The Spark - Work in Progress II

It has been quite awhile since I've posted a creative writing or art update, so today I'm going to take a step back and talk a bit about the human characters in The Spark. If you've read the current version of the tale I've posted here on the blog you know who some of the key players will be for the Confederation side of the tale.

As I did with the Clutch characters I thought I'd introduce a bit more about the Confederation key players.. including a quick screen of who I envision when I picture these characters in my mind. I have been playing more with my Microsoft Surface Pro and the Sketchbook Pro 2011 and Mischief software for my drawings so I'll shoot to get some actual character images (not the inspired actors) up in the near term.

Till then.. here is the lowdown on the Confederation Exploration crew:

The Confederation Exploration Force

The Confederation Expeditionary Force (CEF) is Earth's primary colonization arm. The purpose of the CEF, along with the supporting Confederation Exploration Defense Force (CEDF) is to identify and establish new colonies to spread humanity outside the cradle of the Sol system. This expansionist push has yet to uncover any inhabited planets or intelligent lifeforms in the local cluster. CEF scientists are still at a loss to explain how the lack of contact has occurred and continue to stress that pushing humanity out into the black is the only way to ensure its immortality in the universe.

Colonization is generally a one-way trip. Communication is limited to particle radio - which functions using quantum entangled particles contained within the colonization toolkits to enable limited message transfer back to Earth with no time dilation or distance impact. Unfortunately, the entangled particles are hard to maintain and colonial communication is sometimes lost unless a "rescue" ship is sent to deliver a new paired "particle radio".

UCS CDV-3245 "William Argyle"

The UCS William Argyle is one the the latest designed Confederation colonization vehicles. Initially designed as a seed ship, the discovery of "enfoldment", the act of achieving interstellar transit with limited energy store by effectively moving through a superspace, caused the CEF engineers to modify the vessel to serve as a remote delivery and return craft. The engines used to execute enfolding space are commonly called portal drives, giving them a magical reputation, though they function in a purely physics-based manner.

The William Argyle has successfully delivered one colony seed to a planet on CDV-439, an Earthlike planet in the constellation of Sagittarius in a system  that exists as a part of the M-24 - The Small Sagittarius Star Cloud.

The current mission of the Argyle was a rush job. The ship and its crew had less than six months turnaround to prepare for the colony drop on Pisces Majora (PTK-341).

Lt. Commander Jessie Marshal, CEF

Ethnicity: North American (English/Germanic descent)
Sex: Female Age: 26
Ht:5'2" Wt: 125 lbs
Skin: Caucasian
Hair: Long, straight Brown but often in a bun or tied back

Character Background: While holding the rank of Lt. Commander in the Confederation Exploration Force, Jessie Marshal does not have a military background. Prior to her posting on the William Argyle, she served primarily as an analyst for the CEF solar observatory. Her discovery of PTK-341 and the classification of the planet's strange characteristics brought her to the notice of CEF command and led to her assignment on the ship as the navigator - a role she received only six months of training to execute - far less than a typical CEF Navigator would.

Personality: Jessie is a studious woman with a sharp mind. She holds multiple degrees in unrelated fields which betrays her capricious intellect. She begins the mission feeling completely unwelcome by the William Argyle bridge and command crew and doubts her suitability for this mission.

Major Lou Kowalski, CEDF

Ethnicity: North American (Polish/Italian descent)
Sex: Male Age: 33
Ht:6'0" Wt: 185 lbs
Skin: Tanned
Hair: Short Cropped Brown

Character Background: Major Lou Kowalski, is the commanding officer of the William Argyle's complement of security forces and Marines. An experienced colony defense officer, Lou has spent much of his time training colony drop forces for colony delivery. He is renowned in the CEDF as one of the best survival instructors and holds multiple commendations for winning survival competitions with both solo and team units.

Personality: Lou is generally a serious, professional officer and his assignment to the William Argyle - as a ship designed to do round trip colony drops - was in his mind the next logical step in enhancing the training needed to mount CEDF support operations. He has developed quite a liking for the out of place Lt. Commander Marshal and has a friendly relationship with the sometimes prickly Chief Engineer Velasquez.

Engineer's Mate Barry Van Jones, CEF

Ethnicity: European (Welsh/Scottish descent)
Sex: Male Age: 24
Ht:5'9" Wt: 165 lbs
Skin: Pale Caucasian
Hair: Short Cropped Blonde

Character Background: 
Barry Van Jones is one of the newest crew members on the William Argyle. He came late to the job, having spent much of his recent professional life as a writer and media professional.

Van Jones is on his first colony drop during the trip to PTK-341. He has some secrets regarding his change in career that he has not shared with the members of his new crew, and enjoys his new status as someone outside the public eye. He has a natural affinity for engineering that is somewhat odd, since he lacks much in the way of formal training. Van Jones often refers to his skill as machine empathy, and attributes his spontaneous insight to years spent alone intimately sharing his time with machines during his writing and media work.

Personality: Van Jones has a somewhat snarky attitude toward life, though he is generally the one person in any room who seems to lighten the mood regardless of the events at hand.

Chief Engineer Marcus Velazquez, CEF

Ethnicity: European (Spanish descent)
Sex: Male Age: 40
Ht:5'7" Wt: 175lbs
Skin: Tanned
Hair: Short Cropped Black

Character Background: Chief Engineer Marcus Velazquez is the king of the William Argyle. The only crew member to have made the transit via portal drive more times than anyone else, he has an intimate working knowledge of the physics and engineering principals that allow the portal drive to function despite common belief that the technology should not work.

Personality: Velazquez comes from a wealthy family whose primary industry financed and established the CEF nearly seventy-five years ago. He dislikes the attention given to him because of that legacy, and prefers to be recognized for who he is and what he himself has accomplished. This often leads him to maintain a short interaction with most people. His demeanor comes off as harsh and sometimes angry. Marcus, like most successful ships' engineers, prefers the company of his ship over most people. He does have an affinity for Van Jones and Kowalski both, but has little time for Marshal and her inexperienced input.

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