“How we think shows through in how we act.
Attitudes are mirrors of the mind, they reflect thinking.”
David Joseph Schwartz
“It all goes away.
Eventually, everything goes away.”
Cascades of gleaming brown waves tumble in curls down her back, long enough to reach her waist. Her curls are streaked with strands of copper and auburn highlights and darker shades of henna and even jet are mixed throughout.
The woman's jewelry reveals her taste, all of it simple yet gothic. A small pair of copper earrings dangle at each earlobe, slender chains from which scarlet glass beads sway. A stack of copper bangles studded with crimson beads jingle on her left wrist. A copper padlock dangles from a leather choker, dancing in the hollow of her throat as she moves. She carries a brown leather pouch lined in scarlet lace as a purse, a few bulges here and there showing it to be full of the who only knows what. A faint trace of perfume wafts through the air around her, en-robing her in the subtly earthy scents of lavender, neroli, sandalwood, oak moss, tarragon, thyme and mint.
Petite with curves is the easiest way to quickly describe this woman. She stands just at five feet tall, and looks as if she'd weigh no more than a hundred pounds or so. However, despite her diminutive stature her presence is still often-times commanding. Her pale, silken skin is the translucent shade of fresh cream with a smattering of pale freckles liberally sprinkled over it. Glittering green eyes peer from a face of classic beauty; high, chiseled cheekbones, a tiny nose with the hint of a curve, and full, pouting lips the woman's most striking features. The classical beauty of her face pales in comparison however to the depths and sparkle of her bright eyes. Deep green orbs with flecks of jade and gold, they stare intently, casting an almost entrancing spell upon most at whom she gazes.
I was born on Lilac, dad was from there for all sorts of generations in his family, mom was… Well, more or less mom was a mail order bride. No one on Lilac is going to be called rich anywhere else in the ‘verse, but by Lilac standards, we were really well off. Well off enough that I knew I’d be able to get a core education if I ever wanted it. And after growing up in a place with too many injuries and not enough doctors, I wanted it. I wanted it BAD. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I learned early on how to shoot a gun I had the quickest draw of any girl my age, and quicker than most of the boys, too. It’s more that I thought of raising the gun and it was just there than it ever was about ever actually drawing it. And I practiced long and hard until I was an equal shot with one hand as I was the other. The reflexes came naturally, but the ambidexterity needed a LOT of work and practice. Overall, though, it was worth it. I learned how to protect myself and my homeland and my family from an attack. And I was damned good at it. But it didn’t hold my heart. That belonged with medicine. When I was nine, I saw a kid fall off a combine and lose his arm to it. I had to carry that arm to the house of the closest doc, and then I watched it get stitched back on again. I was hooked. I was going to grow up and be a surgeon.
Doc always had more patients than time, so after school and on weekends, he’d let me play receptionist. I’d prep rooms, put away files, just small things at first. Pretty soon though, he could see I was watching every move and could remember just about any instruction he ever gave, and on the really easy stuff, by the time I was fourteen, he’d let me take vitals and then watch while he’d set bones and do other small stuff. By the time I was sixteen, he was letting me wrap ankles and hand him tools when he was working alone out in someone’s field instead of in a proper sort of clinic. There are definitely things I’ve seen and heard in life that I wish I could forget, but overall, that nearly total recall of a memory has come in handy more times than not.
My favorites are the ones that take the edge of anxiety off. Take away your fears and leave you invincible. Because a doctor can’t doubt. When you’re a little too soft, there’s a pill to perk you up again, too. But I got caught, and tossed out of residency. And that’s where I am today… Addicted to the pills, kicked out of medical school a year before my final boards, and no clue what the next step is gonna be. I either need a bottle of drugs or a meeting, and it’s probably even odds as to which one I’ll stumble over first. I’m kind of hoping it’s the bottle, though. The anxiety gets so bad without the pills that it’s like I’m paranoid all the time. The Alliance are after me for the things I’ve done to get the drugs. Dealers are after me because they want more money for the drugs. Kids are after me because I taste like sugar. Some of them make more sense than others, but without the meds, I’m more paranoid than an android in a Douglas Adams novel.
I went to Sihnon when I was eighteen and did my undergrad there, majored in biology with a minor in parties. Classes were mostly a repeat of what I’d already seen in the field, and I was anxious to get my hands on real patients. The drinking, gambling, and pile of pills helped distract from the anxiety, though, and soon enough med school had arrived. I headed off to Ariel and was one of the top ranked students when I started the program, and was top rank at the end of it. I had my pick of internships, and that’s where I decided to stay. And it’s also where the partying minor got the best of me. The gambling I gave up easy, life and death is definitely a better rush than cards. The drinking, not so much of a problem either. Loss of coordination isn’t a big draw when you’re in surgery. But the pills? Oh… They’re just lovely. And there’s one for everything.
Cast of Characters
¤ Rhette - Barrett McPherson was a stranger in a bar with a great smile and a credit chit to buy the drinks. Annie never would have guessed that eventually, he'd become her entire life. She'd have loved him forever after he had the balls to stick around long enough to force her through detox. But not only did he shove her down to rock bottom and hold her there, he helped pick her back up again after, too. He was Commonwealth, she was Independent, but as time passed, their jobs kept crossing paths, and soon enough, they were tracking each other down even when work wasn't pushing them together. Theirs was the love story of every great tale ever told, firey, tempestuous, and in the end, tragic. They each brought out the best in each other, and in the end, that was their downfall. Annie was four-months pregnant when Shinbone was rocked with explosions, and one month engaged to be Rhette's bride. Both were stationed at the Syndicate base when the shuttles started their evacuations. Rhette shoved Annie onto one of the last ones leaving, then jumped in behind her. But when a kid came running up and the shuttle's weight limits maxed, Rhette jumped out at the last moment and tossed the kid up in his place. The shuttle to safety left without him, just minutes before the fireball of explosion rocked the moon out of orbit. Annie lost the child in all her stress and grief, and truly, she's been a noticably different woman ever since.
¤ Cap'n - Annie looks up to the Captain of the Red Angel much the way she does to her own father. She teases him almost mercilessly when things are light and easy, but when it's time to jump, she's mid-air before even thinking of asking him how high. He's rarely with the ship, his legal work keeping him too busy to spend much time on the Angel, but she works as hard as she's able to keep his girl stocked, secure, and ready, always ship-shape to leave on a moment's notice if he needs it. There aren't a lot of people in the 'verse for who the Angel's Chief of Security would sacrifice herself, but Captain Wallace is at the very top of the very short list.
¤ Anders - Corin Anders is technically Annie's XO, but their relationship is far more that of older brother and kid sister than that of boss and employee. While she typically refers to him by his last name only, if she ever calls him 'Rin, that's when he knows things have gotten serious. They're well known for sharing drinks and conversation, coffee when the times are good, but more typically scotch when times so frequently get rough. There aren't many men in Annie's life who see her cry without trying to hide it, but his is the shoulder she's never hidden away from. While she often teases him that her real job on the Angel is to be his personal shrink, truthfully, that need for a confidant and sounding board really swings both ways.
¤ Lizzie - If Daniel Wallace is at the top of Annie's lay down her life list, Elizabeth Anders is a VERY close second. Annie respects this woman as her role model, and while she calls her Lizzie when talking to others, typically the only name Annie uses to her face is simply, "Yes, Ma'am." Jobs run for Elizabeth have given Annie the footholds and contacts that she's been able to leverage over the years, and if it weren't for her having taken Annie under her wing aboard the Angel, likely Annie would be living her daddy's dream instead of her own, back on Lilac, living on the family ranch, married and popping out babies. Annie will be eternally grateful to Liz for all that the woman has helped her to acheive, and for the freedoms in her life because of it.
¤ Fishy - He's her Fishy, she's his Chickadee. Or something like that. Annie met the Viking when she was working a temporary gig for the Jia in exchange for a ride from Paquin back to Persephone. This and that led to Annie never really fitting in with the Jia's crew, but she seems to have made a few friends on their sister ship, the Aces and Eights. And, of all of them, Conoger seems to be the best of them. On paper, the pair make no sense at all, but together, something just clicked. It's very likely that both of them are broken pretty badly, and in a lot of similar ways. And sometimes, any crutch at all is better than none. The shared love of scotch also doesn't hurt. Rumors have flown fast and heavy around the pair, and the frequently shared bunks likely haven't helped. But the few who have actually asked Annie about it have been promised that everything is entirely innocent. Of course, Annie's also an ex-addict and deeply tied into the Syndicate... So who knows if her promises can be trusted.
¤ Donnach - There aren't many things in life that Annie is scared of. But this man absolutely terrifies her. He's the only man she's ever met who has the ability to simply sit with the ghosts of memories past, a talent she had thought might just be unique to her. And he's willing to sit with hers, too. She met Leutrim in a bar when he tried to shark her for credits with a game of darts - until she beat him with no effort. She was looking to round out security for the Angel while recovering from an injury sustained while spending time with the Jia and Aces, and he's had her back ever since. Slowly, he's drawing her out past the somber and her smile is returning with more and more ease. Yeah, there are few things in the 'verse that scare Annie, but pills, thunderstorms, Reavers, and Leutrim Donnchadh top the list.
¤ Mei - Annie and Feria met through Leutrim, and immediately became friends, then sisters. There's something in Feria that makes Annie feel as if the woman is lost, and she can't help but try to keep her company while both try to find their ways in the 'verse. Losing Donnach broke the both of them, and it's hard to tell which woman came worse out of that loss. But at least they still had each other. And that's a good thing. If the two weren't such close sisters, Annie probably would have shot the woman dead long ago, just to end all the troubles. But she loves Feria too much to shoot her, she'd miss her too much. Well... Maybe just a kneecap. That might make a good compromise.
¤ Day - Man mountain is a giant, and what he makes up for in size he lacks in personality. His deadpan, unemotional way of dealing with life both frustrates and amuses Annie, and it's earned him the nickname Day, for being such a bright old ray of sunshine. He's her part time XO on the Double Indemnity, but sadly from him, her first ever XO was Corin Anders. So her typical way of taking orders is with a middle finger, and she has a propensity to label an asshat when she sees one. But as long as he's only giving orders with which she agrees, they'll be just fine. And he's the first man in years that's been able to take her down on a sparring mat, so she won't piss him off too much. Unlike the training dummies, he hits back, and she won't give THAT up for anything in the 'verse.
♥ The Bearded Wonder - He's got a private bunk, a pair of arms, and a beard that smells like all the good things in life. Sure, there's more to life than just those three things. But Annie's life is a wreck and a half. So for now, those three things are more than plenty. Besides, he's learned to make friends with the ghosts, too. And Maude, how those three things blossomed, and bloomed, and multiplied. First, she ran from the ghosts, moving from her bunk to his. Then, they exorcised the demons that were haunting her cabin, and remodeled, and now they've moved into her place instead. They haven't figured out where on either ship or planet home might be, they're still working those details out. But what they do know? Home is wherever the other happens to be.
| Full Name:
|| Annabelle Nightingale Skarsgard
| Date of Birth:
|| March 18, 2499
| Eyes and Hair:
|| Green, Dark Brown
|| 110 lbs.
Ties That Bind
Haunted - Poe
So Like A Rose - Garbage
Back to Black - Amy Winehouse
Shatter Me - Lindsey Stirling
Savior in the Clockwork - Avantasia
Flying Machine - Everly
Clockwork - Sleeping At Last
Let Me Love You - Ne-Yo
My My, Hey Hey (Out of the blue) - Neil Young
Seven Devils - Florence + the Machine
Clockwork Angels - Rush
Crimson & Clover - Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Everybody Talks - Neon Trees
Billy Joe - Paula Cole
Pine Trees - Jake Bugg
Gypsy Stranger - Shannon Wurst
Tea & Toast - Lucy Spraggan
I’m determined. That’s really the only constant. Used to be sweet and easy to get on with, the kind of girl everyone always describes as never having any enemies. Of course, that’s when my mind was my own and wasn’t owned by the pills. These days, I’m still that girl on the inside. And on the outside when I’ve got the drugs, too. Sweet, kind, nurturing. Never one to start a fuss or trouble. It’s just when the meds are gone and I start detox that all that changes. It’s hell, everyone thinks it’s being on the drugs that makes addiction awful. They’re wrong. On the drugs everything is perfect. It’s when they’re gone that everything goes to hell, my personality included.
Dad was a farmer. Well, more accurately, dad supervised the crews who farmed his land. Back on earth that was, he would have been a Plantation owner. But, out on Lilac, it’s just called farming. And the help aren’t slaves, just indentured servants. Not sure I’ve yet figured out the difference between the two, but according to social acceptability, guess there is one. His ancestors owned that same set of acres on that same rock pretty much from the day it finished terraforming up until now. And, if I ever make any babies to pass it along to, that’ll continue pretty much forever most likely. Though, odds are, with the way life’s been going, the Skarsgard land might just finally be sold off at the end of my generation.
Mom on the other hand… Mom’s a stunner. Folks around Lilac like to spread the rumor she used to be a Companion. She wasn’t, but she likes the respect that it gives her to let them think it. In truth, she was a mail order bride. Her parents were from some rock she never speaks of, got in over their heads, and sold her off for a damned good profit to Dad’s dad as a wife for his son. I still wonder if they like each other most days, but they’ve at least grown to respect each other. Mom’s a teacher, and I think I got my love for learning and my curiosity from her. Of course, I also have a feeling my love for gambling and drugs come from her side of the family, too.
Education and Employment
Annie graduated top of her class with an undergrad in biology and pre-med at Sihnon University. She attended medical school on Ariel, and again graduated top of her class, leaving her with her pick of internships. She interned at Ariel's top hospital, and stayed there for her residency as a surgeon as well. Her final year before boards she was applying across the 'verse for cardio-thoracic fellowships when she was kicked out of her residency program in her last week. No longer guaranteed her top pick of fellowships, or any fellowship at all, Annie's career path changed. She stumbled over a cortex ad for the Red Angel, and for the moment has signed on with them as part of their security crew until she can figure out her next step in life.
Running along her spine is a beautifully done tattoo of cogs and gears, browns and coppers and crimsons worked in a pattern that seems nearly three-dimensional as it stretches down her skin.
Tattoo of clockwork down her back