Los Angeles: Land of the Young
太真欧阳 – Taizhen Ouyang, Jenny Yang to simple-minded Westerners, Nian to Awakened.
For most people, the Awakening comes as a giant surprise; a lifting of the veil so sudden and strange as to be unfathomable. But for Jenny, her parents knew: it would happen, eventually. Her mother came from a long line of willworkers, after all, and her father was a prominent member of the Mysterium – with parents like hers, it had to be genetic, somehow. More than just blind luck, but perhaps some kind of biological, almost-divine providence. Regardless of the why it happened just the same, mere months before her sixteenth birthday – earlier than most, but not entirely uncommon.
To say Jenny was a smart girl would be an understatement: blessed with a photographic memory, she excelled in school without being a complete social outcast, though her mother’s overbearing qualities (a typical tiger trait) prevented her from partaking in activities normal of girls her age. No sleepovers, no video games, no AOL, no school dances or ice cream socials: just schoolwork, rigorous piano lessons, and a near-constant pressure to perform. When she Awakened, piano went out the window – which was great, given her complete lack of rhythm – and instead she was thrown head first into the particular culture of Mages her parents surrounded themselves with.
She learned their language, accepted her Path, and studied under some of the Mysterium’s best and brightest – before it all became just too fucking much, and she disappeared. Packing her things from her home in the OC, she took a handful of books and enough clothes and cash to get by, before taking off while her parents were out of town. Once, she had dreams of going to school and doing something important with her life – be a doctor, maybe – but now she’s just happy to be surviving in LA, in her crappy studio apartment with her crappy jobs, tending bar and writing papers for lazy graduate students online.