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Tabletopping: Meet Evaline James

This post doesn’t have anything to do with WoW, just to warn you. However, if you love Serenity/Firefly, stick around!

I’m going to visit Kazi for the holidays in less than 2 weeks and he’s been itching to play a tabletop game with me during that time. When I mentioned the possibility of a Serenity/Firefly one, he immediately took to the idea (we both love the show). We’ve been talking about it quite a bit lately and the one thing that he keeps asking me is who my character will be. I’m not terribly good at making up new characters without knowing the exact setting or being able to make it up myself. So my answer have been vague and I’m sure rather useless so far. I knew I wanted a female mechanic…but no details beyond that. I just couldn’t seem to form anything more distinct.

That is, until last night when an idea popped into my head. I realized that my problem was that I didn’t know my character’s voice. And the way that I figure that out is by thinking of them as part of a story, rather than a character sheet to be filled out. I remembered the sort of “twang” that Kaylee had in her speech and from that, my character began to rapidly form. I simply knew that her story had to be from her point of view, rather than the third-person view that I’m most familiar writing in.

So without further ado, I present Evaline James, in her own words.

Name’s Evaline James, but only my ma calls me that, and that’s only when I went and done something real bad. Everyone else calls me Eve, unless they’s want a bullet in their back in which case they call me Eva.

James is my ma’s last name, ’cause no one knows who my da was, and I did like to keep it that way. I got no time for old men that be runnin’ around knocking up whores.

I was 7 years old and knee-high to a grasshopper when my ma caught me messin’ around with old junkyard parts for the fifth time. This time instead of yellin’ at me, she just looked me straight in the eye and said, “Eve, you’re more stubborn than old Sam down the street and you know how he won’t take no bull even from them drop sellers. You also have a good head on your shoulders and being a mite pretty don’t hurt either. And since in you don’t mind my words anyways, I’m gonna tell you this: You want something in this world, I know that you’re not gonna let anyone get in your way. So I want you to take it and do yourself right. Just remember what’s good and bad and don’t push anyone that done nothing to hurt you.”

Now, I think my ma musta thought that I’d get a good education and such many years down the line. But for once, I took her words to heart right away. The next time her john came around sniffing for creds and started hitting her again, I pulled out the pistol I’d been working on and shot him in the leg. Now that gun probably couldn’t kill a man if it tried and couldn’t shoot straight worth a damn, I was lucky to even hit him. But it made her john bleed real good and I guess the sight of a little brown haired girl pointing a gun at you and tell you the next bullet is gonna be in your skull is enough to make a cowardly woman-beater run out there like a bat out of hell.

My ma took all the creds that her john had left behind and bought us one-way tickets off of Persephone that night. I could see that she was as proud as a peacock for what I’d done, even if she was scared white that her john would come back for us.  The ship, a good old Trans-U,  took us all the way to Beylix and being true to my nature, I stuck to the mechanic like a leech and pestered him to show me every nook and cranny of the old clunker. I ain’t never seen a man so happy to see us land.

We squatted in an abandoned shack near Blueport, a small town next to a damn big junkyard. I spent most of my time wanderin’ around there, creating all sort of little machines from scraps I done found. Sometimes my ma would find old repair manuals and use them to teach me my letters and numbers, ’cause I’d only be interested in any book that had a schematic in it. She always tried to teach me how to speak all proper like and not much of that stuck, but I can use it when it’s useful. When she wasn’t teaching me, my ma was working as a cook at a factory nearby. Who would of known that an old hooker can make a mean grilled cheese?

Around when I was 14, I started lurking around the shipyards in town, bullying the mechanics into showing me what they’s be working on and by the time I was 22, I was the one telling them what’s right and what’s not. A bear of a man named Rex finally offered me a job at his shipyard to shut me up, figuring that I’d be better served actually fixin’ his ships instead of telling everyone else how to do it.

I was still working there when the Alliance came sniffing around, looking for some bodies to come fix their ships in some war they were fighting. I didn’t like their beady little eyes and the way those men looked at me from the get-go, so I snuck out while they was busy arguing with Rex.

Damn rats had the gall to come to my home to “talk” to me that very evening but I wouldn’t have none of it. So there I was arguing with them and my ma was trying to be all civil, even offering them our expensive tea in this nice china my ma bought with a whole month’s wages. Then one of them got to his feet and knocked her hand aside, causing the hot tea to spill all over her nice dress and causing her to scream in pain. Now, I promised myself when we left Persephone that no body would ever hurt my ma again. Well before those rats even knew what’s what, I got my handy shotgun pointed on them, telling them to get the hell out of my house. And unlike my old pistol, I made damn sure that this one shoots nice and straight and packs one hell of a punch. Right about then, them Alliance decide that I’m more trouble than I’m worth and rightly so. I make sure they get all the way out of sight before helping my ma clean up the broken china.

Few days later, I hear another knock at the door and I get my gun ready, thinking the rats are back for me. Turns out instead to be one of them Browncoats, a serious looking woman who looks down the barrel of my gun like it’s an every day thing for her. Seems she heard about my run in with the Alliance and gives me a counter-offer: work with them instead to make sure them rats can’t hold us under their thumb. She treats both my ma and me all respectful like so I took a shine to her right away, and since I want to help teach those rats a lesson, I sign up that night. My ma’s scared for me, I can tell, but she doesn’t try to stop me, just like how she hasn’t tried to stop me for the last 18 years.

The Browncoats give me a new pistol and show me how to shoot it proper like, ’cause I left the shotgun for my ma to protect herself and made Rex promise to look after her. They also show me how to fix someone up a little bit if they done got shot or blown up. Turns out that I’m not as good as fixin’ folks as I am at fixin’ ships but now I know enough to keep them alive until a real doc gets around to them. I then spend the next 3 years fixing up the ships that have been riddled full of bullet holes or blown half to pieces. After a while everyone comes to know that I’m so good at it that they all want me working on their ship. The rats even try to raid one of my workshops and I take a few down before one of them gets me in the shoulder and I’m down and out for a while. I’ll be damned if I didn’t ignore my doc and was back at work just a week later. Tore my wound open a couple times for my troubles.

Before I know it, it’s all over and the rat bastards gone and won anyways. I come back to Blueport to find my ma and Rex have gotten all cozy together, but he’s taken good care of her so I don’t mind. He offers me my old job back but now that my ma’s all looked after and I got a taste of excitement, I turn him down. I got some creds saved up so I buy myself a ticket to Beaumonde after being restless before the month’s out. I’ve been travelling from place to place ever since, looking for a ship that talks to me just right and can keep me from getting bored again.