For the Director Only!
See through the clutter and the hazy confusion of life to spot the real problem. Look long enough and maybe the solution will become equally clear. Turn off the the noise of the world and work the problem. It just takes a little creative thinking. Thinking outside of the box. The right idea at the right time.
Be the spark; start a blaze.
Imagine better, and change the whole damn world.
Imagination wrapped in flesh.
Her core purpose is to create and inspire, as she sees what others do not, and cannot.
What she creates -- a new invention, art, philosophy, trends, mystical faith, knowledge, a dystopian nightmare -- varies dramatically from tale to tale, but she is always a muse and at the whims of one or more at once.
Everything can be so much more. You see bigger ideas and potential in everything, and you do your best to realize those dreams. Innovate. Change the world.
No current role.
Dahlia Adams (Isle of Dread)
As a mixed kid you never fit in very well with either side. You got a good education, learned to stand on your own and make things happen for yourself, and now you want to change the world. You just might do it, too. You (along with a more technically-minded friend) have designed a new solar power system that is sixty-percent more efficient than anything on the market today at a third of the cost. It could completely modernize the third world in a matter of a few years and greatly reduce the carbon footprint. It's the bleeding edge of energy.
Madison Wellson hired you guys to power the month-long music festival she and her brother are running on an utterly unsettled island. There's nothing modern there - no running water, no sewage, no power. You guys are making it happen. It's been rough in spots, things can get frustrating when you have zero infrastructure to work with, but it's exactly what you'd be facing if this all goes out into the world, so it's really the ideal proving ground. Keep the lights and music on for a few hundred rich kids for thirty days and Wellson will provide all the capital you need to launch the company.
She brought the kid, and the kid's minder. She'll never admit Heather is her minder, too, if she even realizes as much. The kid is the actual technical genius responsible for the solar system; he just needs direction, and he needs a lot of it. Of course Jack came with her, because Dahlia without Jack would be like Dahlia without her shadow, and vice versa. The three of them seem intent on having as much fun as they aim to work, which is a source of seemingly endless frustration. This is not a vacation! ...for them. They are all in one hut. This is vastly disappointing to everyone but Dahlia, who doesn't notice the sort of problems inherent to this housing option.
The benefit of never fitting in is that if you don't fit in among the normal world, not fitting in amongst the rich and self-absorbed isn't very different. There's a curious sort of equilibrium that comes with that. Besides, what better sales pitch can there be than, "You own enough of the world to give half a damn about how well it works, right?" (There are much better sales pitches, but it's marginally better than harshing the mood with pictures of starving children.)
Pandora (Alien Mutation)
You began Synthetic life as Julia, one of a line of hospitality Synthetics intentionally designed to be ethnically ambiguous but familiar. People see what they want to see in the line's features, putting them more at ease. You, however, were purchased to be an exotic entertainer on a commercial hub station, a job that you were spectacularly bad at. They cut you loose and you went indie, renaming yourself Pandora and taking care of yourself for a time while starting a movement for Synthetic rights. You tried the dancer/escort thing a second time on the Noc, hired by Venus, but it still didn't take. One dedicated client doesn't really cut it for the rent on a work unit. She liked you, though, and helped set you up as talent manager for the resort/casino, which is a much better fit. You've been working in that role ever since, and finding other independent Synthetics to bring into your cause on the side, like Ramona.
The client -- a disgraced, "retired" project lead -- stuck around, even with her change of profession. He would spoil her, but there are precious few things he could provide that she could ever want. Ultimately, he commissioned a pair of 'sisters' for her with different skillsets and models beneath the surface, but her same appearance. How, exactly, she earned such devotion is not immediately clear. The four of them may be the only ones in the universe that don't find this especially creepy.
Angeline Moreau (Prosperity's Price)
Angeline is Jack's daughter by one Evangeline Moreau, a diviner from New Orleans who received visions that drew her to Prosperity during the Reaping over a period of three years. Unfortunately for Evangeline, she was a virgin oracle -- and getting pregnant cut off her relationship to her powers, or so she claimed.
Her daughter, Angeline, both of the blood and inheritor of her mother's gift, has returned to Prosperity, drawn by both blood and revelation, to take on her mother's former role, contrary to her father's wishes. He got them out, and didn't want to see either of them back in town, especially not his daughter.
Known publicly as a dedicated spinster, she's as strange a mix of prude and progressive as it comes, and has been undertaking the education of the the girls in Prosperity. Socially prim and prudish, she's typically seen wearing simple garb, and never skirts or corsetry. Raised speaking French in the household where her mother sought employment after her former profession became impossible, her accent is peculiar to a fault.
Danica Durant-Knight (Slasher)
Daddy helped make MTV what it is. Mommy was a model. Money? Oh, yeah. The tabloids love her, and she's too flaky to stay out of them for doing incredibly ditzy romantic nonsense or getting caught in the midst of scandals with rock stars old enough to be her parents who promptly forget she exists the moment they go into rehab. Once in a while, she gets a writeup as a trendsetter or style-maker, which she's actually pretty damned good at.
Well, before. She behaves, now, or it's back to living with her mother in London, where she more or less grew up. She wants to show Dad she has the best idea ever: reality TV! Ever, totally. Please don't make her go back to being pretty for a living! She's too smart for that! (No, she really isn't.) She is totally going to kick this college thing's ass with her bestest
boyfriend brand new husband ever's help (Fool). He keeps her out of trouble, which is often a full time job. They recently married -- supposedly in secret -- before Derek (Confidant) found out and leaked the news to the tabloids for the big bucks and the bonus spite. (OMG!!!)
She means well. It doesn't help.
Urania is a peculiar collection of contrasts and confusion. That she makes any sense at all is a small miracle unto itself. Not even the scholars can decide who she mothered, or by what father; is it any surprise that sense of being disconnected from the typical bonds of family? She is the eldest of the muses -- and the youngest. There are resonances, to be sure, but as the confusion itself predated this incarnation of her, it all became an intrinsic part of her as well, abstracting her further from any semblance of normalcy.
No one can make up their minds, and everyone from the Greeks and Romans to Christian scholars and Romantic poets have tried to define and redefine her.
As if she needed any other reason to not be grounded.
The very nature of the muses rendered them flighty at best, chasing one brave soul or clever hand or mind to inspire after the next in a mad dash. She is little different in this respect, save for the strange lack of urgency or frenzied rush that comes from perceiving time in a far less human way: she knows the view from the stars, and some part of her will always exist within that sense of astronomical time. Geological time's got nothing on that one.
She observes the world as she understands the stars: a series of cycles interrupted by chaos that is still predictable often enough, if you're only paying attention. Patterns are everywhere, echoing through time and space from the smallest atom to the grandest expanse of a galaxy, and she knows them well. When they appear, she pays sharp attention. A more modern mind would liken it to a thorough understanding of the workings of a vast machine: knowing which gears are turning when, how to keep them moving smoothly, or throw a spanner in the works at just the right time to prevent or cause disaster.
Abstractly, she has an understanding that these changes are outpacing her ability to comprehend them. In a sense, the world is speeding up. The machine she knew so intimately is moving at the same pace out there, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to translate all the echoes, signs, and symbols quickly enough to keep pace with the rapid changes brought by technological progress on the ground. At the same time, these changes fascinate her, as so many new discoveries are leading people to look to the stars again.
If she plays her cards just right, there is a way. She knows it.
...and if not, maybe there will be a new home out there.
Coming to America
She came on the waves, and she came early. More accurately, she came in the aspirations and fears of sailors charting the first paths to the new world, so many of whom -- being a superstitious lot -- whispered her name and asked for guidance and inspiration as they charted their way across the Atlantic by the stars over head. She was surely not alone in this, as they whispered many a name, every god and monster of the deep, the wind, the sky, fate, and fortune alongside her own. It kept her in good company, then, skipping from island to island like a stone, until they reached the shores of what would later become America.
Starting anew on the mainland, it transformed into a far more lonely beginning, and she haunted the coast like many of those same sailors and the ones that came to settle with them, and many of their superstitions became her own. Soon enough she learned the lay of this new land while only ever looking up.
Then came the missionaries, some whispering her name to suit their own purposes, likening the purity of her aura of universal love, a view of reality bestowed on her by the heavens themselves, and the creative fire of inspiration to the Holy Spirit of the Trinity they represented. She found little comfort in such spaces; the view from above the world of men the stars reflected back to her bared the hypocrisy of it all: using the name and mien of a muse to abolish the original powers where they spread, all in the name of a God she bore no relation to whatsoever. To these, she whispered the truth of her syncretization, and bade them do the same wherever she might.
She was bound to that flame all the same, and found it fed and starved her at once. It was enough to survive.
(To be continued.)
Evolution: The Stars
'When you want to know your future, look to the stars!' (astrology); 'when you see the future of humanity hundreds of years from now, look to the stars!' (space exploration); 'when you look at the potential for human achievement WHILE REMAINING HUMBLE ABOUT HOW SMALL YOU ARE IN THE GREAT BIG UNIVERSE, look to the stars!' ('what's out there?'/'are we alone out there?')
- Starting to divine and send horoscopes by wire under a pen name to news outlets. One of her prior efforts likely would have been this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Astronomica_(Manilius) and she would be encouraging other writers and former spiritualists to learn it and make this the common horoscope thing we see in most publications today, along with the common practice of doing someone's natal chart/etc.
- Working with Kolvek and Goddard to encourage the development of their rocketry and technology with a focus on getting to the moon and beyond rather than applying their tech to weapons of war alone. Her image and name is on the Naval Observatory seal along with a quote from the previously linked work, interestingly enough, to this day, so working with them is also an option here to encourage their continued efforts.
- Inspiring sci-fi authors and artists to continue their work, and inspiring other creatives to consider writing speculative fiction/theory/creations involving exploration of space, life beyond earth (with or without alien species), etc.
Kolvek di Mercurio (Project Icarus)
"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
"Just imagine how awful it might have been if we'd been at all competent."
The twins are useful. Geniuses, each in their own right, and the sort of hellion prodigies people never want to admit they actually need. Always equal trouble to their worth. They come from a long line of crackpots, but it's a line that's been tied to the stars and space travel since the days of Goddard's first rocket tests in Roswell, and to its fair share of spectacular successes and failures. Rumor has it their great uncle, Adlai Kolvek, was one of those present in the Noc disaster a hundred years ago, trying and failing to warn of the dangers of Weyland-Yutani's belief in the expendability of human assets until it was too late. He'd seen it first hand, and the twins have seen the scratchy, static-riddled transmission from his security synth's feed in the moments before he used a suicide vest to blow himself and a towering metamorph queen to nothing more than a brilliant flare of white. Call it a curse, call it fate, call it karma, it is ultimately who they are: a flash of brilliance, and then the dark.
Legacy is real. Nyka is too aware of it. As much as her line has always looked to the stars, claiming to be guided under the wing of the stars themselves and assured they would make their mark on the cosmos at large, she knows what that legacy has entailed over the last 200+ years. For every triumph, a disaster; for every world-altering breakthrough, a painful lesson learned at great cost -- and, ultimately, for every act of selflessness or heroism, a headstone. They've always been "kooks" to most, always ahead of the curve, but like surfing a wave, there's only so far ahead to go before the crash causes a loss of control. As reckless and impulsive as the twins are, Nyka is painfully aware of this truth -- she just loses sight of it from time to time. It's not like she doesn't know the risk. It's that sometimes, you still have to take it, if you really believe it's the right call.
The theory lab looks like a grand scale game of Mousetrap, potentially lethal. It is hard to tell if anything actually does anything interesting, and neither of the twins is talking. Despite a relatively long record of success for Penumbra, their behavioral issues led to a 'minder' being assigned to the pair with counseling experience. Proving they have relatively nil respect for the corporation's intentions, both claim she's their girlfriend and take turns stealing her from the other. (She doesn't mind, and has come around to their way of thinking. That's right: they converted their minder. She is the least bored woman in the universe and knows it. She's having a blast.)
TD says: For our crazed twins I'm thinking Chaos Theory. Theoretical Science. You don't need to invent anything or spout equations - rolls can do the dirty work. We'll chat.
Desdemona Marchant (Bonds of Blood)
Family black sheep, in that she's more fond of being behind the scenes than a 'public face' in a family very keen on making an impression and flaunting their position on the social ladder. Though she isn't much inclined to do embarrassing or reckless things in public view, she isn't keen on drawing much attention to herself or her positive accomplishments, either. Attention draws scrutiny; scrutiny just gets people too involved in your personal business, which means it is anything but personal for long.
Steadfastly refuses to act like a lady or wear a dress unless it's at gunpoint... or useful. Or funny. Unfortunately for her, it's often one of these things, and the frequency rises the older she gets. This observation isn't lost on her at all, and she's keenly aware that the 'freedom' that comes with graduation and heading off to college is 50% idealistic fiction, 30% utter bullshit, and 15% heartbreak waiting to happen when it all turns out to be a sham. Hitting that remaining 5% takes foresight, planning, determination, and the kind of real work no one expects from the rich girl.
Artsy, backstage theater geek. Thrift store junkie. Suffers endless attempts to fix her up with 'a proper nice young man'. Dates so badly and so very briefly. Planning for F.I.T. in the fall. Bringing all the family of besties to NYC to start a life of fabulousness? Totally on her agenda.
Has more or less given up on changing everyone's mind that she's a not actually a Mean Girl. Haters gonna hate; this is what we have snark, shenanigans, siblings, besties, and smoking behind the gym for. Is actually pretty dang nice, not that anyone would notice, normally, and has a habit of going out of her way for others in a subtle way. The more public displays often amount to out-snobbing the assholes.