Ship: Airship Isabella
Job: Midshipman and self-proclaimed Jargoneer
Age: 24 (?)
Race: Human, with biomechanical lungs
Hometown: City formerly known as Philly
Date of Birth: who knows? '24' is just an educated age guess. Jonesy doesn't really care, and in her experience, age doesn't matter much.
Polite sometimes, exuberant sometimes, withdrawn sometimes, curious always. Jonesy did not grow up with much training in civility/manners/social mores of any kind. She's learned much about these things, and from many cultures, in her time aboard the Isabella, but chooses to practice them only when necessary. She has become aware of her strangeness, and sees no need to change it for the comfort of others. She has a passion for visuals, for worlds, and an unquenchable desire to create her own: on paper, canvas, and anything else she can make marks upon. She wants to learn, grow, and see. Her absolute confidence in her own point of view can cut both ways, as it sometimes ignites a stubborn frustration in her. Her constant questioning of herself and the world around her can confuse her, and she is empathetic to a fault. She is easily distracted, often lost in thought, and often misjudged as either foolish or crazy.
My name is Jonesy Radovan. I chose it myself, having no taste for the name my parents gave me. I write this deep in the bowels of the air ship Isabella, where the cacophony of boilers and steam drown out the thunder in my head, and grant me the focus to write my life down just the way my idols before me have done.
As I write this, I have sailed with the good pirates of the Isabella and Dulcimer for over one year. And how much of me has changed in that time! I look to the past like a dark cocoon, and while I dwelt within I could not see the way it suffocated me.
I was born in one world (neither I nor any others knew the vast infinity of worlds that existed alongside our own), at the end of an era. At the time, my people regarded it as the end of the world, but it was merely the end of them. I lived my childhood years in hiding with my family and a small community of "survivors", never knowing, even to this day, what we had survived. Even the End of the World was not enough to change what truths parents hide from their children. I have in my mind a few distorted stories of the past, but all I knew then of the environment was an oily green sky, an earth of brown dirt and charred bone, scattered piles of brick and crumbled cement blocks, cracked concrete, twisted remnants of mechanical wonders. As a child I would sit for hours and stare at these iron carcasses, imagining what they might once have done, when they creaked with life and vented breaths of steam.
Our time as a community was spent scavenging what could still be used from the lost era of my parents. Medicines, canned food, scraps, remains. Much of it looked salvageable, only to reveal its worthlessness later. Many adults died after risking suspect cans of fruit. The fish lay dead upon the shores of our muddy ocean, and we dared not eat them. Rats and cockroaches teemed around us, and those we ate only after scraping off the outer layers and boiling the (hopefully) uncontaminated insides.
All this may seem intolerable to you who have grown up knowing "civilization", but to me and the other children of my era, it was simply life. We knew nothing else, and so took the lessons of our parents and flourished. We developed a sense for danger that they could never hone. Many of the adults of that bygone Civilized Era could not adapt, could not live without the comforts and crutches of a world now lost; their world had change overnight from a rainforest to a desert, and their inability (and, I think, unwillingness) to accept this change tore a wide rift between the old and the young.
When I was something over a decade old, the adults made the decision to leave, head west, search for better living. To many, even the children, this sounded excellent, even vital, for food was running short, and no other groups of people had wandered through our ruined domain in years. We could not scavenge in this place much longer.
I knew, even at that young age, that I could not leave.
The lonely hours of my friendless childhood, I had spent among the ruins of this city of my parents. I had glimpsed books, and fragments of beauty. I had begun to learn. With charcoal-burnt shards of bone I made lines on concrete, on walls. I made images of faces, and hands, and birds. I saw pieces of a world that had never existed, through a shred of canvas, and through a few legible pages of a book. I dug into basements and found a wealth of pictures and words squirreled away. I'd told no one, and I would never leave it. I felt so much more for these fragments of imagination than I felt for the people around me. I would not leave it all behind, and in my child's mind I believed that no other place of such knowledge and mystery could exist anywhere else.
I hid in one of my basements. The group gave up after a week of searching, and for that I bear them no ill will. They did what they had to do, as I had done.
The next span of time, I remember as a blur. I grew up, and the tale of my survival is another story altogether; I'll recount it another time. Our main concern is the Isabella, and the how and why of my joining her crew.
I had come to realize, as I got older, that the air in my empty city was toxic. Brief walks to the nearest border became more and more difficult; I often returned wheezing and coughing. A stockpile of old inhalers from several defunct pharmacies was quickly running out, and the older inhalers did not relieve me at all. I knew that I could stock up and strike west as my forebears had done, but the journey was worthless to me (fool that I was).
-Jonesy realizes that her breathing problems are due to the toxic atmosphere of her world. She stockpiles old inhalers from wrecked pharmacies across the ruined city, but there aren't very many, and she steadily weakens. She's been drawing faces all over the dead city with chalk rock and charcoal, but her forays are rarer and shorter.
-The Isabella comes to this dimension. Cap convinces Jonesy to join them, and she reluctantly says farewell to her fragmented museum and her strange family of silent drawings. Dr Vale gives her a new set of biomechanical lungs. Rumor has it that his first word to her, upon seeing her lying naked on the operating table, was "boobs".
© Airship Isabella 2012