For the Director Only!
Anyone you speak with for more than five minutes can tell you're a scholar of some variety. Your family members knew you'd dedicate yourself to the pursuit of higher learning when you came of age, and you didn't disappoint. You're the academic who's read every book and paper on the subject (even the dicey ones with bad references); the researcher whose living space is nothing but research paraphernalia; the philosopher whose head is always pondering a question, be it new or old. You don't forsake your personal connections for this, but it's a near thing; it's not that you don't love them, it's that you're so easily distracted by your work. You constantly struggle to remember that not everyone is as focused on the nuances of knowledge, historical and current, and how to seek it out and make proper use of it, as you are.
Education. History. Facts. These are the building blocks of society, and you are their loyal subject. You strive to understand the world around you and learn something new in every situation. You can never know too much.
Sebas was born out in the Wasteland, among a cult dedicated to the end of the world, the Church of the All-Seeing. His parents were loyal adherents...until the day Gran looked upon their son and announced that he was one of the Marked.
His parents had been in the Church for over a decade, had supported them without question. But this was the line in the blighted sand for them. That their child had been born contaminated wasn't a surprise, but they didn't care. He was strong and inquisitive, reading the one or two things his mother kept among her prized possessions from an early age. They loved him, and wanted him to live, far more than they wanted to bring about Gran's vision. They had only one choice: they fled into the wastes, to seek out the Sanctuary.
On the way they ran across another group also in flight; Scavengers from Sanctuary. They suspected they weren't going to survive, but Scavengers might be able to offer up a contaminated but otherwise young and healthy child. So they handed him and what they had over, and went into the desert to die.
Sebas cried for them that night, when he understood they wouldn't be coming back. In the cult of the Great Bright there was no crying; water was too precious to waste on tears. He let himself, though, because they were his parents, and he was a child, and they'd loved him. So, just the once, he curled up and cried silently into his arm.
The next day, they obtained another boy and his guardian, fleeing from the Bulletfarm. A similar situation, in the end. He and Sebas became thick as thieves, as their ages and situations were similar. And then, they were at Sanctuary, being given over.
It didn't take long for the Mother of War to notice the pair of them, squaring off against bigger children, working together instead of against one another. She snapped them both up before the Green One could. She was old and crafty, that War Matron. She knew war needed wisdom as much as it needed ferocity, and this she found in the pair.
Sebas remembered all the wasteland stories his parents recited to him, and has traded those for even more information from Scavengers, collecting the knowledge greedily. He knows his parents are dead, but sometimes he hopes they lived longer than they expected, and that he'll hear a snippet of them here or there. He has heart problems of some sort, and is certain it will give out some day soon. He's nearly forty, but it comes more often; shortness of breath, an ache in his arm, his heart fluttering against his breastbone like a trapped animal. Hopefully, it won't kill him while he's driving, that'd be utterly mediocre.
He's as fierce as the other Imperators, but slower to anger, and much more tactically minded. He's let more than a few of them think they've angered him into a fight only to have them yielding with a knife to their throat. He'd rather make the most use of Sanctuary's resources than just send every warchild off to die their glorious death. He'll deny no one their Last Ride, but he feels it should be worth something. Useful. If their lives are short, they should squeeze every last drop of value from them, and curse this ugly world which has robbed them of something sweeter.
The Church of the All-Seeing and Gran are still out there. They sacrificed another in Sebas' place, but they still tell the story of the boy with the white streak and the mismatched eyes. If they find him, they'll take him, and kill him on the stone table, cutting out his heart and burning it on a pyre.
Just like they were supposed to all those decades ago.
Sebastian Munson (Prosperity's Price)
Upon meeting Sebastian it takes about 30 seconds to determine why, despite being a bright young man and one of the older Munson grandchildren, he was passed over for any sort of family leadership role: he couldn't be more unsuited for it. Born with a constellation of odd characteristic that added up to a Devil's Mark (bicolored eyes, left-handedness, and a prominent white streak in his hair), he further disqualified himself by growing up to be uncoordinated and incapable of the ruthless acumen necessary to run such a family business. A shame, too, since he's a natural born problem solver and graceful under even the most extreme pressure. But he still wanted to be useful to the family, and his love of nature at least provided the ability to make him into a veterinarian, so off to college and veterinary school he went. He returned in the wake of finishing his studies to establish himself in town as another vet, but no one's going to forget he's a Munson (or the fact that he's still new to practical veterinary work outside of a school), so he has his work cut out for him.
He's stopped dying the white streak in his hair out of spite, because he can't do anything about his eyes, so why bother. He did, however, learn to use his right hand for writing because every document is designed for it, and it's useful to be able to use both hands equally well. He trades the various townspeople a little money or a favor for interesting specimens, and has over time amassed a rather large collection of butterflies and moths, birds, bones (some prehistoric), nests, eggs, and plants he's dried and pressed. He keeps them all in a side room, where he takes field notes in his spare time.
Sebastian is the younger son of one of Widow Munson's middle sons, Benedict Munson; his older brother is Stacker Munson. Stacker and Sebastian both have Devil's Marks, and their mother died in a Reaping when they were very young. Their father took this to mean death would shadow him everywhere, and left the town, abandoning the boys to be raised by the rest of the family and moving to the East Coast. There he remarried and had another child, Bathsheba, who is Stacker and Sebastian's younger half-sister.
Bastian Roen (Slasher)
Bastian always loved nature, and growing up in rural Oregon was a big part of that. Still, he dreamed of seeing far off, exotic locales too, one day, and he got his wish. Just not how he would have wanted to. He was drafted for Vietnam in '68, got to see beautiful tropical jungles and kill foreign people in them for a few years, then got medically discharged in '71, a broken shell of his former self. He became a shut in for a number of years, slowly venturing back out to hike, and eventually wrote a few books on the area. He even pushed himself to go to college and get a Masters. He never fully re-integrated into society and still has telltale symptoms of what will one day be called PTSD, but he's mostly functional again.
After his parents passed, he took the offer of head groundskeeper at the Eager Beaver Lodge since there was nothing left tying him to home but memories and ghosts. One of the major draws of the position is a small cabin separate from the lodge and boathouse that he gets to live in, allowing him privacy and a small garden of his own. For much of the year he's the one in charge of nearly everything, a book keeper or manager oversees the business side and the hotel, but everything else - maintenance, the grounds, facilities - that's all him. He's only been in the position a little over two years, but the staff have come to appreciate the fact that he's not a hardass and doesn't care about a bit of weed or drinking after hours. His loner, solitary nature and PTSD does make him the subject of plenty of wild rumors and much speculation, though. If he knows, he doesn't seem to fight it.
Coming to America
For as long as mankind has existed, they've recorded their knowledge--mythologies, theories, histories--by hand. Before written language, they drew; when written language took shape, they drew and wrote. Eventually, they blended the two, giving rise to rich documents and tapestries and murals blending imagination and learning into a single art form. A number of learned beasts sprang forth from this tradition, and one of these was Sebastianus, a manticore.
He came into being during the third century, formed by scholars illuminating their texts with miniatures as they recorded their myths and legends. He was a muse to them, a guide, encouraging and frustrating by turns. Due to the text which formed him, he was also a predator to them, as any idea run rampant is to an academic. With a voice that could break a mortal mind and a voracious appetite for their flesh, he often hunted them even as he inspired them. He is a symbol of knowledge as power and danger wrapped in one, capricious and graceful in the manner of all cats, beautiful and horrifying to look upon, with a voice both dreadful and glorious voice.
Once an inspiration to the scholars of Europe, appearing all over their works, Sebastianus' power waned as illumination became rarer when Europe left the Renaissance period. Tapestries and murals remained; a feeble replacement for his true power, but enough to sustain him. When Europeans moved West to colonize new lands he went with them, hopeful that they might be inspired--by him or their own new experiences--to take up textual illumination again, but it was not to be. Printing presses and cameras came into being. Mankind no longer wrote their knowledge and discoveries by hand; they mass produced them, and Sebastianus weakened further still. Though he still loves what mankind writes, he's cut off from its power due to his nature. Modern books and libraries are bittersweet to him, temples which have been emptied of their true iconography and turned into an art market of cheap replicas.
Carnival of Wonders
No matter what shape he takes, his skin is covered with the illuminations that birthed him. They're a wonder to mortals, these tattoos (for this is how they perceive them), and in this way he found a new source of power. If he could no longer inspire mankind to learn, he could at least let them marvel at the sight of him. It wasn't the same, not by a long shot, and yet it was the fate of the very texts from which he'd arisen; to be marveled at, to be looked upon, to be placed on display. He can alter his markings at will, and does so to suit a performance. And that's what he's been doing, for decades: displaying himself. It's what he has left now.
He joined the Carnival in the early years at the urging of a devotee--his first, Olivia--who realized its acts for what they were, and knew he would be better off there than scraping by in New York City, skulking among the libraries of its universities and earning a meager living in cabaret shows. He seldom accepts work as a prostitute unless the price is appropriately exorbitant (or the Carnival is that strapped for cash), sticking primarily to burlesque and striptease. Any time he's not on stage he's covered from neck to ankles to wrists, his illuminations hidden from casual view, even in heat and humidity. He'll make an exception in the Burlesque Tent itself, since his fellow Providers aren't patrons, but outside of that or the sheep wagon he and his devotees stay in he's fully clothed. No one gets the goods for free. When the Adult Tent is dark, as it sometimes must be, he'll be found among the vendors, selling calligraphy and his own personal illuminated pages. (It helps that if someone doesn't like exactly what he has he can change it with a touch of magic.)
Mankind's knowledge is still a source of power to him, if not potent as it once was; accordingly, he's at his strongest when they're near cities with any sort of institution of higher learning, or a particularly well-endowed library.
Each of his devotees wears a bracelet: a set of five colorful, cylindrical, paper beads formed from small pieces of illuminated manuscript. The manuscript beads are strung together with small, black beads carved with vines and flowers.
Sebastian Rozgold (Project Icarus)
Born to Faroese parents who hardly knew what to do with him, Sebastian was speaking, reading, and writing well in advance of any of his peers. His capabilities in early schooling didn't go unnoticed, and his parents found themselves the beneficiaries of scholariships for their son from interested parties, allowing them to send him to the best schools. Unsurprisingly, it was language that he was drawn to, but not //just// human language--all manner of language, from computer to animal, living and dead, pictographic and symbolic as well as scripted. The encryption and decryption of language as well, which is (even Sebastian has to admit) where the real money is, at least these days. Corporations love to keep their secrets, so his encryption algorithms have made him a fair bit of money, and are the thing most of the linguistics community knows him for. That, his mismatched eyes and wild head of hair with its white stripe, and his fantastically bitchy attitude.
He was reading and speaking over a half-dozen languages by the time he had his undergraduate degree, and has nearly doubled that number since. Though he's only 30, he's had his PhD for eight years. Cryptography makes money, but his heart's in cryptology--the unraveling of mysteries as old as mankind. And what greater mystery is there than Project Icarus?
Unknown to Sebastian, it's the benefactors of his early years who've arranged to put him on this asteroid. He's an asset, and now it's time for them to reap the rewards of developing him.
Sebastian Lester (Bonds of Blood)
Sebastian is Karl's younger brother, and generally known as the 'smart' Lester. His parents couldn't afford to send him to a four year school, so he had to content himself with an AA from the community college and a whole lot of hands-on experience working with horses as taught to him by his predecessor at the Ortiz Stables. He's helped them turn out numerous National Champions in trail, halter, and gymkana, and oversees most of the horse-related operations for the family. The Ortiz Family are rich, so can afford to keep Sebastian employed regularly, and he also accepts work on the side when he has time for it.
He rents a modest ranch house from one of their equally rich neighbors, the Wellingtons. It's nothing fancy, but it has three bedrooms, (so his twins don't have to share space) and AC, and it means he doesn't share walls with anyone, which is how he likes it. Their mother, Ariane, is a rich banker who, while working in Phoenix for a couple of years, met Sebastian and wound up pregnant. After a difficult pregnancy, she quickly realized that a horse trainer's wife was not what she wanted to be, so she moved back to London rather than make an honest man out of Sebastian. She sends money and cards like clockwork, and sometimes even shows up for a birthday, but in general the majority of her interactions with them are to hit up Sebastian for a little alone time if she's in the state. He knows he should say no but can't quite bring himself to. For one thing, she's gorgeous, for another, they money really does help with raising the kids.
He's also the least volatile of his family members--if still a little more prone to punching first and asking questions later--and the weirdest looking, with a big white streak in his hair and eyes that don't match, one brown and one green.
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Dr. Joseph Eisenreicht (Alien Mutation)
Where a xenobiologist studies the anatomy and physiology of an alien species, you study their environment, culture, and behavior. While no concrete proof of sentient life has been found, there exists a lot of anecdotal and circumstantial evidence, and even the most basic of non-sentient alien species still exhibit behavior norms, societal interaction and the like. It's the difference between knowing everything anatomical about a lion and knowing how a pride works.
The Company needed an expert to get into the Xenomorph's behavior, and you were chosen. You've been given all of the notes from the Nostromo, and hours upon hours of video from Sevastopol Station before it lost link with APOLLO, and you're probably the best expert on how a Xenomorph behaves in its various stages of life and what to expect from one. It's as fascinating as it is terrifying. The android on the Nostromo summed the alien up best: The perfect organism. Its structural perfection is matched only by its hostility. You're on Grey's side on this - they shouldn't make one.