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Writer: willow

Basics

Name: Sullivan Sander
Age: 22
Gender: Male
Sexual orientation: There’s options?
Play-by: Jay Baruchel

Amherst Crew Info

Background: Military
Rank: Corporal
Specialization: Systems Engineering
Years of service: 4

Appearance

Sullivan is a lean, wiry fellow that has some strength but he will never be the kind to carry any bulk. He’ll not likely to win in any fist fights, but he’s quick enough to get out of the way. If ever actually engaged in battle he would be the sort hidden in the trees with a sniper rifle or, better yet, be the guy controlling some sort of unmanned artillery. Which is perfectly fine, he knows where his strengths are and it’s just fine that it isn’t traipsing through the bush and getting dirty.

The first thing to be noted about Sully is that he’s immaculate. More so than is needed even for Captain Sander’s high standards, this young man takes it to the extreme. Every seam is pressed perfectly at any given moment of the day, his brown hair is trimmed and styled neatly from morning to night and even his workstation will never have a visible crumb (because only heathens eat around their computers!). Everything about him is orderly and predictable enough that it was almost shocking when he allowed his facial hair to grow in a little bit after years of people around him not realizing this was even physically possible. The look suits him and hides the fact that he has a rather weak chin.

There certainly isn’t the level of handsome that his older brother has in Sully, something he keenly feels when they’re standing next to each other. He’s cute with an expressive and soulful face that is attractive in its own right, but he struggles to get past not being the traditionally handsome and manly sort.

Personality

Sullivan is a pretty straight-laced guy. Rules are good, organization is better. He functions the best having guidelines to follow, especially when he’s busy with his work and only wants to focus on doing what he does. He tends towards being more conservative, mostly because that’s what he’s used to and change doesn’t sit very well with him. In part he likes to fit in with his family, do as he’s told and be accepted for it, while the more suppressed bits of him like the idea of rebelling a little bit. (This stems potentially from subconsciously knowing somewhere deep down that he’s questioning his sexuality, but this isn’t something he’s aware of yet. Because that’s wrong in his family and you just don’t.)

When you take away the insecurities he gets from being compared to his siblings and parents, Sullivan is actually a pretty settled and comfortable guy. After years of dealing with rampant anxieties and learning how to keep a handle on himself, he’s grown to be a remarkably self-aware young man. It’s a simple matter of survival that he developed his intuition and understanding of himself; if he wanted to live a normal life and be successful he had to figure his shit out. It’s a mark of how strong his character is to have made the decision to not allow these things to control his life and he’s got an extensive list of coping mechanisms to make sure he keeps balanced.

Folk would be surprised to learn he has any internal struggles, in general he comes off as a laid-back (if somewhat smart-ass) sort of fellow that seems like he’s at ease with everyone. In part that’s true because he’s comfortable with himself now, but also because his crewmates tend towards the understanding sort and go out of their way to help him out. After living together for some time they’ve learned what will trigger him to have serious anxiety and what they can get away with joking around with, so he’s in a secure place with most of the people around him. (And he’s got enough friends who will kick the ass of anyone who messes with him.)

He’s most at home with his unit. Engineers tend to be an interesting breed of person and his quirks and oddities fit right in. Besides, they tend to find the joy in the things that other people just don’t understand. Programming and mathematics are more of a first language to him and he’s got a relationship with the ship’s systems that make him a huge asset onboard. If anyone wants to get after him for having special treatment because of his family Sully will happily shut them up by proving that he’s at least actually good at what he does. He tries not to be arrogant, but sometime it’s hard not lord this over others. It’s not as though the non-fighting units get as much glory as the insufferable big and tough soldier types, so he’ll take what credit he can get.

Pern is going to be extremely difficult for Sullivan. It’s not just being thrown far out of his element, but eventually he’ll realize that the skills he has aren’t all transferable. Technology is a fading luxury on the planet and he won’t know where he fits in without because his whole life and who he is revolves around his work. Or did. For now he’ll latch onto whatever support and familiar comfort he can find in his friends and family with the idea that they’ll get the Amherst fixed up soon. The light at the end of the tunnel is the idea that this will all be over soon and he’ll be able to go home again, back to a place where things actually make some kind of sense.

History

​Sully was given a fortunate set of head starts in life. He came from a long line of notable political figures and military men and women; Sander had become a name with some power behind it, particularly with the FSP, so by the time Sully was old enough to enrol in the Academy the way was paved for him. As long as he showed up and did reasonable on his exams he would have a career at the end. Sully was never the sort that cared much about standing out, but he did find pride in doing well or being recognized for the intelligence that he knew he had. Unfortunately it was hard for a kid with an older brother that had already done all of this and had done it with far more grace and charm than Sully ever could.

Still, it was hard to complain. He was popular enough in name to make up for his weirdness that he had an enjoyable time at the Academy. At sixteen he enrolled in advanced software engineering classes rather than apply to move into the service right away. When it came to computers he was miles ahead of his age group but he wanted to make sure he was well-established before moving on.

It was a mixture of talent and having his family behind him that got him onto the Amherst as a Sergeant Second when he was twenty-two. (That rank didn’t last very long and he was repositioned to Corporal two weeks into the tour, thankfully. He was never meant to be leadership material and did far better without the pressure of being in charge.) He’d been in the service for four years at this point, working on smaller class ships and would have been happy not being placed on the Amherst for a five-year stint with his brother serving as captain. Even though he loved Blake dearly, he wanted nothing to do with being his direct subordinate. Not after years of following in the guys’ shadow at the Academy.

However it was a good opportunity and his parents were adamant that he had to take the posting. What was better than the Sander kids going out on a long voyage together? they said. Well there were plenty of objections that that, but Sully went. He kept his head down and focused on his work, eventually finding a comfortable place within his unit and he ended up finding some real joy in the work he was doing.

Then, of course, this little piece of heaven was destroyed in a fiery crash and Sullivan is left figuring out how to handle his new version of life.

Dragon

Name: Awlath
Colour: Green
Hatching date: 10.8.28

Though a bit on the smaller side Awlath is far from a dainty green. More than anything she’s athletic with a strength to her lean form that might not be noticeable until someone tries to push her around and then it’ll be clear just how strong she is. She’ll really shine when it’s time to fight and she’ll happily show she’s just as good as any of the boys, if not better.

Awlath will be a rough and tumble thing that doesn’t put up with anyone’s shit, and it won’t take long for this to develop. The first few months of her life will be a challenge for her partner; Awlath starts off so painfully shy that they’ll wonder if they’ll even be able to get her out into the air. But with a little patience and reassurance they’ll start to see her grow in personality as quickly as she does physically, as long as she’s nurtured properly. It will be amazing to watch her go from terrified of her own shadow to roughhousing with her bigger brothers and sisters as if she hadn’t been hiding from them all along.

And that’s where Awlath starts to show her true colours. There’s a steady confidence that will seem like appears overnight, but it something she’ll have had all along, she just needed the right support for it to develop. Once she’s comfortable in her skin she’ll be easy-going smart-ass, the kind of creature that doesn’t get overly riled but always has a cheerfully snarky return. Rarely is she malicious, but she’ll never tolerate bullying or letting anyone push her around. She’ll hate the injustice of any of the “better” colours pulling their way or abusing their rank and isn’t afraid to call them out on it.