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Old 04-02-2011, 04:37 AM View Post #1 (Link) Not quite an RPG-- Mandatory Enrollment
Me & the World (Offline)
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Everywhere
Posts: 32
Points: 13.48
Times Thanked: 4
So, I came up with this idea, and it seemed perfect for an RPG or Co-op. So perfect, in fact, that i don't want to write anymore of it on my own. You can write in direct interaction with my character (Shorty), write a parallel story using the idea, or take over one of my other characters (not Shorty). If you don't feel up to introducing your character through the story, you can post a character sheet. This is open to any number of people.

This is also open to critiques.

Here's the storyline:
The setting is early in the twenty second century. While culture and technology have advance throughout the rest of the world, the US has decayed into a stagnant bureaucracy, mired in debt and struggling to break free of the twenty first century. In a last ditch attempt to save the country, the government proposes a controversial bill that would set up an elite federal boarding school, which will hopefully develop America's talent. If selected for the honor, enrollment in mandatory. The government tracks down the best students from across the country, and offers huge monetary compensation for those who give up their children without a fight. The beginning of this story is March 12, one year after the education bill passed.

I plan on having the school be in a single location, so eventually there will be direct character interaction.

I have no particular preferences as to what happens there, so go wild. However, I was thinking of having the school administrators' motivations be not entirely innocent.

If you are looking for a character idea, Shorty needs a best friend who is dragged off to "school" with her.

Here's the story:

Mandatory Enrollment

The vote was carried by an overwhelming majority. The new program had been accompanied by an extensive propaganda campaign, which deafened voters to the dwindling protests of the minority. Americans were desperate for government action and after all, the new legislation wouldn’t affect them—it would happen to other people. Besides, the legal jargon and preparation needed to put the program into effect was profuse. Very few people had actually read the bill. Most people were convinced it would fail, just like everything else.

That’s what all the newspapers said. That’s what my parents said. Nobody was worried about it, so neither was I. A year passed, and nothing happened, and during that time I had much more important things to think about: I was starting high school. As if that weren’t enough, I was skipping into the junior class. The schoolwork gave me no trouble, but making friends with kids two years older than I was a whole new can of worms. They got used to me, however, and eventually I became a sort of mascot. They christened me Shorty, and the name stuck even after several growth spurts brought me up to a respectable height.

Just as life settled into a reasonable routine, the government issued a surprise FIMS test. Every student in the school struggled through the phonebook-sized academic evaluation, motivated by rumors of fabulous college scholarships. Studying abroad was super-expensive, but if you wanted a quality education, you had to get out of the US.

Three months after the test, our civics teacher told us to find out how often our parents voted. I asked my dad about it after dinner, timing my question so that I caught my Dad just as he set down his fork.

“Hmm… When was the last time we went to the polls, Honey?” Dad asked my mom. She was bustling to and fro from the kitchen to the dining room, clearing the table. I was supposed to be helping, but she was distracted from this fact by my question.

“I think it was for that one bill, the education program. It had some fancy name…” My mother’s voice echoed from the kitchen. Dad snapped his fingers, and turned back to me.

“Yes, I remember. It was a plan for a new education program, kick-start us into the twenty second century, and all that. The newspapers were all over it, real controversial. Your mother and I were for it. Been awhile since I’ve heard anything about it, though.”

The mention of education peaked my curiosity. “Was it for scholarships or something?” I asked. Dad shook his head. He knew I was always looking out for opportunities.

“No. Believe me, I would’ve given it more thought if I thought it would affect us.” He drummed his fingers on the tablecloth. “Let’s see, it sounded like a federally run boarding school, random selection of kids from throughout the country. The budget was really high though, I’ll bet it fell through.”

“Everything does, dear. I don’t see why we even vote anymore.” My mother had re-entered the dining room, and taken up a position behind my chair, where I couldn’t see her. Her fingers stroked my hair absently, and I wondered if she’d noticed my scheme to avoid cleaning up. More distraction was necessary.

“If it’s random kids from everywhere, couldn’t it be someone from here?”

“Oh no, they wouldn’t offer anyone around here a chance like that. It’ll be upper-class, all the politicians’ children. There’s probably some footnote somewhere in the bill saying you have to make over a hundred grand a year to qualify. I wouldn’t be surprised.” Dad shook his head in disgust. “Government.”

He scooted away from the table, stood up and stretched. His hands bumped the ceiling. My dad was a incredibly tall, and my mother was no midget either. They contrasted oddly with me whenever we went out together. Two fair, rather squarely built giants and one short, diminuitive redhead. My parents used to tell me I was an alien, but later they hunted a down a photo of some great uncle of whom I was the spitting image. I preferred the alien theory. The uncle was small and fragile, with a square, ruddy face and ludicrous red hair. Fortunately, the look seemed to suit me better than it did him. My mother insisted that I looked delicate and pixie-like.

My brother had had better luck. He was four years older, away in college, but whenever he visited neighborhood girls would siege the house, hoping for a look from dazzling Dave. He was tall, tan, and blonde, with a smile which even I had to admit was charming. He was an alright brother—he didn’t mind having a brain for a younger sister, so in return I tried not to mind having a jock for an older brother.

Lately, however, he’d been irritable during his visits home. His hard earned football scholarship had been cut; he was obliged to work part time, and repeatedly overspent his budget. He was coming home for spring break in a few days, and I was dreading his arrival. Despite my pleading, My parents had refused to let me go with my class to Rocky Point for the week. Family time was very important to them. Although I argued that we couldn’t afford to do anything anyway, they remained stubbornly optimistic.

I debated bringing up Rocky Point one more time. Tomorrow was the last day before vacation, the last day I could sign up. Before I could open my mouth, however, my mother turned on me.

“Meg, why don’t you finish cleaning up the table? The dishes need doing, too.”

I slumped in my chair. Maybe my plan hadn’t been as clever as I thought.

That night as I tortured my pillow into a comfortable ball, I thought about the education bill. My Dad’s final comment lingered in my ears, until now drowned out by my preoccupation with dirty dishes.

“Nothing in the bill will ever affect us, unless they jack up taxes to pay for it.”

He was so wrong.

I'm looking for Co-op Partners!

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