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Character name: Osahar Solarin
OC info: Osahar's 'world' is galactic in scope. Humanity has expanded throughout the Milky Way, and yet, technology has hit its upper limits in some regards. There has never been, for example, a breakthrough for faster-than-light travel. There has never been communication faster than light. Moore's Law was finally proven to be a description instead of a law- computational power has hit about its limit, with the only recourse being ever larger banks of parallel processing.

In short, humanity's bright future has stretched it too far, and now it has begun to disintegrate. When it takes several lifetimes for a message to go from one planet to the next, anything approaching a unified government is a hollow farce. Each settlement- whether space station, settlement-ships, or planetary colonies- is essentially autonomous, trading and communicating regularly only with those within a certain radius, and forming their own distinct culture and language... and their own brand of 'advancement.'

With many of the traditional approaches to meaning cut off- 'ex nihilo' cosmology being an accepted fact of life, many sciences hitting dead ends, and no social causes to advance- these cultures have begun scrambling for other ones. New cultural identities, transhumanism, competition or conquest, hedonism, or the like.

By contrast, Osahar and his people are known as Singularians- adherents to an interpretation of the Cosmological Singularity. They long ago settled an orphan planet- one that had left the orbit of its home solar system- and thus they've seen many of the worlds over their long journey. The reason for that is as simple as it is frustrating- long ago, the Singularians were engaged in the last major cosmological debate humanity would have as a unified whole. The question was one of mereological nihilism- did the universe begin to exist and thus could be argued to have a purpose, or was the ex nihilo view of chance and chaos to be the dominant paradigm.

The Singularians lost. In the process, along with several other passionate disagreements, their position became precarious. It was at that time that Orphan was discovered passing relatively nearby to the Sol solar system. The Singularians took that as a sign, colonized the planet, and never looked back.

While they still tend to face some suspicion and hostility, humanity has become so fragmented that they often don't draw as much attention as they used to. Besides, they tend to be helpful where they can, sharing technology and technical expertise in exchange for the materials they mine from local asteroid belts and the like, and then return to their planet as it hurtles on. So their encounters tend to be relatively peaceful.

This planet, called- understandably- Orphan, is a mostly-barren rock of a world, with most of the atmosphere having been burned off or frozen from its trips through the galaxy. Despite that, the inhabitants have made a living there, digging deep beneath the surface or living in space stations. While there have been tantalizing hints that there is more to the world than meets the eye- some anomalous geological formations, hints of water, indications of other tunnels even further beneath the surface- the people haven't had the time or manpower to explore them fully. Making a living on such a barren world takes enough time of its own, and of course, all hands are to be busy whenever they're in a new system that has potential resources or trade to be had.

Technology is as one would expect from such an advanced setting. Particle weaponry, both plasmas and lasers, are as common as firearms are in the modern setting. Advanced physics has led to things like baryonic annihilation, literally tearing materials into their component particles and antiparticles, and annihilating them- hence the name- for large-scale explosions. This creates, in essence, almost unlimited energy, but an extremely dangerous one.

The trick is that each culture has different focuses as well. Orphan, for example, has focused a great deal on physics and chemistry, forming powerful alloys and advanced devices. However... their knowledge of biology and genetics is antiquated by comparison to some other cultures, leading to a lack of genetic engineering that others take for granted. Likewise, while the people of Orphan have mastered graviton beams and the like, other cultures simply haven't had that kind of technology. A lot of it depends on what the focus has been, even within the sci-fi 'baseline'.

As a note, the planet has had a lot of newcomers over the years, forming a diverse- and sometimes barely-functional- culture. That being said, Osahar's last name indicates that his ancestry on Orphan goes all the way back to Earth and the original group of Singularians.

Summary: In terms of history, Osahar was naturally born and raised on Orphan. He had a natural knack for mechanics and engineering, and so as he grew older he began studying that. It wasn't until his twenties, however, that he first got a chance to use it in a major way. Orphan passed through an uninhabited solar system, and he was allowed to join the asteroid miners in their work. It was to be a fateful decision.

Asteroid mining turned out to be incredibly boring work. The other miners took things slow and cautious, allowing advanced robotics and automated calculations to do their slow, calculated work. Osahar, because he was and is so dedicated to his people, was driven to speed up the process and get them more resources, stockpiling up for the long drift to the next system.

It was a disaster. Part of the reason the miners took things so slowly was because they understood the effect their graviton fields could have on the 'shrapnel' they received from the asteroids. When Osahar rushed things along, the gravity field sent the shards flying. A few slammed into Osahar himself, pulverizing his left arm and part of his rib cage, barely missing his heart.

With prompt medical treatment, he survived, but his arm was a complete loss. He had to have it replaced with a cybernetic limb, and from that moment on he never made the same mistake again. He went, perhaps, a bit too far, losing some of his confidence and growing far more risk-averse than he'd ever been before.

He also swore off mining, focusing instead on engineering projects within Orphan, or in helping communities that they ran across. Part of the end result of humanity becoming so fragmented was that some communities no longer had the technical expertise to maintain their own technology, and so Osahar would often be sent as both engineer and ambassador. By and large he enjoyed it, especially getting to help people, although a few cultures were... problematic. Some because they had formed a strictly matriarchial culture, some because they had never seen a man with dark skin within living memory, some because they held holistic standards of beauty and couldn't stand someone as overtly imperfect... but by and large it was fine. He learned to handle the rejections well enough, though some of them- especially the ones dealing with his cybernetics- cut deeply and made him search for reassurances that he was still 'normal.'

All of that changed when he was dispatched to Sango Colony. This space colony orbited a massive gas giant, and primarily engaged in atmosphere skimming- the gas giant had abundant supplies of hydrogen and oxygen, as well as other elements, enabling the colony to serve as a supplier of fuel to both ships and individuals. However, something had gone catastrophically wrong, and Osahar was sent, with an engineering team, to investigate and repair if possible.

Osahar was the natural leader, and the team worked under him with remarkable efficiency.

What they uncovered, through the course of their investigation, was horrifying. Sango Colony had turned to extreme genetic engineering, making use of their abundant biological material to change everything. The station itself had been redesigned with this in mind; forming, among other things, a 'living' station that could reproduce several biological functions, such as automatically patching itself in the case of a hull breach, as though with platelets, and turning waste into usable energy or parts.

It had all fallen apart, though, when the station disrupted a baryonic annihilator, vaporizing the central hub and leaving the outlying sections isolated and helpless. Among other things, Osahar's team encountered individuals who had been designed to survive vacuum, in a manner similar to that of tardigrades. Thus, even though they arrived over a year after the station was damaged, they were attacked the instant they restored life support to a single section.

At first Osahar didn't know that these were sapient beings, and he used lethal force to defend himself and his people- as always, he was protective of his own first and foremost. However, after the first section was nearly cleared out, and after he encountered one who was intelligent, he realized what had just happened. The people were ravenous and nearly dessicated, their higher functions disabled until they could feed and rehydrate. When that one, Bernard, showed that he was normal enough, the plan changed. Even when some of his team insisted that they kill Bernard just in case, Osahar stuck up for him, insisting that they treat him well- as he reminded them, Singularians were to be the first to show mercy and the last to resort to death, and he took that principle seriously.

The next section's recovery went much more smoothly, with the team arranging food and water supplies before restoring the life support, allowing the people there to avoid attacking them. After that, Osahar took the lead in providing organization to the survivors, rebuilding power relays and arranging for their lives to be at least not too desperate. Needless to say, some were curious about what happened to their friends and family on the other segments, and Osahar had to admit what happened.

It was another fateful decision. The third section also went according to plan, until one of the men in the second tried to get his revenge for the newcomers killing his family before they realized what was going on. A planted charge blasted open the section after Osahar and a few engineers restored power, sucking out the water and food before the ship could patch the hole.

Osahar very nearly died there. The creatures had bioengineered weapons, after all, and he hadn't been expecting a fight. None of them had. Despite his best efforts, Osahar was unable to save the team members that had gone with him. He only barely managed to survive, himself... until a second charge went off.

That one was a toxin, designed to break down the ship's temporary patches. All at once, the atmosphere was sucked out of the station, and Osahar blacked out minutes afterward, since his space suit was too badly damaged to maintain any seal. The last thing he could remember was the feeling of blacking out and the searing pain of his saliva boiling on his tongue, something he'd never, ever forget.

Bernard was the one that saved him. Being capable of surviving vacuum, he risked it to bring Osahar supplies to survive, and escorted him to safety.

After being resuscitated, it took some time for Osahar to regain some measure of confidence in himself again. The person responsible being brought to justice helped, of course, but in the end he blamed himself for the death of his men. It wasn't until Bernard snapped him out of it by pointing out that they needed to repair the station completely that Osahar shook off the worst of the depression. They, and what remained of the team, worked together to repair the last section, and the people of Sango Colony were relocated to other locations while the colony itself was rebuilt.

Bernard stayed with Osahar during those years of work, and as Orphan left the solar system and Sango was reopened, Bernard decided to go with Osahar and start teaching the Singularians more about the possibilities of genetic engineering and to help them better survive their harsh world.

Unfortunately, that's when the events of Bastion happen.

Personality-wise, then, what can be said about Osahar? First and foremost, he's an engineer, and he's been trained to be a very good one. He's logical, he's rational, and he's given more to concrete action than emotions or theories. Building things and maintaining them is his life, and he's taken to that with a great deal of zeal. From space stations to children's toys, he builds up and provides, even if he's not that good at doing things with them or presenting them nicely.

More than just an engineer, though, he's a leader- he's used to working with and leading teams, and he's naturally given to organization. While he often can and does work alone, he feels most comfortable in a group united by a common purpose.

Osahar does tend to lean toward being cautious and risk-averse, though. His arm is a constant reminder of what happens when he gets too cocky, and sometimes he over-corrects into pessimism or over-analysing risks. This sometimes leads to friction with his teams, particularly when he insists on having extra time to ponder over things before letting them work.

That being said, he is very dedicated to his people- and to a broader sense, anyone he's working with or for- and he truly wishes the best for them. He tries to find out what they need or what's bothering them, and as best he can, he tries to be there for them. This can lead to a bit of self-sacrificing, but more often it leads to a better situation for all parties. Sometimes it doesn't, as when he lost his arm or when he was too quick to get to Sango Colony's third section and was betrayed, but that's only natural.

Along the lines of dedication and common purpose, he is also a Singularian, and while he's a bit quiet about his beliefs, they're very strong and animate him. It's partially from those teachings that he draws his love of creation and building, and similarly continues to have an impact on his generally upbeat and confident outlook on life. Likewise, it's a belief with a strong focus on community and giving to others, which influences his decisions in those regards. He especially has a deep regard for life and improving it- hence why he spared Bernard and why he worked so hard to save the people of the colony, even when they were seen as 'monsters.'

When faced with adversity, he tends to find it as more a challenge to overcome than a 'problem' in the usual sense. He tries to break down what's facing him into its component parts, and tackle them as needed. It's rare for him to ever feel overwhelmed for long periods of time, and he usually tries to help those with him to get over those kinds of feelings, as well. By extension, he acts the same way with something new- he'll want to understand how it works, and so he'll do the best he can to approach it in that way, as an engineer would.

The only two things that really tend to get under his skin are failure and rejection. He tries to be very careful and precise, and so when things don't go according to plan- or worse, go horribly wrong- he tends to blame himself. This can sink him into deep depression, depending on how bad it is, or it can drive him into near-obsession with trying to find out what happened and how to never, ever do it again. With the Sango colony, it was the former- since there was little he could do to prevent it, he instead took the failure personally, and had to be shaken out of it. While he's often successful in finding the flaws he's committed, it tends to make him a nightmare to be around in those times.

Rejection is a bit more complicated, depending on who does it and why. By and large he can deal with a lot of it, since his culture and experience has been one of dealing with such things, but... when it's someone he cares about who does it, or if it hits him in a vulnerable spot- his confidence, his talents, his basic worth as a person- even if he shrugs it off on the surface it will still bother him on a deeper level. Often he'll look for some kind of reassurance from people he trusts, even if it's in a casual or indirect way. If he can't find one, then he'll likely try to deal with it on his own, with... varying degrees of success.

On a more personal level, Osahar is very impressed- and a little intimidated- by people who are clearly good at something he's horrible at. For example, he may greatly admire a talented virtuoso's talents, but if he were to be asked to take part, he'd be embarrassed and try to refuse. Likewise, if he knows someone is a very talented cook, he'll try to find ways to avoid inviting that person over for a meal- whether it's going to that person instead or finding a third party to both go to, because he wouldn't want to show that he's bad at cooking or feel like he's inferior.

It should be pointed out that the exposure to vacuum did lead to some odd effects for Osahar. For example, it led to the saliva in his mouth boiling, so he both has a much more muted sense of taste than he used to, and he now has a natural aversion to hot liquids. Likewise, he'll start getting a little panicked if he's in an area with low oxygen or the like. Not to the point he can't function, but certainly with a great deal of anxiety.

Lastly, for Bastion, he'll be dealing with a lot of new things. Arable farmland is a novelty to him, and children are rare enough that he'll feel a little awkward around them. Likewise, a lot of the technology common to the setting will be so obsolete by his time that he'll have to learn how to use them. He's also completely unfamiliar with anything supernatural, leading to a great deal of confusion with that basic idea. While he's not agoraphobic, he'll still feel a little uneasy while planetside, since he grew up in stations or tunnels, and he's never been to an earth-type world. Natural smells and sunshine too are going to be a novelty. Some more pleasant than others, naturally.

Powers: Osahar doesn't have powers per se. While his cybernetic arm is quite a bit stronger than a human one, it's just a function of mechnical principles, not super powers. Likewise, he has a plasma pistol and it can do a lot of damage, but it's just coherent energy, not supernatural stuff.

That being said, his hypertech does tend to skirt awful close to that line. His arm's strength, and his wrist-mounted computer's functionality, are passive and won't be power-limited. His pistol, though, can store up to three shots, and after that will draw on shards as an additional energy source if needed, instead of tonics.

It should be noted that, in his world, energy weapons are keyed off of specific individuals, with biometric 'locks' preventing unauthorized use. Thus, he can't divvy out more of them to other people in Bastion.

While he does have a great deal of engineering knowledge and the like, those are really more 'talents' than 'powers.' It's worth noting that there's not a lot he can do with his level of tech unless he gets a workshop with the tools he's used. Needless to say, such a workshop is not currently in Bastion.


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Osahar Solarin

April 2013

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