Cinder Alynth's Questionnaire

1. What town or city do you live in? Why do you live there instead of anywhere else? Describe your home.

Link Answered before Cinder Alynth's first Contract.

Cinder lives in Bellingham, Washington. She lives there on account of its college town culture helping her blend in. A 20-something transwoman who doesn't talk much wouldn't look too out of place next to the liberal college. She also appreciates how quiet it is relative to Seattle, where she does most of her business. Cinder manages to have a place in the marina without any "proper" form of identification by bribing the marina's attendant with free Percocet. She still has to pay for the spot, though... Cinder's house boat is a humble affair, built with a focus on functionality. She could hardly imagine hosting many people in her home, so she didn't mind its tight quarters. The one indulgence she allows herself is a section of her home dedicated to a collection of misprints of famous novels. Otherwise, everything around her is as utilitarian as possible.

2. How do you get your money right now? What do you spend it on?

Link Answered before Cinder Alynth's first Contract.

Cinder gets her money through "freelance package delivery". In other words, she runs illicit packages for gangs, cults, secret societies, who ever needs something delivered in a quiet fashion with no questions asked. She's gotten modest renown in the parts of the world polite society doesn't like to look upon as a reliable hire for anything you might need moved from one place to another. This keeps her wallet full enough that she can afford her spot on the marina as well being able eat out frequently. Bellingham has some nice restaurants, and she likes to sample them whenever she can.

3. Describe your Ambition. What are you striving for? How far would you go to achieve this? Would you kill for it? How close to death would you come for it?

Link Answered before Cinder Alynth's first Contract.

Cinder wants to make a world where humanity can shape-shift freely, without constrictions of what would be proper for a "human" to look like. Be it from small scale changes like a shift in hair color, to completely changing their biology at no cost to themselves. She's struggled for years trying to change her body to what properly fit and even now she is still dragged down by her flesh, and Cinder has resolved to not let anyone suffer the same fate again.

Cinder is willing to sacrifice next to anything to accomplish her goal, be it friend or foe she will burn anything in her path to the ground. She would like to accomplish her goals cleanly, without hurting those close to her, but if there's no other way, she will not hesitate. Failure is not an option.

4. What was the most defining event of your life (before signing The Contract), and how did it change you?

Link Answered after Contract 2, Beware the Assassin!

The most defining event is Cinder's life was when she ran away from home. She grew up in northern Canada, with a family that pretended to love her. Cinder had always felt horribly pressured by her parents to be perfect at everything she does, and when she came out as trans it was seen as a failure to be a boy. Hearing the people who were supposed to take care of her react with such vitriol to her very existence was the final straw on an already very strained camel's back. All the years of expectations, of never being quite enough, came crashing down on her. She had been saving practically every dollar she'd earned (at the behest of her parents) and she finally found a use for it. Cinder was going to use her savings to run away, and if she was going to run away, she was going to do it right.

She was going to get as far from Canada as her savings could take her. Turns out, her savings could carry her to an illegal border crossing into America.

5. Name and briefly describe three people in your life. One must be the person you are closest to.

Link Answered after Contract 2, Beware the Assassin!

Clarice - Her neighbor in the Marina. They're on friendly enough terms, especially since Cinder knows how to get her drugs upon request. She's quite abrasive and protective of her property, but doesn't really mean people harm. She just values her privacy.

Preston - The attendant at Cinder's marina. He's pretty laid back, not taking his job too seriously. He actually got the job thanks to nepotism, his dad owns the marina. He likes getting high whenever he can, and Cinder can get him his fix as long as he has this job. Free percs are a very good perk.

Quinn - A tattoo artist. She's outgoing and fancies herself a social butterfly. They met at a bar that Cinder was visiting on a night off. She had intended just try out the menu, see if they had good food, but Quinn decided she was making a friend tonight. The two ended up bonding over a shared love of horror movies. Quinn has become one of Cinder's closest friends in the area thanks to her instance, though she still doesn't know what Cinder does for work. She's hoping she just won't ask.

6. How was your childhood? Who were your parents? What were they like? Did you attend school? If so, did you fit in? If not, why not?

Link Answered after Contract 2, Beware the Assassin!

Cinder didn't have a very pleasant childhood. She never quite fit in where ever her parents put her, and they put her in a lot of places. Private school, public school, summer camps, after school clubs, the works. Cinder always felt too nervous to actually talk to anyone around her, and when she was able to form some sort of bond with the people around her, she always felt disconnected. Like it was never actually her that was making friends, just some vague shape that was supposed to be her. This wasn't helped by her parents always expecting her to be the best of the best, and she was rarely able to deliver. Cinder's parents were decent wealthy, wealthy enough that they had to worry about their child's reputation and how it reflected on them. With Cinder's habit of botching social interaction, they saw her as an embarrassment. As a problem to be fixed. When Cinder ran away, they barely bothered to look for her. The problem solved itself, after all.

7. Have you ever been in love? With who? What happened? If not, why not?

Link Answered after Contract 2, Beware the Assassin!

Cinder would tell you she's never been in love, but the truth is that there was a girl she met in college that she fell head over heels for. They had met thanks to a group project for a history class. She was patient with Cinder's initial social awkwardness, and the two eventually found they worked well together. After getting the best grade Cinder had ever received on a group project (a B+) her partner offered to buy her a drink to celebrate. Once free from the pressure of a dead line, the two hit it off almost instantly. Her name was Laurel, and she was the first person Cinder ever came out to. They stayed in touch for the rest of the year, supporting each other through all their mutual class struggles, celebrated their victories together, and spent time doing nothing but enjoying each others company.

One day, when the two were watching a horror movie on Laurel's couch and laughing at bad special effects, Laurel asked if she could kiss her. Cinder wanted so badly to say yes. Cinder said no. She never had the guts to talk to her again.

8. What are your worst fears? Why?

Link Answered after Contract 2, Beware the Assassin!

Cinder is scared of failure, specifically as being seen as a failure. Every failure is a chance that someone will begin to look at her as less than what she is. Cinder has fought long and hard to been seen as a woman who is good at what she does, a professional who gets the job done and has her life under control. The efficacy of this facade (or if it even is one) is debatable, but Cinder can't handle being seen as anything less. She needs to be in control of how others view her. She needs control.

Cinder is, at her core, terrified of not being in control of her surroundings. Her entire life had been out of her hands right up until she made a break for the "land of opportunity", forever linking a lack of control to the worst time in her life. If she can't control something it means it can hurt her and the things she cares about. She fight's against this fear by fooling herself into thinking she actually has control. Every risk is "calculated" and the outcomes are "according to plan", it's enough for her to keep her head on straight, but it isn't good for much else. 

9. What is (are) your most prized possession(s)? What makes it (them) so special?

Link Answered after Contract 2, Beware the Assassin!

Cinder's most prized possessions are easily her collection of misprinted novels. She discovered her love of these oddities the first time she tried to read The Great Gatsby for high school. Cinder had the fortune of getting her hands on a copy where the last forty pages were a repeat of the previous forty. It caused a small amount of grief for her class, but nothing she couldn't work around. Once she was done with it, instead of donating it to the library like usual she wanted to hold onto it. She felt a peculiar kind of kinship with it. That copy of the The Great Gatsby was one of the few possessions she brought with her from Canada, and from it grew a small collection of similar novels. When Cinder feels particularly morose, she likes to thumb through a few and see where and how the errors affect the book. Her favorite is a copy of The House of the Scorpion where every page is printed slightly to the right, so that the ends of the text are shaved off slightly. Still readable, just takes a little more effort to understand.

10. What is the biggest problem in your life right now?

Link Answered after Contract 3, Sanctuary

I am currently the property of a gang in Seattle, the River Otters. They resurrected me and now have ownership of my soul, it feels like. I can barely resist the commands of the piece of shit who put me back together, but I don't know if they know I have a chance of bucking what they tell me to do. Better keep it that way, for now at least. Speaking of! They didn't even put me together right! I can feel it, like part of me is still just, drifting out there. It feels like dissociating, but worse. I need to get myself together as quickly as I can or I don't have a hope in hell of getting my independence back. But when I did come back I was also stronger, I think? I really don't know how to put it, but it's like my being is calloused almost. Broke apart and is coming back stronger. All my favorite food tastes like ash now and I need to eat wood or I die. This blows.

11. Describe a typical morning. How do you get ready to face the world?

Link Answered after Contract 3, Sanctuary

I wake up at the crack of dawn, I choke down some tree bark, or the bit underneath it really. Brush my teeth of splinters, take my medication, and get dressed. That usually just constitutes switching out of my bed time tank top and into a clean one, and putting on jeans and sneakers. If I feel like it, I'll opt for a t-shirt, but it's usually a tank top. I've worked hard to get arms these nice, I'm going to show them off. Once I'm properly up and running, I do a check over of The Fiery Wake for anything that needs fixing. Afterwards, I used to take a morning jog. Now my heart doesn't beat quite right and any time I push myself physically. So I've settled for sitting quietly on board and browsing twitter or whatever else on my phone for an hour or so. My mornings are significantly worse now.

12. If you were going somewhere special that you wanted to look your best for, what would you do to prepare? What would you wear? How long would it take you to get ready?

Link Answered after Contract 4, Lost and Found

Hmm, if wanted to look my best? I'd get my hands on a dress, something simple, probably a gradient of black to red, pleated. With some nice sheer stockings and flats. I'll admit I don't actually know much about dresses, so maybe it would take me a while to find but nothing google can't fix. Getting ready before is where things get properly complex. My priority would be shaving, making sure I'm spotless takes a lot of time. After spending thirty, maybe forty five minutes shaving next would be makeup. Normally I don't wear any, but I always keep a stock of foundation to help hide the 5-o'clock shadow. That also takes an annoying amount of time but worthwhile in the long run. Once I'm all good and ready, I spend an hour at home reading and or watching a comfort show. If I'm going out chances are I'll be talking to people an that's already sub optimal, I need to take time to myself and make sure I'm comfortable in my own skin before heading out.

Honestly, I'd rather wear a suit. But I can't really wear a suit and still avoid getting called "Sir".

13. What will you do for your next birthday?

Link Answered after Contract 4, Lost and Found

Normally, I'd just get stoned and re-watch some antique horror movies. But now that being stoned is out the window, I don't really know... Maybe I'd invite Quinn over and play some cards? And also watch antique horror movies? I'm really not good at planning this kind of thing and I'm not even used to celebrating. In my experience, birthday parties were stuffy affairs without much fun where I was supposed to be on my best behavior. Now that I can't even eat a cake I'm kind of aimless. Oh! I'll take a hike. Washington has some amazing spots and I haven't really had a chance to look at any. Besides, some time away from everything would probably do me some good.