Charity a beautiful Romani Gypsy with light brown skin, a curvaceous figure, black hair, and green eyes had lived a cursed life so far. Living in southern Ontario the air was polluted by a large number of factories in the United States in conjunction with Canadian factories and the transportation corridor. Respiratory difficulties for the populace in this area were the norm and since they couldn’t afford to move her father paid for it with his life with his chronic asthma. It seemed as if everyone had an inhaler and the doctors were dispensing them out like candy. He thought it was too expensive so he used it sparingly. Her mother died from soil pollution as a result of the fertilizers she used for her large vegetable and herb gardens. The fertilizer was toxic because it was made from the recycling of hazardous industrial wastes and it released several dozen toxic metals and chemicals such as lead and mercury.  Her love of gardening killed her and we didn’t know of the danger because there is no federal requirement that toxics be listed as ingredients on fertilizer labels. Worst of all was when Charities younger sister and two of her friends died when industrial waste leaked from a huge factory and poisoned a small private lake that they swam in.

By the time she was seventeen her entire family was dead and it was their deaths that motivated her to become involved in environmental protest rallies, hunger strikes, and media releases. She became known in the environmental community as an out-spoken advocate for their cause. The filth reached far higher than Charity ever thought possible, it disgusted her; greedy bastards taking shortcuts to save a few bucks. Bandage solutions applied to appease the few radicals she was one of them but nothing changed and the anger seethed inside her as a plan developed in her head for vengeance but it would take plenty of money. She was smart enough to go a step further and got an environmentalist lawyer to represent her per bono to sue both corporate and government organizations that she felt were to blame for her families’ deaths and that should be held accountable. Charity won a couple of million dollars, twenty-five to be exact in settlement suits with the offenders and she was putting the money to good use.

It takes her a year to find the special object and another two years to design something for it. Finally she is ready now everything hinges on one remaining critical factor, without its’ success there is no grand mission so she has to test it before she goes any further. It took painstaking determination and lots of money to get to this point and she can’t stop shaking she’s so excited and yet so afraid it won’t succeed. It is tall and athletic, has green hair, cat-green pupils, and a light green hue to her skin, green representing nature, growth, safety, and hope. Charity says the Romanian words trǎi în armonie cu natura (live in harmony with nature) pressing the gypsy talisman against its forehead. Her eyes fly open for the first time. She has no heartbeat, no pulse and yet here she is, alive. Charity names her Hope. Right now, she’s an empty vessel, but over the next few months, Charity educates her. She describes all the species in the world that she can manage and teaches her all about mans’ history and culture, Hope doesn’t say much and Charity has to wonder what she’s thinking. Human dominance and our effect on other creatures, even the earth itself, is a large portion of what Charity imparts on her. The most difficult concepts she struggles to explain to Hope are emotions and ethics. Mankind’s greed and search for power and possessions seem inconceivable notions, lost on someone so innocent. But Charity’s success means she can move forward.

Illustrated by: Jason Hendrickson