VVelvet Noir Factions

The Civilians - Those Caught Between

By: Ericka Skirpan

 

You shouldn’t be here. You’re one of them. You know them -- the ones that walk down the street with their heads held high, who can always afford a second drink at lunch, buy the newest cars, and stand glistening white from the buildings at the top of the City. Most of your peers like to pretend places like this don’t exist, that there isn’t anything outside of the City’s financial districts and midtown, and anyone different from them simply doesn’t matter. But you’ve seen something different. In the City, if you just keep your head down and lips shut, you can have a piece of the privilege. Sometimes it’s a tiny one, but it’s enough to keep your family alive and your own head above water. Sometimes, your family are the type to control the pawns on the board. So, you tried not to get caught up. You really liked the household you lived in, so you didn’t speak up as your Jewish neighbors were evicted from next door, or they burned the black church down the street. You kept your eyes down as they rounded up the asian family that owned the restaurant down the street. You looked away as they planted drugs on the Hispanic boy who delivered your paper. It was easy to ignore at first. To pretend things weren’t getting worse. Everyone had just come back from the War and, of course, people were on edge. There were a few more fights in bars, the cops were a bit more violent, no one knew who to trust. Surely, it was just the after-effects of the War and it would fade, right? 

 

But then it got worse. Entire neighborhoods were being pushed out, bulldozed for some rich man’s skyscraper. Gang fights left four dead and five more wounded, not even two blocks from where you went to school. It became impossible to ignore as your favorite bakery closed down and you read more familiar names in the paper, dead. The City has turned these people into the enemy and you vaguely remember when they used to be friends. But it’s simply been easier to stay silent.

 

Now, you’ve decided to put your foot in it, for good or for ill. If society found out, you could be driven out of the City too. But who would believe these people over your sterling reputation. If you were caught, you could lose your job, or worse, for standing alongside them. But something in you remembered they have lives, family, and stories too. So, eventually one night, you snuck out. Just to learn what the other side was like. And you never expected what you saw. In spite of oppression, they still had lives. Through it all, the strength of these people remained. They held tighter to their beliefs because of those who would destroy them. They were passionate, protective, brilliant, but also tired and scared. Something in you remembered that they were people, not just statistics or headlines in a newspaper, so you stayed. 

 

You’re a tourist in these dangerous streets, your privilege will always protect you from the true danger the gangs around you face, but you keep coming back. As a Civilian, you’re often coming back for the thrill of the dangerous gangster life, to be a ‘tourist’ of how the other side lives, or maybe to try and do a little ‘charity work’ to make yourself feel better about your own privilege. But, somewhere in the back of your mind, you think will always be better than these people. And, even if it goes wrong, you can always escape.

Play someone caught between if…

    • You are willing to play an antagonist on the Farm; you will use your privilege to lift the stories of marginalized people by giving them an active presence to fight back against on the Farm. 

    • You want to explore stories of privilege being turned on its head; the civilians have the least amount of privilege and respect at the Farm.

    • You are truly not comfortable starting as an ally in another faction and you wish to be taught, recruited, or Othered yourself during gameplay.

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© 2019 by Sam Stone

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