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© 2018 by Sam Stone

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The Civilians - Those Caught Between

By: Ericka Skirpan

 

You wouldn't be here if you were 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. They 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. You’re not as different as the people who call this a refuge. In the City, if you just keep your head down and lips shut, you can have a piece of the privilege. Just a tiny one, but it’s enough to keep your family alive, or your own head above water. 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. 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 favourite bakery closed down and you read more familiar names in the paper, dead. By putting your foot in it, you risked everything. You could be driven out of the City too, you could lose your job, or worse, for standing alongside these people. But they weren’t just people. They were your friends. They had 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. Vibrant colors, beautiful ceremonies, delicious food, and life being celebrated at every corner. In spite of oppression, the Others remained. They held tighter to their beliefs because of those who would destroy them. They were passionate, protective, brilliant, but also tired and scared. You decided not to stand for it any longer. So, you have come to join them. Or, in the very least, find out the truth. And when you looked deeper, it was so much worse than you imagined…

 

The Academics and The Police

“It gets very exhausting seeing the truth of the world. Days like this, I wish I could know a little less and pretend a little more. Maybe then I wouldn’t hate it all so damn much.” - J. Bradshaw, Reporter

 

Something is wrong in the City. Too many people grabbing for too much power and not caring who they step on in their way. Most economists, journalists, scientists, and educated people see it as a natural reaction to the War. It can be explained away. But something is also wrong in the Country. Something no one understands and, now, the Bureau of Investigation insists does not exist.

 

However, there is a small unit of officers that know what they heard. Whether they were close to the police that went missing, have talked to the civilians near the Farm who find their minds less than sound in the following years, or simply have a nose for when something is out of sorts, they know something is wrong. These cops have made an uneasy deal with the Rossi-Davis family: If they are allowed to come out to the farm, they won’t arrest anyone for their sexuality, for their booze swilling, or any other known crime. They are only there to explore what the Bureau of Investigation doesn’t want them to see. Now, among the City officers, these cops are considered troublemakers and conspiracy theorists. They are shoved into back desk jobs with little power and less respect. But they might just be the ones to find out the truth.

 

There are others that know something is very wrong at the Farm. A handful of journalists who were covering the gang war (or romantically involved with some of the “Farm Girls”), the local doctor and the occasional nurses that assist the Rossi-Davis family, a few folks from the University who are popular with the conspiracy theory crowd -- they all heard something strange happened and aren’t accepting the Bureau’s story that it never existed. A curious mind is a dangerous thing, and the Rossi-Davis family have also made deals with the various academics that have requested entrance to their estate: No hands are to be raised to their allies present, no information is to be given to outside agencies, and all information gleaned shall be shared with the Rossi-Davis family. If an academic breaks any part of the deal, they will be dealt with harshly and finally. There are no second chances for breaking the trust of a Farm Girl.

 

Play someone caught between if…

  • 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 game play.

  • You have a need for information above all other things: social contract, family, love, privilege, or loyalty.