Demeanor: Hassan is aloof and reserved among strangers but opens up quickly when talking to people who seem well-disposed to him. When with friends, Hassan is considerably warmer but is still somewhat detached. He implicitly trusts anyone who displays a large interest in his favorite subjects of astronomy/space travel, zoology, and space-based science fiction. When under stress, Hassan begins to display symptoms of his self-described "Arthropod Behavioral Disorder" (described below.)
Nature: Hassan is not aware of his perceived detachment from the people around him. He honestly thinks that he is connecting well with others and that rectitude/strange outbursts are par for the course. He is, however, quite aware of the unsettling "insectoid behavior" that manifested along with his powers and fears exposing it to anyone, friend or foe alike. Consequently, he tries to stay out of any sort of social strife or altercation to keep from inducing said behavior.
Description: Hassan has wavy black hair (with a small but noticeable number of gray hairs in a streak) and brown eyes, with a distinctly Middle Eastern look to him (other characters from the Middle East or Africa may identify him as Tuareg on sight, as they look noticeably different from Arabs, but most Americans would not be able to make this distinction.) Hassan stands at about 5' 9" and weighs 142 lbs. He's 15 years old, with a birthday on March 12th. He often wears slogan t-shirts with references to sci-fi novels and his NASA jacket.
HP and Psyche start at 6, can't raise during creation, but add 1/2 of Brawn to HP.
Brawn, Agility and Brains start at 1 each, starting cap 4, total cap 6, and you get 5 points to distribute among them.
Things your character is good at, things normal people can do
Skills rolls add their associated stat as well (Brawn, Agility or Brains). You get 12 points to spend on skills at creation, with a starting cap of 4 and total cap of 6.
- Science! - (4) Brains (Being born to a roboticist father and microbiologist mother really does set you up to be a huge science nerd. Hassan has a deep understanding of most scientific subjects and even subscribes to academic journals to keep abreast of new discoveries. He covers most of the bases well, but is a bona fide whiz kid on zoology and astronomy.)
- Analyze - (2) Brains (When your engineering and code are the difference between astronauts living or dying [at least, in your imagination], you learn to pay attention to detail and figure out what's going on at any point.)
- Hand me the Allen key! - (4) Brains (Hassan is a mechanically gifted kid, being able to repair mechanical and electronic systems with ease, almost with the skill of an actual roboticist. He can work with and program computers quite well when it relates to OS design, robot processes, and machine learning, but is awful at web design.)
- That's easy, Trebek… - (4) Brains (Hassan is a font of usually useless trivia, ranging from subjects like "Holy Roman Emperors during the Investiture Controversy" to "Plays by Eugene Ionesco.")
These are things you're character accomplishes via their power.
Abilities/Powers should be fairly broad, but look at other characters for good examples. They can grow over time, so don't worry if you start on the small side! You get 7 points to spend on powers at creation, with a starting cap of 4 and total cap of 7. Powers add your Tier to their rolls, usually.
Insect Mimic - 4 - Hassan can borrow the (proportional) abilities of any arthropod within a 1 mile radius. He can only use the powers of one species at a time, but can use multiple powers from said species at once. This is not shapeshifting, Hassan simply gains the ability without changing shape with the exception of abilities which require a physical vector. For example, if using chitin armor to deflect a knife thrust, Hassan wouldn't shift at all, but when using wasp venom, he would project stingers from his wrists.
Arthromancy- 1 - Hassan can control and communicate with any arthropods within the range of his mimic ability. Individual arthropods can only respond to fairly simple commands and questions, such as "Did you see a man walk by you just now?" or "Attack, bees! ATTACK!", but hives or colonies can take more complex instructions when asked collectively. This is a telepathic ability and Hassan does not need to be able to talk to use it.
Hive Mind- 2 - Hassan can essentially split his Brodmann area's thinking and planning processes into many small subroutines, allowing him to "parallel process" his ideas. Each subroutine has separate cytoarchitecture systems overwatched by the frontal lobe. Basically, Hassan's mind fragments into multiple constituent parts working in unison. Hassan often refers to himself as "us" or "we" when using Hive Mind. This allows him to make calculations and evaluate situations very rapidly. It also allows him to fully focus on more tasks than one, so he could read aloud from a book while dodging bullets, for example. In game terms, Hive Mind acts as a Perception skill of 3 and gives Mental Defense.
Things that cause problems for your character, often side effect of your powers (or of having your powers), not necessary. Not just 'limitations' of your powers.
- Arthropod Behavioral Disorder (Mild) - Under great stress, Hassan has strange urges to behave in an "insectoid" fashion. He may feel a weird compulsion to burrow, the sensation of urgently needing to lay eggs without any means to fulﬁll this urge, an instinct to gesture with or clean phantom appendages that don’t map in any way to his anatomy, or a desire to eat substances that would be non-nutritive or even dangerous to humans (like rotting flesh.) Because some of the urges on which Hassan may feel impelled to act on are anatomically impossible, Hassan may accidentally hurt himself or even self-mutilate in the attempt.
List everything your character carries on their person here. Be reasonable.
- Laptop (Doesn't look like much, but runs surprisingly well. Has a big JPL sticker on the back. Usually kept in his bag.)
- Assorted school supplies (in bag.)
- Wallet with a few 20 dollar bills that his mother pressed into his hand before he left (and one Algerian dinar from his last trip to Constantine) and his licences (Driver's and Entomological Society.)
- Thermos with North African mint green tea (like his Jidda always said, nothing like tea for the nerves!)
- A real NASA astronaut flight jacket (his dad called in a favor at work.)
- A 60x-100x pocket microscope.
- A Petersen Insects of North America field guide.
- A Nikolai Gogol short story collection (Hassan will finish it one day…he WILL!)
- His tasbih (basically an Islamic rosary) from his mother.
- Duct-taped and oddly-colored homebuilt headphones.
- A small rotor drone (fits into his hand) with a camera that he built. Connects to and is controlled by his phone. See below description.
- Android smartphone.
And everything that they keep in their dorm at SunnyBrook. Anything that's not listed here or in the section above will be difficult for the character to retrieve.
- Collection of literature - mostly modern English-language African lit and Abbasid Arabic poetry, but some other stuff as well (in English, French, Arabic and even a few storybooks in Tamasheq.)
- Scientific journals sloppily arrayed on a desk (with stuff like Analog, Scientific American, Whole-Earth Review, Smithsonian, Review of Modern Physics, Annual Review of Entomology.)
- Canon SLR camera.
- A Taylor jazz trumpet (with a Sonny Rollins engraved signature!)
- Several types of shirt (mostly soccer jerseys, sci-fi slogan t-shirts, and Nelson Mandela-style Madiba shirts) alongside 4 or 5 pairs of cargo shorts and jeans.
- Unfinished robotics projects in various states of completion (including some half-done insect drones, an almost finished picosatellite ("Did you know pulse plasma projectors run at 19k apiece? Highway robbery!"), 2 or 3 completed ant bots about the size of mice with functional vision and auditory sensors but without an independent operating program, and the beginnings of a self-assembling snakebot.)
- Various electronics and mechanics tools.
- Prayer rug (sent to him by his uncle in Isfahan.)
- Thumbtack board with hundreds of small photographs of insect species (Hassan thinks traditional collecting is barbaric.)
- Desktop computer (The case is that of a cheap computer, but it runs astonishingly fast. The internals look like a Frankenstein-ed composite of parts from other computers Hassan jury-rigged together.)
Born the son of Tunisian immigrants from Kairouan who moved to Houston in the wake of the Ben Ali coup, Hassan was a precocious, if quiet, child. His mother worked as a professor of microbiology at Rice University, while his father was a robotics engineer for NASA HQ. He lived a quite normal life growing up, with loving parents and a stable household. He got into electronics through his father, virology through his mother, and space through both, but his biggest passion was in entomology. He loved insects, often spending more time observing them than with other people. His parents just chalked it up to "teenage issues." They did worry, though, after Hassan told them he could talk to his pet beetles. When he displayed his more prominent power by spraying a bombardier beetle jet on a kid that startled him, he was taken away from his Texas home by soberly dressed G-men and promptly shipped off to Sunnybrook.
Hassan speaks 5 languages: English, Arabic, Tamasheq, Tunisian French, and Libyan Italian (the only one of the 5 not spoken in his household growing up.)
Hassan is a devout Sufi Muslim, following all 5 pillars quite closely. He often fingers his tasbeeha when nervous, and has memorized the whole Qur'an.
Hassan's favorite book is a tossup between Herman Hesse's Siddhartha and Khalil Gibran's The Prophet.
Hassan often unconsciously makes insectoid chittering sounds when excited. This has been described as "pretty weird" by observers, a major understatement on their part.
Hassan keeps several beetles as pets, often mentioning that beetles are the most successful group of Animalia in both biomass and variety of species. In a separate terrarium he keeps a Sydney funnel-web spider named Kelly (after the Australian outlaw Ned Kelly.)
Hassan generally likes to stay out of political and economic arguments, but if pressed, would say he's an Marxist-Leninist. Long live the revolution!
Hassan is a soccer fanatic, despite being terrible at soccer himself. His favorite team is Arsenal.
Hassan plays jazz trumpet. He's not classically trained but has interest in learning. Relatedly, he is very fond of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and other jazz musicians.
Hassan greatly dislikes being called an Arab, often shouting "I'm AFRICAN" by way of response.
Hassan is a remarkably good Yu-Gi-Oh! player, having qualified for the World Tournament twice, but declining due to his fear of a stress breakdown.
Hassan's favorite drone is his Dragonfly:
- The Dragonfly is about as large and looks very similar to its natural counterpart, though true insect flight is still not technically possible, so instead of wings it is equipped with vector trust propellers. It relies mainly on its ultrasound and visual sensors to look around, but has the ability to be equipped with other sensors as well.