Alexandra St. James from
"Tattoos" by Stacy Overby
I have to say, I love Alexandra St. James. She stars opposite Eli Thorson in Tattoos. Alexandra, but she goes by Alex, is a stubborn and strong-willed woman—just the kind of woman to stand up to Eli and not brook any of his nonsense. She’s calm under pressure, intelligent, and good-hearted.
Alex was born to mid-level United Earth Government officials. They had just enough clout to mean something, but not enough to be scrutinized at all times. This turned out to be a good thing, despite their efforts to advance their careers, because from a child on, it was clear Alex was an empath. Her mother had the genetics for it, but her empathic abilities were so minor as to be ignored by the UEG. Alex, on the other hand, not so much. She showed exceptional sensitivity even as a child. By the time she was twelve years old, her parents could not hide her abilities anymore, particularly with all the testing and empathophobia gripping the citizens and UEG. They did manage to find a corrupt empath regulation official who agreed to place the empath tattoo on her hip instead of on her arm. He also allowed Alex’s parents to have the tattoo worked into an image where it wasn’t quite so obvious.
Alex, with the help of her parents and their efforts to shield her, managed to hide her abilities until adulthood. She finished her compulsory education and went to the local university where she studied medicine. Alex figured she’d have a good chance of hiding her empathic abilities some with a career in medicine. She did well in medical school and got a job at New Washington Hospital. Alex did well hiding her empathic abilities there until an accident happened. A patient assaulted several nurses and aids. Alex stepped in trying to calm the patient down, but to no avail. However, security staff noticed Alex’s efforts and started asking a few too many pointed questions.
With her secret out, the UEG required she consent to the second tattoo marking her strength as an empath. Thankfully the same corrupt UEG official provided the second tattoo. He couldn’t keep it off her arm but moved it high on her shoulder instead. Again, he also allowed them to have the mark worked into a larger tattoo.
Alexandra is one of the stronger empaths the systems under UEG control has ever seen. She has to regularly work to block out the emotional auras of those around her or she’s overwhelmed with their emotions. This is why she finds Eli so comforting—she can’t sense his emotions. The prevailing theory is that evolution has maintained a genetic balance by creating a small subset of beings who can stymie some empaths, though the exact mechanism is still unknown. Another down side to her strength as an empath is the level of fear and hatred for empaths in UEG controlled space. She would regularly be a target for these hate groups if her secret were known.
Overall, Alex is an interesting mix of strength and fragility. She sees the inherent good in people but isn’t afraid to be hard when needed. Yet, each time she has to be hard, it crashes back down on her emotionally afterward. Her ultimate goal is to see empaths guaranteed the same rights as all other sentient beings within the UEG. Not just on paper, but in practice as well. To that end, she supports what her foster parents, Jeremiah and Ruby, do to promote civil unrest and dissidence in support of this.
So, there you have her. Alex St. James. Now, check out her role in Tattoos and let me know what you think of her!
by Stacy Overby
One hushed cry in the middle of the night and Eli Thorson’s life unravels. A highly trained Black Ops specialist, he is used to danger, but Eli’s path forces him to confront the illusions he’s been taught his whole life — ones that make him question all the good he thought he was doing.
Unable to work for a command that defiles the oaths he swore, he works to untangle the web of lies and deceit he finds woven throughout his worlds. The tattooed marks of his profession run more than skin deep. As a Specialist, it is his duty to protect the people, the laws, and all the United Earth Government stands for, even if it means taking down the entire Black Ops division to do it.