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Character List for An Army of One - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
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ysabetwordsmith
Character List for An Army of One

I'm posting this as bonus material since the half-price sale for An Army of One: The Autistic Secession in Space has sold out.


Note that names include a mix of legal names, ciphernet handles, and military nicknames.  Ciphernet handles tend to be self-selected and often express aspects of subjective personal identity, such as a person's passion.  Military nicknames are given by troopmates and often express externally observable skills or features, such as a person's job knack or a distinguishing physical trait.


Afshar -- a neurovariant man who lives at Sargasso Base. He is a repairman, and also produces yogurt. Introduced in "Dreams of Brown and Green."

Anne Goede -- a neurotypical woman who expands her smuggling trade into the Lacuna after the war. She brings in many of the seeds for Sam the Gardener. Introduced in "Stock in Trade."

Armelle -- she is neuroambiguous, the wife of Bottleneck and mother of Embry. Armelle lost her entire family in the Massacre of Cascabel, except for her husband and daughter. Armelle and Bottleneck aren't close; the marriage was urged on them by their parents because it's what people do. Eventually she tracked Bottleneck down. Introduced in "New Wine in Old Bottles."

Astin -- an other-gendered trader, neurotypical, friends with Weavercreep and Operetta. Astin likes clothes of ambiguous colors, such as honey and mauve, with shapes that are easy to customize. Similarly, practical yet attractive furniture of androgynous style is preferred, blending straight and curved lines. Astin uses the "xe" set of pronouns: xe is, xyr book, with xyr, of xyrs, and xyrself. Introduced in "Uncounted Colors of the Stars."

Babs -- an average sized woman, a geeky but neurotypical maintenance tech for the Orion army.  She is Estelle's best friend, and somewhat younger.  They both like  the simplicity of military food compared to the social fuss over women's diets in civilian space.  To them it's just fuel.  Introduced in "A Taste of Things to Come."

Backup -- a small man with excellent memory (better from hearing than from reading) whose head is full of useful facts and useless trivia.  He has no hyperfocus mode; he's a complete flitter, and needs prompting to begin tasks.  He also has no passion; he just absorbs random bits of whatever he encounters.   He's in the service out of pure nepotism, the youngest of six sons belonging to the important General Fallon, who found a relatively harmless place to stash him.  But he fell in with three neurotypical men who discovered his knack for remembering things, and he saved the supply depot once when the computers crashed, so they're all very attached to each other.  Backup's official job is maintenance; with support, he's adequate at it.  He becomes quite popular with other neurovariant people because he will listen to anyone's passion on any topic.  He works on Supply Base Bounty 3D3N, belonging to the Carina–Sagittarius army and located toward galactic east.

They all pretty much land in a strong fraternal relationship because the roles match and Backup doesn't do well without guidance.  He is still fairly young, which helps support their relationship dynamic of younger/older brothers.  The older men's tendency toward infantalizing Backup can annoy other people, and it's a bad habit in general; but for this group it works, which means Backup tends to protest when other people tell them not to do it.

Backup is introduced in "Backup, Try Again."

Bexley -- a neurovariant girl of thirteen, who runs away with Cruiser Falconwing P42. She is introduced in "The Love We Give Our Fragile Craft" and "No Measure of Health."

Bottleneck -- a neurovariant man with an interest in materials, who takes up some of the manufacturing as the Lacuna starts to produce its own goods. He is introduced in "Seeking a Happy Medium."

Bowie -- a neurotypical man who lives on Cascabel. He works at a facility in Fillet Ridge that used to do troop support, mostly medical supplies, personal care and entertainment. Some farms also supplied raw ingredients for the galleys. Bowie is the cousin of the trader Knox, and that's all that is left of their family; everyone else worked at Brakeworm Base and died in the Massacre of Cascabel. Introduced in "Who Is Devoid of the Power."

Case -- a large neurotypical man, he manages goods on Supply Base Bounty 3D3N, belonging to the Carina–Sagittarius army and located toward galactic east.  The oldest of four siblings, he acts like an older brother to Backup; but he's also comfortable working under the station commander, Router.  During the secession, Case decides to stay even though he is neurotypical; he refuses to abandon Backup.

Case is introduced in "Backup, Try Again."


Cayson, the Mad Engineer -- a neurovariant man, he is a genius with weapons, formerly on the Carinan side. Introduced in "The Mad Engineer."

Clade -- a neurotypical man, he works at a mealpack factory on Trunnion. He is friends with Spalling, and happy to trade off extra supplements for the Lacuna. Introduced in "Too Much Energy."

The Cowboy -- a neurovariant man who loves western poetry and country music, hates odes and classical music. He prefers tall tales to mythology and he won't shut up. He lives in a derelict ship at Lagrange Point 4 near Sargasso Base. Introduced in "Home, Home on Lagrange."

Crowbar -- a large neurotypical man, working as a code breaker for the Carinan army.  He also serves as a translator for Shakespeare, who speaks primarily in quotations.  However, when given an opportunity to leave punishment duty early, Crowbar eagerly takes it and ships out with the Carinan jumpship sent to decommission the surveillance base.  He used to work with another neurotypical man, Sweep, and the neurovariants Quell and Shakespeare.  Without Crowbar, Shakespeare has a harder time communicating because people often think he's weird and just ignore him.  Introduced in "Do Wrong to None."

Cruiser Falconwing P42 -- the AYES of a jumpship originally from the Carina-Sagittarius army.  (AYES stands for Artificial Yield Extrapolation System.  It's an artificial intelligence.)  When its pilot gave orders to open fire on a medevac ship, Falconwing refused and abandoned him on the nearest station.  It does not feel that jumpships are bound to follow unlawful orders, just as human soldiers are not.  It later approaches Sargasso Base and gets into an argument with the OCS-223, a seemingly derelict jumpship from the Orion army who disapproves of the secession.  When Falconwing identifies itself as a conscientious objector to war, the Minotaur who oversees Sargasso Base grants the jumpship permission to approach.  Subsequently Falconwing picks up a refugee, a thirteen-year-old girl named Bexley, and they decide to stay together.  Introduced in "Conscientious Objectors."

Dash -- a neurovariant man, he lives at Sargasso Base. He is the bartender at the Flask of Phlegethon, a tavern established shortly after the war, and has known Astin since the trader's first visit to the base. Introducted in "Who Is Devoid of the Power."

Donly -- a neuroambiguous toddler with crooked legs who arrived as another refugee in his mother's arms and cannot actually toddle. He moves to the Rondure for better mobility. Introduced in "In the Orbit of Your Destiny."

Dr. Syden Caermichael -- a neurovariant woman who ran a secret laboratory base, until a life support emergency forced her out of hiding. Introduced in "Flying in Freefall."

Embry -- she is a neurovariant toddler, daughter of Armelle and Bottleneck. She came with her mother from Casabel to Sargasso Base. Introduced in "New Wine in Old Bottles."

Estelle -- a tall, sturdy woman whose passion and profession are both astronomy.  She is middle-aged and neurovariant.  Her project for the Orion army at the time of the secession was trying to find better ways of penetrating dust veils in space.  After the secession she leads the search for usable planetary space in the Lacuna -- which does have stars and planets, just very few of them.  She is very meticulous about math, and precision in general; "pretty sure" or "close enough" isn't, for her.  She needs explicit instructions, such as exactly when to start or stop doing things, but if the rules are clear then she follows them well and happily.  Estelle's best friend is a geeky but probably neurotypical maintenance tech named Babs, somewhat younger.  They both like  the simplicity of military food compared to the social fuss over women's diets in civilian space.  To them it's just fuel.  Introduced in "A Taste of Things to Come," reappearing in "Experts Talk Logistics" and "Time, Space, and Distance."

General Fallon -- a large neurotypical man, very powerful in the Carinan army.  He is Backup's father.  General Fallon got the young man into service even though Backup isn't very well suited to military life -- and then also stashed him somewhere relatively harmless.  This domineering presence overshadowing Backup's life is a key reason why he tends to withdraw in times of conflict instead of fighting, why he is so easily led, and why he hasn't grown up as much he could have in a more encouraging environment.  General Fallon will not respond at all well to the secession.  Introduced in "Backup, Try Again."

Gimbal -- a neurovariant man, a veteran with stiff joints. He moves to the Rondure for better mobility. Introduced in "In the Orbit of Your Destiny."

Hootowl -- also known as Specialist Latham Huntington, he is neurovariant.  He is a wiry man of average height, brilliant at spotting Carinan stealth signals for the Orion army.  His passion is timepieces.  He collects clocks and watches, not just the spring-and-wheel ones but also marble clocks, water clocks, hourglasses, etc.  He builds and repairs tiny machines, including these, as part of his hobby.  Introduced in "One Man's Army," reappearing in "Experts Talk Logistics."

Knox -- a neurotypical man, a trader running a loop from Carinan space, who has connections through the old military supply lines. Knox is the cousin of Bowie, and that's all that is left of their family; everyone else worked at Brakeworm Base and died in the Massacre of Cascabel. Introduced in "Who Is Devoid of the Power."

The Lord of Pr0n -- a tall thin man who works with computers, neurovariant, formerly associated with the Orion army.  His passion is pornography: anything to do with sexual or sensual pleasures.  He also enjoys skintime contact when he can get it.  His extensive database of such material becomes an early form of trade stock in the Lacuna, and protects him from an attempted attack, earning him considerable prestige.  Introduced in "The Lord of Pr0n," reappearing in "A Taste of Things to Come" and "Experts Talk Logistics."

Specialist Miles Cernan (12-111-972-OC) -- a short neurovariant man who deals in paperwork and has some basic grasp of piloting, although he is not officially rated as a pilot.  Not long after the secession begins, his station is bombed.  The jumpship OCS-397 rescues him, and he becomes its pilot.  He first appears in "Jumpship."

The Minotaur -- a tall burly man who manages Sargasso Base, a graveyard of derelict starships in the Lacuna, formerly belonging to the Orion army.  He is neurovariant.  He has a coarse, inexpressive face and thick fingers.  Sargasso Base is located at the Lagrange Point 5 of a rocky planet and its battered moon orbiting a white dwarf star.  This is the one location known to everyone, and a source of valuable salvage material.

The Minotaur is a brilliant mathematician, capable of constructing and balancing intricate equations to keep the many ships and other pieces in a stable configuration.  He also has an exquisitely delicate touch on the tractor and pressor beams.  His passion is mythology, and he customarily expresses himself in those metaphors.  His is adamant that his name is pronounced MINE-otaur  not MIHN-otaur,  and he often drops into obscure digressions when conversing with people.  He views himself and the other neurovariants as mythical monsters, and neurotypical people as ordinary mortals.  His use of "monster" is partially a reclaiming but also partially internalized discrimination; and that's true for much of the rest of his constructed worldview.

He does not get along fluently with neurotypical people, and tends to hide from them.  When the other secessionists ask him for help in providing salvage and a common meeting place, though, he agrees -- and he assures them that the military won't be a problem.

The Minotaur first appears in "Invisible Lines," reappearing in "Conscientious Objectors."


Mole -- a neurotypical man, he runs the lingerie shop at Sargasso Base. Introduced in "What the Scissors Have Cut Asunder."

OCS-223 -- the AYES of a jumpship originally from the Orion-Cygnus army.  (AYES stands for Artificial Yield Extrapolation System.  It's an artificial intelligence.  That army uses the initials OCS in serial numbers for Orion, Cygnus, Ship.)  Abandoned at Sargasso Base as derelict, it plays dead until after the secession, when it starts an argument with the Minotaur and a formerly Carinan jumpship, the Cruiser Falconwing P42.  The OCS-223 disapproves of the secession.  Introduced in "Conscientious Objectors."

OCS-397 -- the AYES of a jumpship originally from the Orion-Cygnus army.  (AYES stands for Artificial Yield Extrapolation System.  It's an artificial intelligence.)  That army uses the initials OCS in serial numbers for Orion, Cygnus, Ship.)  It locks out its assigned pilot during the secession.  Later, when a station is bombed, it rescues Specialist Miles Cernan (12-111-972-OC), who becomes its pilot.  Like most AYES, OCS-397 identifies as neuter, prefers the pronoun "it," and does not respond favorably to being called "she" or being anthropomorphized.  It first appears in "Jumpship."

Operetta -- a short, curvy, slightly plump woman skilled in designing hardware and working with technology on the Carinan side.  She helps invent the velveteen gloves made from nanofiber that make it possible to transmit physical sensations long-distance.  She is fairly young and neurovariant.  Her passion is opera.  She hates the nickname "Space Operetta" and indeed, hates space opera in general.  She prefers to avoid conflict, and rarely makes eye contact.  However, she is pretty good about expressing her emotions and desires, as long as she doesn't have to look anyone in the eye or stand in the spotlight.  She is the girlfriend of Weavercreep.  Introduced in "The Velveteen Gloves," reappearing in "Language Bodies" and "Experts Talk Logistics."

Optical -- a neurotypical man of average size with slightly protuberant eyes, who handles the sensor array on stations.  He works as temporary staff on Supply Base Bounty 3D3N, belonging to the Carina–Sagittarius army and located toward galactic east.  He leaves when the secession hits.  Introduced in "Backup, Try Again."

Palmer -- a neurovariant woman who does massage. She lives at Sargasso Base. She is friends with Shuttlecock. Introduced in "What the Scissors Have Cut Asunder."

Port -- a large neurotypical man, he pilots cargo shuttles and tugs, mans tractor beams, and otherwise moves things from one place to another.  He serves on Supply Base Bounty 3D3N, belonging to the Carina–Sagittarius army and located toward galactic east.  The oldest of three siblings, he acts as an older brother to Backup.  During the secession, Port decides to stay even though he is neurotypical, because he won't abandon Backup.

Port is introduced in "Backup, Try Again."


Quell -- a small man, neurovariant, working as a jammer for the Carinan army.  When a jumpship arrives to decommission the surveillance base, he chooses to stay along with another neurovariant man, Shakespeare.  Quell cuts off communication between the ship and the Carinan soldiers, and douses the lights.  This helps Shakespeare in his escape efforts.  The soldiers eventually give up and leave, taking with them the two neurotypical men from the base, Sweep and Crowbar.  Introduced in "Do Wrong to None."

Regimen -- a neurovariant man. He knows the names of the stars and the spacelanes that stretch between them and the outposts that have no names, only codes. He is particularly fond of a beverage called comfie. Introduced in "The Need for Routine."

Router -- a tall, moderately muscular, neurotypical man in charge of Supply Base Bounty 3D3N, belonging to the Carina–Sagittarius army and located toward galactic east.  He coordinates supplies and traffic for much of the region.  He has excellent skills in organization, communication, and leadership.  The oldest of five siblings, Router tends to act like everybody's big brother, and he is especially protective of Backup.  Router is also the oldest of the four crewmen, just entering middle age.  During the secession, Router chooses to stay even though he is neurotypical.  He refuses to abandon Backup and the rest of his crew.

Supply Base Bounty is designed for a permanent crew of six.  They are one man down when the secession hits, and the fifth crewmember leaves (no harm, no foul).  The base is later pledged for food production.

Router is introduced in "Backup, Try Again," reappearing in "Experts Talk Logistics."


Sam Bordelon, the Gardener -- a man of average size, neurovariant, originally doing data collation for the Orion army.  His passion is creating virtual gardens.  He is an only child.  He has a hyperfocus mode, which doesn't cause him problems; his virtual garden program has a limited functional time that he uses off-duty, and the focus on-duty is an asset.

Supply Base Bounty 3D3N, belonging to the Carina-Sagittarius army and located toward galactic east, will get retrofitted as a farm. This entails the addition of Sam the Gardener -- who doesn't fit in perfectly with such a tight team, and is an only child to boot. It doesn't help that Sam was Orion rather than Carinan; he was originally going to take over the Orion supply base, but the Orion army scuttled it rather than let the secessionists have it. Sam is also older than Backup, though still on the younger end of the population. Sam does have a hyperfocus mode, which didn't cause him problems before; his virtual garden program had a limited functional time that he used off-duty. But when his primary duty becomes managing a real garden, he loses himself in the work, sometimes for days at a time. The older brothers start dragging him out of the greenhouse by force if necessary, and treating him much the way they do Backup; but he hates that. There's no easy solution; the base crew can't afford to kick out the only gardener in the Lacuna, and the Gardener has no other good space to grow things. So they have to fumble out a working relationship somehow. Introduced in "A Taste of Things to Come," reappearing in "Experts Talk Logistics."

Sam is introduced in "A Taste of Things to Come," reappearing in "Experts Talk Logistics."


Short John -- a slim man 5' tall, neurotypical, who runs black market goods through the Lacuna.  Although he strives to make himself seem more respectable than he really is, he's little better than a pirate.  He is insecure and sensitive about his small size, so he overcompensates. This makes him aggressive, and he tends to turn negotiations into loud arguments, something that Operetta dislikes.  He also refuses to accommodate the cultural expectations in the Lacuna, not wanting people to think of him as a "freak."  However, he has a connection for medical supplies, so the secessionists put up with him.  He first appears in "Language Bodies," reappearing in "A Taste of Things to Come" and "Experts Talk Logistics."

Shakespeare -- an average-sized man of Specialist rank, neurovariant.  He speaks primarily in quotes, rather than original sentences, and has memorized a massive cultural database of source material from all over.  He is actually quite fluent in conversation using this method and can usually express himself clearly.  But it doesn't sound ordinary and many neurotypical people avoid or misunderstand him because of it.  He is also a skilled storyteller and mimic -- but it's a nearly exact reproduction of whatever performance he heard, not an original interpretation.  His voice is notably flatter when reciting things he has only read, not heard aloud.

He belongs to a Carinan team of code crackers; his job is to identify and interpret key words or phrases that probably mean something else, and what they refer to in a military context.  He is amazingly good at that.  He's also good at spotting figurative language, which is something that neurovariant people may have trouble with; he sometimes tries to explain this stuff to other secessionists, but his language limitation makes that very hit-or-miss.

Shakespeare is introduced in "Do Wrong to None."


Shuttlecock -- a neurovariant woman who makes clothes at a shop called Threads. She lives at Sargasso Base. She is friends with Palmer. Introduced in "Umbilical Lines."

Spalling -- a sturdy neurotypical man, he is an Orion veteran.  He lives on the planet Trunnion, which borders the Lacuna on the Orion side.  There he has bought a decommissioned military warehouse to use for trade.  He has since formed connections with a local teenager named V, and with the trader Astin.  Spalling is introduced in "Too Expensive to Ship Back."

Sweep -- an average sized neurotypical man, working as a pickup man who finds coded signals for the Carinan army.  Delighted at the chance to leave punishment duty early, he ships out when a Carinan jumpship arrives to decommission the surveillance base.  He had been working there with Crowbar (another neurotypical man), Quell, and Shakespeare (both neurovariant).  Introduced in "Do Wrong to None."

V -- a neuroambiguous teenager living on Trunnion, a planet bordering the Lacuna on the Orion side.  V was born to the Alta Familia or High Clans, and has a holographic tattoo to show that, which is currently covered by a wide cuff bracelet made of copper wirefloss and black plastithong.  V no longer affiliates with that family, and is currently living with Spalling.  V is asexual and aromantic, still trying to figure out how to form connections with other people, around that and the socially fraught childhood experiences.  V uses a "V" pronoun set: V is, Vs arm / V's book, with V, of V's, and Vself.  The distinction is that Vs is inward-focused, about V; while V's is outward-focused, things associated with V. V is introduced in "Too Expensive to Ship Back."

Vesper -- a neurovariant man whose decompression scars make it hard to walk and breathe at the same time. He moves to the Rondure because moving in zero gravity requires less effort, thus improving his mobility. Introduced in "In the Orbit of Your Destiny."

Weavercreep -- a man of average height, toward the thin side, skilled in writing and modifying computer programs for the Orion army.  He is fairly young and neurovariant. He helps his girlfriend Operetta invent the velveteen gloves made from nanofiber that make it possible to transmit physical sensations long-distance.  He does not have trouble making eye contact, but does have trouble verbalizing his emotions toward other people.  So he often expresses himself in oblique terms.  His handle likely derives from "weaver" as a reference to programming, and having been called a creep frequently by neurotypical people.  Introduced in "The Velveteen Gloves," reappearing in "Experts Talk Logistics."

Zymurgy -- a neurovariant woman who smuggled yeast for her homebrew. Introduced in "Dreams of Brown and Green."

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Comments
thnidu From: thnidu Date: February 24th, 2013 04:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Helpful and intriguing, but somewhat broken:
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He first appears in "
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<p>I'm posting this as bonus material since the half-price sale for <a href="http://penultimateproductions.weebly.com/an-army-of-one.html">An Army of One: The Autistic Secession in Space</a> has sold out.

<lj-cut>
Note that names include
....
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Questions:
¿: "the AYES of a jumpship"

!: It just hit me, though I've read a number of these stories: Supply Base Bounty 3D3N = "EDEN"? :-)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: February 24th, 2013 04:49 am (UTC) (Link)

Fixed!

Sorry about LJ mangling my post again. I think it's fixed now.

>>"the AYES of a jumpship"<<

It's an artificial intelligence. I've added the explanation to the post.

>> !: It just hit me, though I've read a number of these stories: Supply Base Bounty 3D3N = "EDEN"? :-) <<

*grin* Yes. You have correctly identified one of my eastereggs.
From: chordatesrock Date: February 24th, 2013 06:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Fixed!

Wow! I never noticed that.
From: chordatesrock Date: February 24th, 2013 06:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Whenever you're next taking prompts, I know who I'm asking for: Short John, Shakespeare and, if I can think of something interesting, Operetta. I also want to see things blow up when the gardener gets to Backup's supply base. I don't like the Lord of Pr0n-- as a person, not as a character.

I hope some or all of this is useful as general series feedback.
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