Play-by: Antonia Thomas
Membergroup: Pleebland Civilian
Adelaide is a liar._____
She hears this word sneaking in whispers tumbling from turned down mouths. A liar is wrong. No one praises a liar. No one hopes their child grows up to become one. She hears descriptions of liars and the stories themselves are bigger, grander. Liars are poor, they are unhappy, they are ugly, they are friendless, the are destitute.
And Adelaide smiles. Everyone is a liar; she knows this little secret. Yet there is a difference and from that crack the joy falls into her smile. She knows she’s a liar and somewhere in her heart a flower blooms because it is fed a steady diet of the truth. Every untruth that pulses through her veins is purged, thrust out upon the world. She never lies to herself.
The man across from her is skeptical and her skin burns with excitement. This moment is the fire of her existence. She’s woven a tale, told her story and checked carefully for snags and holes, all within seconds. She’s laid out the intricate fabric of her lie and in this second, this man is examining. He’s looking for those holes and snags. He’s looking for a single wrong thread, a colour out of place, any imperfect stitch.
A nod, acceptance, and he lays the heavy case of cash in her sly paw. This moment is the hardest. She must hide relief and pride. Her body is on fire. Her mind is alight with the success and this floods down her spine and out through her limbs. There is nothing like this moment, nothing she has found in any of her travels that can give her the rush of brilliance that comes from a successful lie.
She flashes a smile, modest and grateful, a pale sliver of her true emotion. Now is the time to run. This has been a long lie, one designed to gain trust over a matter of weeks. It doesn’t take so long for it to crash, and she swaggers out before someone notices a flaw. Now new towns, new faces. New confidence to gain, new lies to tell. She’ll look for a new game to play and without a doubt, she will win.
Her life hasn’t always been this way. There used to be other plans.
Adelaide was born to save the world.
Now she laughs at this, but once she truly believed the story. At night, when she was wrapped in her thin blankets, tucked around her like another skin, Adelaide would listen to the honey that spun on her mother’s lips. Her favourite story was of Adelaide, the heroine who shared her own name.
In the days before time, the gods played human life as a game. They were fickle gods, and impatient and ill-tempered, and they grew weary of this game. Somewhere amongst them, the notion began to eliminate this game and begin anew.
She loved this part of the story. Her mother told each word the same, every time, and yet she always felt the tiniest shiver of fear that maybe this time the words would change and another ending would arise.
One of the gods objected, but one voice among so many is often washed away. He didn’t let this deter him. Being the quietest or the weakest never means you cannot win. There simply must be another way. Indeed, this god was particularly clever. He knew that the only way to keep the rest of the pantheon interested in this dull human game was to create a spark again.
And so the rebel god created Adelaide.
She was made of stardust and the foam on the ocean waves. Her soul was formed of molten rock from the depths of the planet and her mind was built from the intricacies of fractal ice. He forged her life with lightning and waterfalls, and Adelaide was born. He let nature design her physical form, but for one feature. Her hair was wild and fearless, a minefield of the deepest brown. Adelaide was to save the life of every human on earth and for each single life, the rebel god gave her hair a curl.
She would be drowsy at this point, warm with the edges of oncoming sleep, and her mother would reach out and pluck one of Adelaide’s wild curls.
She never knew how Adelaide ended up saving the world. She was never awake that long. Sleep claimed her before she could hear if Adelaide changed the ways of human nature and interest, or if she waged war on the gods themselves. But she would awaken with confidence that somehow she too had been born with a purpose.
She was born in TexMexico. She was born in India, or was it Indiana. She was born in the desert mountains of Sovieta. Adelaide rarely used the same lie twice. She had no idea where she was born. Her mother had moved them every few months. It wasn't until years later that Adelaide learned enough to name her mother's condition as schizophrenia. As a child, she simply thought that's what mothers were like. Paranoid, protective, and deeply religious. It was also many years before Adelaide learned that her mother's religion was entirely of her own devising. It kept the demons at bay though for her to point out stars in the sky and tell the story of the god that lived there. The gods protected them.
That was back when anyone could still see stars.
There was never a time when Adelaide wasn't a liar. Even from a very young age, she knew it was her job to protect her mother. She had to take care of them both, had to make sure they ate and had clean water. Her mother made up stories of gods. Adelaide stuck to more mortal veins.
Her mother died when she was fifteen. Adelaide set a funeral pyre in what used to be Wyoming, or maybe Montana. She stood until it was fully in flame, then picked up her bag and hiked away.
Her last job has been as a financial consultant for OrganInc Farms' investment division. Investment scams were a particular favorite of hers. Well, to be entirely honest, she often found them disappointing. They were just too easy. She'd used one of her identities to get into the HelthWyzer Compound, let herself have a few days of extravagant wealth and waste before she headed out to the Pleeblands. She had a new con in mind, a new lie to build up. There were a few gang leaders she had in mind, ones to take down a notch. Sometimes her grifts weren't just a way to survive anymore. Sometimes she needed a little fun.