Miss Carolina Arundel
The megacity of Londinium is divided in to the bio-dome covered region, known as "The City", and its five bio-domed districts, "Guildford", "Tonbridge", "Reading", "The Thames Valley", and "St. Albans". Outside of these regions lie the areas known as "Dark Londinium", slum settlements full of the survivors of "The Last Great War", who eke out a living in the polluted lands under the watchful eye of their neighbouring bio-domed districts. Travel between the districts or their outlying regions is exceptionally limited, and as such, Carolina Arundel, who performs as Carolina Vox, is unique amongst musicians for regularly travelling between the districts as well as occasionally performing within The City. Unlike many musicians Carolina does not shun the outlying areas of Dark Londinium and has been known to perform concerts in venues outside of the bio-domes. Her shows run for multiple nights in special venues known as "Audioniums". Her genre is an Operatic Dark Techno mix, but this is only part of her appeal. Audioniums use a combination of music, visual displays, and drug-laced vapours to create a unique sensory experience for audience members. In addition to her music Carolina also manages these aspects of her shows. These experiences excite, titillate and occasionally push the boundaries of what is acceptable within the socially conservative bio-domed districts. Her popularity, and family connections allow society's upper classes to overlook some of her eccentricities; not least that she spent several years living outside the bio-dome, and that she is rumoured to have a female partner. In Dark Londinium, she embodies a rebellious counter culture, and also acts as an example to many young musicians who dream of escaping the outlying regions and finding a place within the bio-domed cities. However, Londinium does not see her as a real threat.
Carolina is petite, with slender arms and legs, her aubern hair, styled in a close bob, frames her face and brings out the colour in her eyes. She wears clothes at least a size larger than would normally be suitable, which emphasises her small stature and, by design, hides her body shape, which she does not believe should be people's focus.
Carolina's snow white skin, deep brown eyes and tendency to wear only minimal make-up is in keeping with her views on feminity within the city and districts of Londinium. People who meet her note often note the apparent depth to her eyes, and comment on the almost unblinking stare she has as she assesses people.
Apparel & Accessories
Known on the music scene for her large fake leather jacket, with distinctive orange trim, as well as her tendency to wear gender neutral works overalls and heavy set boots, Carolina is nothing if not distinct in her fashion sense. On the rare occassions that she has performed within The City dictates have required that she wear garb that the residents consider more appropriate, while she has always complied it has been on sufferance.
The LossBorn two years after The Last Great War, within the Reading district, Carolina's early childhood was marked by illnesses. At the time, the bio-dome over Reading was still being constructed and toxic winds often blew in from the wastelands. Luckily, Carolina had a rich aunt in the more affluent district of Guildford; at the age of 3 Carolina's parents arranged for her a short recuperation. Carolina would never return to her parents, within days her aunt informed her that both her parents had died of a lung infection.
The LieCarolina's aunt was the childless Governess of the Guildford District, she was good to Carolina. However, Carolina still carried a great sadness about the death of her parents. Carolina's aunt believed that music could heal her niece's heartbreak and so Carolina had lessons and learned to play a range of classical instruments, including Clarinet, Violin, Cello, Flute, and Harp, but it was at singing that Carolina excelled. Her aunt doted upon her, and Carolina loved her aunt, but as she grew in age and confidence a rebellious streak arose within her. There was a new genre of music sweeping the slums that surrounded the bio-domed areas of the city, called Dark Techno Music, it was raw, powerful, defiant and spoke to the pain that Carolina had never let go. She began to sneak away from school to hang out with a group of young musicians practicing out of an abandoned warehouse north of the bio-dome; to their heavy rifts her operatic vocals brought forth a deep emotional tone that resonated to all who heard it. It was not long before her aunt found out and limted her movements. Initially this angered Carolina, but she loved music and persisted with her practices, her aunt assuring her that she could get a place within the Operatic Guild and access to The City. Then it was all stolen away. One afternoon, aged 16, and bored of practicing the same pieces over and over again, Carolina snuck in to her aunt's private retiring room. While searching the shelves for a more interesting piece she found a stack of letters, bound in simple brown ribbon. On poor quality paper, in faded ink and written with a shaking hand was a terrible truth; her parents had not died when she was 3 years old. Instead, her aunt had refused to return her after her restbite. For years her parents had tried to contact her, they had begged and pleaded, offered supplication and beseeched her aunt's better nature, but it had fallen on deaf ears. Upon reading the letters a great fire erupted in Carolina. That evening, her aunt found Carolina and the letters waiting for her in the lounge. The conversation was brief but heated, her aunt did not deny the content, but chastised her for skulking around and for being unappreciative of the better life that she had given her. Carolina went to leave, her aunt threatened to cut her off if she left. Carolina left anyway.
The LoverInitially Carolina lived with her Dark Techno group, but it was a hard life. Many of them were without parents, often living in ruined buildings, and eating only when they could afford to or steal enough to survive. Opportunities for work were limited, for most, criminality was the only job going, and they were the sorts of jobs where you either "got good" or you "got dead". Within the space of 2 years almost everyone she had known "got dead". Carolina's talents as a singer saved her, and allowed her to gain work in the club of Jerome Drax. It was there that she met Jennifer Drax, Jerome's sister. Jerome's clubs were Audioniums, places which used music, visuals, and clouds of narcotics to create a transcendent way to experience music. For Carolina this was another revelation in her musical development, and she spent many hours talking and working with the technicians who ran and maintained those aspects of the show. Jerome did not appreciate the impact he felt this 19-year-old, mousy musician was having on his employees, but Jennifer insisted that he indulge her, and to even allow her to compose a few pieces for private clients. Jennifer's interventions drew Carolina to her. Their relationship was quiet, built in the moments they could snatch outside of Jerome's gaze. To Carolina, Jennifer was worldly and mysterious, a key part in her brother's operations, though initially Carolina did not know exactly what she did. A few months in to their relationship that Carolina discovered that Jennifer was an assassin, taking out low-level targets on behalf of her brother's operations. While the gritty nature of the work scared Carolina, she trusted Jennifer. Their liaison did not go unnoticed, Jerome continuing to be annoyed by the impact her felt Carolina was having on his sister, however Carolina was growing in popularity, and Jennifer continued to insist that he treat Carolina with respect.
The LiabilityDespite the difficult conditions in living outside the bio-dome, Carolina was finally starting to feel at home away from the long reach of her aunt, but it was not to be. Even though the corporate networks didn't server Dark Londinium, news reached them that the Governess, her aunt, was dying. It seemed that her aunt had finally offered a reward for her niece’s return, the likenesses that were circulated, while not taking in to consideration the effects of 3 years living outside the bio-dome, were a close enough match that Jerome made the connection. One evening, as she left the club, Jerome confronted her about it, she'd brushed off his suggestion that she was heiress to the Governess, but he persisted, following her in to the cold dark alley outside. Through planning or through luck Jennifer was just returning at the same time. Jerome shouted at Carolina, Carolina tried to ignore him, but he made a grab for her. Jennifer intervened, grabbing Jerome's wrist. Her steely gaze unwavering, Jennifer told him to back off, but Jerome was having none of it. He was sick of babysitting his sister, and indulging her stupid lover. As Carolina watched there was a flash of a blade as Jerome drew his knife. This was followed by a second flash as Jennifer drew hers. Jerome was strong, but Jennifer was quick, and in the acrid twilight Carolina watched as Jerome fell to the floor; a pool of blood, jet black, spread from his torso as Jennifer stood above him. Jennifer seemed completely calm, she entered the club, and returned with Andrius Drax, her cousin and Jerome's second in command. She told him how a rival gang had attacked Carolina, how Jerome had intervened, and been killed in the process. The week that followed was a blur, in Jennifer's apartment Carolina mainly slept. Her dreams filled with images of Jerome's face as he fell to the floor, or of her aunt, dying alone. When she was awake she cursed herself for her stupidity. Jennifer came and went, sort the fallout of Jerome's death. Andrius knew the story wasn't true, but Jerome's empire was now his, and he had big plans. Jennifer confirmed that her aunt was indeed dying, and still desperate to make amends with her lost 'daughter'. Jennifer assured her that Andrius was working on a way to get them both back within the bio-dome. Carolina was, by all accounts, soon to be a very wealthy heir.
The LiberationThree days later, dressed in a scruffy leather jacket with orange trim, and torn worker trousers Carolina was reunited with her aunt, while Jennifer waited awkwardly in the reception of the house, overseen by a butler who did little to hide his contempt. Carolina and her aunt spoke for hours, the contents of their discussion being too personal to respectfully share here, but in the end they were reconciled. Carolina, heir to one of the last great fortunes of Britain, would return to the bio-dome and engage her passion for music. Unwilling to lose the only person she had ever trusted Carolina arranged that Jennifer remain in the bio-dome, in time she would have many tasks, including assistant, bodyguard and eventually manager. While Carolina felt that her and Jennifer had an opportunity to start a new life, Jennifer was reluctant to leave her old world behind, and much to Carolina's chagrin, even continued to communicate and work for her cousin Andrius. Once Carolina has reached mass popularity Jennifer began to take advantage of their ability to travel between the districts to again work as an assassin, supporting her cousin's ever growing criminal empire by eliminating high value targets. Carolina considered dismissing Jennifer, but ultimately, her love and dependence upon her stayed her hand. For her part, Jennifer was expert assassin, and skilled at leaving no clues which prevented anything being tied back to her or Carolina.
Following her return, Carolina set about establishing a career as a performer, she focused on her love of Operatic Dark Techno Music, preferring to target Audioniums, where she used her experiences in Drax's club to compose whole experience-suites that she would then perform. Carolina was asked to make her music available on one of The Corporate Networks, however this would have limited its availability outside of the bio-domes and in areas where the corporations did not offer their services. Carolina did not want to limit her art and preferred to release the music part of her performances using an outdated technology known as 'Compact Disks. CDs had been popular at the turn of the millenium, before The Free Network (known as the internet) had allowed people to digitally access music. The Corporate Networks, shutdown The Free Network, and CDs became a common way for artists within Dark Londinium to share their music. Though no official statistics exist to confirm it, she is believed to be the highest selling artist within Dark Londinium.
After her aunts death Carolina tried to track down her parents, only to learn that they died when she was ten. The loss of her true family haunts her still. Carolina's relationship with her upbringing, and her subsequent fortune, is complex. She feels like a fraud within the bio-domed circles, but she feels ashamed that she has had to accept some of their expectations to create her music. Because of this, she can quickly shift in mood, sometimes appearing to be articulate and sensible, before acting in rebellious or obstructive ways. Carolina has some behavioural quirks, and a fondness for ritualistic behaviour which she seems to use to comfort herself. One example, is her insistence that venues provide her with a pot of Earl Grey tea, which her aunt use to serve her before she performed. Witnessing the murder of Jerome by Jennifer still upsets Carolina. She loves Jennifer but Jennifer continues to work as an assassin for her cousin Andrius and this make Carolina uneasy.
Morality & Philosophy
Despite her young age Carolina has seen both sides of district life, and is aware of how differently things could have gone for her. Her music is her passion, but she also sees it as a vehicle to share messages about social justice. Her most popular song "Dark City, Dark Mind" is a politically charged song, that cannot be played with The City.
Date of Birth
23rd March 2038
The Reading District
Quotes & Catchphrases
If Music has no power why are so many afraid of it? Why do they need to sanitize it, or sensor it? They attempt to make it palatable, to smooth out it's rough edges and wrap it in corporately controlled faux-joy.