I was talking to a friend about that event, and I’m trying to think about how to explain it to people. If you don’t know Pern or PernMUSH, this means nothing to you.
It’s something that ‘made my name’ and it’s something I’m not proud of. In a way, I wish I had planned it, so I could say that I am the bitch people think I am, but the truth is the whole shitstorm was an unplanned clusterfuck.
I went to Igen Weyr @ PernMUSH and applied for a gold. My friend had applied blue, another bronze, and I was the only one who got searched. I hung around, making friends with a couple of people, and ended up impressing a gold. I had one ‘friend’ on Search Co, who told me she abstained from voting on me. So … yay? I ‘won a gold’ on my own merits. I ended up meeting the Senior WW, Katany, in real life, and Tilani as well, and they were both nice, if mildly neurotic people. So was I, mind, but they were cool enough.
As I was Junior, I got to RP, help out and pretty much chill. Time went on, Katany burnt out, and I just offered to pick up slack until she felt she could step down. Then one day I log in and she’s stepped down, I’m the boss and she never told the other juniors. Whoops. I apologized, we all made a tentative peace, and moved on. The real problem was not the other juniors, but the alt of the former-former Senior. Shandra.
Shandra had been a PernMUSH Wizard for years. In my time as a junior, I’d become friends with her headwoman alt, chatted a lot, and I swept her odd behavior under the rug. Then she wasn’t a wizard anymore and our characters had an IC relationship and things were fine. As time went on, I realized I didn’t like my character being ICly involved with hers, and told her so. She got mad, rightly so, but was mostly upset I hadn’t talked to her about it. I countered I was talking to her, but that I had thought about it and we were better friends ICly. She said I couldn’t just make decisons to affect her character without her permission, I said ‘Fuck that, never dating another player’s character EVER again’ and it ended badly.
Well now I was senior and she was convinced I was out to get her, or at least that’s what it looked like she thought. I had no such desires. She was active, she did stuff for the non-riders. Awesome. Then she started to question everything I did. The Weyrlingmaster had dated a weyrling in the previous clutch, and I told her she couldn’t be the weyrlingmaster anymore. Shandra was mad. I decided to shorten the search app. This was bad. It went on and on, until a week didn’t go by without her threatening to quit.
Finally I said “If she threatens to quit one more time, I’m going to accept.” She did. I did. She reneged, and I said “Fine, you’re fired. We can’t keep doing this.” It went poorly, and at a certain point I said “This is not a democracy. You’re fired.” She was welcome to stay at Igen, but I couldn’t work with her anymore and it was stupid of us to keep trying. In the end, she ‘accepted’ this and logged off.
Now, my friend Celie thought it was great, since she hated Shandra. Also, Shandra was known for saying ‘This is not a democracy’ as her excuse for declaring fiat! and doing what she wanted. A lot of people thought I did this on purpose, that it was all a huge plan, but really, no. It just popped into my head as the thing to say.
A couple hours later, she logged in and mailed everyone to tell them that I’d fired her, and that she wished they could clap and bring her back to life (Tinkerbell reference, folks). I posted publicly that it had been a falling out, and while I’d wished we could have worked it out, it wasn’t going to happen and I was sorry. One or two people left the Weyr because of it. A few more told me I was strong for what I did. It was a blip on the radar, really, but it strongly affected me.
I don’t get ‘invested’ with other people’s characters anymore. Ever. Be it tabletop or online, I keep things as friends. If they die, they die. If they go crazy, I’m out. But every player knows I’m mellow and not serious about ‘relationships.’ I make disposable characters. I also am much more circumspect with how I deal with people. I don’t tell them everything, I don’t get details on them. We’re acquaintances. And I feel glad and frustrated about that, even now, almost a decade later.
There is no moral to this story, it’s just a story that’s been sitting there, in bits and pieces, for a long time. It needed to come out.