then distance yourself without drugs and try again.” He unclips the collar on his neck and throws it down to her feet. “The collar is dead. My blades fall apart by next summer. It’s a distraction. Work on it. Hit it. Think about Natasha again when you calm down.”

“I can’t just stop.”

He rolls his eyes. “I can only do so much. I’m only a fighter.”

Jeanie turns to look at Caleb. “And I’m only an Iron who got forced into craving something. Okay, I’ll work on something else,” she grabs the collar,” just like every other Iron who fights it. I’m not working for more, so I guess I’ll just shake and puke instead.”

“Get a shakeys.” He tosses his arms into the air and growls. He grabs his blades and turns to walk off muttering, “I just don’t get it.”

Jeanie sighs and stares down at the broken collar and the syringe at her feet.

“And I don’t know how to explain it.”

 

Jeanie

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I know I’ve posted a lot of stories about Jeanie. She’s my original LARP character for Dystopia Rising, an incredible game put out by Eschaton Media. But, at the same time, that doesn’t mean that you all know her. So, I decided to post some pictures (art work) that has been drawn of her and a few of my favorite tid bits about the pieces.

P.A.W. Illustrations

P.A.W. Illustrations

This was the first piece I ever commissioned for Jeanie. She was still a newer character in the Dystopia Rising world. That being said, the piece is still utterly amazing and includes some incredible little details. The most obvious of which is the red hue around her ankles, wrists, and neck. In the game, Jeanie is a strain known as the Iron Slave. She was born into slavery, spent most of her life working as an engineer on an assembly line. The glow is part of the strain. They all glow bright red. It’s both a way to give them the light needed to work longer hours (well into the night) and a way to make sure they can be easily identified and unable to hide at night. For Jeanie, a member of the Darwinist faith, it is also a testament to evolution. You can actually look in the picture and see the signs of her as an engineer. She’s covered in soot and grime. Her face is scarred (and yes those are actual scars that exist on the character that I makeup in every game). You see her designation number. But, one of my favorite parts is that you can see just how strong she is. You can look and see her muscles there. It’s pretty epic. Then again, I find this whole image epic. Then again, there was a reason I asked this piece made in the first place.

Demon With a Halo Illustrations

This next image is also a Chibi. Okay, so a lot of my friend’s draw Chibis. They’re cute. I commissioned one from each of my friends. Yeah, I’ve got multiple chibis of Jeanie. So, what? Anyway, it also has some very unique little details. It’s a different style (of course cause different artist). But the little things make it so awesome. Firstly, it has Jeanie’s hat. The hat is very very important to her. It was a gift, one of the first she had ever received. It was from a character named Bones. While he’s not around anymore (he moved to a different chapter that is very far away), his hat still is and his hat is still utterly important to the Iron. The other majorly awesome detail about this piece is the necklace. Jeanie’s necklace has been a staple to her character since I first started playing her. It means a huge deal and is very much so her entire story condensed into a single prop. You know that your character is extremely important to her when she is willing to give you a piece of the necklace. To this day, she’s only done that once. That says something.

Sarah Maeks

Sarah Maeks

Oh my goodness look at this adorable piece. It’s a little more freehand than the others. But I think that adds a lot of charm to it. Jeanie is not, by any means, a neat character. She’s an engineer and a mad scientist. If she doesn’t look messy and covered in grime, something is wrong. The style of that is so perfectly shown in this. It’s got the hair that she can’t keep in control (with bits hanging in her face and around her ears and sticking out the bun). It’s got just how grimy her pants are getting. But you’ll notice something specific. Look at her cheek. There is some green and a very carefully added R, just slightly darker than her skin tone. So, there is absolutely story behind each of those. The green was Jeanie attempting to claim her own ownership over the tattoo, turning it into something that she was proud of. So she had a green darwin fish added around the designation number. Only, then she was captured (the story tellers are awful and I love them) and had her cheek branded as a runaway. That’s the R. It was a hugely emotional rp for her. It was also my first attempt at making a latex prosthetic (which came out awesome, I might add). But yes, so utterly cute.

Sarah Maeks

Sarah Maeks

This one was not actually commissioned for me, but Jeanie is still in it, so I show you. This is a bunch of the Iron Slave characters in one of the game chapters. It isn’t all of them in the chapter, but a bunch of them. Due to similar histories, the strain tends to bond with each other rather well. From left to right, we have Mainz DeWalt (and also the artist), Glitter Cola, Rock, Jeanie (that’s me), and Chief. We’re all circling Rock because he had just found freedom and he is very very young. We sort of became his family. We protect him and look out for him. Plus, you can see how each of us has our own personality and all that. Ugh, I just love this picture. Sarah, your work is amazing. Why you so good?

Sarah Maeks

Sarah Maeks

This is not the only family picture that Sarah Maeks drew as a commissioned piece.  This one is not actually a chibi though (WOAH! I know, right?). And it has far more than just Iron Slaves in it too. It is still Rock’s family though. It shows a lot more of the personalities though, since it isn’t all Chibi. From left to right, you have Jeanie (me), Glitter Cola, Rock, Yorrick, Honey Badjur, Mainz DeWalt, and Mordecai. The Iron Slaves in the piece are Jeanie, Glitter, Rock, Honey, and Mainz. Yorrick is a Remnant (who is silver, it’s cool) and Mordecai is a rover, hence the scarf. Rovers and scarves are a thing.

Ana "Sal" Mars

Ana “Sal” Mars

This next one was not a commission. This next one was someone going “I’ma make your character with this highlighter on this piece of sticky note” and she did Jeanie. And it is awesome! It is simple. It is cute. And the expression is spot on. Most every other piece that has been made of Jeanie has her in a happy mood. Jeanie is almost never in a happy mood. She doesn’t have much to be happy about. It’s sad. It’s tear jerking. But it’s true. Jeanie is not happy. And as much as her life sucks, when things happen, she sorta sighs and just accepts it. It is a sad existence that she has, but it’s the reality. When her life goes to crap, she cries about it and then sort of acknowledges that she doesn’t really have any other options. One day, I would love for her to feel otherwise, but for now it isn’t going to happen. Sad, but true. What makes this so awesome to me, is that it perfectly captures that. That and this artist is one of my absolute favorites. Her work is officially part of the Dystopia Rising table top books. I’m jealous and have really wanted her to draw Jeanie for awhile now. I’m so happy she did.

P.A.W. Illustrations

P.A.W. Illustrations

Last, but not least, we have another commissioned piece of mine. This was my most recent commissioned piece and one of the few pieces where Jeanie’s smile is spot on. If you’ve read any of the pieces I’ve written, you’ll know Jeanie has fallen in love. She fell for an character named Sliphox. He is an Ascensorite character who has already had his ascension, which has made his faith far more visible in him. His faith is the Tribe of Autumn. It is visible with his antlers that grow out of his head and the fact that he has paws instead of normal hands (if you look, you can see his paw holding Jeanie’s hand). But, what makes this image so perfect is the looks on their faces. Jeanie feels completely free and carefree when he is around. That is her smile. That is the way she is standing with her toes off the ground. In this moment, all is right in the world. Now look at his face. He’s almost glancing at her. He’s happy, but he’s not completely letting go. Look at his feet. Look at how he’s almost ready to jump. He’s protecting her. He wants more than anything for her to be safe. You can see it in this picture. You can see just how much he wants her safe in every part of how he is holding himself. This image perfectly shows their relationship. Granted, it has changed (read my most recent stories) but this image is so perfectly them.