Writer: Marcus

Basics

Name: Nicostrato Cattaneo
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Sexual orientation: Straight (in an accepting way, where he's never been attracted to a man but isn't afraid of it conceptually, unlike certain other characters of mine cough)
Play-by: Raine Maida

Pernese Settler Info

Craft/job: mechanical engineer / jack-of-all-trades
Rank: "useful annoyance"
Location at Threadfall: Landing
Do they approve of the genetic tinkering? Anything to get away from having to use spacecraft, man. Anything at all.

Appearance

Tending more toward the long-and-narrow end of the spectrum of builds, Nicostrato may not be easy to miss, but he's not that hard to dismiss, either. He's lean, not bulky; the dark, slightly-curling hair and olive-toned skin of his Italianate heritage makes it easy to blend into shadows; sure, he's tall, but chances are he's hunched over whatever's in his hands already anyway. His eyes, on the other hand, are a piercing blue, giving him something of a hawklike gaze — for those who remember hawks, at any rate.

Personality

In a word, intense. Nicostrato is really bad at being laid-back or relaxed about basically anything at all. He's the sort to carry himself like there's an electric current under his skin that's always pushing him onward to the next thing. If he's fully focused on the task at hand, well, it's definitively so; that focus has enough intensity to block out pretty much all of the world around him.

He can be caring; he can be considerate; he earnestly believes in all the ideals of the colonization of Pern, and does everything he can to support them. There are people he cares about. He's fallen in love. He's not a criminal.

He is, however, a giant raging geekdork who obsesses over Making Things Better, The Pernese Way, with deliberately turning his back on higher technology whenever possible (no, but seriously, what if we just collected a lot of these glowing bugs in a glass jar and used it as a lamp?), and having that intensity of focus turned this way has made him somewhat less than popular with certain segments of the population.

History

​Nicostrato Cattaneo was born on Earth, in a place that used to be known as Sicily, and he was raised to think that Science was Cool. He was also raised to think, like many of his (many) cousins, that military service was very honorable, almost as much as the Church, and if you didn't have some /other/ sort of calling, the Church or the military were both more honorable than falling in among the crime families. (Just don't talk about that /too/ loudly, because they might hear you, after all.) It was never particularly relevant to Nico; by the time he'd started school, it was obvious enough that he was going to be doing /something/ scientific, and that he was most likely going to be doing whatever it was so thoroughly that it wouldn't be for the military, either.

And then, of course, the Nathi Wars came, and — as they did for so many — ruined everything.

So much of his extended family joined up, to fight, because they had skills that might have proven useful, because they were cannon fodder — most, no doubt, somewhere between the two extremes, but as the list of names grew longer, the more and more Nicostrato came to believe that the military was wasting his family's blood across the stars, that it saw his kindred as nothing but expendable — and when his cousin the priest tried to console him, speaking of God's ineffable plan, the end result was that his hatred of the military stained his general disinterest in God until he could no longer believe any such God existed.

(No one believes so strongly as he who has converted.)

The war ended, or at least the news channels stopped broadcasting new atrocities and the lists of the dead stopped growing; instead, news channels started broadcasting calls for healthy colonial stock, up to and including very young children, and that was what convinced Nicostrato that perhaps it wasn't just military recruitment in disguise — what military would want to deal with raising toddlers, just to convince adults to sign up?

He signed up, his health records and undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering (along with a depressingly large number of military pensions, converted to the colony ship's accounts to cover his fare) enough to reserve him a spot, and soon thereafter he boarded a colony ship taking him to some pastoral world … somewhere.

For nearly a decade, life was everything he'd hoped it would be. Sure, there were a few hiccups; people had to learn how to do without things they'd had for their entire lives, and nobody had expected weird alligator-snakes with six legs to come stalking into town, and on the other hand there were tiny little dragons — and there were so many /people/, and so many things to do, and really it was all just a nice communal dream of making the good life for themselves and those who would come after them.

(He even fell in love, with a delightful woman who found his eccentric intensity adorable, and they were going to get married.)

And then Threadfall, and chaos, and confusion, and dismay, and volcanoes, and a planned evacuation that became panicked and hurried, and —

And on the one hand, there was so much to /do/, in making the island habitable for everyone stuck on it, and so he was always busy, and didn't have too much time when he was stuck thinking.

And on the other hand, he still didn't even know if his fiancee was alive.

And on the mutant third hand, well, a /damnable/ military ship just crash-landed on the other side of the island, and he didn't know what he'd done to deserve this sort of punishment but he was /not here for this/.

Dragon

Name: Thuralth
Colour: Brown
Hatching date: 10.8.28

Thuralth is a perfectly un-notable dragon the sort that eases in under the radar and tends not to draw much attention towards himself at all. He’s a soft shade of brown that has the appearance of worn leather, comforting but nothing fancy in the slightest. This might be why folk don’t seem to see at first that there’s anything wrong with him at all. What is first notable is that across his face and down the left side of his neck is a pale splotch that’s very off-colour, more like something went wrong than it just being a natural quirk in his appearance. His left eye is a milky white and will never see while the right has just enough vision to get by.

Not that he would know any different, but Thuralth is a perfectly agreeable dragon that takes very little notice that there’s anything different about him from the others. Well, he’s doing just fine now, isn’t he? It won’t be until flight that he’ll realize that he may have a hard time, but he’ll soldier on with the same enthusiasm he has about everything else in life. He’s an endlessly curious creature who is very easily amused by the simple things in life. Everything is fascinating and he’ll be constantly after his rider to learn about this thing or that thing, which can be very interesting when it’s something worthwhile, but Thuralth will be just as excited about learning about the very simple things. Something that seems obvious or straightforward will still get the focus and joy that the vague concept of outer space does.