|Full Name:||Jennifer Elenora DeWitt|
Jen is generally a nice girl, friendly and amiable. She can come off like an eternally starry-eyed optimist, though that's tempered with bouts of cynicism more befitting someone older. Then again, she is a Virtual Adept. She's not the normal sort--her magick isn't mostly done on a computer (though it still uses technology) and she's focused on changing this world instead of the Digital Web. And she's more likely to smile and nod at authority while secretly undermining them than give them the middle finger outright. But she believes in the ethos wholeheartedly, and if she comes off as naive at times that's tempered by her ability to twist people around to her way of thinking with charm, wit, and judicious use of the Mind Sphere.
She has a stubborn streak deep down, a firm view of how the world ought to be, and woe unto those who don't agree with her vision. She's more about pulling up and out than keeping the status quo, though, befitting her Avatar's Questing Essence. She's new to the Adepts, and determined to prove herself to her Tradition. She's also insatiably curious, she wants to know things, learn them, right now, whether or not she's ready for the knowledge. This... gets her in trouble, sometimes, as she has a habit of poking her nose in where she maybe shouldn't.
Information is everything. If you know a thing, if you can describe it, you can copy it or change it. Jennifer can see this information, what she calls the Universal Datastream. She only has one Sphere that can tap into it just yet, but she knows with more time and practice, she'll be able to affect bigger chunks of the universal "code." She's not terribly concerned with figuring out every piece of the universal code, except insofar as it lets her change things, and from sheer curiosity. Each Sphere has its own little quirks, its own code-language, and complex things, like humans, are like complex programs requiring lots of the code. Paradox is just bugs in the system, or conflicts between the code that was already there and whatever a Mage tries to insert or change.
These words, though, do it all very little justice. She uses the language of computer programs because she's an Adept, and it's the easiest analogy, but she does not see the world in a "Matrix" sort of fashion. It's more profound than that, more elegant, something no human language can possibly explain. Mathematics can explain it, in some ways, but they cannot really explain what it's like--and that's why Mages are Mages, after all. Normal folks, unAwakened folks, can't experience the truth of the world. If they could, there'd be language to describe it, and everyone could modify the world. Jen's not sure if that's a good idea or not, but it seems to be what mostly everyone is aiming at, so she might as well figure it out.
Expertises & SpecialtiesEdit
See House Rules for rules on Specialties and Expertises.
Merits & FlawsEdit
Explain all your merits and flaws here, should they need a more in-depth explanation.
Explain all your backgrounds here, should they need a more in-depth explanation.
Magic & FociEdit
It's strange, I know, for a Virtual Adept to care much about physical origins and history. This world is dead, right? And when we're all uploaded to the mainframe, meatspace isn't going to matter, who we used to be won't matter. We'll be able to re-write our histories, and ourselves, and everything will be perfect, right? That's the party line.
I don't really buy it--but then again, if I did, I wouldn't be doing the Tradition many favors, would I? For one thing, I think the "real" world is still worth saving--and I'm pretty well convinced the online world can't exist without this one. For another... who we used to be will always matter, or we won't be who we are anymore. You can re-write your history, sure, but you write yourself out of the universe as you do so.
So, to begin: I was born on March 3, 1991, in Crystal Springs, Colorado. My father is Bram DeWitt, psychologist and four-term state Senator for the state of Colorado. He's a Democrat. He was first elected when I was just a few months old, and the time he had to spend in Denver--along with being the fourth child in our family--meant I didn't see him much. My mother, Mary, is a psychologist too, so she was working a lot. I had three older sisters, though, and my parents are big into the idea of taking a village to raise a child, so there were plenty of aunts, uncles, parents of friends, and I was never really neglected. Sorry, no broken-home stories here. I had a pretty good childhood, really.
I was around eight when the dreams started. Dad was at home more, because he'd served two consecutive terms and had to wait four more years before he could run again. Maybe that had something to do with it... maybe not. Maybe it was just timing. But it sure messed things up.
At first it was just sensory impressions, but they were really strong sensory impressions. I could see things, in my dreams, that I later found out were real. I made the mistake of telling my parents, and proved it to them--and all hell broke loose. They determined I wasn't crazy, and then they started sending me to doctors and dream therapists... and after a year I got really, really tired of it all. So I lied, told them it had all disappeared as fast as it started, and could we please stop all this? My parents, being the understanding sort they are, agreed. I think Dad suspected I was lying, but I think he also realized that the prodding wasn't helping me.
In the meantime, I did my own research. I learned to control my astral projection (which is what it was, really), and... oh, the temptations! It's easy to get straight A's if you can read and memorize the test the night before. I did that my whole seventh-grade year, until I realized I hadn't actually learned anything, and was looking like an idiot in my classes the next year. Cheating isn't all it's cracked up to be when, like me, you actually want to know things. And it doesn't help with projects or anything. But the SATs were a breeze.
I spent a lot of time on the Internet, and that's where I met a group of people who were into "dream hacking." They talked about things like everything being information, and re-programming the world, and it made sense. Astral projection was never a mystical thing to me. It was like going on the Internet, but way more immersive. It was like I was in the pipelines, the infrastructure of reality, and I could zoom around at will, going to places, looking at things. But what these people talked about--changing the code--I wanted to do that. The idea that the whole world was just information, that if you knew how and had a fast enough computer, you could just hack the world... I got that. Mostly. I didn't realize, back then, how much more there was to get.
A brief aside: none of my sisters ever got into politics. Not Democratic-wise, anyhow. The eldest, Elizabeth, followed Mom and Dad into psychology. Alice rebelled and became a stay-at-home Mom and a Republican and... oh, God, let's not get into Alice and her Issues with Dad's politics. Lisa, just two years older than me, has completely broken with the family traditions and is in art school. But I love politics. I remember being avidly attached to the 1996 Presidential elections, and I'd been hooked ever since. When Dad went back into the state senate when I was 12 I cheered him on the whole way. I was into school politics... the works.
Thing is, politicians take forever to get things done, and there's elections and God-knows-what-all. This reality-hacking business seemed faster and more reliable. I wanted to see change... but not for change's sake. There's a goal, elusive as it might be, a kind of... ideal that I think the world ought to look like. But back then, I was stuck with astral projection and talking to hacker weirdos.
So, fast-forward a bit, to 2004. I was 14--not old enough to vote, but definitely old enough to care. Barack Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention was like a lightning bolt to my brain. I didn't care much for Kerry or Edwards, and I wasn't surprised when they lost, but Obama talked about the world I wanted to see. I followed Obama's career obsessively, I read his books, I got even more interested in politics. My friends online, the "reality hackers," regarded my following obsession with amusement. They told me that it wouldn't work. When Obama announced his candidancy in early 2007, they told me it didn't really matter, that you had to change the whole system. I didn't listen--instead, I got hip-deep in working in a local campaign office. I got to go to the DNC, in Denver. Times were heady, and my brain was full of possibilities.
I didn't know it then, but the friends I had online, the people I'd poured out so much to, were Virtual Adepts. They saw my potential and were pushing me toward Awakening. I was getting close, there in 2008. Sometimes, Awakening is a thing that takes a while, and I was clinging tenaciously to everything I'd known growing up. Somehow, that only gave them more fodder to push and try to make me see how things really were.
Anyway, I was riding a wave of joyous high as Obama won the election. I'd worked so hard, and even though I couldn't vote I felt like I'd done more than one vote would've ever accomplished. I was accepted to Northwestern, in political science. Life was great, and everything was coming together. The future was now, and all of that.
So... March, 2009. I was doing some astral travel, kind of hanging around, seeing what was going on in the city. I would be leaving for college in the fall, so I'd been getting nostalgic. There was this place that always seemed odd, out by the mines, and I'd never really poked around before, but I was curious. So I was there, astrally, when it... whatever it was... happened. Something... terrible, something from another world, something that, in my way of looking at the astral world, was like a walking corruption of the world's code. I could see my death, and the death of everything else, in that thing.
Have you ever read Lovecraft? The Call of Cthulhu? If you haven't, you should. If you have, you'll recognize the events. Something terrible wakes up... it's officially called an "earthquake"... and certain people are deeply affected. Like me. Evidently I woke up screaming about the thing I'd seen, and couldn't be calmed down. They had to sedate me into a stupor. After two weeks, they put me in a hospital.
They didn't know what had happened, you see. It wasn't just that I'd seen the thing. I'd been Awakened, like the sight of the horror, on my astral senses, had jolted my mind and soul out of their complacency. Even when the remembrance of the horror died down and they could back off the sedatives, I still went on and on about all I was seeing. It was a really consistent delusion. I kept saying I could see the code, and I can. Everything, everything is made of information. Sometimes I think maybe we're all just a simulation on a bigger computer somewhere. But really, all you need is information about a thing to re-create it... all I was missing was the code, the understanding, of concepts normal language and communication can't really convey. How can you explain the idea of red to a blind person? You can't, with words. But if you know the right stuff, if you've got the right knowledge of the Sphere of Mind... you can.
I was in that place for nine months. Nine months, of seeing the world unfiltered, unable to really communicate what was going on--how can I, when normals don't have the language for it? Yeah, to them I was crazy. I wonder how many people we think are crazy just Woke Up one day?
They tried all sorts of therapies. Now, okay, most mental hospitals are okay. And the Saint Benedetto Giuseppe Labre Asylum is better than most. But there's something there, something that stalks the halls. I swear I've seen it, I swear it's real, not just a repeat of that horror that Woke me up. Somewhere along the line, I guess about six months in, as I was able to get hold of myself and see and communicate more, I was transferred to some sort of "special" group. I guess I was an unusual case.
Around the same time, my friends in the Adepts (who'd just about given up on me, I think), figured out where I was. The new group I was in had cleared me to be able to consent to my own treatment, and one day an Adept who goes by the handle of Tesseract showed up claiming to be a specialist interested in my case. She had all the right credentials (forged, obviously) and she dropped the right lines, and I consented to go along with immediately. My parents protested--well, parents will--but for some reason the Asylum staff seemed glad to be rid of me.
The "specialty center" Tesseract took me to in small-town Oregon was anything but. It was a Chantry, mostly Sons of Ether with a few Virtual Adepts mixed in, all of them out in the middle of nowhere so as to avoid the public eye--and hence Paradox. They figured out that I was basically "stuck on," which fit with my theories of the human brain being nodes of the CPU of whatever runs the universe. I was a self-aware node, now, but I'd been stuck just receiving every bit of data that came my way. With their help I designed and built devices that filtered the information and let me control the flow. In the meantime, I caught up on current events.
All I'd hoped for... seemed to be falling flat. I guess Tesseract and the others were right. Things are changing, but it's slow, and it's not fast enough for a lot of people. The real problems in the world aren't going away at all. When you climb up high, you've got that much farther to fall--and I was pretty high up there. I still believe in hope and change, but I believe in the Virtual Adepts' methods more. Well, except that whole "Reality 2.0" bit. I think the change, when it comes, isn't going to be what any of us have thought.
I'm weaned off needing the gadgets in order to function. Now, I just need them to access what I like to call the Universal Datastream--I'm not going to risk fully opening myself up again. I'm not ready, if I ever will be. Tesseract's sending me home soon, to Crystal Springs. I'll be going to UC-CS... a big step down from Northwestern, but I have to find out what happened. They told me the Chantry that was here is gone, and a lot of people died that night. Someday, maybe, I'll try hacking the whole underlying infrastructure of the universe. For now, I'll focus on my own little corner of the world, and hope whatever it was that I saw that night never comes back again.
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