The backstory for my 2016 NaNo protagonist
|Phineas was born to a tinker father and a seamstress mother. His parents had dreamed of having a large family, but his mother died giving birth to Zenith, Phin’s younger brother. Both boys were sent off to the work yards at the age of 15, their father unable to care for them properly. They were shifted from one “boys’ school” to the next before that. Phin quickly learned to do what was asked of him and not to draw attention to himself. His brother, to Phin’s horror, took the opposite route, continually running away from the boys’ schools, living on the streets sometimes for days at a time.
Phin was given the position of airship pilot, basically a cab driver, when he was seven. All children, by the age of seven, were assigned a job to which they would head at the age of 17. Phin’s training started at the age of 16, six months before his brother was to enter his job as a miner. Phin put his head down and learned everything he could about piloting an airship. He sometimes dreamed he would be piloting one of the big, world-traveling ships he had heard about but never seen. They were giant ships with sail and oars that hung out the sides. Of course, they were still steam powered, but they could also harness the power of a thing called wind. Phin had no idea what wind was. He heard it was like when you run as fast as you can and feel the air move against your face. There was no wind in Capercairn. There was no weather, no sunshine, nothing. Just smog and darkness all the time.
Phin married Adriana (Ana) at the age of 21. Three years later, after trying for all of that time, Ana finally became pregnant with what would be Phin’s only child - a son named Moseley. Moseley had issues from birth, but Phin did not care if his child would be crippled, as the doctors had said. At first, he did not believe it would happen. But as Moseley grew older, it was apparent that one of his legs was not keeping up with the other. He was clumsy, more so than just a child being uncoordinated. Eventually Phin crafted him mechanical braces for both of this legs. The State determined him infirm and stated he would never be employed and would be a drain on his parents all of his life. They suggested he be sent to an institution. Phin and Ana would have none of it. He still send Moseley to school every day. Some of the kids made fun of him, which infuriated Phin, but Moseley’s core group of friends fought off any would-be bullies, and Moseley enjoyed learning above all else. Phin and Moseley spent a great deal of time in Phin’s tinkery as the boy got older. When he was younger, Phin often created toys and clockwork companions for Moseley.
Phin and Ana could not afford proper medical care for Moseley, and his condition continued to get worse. The disease itself was curable, but State insurance would not pay for any but a very small portion of the procedures and surgeries the boy would need. Phin needed to find a way to make some money. Eventually, the State became his enemy. He started to become more like his brother Zenith. He started to question what type of government would allow a child, who, in Phin’s estimation was a genius, to deteriorate to this level, and possibly even die before he was an adult, when there was something that could be done. Moseley’s deteriorating health could be helped. If his physical condition could not be reversed, the damage to his joints and bones could at least be stopped. The technology to do so existed. But it was nothing the Cavendish’s could come close to affording.
When Phin first realized he and Moseley had created a way to control the weather, he had not thought about the implications. He wanted to sell his invention, but it needed to be tested first. He needed more supplies and equipment, but he only had limited access to the things he needed. It could take years to amass his supplies to bring his weather controller to the scale it would need to be effective. This is when he turned to The Alliance. Zenith was the bartender at The Alliance bar, the Tangere. Zenith helped Phin become known to many in The Alliance. The problem was, many of the members were nefarious dredges of society. It was difficult to know who to trust. But it was here that Phin decides to use his invention against The State. He could wreak havoc on those in control and maybe, with some luck and backing from Alliance forces, he may even be able to free the people of Capercairn.