Lesson 2: character development
|Character Development: Lesson 2
Full Name: Sky Gaia [name assignment after transporter accident]
Basic Information of human part
Date of Birth: 2116-09-24
Ethnicity: Not applicable
Occupation: Deep space travel engineer
Hair color/style: feathers
Eye color: gold
Accent (if any): not relevant
Weight: not measured
Birthmarks: tail feathers change colors based on emotions
Scars: no longer noticeable
Childhood: born on earth as a human. Molecular experiment caused her cells to be merged with an avian species. Now she is a hybrid
Adolescence: normal human
Adulthood: has to deal with “injury”
How do they usually dress? Uniforms
What do they wear to sleep? Nothing. Too hot with the feathers
Do they wear jewelry? Not on the job. Off the job, wears head dresses that show off the feathery tendrils.
Is there anything about their appearance they wish they could change? Getting used to her appearance, but it still feels odd.
How would they look as the opposite sex? Darker and bolder markings
What do they smell like? Why? The ship’s ventilation system masks all body odors to make it comfortable for all crew.
Do they have an accurate mental picture of their appearance (how they see themselves versus how the world sees them)? She spends a lot of time in the mirror getting used to her new appearance.
Choose a different time period and describe what your character would have been like in that time period. 100 years ago, she would not have contemplated space travel and would have experienced normal aging.
Favorites, habits, likes and dislikes: Practices flying. Wings are new to her
What are some of your character’s hobbies? What do they do with their time? Builds things to make space travel easier
Favorite color: leans towards earth tones.
Books or Favorite music artists: books are replaced by virtual daydream devices that have preprogrammed material or you can write your own. These allow you to be part of the story. Favorite music is instrumentals of environmental sounds
Political stance? Are they active in politics or do they not care? All crew are neutral on politics as it can affect contact with new races. She tries not to be judgmental of another person’s choices.
What are some of their pet peeves? Know it alls who won’t shut up and think the universe owes the a big thank you for sharing their insights or an apology because they are easily offended
What sort of gifts do they like? Food type items or things that can be used in daily life.
What is their favorite time of day? Sleep time.
Favorite weather? Season? Not relevant. She lives in a climate controlled environment by choice. She can experience the various seasons through her virtual reality device, so she enjoys them all.
Where do they like to spend their time? Her lab
Favorite food? Nothing. What she used to like she can’t have.
Favorite animal? Anything avian
Do they have any pets? Do they want any? Pets are allowed, but she does not want the responsibility to care for them. She is gone too much. Her quarters are for sleeping. She has pets in her virtual games, but they disappear by the end of the program.
What relaxes them? Used to like swimming, but can’t do that anymore. Now all she can do is flick her wings in a pool
Do they have any bad habits? Takes a long time to warm up to others, so sometimes is perceived as arrogant
What are some things that they don’t like? Her fingernails are now retractable talons. Not having fingernails is hard to get used to. She hides her hands a lot so she does not have to look at them. She is developing coping techniques so she does not have to look at her hands when working. The sensation of baring her claws is a bit painful, but she practices grasping things with the claws so she gets use to it.
Resources and abilities:
Where did they learn their abilities? She watches medical videos on how to fly. She is capable of 2 to 3 feet.
If they have an income, where does it come from? Money has been replaced by a system of credit exchanges. Trading with other populations requires selling items for currency to get souvenirs or necessities.
Where does your character live? Currently on a spaceship exploring the outer regions of the galaxy
What are some of your character’s more notable merits and flaws (including physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, etc.)? She is a realist. She has great coping skills to adjust to traumas. She is merged with an avian species, so has the memories of another to meld with her own. There is an inner struggle of whether to find a permanent home in this region of space or whether to return to Earth and try to make it as a created being.
How did they develop?
How has this helped or hindered them in the past?
Relationships and history:
What is their family history like? How does it affect them? How do they feel about their family? How does their family feel about them? She is not very close to her family, but close enough. She is returning home just because she has nowhere else to go.
What were they like as a child? What was their favorite toy? Favorite game? Playmates? Childhood was spent moving from place to place. Her parents were very nomadic in lifestyle preferences. They should not have had children because they were too footloose, but they thought they knew best what a child of theirs would want and need.
What did they want to be when they grew up? To reach the stars
Describe their best and worst memories from childhood. Worst would be arriving in a new town and not having friends. Best would be finding that first friend. Worst would be leaving that friend. She never wrote down addresses. If she had a friend, she knew where that person would be and that was enough.
Where (and when) did they grow up? How did they view it as a child, and did that change as they matured? How do they feel about the place now? She moved around a lot. She adapted to the environment. It is a good thing to have in her current state of being.
Do they, or have they in the past, had a mentor? What was their relationship with this person, and how has it changed since then?
What sort of education have they had? Do they want more? She passed through schools without developing any particular attachments. She went to college and received an engineering degree. Even then she started in a small town college to get her basics and decide what she wanted to do. When she had an idea, she would switch to a better college in that degree field. When she had the generals for that degree out of the way, she went into specialty education at the best university for that field and did not care if she had to spend time in other countries to get her education complete.
Who was their idol growing up? Who was the first person they fantasized about? Neil Armstrong, an ancient astronaut who seemed to be fearless in his demand to reach the stars.
Who is their closest friend, and why? What do they like to do with this person? Her sister Vicki. They used to talk every week, until Sky got stuck in this last mission.
Do they have any rivals? Who and why? No. This crew needs each other too much to foster rivalries, whether in fun or quite serious.
Have they ever been betrayed? By who, and how did it affect them? Still blames the Captain for the accident that caused her current physical state of being and realizes that it is a futile practice.
1. If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?
a. Practice flying. It is hard to learn, but I have to adjust to these new wings.
2. What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they've known you for a while?
a. They stare because my appearance is so odd to them.
b. It took about a month for the crew to adjust to seeing me with wings and feathers.
3. What's your idea of a good marriage? Do you think that'll happen in your life?
a. I don’t know. My parents did all right. They celebrated their 30 year anniversary. That was unusual. They are one of the champions. Most people I know don’t want the commitment of one person for life. But they did and it worked out.
b. I hope it will happen for me, but can’t see how with the way things are right now.
4. What are you most proud of about your life? (If they answer with something other than a personal statement, like a business achievement, ask "What about on a personal level?")
a. When I was a kid and looked at the stars, I always thought, I want to be up there exploring what’s out there. And now I am doing that.
5. What are you most ashamed of in your life? (Again, if necessary ask "What about on a personal level?")
a. I had a fight with my folks before I left on this mission. Now they may never get to see me again and I regret that.
6. If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
a. My hero has always been Neil Armstrong. He was the first man to walk on the moon you know? That was a big deal back then. He had schools and towns named after him. I would like to make that big of an impact.
7. Do you think you've turned out the way your parents expected?
a. Who knows? Ask them. They did the best they could, and it’s too late to do anything about what they did or did not do that would have made a difference one way or the other.
8. What do you believe about God? (If they believe in God, ask "What do you suppose God thinks of you?")
a. I was born a created being. What I am now may be divine intervention or just a freak accident that is explainable by no one. Gaia, the species that merged with me, has really strange beliefs by my standards, and vice versa. She was not as strong in her faith as I am, so she is giving ground in that area.
9. Is there anything you've always wanted to do but haven't done? What would happen if you did it?
a. I still can only get 2 or 3 feet with my flight efforts. Gaia had less dense bones so it was easier for her before the accident. She does not teach well, so it is taking longer to get the hang of flying.
10. What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? What did you learn from it?
a. The molecular realignment accident that left me with this avian/human body and dual memories.
b. I have a remarkable ability to adapt to my circumstances.
11. Tell me about your best friend. (If you think it might be interesting, ask "How did you meet? What do you like about this person? What do they like about you?")
a. Gaia is my best friend. We have to live in this body, we might as well get along. We each are giving ground in various areas to create one unified person.
12. What's the worst thing you've ever done to someone? Why? ("Why" is usually a good follow-up question to any response!)
a. Gaia was quite promiscuous. I’m sure she left a lot of broken hearts behind her. I may have been a little too alert during exams. I sat next to the smartest guy in the program and he did not cover his answers. My vision was acute even then and I just borrowed some answers when needed. It wasn’t often, just a few times but it was enough to bump him out of the last seat in the space program. The people above me soon got weeded out, and I graduated at the top of the program. He was brought in when the others graduated or dropped out.
13. What would you like it to say on your tombstone?
a. I want my ashes carried on the wind. I want my legacy to be written in books, not on a stone.
14. Describe your ideal mate.
a. Someone as close to this new identity as possible.
15. What are you most afraid of?
a. Getting home and no one caring
16. What's the most important thing in your life? What do you value most?
a. My faith. Everything else is fragile.
17. What do you like best about yourself? Least?
a. Even though I don’t like being merged, it’s the way things are. I will get through this and I will be the stronger for it.
18. What do you like best about [the other character]? Least?
a. I don’t like sharing thoughts and memories with another, but there is no alternative. Gaia is confident and neat. I don’t like that she is also promiscuous and very demanding in what she wants.
19. How do you feel about your life right now? What, if anything, would you like to change?
a. Things are in an adjustment state right now. Everything is in flux. I don’t like the not knowing part of all this. If I had a do over, I would not go on the mission. If I have to live with this, I would like to get to a unification sooner rather than later.
20. Are you lying to yourself about something? What is it?
a. That depends. Do you consider being able to do your job when you are all torn up inside a lie? If you think it’s okay to do your job to the best of your ability when you are crying inside, then no I am not lying.
Character Introduction: after merge
Sky’s eyes snapped open. Several blinks later, she realized the familiar surroundings of the sick bay. The gentle thrum of the engines told her they were moving at Warp 8. Something must have happened to be moving at this level of acceleration.
She dropped her focus from the metal ceiling vaults to the continence of the doctor who was quietly humming as he reviewed the details on the data screen.
Everything itched. But this hand that moved to ease the annoyance could not be hers -- just couldn’t be. It had feathers sticking out of the skin and blistered with pustules that begged to be scratched and clawed to release the fluid underneath. The reality set in as she twisted her hand. It moved to her bidding. This feathered mass of flesh with ragged splotches spliced between bald spots was her limb. She grimaced, moving her attention to gouging the lumps on her legs, as tears streamed down her face and blood from biting the inner lip slid down her throat, when she clawed each pustule to relieve the intense itching and release the ingrown feathers.
She saw the doctor leave his panel to inject her with something and strap her to the bed. “You have broken limbs. There was a transporter accident. I have to put you back under anesthetic. I am sorry.”
“Please no. There is a voice in my head. What’s going on?” She hated pity. And that’s what she saw in the doctor’s eyes before blackness took over.
The doctor interrupted his data input long enough to greet the visitor to sick bay. "Hello, Captain."
"She is the first to survive a transporter malfunction of this nature. Most arrive in an unrecognizable ..."
"I am aware of that. What are her chances of recovery?"
"Back to her human self? None that I am aware of. Her cells are fused at the molecular level. It's not a simple matter of tagging her cells for reintegration. She is aware of the presence of another entity. That one was avian by the look of it, unfortunately, we have not determined if that entity was male or female. Yet. She won't be the same person who left on the mission. She is now a created life form. I recommend proceeding as if she everything is a first choice, not knowing what training or preferences will resurface, or what the other one will bring to the merger."
"Understood. Present your report at the next officers meeting."