Perspective character
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Name: Nathan Garner
Age: 19
Race/Ethnicity: White
Gender: Male
Profession: Part-time RAMI student, Part-time steam artisan at Garner's Gadgets
Home Location: Ulysses Apartments (Room 343)
Memberships/Factions: New Steam Society, Independent Artisans Guild, RAMI
Relationships: Theodore Meyer (acquaintance), David Tennant (dislike), Nora Marshall (friend), Emily Ballard (friend), Gabrielle Garnier (acquaintance), Ernest Garner (father), Joseph Boyd (professor), Adam Hausler (landlord)
Disposition: Optimistic, ambitious, passionate, eager, dedicated, eager to learn, energetic
High concept: Gifted, progressive steam artisan/student who strives to revolutionize steam technology

Special skills/abilities: Engineering/Crafting(+3), Academics(Steam-crafting)(+2), Ingenuity(+2), Willfulness(+1), Researching(+1), Academics(Biology)(+1)


Notable flaws/weaknesses: Naive, too trusting, somewhat absent-minded, bit of a dreamer, stubborn, not good at processing negative emotions, often intimidated by people more respected or more affluent that he is, little interest in actively meeting new people, struggles to connect with people on subjects outside of his direct experience and knowledge, tendency to get overly excited and stumble over his words or ramble

Memberships/Factions/Affiliations: New Steam Society, Independent Artisan's Guild, RAMI

Basic appearance description (daily, avg): Nathan typically will don a dark-grey, short suit-jacket while in public, but will usually take it off while working. He tries to keep his appearance up when in a place he could be seen, in order to not embarrass himself or his father while working at his store. Nathan's a thin man, with alert blue eyes, short black hair, and pale skin, standing at roughly 5'8". He has a prosthetic left arm made of brass with carved markings. His arm had a watch built into it, as well as 2 hollow compartments, one of which holds a notebook, a pen, and a few simple tools. Typically, his prosthetic is obscured by his clothing, but Nathan does have a few shirts without the left sleeve in order to allow the full arm to be seen. He only will wear the "adjusted" shirts either in the privacy of his own home or while on the main floor of the shop to serve as "advertising". Interestingly enough, Nathan is also left-handed.

Following the RAMI bombing of New Years Day, 1921, the bottom part of his right leg is also a steam prosthetic, as the result of shrapnel going through his knee from an unknown anarchist's bomb.

Motivations:
Short-term motivation
Medium-term motivation
Long-term motivation
Finish his classes at RAMI
To either own his own workshop or inherit Garner's Gadgets
To complete the Protean Machine


Narrative


Background (family, education, important life events)
Nathan was born on October 21st, 1901 to Mabel and Ernest Garner. That same year, his mother died of tuberculosis, so he spent most of his childhood being raised by his father. He never minded her loss, having never met her, and is content with only having one parent. Ernest was an idol to Nathan, and could do no wrong during his childhood.

His father owns the workshop "Garner's Gadgets", and works there to this day. Since he could remember, Nathan has been enthralled with steam technology, enamored with the way it moves and breathes. His love for steam tech borders on "obsessive", and he could spend hours discussing it with anyone who will listen, and even sometimes those who won't. As a result, Nathan spent much of his youth helping his father out in the shop, learning all he was willing to teach. What his father didn't know, Nathan would read from books or learn from talking to his father's peers in the Independent Artisan Guild. Nathan proved to be a prodigy at steam-crafting, so much so that he sparked the curiosity of an IAG member during a conversation at his father's shop. Because of this, the IAG kept an eye on him, believing he showed some promise.

Ernest had, through luck and the support of the Independent Artisans Guild, risen from poverty and as such raised Nathan not to judge people based on appearances or social class. Even if he hadn't, Nathan wouldn't be the type of kid to care, often preferring the world in his head to one around him. Not wanting his son to repeat his mistakes, Ernest enrolled his son in school and encouraged him to devote himself to education. While Nathan is generally apathetic about most topics, he was attracted to science, especially biology. The science of the "human machine" was fascinating to Nathan, even more so later in life. Figuring out how things work has always been a passion for the youth, and he would often take things apart and rebuild them for the sake of discovery. Ever since he was young, Nathan's passion has been encouraged by his father, who had always told him he could do anything he wanted as long if he put his mind to it.

Eventually, steam technology began to advance beyond the abilities of Ernest Garner, prompting him to try and create a revolutionary new technology in order to stay relevant. This was the Protean Machine, a device meant to replicate the consciousness of any person and store it inside an automaton, effectively causing that person to be immortal. Of course, Nathan wanted to help and the two of them began working on it between other projects. Nathan enjoyed the time he had with his father, and was eager for the chance to innovate. In 1913, Nathan was adjusting the pneumatic tubes in the torso of the machine while his father was dealing with a client. Somehow the machine activated while Nathan was working on it, causing his left arm to be crushed by the moving gears.He was shocked and distraught, until his father made him a prosthetic. Nathan fell in love with his new arm, finding peace within the "music" of it's movements.

While there were more skilled artisans he could learn from, Nathan resolved to remain under his father's tutelage, maintaining a close relationship with him. As he grew older, Nathan began to experiment with his own style of crafting, often having "friendly arguments" with Ernest over efficiency and design. Soon, both Garners were asked to create a steam attraction. Nathan and his father crafted the "Steam Wolf" for the Seneca Park Zoo, an automaton capable of mimicking most of the movements of a real wolf. This accomplishment led to Nathan's invitation into the Independent Artisans Guild, which he was honored to accept. While he is proud of his accomplishments, Nathan strives to push himself to accomplish greater tasks. This led to his enrollment in RAMI, which he pays for by working at his father's store.


Current Biography (ca. 1921):
Currently, Nathan is taking evening classes at RAMI, spending most of his days working in his father's workshop. At school, he met Nora Marshall and Emily Ballard, both of whom he considers friends. Most of his teachers like him, especially Joseph Boyd, whom he considers to be a mentor, often bouncing ideas off of him or asking him for advice. Recently, he has fitted himself with a new prosthetic arm, the fifth one he's had, that has a watch and two "hidden" compartments. Balancing work with school takes up most of his free time, but he enjoys classes immensely and often works on his personal projects at night.

One such project is the Protean Machine, which he has tinkered with off and on for the past couple of years. After losing his arm, he had been contemplating the superiority of the machine parts, especially comparing his new arm to his old one. The idea of improving the "machine" of the human body as well as "mechanizing the mind" is of great academic interest to Nathan, who believes his father's concept of a Protean Machine is the future.

Nathan's progressive outlook eventually led him to joining the New Steam Society. Despite being a fairly new member, his enthusiasm and active participation makes him well liked by most members. If he encounters anyone who he can talk to about steam, he'll talk quickly and eagerly, often being prone to rambling. On the other hand, Nathan struggles somewhat to discuss anything outside of his knowledge, knowing about little other than steam, the shop, and school, limiting his ability to connect with people outside his reality. While Nathan's upbringing limits his social bias, he can't stand alcohol or those who drink it, finding both the product and methods of acquiring it to be unsavory. While he doesn't believe he has enough information to properly loathe anarchy, Nathan doesn't like the extremists who hurt others in their attempts to cause chaos, such as by bombing businesses. The ends do not justify the means, not if it means financial or physical ruin for anyone else. Doing so is not only morally wrong and selfish, but stupid as it only makes your cause look that much worse. As for people who are against steam, he finds them more confusing than anything. How can they possibly hate steam technology? Who wouldn't be able to see the magic in its movements, the life that pulses beneath the brass? They just don't understand or just have never properly experienced steam technology. Those the only reasons Nathan can imagine for why they would be so blind to this marvel of innovation and the potential it possesses.

Nathan is in good rapport with the Independent Artisans Guild, though his enthusiasm and over-eagerness often puts him at odds with some of the more serious-minded artisans. Nathan aspires to be like his guild mates, at least those he likes, still feeling slightly out of place compared to amount of more experienced, older members. He imagines that in time, after he gets his own shop, that he'll feel more like their equal. But for now, he's content to observe more than participate, and looks forward to the meetings.

Epilogue (after 1921):

The Rochester Steam Fair proved to be a high point in Nathan's life. The combination of Archibald's augmentation with Protean Tech garnered much admiration, driving Nathan to further improve its design. Inspired by his work with Gregory, Nathan steered his goals towards aiding the sick and dying, finding satisfaction in helping others. He often neglected meals and sleep, to the annoyance of friends, just to spend that extra time perfecting the Protean Machine.

Occasionally, he would take breaks from research to visit the many wonderful exhibits around the fair, spoiling himself with the splendorous sights. Nathan lived in paradise among such innovation, enraptured by the potential within each product. About halfway through the fair, Nora finally confessed her feelings to him. After the initial shock, Nathan awkwardly invited her to dinner. The next months were the happiest he'd ever been.

Nathan continued his work on Protean technology alongside Emily, Nora, and Gabrielle. The four of them made great strides in its advancement, and for a time their Protean Machine was considered a viable option to heal the terminally ill. While the product was never fully optimized, many people found the risks worth the benefits, despite no research into long term effects. Regardless, ethical concerns still haunted the device, and its novelty began to quickly fade. But Nathan wasn't worried. Their machine was the future....a future he would never see.

It was a normal procedure, one they had done so many times before. A homeless woman, dying of cancer, had been volunteered to undergo their next phase of testing. The patient knew the risks, having been sent their way by William Tenerly and was a sweet old woman. She made small talk with the team, telling them about her grandchildren, their interests and hobbies. The transfer seemed no different from the others, until she woke. The machine convulsed violently before it sprang up with a loud shriek and lunged for the nearest object. Nathan was a little too close. By the time the machine was subdued, Nathan was unconscious, his bones broken, leaking blood from various openings. In desperation, the others tried to transfer him to a Protean Machine, but by the time they hooked him up, it was too late. On March 23rd, 1922, Nathan Garner bled out and died.

Tenerly was quick to cover up the damage, the papers only being told it was an accident and the faulty machine properly disposed of. Shortly after the funeral, the Protean Machine fell into relative obscurity, being seen as little more than a interesting automaton variant. Nathan's father Ernest fell into a slump after his son passed, and was hit hard by the Great Depression. eventually selling Garner's Gadgets and moving upstate. Everything in his will was left to friends, with the share intended for Nathan being split between Nora and Emily. He believed Nathan would have wanted it that way.

Nevertheless, Nathan's legacy outlived him. From his work, prosthesis and steam augmentation advanced beyond what people thought possible, eventually resulting in prosthetic organs and brain augmentation. Eventually, with the rise in transhumanism, Nathan Garner was credited as a pioneer of transhuman technology, the Protean Machine capturing the imagination, inspiring research for years to come.