Eudaemonia stands in the doorway of the recently-prepared nursery at Bedlam’s Bower. The room is tastefully decorated in shades of rose and white, the bedding carefully wrought in ruffles and lace. In every way, it was an abode worthy of an infant True Citizen.
The thought should have pleased Eudaemonia. But it didn’t. She shuts the door and retreats to her study. If only she could leave her worries behind so easily, she thinks, as she sits behind her desk.
After all, there was no guarantee that her daughter-to-be would be declared a True Citizen. It was entirely possible that the child-- her child-- would be denied her rights to inherit the rank, lands, riches and name she would be born to claim. And then what kind of life would she have?
Eudaemonia’s hands traced the folds of the papers stacked to one side of the desktop. Say what you will about Sylvain’s (@MalevolentPixy) churlish attitudes toward high society, the man had a way with words. He and his Post-Ledger writers painted an eloquent picture of the difficult lives Citizen-Pretenders faced on a daily basis. Without having secure access to education and jobs, they struggled for survival. And even if they managed to scrape their way out of poverty-- a most challenging task-- they still faced the threat of violence from others desperate to claim something, anything, for themselves, by any means necessary.
It seemed to Eudaemonia that rank was no safety against that desperation and struggle. Just look at the wards her fellow True Citizens had fostered. In their service to their masters, they were promised an introduction to a brighter future… and yet, their ambitions still led them into crime and mayhem. And poor Walleye Crusher paid for it with his life. She shuddered. It wasn’t the kind of existence she wanted for her daughter.
Of course, there was a real possibility her child would be a True Citizen after all, and her worries would be for nothing. But that thought brought her no peace. Should her daughter inherit, her life would be easier, but by no means more secure. Such rampant inequality would only breed more and more resentment towards True Citizens and their ostentatious displays of wealth and privilege. And that resentment would eventually and inevitably breed violence and upheaval.
Eudaemonia feels herself blush with shame. She had always prided herself on doing her duty towards her fellow members of society. She had truly believed that token donations here and there were enough to make a difference. But when all was said and done, what truly opened her eyes to the world around her? A selfish interest in her own flesh and blood.
But perhaps, she muses, that was part of what being a parent was all about. When bringing an innocent life into existence, one cannot help but take a fresh look at the world it will inhabit. And with that look comes an urgent desire to reshape it for the child’s benefit-- to break it apart and remake the whole dratted thing, if necessary, to safeguard its future.
And a more equal, more just society would not just benefit her daughter-to-be. If Citizen-Pretenders could gain better access to education, jobs, the means to support themselves with some measure of dignity and pride, society as a whole would be healthier and more stable for all. Oh, some of her fellow True Citizens would no doubt squawk about losing their precious perceived superiority. Perhaps the promise of more affluent CPs spending their new earnings at their businesses might soothe their ruffled feathers?
Eudaemonia startles, shocked at the drift of her thoughts. How arrogant is she, to think she can shift the very foundations Weatherbean society exists upon? Heaven knows, she’s had no great success in business, no great prominence in fashion. She has neither excelled in military might, nor blazed new trails in education. Her rank in society is laughably low. And even should she exert every ounce of oratory skill she can employ, even should she persist with all the persuasion and wit she possesses… she is but one Citizen. How dare she think she can change the world?
But… how dare she not?
If there’s any chance she can make a difference, for her daughter, for her fellow sentients, she must try. Duty demands it.
She draws a sheet of paper across the desk, readies her pen and inkwell… and prepares to wage a war of words.