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Messages - Clare

Shanghai Crew / Beth Williams
July 02, 2021, 07:25:28 AM
Bethany (Beth) Jane Williams

Age:  33

Gender:  Female

Primary Occupation:  Mechanic

Secondary Occupation (optional):  General Hand.
She can be quite as a kitchen hand / bottle washer. Some of the bottles even make it back into the cupboard; she has a diploma in safely wrapping broken glass and crockery.

Height: 5' 3" (160cm)
Weight: 108 lb (49kg)
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Hazel
Build: Slight and petite
Typical Dress: Jeans and t-shirt, sensible shoes or work boots, casual. Doesn't have much else in her wardrobe. Doesn't dress up because she doesn't think she is pretty.

Beth is characterised by a demeanour of anxiety, her forehead usually wrinkled in a worried frown. Her curly brown hair is shoulder length and usually tangled though usually free of debris. She favours engineer boots, blue jeans and a white t-shirt though she she does wear long dresses or long dress and modest blouse when attempting to make an effort. She stands a mere 5 foot 3 (160 cm), is of slender build, weighing in at a paltry 108 lbs (49 kg). Her breasts, when not obfuscated by her clothing, are small. Doesn't wear makeup. Sometimes wears earrings and bracelets but never in the engine room.

Face Claim:  Sarah Smart

Initial Personality: The first thing that most people notice is the worried frown that seems a permanent part of her expression. The second is that she looks like she is about to either burst into tears or run away in abject terror. Even a casual observer would quickly surmise that even a small aggressive act or loud noise would startle her, and those of an unkind disposition who decided to experiment would be rewarded by at least a squawk of fright or even outright flight.

Beth comes across as a quiet mouse, never drawing unnecessary attention to herself and never venturing out into the centre of the room, both physically and metaphorically. Her eyes never lock onto the gaze of anyone, always instead seeming to be assessing escape options should she feel the need to flee.

Underlying Personality:  Beth seems incapable of smiling; the worried frown she wears seems to extend into her core, skewing her view of life. Very occasionally, when she is in a happier frame of mind (merely a state of mild melancholia for most people) and some random act of kindness touches her, Beth smiles and she is transformed. The almost sullen demeanour vanishes to be replaced by a glimpse of the real beauty, inner and outer she would posses if she allowed her hidden, suppressed self to be revealed. Perhaps, if someone can get close enough for long enough it might be drawn out but patience would be a critical factor.

Beth almost never raises her voice and is easily and frequently talked over. She is better at putting her arguments in writing; she is then forthright and articulate, capable of marshalling the facts into a compelling argument. Unfortunately it takes time and often an opinion is wanted immediately, not in a day or two. The closest Beth gets to aggression is passive aggression and even that she wields clumsily and ineffectively. She uses it rarely and always bitterly regrets it when she realises what she has done, causing her to retreat further and faster from the position she has been trying to put forward.

Beth is on the autism spectrum, suffers from both anxiety and depression though, being high-functioning, she generally manages to hide the worst of it. Her anxiety tends to manifest itself as a fussiness about preventative maintenance and a tendency to hoard spares and bits and pieces that "might be useful" even if to everyone else they seem worthless. Beth is very insecure, professionally, socially and personally, a legacy of her cloistered, virtually friendless upbringing, her autism and her depression. Beth always second-guesses herself, rarely if ever voicing a strong opinion and too ready to follow the line of least resistance. A coping mechanism for her autism is social mimicry; she will latch on to the personality of the person in the current group she feels is the most appropriate and use them as a model. Unfortunately she is not very good at judging who to mimic and she sometimes finds that the person she has chosen thinks that she is attempting to Extract the Michael and reacts badly.

Quiet and introverted, Beth looks inwards for solutions and blame first, particularly the  blame. Nonetheless she is very much a team player, putting the team and others first before herself. She doesn't usually smile, though if someone smiles at her she will return it with a weak smile. Her kindness runs deep and she is easily taken advantage of.

Beth doesn't allow herself to hope or to dream and yet she is very romantic, and, though very unhappy herself, is always lifted a little by seeing other people happy.

Beth believes herself to be incapable of killing; even killing an insect is usually beyond her and on the odd occasion that she does so, usually out of intense frustration caused by the incessant aggressive behaviour of the insect concerned, she afterwards feels terrible, almost to the point of being physically sick. And yet she will happily build things that could be used as weapons; just as long as she is not the one to pull the trigger.

Paradoxically, Beth has a very good sense of humour. Laughing at a joke does diminish the worry lines a little but doesn't light up her face the way an act of genuine kindness does.

Beth is not interested in men and the labels of lesbian and demi-sexual would be the ones that would fit though neither she nor anyone else has, as yet, assigned these labels to her. Her sexuality and orientation are worlds yet to be explored.

Known History:  Other than her birth records, her education, the death of her parents, and her degrees, there is nothing of interest in her official records.

Other History:  Beth was an only child, not through choice on her parents' part but because complications during the pregnancy and a history of miscarriages prompted her Mother's doctor to strongly advise against further pregnancies. Her mother disregarded the advice; she did become pregnant again on several subsequent occasions but was unable to carry any to term and having despaired of ever having another, Beth's parents refocussed their attention on Beth, trying not to spoil her but failing, as is inevitable in such circumstances.

Beth had a very good relationship with her father as an only child, particularly a daughter, often has. If Beth's Mother was jealous she never demonstrated it explicitly, though she oscillated between excessive attention and careless disregard; the former usually in evidence when Beth's father was away, a frequent occurrence as his job took him all over the 'Verse, the latter when her father was home. He was a geologist and Beth became interested in geology as a consequence though she had her heart set on being a vet and her interest was mainly for love of her father than commitment to the subject. She never confided her dream to her father, recognising that it would break his heart and it was only after his death in a random accident that she discovered he had set up a trust fund that effectively required her to gain a degree in geology. Beth was, in part, disappointed, but, for love of her father and because any other course of action was too difficult for her, she followed the path her father had mapped out for her.

The trust fund would have been enough but on her father's last leave and only days before her father's death her mother fell pregnant. If her mother was determined to have another child before her husband's death, she was absolutely desperate afterward. This time, the pregnancy was too much for Beth's mother and neither the foetus nor her mother survived.

Beth was fifteen and suddenly an orphan. She cried more for her father than her mother but in truth she was too much in shock for the reality to really penetrate. She had always been fragile emotionally, prone to what had been hoped were purely teenage bouts of melancholia but now her mood swings were much more dramatic, though it was fair to say that while the depths were very much deeper, the heights were lower, her whole mood shifting downward. Beth's intellect carried her through; what others found difficult she found easy but while it covered her depression it was not enough to get her the really top grades. Her disappointing performance was excused by the death of her parents and that she was now living with an elderly and impoverished grandparent. The latter was more one of perception than reality; her parents, while middle class, had never been particularly comfortable, financially, and her grandfather was middle class poor; a low income but an attitude that enabled him to make the best of what little he had. Although he could have done without the financial and emotional burden of his granddaughter, the former he was equipped to deal with, the latter drove him to the edge of despair. It was no exaggeration that it took several years off his life.

It was a relief when Beth finally went to University though by then the damage had been done and he too died mid way into Beth's first semester. He had, in his wisdom, left a firm command in his will that Beth was not to be told until the end of the year, after her exams. He had also ensured that his financial affairs were completely dissociated from hers so that she would not bear any financial burden for winding up his estate. He did better than he knew; by the time his estate was wound up there was exactly one penny left.

The trust fund was enough to get Beth through the first year of her degree but that was all; there was no way it was going to cover a degree in Veterinary Science and the competition was too tough to get a scholarship in that field. The terms of the trust fund were also quite specific; Beth had no choice, if she wanted a degree she had to gain it in the field of geology. That it was her father's true love helped her through that initial decision but by the time she completed the degree her ambivalence toward geology had become a serious dislike, bordering on hatred but now she was indentured on a two-for one basis to a company that had agreed to fund the remainder of her study. It had taken four years for her to do a five-year double degree; the trust had covered the first so she had six years or so of ahead of her. It seemed like a life sentence. It was hard to focus on the fact that she did actually have to perform at an acceptable level for it to be six years; if she performed poorly it was likely to be much longer.

It really didn't bear thinking about.

Of course the job was on the far side of, and in a very unfashionable part of the 'Verse. She also had to pay her own way which used up the last of her very meagre resources. There was the threat of reimbursement on arrival but she would believe it if she saw it.

To add to the amusement of the 'Verse at her expense, Beth wasn't having much luck with space travel; the first ship she was supposed to take had gone missing on it's inbound run and there was a delay before space was available on another, slower, older ship. It was not a good way to start and it gave her way too much time to think about what might lie ahead of her. Beth's first foray into space had been much more daunting than she had anticipated; her active imagination had turned every creak and groan, every ping of differential contraction and expansion, every thump from a compressor starting up, just to name a few of the unfamiliar noises, into the precursor to some ship and life-threatening event. That the others on the ship seemed not to notice only made it worse and Beth spent most of her time in her cabin, earplugs pushed firmly into her ears listening to her music just a little too loud in an effort to keep the noises out and wishing she had some real ear defenders that she could put over the ear plugs to drown out the worrisome noises that still got through.

Two significant events changed that. The first was an almost inevitable breakdown of the ship. The person who passed as a mechanic was drunk (again) and, in desperation, and after Beth had had an adequate time to get over her "oh god oh god we're all going to die" moment, the Captain leaned on her to put her theoretical knowledge of mining engineering to practical use. To Beth's considerable surprise, and everyone's immense relief, she discovered and fixed the issue quite quickly and found that she had actually enjoyed herself (within the confines of her ability to enjoy). For the rest of the voyage, and with the mechanic safely confined to his quarters, Beth busied herself around the ship, tracking down those noises that had she had found so terrifying and, if not eliminating or mitigating them, at least gaining an understanding of why they occurred.

More good news awaited Beth at the end of the voyage; the company that she was indentured to had gone into liquidation and an "accident" had befallen their records. The reason for the insolvency was fraud and the reason for the "accident" was an attempt to cover those financial irregularities. In the process, the knowledge of Beth's indenture was lost. Beth returned to the ship and was welcomed back by the Captain. She remained on the ship until the Captain decided to retire and the ship, now too old to be an economic proposition, was sold for scrap and broken up.

Thus she is looking for a new position with, to Beth's continuing surprise, a glowing letter of recommendation.

Unknown HistoryBeth isn't who she thinks she is. While much of her personality and hobbies are based on the real person, her memories are not her own.

Perhaps "they" tried to turn her into something, a weapon against someone (Ian Dugan?) but when that failed .... or when it succeeded, they reprogrammed her. Why they just didn't kill her is an open question.

Perhaps they want to use her again.

Perhaps they are using her again.

There are unsubstantiated rumours (unknown to Beth) that she was involved with Ian Dugan at some point and that she had his child. A gynaecological examination would indeed show that she has given birth but such an examination is highly unlikely given her proclivities or lack thereof, and the fact that she has a robust immune system and a cautious nature make medical attention unlikely.

Beth has a small scar on her upper arm. She is not properly aware of it as it is out of easy view and it is fairly indistinct. It comes from a time when she was on an Island in a Survivor-like setting though the stakes, unknown to the "contestants" were actually life or death. She was shot in the arm (accidentally) by Captain Battle shortly before the authorities got wind of what as going on and shut it down. Beth has no recollection of this, the fact that she believed her name to be "Clare" at that time, or that, having been shot that she complained that Captain Battle had missed and that she wanted to know why the body beside her, with a bullet hole in the centre of its forehead, had got special treatment.

Skills and Strengths: 
  • Bachelor of Science, from an unexceptional university, double majoring in Geology and Mining Engineering; good grades but no more than the required intern experience to be granted the degrees. She hasn't done the 10 years of engineering work so cannot legitimately pass herself off as
  • "Natural Mechanic:" mechanical systems speak to her. She is competent with the electrical systems as well but does not have am affinity for electronics or programming.
  • Very sweet soprano singing voice; she grew up singing in a traditional church choir and while she didn't get the religion she loved the music. Her voice is untrained, however, and not very strong. She is not likely to sing in public where she is the centre of attention however she will often be heard singing quietly when working around the ship. It has the effect of making her seem happier than she is.
  • Good, intuitive Bridge player.
  • Cooking - see "Hobbies" below
  • Very intelligent, much more so than her grades would suggest but her depression and lack of self-confidence have severely inhibited her.

  • Depression: Beth is on medication for her depression and it is important that she takes it regularly. Failure to take it or having it withheld can lead to significant negative consequences.
  • Hoarding: Beth hoards spare parts and tools because they "might be useful" rather than because they have definable value. She also has a tendency to have "too many" books.
  • Stress Paralysis: In times of acute stress she is liable to freeze.
  • Low self esteem: Second-guesses herself all the time. Doesn't think her opinion matters.
  • Field Too Wide Errors: Tends to suffer from "field too wide" errors when others clearly see The Course (rightly or wrongly) - she has a lot of trouble distinguishing between a remote chance and a probability so tends to take longer to discard irrelevant or inappropriate options. However, if given the time, she will correctly identify both dangers and opportunities that most others will miss.
  • Cassandra Complex: Has an excessively developed imagination that causes her to see dangers where there are none. This tends to cause others to disregard her warnings of real danger (see the point above). There is a real chance that she will develop a Cassandra complex.
  • Cooking - very good amateur chef; very capable at turning very ordinary ingredients into something nice, having had a lot of practice growing up. However, her lack of self confidence makes the experience, when cooking for others, very, very stressful and she is very deprecating of her abilities.
  • Singing (mainly choral)
  • Bridge - but often finds it hard to find people willing to play and capable of competing with her. She has a bridge program on her tablet and, when at a station or similar place where Cortex access is good she will play against others online.
  • Reading - books are her great escape

Casting Call / Re: Answer the Call
July 01, 2021, 07:34:39 AM
[url=]Claudia Black[/url]
[url=]Felicity Mendelssohn[/url]
Character Application / Felicity Mendelssohn
July 01, 2021, 07:24:37 AM
    Felicity Jane Mendelssohn

    Age:  41 (Born 2478-04-19)

    Gender:  Female

    Primary Occupation:  XO

    Secondary Occupation (optional):  Pilot

    Hair:Black with a lot of grey in it (when she forgets to dye it).
    Height:5' 9" (175cm)
    Weight:141 lbs (64kg).

    Felicity has a straight-backed, upright stance that makes her appear taller than she is. Felicity is trim and very fit, however age and in particular and an overindulgence in alcohol has left her with a few more lines and wrinkles than normal for her age. As a consequence she appears to be in her late forties to early fifties, especially when she wears clothing that hides her shape.

    On duty on the posher sort of ship she will wear full Executive Officer's uniform, including black shoes, white blouse, black jacket and slacks, epaulettes and cap. On the more casual ships she will still wear the blouse and slacks but might forgo the jacket, epaulettes and cap.

    Generally Felicity is well groomed and dressed, favouring conservative skirts, slacks and blouses. However she will dress down if necessary to fit in with the rest of the crew of a ship she has been assigned to. When she starts drinking all bets are off.

    Face Claim:  Claudia Black

    Initial Personality:  Felicity has a natural presence, an assurance that is usually obvious when she enters a room. She is generally quietly but firmly spoken, a characteristic that lends an authority that shouting or talking loudly does not, though she is capable of raising her voice to ensure that she is heard.

    Felicity always appears alert and attentive to her surroundings, analysing the people and the situation.

    Felicity generally comes across as reserved and does not appear to have a sense of humour.

    Underlying Personality:  Much of Felicity's apparent self-assurance hides a tendency to over analyse situations to the extent that at times she suffers from 'analysis paralysis'.

    Felicity actually does have a good, if somewhat dry sense of humour though this is usually reserved for social situations. In a social situation where she feels comfortable, Felicity undergoes something of a transformation, becoming much more open and friendly, conversing freely. However, when she starts drinking she becomes at first garrulous, then loud and finally somewhat obnoxious. She also is inclined to be not very particular with whom she "sleeps"; being bisexual, she is available to more-or-less anyone.

    Felicity does like to dress up on occasion and she rather likes to dance, especially Ballroom and Latin American; her martial arts skills help her in this respect.

    She does not suffer from an over abundance of idle curiosity, being inclined to focus on what is required for a job and carefully overlooking things that don't quite add up. When discretion is required, discretion she has; even when drunk, there exists a natural inhibition about certain subjects. The nature of her duties, the odd things she has learned about her various bosses, and the ships she has worked on are prime examples. Her marriage and infertility are other things that she doesn't discuss, lying when necessary.

    A poorly kept secret is that Felicity is a recovering alcoholic (see history).  A better kept secret is that she is bi-sexual; the world tends to see her as heterosexual and that is the way she prefers as it is easier to fit in but she generally prefers women.

    It is not just the alcoholism that keeps her apart from people - she has a deep seated fear that if she gets close to someone they will die. Although fundamentally a rational woman, it has happened too many times for her to believe that she is not the cause. It is a major contributing factor to her alcoholism.

    Known History: 
    2478/04/19:Born to Jane Mendelssohn, father unknown on Londinium. Mother died from complications during childbirth. Incarcerated in an Alliance Orphanage.
    2483/04/19:Released from the Orphanage to a foster family.
    2483/05/20:Returned to Orphanage; stated reason: Evidence of physical abuse.
    2483/07/19:Released from the Orphanage to a foster family.
    2483/11/21:Returned to Orphanage; stated reason: One foster parent developed cancer and died suddenly.
    2484/01/12:Released from Orphanage to a foster family.
    2484/10/17:Returned to Orphanage; stated season: Neglect; Felicity emaciated.
    2485/07/30:Fostered out.
    2485/09/20:Returned to Orphanage; stated reason: Felicity's bad behaviour and intractability.
    2487/07/02:Fostered out.
    2487/11/02:Returned to Orphanage; stated reason: Foster parents killed during a home invasion.
    2491/04/19:Released from the Orphanage into the care of Martha and William Adams.
    ((and this time it was to a good family though it took her a while to learn to trust them and it took longer to stop expecting something bad to happen))
    2494/04/19:Adopted by her foster parents.
    2500:Gained Commercial Pilot's licence.
    Passed Master, Deep Space Vessel examinations.
    2500/11/30:Graduated with Masters degree in Astrophysics.
    2501/01/20:Secured job as Second Navigator on a 3-Star Passenger Liner
    2504:Promoted to Chief Navigator on a 4-Star Passenger Liner
    2504/11/14:Adopted parents killed by a fire at a resort at which they were holidaying. It had been a present from Felicity to them to celebrate the major promotion. She had intended to go with them but was called back from leave because another bridge officer was unwell.
    2505:Promoted to First Officer of a 4-Star Passenger Liner
    2506:War declared. Not called to active service: stated reason: High class passenger ship of which she was First Officer, commandeered for hospital duty.
    2507/02/12:Married Michael Johnson. Kept her own name.
    25011:Promoted to First Officer of a 5-Star Passenger Liner
    2511/06/13:Michael died in a car crash. Police report shows that she admitted having a savage argument with her husband before he drove off. Both were over the legal limit for driving but as Felicity could prove she could not have been in the car and Michael was found behind the wheel, no further action was taken.
    2512/04/14:Pilot's License suspended due to alcoholism. Dismissed from Company.
    2514/04/14:Pilot's License reinstated after a three-month alcohol rehabilitation program
    2514/11/03:Employed by company supplying relief Captains, Executive Officers and pilots to ships.
    Company records show a variety of work from a few days to six months in a range of ships from small freighters to large passenger liners, and across positions from pilot to captain and everything in between. Felicity's employment records show a high degree of versatility and most of the reports from the ships show her in a favourable light. No ships have reported issues with her drinking on the job though not every ship reported on her performance.

    Other History:  Felicity never knew her parents. Her Father had disappeared early in her Mother's pregnancy and her Mother died as a consequence of complications during childbirth. She spent the first five years of her life in an Alliance orphanage and was then in and out of foster homes until finally she was fostered to and then adopted by Martha and William Adams. It took her a while to learn to trust them and it took longer to stop expecting something bad to happen. Having learned to trust them and finally having learned not to assume that something bad had happened when they were a little late, it made their sudden death at a resort on a holiday that Felicity had given them as a present that much harder to bear. It was the start of the slippery slope though that would not be obvious until much later.

    From a very early age, shortly after it became apparent that she was going to be much too tall for a ballet dancer, and as a direct consequence of, she took up martial arts. Felicity had a natural talent. Throughout her adult life she kept it up which helped her keep fit and the mental discipline has helped mitigate her alcoholism.

    Felicity is a "recovering" alcoholic. She can generally resist the first drink reasonably well, particularly in a casual environment but won't go into a bar unless she absolutely has to. If she has more than one sip she is gone. She will wake up, sometimes several days later, having absolutely no idea what has gone on in the meantime. She used to drink a fair bit when younger but the drinking started in earnest after her husband was killed in a vehicle accident after they had had a vicious row and he had driven off in a rage. Their marriage was dead anyway but she still blames herself; he wasn't a bad man, just the wrong man. Part of their problem was that she couldn't conceive naturally and he wanted her to undergo fertility treatment. She was more interested in her career. It wasn't a major tragedy, just enough to tip her over the edge. Felicity was thirty-three and they had been married for a little over four years.

    In less than a year she had lost her job as First Officer piloting large, exclusive, passenger ships for the elite of the Core, having been found intoxicated while on duty. Her Master's ticket was suspended for twenty-four months until she had attended a three month residential rehabilitation program and been alcohol free for a further twelve months.

    Since then she has been unable and, to a certain extent unwilling, to get a permanent job, preferring to work for a contracting agency providing relief bridge crew. The work has been very varied and some of it rather on the interesting side. Most she has coped with but some of the more stressful and/or borderline legal positions have led to intermittent relapses. A few of the jobs were also "off the books" and these she found most stressful of all, usually resulting in her spending her leave afterwards, and most of the money she made from the work, on alcoholic binges.

    Felicity has a weakness for fast ground cars and requires little encouragement to take one for a spin. When she is drunk she has been known to commandeer unattended vehicles and go for a joy ride. So far she has been lucky, neither having fallen foul of the law or the owner of the vehicle. She is a good driver and could probably race if she felt so inclined though she is probably too old to develop the reflexes to be truly competitive.

    Skills and Strengths: 
    • Deep Space Masters Ticket, all classes including passenger liners
    • Pilot. Felicity is a competent pilot without being flashy. She is more comfortable with larger vessels and tends to be conservative in her approach.
    • Astrogator. Felicity has very good navigation skills She can often do a good first estimate in her head which gives her a good head start on programming the flight plan.
    • Unarmed combat (defensive). Although not the easiest, Felicity chose Aikido. It's philosophy of defence while protecting the attacker from injury resonated with her people management skills around conflict de-escalation.
    • Pistol (range). She has not been in a firefight of any note so her combat capability is untested.
    • Ballroom dancing. Good amateur dancer.
    • Bridge & Whist. She is good at both and enjoys a decent session, with or without alcohol.

    • Alcohol (recovering alcoholic, prone to binge relapses). This is a serious issue.
    • Fast ground cars, especially if she has had alcohol. Don't leave the keys in the ignition and the vehicle unattended.
    • Combat. Other than defensive martial arts and some aptitude with a pistol on a range, she is not equipped for combat. She will endeavour to talk her way out of a situation even when it is clearly hopeless.
    • Analysis Paralysis (tends to overthink situations and second-guess herself)
    • Finds it very hard to get close to people, subconsciously fearing that they will die if she does. She is not at all antisocial, enjoying conversation and contact but she keeps people at a distance.
    • Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic - Don't ask Felicity to change a lightbulb, record a video or otherwise engage in maintenance activities.

    • Laptop with astrogation and ship management software
    • Formal clothing
    • Dress uniform
    • 9mm automatic pistol
    • Book reader with large and varied collection of books
    • Music player with large and varied collection of music

    On hold / Constance Mandrake WIP
    September 14, 2019, 10:15:00 PM
    Constance Frances Marie Mandrake

    Age:  37
    Gender:  Female

    Primary Occupation:  Journalist
    Secondary Occupation (optional):  Passenger
    • Fourth Estate Pen ("badge" of profession)
    • Data book
    • Camera; high definition video & still in a very compact package
    • Concealed Camera
    • Concealed recording equipment with both local and remote recording capability; the latter allows her to stream her recording directly to a remote site so that if something goes wrong, like the equipment on her is detected and destroyed, the information is not lost.
    • Extensive wardrobe; this girl doesn't travel light.

    Appearance:  Height: 5'2" (157 cm)
    Weight: 98 lbs (44 Kg)
    Figure: 34 - 21 - 33

    Very attractive and striking, despite her lack of height.
    Always elegantly dressed in public; seeing her outside her cabin in anything other than full regalia (including makeup) will be a sure sign that the situation is very serious. Even when 'dressed down' her clothing is tailored. Constance is very fussy and very proud of her appearance. She eats with great restraint so as to keep her figure which is the envy of women fifteen years her junior. Being practical, when on the job she will tend to favour tailored blouses and slacks. She abhors suits on woman and will never be seen wearing one.
    Faceclaim:  Veronica Lake

    Initial Personality:  You know when Constance is in a room; she is striking and engaging, both visually and vocally. While not loud, it is likely that she will be speaking, her conversation lively and sparkling, her wit and intelligence much in evidence. She doesn't control or dominate the conversation, allowing others to speak and shows genuine interest in what they have to say. While she will make sure that she gets her point across she won't unnaturally force a conversation back to where she wants it to be if it has moved on. In debate she will suddenly switch sides, both to cause confusion but also to stimulate further thought and debate among those she is talking with.
    Underlying Personality:  Those who spend a bit of time with Constance will soon learn that she is tough and independent. She knows what she wants and how to get it, demonstrating drive and aggression. When she has a goal, she lets nothing get in her way as many have learned to their cost. It has cost Constance too, particularly in terms of broken friendships and a broken marriage. She is by turns acerbic and beguiling depending on the requirements of the situation.

    Known History:  2482-03-17: Constance Ockleman born Persephone
    2507: Graduates with a Master of Journalism
    2509-08-11: Constance Ockleman and Cooper Mandrake Married
    2511: Separated from Cooper
    2511-2519: Working for a major daily as an investigative journalist
    2519: Arrives in .... Looking for Cooper
    Other History:  Constance has been changing, perhaps as a consequence of the ticking of the biological clock but also because of the trouble she is now in. The following have always been there, buried deep down but they are starting to tickle the interface between her subconscious and conscious minds.
    • Wants her children to be fathered by Mandrake but she hasn't worked this out yet or at least has not admitted it to herself.
    • She desperately needs him on an emotional level though she does not admit this, especially to herself and certainly not to Mandrake.
    • Craves Mandrake's protection and wants him to hold her and make her believe he can make the problems go away.

    Skills and Strengths: 
    • Ability to cut through lies and half-truths to get to the real story; has been used exclusively in a journalistic capacity to date but could equally be applied to police work.
    • Goes into an interview well researched, both from her own work and from her juniors.
    • Good at assessing people, in a professional capacity, usually able to work out quickly how to get what she wants from them.
    • Very good at witty repartee
    • Very good at reasoned argument and at playing devil's advocate; will switch sides suddenly just to provoke more thought on the subject by those she is discussing a subject with.
    • Specialises in in-depth journalism; her stories are well researched, generally balanced and thorough. The down side is that this tends to cause some conflict with her employers who prefer shorter, snappier pieces that don't cost so much and which enhance the ratings. As a consequence she tends to do quite a lot of free-lance work, selling either the finished package or when she has enough information to make a good case. Fortunately she has some independent means which allow her do this.
    • Cooper Mandrake; although they fight a lot he got under her skin early on and has remained there; it is hard to live with him, harder to live without
    • Always out for The Scoop and uses and abuses friendships to get to the story; has lost friends and made enemies as a consequence.
    • Has exposed several significant criminal organisations and government conspiracies without regard for the potential consequences particularly for herself but also for those who assist her. Her current situation is that she has exposed a major criminal organisation with far-reaching tendrils. While nothing like all of the facts have made it into the public arena, the organisation is sufficiently annoyed that the continued existence of Constance Ockleman is not something they are prepared to tolerate.
    • Has a tendency to do field work, interviews and research without regard for her personal safety; it could be said that she is very lucky to still be alive
    • Fiery temper.
    • Poor at judging people on a social level; she is very good at banter but frequently upsets, offends and alienates people who might otherwise be friends

    ~~~~ End of Chapter ~~~~
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