Meta/StarFall: Introducing a Legacy Character to a New Universe

Phantasm phantom_belcher at
Sun Sep 19 16:30:27 PDT 2010

I won't be able to finish my planned entry for the current HCC.  This
isn't a case of "I won't finish it in time"; it's a case of "I won't
be able to finish it because I don't like where it's headed, and I've
decided to scrap it."

The basis was to introduce a legacy flagsuit to the StarFall Universe
for the US.  Here's the "exposition" segment of the story:


   Project: Sentinel came into existence around the time of the
reality quake, but no one could say with any certainty if it was
formed because of lingering effects of the quake, or was inserted into
the world *by* the quake.  It began as a joint effort between the
Department of Defense and the Department of Justice, under the
previous President's administration, to produce a warrior who would
embody America's ideals.  The project was to be one part special
operations, one part comic book science project, and three parts
public relations.
   The first Sentinel had been selected from the United States Marine
Corps: Staff Sergeant Frank Stuart, veteran of campaigns in Serbia,
Iraq, and Afghanistan, and the most recent recipient (at that time) of
the Congressional Medal of Honor.  As the Sentinel, Stuart had no
innate powers, but was highly trained in hand to hand combat and all
modern weapons.  He carried a star-shaped shield made of a lightweight
steel alloy, with the edges of the star sharpened to a very fine edge.
Sturat also used many different handguns while on assignment.
   Stuart had retired as the Sentinel almost immediately after Obama
was elected. Robyn Holworth, who had achieved the rank of Sergeant in
the US Army during the occupation in Iraq, was selected to replace
him.  Unlike her predecessor, Holworth had been subjected to a series
of experiments which enhanced her strength, speed, agility, reaction
time, and durability to previously unreached levels.  As the Sentinel,
Holworth's only weapons were a pair of batons she stored behind her


Obviously, as StarFall uses a sliding timescale, these dates,
presidents, and military campaigns may soon become topical.

The main problem I'm having is that the first Sentinel was turning out
to be nothing short of a loud-mouthed, bible-thumping, racist
asshole.  I didn't realize he was until I ran the first part past some
folks I know online, as, guess what!, down here where I'm currently
living (South Carolina upstate, heart of the Bible Belt, with five
baptist churches between gas stations), that's what I'm surrounded by
and is considered "normal", if not "respectable".   My original intent
was for the two Sentinels to be mirror images - one the ultra-right-
wing Christian fundamentalist conservative, the other the ultra-left-
wing bleeding heart liberal.

A few questions:

1) Does that exposition make sense in regards to what is already known
about the setting?

2) How would *you* write the two characters?

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