22 May 2012

My "Secret" Journey: Prologue Part 1

As I did with my characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic, I am attempting to create a role-play identity for my character in The Secret World.  The main difference is that TSW doesn't encourage alt-ing the way SW:TOR did so essentially this is likely to be a single story about a single character.  I am looking forward to the somewhat unique "challenge" of role-playing a character in what is essentially our present modern world.  It is almost an alter ego of sorts.  Also I will be looking for a role-play oriented cabal (TSW's term for guilds) in the Templar faction.  TSW doesn't have the "pre-launch" guilding system that SW:TOR did so I'm hoping to find a cabal before launch, or shortly thereafter.  As I have mentioned before, I am a lifetime subscriber to this game, so anyone who picks me up is getting someone fully invested in the long haul.  I know stability is an important factor, especially to role-play groups as they tend to be more "tight knit" by definition.  

So by way of introduction, here is the back story for my main character and how she came to be aware of "The Secret World."  My goal is to work up week by week to her eventual awakening into "The Secret World" on the week of its release.  So there should be three or four parts to this prologue, depending on whether or not I get this one completed this week.  I'll tag these under "Project Xintia" so you can jump between them quickly if you enjoy the story and want to follow them.  Without further ado, the trip from the mundane to the extraordinary begins...

 The Bliss of Ignorance?

"Come on Zee, it'll be fun!  You don't have to work so hard at being so boring ALL the time."

Medina Zhon looked up briefly from the book she had been reading and leveled her jade eyes at her reluctant "study" companion across the table.  Samantha Davidson was her closest friend on campus, and for the most part she meant well, but rarely had her mind on her classwork.  Medina sighed and once again asked herself why she bothered to organize these study groups when all her classmates seemed to be concerned with is where the next party is.  Life in a small college town wasn't always that exciting, and Moscow, Idaho didn't exactly rank among the most bustling cities in the world.  But sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for...

"Well I don't know Sam," she replied, knowing that her friend hated the masculine diminutive just as much as Medina hated being called Zee, "You could work a little harder at cramming for this exam BEFORE you start planning your summer vacation." 

She caught Samantha's scowl before returning to her book.  No one would mistake Medina for a social flower.  For her, her studies always came first.  It was a lonely life but she had come to accept it over the years.  It was "safer" this way, life was simple.  Graduate work in political science at the University of Idaho wasn't exactly the most exciting concept in the world, but it was Medina's cup of tea.  She wanted to understand how the world around her worked.  How little she actually knew about that world...

"But it's already paid for!" Samantha cried, once again interrupting, "Two weeks in a London flat, tours of all that dusty 'cultural' stuff you love, even horseback riding.  We'll even go kiss the Blarney Stone if you want.  Just come... please!" 

Medina closed her eyes and set down her book.  She knew Samantha wouldn't let this go until she agreed.  And it was a good opportunity, she decided.  What better place to study the origins of American government than in the country that inspired its birth?  She grinned wryly and ran her fingers through her scarlet trusses.  Maybe a little vacation would help.  Her thesis would still be waiting for her when she got back, and who knows, maybe she would uncover something in London that would put her work over the top.  Medina laughed softly to herself and opened her eyes.  Yeah, like anything that lucky would ever happen to me, she thought.  Samantha looked at her strangely, "Earth to Medina, come in Medina... you in or not?"

"I'm in, I'm in," Medina said quickly, "but on one condition."

"Name it," Samantha replied immediately.

"That you shut up about it for tonight and help me finish this study session!"  Samantha frowned, nodded, and dug her book out of her bag.

"Fine, tonight the Constitution, but tomorrow... London calling!"  Medina smiled and reopened her book.  Finally, this study group might accomplish something after all...

That night Medina could hardly sleep.  For some reason she found the concept of this London vacation more fascinating the longer she considered it.  She had never left the country before.  Heck it was hard enough to convince herself to leave the familiar confines of Southern California and move to a place as different as rural Idaho to pursue her studies.  For Medina, life had always been about the "slow and steady" and the "safe and secure."  Don't rock the boat, don't take risks, don't draw attention to yourself.  She should have been high school valedictorian, but she avoided the honors classes that would have boosted her GPA.  She should have had most of her college paid for, but didn't even apply for scholarships.  The fear of rejection was more burdensome to her than student loan debt.  She should have been someplace like UCLA or Stanford, but again didn't even try.  No, Medina's life was the definition of always taking the "safe road." 

It's just a vacation, she said to herself.  Good grief, most people wouldn't even blink at the chance to do something like this.  What in the world is wrong with me?  It's not like I'm going to Afghanistan or something.  It's just London for crying out loud.  She sighed and rolled over again in her bed, trying to relax.  When a trip to one of the most civilized cities in the world still strikes you as "risky," that says quite a bit about your personality.  Maybe this is the start of something new, Medina thought.  Maybe I can finally get over myself.  And with that, she finally drifted off to sleep...

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