Author Topic: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!  (Read 3872 times)

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Offline Tiberian

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side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« on: August 28, 2009, 11:51:10 am »
There are around 2000 highly skilled and motivated members aboard the starbase. In addition there are 50 original crew members of the Vindicator and 18 in the first Cruiser.

Some names are given here and there - such as the Liebermann triplets, newly-promoted junior scientist Hawkins, Dr. Chu, Bukowski, etc...

So here is the thing:
All those people exist in the Star Control universe. For the comic I have planned a few of the main characters, but the more there are well-planned side characters, the better.

I want the SC community to be a part of that planning process. Or to be exact, I want you all to come up with as much detail for as much people in the universe as you want (terrible sentence). It doesn't mean that I include every character in the story. It means that I have a databank of the characters whenever I need detailed information. Also, it would be just interesting to find out what kind of people there are.

It doesn't have to be someone who is mentioned in SC2, you can make everything up. The only rule I am giving is that everyone on board the starbase must be at least 30 years old, because the newest *batch* of *workers* arrived 8 years ago. Surely the "highly skilled and motivated professionals" would be at least 20 years old when selected to work at the starbase. It is possible that they have *multiplied* in the starbase. Then the oldest a child could be would be around 7 years old.

I'd like to have all ideas as replies in this thread. All ideas would be open for discussion.

Here is an example of what I am hoping for:

name: *given names* *last name*
(mentioned in-game when...) (or not mentioned in-game)
age, gender (if not obvious from name), nationality, history, characteristics, likes, dislikes, etc etc - basically anything and everything

Also, if you didn't understand what I want and why, I'll try to explain it better.

Offline Lukipela

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2009, 09:46:16 am »
This is a good idea and I've started on it.
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Offline Angelfish

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 04:36:11 am »
Before starting on this, there are a few extra things to consider:

Firstly, what was the selection procedure like for working on the starbase? Surely, it is a great honor and priviledge to work on a Hierarchy starbase as the only humans that are allowed past the slaveshield, so the people in this starbase would have to be the best of the best that earth has to offer. Their bio has to somehow represent why they were selected for this job, what makes them so special to be allowed on the starbase.
Secondly, the starbase orbiting earth is not just any earth starbase, it's a Hierarchy starbase! I'm not really sure of its function before the vindicator decided to show up, but in essence all the personnel on that starbase ARE working for the hierarchy, they are working for the people that imprisoned their entire race under a slave-shield! This makes me wonder what the motivation of these people is to consider working on a hierarchy starbase, and thus serving the hierarchy! Some of them must be really driven to exploit their skills in orbit, some of them probably are bent upon overthrowing the ur-quan from within, but most probably a lot of them are simply ur-quan lovers or indoctrinated to accept the fact that they are working for an organisation that slave-shielded their people.
The bio of these characters has to describe somehow why they decided to work on the hierarchy starbase, despite it being, you know, a hierarchy starbase :).
What would you give to know the truth?

Offline Tiberian

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 05:51:24 am »
I've never given much thought to the selection procedure. I've always thought of the "selection" to be an order. The Ur-Quan wouldn't bother selecting all the workers by themselves. I guess they would jut give some specifications to some human organization that would do the selection. Then, if the Ur-Quan wouldn't be happy about the crew, that organization would suffer - and probably the Ur-Quan would also punish the whole planet in some way.

About the workers' personal motivations - surely there could be some fans of the Ur-Quan and some that would attempt mutiny at the first opportunity. These are all for you to consider.

Offline Lukipela

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2009, 10:21:10 am »
Jonathan O'Donnell

Jonathan O'Donnell was a strapping young lad of 21 when the war against the Ur-Quan ended. He wasn't a military man, but by the end of the war everyone was conscripted in one way or another. He spent his time at a wartime materiel production facility, doing grunt work to free up those who were better suited to fight the good fight. People like his brother Joseph O'Donell, the war hero. Joseph was only two years older, but had served in the fleet with distinction. He was the pride and joy of his parents, whereas his younger brother was seen as something of a wastrel. This was not entirely inaccurate. While gifted, Jonathan had more bad habits than most people twice his age. He drank too much when off duty. He was too hungover when on duty. He didn't take orders well, nor did he show any interest in advancing from his position.

All this changed when his brother was killed in the final assault. The O'Donnells were all heartbroken, but Jonathan was especially so. It only added insult to injury when his emigrant parents perished in their retirement home in a luxurious Buenos Ares suburb. From that day on, Jonathan was determined to make something of himself. He applied himself well and begun a military career. When it was time to change the shift up there, he was damned well going to be one of the new persons aboard the station! His goal and dream was to see the stars, as his brother had done. And so he did. Not, it must be said, because his military career had been especially glorious. While he was gifted and now applied himself to his studies, he still had a lot of trouble respecting authority. He was always up to some mischief, be it smuggling booze or dirty magazines. But in eight years, these character flaws helped him make a lot of connections. The final person to be picked for station duty after a of of cajoling, threatening, bribing and other dark deeds, he was overjoyed to set foot upon Starbase.

Commander Hayes was not as pleased. He found himself with a arrogant and devious recruit on his hands. O'Donnels initial awe and sense of accomplishment soon wore off, transforming him into a subpar recruit that could not be sent home. Every time something went wrong on the base, O'Donell had something to do with it. Someone found in the women's locker room? It's O'Donnel. Several officers suddenly have the runs? It's O'Donnell. An illicit still found in the air ducts? O'Donnell again. While O'Donnel was valued among the other crew members (and secretly by Hayes) for brining some much needed variation to the dreary station life, he was also considered a pain to deal with. Hayes did his best to give him jobs that were isolated, in sectors where there was nothing else, and where he would be good for a moderately long time. One thing was sure. Wherever Jonathan O'Donell went, trouble followed. And anyone put in charge of him would always do their best to make sure he was put to work as far away from them as possible.

One fateful day, that was Pluto.
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Offline Megagun

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2009, 03:09:06 pm »
Richard Matthewson

Richard Matthewson, born 2124 in London, had always been the oddball of his family. Both of his parents were literature majors, and his older brothers were both studying literature, too. At the age of six, he found a few old cyberpunk novels in the attic, and within the year he had read all major cyberpunk and dystopian/utopian novels. He also started frequenting internet message boards and chatrooms to discuss about philosophy, laws, privacy and humanity as a whole, and became interested in programming and hacking of computer systems. At the age of eight years old, he started skipping classes and spent most of his spare time behind a computer screen, practicing his skills, much to the dismay of his parents, who became especially annoyed with him when he stopped going to school completely at the age of ten, a few weeks after the Ur-Quan enslaved humanity. By then, however, he had already broken into several local corporations, uncovering unlawful and unethical business methods, and started getting himself in trouble with the law, mostly due to his actions in disabling CCTV and other security systems in London, which he saw as a major privacy issue. At the age of 14, he was being prosecuted for unlawful entry or Star Control systems, where he uncovered details about several secret operations deep within Ur-Quan space, and threatened to make them public unless he was given immunity. The official word was that he was released due to 'lack of further evidence', but his parents knew what he was up to and threatened to kick him out to the streets. That was when Richard decided to plan his ultimate plan. At the age of fifteen, he hacked into several major government institutions to stage his own death, and fled to Tokyo.

At his arrival in Tokyo, he started hacking into systems for profit, either after being hired to do so, or to blackmail corporations into giving him money. Furthermore, Richard started a drug trafficking organization, and got addicted to drugs himself, which caused any bit of social skills to drain out of him. Richard started to live during the nights, sleep during the days, and spoke to other humans only very rarely, coordinating his business mostly from his apartment flat. When he had to go outside of his own room, though, he consistently wore dark shades.

At the age of 25, Richard started writing his 'final gift to humanity', as he called it. His project was an amazingly advanced AI botnet that would think up strategies of its' own, disable CCTV systems across the world, determine if a specific government was a threat to privacy and try to overthrow it by leaking information, trying to instigate revolutions. At 28, his AI was almost finished and he began deploying a virus that would prepare the way for his distributed AI. However, he made one fatal mistake; he didn't infect his own computer systems with this virus.

Whilst the entire Internet was transmitting his virus over and over, infecting any host that it would come across that hadn't been infected yet, Richard's own systems lit up like a black christmas tree, not transmitting anything, and not getting infected by it. Two weeks after he had deployed his virus, he was tracked down and brought to justice, where it was discovered that he was Richard Matthewson who had been thought dead for so many years. His trials were one of the major television stories of that year.

In the end, he was found guilty, but the real shocker to him was his sentence. He was to serve for at least 20 years aboard the Starbase. Supposedly, a few years earlier the only man capable of programming the Starbase's alien computer systems passed away, and the Starbase had been in disrepair ever since. Scientists weren't capable of figuring it out, and when Richard appeared on the radar, everyone knew that if anyone could do it, it had to be him.

As soon as he arrived on the Starbase, Richard began scheduling regular discussions aboard the Starbase about privacy, the war, ethics, humanity, and philosophy. Soon enough, most people realized that Richard had lost all faith in humanity, and many accused him of loving the Hierarchy, though Richard managed to quieten most of those by leaking security videos.

When the Captain (Zelnick) arrived on the Starbase, Richard immediately noticed that this was his big chance to break free of humanity, and started co-operating more and more with the others on the Starbase to try and overthrow the Ur-Quan Masters, with the final goal being taking residence on a quiet, sparsely populated world where he could code and philosophise in quietness.

Offline Death 999

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 06:30:45 am »
I thought being assigned to the starbase was done by lot, as ordered by the 'quan.
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Offline Tiberian

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 07:17:42 am »
Excellent work. These backgrounds are definitely usable. The more there are, the better.

Offline SuddenDeath

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2009, 02:58:29 am »
Megagun> just a little timeline issue...

Quote
Richard Matthewson, born 2124 in London
Quote
At the age of 25, Richard started writing his 'final gift to humanity', as he called it. His project was an amazingly advanced AI botnet that would think up strategies of its' own, disable CCTV systems across the world, determine if a specific government was a threat to privacy and try to overthrow it by leaking information, trying to instigate revolutions. At 28, his AI was almost finished and he began deploying a virus that would prepare the way for his distributed AI. However, he made one fatal mistake; he didn't infect his own computer systems with this virus.

When he was 25, it was 2149; at 28, it was 2152. But he couldn't have come aboard the starbase then, as the last crew exchange happened in 2147.
I suggest setting his birth date a bit earlier ;)

Offline Lukipela

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2009, 09:45:12 am »
I thought being assigned to the starbase was done by lot, as ordered by the 'quan.

Yes, but the people eligible to e drawn by lot were surprisingly enough equal in number to the amount of lots. Funny how that worked out.
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Offline Angelfish

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Re: side characters for Groombridge Log, all aboard!
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2009, 11:55:49 am »
That reminds me of the movie "The Island", though a bit different in nature but same in a way :)
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