Jacqueline O’Brien is the sister of John O’Brien and the aunt of Constance.
She and her brother were raised in a blue collar working class home, but Jackie turned out polar opposite from her brother. She was wild, artistic, free thinking and free spirited and a social butterfly who grew into a attraction point for various artistic and esoteric cliques across New Albion.
In junior high Jackie’s first sexual awakenings were all with other girls, but for the most part those girls all graduated to boys soon after. Jackie assumed this was going to happen to her and in early high school tried dating boys whose company she honestly enjoyed and found interesting. However she could just not muster up any sexual attraction to them, not like she had for girls, and midway through high school finally gave up and accepted her lesbianism.
Jackie blossomed in college although not necessarily as a conscientious student. She had a range of interests and studied feverishly the fringe subjects she was interested in and barely touched or showed up at the required (or “mainstream”) ones. Socially she exploded. The Voodoopunks were in full swing in that time and a vooodoo subculture based around crazy, fringe religious beliefs, wild drug fueled parties where rituals were performed to call forth and be possessed by the dead was practically made for her. She was a major player in the Voodoounk scene.
Jackie’s social nature was a hunger for diverse and wildly entertaining viewpoints. In fact Jackie was fast gaining the reputation as the one who knew everyone. If there was one person who had their hands in every colorful group you could think of, from painters to musicians, radical scholars to circus performers to Voodoopunks, it was Jackie.
Her parties would be legendary, but this is still to come. First came Dorothy.
Jackie met Dorothy in her mid 20s. They were both voodoopunks, both interested in art and when Jackie ran into Dorothy yet again at a lodge meeting for gothic Rosicrucians she knew she was smitten. The two of them fell in love quickly and utterly. Jackie did sometimes wish their courtship had been slower so every little agonizing detail of the emotional and physical seduction could have been enjoyed even more fully, but the fact is they were made for each other and they both knew it, so they fell in love fast and hard.
For the next decade they not only shined as a couple, but were a bright light in the New Albion fringe scene. Dorothy came from an immensely wealthy family and had inherited a large, lavish house. They would throw the most amazing parties with the absolute most interesting people. Their parties were where different spheres of art, culture and esotericism would collide, meet and trade ideas.
They were both extremely active in the voodoopunks, both in the rituals and in the anarchic political arm. Jackie was always a bit more involved than Dorothy, who to be honest didn’t care about the political end at all, but who was none the less enthralled by the scene and the rituals.
When the riots came, when the crackdown came, when the purges came, it was Dorothy they came for.
Jackie’s loss of Dorothy will be explored in greater detail in Act 3 of the Dieselpunk Opera so we won’t dwell on it here, but it should be stated that after Dorothy’s arrest and execution Jackie gained a dark side. To be clear, she was still, as always, an amazingly generous person, open and eager for new and intriguing ideas and people, but there was a dark tinge to her now. Her heart had been broken. Her dislike for the establishment turned to cold, dark hatred and anyone associated with it she could felt only disdain for at best if not full out vile hatred.
Times were now different. Everyone of interest kept their heads down as New Albion shifted into a very different type of social landscape. The Voodoopunks went underground, literally. An entire Background should probably be written about the Voodoopunks so we won’t get into them here, but Jacqueline remained highly involved. Now that the group was hunted, those left became more militant and hard core, and this suited Jacqueline just fine. When the revolution began many Voodoopunks became active as rebels, Jackie amongst them.
She inherited Dorothy’s house and fortune. Dorothy had left everything to Jackie in an utterly airtight will, so Jackie maintained the house and used her wealth and position as the person who knew everyone to keep various groups funded, running, and in touch with each other. While some Voodopunks lived in the tunnels underneath New Albion and other rebels formed bands or took over streets and neighborhoods or instigated acts of revolutionary violence, Jackie led a double life. She continued to live in the wealthiest district of New Albion and maintain a superficial appearance in regular society. She was vastly more valuable with a hand in all worlds and as a source of much needed money then if she had run off to live underground.
She and her brother John were never close. Not as children and as adults they barely spoke, not out of spite but out of simple disinterest. However when John’s wife was killed by the rebel bomb he showed up at his sister’s mansion with Constance. He proceeded to fall apart and disappeared mysteriously soon after.
Jackie then found herself with a very troubled teenage girl to raise.
Jackie was not really cut out to raise an angry, troubled teenage girl like a parent, but she was cut out to be a source of love and comfort. She did not provide discipline nor did she constrict Constance’s movements which might have been wise as Constance was out of control, but she did provide Constance with a source of unconditional love and was there for her at key times and circumstances, always without judgement. I could give some really touching examples, but this is done a little in Act 2 so i don’t want to ruin it.
Eventually Constance goes her own way (and changes her name to Inanna, for reasons not appropriate to discuss here) and Jackie’s involvement with the Voodoopunks and the rebels begins to reach an interesting fruition.