Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'patriarchy'.
Found 2 results
If you want a better understanding of this story, please go here and read the setting information. I hope you enjoy it. I also have a Tumblr account set up for my stories about Preston, KS. You can check it out here. The Unlikely Couple (Part 1) Brynn and Jaye had been on the road for days, taking breaks only for gas, food and lodging. A tense quiet between them hung in the air as the only sound was from the static arising from radio station’s failing signal. Jaye reached over and turned it off. Finally, Jaye broke the silence. “Jesus, Brynn, are you ever going to fucking talk to me?” There was no reply. Brynn just kept her eyes intently on the road while she drove, completely ignoring Jaye. “Okay, look, I get it. I fucked up and I’m the reason we’re having to move across the country. It’s my fault. I’m sorry.” The defiance in her voice made the otherwise acceptable apology seem less like an apology and more like hostility. Jaye’s problem was her temper as well as her lack of maturity. Despite being twenty-two years of age, she was notorious for being impulsive and short-sighted; the signs of immaturity. Her immaturity wasn’t confined to her brain either. That is to say she was incredibly diminutive, decidedly lacking in the breast department and possessed a cherub-like face that made her look child-like. None of this made her happy in the least and she would invariably lash out if anyone mentioned it. For her part, Brynn was the polar opposite. Two years Jaye’s junior, she was nevertheless more mature, both physically and emotionally. She was capable of holding a job, saving money and showing responsibility in all things. She was also tall and leggy with a curvaceous figure and large breasts, adding to the vast physical differences between the two women. Jaye huffed up at Brynn’s continued silence, looking poutily out her window. She saw a sign that said, “Preston, Kansas: 6 miles”. Those six miles felt more like sixty miles thanks to the tension. When they reached the town, Brynn pulled their large truck into the parking lot of a convenience store before getting out and starting to pump gas. Jaye opened up the door and stepped out, though “stepping out” is perhaps an over-simplification for someone as short as her. She had to spin around so that her legs were dangling over the side of the seat. From there, she had to inch closer to the edge and finally hop down. It was quite a drop, but she usually landed on her feet. Still, she found the whole process oddly humiliating. “I have to piss,” Jaye declared not-so-quietly as she walked toward the store. Brynn watched her as she did so, even smiling slightly. She did love her, in spite of her glaring faults. She was just furious that they had to uproot because of her actions. That was a very good job with great pay, an amazing insurance plan and plenty of upward mobility. Jaye had stuck it out much longer than Brynn expected, which is why she decided to invest in a home of their own. Sure, it was expensive, but with the money they both made, it wouldn’t have been a problem. The ink on the contract had barely dried when her boss assigned a different worker to do a job because Jaye wasn’t big or strong enough to pull it off. He wasn’t being mean, nor was he discriminating against her. He simply wanted his workers to be safe and knew that she would be risking her safety had she done it. It was a construction job, after all, and sometimes strength was critical. True to form, Jaye blew a gasket, calling him names and shoving him. She felt he was telling her that she couldn’t do a “man’s job” because she was short. He had no choice but to fire her on the spot. Knowing that they couldn’t live in the new house on her wage alone, Brynn arranged for them to move in with her Aunt June in California until they could get on their feet. She didn’t want to do it, but felt there was no alternative. Brynn was deep in thought when she heard a voice from behind her. Judging by his accent, she could tell he was from the south. The southern accent was actually fairly hard to notice, but she always had an ear for such things. It was obvious that he was cultured. “You look preoccupied,” he said breezily. She turned to see a good-looking man in his forties putting gas into a blue car. His chestnut-colored hair had an almost feathered look and his eyes were dark and piercing. He wore a brown duster and fairly casual clothes beneath it. “Yeah,” she replied, “I guess I was a little lost in my own thoughts.” The man nodded. “There are worse places to be lost, I suppose.” He paused briefly. “So, you’re from South Carolina, huh?” She looked at him, puzzled as to how he knew that. He recognized the look and pointed to her license plate. “Oh,” she said, feeling silly, “right.” “That’s where I’m from too. What brings you all the way out here to Preston? Just passing through?” Brynn wasn’t really sure how to respond to such questions from a complete stranger. “That’s… kind of a long story. But, yes, we’re just passing through on our way to California.” The man whistled. “That’s a long way to travel, especially with a little one.” “Little one?” she asked, confused. “You know, your daughter. The one that just went into the store.” Brynn suddenly realized what he meant and once again found herself almost speechless, “She’s… not my daughter. She’s my life partner.” “My apologies,” he offered, “I didn’t see her up close and from afar she looked like a child. I hope I didn’t offend you.” Still flustered, she sputtered out, “No. No, I’m not offended.” She looked toward the building to see if Jaye was coming out yet. Halfway under her breath, she mumbled, “Sometimes, I feel like she’s my child.” “What was that?” “Oh, nothing. She’s just not always… the most responsible, you know, and I sometimes feel more like a mother cleaning up a child’s messes than a life partner.” The man projected a lopsided smile. “Do you mind if I ask you a question?” “You just did,” she said with a smile of her own. “Touche.” “Really, I don’t mind.” The man narrowed his eyes and became far more serious. “Do you believe in fate?” Brynn’s eyes narrowed as well, as she wondered where he was going with this. “Fate? In what context?” He liked where this was going. “Like how sometimes a person ends up in exactly the place they were meant to be.” She didn’t respond at first. This man, while disarmingly charming, was moving into “creepy” territory. Being the empathetic type, he could tell he was losing her and quickly sought to rectify that with a slightly different approach. “What would you say if I told you that you could have a nice house, a job that could provide for both of you and assurance that your… life partner’s irresponsibility could do you no further harm?” He could tell she was intrigued, but leary. Jumping right into the pitch was a gamble, but one he was willing to take. “I would simply ask what the catch is.” His smile returned. “I wouldn’t call it a catch at all, to be honest. I’d call it an opportunity to have the life you always dreamed of having. You seem like a very mature young woman who wants some stability in life and I’m telling you that that’s within your reach.” “No offense, mister, but you don’t know anything about me.” His self-assurance came to the forefront. “Don’t I? Sweetheart, I’ve been presiding over this town for five years now and I’ve seen hundreds of women just like you come through here. Women who have known only turbulence and chaos; women who are sick of it all and hope beyond hope that someday--someday--their lives would be stable and free of drama. So let me take a wild guess here. You and your girl had a solid place to stay and a decent cashflow, but she did something that caused it all to crumble before your very eyes. With no other recourse, the two of you packed whatever you could fit under the truck’s tarp and headed out to stay with a loved one until one of you--probably you--could find a job.” The pause was intense, as Brynn felt a swirl of emotions. How could he have possibly known all that? And how dare he make such presumptions! She felt so many things: anger at him for piecing that all together, anger at Jaye for her part in their plight, anger at herself for allowing it all to happen. And then there was the curiosity. Who was this man? What exactly was he proposing? And most importantly, why did she find herself wanting to know more? Seeing the conflict, the man piped up. “So… how did I do?” The smile was back. That damn smile. “I… I… I mean, you may have gotten certain parts right,” she said, putting an emphasis on “certain”. “Fair enough. How about this: you and your little lady can come to my house for a few hours, rest up a tad and my wife will cook us up a nice supper. Hell, you can even grab a shower. We can discuss the opportunity I mentioned and if you aren’t interested, well then, you can be on your way to California as per your original plan.” A break from driving? A homecooked meal? A shower? Even if his proposal was some kind of con-job, at least she would get something out of it. “Sure. That sounds good.” The man looked pleased. “Alright then, once your girl returns, you can just follow me. My place isn’t too far from here.” He started to get back into his car, but realized he hadn’t even introduced himself. Half in and half out of the vehicle, he said, “By the way, the name’s Lucas… Lucas Budd. that’s ‘Budd’ with a ‘B’.” What had she gotten herself into? The Unlikely Couple (Part 2) The truck followed Lucas’ blue car off the highway and through a winding road that passed an old but obviously refurbished stadium used for various local sporting events. After crossing a new-looking little bridge that stretched across a meandering creek, a large house--a mansion--came into view on the left side of the road. The car turned into the long driveway on that property. “Okay,” questioned Jaye, “now WHY are we following this jackass? He could kill and eat us for all we know.” Her protest went unanswered. “Now isn’t the time for the cold shoulder, Brynn. This could seriously be a dangerous situation.” With a sigh, Brynn replied, “About a dozen people saw him talking to me at the store. Why would he risk that if he planned to kill us or whatever? Use your head, Jaye.” “Me?,” Jaye asked incredulously, “I’m the one who needs to use my head? I’m not the one blindly agreeing to go to some stranger’s house! I’d say I’m using my head just fine. It’s you who need to heed your own advice.” “For once in your life, would you please stop bitching? You’re like a damn child.” Brynn knew that was one of Jaye’s sore spots. She was only four feet, seven inches tall and she hated it. Moreover, she loathed being reminded of it in any capacity. Jaye’s anger was palpable and a sideways glance at her confirmed it. Her lips were pursed tightly shut, her left eye was twitching and her body language was unmistakable. She was furious. No words came out of her mouth. Suddenly, Brynn felt bad for what she said. She was supposed to be the mature one, after all. “I’m sorry, Jaye. I shouldn’t have said that.” Her voice was softer and gentler now; softer than it had been since they left South Carolina. “This whole situation just has me so stressed me out and I’m scared that I won’t be able to find a good job when we get to Cali… but I shouldn’t snap at you like that. I’m sorry.” To her surprise, Jaye nodded. “It’s okay. I’m sorry too… for being such an ass. I shouldn’t have gone off on my boss and gotten myself fired.” Jaye wasn’t normally very good at apologizing or at showing any emotion outside of anger, for that matter. She prided herself on being hard and tough, and talking about her feelings went against that mindset. She was raised by her father after her mother passed away when Jaye was only three. He did his best with Jaye and her sister Raye, but he had no idea how to raise girls. As such, he taught them the only things he knew--auto mechanics, carpentry and boxing; guy stuff. Dealing with Jaye wasn’t usually too dissimilar to dealing with a rather childish man. In a way, that suited Brynn, as she was bi-sexual, whereas Jaye was a full-on lesbian. Turning into the driveway revealed the true grandeur of the grounds upon which the mansion sat. It was perfectly manicured with tasteful placement of hedges and statues. The mansion itself was Colonial in architectural style, complete with large columns spanning almost the entirety of the front facing. It was beautiful. By the time they pulled up, Lucas had already gotten out of his car and was leaning against it patiently. He moved to the truck and opened Brynn’s door for her. A true Southern gentleman, she thought. Jaye rolled her eyes at what she perceived was corniness at best, chauvinism at worst. When he started toward the passenger door, Jaye said, “Don’t bother. I got it.” For his part, he looked rather amused by her knee-jerk rejection of gender roles. Just then, a beautiful blonde-haired woman stepped out of the door. She was almost inhumanly elegant and ladylike, clad in a red dress that hugged her substantial curves from the bosom all the way down her impossibly thin waist and further still to about halfway down her shapely calves. How she could walk in such a long, tight dress was beyond even Brynn. The six-inch peep-toed high heels with ankle straps wouldn’t exactly make walking any easier either, that’s for certain. Brynn was mesmerized by her beauty. But she wasn’t alone. Trailing right behind her was what looked like a little girl with dark brown hair that reached well past her shoulders. She wore a pink dress with puffed sleeves, white tights and the bulk beneath the dress made it clear that a diaper was part of her ensemble as well. She was adorable, but Brynn couldn’t help to feel as if there was more to her than meets the eye. Lucas wasted no time with introductions. “This is lovely little creature is my beautiful wife, Shyla.” The child put her hands on her hips in mock frustration for him not introducing her in the same breath. “Daddyyyyyy,” she said, her little brow furrowed. “And this is our adorable daughter, Miracle,” he said with a wry smile. This made the little girl happy. “I’m pleased to make your acquaintance,” she chirped with a curtsey. Even the normally stoic Jaye couldn’t fight off a smile and chuckle at the overt cuteness. Brynn spoke up and said, “I’m Brynn and this is my life partner, Jaye.” Shyla came over and shook their hands and told them how nice it was to meet them before inviting them inside, adding that supper would be done soon. The house’s interior was at least as impressive as its exterior. The decor was undeniably old-fashioned and, for the most part, wouldn’t have been out of place in the late Eighteenth Century. They were led to a sitting room, where they took a seat on what looked like an antique sofa. Lucas lowered himself onto a matching chair directly across from them. Shyla and Miracle disappeared into the kitchen. “So…,” he began, “how long have the two of you been together?” “Almost three years now,” said Brynn with no small amount of pride. That pride made Lucas grin. Three years seems like a long time when you’re young when, in reality, it’s not terribly long at all. To be youthful and naive again. “Good for you,” he earnestly stated with a nod. “How about you and Shyla?” “Twenty-four years and counting,” he said, causing both Brynn and Jaye to have surprised looks on their faces. Neither of them looked old enough to have been together that long, especially Shyla, who looked no older than thirty. “What, was she like four years old when you hooked up,” asked Jaye. Brynn was mortified by her crude remark and she instinctively smacked Jaye’s hand like a misbehaving child. “JAYE!” “What??” Jaye looked at her like she couldn’t believe she just whacked her hand. “It was a legitimate question.” Lucas beamed, though the two women had no idea as to the real reason of that. “No, no, it’s okay. I didn’t take any offense. The truth is that she and I are… rather special.” “Special how?” Brynn didn’t try to stop her from asking, nor did she get on to her for it. She was just as intrigued herself. “I’m afraid that’s a conversation for another day. Suffice it to say, we don’t exactly age like most people. Same for our kids.” Jaye’s fascination turned to disbelief. “Bullshit,” she declared. “There’s no way that you found some kind of fountain of youth.” “Jaye! That’s ENOUGH!” The authoritative tone was unexpected, to say the least. Even Lucas was taken off guard. Maybe what he had planned for them wouldn’t be so difficult after all. Lucas simply looked amused by what was transpiring before his eyes. Jaye retorted, “Come on! Surely you don’t buy into this horse shit, Brynn! Does he really expect us to believe that they don’t age?” Finally, Lucas interjected, “Now I never said anything about never aging. We age… just more slowly than others. It’s a peculiar little genetic quirk with my bloodline. Each of us age differently and we tend to have peculiarities that are beyond the reach of most people. As for Shyla, her father was a scientist who performed really cruel experiments on her. He wanted to create the world’s first enhanced human, but all he did was stunt her aging and allow her to have certain… visions.” Jaye still wasn’t convinced and verbally made that clear. Brynn, on the other hand, started to think that maybe Lucas was on the level. It was the way he said it; the total conviction in his voice. If he was lying, then he was the best actor in the world. “Surely you’re not buying into this hokum,” Jaye blurted out, looking at Brynn. “There are things in this world that defy logic, Jaye. I’m willing to keep an open mind on the matter. I mean, I’ve seen a ghost before, despite science telling everyone that they don’t exist. Maybe this is one of those things.” Jaye turned her head briskly toward Lucas. “Okay, Ponce de León, why don’t you prove that you have superpowers.” “Superpowers,” asked Lucas with an eyebrow raised. “Isn’t that a little overdramatic?” “Fine then. Why don’t you prove that you have these ‘peculiarities’?” The way she emphasized the word ‘peculiarities’ dripped with sarcasm. Lucas took a deep breath and considered whether or not he should make a demonstration just to appease this immature brat of a girl. He saw Brynn was also waiting to hear his response and in order for his machinations to come to fruition, he had to make a believer out of her. He hated being put on the spot like this. His eyes met Jaye’s and he peered deep into the recesses of her mind. It was something that took a decent amount of concentration and energy. While he could read surface thoughts without even trying, delving into long-ago memories was a different matter entirely. After about a minute, he emitted a cocky grin and said, “Do you remember when you were fourteen and your father had to make a trip to Boston but couldn’t take you with him? He had your Uncle Seth stay at the house and watch over you. And Seth? He was a real stickler, wasn’t he? He and his wife thought you should have been raised more like a girl, so she brought some dresses and other girly clothes with him on his visit with the intention of making you wear them. But you threw a fit, kicked him in the cajones and then went into hiding until your dad got back home.” By the time he had finished talking, Jaye was staring at him, mouth agape. Brynn, too, was astounded, even though she had never heard that story before. “H-How…,” stuttered Jaye, “did you know that?” That lopsided smile was back and with a wink, he responded with only a single word. “Superpowers.”
My life partner and I have spent the last five or so years fleshing out a setting in numerous adult-oriented role-playing game campaigns. I have decided to make the setting information available here, so that as I post stories set there, it will make sense to everyone. This post will contain a short prelude/prologue, followed by details about the setting itself. All stories I post that take place in Preston will be tagged as such. Although you'll probably be able to read the stories without reading the info presented below first, you'll deprive yourself of having a deeper understanding of the "world". The Beginning “Let me get this straight,” said the Governor as he leaned forward in his posh chair. “You want me to help you turn Preston into your own personal pet project?” Lucas Budd leaned forward a bit himself, looking the official directly in the eyes as he replied. “I’m not sure the term ‘pet project’ is quite appropriate, but for want of a better replacement, yes.” A silence fell over the Governor’s den as if the two were playing a game of mental chess, anticipating each other’s next move. The Governor took a sip of his brandy and leaned back in his seat. “You are a brazen son of a bitch, aren’t you, Budd?” A wry smile came over Lucas’s face. “I pride myself on it.” With an almost-impressed chuckle, the Governor went straight to the bottom line. “What’s in it for me?” Now it was Lucas’ turn to look nearly impressed. “I like a man who cuts right to the chase. It makes things go much more smoothly.” The Governor spoke again, “Well, this is a tall order… not something that’s going to be easy to pull off, especially in today’s politically correct world. Even if I agreed to play a role in the grand scheme of things, there’s a lot more people you’ll need to convince before your experiment can become a reality.” “Well now, that’s my problem to deal with, isn’t it?” Lucas’ ego was on full display. He knew exactly how to handle the others, just as he knew exactly how to handle the Governor. He was a master at this sort of thing. Manipulation was second-nature to him. He knew he had to let this blow-hard think he was in control. That was the key to dealing with men like him. “I suppose so,” said the Governor, “but you still haven’t answered my question. What’s in it for me?” “Security,” Lucas replied simply. “Security?” “That’s right. Security.” With that, Lucas produced a manilla envelope from within his duster and tossed it onto the table. Before the Governor could even open it, Lucas began his explanation. “It seems your youngest son has been a bad, bad boy. You see, he came to Preston about a couple days ago for some big party out at the lake. Did himself a lot of drinking… and other things.” Now visibly angry and more than a little suspicious, the Governor growled, “What kind of ‘other’ things?” “The kind of ‘other’ things that would get him quite a few years behind bars and sully your family’s mostly-pristine reputation. I think the photos in the folder will tell the tale far better than my blabbin’ will.” The Governor sunk into his seat in despair and utter defeat. “That stupid little bastard,” he muttered to himself as he gazed upon the stack of photos. “There’s no need to fret, Governor,” Lucas said in a chipper, self-satisfied voice. “I’m sure I can smooth things over with the girl’s family and convince them to stay quiet about the whole ordeal. These things can be contained.” Realizing what Lucas was driving at, the Governor mumbled, “In return for my support, right?” Lucas rose to his feet. “Your words, not mine. But, hey… I’m all about mutual back-scratching.” With a wink, he sat down the wineglass and said, “I’ll show myself out.” He left the upset man alone with his thoughts, knowing fully that he will ultimately help him out with passing the new laws. Best of all, he was certain the Governor had no idea that his son was set up by Lucas himself. The elaborate plan had paid off. “One down, six more to go,” Lucas mused as he exited the house and stepped into his inconspicuous blue sedan. The others would be just as easy to “convince”. Within a year, Preston would be a patriarchal utopia the likes of which the world had never seen. ABOUT PRESTON How it Came to Pass Preston began its existence as a knock-about little railroad town on the American Midwest. But when a major railroad company called OKT made its headquarters there, the town began growing, bristling with activity and prosperity. During the second World War, Preston gained another boon: a massive ammunition plant just southeast of town. This drew families to the area in drives, as jobs were plentiful by that point. During this time period, the population reached close to 20,000. All in all, everything seemed to be going well. But it wouldn’t last. After the war, the ammunition plant slowed down drastically, putting many people out of work. To make matters worse, 1957 saw OKT moving its offices to Texas, leaving the Preston station a shell of its former glory. In 1971, the Urban Renewal program was voted in by the city muckety-mucks, resulting in the demolition of nearly two-hundred buildings, many of which were landmarks that gave the town its character. Most of this was simply to create parking lots for a new shopping plaza which actually blocked off Main Street for two blocks. The impact was that many local businesses were lost. All these factors took their collective toll on Preston. By the early 2000s, the population had dipped to just over 10,000 with no end in sight. Jobs were hard to find, the city government was corrupt and crime ran rampant. Preston was clearly a city in crisis. Enter Lucas Budd. Lucas Budd was a self-made multi-millionaire from South Carolina, who had impressive political connections, undeniable charm and a bit of a dark side. Further, it has been said that he can do certain things—subtle things—that normal people couldn’t even dream of doing. Some say it’s true of everyone with Budd blood. Budd wasted no time maneuvering himself into a position of power, first as the county Sheriff and then as the Mayor of Preston (all the while retaining his badge, an unprecedented feat). He pulled many strings in high government to bring about some drastic citywide laws. How he managed to pull this off is anyone’s guess, though citizens whisper that blackmail, threats and favors played a role. The truth will likely never be known. When the dust settled, Preston was a strictly patriarchal society and Lucas Budd ruled over the whole kingdom. That brings us to the present. Lucas Budd’s laws have been in effect for five years now. The city is growing rapidly, with new businesses and families moving there like gangbusters. Sure, many citizens left Preston, unable to cope with the new way of things. However, the number of new citizens more than made up for it. It turns out that a lot of people have been looking for a change; a return to a simpler time when men were men and women were women… and women knew their place. Of course, not all of the women have come to the city of their own free will, but that’s another story altogether. For his part, Lucas Budd is far from a despot. In fact, most of the citizens adore him. He has singlehandedly restored faith in Preston’s prosperity and has made great strides in eliminating homelessness, helping those who are in need and bringing the community together with numerous activities and festivals. Furthermore, he and his hand-picked police force have cracked down on crime as well. But make no mistake, there’s another side to Lucas Budd; a darker side that few Prestonians are privy to. He thirsts for control and will go to any lengths to maintain it. He may greet his populace with a wink and a wry smile, but he’s always looking closely to ensure that no one is in position to threaten his power. And if he finds that someone is, he will pluck them like a weed in a freshly mowed lawn. Even with his depravity, Budd has limits; namely in that he doesn’t believe in rape. In fact, when he catches a rapist, they will just… disappear. Ironically, he has no problem manipulating women and twisting their minds so that they actually want to have sex. What can we say? He’s a complex man. Who knows what goes on in his brain? The Laws In general, all women in Preston must be owned by a man. Unowned women are technically owned by the city government and are housed in one of five shelters throughout the town. These shelters are buildings that consist of a slew of tiny, but nice, apartments. Guards are on duty around the clock and the women must be back by 10:00 at night or they are locked out and punished. Men are the kings of any household. The women a man owns are expected to do exactly what they are told. Men are given a great deal of leeway when it comes to devising the rules of their household; just about anything but drastic physical abuse and rape is fair game. The man of a given household is allowed to force his women to dress however he wishes, as long as he abides by the citywide dress code. The town laws include a strict dress code that women must follow. First of all, they must always wear skirts or dresses in public; never pants or shorts. Second of all, flat shoes are absolutely forbidden. Third, hosiery is expected to be worn. And finally, all women must don an ownership collar around their neck that tells who their owner is. Preston has several training facilities with different programs to help teach errant women their place. The most popular training programs are the Baby Program, the Bimbo program and the Lady Program. These centers even offer tutors who will come into the home and help train women whose owners would rather they remain in the house rather than at a center. The Town As of 2016, Preston boasts 18,890 citizens, which is nearly as many as it had during the 1940s. More importantly, these numbers seem to be growing every week. New businesses have set up shop in recent years, including an abundance of clothing stores, both normal and fetishistic. One prominent business that deserves a special mention is Simms’ Baby Palace. Proprietor Pete Simms is a craftsman when it comes to woodworking and when he started the business, he simply made cribs and high chairs for “little ones” (women who are forced to live as toddlers and babies). With an increase in demand for high-end merchandise of that nature, he expanded his operation to include playpens, bouncers, changing tables, wooden horses and more. His wife, Samantha, more recently started selling high-quality “baby” clothes as well and they are preparing to open up a factory that produces disposable diapers of unprecedented quality. The plaza that once blocked off Main Street was removed soon after Lucas Budd’s rise to power, revitalizing the downtown shopping area. New shops opened their doors and now the area is incredibly vibrant. There are two neighborhoods of note that are vital to Preston’s “flavor”. The first is the area known as the “Wye”. Back when the railroad was the lifeblood of the city, the Wye (named for the way two sets of train tracks formed a “y” through it) was where many of the railroad workers lives. It was a matter of convenience given its proximity to the job site. Rent was relatively affordable, too, thanks to the fact that it was so far from the main part of town. The Wye remains a blue-collar neighborhood, though it has seen better days. In the last two years, it has started to see a resurgence. This may have been caused by the Sons of Chaos, a motorcycle-club-gone-straight that has moved into the area, opening up a garage as well as a bar called the Raven’s Nest. The club has become pretty tight with Lucas Budd and are considered by most to be pillars of the community. Another neighborhood that must be mentioned is the Bottoms. It was once a wild and dangerous neighborhood filled with crime. Since the Budd regime has taken power, however, it has been cleaned up. Budd has poured a jaw-dropping amount of money from his personal coffers to make it a neighborhood to be proud of. The Budd Family The patriarch of the family is Lucas Budd. He’s got that classic “southern charm” down to an artform, but not all of it is put-on. He’s may be a dark soul, but he’s not without his good points. He is loyal to a fault, especially to his loved ones, and he really is trying to make the town a better place in his own twisted way. Beneath it all, he is rather sadistic and he feels that the world would be a better place if men ruled it completely. The family matriarch is Lucas’ wife, Shyla, a spirited woman who nonetheless understands her place in the grand scheme of things. She is submissive to Lucas and men in general, however she does speak her mind. Truthfully, Lucas wouldn’t have it any other way. Shyla is a beloved figure in Preston, largely because she oversees all manner of charity drives and community projects. Dante is Lucas and Shyla’s oldest son. He is a physical specimen; astoundingly strong and resilient. While he’s certainly a “man’s man, he lacks his father’s aspirations of power. He’s content enough with his life and doesn’t go out of his way to change it. Alexander is Lucas and Shyla’s youngest son and he is possibly one of the smartest people on the planet. He thinks scientifically to the point that he has trouble conversing with people of normal intellect. His greatest discovery is a collection of serums that can genetically alter people (which proves most useful to his father). They can drastically increase breast size, cause nymphomania, force people to “babytalk”, and so much more. Melanie is Lucas and Shyla’s eldest daughter and is easily the most nurturing of the lot. She is a gentle soul without any of the darkness possessed by Lucas. Some say she can heal even the most grievous of wounds in a matter of seconds, but this hasn’t been substantiated. Miracle is Lucas and Shyla’s youngest daughter and is a “little one”. Standing just over four feet tall, she looks like a little angel, but make no mistake: she’s her father’s daughter through and through. In fact, her sadism eclipses Lucas’.