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Podcast of the novel BETWEEN EARTH AND ARCTURUS

Lynda


This document is one example of many character profiles used to develop the characters and backstory for the novel. It's purpose is solely for my own use and was not intended to be published. I have profiles like this for Jose Aguire, Paul Poluka, Elisa Santino, Vice President Batastia, Captain Frazia, Admiral Fisher, Admiral Higgs, and Bart Hanson. 

CHARACTER PROFILE: Lynda Stokes
Date of birth:  05/11/2773
Age in Ch1:     22
Birth place:      Napa, California
Height:            5’9” (175cm)
Weight:           180 lbs (81.5kg)
Hair:                honey blond
Eyes:               vivid, bright green
Build:              Lean, athletic, medium

Impression at beginning of The First View

Lynda is perhaps pretty, but not beautiful.  She has an oval shaped face and straight hair that falls to just below her shoulders.  She moves smoothly, like an athlete—not masculine, but not especially feminine either.  She always holds herself up straight, and seems confident and proud.  She has a soprano voice, but is not a singer.  In fact she has almost no musical talent, but she likes to dance with a partner that can lead.
Her bright green eyes have a striking effect and some people think they look like doll’s eyes.  She has a nice smile, but she does not seem sincere when being friendly.
Many men find Lynda desirable.  She is physically fit, with smooth feminine curves, waist like a woman should have, and firm medium size boobs, but her shoulders are just a bit more muscular than some men prefer.  Her hands are normal for a young woman, but she keeps her nails short.  She doesn’t use make-up or jewelry often, but enjoys it when she does, and it looks good on her.
She buys clothes and shoes often enough to keep up with fashion, but just wears whatever seems to be current, buying the brands and styles that most women her age are wearing [the high end stuff, of course].

Family Tree

Lynda and her brother [Gentry Stokes III] have three human grandparents and one Green Erosian grandfather, Gentry [the first].
Grandpa deliberately chose a woman for good breeding—intelligence in her ancestors, health, and a complexion similar to his own so that his children would look like him.
G.J [Gentry Junior, Lynda’s father] chose his mate [Cassandra] with even less sentimental consideration.  He did not love her, and probably never really loved anyone, except his children, in his own selfish way.  His wife was also from a family of geniuses, and was a university history researcher [her field was pre-disaster technology].
       Grandpa told G.J. from the beginning that they were alien, and passed on the conviction that they were superior to humans.  Grandpa never told his wife or anyone else.  At the end of his life he thought G.J. had told Lynda’s brother and died with the hope that his descendants would return to the Erosian civilization, but bitter that he had not accomplished this in his own lifetime.
G.J. did not tell either of his children because he did not trust his son to keep the secret, and he simply procrastinated about telling Lynda.  He always thought there would be time for it later, and he really preferred having a male heir to succeed him if he could not accomplish the goal himself, which he thought he would.
Cassandra was from a small family.  Her parents had died during the war and any cousins were not closely connected.  She was decent but not strong willed.
She knew Grandpa Stokes for the last seven years of his life and saw his physical and mental health decline.  Grandpa despised her and she knew it, though she couldn’t guess why.
She first heard of one of the Blue families when Sam was born [2768] and the announcement came, and then actually met all of the remaining Blues when Bart’s parents were murdered [2769].  She and her son [3yo] accompanied G.J. to the funeral.
In time she may have begun to suspect that Grandpa Stokes was behind the murder.  She certainly suspected the story about (Grandpa and the Blues) emigrating from Northern Europe was a cover for something bigger.
When the Erosians created false identities, they claimed that they were from the turbulent Latvia/Finland/Estonia region where there were no clear borders and lots of migration, hence, no clear records to dispute their claim and a reasonable excuse for why someone else from that area might not have any memory of them.  It also helped to explain their fair coloring and eyes, and of course their accent.


G1, G2, G3 ???

Why three generations with the same name? And why Gentry? 
G1 is a Green, which means he has very little artistic imagination.  When he picked a name it had to be something that would sound okay to humans, but he wanted it to be similar to his Erosian name.  When it came time to name his child his lack of imagination prevailed again.  The name worked for him, it should work for the kid.
G.J. never knew Erosian society, except through his father’s devotion to it, and felt that if the name had some similarity to an Erosian name then it must be better than some simply human name (besides, he was always overly proud, and if it is his name it must be a great name), so he passed it on to his son too.
The Blues made jokes about it.

Lynda’s childhood

The family was rich, Grandpa was dead, G.J. has come into his own as the head of a business empire.  Mom is kind of sad and gloomy, but her brother was wonderful.  Lynda adored him and he watched protectively over her, played with her and taught her things. 
He was seven when she was born.  Papa was forty-four.  Mama was thirty-four.
Lynda dimly remembers being taken many times to a park by her mother when she was very small.  She would play with other children and Mama would sit on a bench.  Her mom would read children’s books to her, and sometimes Gentry would too.  Both kids learned to read early.  At about three and a half years they could read the children’s books themselves.  Lynda liked stories, but she liked role-playing games better.  Gentry would play Buffalo Hunter with her, which amused Mama.  Once, even mama joined in the game, which the nanny found very amusing.
Buffalo Hunter is a make-believe game that children played for centuries based on a legendary figure from the 23rd century.  There was also a TV show and several films on the same subject.

Lynda doesn’t remember Papa playing with her except once when she and Gentry were building a catapult out in the vineyard and he came out to watch.  Papa had fun with them casting rocks across the field, and even suggested that they aim for an old shed.  He laughed with them while they battered the little building to splinters.  The catapult was made from old hardware from Papa’s workshop and could cast a 10kg rock over 100 meters.  This was done out-of-season, when no one was working the grapes.
Both her parents worked.  They each had offices on the estate, but Papa’s real office was in Oakland where he ran Stokes Industries.  He had another tiny office at the University in Berkeley where he sometimes taught engineering classes.  He would travel a lot to Stokes Industries sites and was frequently gone for days at a time.
Mama spent hours a day in her office at the estate, but sometimes went to the University for the day.  She did her history research there.
So, there were many times when both parents were gone and the kids were left with the staff.  This would be a nanny (who was replaced often), the housekeeper, the cook, the gardener, and Mr. Witwer who was in charge of everything but didn’t actually do much.  
Mr. Witwer [a.k.a. Old Witless] was left over from G1’s day and was probably a fugitive that had nowhere else to go and could not draw attention to himself.  Probably not too intellectual—that’s the only way G1 & G2 would keep him for so long.  His only talent is managing the estate.  He dies of natural causes a few years after the SS Himilco disappears.

Papa did not approve of the kids spending a lot of time with neighbor kids—a little while at a park perhaps, but not much beyond that.  He did let them be with the kids of people that he knew through professional contacts, while he or mama was present.
So, little Lynda didn’t see much of other kids except for Gentry, and she learned to amuse herself whenever he had lessons.  Gentry’s teachers couldn’t seem to come up with lessons that were just right for his learning speed, so Papa had computerized lessons created to replace the teachers.  This gave him some freedom to arrange his schedule.
From the beginning Lynda understood that there was unhappiness between her parents, but it was traumatic when they suddenly separated [2779].  It would not have been so bad for Lynda [almost 6yo] except that it upset Gentry [13yo] tremendously.  She was much more in tune with her brother than with anyone else, and understood how deeply he was hurting, and how he was angry with Papa.
The kids stayed with Papa at the estate and Mama disappeared from their lives.
Lynda loved her Mama, but adjusted quickly to her absence while Papa spent much more time with them, and sometimes took them traveling around the world, to the moon, on a Solar System tour, and once to the Visitors Center at Alpha Centauri.  
It will not be until after she meets Gentry on Arcturus that she learns those trips were to keep Mama from seeing them.  She never guessed.  She just thought Mama left and never looked back.

Gentry was already getting the unusual strength and speed that Papa said would come, and Papa was teaching him how to handle it, and how to conceal it from others.  Papa told the kids that their ancestors in Northern Europe survived the Great Disaster because they were strong, fast and very smart.  He taught them the concept of natural selection and how after many generations of isolation in the frozen north, their people had concentrated these traits into their genes.  It seemed to make perfect sense.  When Papa explained that they (Gentry and Lynda) would become so strong and fast that people will think they are strange, they understood that he was quite right about hiding their special gifts from the world.
It is at this time that Papa invites Bart Hanson to visit for a while and help Gentry with adjusting to having special gifts.  Bart stays for a while and becomes good friends with Lynda, though Gentry seems a little suspicious of this ‘long lost cousin’.
She liked Papa spending time with her even as Gentry became more withdrawn and resentful.  She sensed that something deeper was bothering her brother but it wasn’t until just after his birthday in February 2784 when she found that her brother thought grandpa was an alien.  Apparently, he had been putting together clues for a long time and, after secretly talking with Mama, he came to this conclusion. Papa was furious and told Lynda that Gentry was imagining nonsense.  When Gentry ran away from home he was arrested and taken to a psychiatric hospital in Los Angeles [Gentry 18, Lynda almost 11yo].   Lynda was too young to understand law, but much later she wondered why Gentry was arrested since he was legally an adult (not a runaway).  She subconsciously avoids finding the answer because it could only mean that it was Papa that had him committed, and that Papa had lied to her.

Lynda cried when she found out about it.  She begged Papa to get Gentry out and back home, but Papa said he couldn’t do anything about it—said it was up to the courts.
Lynda began to get interested in law at this time.     Greens can get preoccupied with a subject at a young age and their interest will continue for the rest of their lives.  Lynda, one-quarter Green, starts on the path to a law education here.

Bart comes to visit again and helps Lynda deal with the confusion.
Papa lets Lynda communicate with Gentry (under his supervision and, unbeknownst to her, with Gentry’s promise that he will not try to convince her of his ideas).  He tells her that Gentry’s incarceration is temporary and that he is doing all that he can to get him out.  Lynda is pacified and Papa spends much more time with her—helping her with her schooling and instructing her on how to manage her special gifts. 
She has been having trouble in the exclusive rich-kid school she was in [social problems, 12yo], so Papa pulls her out and starts the home lessons like Gentry had (with teachers coming each day).  She grows closer to Papa and he molds her attitudes.  She also begins loosing touch with the everyday world since nearly all contact with people outside the estate are Papa’s professional acquaintances.

The loss of Gentry

As I wrote in the short story Himilco, Lynda was present when Gentry launched.  She had some contact with him between when he was released from the hospital and the launch.  She was very happy that he got this job, and that he seemed to have recovered from his delusion.
Lynda and her father were introduced to the Poluka brothers and some of the crew, and they take a liking to Paul Poluka.  He seems to have some ideas about politics that her father enjoys discussing, and over the next several years Paul visits them in California as often as he visits his own family.
When the Himilco has been gone for over a year she sees a change in how Paul and Papa feel about it—they are loosing hope that the ship will ever return.  Lynda stubbornly refuses to give up hope, and for no good reason is confident that Gentry is still alive and that she will see him again.

The Conspiracy

Paul’s visits are less frequent after the Jupiter War officially begins four months later [June, 2786] but the political discussions become much more serious, and Lynda sees that Papa and Paul agree in principle that the Federation has gone bad and is getting worse.
The last time Paul comes to visit he is very agitated about the lives that will be needlessly lost because of political decisions.  He proposes a plan to Papa, a plan to use the new starship Papa is planning to unite the scattered colonies against the Federation.
Her father agrees.
Papa begins working full time on the design of the Hanno, leaving much of the day-to-day business to subordinates.  Lynda begins taking an interest in Papa’s work because she wants to help him.  She gets into the paperwork part of getting a starship built and Papa is pleasantly surprised that she learns so quickly how to get things done.  This is a gradual growth for Lynda over the next nine years [13yo to 22yo]. 
Paul ships out to the war in December, 2786 and he returns to Earth only a few times over the next three years.  During that time the Federation surveillance on citizens becomes oppressive and the precautions our conspirators take become second nature.

The Gifts

Lynda’s gifts of strength, speed and intelligence blossom and Bart Hanson comes to stay for a few months to teach her special exercises and he gives her the benefit of some wisdom.  She sees that Bart is not comfortable with Papa, and that Papa does not treat Bart well.  She tries to smooth things between them but can not see the source of the problem.  Bart leaves suddenly when his adopted parents die [2787]. 
She learns to manage her gifts but needs to exercise frequently, or she just doesn’t feel right.  She finds that she sometimes becomes angry and loses control, especially during puberty, but these are rare instances and, in the seclusion of the Stokes Estate, her sudden violent outbursts and displays of tremendous strength and speed do not become public knowledge, and yet there are rumors.
As she gets older the outbursts become less frequent.  By the time she is 18 years old they seem to have disappeared (until she is 22 and Capt. Frazia pisses her off).  There is a pattern to the violent episodes:  When something reminds her of Gentry’s incarceration and/or the suggestion that he (or she) has mental problems, Lynda feels a rage, like a survival response to a life-threatening situation.  Part of this is probably due to how completely helpless she felt to help her brother, and how (even all-powerful) Papa couldn’t (or wouldn’t) do anything about it either.
She learns math, physics and spaceship design fairly well before she is 18yo and also has a very good handle on the management of a huge corporation.  Finally, she decides to get her law education which Papa approves of with the idea that it will be useful for the business.  She goes to Berkeley and gets an accelerated course while juggling her other activities.  She graduates [June 2794, or Year 2 of the New Calendar, 21yo] at the top of her class just before the story begins.

About Sex
(I may change this as the story develops)
Lynda is a virgin at the beginning of the story, but has learned a lot about sex—as all children do in the 28th century—from literature, the computer net, and from frank discussions with others. 
She had a couple of close calls with some boys that were sons of Papa’s business associates, and has played touchy-feely with some of them, secretly of course.
Most girls in her world are having sex in their teen years [not much different than the 21st century], but Lynda is not most girls.  She grew up spending very little unsupervised time with people her own age.
She is not afraid of sex, but the instinct is not driving her either.  She had no examples of romantic role-models in her life, and her alien genes may be part of why she is not preoccupied with sexuality like other people her age are. 
She expects that the first time will come soon enough.  Her idea of the way it should be is old-fashioned and will lead directly to marriage, which is a serious step. 
There were a couple of times when she was sort of pushed into dating boys that Papa approved of—the sons of prominent people that he approved up, and these were few.  He never expected it to lead to anything serious, but he knew she would probably marry some day and would need to be introduced to society.  This was just practice.
Some of these boys she liked, but they did not get too excited about her.  Some she didn’t like much, even though they liked her.  She spent a little time with groups of teenagers that were part of the social circle that Papa approved, but in those gatherings she sometimes encountered boys (and girls) that knew how to get into trouble—she wasn’t completely unexposed to reality.

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