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What point in time are you taking your character from when he/she appears at Landel's and why?: I am taking her just moments after her friends left in the submarine. Firstly, because it will cement her feelings of betrayal. While she won't be able to explain how she ended up at Landel's, she will certainly feel that either her fellow survivors or the Others were involved with her being there. Depending on how her entrance plays out and who she talks to, she will either believe that the Others have captured her and sent her to an asylum, or her so-called friends have gone and done the exact same thing. If it is the latter, it will only further convince her that Kate is attempting to drive a wedge between her and Aaron, and that all of them believe her crazy. Unfit for society or friendship. Secondly, I am taking her from that point because it would be the most disorienting moment to take her from. Going from such an emotional state on the dock to suddenly waking up in an asylum? It'll unnerve her in a way no other moment would. According to all logic it would be impossible for anyone her to move from the dock to the institute without her knowledge, and that sort of manipulation is absolutely terrifying to her. The confusion would heighten her emotional distress. Thirdly, she has just missed what she believes is her last chance to get off the island. When she discovers that she is off the island but confined to an asylum and forbidden from seeing her son, her drive to escape will be that much stronger, powered by her anger and desperation to reclaim what little she can of the life she lost before.

Please give us a detailed description of your character's personality:  Claire’s personality has changed dramatically this last season, which is understandable considering what she has endured in that time. However, small facets of her old self remain. Her love for Aaron remains largely unchanged, but is enhanced by her madness. She is as stubborn as ever and resents being lied to or patronized (such as when Dogen, a Japanese Other, speaks in his native language to her with the intention of using a translator because he hates “the way English tastes on [his] tongue”. Claire gives him a look just shy of rolling her eyes and demands that he speak English anyway.) However, unlike before, she is willing to let such things slide if it means that she hears what she wants to hear. When talking to Jin shortly after murdering the Other, she regards him with suspicion until he pretends that he was lying about Kate having her baby. Three years earlier she wouldn’t have believed him and called him on the lie. Now she takes him at his word, clearly relieved that she wouldn’t have to kill the other woman. Her fondness for her old friends is obviously prevalent as well. When meeting them she was often grinning, hugging Hurley and silently beaming at Jack, who she was seeing for the first time not as a benign acquaintance, but a new member of her family. Curiously, of the returning survivors, Claire was the closest to Kate. The two of them were once like sisters. Her memories of their friendship are a driving force in her confusion over whose side she is really on. Whenever her faith in the MIB wavers and someone is convincing her to leave him, Kate is always the one doing the talking.

However, those characteristics are often overshadowed by the dark changes that took a hold of her in those three lonely years. Nowadays Claire can best be described as feral. Even her movements have switched from being delicate, playful and light to measured and coarse, even noticeably masculine at times (in particular her walk). She treats uncomfortable subjects and acts as commonplace, casually mentioning to Jin how she had been shot in the leg and sewn it up herself, and stitched up his own wounds without flinching. More disturbingly, she left the axe stuck inside the Other’s gut for some time after killing him, unaffected by the gruesome sight. She has no qualms with killing or torture, so long as neither she nor the few people she truly cares about are on the receiving end of it.

Her emotions and mentality have been reduced to a somewhat childlike state. She has difficulty hiding her feelings, throwing tantrums and weeping openly when upset, clinging to anyone who shows her kindness. Excellent examples of these are when she attacks Kate in a rage only to approach her later in tears and hug her close, genuinely upset by what she’s done. She cannot seem to make up her mind about whether she wants to kill Kate or believe her and be her friend again. Much like a child, she floats between the two options, pointing the gun at her when she tries to escape but giving in moments later and following Kate when she begs her to come along. Another prime example of her newfound immaturity is the way she approached MIB in the episode after the attack on Kate, asking about the list of names he has and, since she is not on it and therefore ‘unnecessary’  for his escape plan, if she would still be included at all. While outwardly she approached the situation like an adult, her motivation and her direct, absolutist phrasing of the question was reminiscent of a child seeking reassurance from a parent. Essentially, she was asking if the MIB still cared about her in spite of all the people he was recruiting. Once it was clear that their bond remained intact, she immediately segued into the issue with Kate. She was clearly jealous of the other woman, and was undeniably pleased when the MIB told her that he only needed Kate to lure in the other people on the list and after that she would be completely expendable. While it was a chilling talk with very real consequences, the core motivation behind it was largely immature: Claire was looking to eliminate her competition for both the MIB’s and Aaron’s attention. One more example is how she phrases things. When relaying the story of herself being shot to Jin she says, “He shot me right here,” and points almost exaggeratedly at her leg. When she brings in the Other to interrogate, she explains that “He was just pretending to be dead, but he wasn’t. Now we get to talk to him.” While subtle, when watched in context of the show and compared to how she spoke in earlier seasons one can detect how her words have taken on an almost childlike tone.

Ultimately, Claire is about survival. She has little need for frivolities and measures most situations as life and death circumstances, whether the life involved is her own or another’s. On some level she is aware of how much she has changed, but it’s a part of her that only Kate’s friendship and the MIB’s betrayal in the final four episodes could reveal. She keeps this knowledge well hidden and encased in denial. Admitting it would mean accepting that she is worthless to her son, her family, and her friends; unfit for civilization. This is her absolute worst fear. At the point I am taking her from she hasn’t quite reached this revelation yet, but with the right prodding she could come to realize it in Damned. Claire is at a crucial moment of character right now, torn between the girl she used to be and the madwoman she has become. Depending on how situations and CR play out in the game, she will lean towards one side more heavily than the other. The madness will remain for quite some time (considering the game’s timeline it is unrealistic that she will reach a point where she is ‘cured’ entirely), but she is capable of change.

Please give us a physical description of your character: Claire is five foot two, naturally blond, petite, and has piercing green-blue eyes. Although she was thin before, living on a limited diet has shaved her down a few pounds. She doesn't look emaciated, but is rather leaner than she should be. Her hair is long and naturally wavy, yet now it is an unsalvageable rat's nest. Frizzy, matted, uneven, and only half contained by a ratty ponytail, it's clear that this woman has seen better days. She has plenty of scars from her years on the island, including a brand mark from a hot poker on her shoulder, courtesy of her visit with the Others, and a bullet scar on her left thigh. She is tanned (but not severely so) and her skin is obviously weathered. Her nails are either jagged or bitten to the quick. While her hygiene will have no doubt improved with the care at Landel's, she is perpetually disheveled and unlikely to clean herself unless she is uncomfortably dirty. In spite of all this, she still looks rather young for her age.

While not a physical characteristic, her Aussie accent is quite pronounced and will be immediately noticeable to anyone who speaks with her. To my knowledge she would be the only Australian currently in Damned, which would set her apart even more.

What kinds of otherwordly abilities does your character have, if any?:
None.

If present, how do you plan to tweak these powers to make your character appropriately hindered in the setting of Landel's?: See above.

Does your character have any non-otherworldy abilities/training that surpass the norm?: Realistically, I would have to say no. But the skill set she has from living stranded on an island is a fairly unique one. Plenty of characters know ten thousand languages and can predict entire phone calls with their genius IQ, but can any of them gut and skin a boar? I doubt it. Additional island skills that have been alluded to (or reasonably assumed) are the basic treatment of wounds, fishing, cooking over fire, constructing hunting traps, handling and use of dynamite, use of firearms (specifically rifles), clothes mending, building shelter (Claire is BY NO MEANS A CARPENTER but she has her own little ghetto crib going on), tracking, etc. Prior to the island, she was a tattoo artist and a cashier at the Fish and Fry. I seriously doubt that either of those are going to be relevant skills in damned. She is also strong for her age, gender and size, but not astonishingly so. While she was able to hold her own against Kate (who is easily one of the most physically capable women on the island), it is doubtful that she could take on anyone much stronger without a weapon.

What do you see your character doing in the scope of the game and how do you plan to use the setting of Landel's Institute to develop them and affect their psychology in a unique, interesting way?: Claire is going to be absolutely distraught. She is coming from a point of total abandonment and the loss of her chance at freedom is going to have a major impact on her stay at damned. As stated above, once she realizes she is off the island but still trapped at Landel's, she will make every effort to escape possible. More importantly though, what I am looking forward to about playing her the most is how easily influenced she is. Claire is insane, true, and ultimately she is looking out for herself, but her inner nature has become very childlike. She is lost. The MIB was the only friend she had for three years, and he has used this to his advantage by lying to her and shaping her to his needs. Seeing the other survivors again has shaken her a bit – loosened his hold on her just enough that she could go in a number of different directions. Depending on who she befriends, she could either lean towards being good (NOTE - Good does not equal sane), or evil. Violence is in her nature now, and she is both capable and loyal to those few who earn her trust. She would be a valuable pawn to some of the more manipulative or similarly psychotic patients, playing the part of both the expendable partner and the defender. If they can convince Claire that they care about her, whether such sentiments are true or not, she will stick by them and believe whatever they say. However, that same nature could be adopted by some of the benign characters. Claire is in dire need of care and companionship, of someone she can trust. If any of them are willing to look past the insanity and see that, they will be able to draw her at least partly out of malice and give her direction. Her core flaws would remain, of course, but that glimmer of hope could lead her to act with more care than in the past, as well as act for the sake of someone besides herself and Aaron. She is not so far gone that she cannot recognize that she’s not well. If they were close enough to her and chastised her way of thinking/doing things, she would take the words to heart and perhaps consider trying to change. The old Claire is in there, if you’re willing to dig far enough.

Not only this, but her insanity and yearning for motherhood could lead to some interesting CR. She would be much more likely to trust children, even pseudo adopting them in mimicry of her urge to rekindle that bond with her own son. Of course, none of those potential relationships could come close to replacing the ties she has with Aaron, but it would be interesting to explore just how motherly a woman as mad as Claire could be. As mentioned above, this positive, nurturing interaction could lead to her getting better.

Additionally, the mystery surrounding Landel's Institute is nothing new to her. Similar explorations, inexplicable events, and mysteries have occurred on the island. She will have no hesitations about tackling these quandaries herself, with or without the help of others. While she is less likely to be interested in the overall purpose of this place and the possible rescue of patients other than herself, if it could lead to her escape or bring her closer to Aaron? She will do it.

On that note, should Claire ever receive visitors or therapy, it could elevate her need to leave the institute to a point where she would be willing to accept their false lives. Perhaps, with enough convincing, she could tell herself it was true. (Particularly if her real life had her with Aaron and surrounded by the friends and family that have forsaken her before or died – Charlie or her Mother would be especially influential.) She wouldn't attempt deceiving the staff into thinking she was getting better, as she is currently incapable of the finesse required to pull it off. Rather, she would struggle to recall this false life and snap herself out of this mad persona she has created out of longing for her own happily ever after.

All of this is pure speculation, but they're all ideas that have crossed my mind more than once.

Given that this RP takes place in an unsettling and outright horrific environment, how do you justify your character as being appropriate in both body and mind for this kind of setting?: Her daily routine involves checking her hunting traps for stray Others, fending off polar bears, and chilling with demonic demi-god cosplaying as a dead man. I think she'll be okay.

Third-Person Sample:
The lights were odd here. They reminded her of the Staff, except these weren’t flickering and shining out of bulbs yellowed with time. No, these were clinical and fresh. Blank. White. It hurt her eyes to stare at them too long. It was cold light, nothing like the piercing sun she knew. Cold light for a cold place.

Claire shivered and rubbed the gooseflesh from her arms. She wanted to shrivel without the island heat. It was freezing in the hospital, and she had never even seen snow until this morning.

“Here, Charlotte. I brought you a sweater. Must be tough getting used to these New Jersey winters.”

“There is no ‘Charlotte’.” The name was spat out so vehemently the nurse ought to be wiping her eye. Claire snatched the clothing out of her hands and hastily shrugged into it. “I’m Claire. I’ve always been Claire.”

The nurse gave her one of those doe-eyed looks of hers. As if she were some lame animal, writhing on the ground and needing out of its misery. Her glare told her exactly what she thought of her pity.

“Well. Claire. You’ve missed breakfast again, so I’ve also brought you a sandwich.” She wrestled a baggie from a deep pocket in her apron and passed it over. “Strawberry jam, if that’s all right. It’ll have to do until lunch time. Try not to spread too many crumbs around.”

Claire shook her head and scoffed, but accepted the offer regardless. She needed to eat, and the institute had yet to poison her or anyone else that she had seen. Preferably she would be making her own food – Claire didn’t put it past them to try slipping her something now – but she had nothing to work with. The animals were all rotted at night. They would make her sick if she tried to eat them, and she had yet to find a pantry. It would be a waste of time, anyway.

She didn’t bother working through the knot, ripping the plastic open and setting it aside. She tried her best to maneuver the bread over her tongue so she didn’t have to deal with the explosive taste of the jam as she chewed. It was far too sweet, in a way that papayas weren’t. Fake sweet. She used to love this sort of stuff, but now it was an overload. Her nose crinkled when the jelly inevitably hit her tongue.

But then there was something better.

Creamy, smooth, salty. Still that same sense of too much that came with the jelly, but this was something she liked. Claire swallowed and stared at the sandwich. Nimbly, she peeled the bread apart at the corners. One slice was slathered with gooey pink jam, and the other was a mishmash of the jelly and a thick, golden brown layer of peanut butter. She folded the jam bread in half and carefully wiped away as much of the pink with it as she could, then dropped it on the arm of the couch beside the plastic bag. She neither noticed nor cared when it landed sticky side down. An impish grin puckered her cheeks and she almost giggled as she held it close, swiping the peanut butter off with her tongue. Good god, she had missed this.

The institute had its benefits, she supposed.


First-Person Sample: Though Claire canonically kept a diary on the show, it was long before she went mad. She has had no need to write for herself or to anyone for a long, long time, and would likely think of keeping a diary as a potential weakness – keeping your inner thoughts in a place where anyone could see them would be a dangerous thing with the Others around. Since her diary has not been addressed in season six whatsoever and she is no longer in a frame of mind to keep track of anything, it is fairly safe to assume that she has abandoned writing altogether. Not only that, but there is a limited supply of writing utensils and paper on the island, and it was, frankly, non-essential to her survival. It will be a skill she will have to develop again at Landel’s, especially if she wants to use the board or record her findings in the journal.

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savagesolitude

November 2010

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