The Duck Background

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The Duck’s Background




There have been many threats to the power and entitlement of British Royalty. The Black Death created a workforce shortage that forced power into more hands. Inbreeding among the royal families of Europe increased the likelihood of inherited diseases causing breakdowns in family lines. The passing of the Parliment Act of 1911 was a solid blow to the House of Lord by limiting their ability to veto bills presented to Parliment. Now in the mid 21st century another threat is arising. Wealth and entitlement have created a new utopia for propagation in a class that has always wanted the best for themselves and their children. Royalty population is exploding while resources, and titles, remain a finite resource. What path will this perfect looking, genetically altered and highly entitled subset of the British people take?

- Alexi Spodnick, Waves in Aristocracy


I was in my 3rd year of Uni when I had read Spodnick and I knew as soon as I read it that this was the documentation of my life and how the late 21st century was going to shape my generation and my social class. A poorly received, widely lambasted treatise, Spodnick was admittedly dry and completely unable to write in a way that was not overly dramatic, but what he wrote of deeply affected me through my core and down to my roots.

Naworth_Castle.jpgAnd my roots, that is where I come from right? I was born the son of a poor white farmer….haha ok I can’t keep a straight face. If there is a poster child for excess then I would be a very small child in the corner of the picture, probably playing with a gold, diamond studded, comlink while my two perfect parents and the rest of their spawn; well all but one, sat around with false smiles posed on ancient hardwood furniture placed strategically to show off a very posh looking, vast, hall decorated with lots of expensive endangered animal parts.

Lady Elaidy Grenville is my mother. If you have not heard of her then you know nothing about genetics, nothing about British royalty and you are definitely not a metahuman. It is ironic that she was born April 30th 2021, then Elaidy Ann Montcliff. There were many results of the event of that day but there must have been some sort of karmic backlash that landed squarely on my mother’s psyche which would shape and consume her life. In 2032 Elaidy’s father, Daniel Montcliff was killed in minor action of Eurowar 1, acting as a military advisor in Austria. This caused her mother Katherine to retreat into herself effectively orphaning Elaidy at a young age. She became the favored niece of Bruce Montcliff, Daniels brother and a fervent anti metahuman activist. Little is known about her activitys from 2034 through 2042. In 2048, after her marriage to Lord Arthur Grenville in 2045, an expose surfaced on the c-net that alleged that Elaidy Montcliff had spent much of her teen years working in both North America and Europe as a member of various militant policlub groups masterminding and carrying out a number of attacks, not least of which was her purported involvement in the bombing of the Sears Tower in 2039. This expose disappeared as quickly as it surfaced. A reporting team for the Daily UK Mirror, a trideo tabliod that often focused on the pitfalls of the British aristocracy, declared their intention of tracking down this expose and bringing the details to light. 12 days after this announcement the main offices of the Mirror exploded, killing 34 people, including the full membership of the reporting team in question save one. A secondary explosion blew up 2 city blocks in a heavily metahuman populated district of London, killing 256 including one Dragonfire, a hacker sometimes employed by the Mirror for their more clandestine data recovery forays. Investigation into both bombings by the MET determined that both were accidents, the result of faulty gas lines.

Before and after her entrance into the peerage Elaidy was focused on the human, and I do mean human, genome. Her groundbreaking work earned her many accolades and helped form the Grenville Institute which became one of the front runners in genomic and genetic manipulation and therapies as well as an educational subsidy, the Grenville academy, a public school of much distinction. After a time, and in certain circles it became known that anyone that wanted their children to be given advantages could do so, for a price, an ironclad disclaimer form and an equally ironclad non-disclosure form could benefit from visiting the Institute and attending the Academy. It was in reference to my mother that the first use of the term “gene-wizard” can be found according to Wikipedia.

I am the 6th of Elaidy Grenville’s children and her second-most disappointing child. Tolerated but barely. All of my brothers and sisters are special in some way, ways most often better although worse in one very special circumstances and for a given definition of worse. I have never been sure but I have long suspected that we, my mother’s sweet children, were her greatest laboratory. Experiments all. We are all of us pretty. The cultural norms for physical perfection which we all embody could be blamed on our genetic heritage but there is more, more than belies simple genetic drift. Calvin Grenville, heir to the Grenville estates could be the clone of our dear old dad. He is so close to him that sometimes father will dress Calvin up to take his place in functions. Other than myself Calvin is the only of Elaidy’s children that does not have metaphysical abilities, although I suspect that Calvin has been on the receiving end of a wide spectrum of genetic cocktails and engineering to make him the disgustingly perfect person he is. Twat.

The twins, Eamon and Elanore developed magical powers at puberty. Beautiful but dark, the twins are rarely apart and are capricious and often cruel to those that they deem less than themselves, read myself, Wendell, poor kid, and anyone that does not happen to have the surname Grenville and a title less than Earl somewhere in their recent ancestry.

I honestly think that if Wendell had been born a Troll we would have never known he existed. Luckily for him he was away at the Duke of York, a military school for you non Brits out there. The story I heard when I traveled to Dover after Wendell disappeared is that he had been in the middle of a rugby maul, both teams binding. Wendell was the ball carrier and as the maul struggled for control of the ball he stood up throwing his team mates and the opposition to the sides like stuffed animals and it was only as he loped past the try line to score that he seemed to notice that he had changed. He had “goblinized” into a troll. I interviewed some of the players that were there that day and they said that his transformation was like none they had heard of before. There was no struggle, no pain, no apparent awareness of his change. He went from a young slender muscular Adonis to a monstrous giant in less than the 5 seconds the maul took to form. Like flipping a switch. Many of them stated that when they spoke with Wendell he was not aware of the change until he went to play the ball for the try and noticed that the ball was easily palmed in a rough lumpy clawed hand although how he didn’t notice he was nearly a meter taller is beyond me. Wendell stayed at the Duke for another year until his disappearance. My investigation yielded little in the way of results, other than the fact that there had been multiple break-in attempts at Kitchener house, where Wendell was boarded, and that there was some sort of food contaminant that resulted in the death of 4 students that happened to be in the dining hall where Kitchener dined. Interestingly these different attempts seem to have been stopped not by the campus bedlows, a group most feared for their excessive use of force in defending the school. It seems that ghostly creatures and monsters of some sort were there to stop each of these attempts. I am guessing magic of some sort but is it magic my brother controls or something guarding him? I’m not sure if these were attacks directed at Wendell, but I don’t really believe in coincidences. I was not able to yield any results as to where Wendell disappeared. I was later told by the school headmaster that it was lucky I was so charming, and being a peer didn’t hurt, as the residents of Kitchener house are well known for their fanatic loyalty to the other Kitchener “Dukies”. Anyone else, the headmaster said “would have been in a bit of an argy-bargy and wound up brown bread in some alley.” I continued to look for him but of course am not in touch with my brother Wendell at all as any contact I would have with him might put him in danger from those that would do him harm. I also have no idea that he is a practicing shaman, as there is no way I would have been able to learn that fact about him without contacting him.

Alexander was by far the strangest of us. Diagnosed early on as falling well in the low functioning range of the Asperger’s spectrum, Alexander seemed to have a way with computers that was…uncanny. They would do things that didn’t seem possible at an early age. Our house cleaning robot once gingerly caught him as he leapt from the edge of his crib at the age of 2, carefully turned him over and placed him gently on the floor where he proceeded to walk over to auto fridge and just sit there leaning up against it for at least an hour. From that point it seemingly randomly dispensed strawberry milk, ignoring the drink requested, until mother had it replaced years later. Alexander matured and gained a sense of normalcy in his early teens, although those of us that knew him could always tell he was a bit off. It was only recently that I have come to understand that it was not Asperger’s that was the cause for his social awkwardness, it was that he didn’t understand that we were not computers that he could just not interface with. Alexander is a technomancer and he had to learn to treat humans as less interactive versions of the programs and systems he had been able to fully understand and meld with at an early age. Interestingly he seems to have been a technomancer in the time before the Crash in 64 when most technomancers came on the scene. I cannot explain that although it make explain his disappearance…

Paris is an adept and is also following mother’s footsteps as a gene-wizard. I am not sure I fully understand what that is as she is a very private person. Currently Paris is working as a liaison between the Grenville Institute and some organization in Amazonia. I was unable to find out what it was that she was doing there but very soon after she travelled to South America the news started reporting the appearance of the new drug “tempo”. I am sure there is no connection.

My last sibling is a late arrival to the family. Lucille, Lucy for short, just 7 years old she has an uncanny resemblance to Wendell. Nobody who was not a member of the family would see it as they didn’t grow up with Wendell, but she seems to be an exact, well sort of exact, duplicate of him. I cannot help but think that this is Wendell 2.0, with a hope that whatever change mother has engineered in her will stop her from turning into a “Monster like that horrible creature who will never be mentioned in this house again.” She’s a lovely young lady and I plan to watch over her just in case whatever happened to Wendell happens to her. I won’t let mother do anything to her!!

The Duck Background

The Book of Taliesin kettle