Within every penman there's a flourish, within every tactician there's a trap. But Marilla Marcellus is an achiever, and the only thing that follows achievers is success.
Enamoured by opportunity, the ambitious Capitolite found herself caught between her past and her future. Behind her laid ruin, failure and a deep regret; She has a child out there in the great unknown. Somewhere lost, likely confused, or maybe none of the above at all. She will never know. But ahead of her was evermore unknown. Held among hopes and dreams were the realities of her situation. She was destined for greatness, with a quick wit, an elastic charm and the ability to manipulate circumstance to suit her means.
Marilla was estranged, once. There was a coercive mother of hers always in the corner, always expecting the greatest of things. It became extremely impossible to resist the urge to escape, somehow, and transform into a savage just to be out width her own home. The woman underpinned everything Marilla achieved with a note of disappointment. Not good enough. Simply flawed. It never left Ms. Marcellus feeling like a diamond, but a rough garnet in a pile of dirt. She would come home from school, stressed, bullied, to a parent with the ambition of a President. Expectations were a landslide of emotions weighing down upon the young Marilla, and it kept teetering on the edge of meltdown week in week out.
These struggles continued to linger even after her mother passed. It wasn't poison, but some semblance of Marilla's psyche wished it had have been. Insidious thoughts were only the start.
When it came to society, lifestyle and particular habits, Marilla knew only that she was put into her skin suit only to find a role of power and influence. Her means were meagre, but her own expectations were already set. She would have what she desired most, come hell or high water. She enrolled in societal studies, kept up with the latest goings on within the Capitol. She learned how to persuade the rumour mill to function in her favour, and the odds began to sway. She amassed a following, people that listened to her. Scientists who would advise her best, publicists who would spill secrets for the chance at an interview. She became, what is considered to some, iconic. Her mannerisms changed. She adopted an eloquent Capitol accent and spoke to the people with a charisma that she had practiced and perfected, nurtured like a child she never had. And, then there was that.
Now in a position to aim higher, dream bigger, the girl that was once afraid had restored the confidence to stand up to those that would make passes at degrading her character. Defamation was a myth once more, and slander filtered down into the sewers where those that spewed such filth belonged, and likely remained.
She found the love of her life. Two people from separate areas of the Capitol. Chance intervened. Who would have thought that Marilla Marcellus, researcher and provocateur of proper thinking, would marry a cameraman. And so the reporters did laugh. Each to their own, they said. Follow your heart, sometimes (they also said). It was the ridicule that she had thought to escape, and now it involved somebody as innocent as she used to be.
It was an effort to protect him, maybe. To have pushed him out of her life in as slow a way as they fell to love. The gradual resentment... Could she have happiness? It didn't seem so. Denied of one more pocket of joy that everyone else seemed to possess.
He left on his own accord, yet it was her design. For his own good, she figured, to be away from the cyclone of ridicule that followed their relationship, even if the only embarrassment was at the beginning. It poisoned the rest.
In some time between him leaving and the next chapter of her life, there was a time where she was with child. When that child was born, the hospital staff knew the prearranged plan. She held them. She cried over them, and she let that child go into the system. She pushed the child away, too.
And she never spoke of it since, but it didn't stop her from acting on her self sabotage. To this day, years into the future, she seeks the child. She wants to observe, in some motherly means, what has become of them. She wants to ensure the child is safe.
The only way she knew how, was to run for High Council. To prove to herself, and the idea of her child that she was no longer bowing down beneath predatory ridicule, underestimating bureaucrats and the media.
The High Council may have all it needs in the way of bravado, ego, tacticians and manipulators. But what it lacks in tenacity, determination, and true diligence it will make up for in Marilla Marcellus. Ruthless, yes. Cruel, no. She thinks herself both the epitome of Capitolite royalty, yet the martyr that people can relate to. She believes herself to be the common ground that the people, the staff, and the other council members should likely look to.