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Basics

Name: Blake Sander
Age: 32
Gender: Male
Sexual orientation: Super straight
Play-by: Scot Sanborn

Amherst Crew Info

Background: Military
Rank: Ship's Captain
Specialization: Command
Years of service: 15

Appearance

Tall, around six and a half feet. Strong. Handsome, in a rugged-but-spacefaring kind of way, which is to say fairly pale and not used to planetary atmospheres (or planetary doses of sunlight). Reddish-blond, close-cut hair. No facial hair. Blue eyes. A somewhat careworn face, from bearing the weight of command. Strong hands.

Personality

For fulfilling the stereotype of a 1950s sitcom husband and father, Blake Sander is actually remarkably compassionate and fun-loving. It’s just that there’s all that stereotypical stuff too.

To wit, he’s very socially conservative, with traditional Catholic influences: homosexuality may or may not be a sin, but it's definitely /wrong/, and not something anyone should blithely discuss; relationships should be private, and monogamous and durable, and if you aren't planning to have children why are you trying to get married in the first place (with the assumption that relationships lead to marriage lead to children); women have special gifts and abilities that make them excellent caretakers and mothers, and they should be cherished and protected in those roles.

Don’t mistake this for meaning he’s misogynistic, because he really isn’t. Sure, he doesn’t think women are equal to men, and sure, he thinks there are a lot of things women just Shouldn’t Do, but the flipside of it is that the lack of equality is in a complementary fashion (in his mind, at least) and there are a lot of things he thinks men Shouldn’t Do, too — he’s definitely a proponent of there being Men’s Work and Women’s Work. Men are meant to be the ones who deal with violence and war and fighting, because they have athletic strengths for that, and because war is nasty and no place for a woman’s delicate sensibilities. Women, on the other hand, are very good at networking, and the sort of tasks that require a very delicate touch, physically or otherwise — from surgery, and welding microprocessors, to all sorts of handicrafts where men, with their big ham-fisted ways, are just functionally useless.

He’s also creepy good at math, and has been known to frighten his navigators by alternately setting them proofs when there’s a slow moment at the helm (frequently, if not daily), taking the ship on a trajectory (in a fight or otherwise) that nobody’s had the chance to mathematically prove won’t result in the ship and everyone on it dying (rare, but on the other hand they haven’t died yet), or firing shots at enemy combatants that, again, the computers haven’t gotten missile locks on (during almost every battle they’ve been in, at least once) — and it keeps working.

And he cares, firmly and intently, about everyone under his command. He might have his own ideas about where they belong, or what they ought to do with their lives, and undoubtedly there are a few people who are hiding various parts of themselves from him because he’s never hidden his own prejudices — but even they can find things to appreciate about his stern, paternal guidance. He wants everyone to be the best they can be (with a few assumptions about what that actually means), and will do everything he can to encourage them to that — no matter how awkward the resulting mismatch between his perception and someone’s actual personality might be.

History

​Once upon a time, Rear Admiral Quincy Sander fell in love, got married, and begat children. Unsurprisingly, his wife, Kerenza, was the one left to raise the kids while he kept on with his career; not to say he didn't love them, but his attention wasn't focused on them while he was working, to say the least.

The eldest, Blake, was a lot scrawnier than his father had been when /he/ was a child. Well and fair; he nevertheless bolted off to the FSP Military Academy as soon as he was old enough, with never a doubt in his mind that he belonged in the Fleet, just like his father, physical size notwithstanding. The captain of a ship didn't have to be /big/ to be commanding, after all! And a good thing, too, as quite a number of years passed — and Blake graduated with high honors into the command track of officer training — before finally attaining that last growth spurt, and matching his father in height and breadth of shoulders.

At the Academy, meanwhile, Blake proved to be a math geek. He greatly enjoyed the challenges of engineering, and found the old pastimes of metallurgy and other ancient materials sciences a delightful diversion, along with learning about the importance of hydroponics and biodiversity in ensuring human survival in a spacefaring age. He soaked up knowledge like a sponge, and then found that one of his commanding officers, aboard his very first science-geek-junior-officer posting, saw the potential in him that young Blake would be a great commander — and pushed him to prove it. And prove it he did, again and again, even when he hadn't realized he had such a capability in the first place.

There were adventures. There was danger. There was a clever and earnest young officer who repeatedly found himself stepping up to lead when someone needed to, instead of looking for someone else to do the leading; who had an innate gift for pulling the best out of his subordinates, much as that commanding officer had pulled the gift for command out of him; who had a few flaws, but did his best to overcome them whenever he became aware of them. This wasn't to say that he conquered all of them; he had trouble seeing his attitude toward women as a problem in the first place, as something that needed to be worked on — where was the flaw in feeling that women were meant to be cherished and protected, anyway? He didn't think that women didn't have a place serving in the Fleet, after all; he just didn't think they should be commanders, or in combat units. Medics? Absolutely. Engineering? Often enough; women in general had the delicate touch that men didn't, and anything that required that sort of fine manual dexterity probably called for a woman's touch. He /encouraged/ women in such tracks. How was that a /problem/?

Part of the problem, perhaps, was in the very clear way there weren't any women in his life who were consistently seeking him out, even in the context of advice in their careers. Men would, occasionally; he did /have/ friends, too, who wanted to spend time with him on his own merits. Women, though — those subtle flowers and delicate creatures that they were — he found it difficult to connect with them, to encourage them the same way he could the men serving on his postings. He didn't always understand them so well; they were mysterious, alien (albeit in a pointedly human way), enigmatic. They had their connections to each other, their women's mysteries — he wasn't about to shove himself into the midst of /those/, and if that meant that he was left waiting and wondering when he'd manage to find a lover and life-mate of his own. It wasn't as if his father had been a young man when he married, he reminded himself, and moved on.

Eventually, he'd advanced through Fleet's ranks far enough (and honestly fairly quickly, in part due to his family's name and influence, and in part due to his own skill at command) that he was granted his first captaincy: a small scouting ship, the Amherst, destined to check in on far and distant planets that had previously been tagged as negligible. And by 'far and distant', he was told, he could expect to spend at least a year in FTL travel to reach the mere /region/ of the planets in question — if not substantially longer than that. All else being equal, it was probably just as well he /didn't/ have a wife waiting for him stationside, if he was going to be gone for such extended stretches.

On the other hand, the fact that duty tours ran a solid five standard years did work in his favor in one regard — it provided him with ample time to nurture a single plant in his captain's quarters, with the result that he never actually got to harvest and roast his own coffee beans, but was part of a community-supported space agriculture program that did actually /give/ him a certain quantity of roasted beans based on the trees he donated. Those beans, which ended up taking up a large portion of his personal weight allotment, were cherished and carefully measured out, bean by bean and cup by cup, every drop of coffee savored for being /real/ coffee, and not the mass-reconstituted instant caffeine of the mess. Occasionally, when someone did something /remarkably/ good, he (or even sometimes she) was treated to a cup of the Good Stuff, at the captain's discretion.

The second tour.

Ahh, the second tour.

After the first tour, Blake was pleased — proud of what he and his crew had accomplished. He came home, reporting in to his father — not due to the chain of command, but because Admiral Quincy Sander was his father and deserved to know the funny little anecdotes of the trip, not just the clear and crisp report that was filed. He wasn't expecting his father to praise him to quite the extent he did; he /really/ wasn't expecting his father to follow up with a "By the way, you'll be taking the twins with you on this next trip out."

Immediately thereafter ensued the worst fight he'd ever had with his father, as he argued all the reasons that was a /terrible idea/ and his father calmly insisted. It was worse when his Quincy /agreed/ with his points and insisted anyway; the twins /were/ young, and inexperienced, and didn't know what they were doing, and had a terrible tendency to get in over their heads.

Admiral Quincy cut him off with a "this isn't open for discussion" before he could point out the /familial/ risks inherent in having three of the six Sander children of that particular branch and generation on a single scout ship at the edge of the known system. And so, only a few months later, Captain Blake and his ship and crew took off for a trip to the middle of nowhere, once again — with a pair of recalcitrant siblings and a few new coffee shrubs along for the ride.

(As the ship crashed down at the north end of the island, all he could think was "I /knew/ this was a bad idea.")

Dragon

Name: Lomerulith
Colour: Bronze
Hatching date: 10.8.28

Lomerulith will have a bit of unfortunate start in life in that his appearance will be a cause for concern. The fact that he is actually a bronze will be up for debate until the geneticists run tests to confirm that yes, he carries the DNA of his bronze brothers. There will also be a bit of worry that he’s unwell simply because he’s such a shabby looking creature. The telltale sheen that the bronzes have will be hard to find and only really show in direct sunlight after a fresh oiling and there’s enough hints of greying to his colouration that it’s just assumed he’s in poor health.

It won’t help that Lomerulith is a quiet and humble dragon, not at all bothered that he’s confused for a brown. If he gets looked down on for this, well that’s just fine with him, why should he be bothered with others think? Perhaps his appearance is what gives him the compassion towards others and the willingness to see the good in them. He likely won’t be the ambitious sort that will try for leadership, but he will make a good one regardless though he suits a supportive role the best. He has the patience and kindness to help the others learn and grow, and will take the time to work with anyone who needs it. There’s a level of intelligence and a curiosity to this bronze, the more you know then the more you’re able to offer.

When Thread falls there will be an almost shocking aggression that will come out and Lomerulith will seem like an almost entirely different creature with the natural urge to fight more vicious than any of the others in the clutch. His partner will have to be careful, if Thread is falling visibly this dragon will try to fight, regardless of age or capability.

Pets

Name: Arabica
Type: Coffee tree
Description: Coffee trees (technically they are bushes) have glossy, dark green, ovate leaves (which last three to five years) and small, fragrant white flowers that bloom simultaneously in clusters – they bloom for just a few days over several months.

Attached Others

Sullivan Sander, younger brother
Katie Sander, younger sister