Character Study: Shard

Attention, fellow writers!  NaNoWriMo, the National Novel Writing Month, is fast approaching!  While getting started on the actual writing before November 1st is forbidden, we are free to plan and plot as much as we choose.  So for this week, I’m doing character studies on my characters that will be in my upcoming story.

Name: Richard Galt

Nickname/Preferred Name: Shard

Job: Freelance hacker, security consultant, suspected in several hacking crimes

Background: Richard Galt has always had an affinity for technology.  After nearly getting expelled from school at age thirteen, he returned and graduated in less than a year.  He’s widely known in many tech circles, and is considered a “gray hat” – he occasionally seems to stray towards illegal prospects, but he’s never been caught doing anything strictly illegal.  He works during the day as a digital security consultant for big companies.  At night, it’s anyone’s guess.

Skills: There isn’t a digital system Shard has met that he can’t break open.  He has several augments to aid him in this ability, and he considers it a point of personal pride that he’s one of the best hackers alive.  He’s also gifted with an excellent memory and almost insatiable thirst for knowledge, and uses his almost encyclopedic memory to solve puzzles.

Carried Items:

  • Wrist-mounted computer.  Shard uses this device as his portable hacking station, and can hook it up to most machines he encounters.  The flexible touch-screen extends up his forearm, and responds to both mental signals and to touch commands.
  • Electronic interface nannites.  Also known as “IO nannites” among hackers, these tiny little electronic devices allow him to directly interface with many computer systems.  They establish a microscopic bridge between his index fingers and a computer port.
  • Sunglasses.  A classic part of any hacker’s wardrobe.  Shard’s glasses also give him some enhanced low-light vision.
  • Optical nannites.  Give Shard the ability to “see” electrical currents around him.  Great for detecting alarm systems…
  • Sensor bundle.  Looking more like a octopus-shaped blob of wires than anything else, this device can be plugged into most machines to remotely stream data to Shard, even when left behind.

Strengths: Richard has a powerful, inquisitive mind that is constantly working and tackling new problems.  When he has something to think about, he ferrets away at it, refusing to give up until he has an answer.  He’s also fiercely intelligent, and also has a strong independent streak, leading him to work to be self-reliant.

Weaknesses: When Richard doesn’t have a problem to occupy his attention, he tends to search for one.  This often leads to him getting into a lot of trouble when left without a problem – especially when he’s not being watched.  He also has a blatant disregard for rules, which often leads to him straying to the outskirts of legality.

Pet Peeve: When Richard gets an idea, the worst thing anyone can say to him is “No.”  That is the easiest way to make him charge in, just to prove his opponent wrong.

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