Cid Wallerd thinks he’s dying of creative atrophy, and wants nothing more than to create things that are meaningful. The problem, of course, is that he has absolutely no skill sets worth mentioning, and absolutely no talent.
When he couldn’t get permission to use school equipment to make his film, he came up with enough money to buy equipment for his own studio, which he’s calling “film club” to trick other students into working for free.
No one is sure where the money came from, and he isn’t talking.
Mei Li is an extrovert from a culture that told her she shouldn’t be. Fortunately, not speaking the best English is a great cover up for the social skills she doesn’t quite have. She’s working toward a high enough TOEFL score that she can stay in a U.S. school. Ultimately, she plans on getting a business degree.
She stumbled into Cid’s makeshift film club and liked the idea of being on camera, so here she is.
A student from Taiwan, Zhang has his fingers in the Alexandria night scene, where he is a popular local DJ with semi-regular gigs at the bars the younger students love and the older ones avoid like a disease. He also puts mixes up on Youtube, and have about a thousand subscribers divided between Taiwan and the U.S.
He loves detective stories, and is working on a screen play about cyberpunk detectives. In space. Oy.
Perpetually single, incapable of talking to girls (let alone women), and letting himself go physically, Scott is certain that his only shot at successfully procreating is to become insanely wealthy.
He doesn’t actually attend Alexandria University — he just never moved away from his college town. He has enough credit hours for a degree, but he’s never graduated, because he’s that special sort of disorganized that bureaucracies thrive on abusing.
Scott’s resumes all claim an advanced degree in Archaeology. He’s convinced that no one reads the damn things, anyway. Status: employed at gas station.
Sera’s full name is actually Seraphim’s Joy of Song. Her uncle, Frank O’Sladery, rescued her from his hyper-religious, cultist brother, who was about to move his family into a compound. There was a prolonged custody battle, very little of which Sera remembers. Despite the deeply religious vein in her family — Frank is WASP through and through — she does her best not to think about religion.
Sera has Frank convinced that she’s majoring in Nursing, but she’s actually gone into Theater.
Her goal in life is to acquire the rights to Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and MacGyver so that she can create the most awesome crossover ever.
Skyler’s majoring in communication with an emphasis in PR, but is thinking about switching over to Alexandria University’s film production program, if the professors there can convince her that it’s not just some Midwestern money-dump mascarading as a real program. After all, the coasts are where people make movies and shows.
A history buff, Skyler perpetually has a novel on the backburner, and goes to SCA events, where she’s known as Coeur de Leon, and remains nearly undefeated in heavy fighting–armored combat with live swords.
Li Jing "Coco" Liu
Coco is in the U.S. to make money, nothing more and nothing less. She sends most of what she makes home to her father, who is rapidly growing too frail to keep his small meat business open.
She’s working toward a Bachelor’s degree in theater because she won a full-ride scholarship in a video competition. The video she made — a primer on how and why to run a VPN — largely won because the Department of Languages and Communication went to bat for her. They went to bat for her because, while she was an exchange student, since she made very sure that her professors were at least tangentially aware of her father.
She’s running a side-business that she doesn’t particularly want her friends to find out about; at night, she becomes Lady Lust Fu Wang, a live cam girl, and sex-talk podcaster. It’s become lucrative without her realizing it, and on top of the money coming in from Cid’s film front, she’s deciding whether to set up shop permanently in the U.S., or retire comfortably back home and take care of her father.
She misses China, but the prospect of returning home to become a “Leftover Woman” gives her pause. She’s also concerned that someone back home might learn of her sex website in the U.S., which would almost certainly carry legal repercussions.
If only there were clues.
but there are no clues. do not look for them.
Ţ̴̙͔̈̋̂̂͟ḣ̩̜̖̤̍́ḛ̥̯̮ͣͣ̏ͩ̎̂ͧŗ̶͕͇͎͆ͭ̆͆͜é̟͚̆̃ͭ̔ͦ̔͆͠ ̻̺͉̆̇̔͠ĭ̝͙ͦ̅ͥͬͤ͜͝ͅs̹̬͂̉ͯ͗̌ͨ͞ ̙̭͖̱̊͌n̶̮͇̪̞̣͐̃͡o̯͉͓͕̍̍́ͨ̅̃̑ͭ̀̕t̛̹̠ͥ͋̐ḩ̥̲̣͕͙̥̓̄̏͋̔͛́͡ị̻̣̲̤̈̐̿̔̍ͫ̊ņ̸̺̼͉̲̯ͯ̑̿ͭ̾̾͑ͬͯ͘g͉̱͇̱̺̰̖̓ͭ̐͐͒͊̓̃̏ ̢̪̳͉̚͡ͅa̴̟̟̬̳̣͍͇͔̓ͯ̎̒̓ͩ̕n͓̲̰͂͐̑̄͟d̞̘̭̤̖̬̺̓̈́̋̆͢ͅ ͂̇͒͛̒͋͏̞̳̖̯̕͝ͅý͎̠̫̃̆̾̌o̶̒̾͐͌҉͓̻̞̜u̶̼̘̩̮͉͋ͦͦ̓̉̈͗͋ ̯̬̞͍̖̺̺̠̒̓ͨ̑̿a̞̣̺ͤͧ̉r̶̰̜̰̲͙̬̻̅͞ȅ͙̌ͭ̈̎͟ ͎̂ͣ͠ͅn̴̖͚̺̲̠̈́ͬ͑ͧ̓ͫͨ̑̉̕oͮͬ̒̃̓͏̱͔̀t̸̩̯͇̲̅̄̌h̹͇̜̺̱͌̆̅ͨ̀͒ỉ̡̲̝͕̭̖̏̀̓̋͒̈̉ṋ̜͎͇̹̮̭̝̊̊̀̕g̗͈ͧ̌ͮͮ̈̾ͯ͌ͅ.̵̗̩͙̞̃̃̈͛̎ ̠̯͕̦̗̋͐̑̐ͣ̎L̪̖̬̪̘̞̮͐̒Ȏ̤̮̝̟͈̾̊̋̊ͮ͢͠ͅO̴̬̫̪̙̬͙̦̐ͧ̏͐̽ͬͯK̢̘͚͖ͧ̋͒͐̒ͨ̐ ̠͓̱̠͎̌́͠B̞̠͙̙͉͔͖͈̑̈́̈̈͗̂ͫ̽E̓̔̎͞͏̙̦Ỵ̳̤̭̮͕͚̼̆ͮͩͣͅO͈̫̼͙͉̟͇͉̊̆̐̔ͮͬͯN̏̆͐̈҉͓̥͚̦̜̩͎͈͇͡D̯̮̩̣̘̙̝̝̮̃̇̕͡ ̖̦͓ͤͦͧ̐̋ͧ͞Ṯ̴̻̹͚͓̣ͫH̙̩̤̹̠͕̰̠̽ͪ͡ͅẸ̢̺͍̜̒͠ ̃̌̾ͧ͢͠҉͎̫V̟͙͎̈̃ͮ̈́̒̌Ę̩͕̣̯̤̓̑̽̆͋̀͟I̸̴͕͔͎̗̜̭̽̉̊̔̐̚Lͣ̈͆̎ͫ͏̴҉̱̻̝̹̹͓ ̽̓ͫͭͯ͋̑̕҉̦̠̦͕͘Ä̧̛̠̯̝̙̦̟͔́͛̈́ͅTͣ̂́̔͑ͩ҉̡̰̠̘͍̘̣̜̟̯̕ ͉͎̥̹̺̬͂̊̓̋̉̕͞Y̤̭͎̪͉̓ͭ̒͌ͤ͑̾̑O̷͖̳͎͖̜͚͕ͯ͊̓̂͊͗ͭ́U̧̖̱͎͎̱͈ͧ̽́ͭͦͮͨ̈́̚R̯̮̗̟͇̙̔̿̎͆̓ͤ͢ ̙̫͈͐͟͡O͍̣͓͉̮̜̞̣ͫ̌̾͗ͅW̶̯̞̻̤̜̩̗͎ͦͥ͠Ṅ̻̻̫̲̭̙̅ͬ̎́ ̓́̽͋ͥͥ͂̎̚͠҉͕̯̩̟̳̥̣͖̕ͅP̣̺̖͖̦͉͋͘Ê̫͎͆̉ͨ͋͌̈̓͢R̴̗̓̈̏̑͌̌͑͗Į̩͎̞̤̠͖͎̬ͦ̄ͨ͊̾̉̆͢͝L̲̮̼̻̙̯̻̟̋̚.̭̱͕̹̰͔̱̞͇̂̇͌ͫ͘͞ ̛͕̪̭̙̬͙̜ͯ̂̽̏̋͑̚͢͜T̶̠͔͇͇̠̺̯͔̀ͭ͗̂ͦͨ̓͜ͅų͈̻͍͍͔̊̎ͤͤ̎̑ͮ̆r̴̼͇͒ͣ͌̈͒͟ͅn͙̹̝͙ͮ͗̈̄ ̨̟͍͇̝͑ͯ̍̊̔a̠̖ͬ͢w̴̝̯̭̞̞̿ͣ͞a͛ͤ҉͚̠̺͙͖̖̲͡ͅy̵̖͎͔͓̫̬̺̤̋ͮ̂̋͜ ̝͓̃̏̓ͤ̆͟n̻̻͍̳̼̆͋͜͡ŏ̃ͪ̌͆̊̈́҉̫̬̘w̰͍ͮ̑̚͘.̝͙͈̖͋̂ ̶̧̟̭̤͙̭̤͈ͤ͒ͮͫ̐̊̒̐D̴̨̢̰̺̳̹̤̠̘͎̠͒ͫ̿͒͗̚o̵̙͚͍̗̙̰͂̅͂ͨ̂̿̓ͅ ̨͇̬͙̤̅͐͐̈̀n̴͓̬̲̺̔̈́̔͛̑͊͒ó̧͍̭t̹̘̒͗̎ͣ͠ ̼̹̭̙̉̉͗͆̉̎̇͐͘͞q̨̞͍̰̝͚̖̥̦̐ͧ͋͛̚͡ͅu̡̦͖͎͔͋̽͢͝ḙ̭̫̬̗̏̏s̴̫̯̠͕͚̄̌̎͐̆͢t̷̤͎̉̐͘ͅḯ̭̘̟̭ͧo͔͓̻ͭ̊̓̄́͞ͅn̶̢͇̺̙͔̥̞̺̲̩͒̈͜.͚͚͚̪̜̇̂ͤ͆ ̶͓̳͖̮̱̙̥͛͌ͮ̀͗ͪ̀̐O͎̳̫͎̮̯̗̫͕ͫ̓ͦͥ̀͠ñ̛̖̯̗͔͗l̰̮̺̯͒͛ͪ̌͝ý̧̠ͥ ̩̹ͩ̑͜e̬͉̙̺̝ͦͫ̌̀m͈͆̉̓ͫ̌͌̽̍ͅb͖̩̳̩̟̲̮ͪ̅ͯ̈̾͛̚r͊͞҉͍̳̣á̡̳̘̗̒ͮ̾͌ͦ̓̄͜cͪ͐ͨͪ͏̶͇͇e̠̺͔͉͙̿͊̆̑͐.̪̜̭͇̲̩̥́̀