Posted 15 October 2009 - 12:55 PM
Here's my crack at things. Let me know good and bad please.
Name: Maynard Orson Camp
Appearance: About six feet, two inches tall, Maynard was more lanky than bulky, a trait that served him well in earning a scholarship to the university. His dirty blonde hair looks out of place with his sun-dark tan, but he doesn’t care much about it. M.O., as his colleagues and students knew him, wears any variety of clothing. If he’s on a dig, it’s rough khakis and sturdy workboots, complete with his full-brimed, dark tan excavation hat. If he’s in the classroom teaching at his alma mater, it’s some type of suit. His coat will be draped over his desk chair, and his hat is on his desk. Never lets that thing out of sight.
Background: Traditionalism was the one thing instilled in every member of the Camp family from an early age. A sense of family pride, a knowledge of family history, and a sense of obligation to carry on the family’s legacy and business. That last bit was where Maynard had issues. He loved being a part of his family. His dad was a respected farmer, one of the best earning farmers in the Dustbowl of Kansas. His mother was a wonderful homemaker and could have been a world-class chef if she had the desire for it. All of his eight older siblings were nice to him. Some of his brothers displayed the tough love so often found in male sibling dynamics, but they could all count on each other and that was enough for Maynard. He traced his family history too. Stretching back in time, he found that his ancestors had immigrated from Gerschenkron to Reginor. Then they moved from Reginor to Pibo Valda, the supposed land of opportunity about 400 years later. As soon as space travel became mainstream and decently cheap, they started moving to different planets, wherever a better opportunity lay more quickly than they had in the past. Sometimes only a generation or two would stay on a planet before the decision was made to move. The common denominator was always wheat though. On Gerschenkron it was Wheat. On Reginor, wheat. Pibo Valda, wheat. And that’s where Maynard’s issues began.
He studied family history, he even greatly admired all that his family had accomplished, but their achievements had to be taken with a grain of salt. For example, they immigrated to Reginor because the ruler there paid them to. After many generations, a new Czar decided to tax them, so they ran like cowards to Pibo Valda. When the wheat his family grew had no demand on the market, all they would do was plant more wheat. When automated, robotic farming technology became available, his family panicked. The newer, robotic equipment could plant, fertilize, and harvest crops cheaper than his family could, so they started losing money. In the typical fashion, they fled to another planet with a pioneer population. A place that had no need for sheer volume of crops. To his father’s credit, they did expand beyond wheat. They experimented with corn, barley, oats, and any other type of grain. Maynard loved his family, but the simple life of farming was not enough, not by a long shot.
Always a curious boy, Maynard had a passion, a lust to discover things or break down things he could not explain. For example, his father knew to fertilize corn once a month, oats twice a month, and that different types of wheat could be grown in the winter. That was enough for Peter Camp, not for his son Maynard. Why did a certain type of fertilizer do what it did? What was in that plant food to help the plants? Why were certain insects good for crops, but not others? His father never had a straight answer and this infuriated Maynard. He desired to attend school and learn these things. After all, someone had discovered that these things were good for plants, so there must be someone who could teach him. Good luck convincing his parents though. It was assumed that once you finished school through the law-required grade , you were working in the family business. On a long shot, he started playing Quibolette for the school. It paid off. College scouts began to appear regularly at games his last two years in school. He had several scholarship opportunities, but ultimately he decided on Kimura University. Located on a neighboring planet, Kimura was publicly noted for its science and anthropology course. Since Maynard wanted to study Bio-Chemistry, it was a perfect fit.
There was just one catch, his parents didn’t understand, nor could they sympathize. After long, careful consideration, he said goodbye and left for college and his exciting future. College passed simply enough for the most part. A Bachelor’s degree was not good enough for him though. He felt that he had only scratched the surface. Also, during his senior year in college, he was selected as part of an elite team of undergraduates to go and study the ruins of a distant planet. The group had anthropologists, chemists, and other experts. Their job was to prepare a detailed report about the deceased culture. Everything from agriculture, social status, architecture, and politics was included. Although he was primarily working with agriculture, Maynard started to like the few encounters he had with the remains of buildings and unearthing objects while trying to examine the soil for nutrients and probable crops. That’s when the archaeology bug bit him. He applied for the doctoral program in Archaeology at Kimura and was accepted.
Around the time he was completing his dissertation, the head of the department died from a heart attack. After shuffling people around, the department had an opening. They offered it to their star pupil, Maynard Camp. He gladly accepted. He loved school and deep down, he wished it would never end. One of his duties was leading the excursions that he took part in. Every year it was a different set of ruins, but the thrill was always there. As of late, Maynard has taken several sabbaticals to go a study different ruins on his own personal time and money. The school does assist financially because his research findings generate revenue for them.
Personality: Maynard is pretty outgoing. This trait was stifled a good bit during his childhood, but he more than makes up for it now. He is increasingly adventurous and willing to take risks. A touch gruff in demeanor, Maynard retains a portion of the machoness he gained from all those years playing the circuit with Quibolette. It surprised him initially to learn that universities that sponsored these teams bet money on them consistently. It was a rule, two million is currency minimum per match. So naturally, they invested a good bit in their own teams. He still has his Thug-enforcer fitness and won’t hesitate to use it.
For all of that, he’s still socially awkward. The limited contact with the outside growing up coupled with his preference for action instead of idle conversation have given him very little in the way of social graces. The only good part about it is that he tends not to say anything if unsure in a social situation. His hobbies include playing Quibolette in a recreational league with no money involved, drinking a few beers at a sports bar, and collecting choice pieces of historical significance.
1. Physical Sciences: Maynard has Bachelor’s degree in Bio-Chemistry, specializing in soil composition in an agricultural context.
2. Archaeology: He has a PhD in Archaeology and geological sciences. During a dig he'll know several things, including soil composition, geological phases, archaeological significance of any objects he unearths, and a decent guess as to the exact nature and purpose of the object or ruins.
3. Piloting: Growing up on the farm, Maynard is at ease with tractors, trucks, and small aircraft for crop dusting. He has a personal land scooter. To save details, it’s roughly akin to a personal hovercraft. It has room for him, another passenger, and a decent amount of cargo room, plus some hidden cargo areas for more precious items. He has it transported to any planet he plans to spend extended time on.
4. Thievery: More of a necessity growing up, he never received any money and sometimes had to scrounge his own meals from scraps he pilfered. This skill also serves him well when searching ruins to keep a choice piece out of the wrong hands. It also allows him to spot a fellow pickpocket in action more easily.
5. Strong: Quibolette is still in his blood. Maynard can still put a mean hit on a quarterback or anyone else of his choosing. This also comes in handy when moving debris while examining ruins, or carrying heavy equipment.
6. Large firearms: Rodents were a rampant problem on his family’s farm and so were birds. Every one of his siblings could wield a shotgun or rifle with fairly accurate precision. Preferring not to use a gun, Maynard nevertheless carries firearms to any outing for security reasons.
7. Charisma: Maynard’s reputation preceeds him in academic circles. His contributions to research and Kimura are considerable. He personal appearance also helps. His classic, rugged farmboy looks go a long way in disarming people. His only downfall comes if he talks too much.
8. Mobile: Hand in hand with physical strength, a Thug-enforcer has to be mobile. Side to side on the Quibolette field is a necessity. It’s also saved him a large part of physical harm while jumping out of the way during an excavation cave-in.
9. Politics: Recently, Maynard has become increasingly aware of less than savory Archaeologists pilfering valuable items from various digs. He suspects that they are working in secret for various governments with ill intentions. Thus, he has versed himself in politics. He has more theories now, but nothing concrete.
1. Computer Sciences: Email and grading systems are the extent of Maynard’s computer knowledge. He has great trouble using search engines and has a much steeper learning curve with anything beyond basic email.
2. Socially Aware: Maynard is very well-liked and respected, but he’s completely oblivious to anyone becoming mad at him or a woman trying to flirt. Perhaps that’s why he’s a lifelong bachelor and he’s been in more than his fair share of bar fights. Luckily he usually wins a fist fight.
3. Theology: His ancestors were religious, his current relatives not so much. His never had theology growing up and has no use for it now. He’s learned bits and pieces from various extinct civilizations, but that’s the extent of his knowledge
Equipment: I already mention his vehicle, Maynard also carries a standard rifle and shotgun. In the storage compartments on his hovercraft, he carries emergency rations, spare clothes and sleeping gear, tent, basic first aid kit(he doesn’t know what everything in there is for), basic cookware including a frying pan, small cookpot, ladle, spoon, knife, fork, and spatula. Being a good shot, he likes to eat what he kills. Digging and excavating equipment populate the remaining storage spaces on his bike. These include portable braces for dirt walls, compact shovel, headlamp, pick, grappling hook, and dynamite to name a few. Any heavy equipment he rents from local vendors. On his person, he wears his hat, dusty gray and brown khakis, work boots, a cellular phone, hunter’s knife, compass, sketch pad, notepad, and several colored pens.