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Before My Time

Catching Up on Falling Behind

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This is a Role Playing Journal for a Torchwood RPG. The character of Hugh Rowan is my own creation, but the Doctor Who and Torchwood universes do not belong to me. I'm just playing around with them. Nothing to see here. These are not the 'droids you're looking for. Move along.

Hugh Bio Image

Application for RPG - Hugh Rowan

NAME: SL Hugh Rowan, Serial #: 555-4778- alpha

AGE & BIRTHDAY: Age: 53. Born: April 16, 2322.

SEXUALITY: Predominantly heterosexual. SL Rowan has been part of two previous Contracts, both female. One lasted for two years, the other for seven. They were not consecutive. Both Contracts have expired and mutually not renewed. As a military man, he is associated with similarly-minded people who, essentially, find what comfort they can, when they can, because the future of a soldier is frequently uncertain. Sex can be a distraction from many things. For the record, he has no known children and he did not cheat on either of his Contracts.

TIME PERIOD: Twenty-fourth Century. Current Year: 2375.

RESIDENCE: He has a bunk on the space station and a public room available on the Moonbase, as required.

OCCUPATION: Squadron Leader (SL), Earth Defense Corps. Career soldier. He is a pilot and incursion specialist, currently stationed as part of the forces defending Earth Prime, the Euro-China Space Station and the Armstrong Moonbase from raiders – primarily from outlying Earth colonies - and hostile aliens.

He is also a student of music studies, which keeps him ‘occupied’ in his spare time. He has almost completed his Doctorate in Classical Music History (from the 18th through to the 22nd Century) and has his Doctorate in musical performance: piano and vocals. The Corps pays for his studies, as a reward for reaching and exceeding required Term of Service.

APPEARANCE: Hugh is a male Caucasian and looks to be somewhere in his early thirties. People notice different things about Hugh upon first meeting him. When asked, words like ‘solid’ and ‘fit’ and ‘handsome’ are frequently used. Some notice his hands, which look strong and have long, elegant fingers. Some notice his smile, which has been described as everything from 'dazzling' to 'deadly'. His voice is also a distraction, as it is rich and melodic. He is tall (191 cm) and in excellent physical shape (weighing in at 87 kg), with light brown hair, generally worn short, and green eyes. He is usually clean-shaven but tends to forget when preoccupied, occasionally sporting a 'scruffy' look. His first Contract noticed his eyes and claims them to be his most distinctive feature. His second Contract noticed his ‘nice ass’, and claims that to be his most distinctive feature.

When not in uniform, he tends to wear a series of bland cotton tops, frequently with long sleeves to cover his tattoos, and cotton pants with many pockets for ID, tools, and weapons appropriate to his position and approved by the Corps. His personal wardrobe is almost a uniform in itself. Hugh likes to keep it simple and sees little if any application of ‘current fashion’ applicable to his life. Military-issue space boots with Magnet-hesion ® are almost a constant. He never removes his dog tags, even though he does have a chip implanted at the base of his skull for proper identification. He holds himself straight without being stiff, and there is an air of alertness about him that rarely disappears.

The tattoos are, naturally, a part of his appearance, but he doesn’t show them off just for the sake of conversation. He has four by choice and one that represents his period of internment as a POW of the Kaaron, a time he rarely discusses. He could have the mark removed but has refused this option.

PB: Michael Weatherly.

PERSONALITY: Hugh Rowan wouldn’t have made Squadron Leader with the Earth Defense Corps and been posted at strategic sites if he wasn’t good at his job, obeyed the orders of his superiors, and gathered all his gold stars for attendance.

However, it should also be pointed out that he wouldn’t have made Squadron Leader if he wasn’t capable of making flash decisions that could be life or death, hadn’t pushed the boundaries of his position on occasion, and busted a few heads in his time. He might be a bit of a 'Boy Scout' but he isn’t perfect.

Hugh does not tolerate fools easily and is least patient with himself: his own, worst critic. He has a dry sense of humour and is not beyond practical jokes. He is charismatic and apparently at ease with everyone, though his moods can be mercurial. He can be confident to the point of arrogance. If you’ve somehow managed to get in his “bad books”, may the Deity of your choice provide assistance.

HISTORY: Born on Io, Jupiter Orbit, in 2322 and raised there and on various stations around the Sol System. His parents are currently involved with Stage Three of the Terraforming Io Project. He has one brother, older, named Francis. Family tree can be traced back to 18th Century France, Earth, which is currently part of the Second European Dominion.

Given the level of science, technology and medicine, his life expectancy, like that of most other Humans, is anywhere from 150 to 200 years, and he will probably look much as he does right now – if a bit older and grayer due to a genetic predisposition – until the day he dies of natural causes, assuming he isn’t killed in the line of duty.

Please see the medical reference below for further insight into his status.

Thesis Paper: Extended Lifespan of the Human Race – Miracle or Mistake?

Subject: SL Hugh Rowan

Date of Entry: 2319, Third Draft

Author: ME Talaya de Roshers, Earth Defense Corps

Excerpt Begins Page 29, Paragraph 3

“The degradation of the human body’s physical appearance and inherent structure involves a breakdown in the ability to repair the damage inherent in growing old. Someone like SL Rowan already has several generations before him, which have applied a variety of intriguing tactics to extend the Human lifespan, including periods of genetic modifications, and intensive inoculations against diseases with radical pharmaceuticals. Many of these methods are standard practices for most of Humanity now, though some are considered too dangerous to revisit at this time.

Basic improvements over the last three hundred years also include intensive regulation in nutrition. Diets high in anti-radicals, and foods that don’t over-tax the body have made an improvement in extending the natural lifespan of the average Human. For most Citizens, proper medical care is provided from Day One, with everything in place to ensure the best possible groundwork is established for a healthy Human who can expect to live a long and active life.

Naturally, those with money and connections have access to better and/or more radical approaches to the realities of aging. SL Rowan’s family history is an example of this privileged background.

SL Rowan is a member of the military defense forces for Earth Prime and the Sol System, so he has access and in some cases, priority over the technology available to make him a better soldier for the protection of Humanity. He is also a Citizen and therefore has another layer of recognition within the ranks.

Nanomachinery is a technology heavily utilized in this field. It slows the aging process and repairs damage at the cellular level with a yearly injection. The program runs for one year and then terminates. Not everyone has this as a medical option, but since members of the military endure a harsher life, with more wear and tear on their bodies, the nanites work to moderate this damage.

There are other benefits for the presence of nanites in military personnel. They improve the person’s reflexes, vision, hearing and overall performance in their defense of Earth Prime and the System. For an individual like SL Rowan, who has opted for the installation of a CUBE ®, the nanites help keep it intact and prevent the body from rejecting the unit as a foreign object. CUBE ® consistently handles a flood of data so it is important to maintain this unit to the best possible advantage.

Nanites also regulate the reproduction and growth of cells. They are an extension of the immune system, eliminating damaged cells and supporting healthy cells. For example, every time a cell divides, it has a shorter clock. Telomeres, which cap the ends of chromosomes, are protected from degrading by the nanites. The clock is extended, thus expanding the life of cells and therefore the life of the Human body as well.

The result of all these changes to a Human body is a long, healthy life with minimum visible aging to all the body’s systems. The lifespan is extended, the quality of life is significantly better, but there is always a price for these advantages. Humanity is still gathering information on the risks inherent in living from roughly 150 to 200 years. Current records indicate that in some cases the immune system eventually rejects the nanites and the body begins to shut down at a pace conducive with the decline one could expect 100 years previous.

Even without nanite rejection, approximately the last twenty years of a person’s life will involve a gradual aging process. The subject, who until this time will appear to be roughly somewhere in their thirties, will age to appear somewhere in their seventies. Then the body will give out. Sometimes the death comes without warning. Others on record have known within twenty-four to forty-eight hours that their time has come.

During the course of the application of nanites, they do not automatically expire after one year under certain circumstances. In the case of someone like SL Rowan, approximately three months before his next injection, the nanites will check with CUBE ® for his status, which includes gauging the range to the nearest health organization where another injection can be accessed. If they determine that they are out of range, they will enter a semi-dormant state and administer only preventative medicine rather than full-time cellular adjustments, until his next injection. Major injuries will, of course, burn out the nanites faster. Admission to proper medical facilities for serious injuries is highly recommended. It is unwise to assume that the nanites will be able to repair anything potentially fatal without medical intervention.

SL Rowan spent approximately one Solar year as a Prisoner of War with the Kaaron, a race known for considering any species ‘unmarked’ as less than sentient. He is the only member of his squad to survive the internment. In his report, SL Rowan states that experimentation was part of the regular prisoner cycle during this time. It is unknown exactly what medical interference was done.”

- Excerpt Ends.

He volunteered for the Corps on his nineteenth birthday. Tested for pilot, selected, and trained as such. Accelerated during his first two years, offered a proper commission at four years. After serving the mandatory six years with the Corps, he could begin any studies he wished and the Corps would pay all fees in return for his continued service. At the six-year service mark, he became a full citizen with the right to vote and all the privileges and responsibilities full citizenship entails.

The Corps paid for his training as a pilot (ship systems, engineering, operation, repair, navigation), in weapons (hand-to-hand, projectile, bladed, ship features, etc.), and in strategies (3-D fighting, tactical, maneuvers, ground, etc.).

His passion for life – “carpe diem” – is in a close contest with a passion for music. Due to his studies, he has learned some of the “Romantic” languages. Italian and French feature here. He is fluent in the English used Downside – aka Earth – but usually uses the Spacer language of Galactic Standard. This makes him useful for assignments, in and out of Sol System, which suits him just fine. He’d rather “be moving water than a stagnant pond”.

He has been Downside but not often. He’s used to the heavier gravity of his artificial work environments. His military record is excellent and personal record as a citizen is unblemished.

He received a Medal of Honour for his time as a POW. He keeps it in his Ares-class fighter: it is jammed between two terminal ports to keep a recalitrant vent open.

Hugh opted for augmentations and received a hard drive implant at age 30. Has been upgraded five times since and currently has a capacity of a few hundred petabytes. Files on hand include schematics and repair instructions for his ship. Internal visual and audio feed with ports for manual transfer of information from another computer. Compatible with most ship links/on-board computers. Main port located in back of skull, right hand side, under Skinseal ™.

The implant is referred to as a “computer upgrade bionic enhancement” aka CUBE. Hugh has Version 8.5.

He plans to retire in approximately ten years and drop to the status of ‘Reservist’. He thinks he’ll teach music and possibly record some of his favourite pieces.

He is about to get a 'scramble' call for raiders approaching the station that will change his life.

samples (ic).

FIRST PERSON: journal entry. in character, 200 word minimum.

Day 9//Studio Apartment//Cardiff, Wales//Afternoon:

I returned to the space the realtor had called a “studio apartment” around 23:00 hours yesterday. It’d been a late night, working on inventory for the weapons stash with some of the staff at the Hub. I was tired and it was dark. I hadn’t unpacked the furniture my Torchwood associates had insisted I purchase, so the space would feel “homey”.

That had been a shopping trip and a half.

“Lights,” I’d called out, and smashed my shin into an unyielding box. Darkness and pain were my only companions. A few colourful curses later and I remembered that they didn’t have voice activation systems at this time. Maybe somewhere, but not in every-day Cardiff, Wales.

Nothing is automatic here. Nothing is sonic. All the technology I’m familiar with in the Twenty-fourth Century is grist for the science fiction channel. You need ten remotes to accommodate all your audio-visual devices and the appliances don’t even have remotes for the most part.

There are ‘universal remotes’ available, but the buttons are too small for someone with large hands like me and the programming capacity is really insufficient to the task.

I went to the electronics store today with my budget in tow. Several stores, actually, to find all the components I require to achieve my goals.

I place the parcels on the kitchen counter and remove my jacket. If the Twenty-first Century doesn’t have what I need to make my “studio apartment” feel “homey”, then I’ll just have to rewire it.

FIRST PERSON: thread entry. in character, 200 word minimum.

Wednesday//Torchwood Hub//Evening//Hugh and Jack:

I enter the Captain’s office without asking or being invited, close the door behind me and place the ticket on the desk. Harkness looks up from the book he's reading – I can’t see the title from where I'm standing and it isn’t really important to me, anyway – and wait, his expression unreadable. I let my arms hang loose at my sides and force my voice to stay calm.

Breathe. Just breathe -

“This is a ticket to a concert I’m attending on Friday,” I begin. “The second string becomes the lead violin with the London Symphony in two year’s time. She’s a genius, especially with complicated pieces by Bach.” I pause, wondering if the Captain knows any Bach, then decide that's a discussion for another time.

“Her career soars, but is tragically cut short in a plane crash six years from now. She will only be twenty-eight years old.” I take a deep breath and let it out slowly. I need the Captain to understand that this is an important question, and that the answer could determine what I do with the rest of my life.

“How do you handle that? How do you not try to prevent that from happening?”