Temperance is, first and foremost, a politician. One that works for the ECLU, but all of her focus is towards the equal rights for Evolutes. She looks at the big picture, and often does her best to plan several steps ahead. She is confident, somewhat self-important, and willing to do almost whatever it takes to get her way in things.
Her position means she very rarely has time to herself. She is constantly on the move, whether to a legal case, meeting, or gala. At this point in her life, she doesn’t know how not to be busy. Even when she has time where she is not officially working, she is usually on her computer, filling out forms or looking for new donors and cases. She is a workaholic, but her job requires her to be. She also doesn’t have many people to call her on it.
It’s because she doesn’t have many close friends that there are few people who notice that she can be quite two-faced. In public, she can be friendly, charming, verbose, opinionated. In private, she is quiet, reserved, and depending on how much she’s had to be on that day, irritable. It is almost impossible for a woman who is in the limelight as much as Temperance is to actually have a private life. But she does try. In her views, it’s the only way to compensate for seeing too much of other people’s lives—by keeping her own under tight wraps. And in that, her desire for control shines through as well. Relationships are on her terms, whether friendships or romantic.
That said, she still likes helping people. This is why she won’t turn down anyone who approaches her, whether for a discrimination case or for a more personal request to use her powers on someone’s behalf.
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Temperance was born to Richard and Margie Jackson. She was the second child. They had a son, Jordan, who was five years older. She was also the first Evolute born to that branch of the family, and at her birth, her parents had serious discussions. Could they handle her gift? If they couldn’t, what would they do? But overall, Temperance was a happy child. She loved chasing after Jordan, playing outside and having fun with other kids. Despite her name, she was impetuous, impatient and inclined to get into trouble.
But this changed when, at 9, her powers manifested.
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Of course Temperance had no control over her powers at the start. Why would she? But this made it extremely uncomfortable for her parents. It’s hard to calm a crying child when picking her up can show you both things that shouldn’t be seen by a child. For a year, her parents tried, but after a couple of months Temperance wouldn’t let anyone but her brother touch her. And even that stopped after Jordan accidentally revealed a memory where he’d been bullying another kid. Her grades went down, she stopped interacting with other students and teachers and withdrew into herself.
Desperate to ensure that their daughter was cared for and uncertain on how to teach her control, the Jacksons reached out to Richard’s brother, Adam. Adam lived in Evesdown with his Evolute wife and three Evolute daughters. He’d moved there after joining a Malachite sect. He was also an Evolute himself, with the ability to suppress other’s powers within a short range—and he worked at Carrie. Adam came and met with Temperance, and for an hour the girl clung to him, quietly crying. By the end of the day, Adam and the Jacksons had made an agreement – until Temperance gained control of her powers, she would live with Adam’s family in Evesdown.
Some parts of living there were good. At home, at least, Temperance could touch others without unwanted memories. But the Malachite religion (Adam and his family were part of the Temperants sect) imposed restrictions on her that she wasn’t used to, and she chafed at them. While the family loved her as one of their own, they had more restrictions than she was used to. She liked arguing, she liked squabbling with her cousins, but Adam and his wife, Lisa, tried to encourage their children not to. Temperance was brought to volunteer with the family and told to show respect to others. Even if she could now touch people without difficulties, Temperance missed her family.
Eventually, Temperance gained some control over her powers. The Carrie institute further refined her management of her powers, and when she came back at 12, she expected her family to take her back.
But her mother had had another kid. And as Temperance had seen a bit too much of her family’s inner thoughts, too young, and there was still the potential for it happening again, it quickly became clear that they didn’t want her around. So Temperance moved back to Evesdown and worked at living within Adam and Lisa’s gentle but firm guidelines.
With control came peace of mind. Temperance got better in school—did extremely well, in fact. She grew interested in history. When she graduated, she was accepted into university. And while her parents did not want to live with her, they were more than happy to foot the bill.
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Temperance liked Nocht. It was the first place where she felt like she could be more of herself. There weren’t many Evos there, but enough, and with control of her powers she felt she could move about far more successfully. After debating her major for a couple of years and switching subjects, she eventually settled on studying history. She enjoyed learning what came before the dome, and even some of the stuff that happened after. But studying and school also educated her on how much of a bubble she’d lived in when in Evesdown. There were many different ways that Evolutes were repressed in Ark. So when she graduated with her undergrad, she immediately moved on to law school.
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At twenty-five, she graduated and passed the bar. She worked hard in school and graduated at the top of her class—mostly because she had almost no social life to speak of. Many private companies courted her, but instead she went to be a public defender.
Being a public defender was hard work. She picked it because of the amount of people who were punished in the city who didn’t have the money to defend themselves. Unfortunately, there were a couple of problems with this. For one, she often worked to defend those with anti-Evolute sentiments. While she had quite a bit of patience and her aunt and uncle had preached tolerance to her, it began to wear on her. For another, due to her consistent overwork, her control began to slip, and accidental contact with some of her clients brought up memories she didn’t want to see. Boyfriends came and left, unable to keep up with her and not always wanting their entire life exposed to her when they kissed. After about 8 years, she quit and took a sabbatical.
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It was at about this time that Temperance began thinking more about the ECLU. She’d penned a couple of papers and done some presentations on the reasons for true equality for Evolutes. She still had no desire to go into the private sector or be a private defense attorney. So she approached the ECLU for a job.
It also helped that the lawyer she was seeing, Henry, was a major donor there. Henry was well-payed and a Typic with the most normal family life imaginable. He claimed to have nothing he was ashamed of, and was never afraid of her contact--which meant that their relationship could proceed at a more normal pace. He helped her get the interview and, throughout the course of their 7 year relationship, helped her climb the ranks of the ECLU.
As she moved on to bigger cases, she and Henry moved in together. They were engaged to be married. They were talking about kids. They even had a date set. But Henry was called into a bad part of town, and got caught up in something—Temperance never found the details. She didn’t ask. But he didn’t make it, and she was left in the apartment he’d gotten them. Because he had no family, she also inherited his money.
Unsure of how to grieve, Temperance threw herself more into work. She made herself indispensable, took on the hardest cases. Henry, a socialite himself, had taught her how to interact in society. She started playing politics—soliciting donations, going to galas. Recently, her hard work paid off, and she was appointed head of the ECLU.