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[ABANDONED] Womb Raider

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:38 am
by The Free Joy State
Abandoned -- 29th October 2018

Hello, Issuers.

This is a half-formed idea that I've had lurking, based on news reports on women who've had babies stolen. It's shape may change somewhat.

For the record, the website in option 1 and 2 is based on a real website (it was mentioned in one of the reports I read about a baby that was stolen from the womb).

Effect line ideas for #3 really, really welcome, because I can't think of one.

Draft Two: The Overhaul
[TITLE]Womb Raider

[DESCRIPTION] Heavily pregnant @@RANDOMFEMALENAME@@ was excited about impending motherhood. While attending her Babes with Bumps Yoga Class, her new acquaintance Marilynn -- who happens to be a gynaecologist and claimed to also be nine months pregnant -- suggested getting a coffee. Shortly after Marilynn brought the drink, @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ suddenly felt very dizzy. The next thing she knew, she awoke at Marilynn's home after a makeshift caesarean, bleeding abdominally and with no sign of the baby or Marilynn.

[VALIDITY]no No Sex policy; Capitalism allowed; has internet; drugs not completely banned; adult

[OPTION] "We have a warrant on a brunette female suspect driving a beige hatchback, last seen wearing a beige polo-neck," rattles Officer @@RANDOMNAME@@ from the @@CAPITAL@@ Police Department. "This is not the first incident of women faking pregnancies in order to abduct a foetus from the womb; not every pregnant woman survives the attempt. Expectant mothers have got to stop trusting any woman with a protruding belly and a smile. Launch a national police campaign to warn pregnant women to guard against overtures of friendship from strange women."
[EFFECT] the new "Your Bump-Bellied Buddy Could Butcher You" campaign has expectant mothers on-edge

[OPTION] "We'd done the adapted pregnant-lady lotus pose side-by-side for seven months, discussed baby-names. And she faked the whole pregnancy," whimpers @@RANDOMFIRSTNAMEFEMALE_1@@, from her hospital bed. "Used a fake-pregnancy website called buy-a-bump. It sells pregnancy tests that are guaranteed positive, fake bumps, even realistic ultrasound scans. If she couldn’t have bought all that, if I hadn't have believed she was a fellow expectant mother, I'd never have trusted her. Stop people selling anything that allows these crimes to happen, and prosecute any profiteer who enables these baby-snatching b... witches."
[EFFECT] round throw pillows are being recalled

[OPTION] "Our site clearly says that our products are for entertainment purposes only," insists site-owner @@RANDOMNAMEMALE@@, flaunting a large bump and a T-shirt saying he’s expecting twins. "If some immoral individuals use them to perpetrate crimes, we can't be held responsible. Of course, Miss @@RANDOMSURNAME_1@@ has our full support and sympathy, and we'd like to offer her a one-hundred @@PLURALCURRENCY@@ gift certificate for our site and a hearty 'get well soon'. And, when you throw the book at the psycho-lady, we’ll be more than happy to provide her receipts as evidence. We just want to see her punished harshly for her heinous crime."
[EFFECT] TBD

[OPTION] A police officer escorts Marilynn into the room by the elbow, while another officer carries the baby. Behind them strides psychiatrist Dr. Kinder-Schloss, passing out copies of his recent book on pentheraphobia, Dislike Mother, Like Daughter. "Marilynn @@RANDOMSURNAME@@ has, as many women who steal babies do, a delusional obsession with the notion of the non-existent 'perfect' family, and she feels she will lose her partner if she 'fails' to bear him a child. We must detain and forcibly treat poor Marilynn for her psychological dysfunction until she no longer has thoughts of babynapping -- possibly forever -- but we must also discourage such maladaptive thinking in wider society, by teaching that childrearing is not the only source of happiness."
[EFFECT] a rise in celibacy is blamed on teary-eyed baby-sick-spattered "Babies: Think It Over" PSAs

[OPTION] "Please don't wake my baby," Marilynn stops humming her high-pitched lullaby. "I tried to have my Persephone Maria for fifteen years. After seven miscarriages, my doctor said, 'stop', and then the adoption agency said I was too old. @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@ can always have more babies. She wasn't ready; she once mentioned adoption. I planned to 'miscarry' and adopt Persephone, but that woman changed her mind. @@RANDOMFIRSTNAME_1@@'s so irresponsible; she even forgot her vital prenatal folic acid! Her partner left; her nursery isn't finished. My nursery's so pretty: mint with a cute frog border. Shouldn't the capable mother get the baby, not just whatever flighty hussy gets pregnant? My partner and I can afford to give my baby a very good life. Let me have her back."
[EFFECT] custody of infants is awarded according to the principle of "finders-keepers"


[TITLE]Womb Raider

[DESCRIPTION] @@RANDOMFEMALENAME@@ was so happy when she learned she was to be a mother, especially when she discovered her new friend -- gynaecologist Marilynn -- was also pregnant. When visiting Marilynn's house, after nine-months' of healthy pregnancy, she felt dizzy and tired. She awoke bleeding heavily, with her belly flat and the baby missing.

[VALIDITY]no No Sex policy; Capitalism allowed; has internet; adult

[OPTION] "She was never even pregnant," whimpers @@RANDOMFIRSTNAMEFEMALE_1@@, from her hospital bed. "She faked the whole thing, using a fake-pregnancy website called buy-a-bump. It sells pregnancy tests that are guaranteed positive, fake bumps, realistic ultrasound scans. If she couldn’t have bought all that, if I hadn't have believed she was a fellow expectant mother, I'd never have trusted her. Clamp down on anything that allows these crimes and teach expectant mothers to be on their guard."
[EFFECT] round throw pillows are being recalled

[OPTION] "Our site clearly says that our products are for entertainment purposes only," insists site-owner @@RANDOMNAME@@, flaunting a large bump and a T-shirt saying @@HE@@'s expecting twins. "If some immoral individuals use them to perpetrate crimes, we can't be held responsible. While we feel sorry for Miss @@RANDOMSURNAME_1@@, no business should be blamed if their products end up being used by those with criminal intentions."
[EFFECT] kitchenware shops claim they could not have foreseen a ghost-faced figure going on a moonlit rampage with their product

[OPTION] A police officer escorts Marilynn into the room by the elbow, while another officer carries the baby. Behind them strides psychiatrist Dr. Kinder-Schloss, passing out copies of his recent book on pentheraphobia, Dislike Mother, Like Daughter. "Having spoken to Marilynn @@RANDOMSURNAME@@ for a few seconds, I can tell that she clearly has a delusional obsession with the idealised notion of a traditional life with a partner and children; she feels she has to have a child in order to keep her partner. Of course, we must require her to be treated for this psychological dysfunction, but we must also curtail similar maladaptive thinking across society by teaching all @@PLURALDEMONYM@@ that not having a family is not a failure."
[EFFECT] TBA

[OPTION] "Please don't wake my baby," Marilynn breaks off from the lullaby she's been humming. "Yes, technically, I took the baby from her womb, but only because I am the more fit mother. She didn't take prenatal folic acid until she was already nine weeks pregnant; that's too late. I once saw her drink more than two cups of coffee in a day; the child was an accident. She and her partner aren't even together anymore. My partner and I have a stable home and we have tried for fifteen years to have a child. We will give my little Persephone Maria a very good life. Let me have my baby back."
[EFFECT] custody of infants is awarded according to the principle of "finders-keepers"

Thoughts welcome.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:12 am
by Trotterdam
The Free Joy State wrote:[OPTION] "Our site clearly says that our products are for entertainment purposes only," insists site-owner @@RANDOMNAME@@, flaunting a large bump and a T-shirt saying @@HE@@'s expecting twins.
Okay, seeing this like that, I think you should make this character fixed-gender to male. It'd be so much funnier.

Then again, assuming that you keep it. Because...




I notice that option 2 seems more in response to option 1 than to the main dilemma. It doesn't suggest anything that should be done about these crimes, only strongly insists that it isn't this thing in particular.

I think you're putting too much focus on the website anyway, because while fake-pregnancy products help the deception, they don't seem in any way necessary for the crime to happen. Fact is, most women don't insist on their midwife also being pregnant at the time, simply because that's kinda hard to find as the majority of people aren't pregnant at any given moment.

I also note that the perpetrator doesn't seem to have actually gotten away with the crime (her identity is known right away, and a later option outright confirms that the police found her, seemingly without much trouble), making me wonder what the big deal is. Arrest her, give the baby back, problem solved.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 1:42 pm
by Australian rePublic
This issue is a bit odd.

Firstly, why would the midwife/gyno fake pregnancy? Secondly, who sells fake pregnancy stuff? Is there a market for it? Okay, maybe movies/TV shows, but that's about it. Maybe also fancy dress parties, in which case you don't need a pregnancy test

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:49 pm
by Jutsa
*not entirely sure what to say here*

Yeah this is uh... an odd one, FJS. :rofl:

So I was going to wait to see if this was strictly for Halloween giggles, but seeing as everyone's gone,
I guess I'll share my sincere post I made before the thought even crossed my mind. :roll:

So, I'm not entirely sold on the issue... if I may be honest.
...
It's weird... like 626 and then some kind of weird...
but that alone's not why I'm not sold on it. (weird's good sometimes LOL)

What troubles me is the uh, issue and options.
And, I already apologize, FJS, but I'm going to be kinda blunt.
But I hope the sheer situation itself will at least make this humorous, because I legit am having
trouble writing this and believing any of it. >_<


"Lady's baby was stolen by a doctor/friend faking to be pregnant using online sales of fake baby stuff"
1) Give her her baby back and stop the companies from selling fake things
2) Don't stop selling those things
3) Tell people it's OK not to have children
4) Let her keep the baby

... :unsure:

*cough* er, yeah... some issues with this:
1) the baby was stolen... while asleep... what, did she operate on her and do a C-section just to have a baby... she could've, idk, adopted?
2) Nothing about... like, imprisoning the person for drugging someone, operating on her, and stealing her baby?
3) There are sites... that sell these things? 1) why and 2) what and 3) how's this not stamped out? {and option 3 doesn't even really touch on this or the baby...}
4) ... just going to ask this, but who'd even want to pick an option other than option 1 unless they're crazy or care more about capitalism or birth control than justice? >_>

So, uh... to conclude: what

The only reason I might've considered another option is thinking the lady was faking it, but... how would be beyond me even if it wasn't confirmed she wasn't.
(plus we've got plenty of issues like that already)

That's all I've got. As much as I personally don't like it as a genuine issue, though, I've gotta say it does pretty good as a Halloween draft >_<

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 6:17 pm
by The Free Joy State
Thank you for your thoughts.

I will take them on board.

PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 10:49 pm
by The Free Joy State
Okay, I cracked straight on with this, because I have a helluva cold, so I'm not sleeping.

First of all, thank you again for your honest feedback.

Aussie, to deal with your confusion, yes this is based on a real site. I'm linking to the Jezebel article about the site (which links to the Washington Post), rather than the site itself for... obvious reasons.

Also, foetal abduction is also a real thing. Linking to the Wiki on that.

Second, Trotterdam, thank you for your advice RE: character in former #2/current #3. I have kept it, but changed it quite a lot so it suggests a more relevant action, ergo have made your amendment.

Now Jutsa. First of all, never apologise for giving me honest, constructive feedback. Editors need feedback, too. We have drafts that fall wide of the mark and drafts we struggle to shape, like everyone. So don't be afraid I'll be offended.

*goes to delete all of Jutsa's issues from the system* :twisted:

(Public Service Announcement: That was a joke. I'm kidding. Neither I, nor any other member of the team, would do that.)

Okay, I've made significant changes to the issue, so it's no longer give the baby back, and a whole lot of extraneous variables/side with crazy lady.

The woman was never intended to be her gynaecologist, but rather a gynaecologist (because most women tend to die if a random stranger cuts the baby from their womb, so I thought giving the abductor some medical skills might be more realistic to the mother surviving). I have hopefully clarified that in the opening.

I've made it more how to deal with foetal abductions -- taking it as given that the baby is going back to the real mother, rather than what to do with the baby (the issue is called "Womb Raider") -- with the exception of the last option (which may go).

Now the shape is:
1. New option -- warn pregnant women about the risks of foetal abductions
2. Stop shops selling things that could help women fake a pregnancy
3. Shops won't stop doing that, but they will aid in bringing the woman to justice (punish her to the maximum that the law allows/also be a capitalistic git option)
4. This is the option Jutsa had most trouble with and on rereading, I saw why. It was supposed to be more about saying the woman needed psychiatric help, but that wasn't how it came across. Now, that's hopefully been emphasised more.
5. Side with crazy lady -- I really hope no-one ever picks that one. That option may still be cut.

I have no effect line for new #3

No underlining of changes because... there's just way too many.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 6:57 am
by Jutsa
I really hope no-one ever picks that one. That option may still be cut.
In all fairness, that would be good for an intentionally psychotic nation,
but at the same time, I'd get why you might want it cut. :P

The fact that this is an issue irl is outstanding to me, and truly shows irl to be stranger than fiction.
But, the fact that this is a real phenomenon does make me curtail quite a bit of what I said previously.

Good luck, FJS; haven't taken a closer look at this, but it's still... weird, but interesting. :lol:

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 9:57 am
by Trotterdam
Jutsa wrote:The fact that this is an issue irl is outstanding to me, and truly shows irl to be stranger than fiction.
But, the fact that this is a real phenomenon does make me curtail quite a bit of what I said previously.
Again, it's just the fact that with 7 billion people in the world, even the most unlikely things will have happened to someone, somewhere.

Note that these incidents aren't particularly common: the Wikipedia article above mentions 18 cases over 33 years in the US (non-US cases are, naturally, not mentioned anywhere), and the US is a pretty large country. Inside any given police jurisdiction, a case like this would probably be a once-in-a-lifetime event for the police officers assigned to deal with it.

PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 12:41 pm
by Chan Island
Aaaaaaaand another little piece of my faith in humanity has died.

Don't know what to say except that I hope this one works well. Definitely well-written, as is proper for an editor. It's certainly different, which is always a good thing!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:32 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
I dunno. I just find this one too horrifying to make for a good issue. I mean, I know we have issues about women being stoned to death, and about terrorist attacks, and other horrifying things, but for me this one is too far into the realm of body violation and visceral horror. I think it'd be bad for NS in the same way as we don't have issues that go into graphic detail about types of rape, or child abuse, or whatever.

I admire your desire to take on difficult issues - I mean, I recall your FGM issue too. These are important issues, but I just feel a little hesitant to handle them myself.

A hard thing to quantify, but for me, this one is to squicky.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 2:59 am
by The Free Joy State
I think I might be better abandoning this one. :)

Not every idea works, and this is one of those.

My sincere thanks for all your helpful feedback.

This is why getting feedback is useful, even if that feedback effectively "what the hell are you thinking".

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:19 am
by Australian rePublic
Sorry it didn't work out

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:22 am
by The Free Joy State
Australian rePublic wrote:Sorry it didn't work out

Thanks Aussie, but it was only a couple of days.

Anyway, there's always a chance that a line or a couple of words of description could be harvested for something else.

Time spent working on writing skills -- even if the draft doesn't work -- is never wasted.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:23 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
I totally get that.

For a while I was toying with an idea that I got on thinking about a scandal in the newspapers from when I was growing up. Basically there was a UK national tabloid paper that was reporting on "sick pedos" and as part of the article ran a full page picture of a six year girl topless, and wearing adult make-up, showing it as an example of one of the indecent images seized. Strangely and disturbingly, that was one of their best selling editions, and they were accused of inadvertently becoming the nation's biggest distributor of indecent images.

Of course, this was in the pre-internet days.

I thought it'd make a great issue, specifically around the idea of responsible reporting, but was roundly told by editing teams that this is sort of thing is way too squicky, even when based on a real life scandal.

Which was absolutely correct of course, but sometimes you need a second person to point these things out, as its very easy to get caught up with how interesting and challenging an issue is, and you need someone else to ago "err... let's not do this issue please."

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:24 am
by Australian rePublic
The Free Joy State wrote:I think I might be better abandoning this one. :)

Not every idea works, and this is one of those.

My sincere thanks for all your helpful feedback.

This is why getting feedback is useful, even if that feedback effectively "what the hell are you thinking".

The truth

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:27 am
by Page
If you think the issue is too fucked up, you could just change it to kidnapping of a just born baby. You could keep the angle of the kidnapper faking pregnancy to build trust and wouldn't have to rework too much of it.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:31 am
by Australian rePublic
Or you can take it from a Biblical angle: two women are arguing over who a dead baby belongs to and who a living baby belongs to

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:45 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
Australian rePublic wrote:Or you can take it from a Biblical angle: two women are arguing over who a dead baby belongs to and who a living baby belongs to


That's actually pretty cool, though I'd say probably an entirely different draft.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:50 am
by Australian rePublic
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
Australian rePublic wrote:Or you can take it from a Biblical angle: two women are arguing over who a dead baby belongs to and who a living baby belongs to


That's actually pretty cool, though I'd say probably an entirely different draft.

Although DNA has made this issue obsolete

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 3:51 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
Australian rePublic wrote:
Candlewhisper Archive wrote:
That's actually pretty cool, though I'd say probably an entirely different draft.

Although DNA has made this issue obsolete


Maybe twin sisters, and the aftermath of one guy getting that oft-sought fantasy threesome?

Though sure, lots of details to figure out.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 4:06 am
by Jarian
Don't forget the 'Parental Licensing' policy. For nations with it, you could say our baby thief was rejected and remove the licensing if she is allowed to keep the baby.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:33 am
by Jutsa
I thought it'd make a great issue, specifically around the idea of responsible reporting, but was roundly told by editing teams that this is sort of thing is way too squicky, even when based on a real life scandal.
Couldn't this still hypothetically work with something a little less risque? It does seem like a very good issue...
then again, we do have that one issue sorta like that (#592), but I kinda think it wouldn't overlap too much.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:45 am
by Candlewhisper Archive
Oh for sure, I had my abandoned issue on the mind when I edited 592, and incorporated the central dilemma into that issue! Well spotted there!

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 7:59 am
by Chan Island
A shame this one was abandoned, but at bare minimum one thing's for sure: I think everybody in GI has learned a thing or 2 about baby snatching in the past few days.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 8:07 am
by Jutsa
More than I think I would've cared to know, but yes. :rofl: