Background stories, or: How did I get in this mess?

 
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Aris_TGD
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 12:27 am    Post subject: Background stories, or: How did I get in this mess? Reply with quote

One of the largest questions for a character joining the Jihad is: How the heck did you get here? Okay, the job involves playing with lots of cool toys and deciding the fate of the world, but why didn't you take the blue pill?

When the Jihad was first starting out, writing origin stories wasn't yet the cool thing to do. But as time wore on, it became apparent that where a character came from is a huge defining characteristic on where they're heading. A character that's dark, brooding, and has many secrets in his past will have joined the Jihad for very different reasons than the perky brunette currently heading up Ops.

So as part of a thread, I'd like to tear apart my own origin story, and I'd like to invite other people to do the same. Characterization, here we go...
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KillJoy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I just have to point out that with the example you give, "the perky brunette heading Ops" contrasted with the dark broody background, it's amazing what fronts people put up. Wink

... I have about 5 versions of KJ's origin stories around, most of which are horrible. I refuse to let them see the light of day and should really just delete them. I keep trying but for some reason they end up horrid and don't make sense. Dee is peculiar in that she's not all that well suited to an origin story as such. I think I've given up on the idea of doing them for my Jihad characters, though I recognize that they're a very useful tool. Embarassed

Don't mind me, I'm inclined to rambling lately.
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Mal-3
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KillJoy wrote:
Dee is peculiar in that she's not all that well suited to an origin story as such. I think I've given up on the idea of doing them for my Jihad characters, though I recognize that they're a very useful tool.


Oh, I don't know. I think the capsule summary you wrote up for Dee is actually pretty damn good origin story. Sure, it's not in traditional fiction format, but that's a quibble...
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Aris_TGD
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I wanted to rewrite my own origin story isn't that is sucks per se, but that half of it depends on ST, who isn't around any more. Another concern that I have is that Aris served for some time in TRES, but achieved the rank of XO of Operations in VRDET. Promotions take time, and I want to figure out how much time that would take, and if I should reasonably expect Aris to have reached the rank of Commander in TRES, which was the rank I had when I left, or if I should set aside some of my laurels in order to make the story work better.

The 'current' origin story I have is that Aris is a dimension traveller, and she was passing through our world in order to visit a friend, a low-profile shapeshifter(Whose name, idly, is Malikandril, but I only know this because I've mentioned him in dialogue before.) Her dimension jump is interrupted by Lyran magics, and she lands quite uncomfortably and suddenly, unhappy. Able to track the type of magic, she recklessly heads after the lyran mages only a few days later. Fortunately for her, this was a small group, they were all disoriented themselves, and they were more interested in playing with a rogue dragon than killing one. She managed to teleport out and landed somewhere in the Pacific, washing up mere yards from a Jihad base.

Originally, this happend shortly after Op:Pacifica. However, it takes more than three years for even a dragon to rise from ensign in TRES to XO of an entire half of the Verthandic Rangers, not to mention becoming a Triumvir Praetor in the Jihad. (Op:Pacifica happened in October of '96, and JU3 timeline picks up in '99.) By summer of '97, in fact, Aris is a Company Commander in VRDET. We'd like to think she's had more than a year's experience in the Jihad, even if Ari and Katze were themselves both rather new.

So. If we push Aris' appearance back slightly before Pacifica, we have time to give her
a higher ranking in TRES, possibly up to the Commander/XO of Alpha squad that I earned while playing over in TRES. If we move back to spring of '96, we can assume that what broke Aris' teleportation was in fact the last spasm of Worldwalk, and her brush with the Lyrans some small squad doing preparations for Phoenix. Found on the beach after the fighting died down, she would therefore be one of the new recruits after the devestation. Her training and first few promotions would therefore happen during Pacifica, and afterwards she would move over to the BJ to help with the final transformation of the old JAO into the Verthandic Rangers.

Suggestions/nits always appreciated.
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CATULLUS: Of course. This way people can call Caesar “Commander Cocksucker” out loud and it’s okay, because they’re not the ones calling Caesar a cocksucker, they’re just quoting that wacky Catullus. I can’t help it if I’m the voice of the people.
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KillJoy
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mal-3 wrote:
KillJoy wrote:
Dee is peculiar in that she's not all that well suited to an origin story as such. I think I've given up on the idea of doing them for my Jihad characters, though I recognize that they're a very useful tool.


Oh, I don't know. I think the capsule summary you wrote up for Dee is actually pretty damn good origin story. Sure, it's not in traditional fiction format, but that's a quibble...


Hm, point. I was just going and splitting hairs anyway, really... I was tending to think of her "origin" as basicially being most of her childhood, which expands things out from a traditional story. Hmm. I really could expand on some...

... maybe after I get some of the scenes slated for The Project done.
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katster
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I took a chainsaw to this post to get the important stuff quoted. But it's above...

Aris_TGD wrote:
We'd like to think she's had more than a year's experience in the Jihad, even if Ari and Katze were themselves both rather new.

So. If we push Aris' appearance back slightly before Pacifica, we have time to give her
a higher ranking in TRES, possibly up to the Commander/XO of Alpha squad that I earned while playing over in TRES. If we move back to spring of '96, we can assume that what broke Aris' teleportation was in fact the last spasm of Worldwalk, and her brush with the Lyrans some small squad doing preparations for Phoenix. Found on the beach after the fighting died down, she would therefore be one of the new recruits after the devestation. Her training and first few promotions would therefore happen during Pacifica, and afterwards she would move over to the BJ to help with the final transformation of the old JAO into the Verthandic Rangers.

Suggestions/nits always appreciated.


Okay, well, the big one I see is that Katze's discovered towards the end of March 1996, and joins in late May, after the term is over. Now, we could argue that Kat's not exactly on the fast track to promotion in her first state of apperance in the JU, but if Aris joins just after worldwalk (ie, late March 1996), she's not been a Jihaddi for all that much longer than Ari and Katze.

And while I do have ST doodled into Katze's background as a brief blip as Recruit Geier, eventually to be Captain Geier and the hero of Pacifica before suddenly quitting the Jihad (sometimes fame is hard), most Jihaddi don't advance that fast. You've got roughly ten months (from late March '96 to late January '97) to attain the Commander and XO in Alpha (IIRC, weren't you in Zeta, though? I don't recall you being a TRES XO at all.) if you wnat to do that. Wink Or you push your apperance in the JU back even further. But that's ultimately your call.

Keep in mind, Pacifica's short, and Pacifica is in November of '96. I'd be tempted, if you want, to stick Aris in Katze's recruit class, but...that's ultimately your call. Wink

(Gah. I know entirely too much history. I wonder why...)

-kat
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Aris_TGD
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 3:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

katster wrote:
Okay, well, the big one I see is that Katze's discovered towards the end of March 1996, and joins in late May, after the term is over. Now, we could argue that Kat's not exactly on the fast track to promotion in her first state of apperance in the JU, but if Aris joins just after worldwalk (ie, late March 1996), she's not been a Jihaddi for all that much longer than Ari and Katze.


... and if Katze's only a Lieutenant at the point when VRDET gets formed, it's likely that Aris isn't much more than a Lt. Commander. or Lt. herself. (And I could be wrong about how far I was actually promoted; it's been a crazy few years since this era.) In canon, Aris was never in a story as a TRES officer, except for one of ST's stories when he sees her in officer training. Ergo the actual rank the character rises to isn't set in stone, and can be downgraded far enough to make the story plausible. Or we can take the view that after Phoenix, anyone with combat usefulness who showed basic competence was put on a fast track to promotion...

Anyway, two solutions to the posed problem, both of which work. From the way I've portrayed Aris in later stories, I'm more inclined to halt her promotions at Lt./Lt.Comm, given that while Aris might have initiative, competence is a little harder to determine.
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CATULLUS: Of course. This way people can call Caesar “Commander Cocksucker” out loud and it’s okay, because they’re not the ones calling Caesar a cocksucker, they’re just quoting that wacky Catullus. I can’t help it if I’m the voice of the people.
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katster
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aris_TGD wrote:
... and if Katze's only a Lieutenant at the point when VRDET gets formed, it's likely that Aris isn't much more than a Lt. Commander. or Lt. herself.


Kat is, during the time of the Blood Jihad reorg, a Lt. JG. She becomes a full looey at the same time Mal and Ari offer the third seat of their little cabal for Kat's help in the UL mess.

(I have an idea for a scene in which Kat walks into the BJ Logistics and Supply office, only to see a hurriedly printed paper taped to an office door, declaring "Col. Brenner, Logistics and Supply" and her sitting there pondering this before scrawling "aka Lt JG Brenner, TRES" underneath it 'cause the higher title is supposedly temporary.)

Aris_TGD wrote:
(And I could be wrong about how far I was actually promoted; it's been a crazy few years since this era.)


Yeah, my memory's fuzzy as well, but I seem to recall you as a full Commander in Zeta. I could check, I think we have your highest rank on the TRES retired personnel list. ...Yup, full Commander.

Aris_TGD wrote:
In canon, Aris was never in a story as a TRES officer, except for one of ST's stories when he sees her in officer training. Ergo the actual rank the character rises to isn't set in stone, and can be downgraded far enough to make the story plausible. Or we can take the view that after Phoenix, anyone with combat usefulness who showed basic competence was put on a fast track to promotion...


Either way works. Of course that brings up the other interesting question of what your char was doing during Phoenix, which is always a fun story in and of itself. Wink

Aris_TGD wrote:
Anyway, two solutions to the posed problem, both of which work. From the way I've portrayed Aris in later stories, I'm more inclined to halt her promotions at Lt./Lt.Comm, given that while Aris might have initiative, competence is a little harder to determine.


That works. And I think it's quite logical, honestly, that this is the way it works. I mean, Kat spends late 1997 and 1998 speeding up the org chart, but that's under slightly different circumstances. Wink

On the other hand, I like this solution. Yet, on the other hand, Aris does well enough to keep the XO of Operations job both under Ari and Katze, so...

Speaking of which, in terms of odd Jihad history, I'm tempted to, in an IC fashion, say that Comms was the logistics and supply part of VR at the beginning (give Kat something she *knows* how to administrate), and then, after Marraketh, when things fell apart, and Katze's not sure she's coming back to the Jihad, that Ari and Mal decide to fold that in under Explorations, and that's how Kat ends up there when she comes back.

Just some random thoughts.

-kat
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Aris_TGD
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2004 4:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

katster wrote:

Aris_TGD wrote:
(And I could be wrong about how far I was actually promoted; it's been a crazy few years since this era.)


Yeah, my memory's fuzzy as well, but I seem to recall you as a full Commander in Zeta. I could check, I think we have your highest rank on the TRES retired personnel list. ...Yup, full Commander.


Oh, I remember being promoted to Commander, and I was in Zeta at one time. But I think after one of DL's restructurings I ended up as Alpha's XO for a while.

katster wrote:

On the other hand, I like this solution. Yet, on the other hand, Aris does well enough to keep the XO of Operations job both under Ari and Katze, so...


Aris' administrative and technical competence aren't at issue, really; she's scatterbrained, but she'll focus on important tasks. Her weakness is in being able to aim, as demonstrated in that assault on the Great Mall...
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CATULLUS: Of course. This way people can call Caesar “Commander Cocksucker” out loud and it’s okay, because they’re not the ones calling Caesar a cocksucker, they’re just quoting that wacky Catullus. I can’t help it if I’m the voice of the people.
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Patrick Alpha
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="katster"]\. Wink

(Gah. I know entirely too much history. I wonder why...)

-kat[/quote]

Hmmm, maybe we should start a department to collect and respond to inquiries of The Jihad's history, with you and Mal-3 at it's head;)
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zibblsnrt
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 3:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Patrick Alpha wrote:
Hmmm, maybe we should start a department to collect and respond to inquiries of The Jihad's history, with you and Mal-3 at it's head;)


The Jihad's history is easily available to anyone willing to do the reading for it. Basically the entire IC history is available in the fiction archives and the history chapter of the book.
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katster
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 14, 2004 5:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zibblsnrt wrote:
Patrick Alpha wrote:
Hmmm, maybe we should start a department to collect and respond to inquiries of The Jihad's history, with you and Mal-3 at it's head;)


The Jihad's history is easily available to anyone willing to do the reading for it. Basically the entire IC history is available in the fiction archives and the history chapter of the book.


And, on top of it, Alpha, I suspect you're mixing up IC and OOC history. When I refer to knowing too much history in this topic, I'm talking about IC history, which is fitting, seeing as how I wrote that chapter in the book. And because I wrote that chapter, details of timeline are a bit more familiar to me than most folks, which is why I was being silly in saying "Gah, I know too much history, wonder why."

I'm willing to answer any questions about IC history here in this topic, including how your character fits into the Jihad and what might be going on. However, if the question is answered in the book, I may just say "Read", and if it's Canon Doubt and Uncertainty, I might just state that. Wink

OOC history, to be honest, is neat, but less useful. Feel free to ask questions about it, but those go in the main group and not here. And really, honestly, whoever feels like answering them will or won't, depending. I don't think we need a special "department" for handling such inquiries. Wink

-kat
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Doc Forrest
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2004 11:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gaah, I remember writing a few origin stories, but like KJ's ones, they were not worthy. I honestly can't remember why or how I joined the Good Fight. I could use a bit of help please,
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Aris_TGD
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2004 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doc Forrest wrote:
Gaah, I remember writing a few origin stories, but like KJ's ones, they were not worthy. I honestly can't remember why or how I joined the Good Fight. I could use a bit of help please,


Well, y'know, start with the character. What's your character like? What does he want? What sort of things does he do? An R&D person will probably have joined under different circumstances than a soldier. So throw out some descriptors and run with it.
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