2/4/13: Alternate Universe: Your Character as Hero, or Not
The most bizarre alternate universe I can think of is my own, so this is where Selene will grow up. Same story—orphaned by her parents at an early age after both were killed in Afghanastan. She went to live with her abusive aunt and uncle in New York City, finally running away after her uncle bruised her face once too often. She lived on the streets, doing whatever she had to do to survive short of prostitution. Jobs were unheard of for a preteen, so she took to theft. She was only caught once, after which she did a stint in juvie and got placed in a foster home. Selene stayed in the foster home exactly one week before hitting the streets again.
By the time she turned eighteen, she was a capable pickpocket and thief. She made enough money stealing to get a nice apartment in the East Village. She liked New York because nobody really paid any attention to anything. Not long after she moved into her new place, she picked the wrong pocket—or the right pocket, depending on how you look at it—that of Brynjolf Jorgensen, second in command of an international theft ring (because he must live in this alternate universe, too). A few phone calls and one or two grunt jobs later, and she was a full member of the organization.
Under Brynjolf’s tutelage, Selene expanded her skillset and became a master at what she did, stealing everything from jewels to priceless artifacts, to one-of-a-kind paintings for the guild’s clients—wealthy investors who would rather resort to less than legal means of obtaining their trinkets. By her thirtieth birthday, she was rich enough to retire. She married Brynjolf and moved away, and now they live like royalty on a small island in the South Pacific. They still take a few jobs a year so they don’t get rusty. Plus, theft at this level isn’t done out of need; it’s done for the thrill.
There are no dragons in this story and very few heroes. Selene is the best at what she does, but she leaves the heroism to the military, the firemen, and the police. She just keeps her head down and enjoys a life of excitement, ease, and anonymity.
It’s kind of Mary-Sue, I know, but what the hell.