Firefly 'Verse Roleplay
September 24, 2022, 10:37:14 PM
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Started by Clare, July 02, 2021, 07:25:28 AM
If you love me, let me go
July 02, 2021, 07:25:28 AM
: July 02, 2021, 05:00:02 PM by Clare
Bethany (Beth) Jane Williams
Secondary Occupation (optional):
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.
5' 3" (160cm)
108 lb (49kg)
Slight and petite
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.
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.
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.
Other than her birth records, her education, the death of her parents, and her degrees, there is nothing of interest in her official records.
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.
Beth 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Valerie (Velocity) Elizabeth Grey-Lambert
Bethany (Beth) Jane Williams
Re: Beth Williams
July 19, 2021, 03:05:47 PM
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