Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 6: Babel

Karalynn Anders
Age: 18
Job: Communications/Team Leader
Hair: Auburn
Eyes: Green
Place of Birth: The Once Lakes

Personality: Kara is very stubborn, but not to a fault. She is merely confident in her skills and refuses to back down when she knows she is right. She is a natural born leader and thus seems to feed off of stress. She seems to be a well of advice and compassion, and her fun loving nature makers her quite pleasant to be around. As many problems as the others may have with each other, none of them have ever had an issue with her.

Biography: Karalynn Anders was born in the second year of Nicolae, and is in fact the only of the 5 to have never breathed air that wasn’t under his control. Her parents’ were competitors for a living and, while they competed separately, it was her father’s dream to put together a team. It was almost an obsession with him. He had plans and theories about how it would work, but was never able to put it into practice.

Kara grew up knowing little outside this obsession. She proved to be very smart, reading by the time she was 4. As she grew, she began to discuss these theories with her father, helping him better old ones and create new ones. His obsession became hers, and she wanted nothing more than to help him see his dream lived out.

When she was 11, her father fell seriously ill and was no longer able to compete. Kara hated seeing him bed ridden, his crushed dream doing more damage than the illness. Her mother continued to compete, trying to keep food on the table, which meant leaving Kara to take care of her father, a decision she would come to regret later on. Kara was more than capable of taking care of her father, but she wasn’t quite as capable of letting him die before seeing his dream take shape which, given their decreasing funds, would happen very soon.

She spent 2 years on her theories and, when she was 13, she talked her father into signing a release form that would allow her to compete. On her way to register, she bumped into a young man that seemed to be concerned to see her out on her own. She was flattered but, more than anything, was greatly intrigued by the young man’s gift of persuasion. Being a fairly stubborn individual, she found it remarkable that it was so difficult to refuse him when he told her to leave.

Instead, she introduced herself and offered him the chance to help her realize her father’s dream. To her surprise, he accepted. About a month later, she heard about a young girl who was trying to use her photography to make a living. Kara made her the same offer she had made the young man and, again, she accepted. She knew she had the beginnings of something good, but also knew there was no way they were going to win that year.

Still, the results weren’t as bad as she thought they would be… however, they also weren’t good enough. The goal was to put together a team that could win as a benefit of team play. As soon as T11H ended, she began to hunt for more team members to fill in the spots. The most blatant problem at the time was their inability to collect intel quickly, and they needed a way to get information before anyone else. She knew that the T11H committee stored any and all intel online, but access to such things was prohibited for the Damned, and computers became impossible to find ever since Tatenko Tech stopped doing trades with certain parts of New America.

The rules of the game, however, had nothing against computers OR accessing the committee database, and if she could find someone who knew what they were doing, no one would ever have to know anyway. She put out a call for someone good with technology for “communicational purposes”. When none other than Tatenko Tech’s heir, Colin, answered, she almost thought Nicolae had seen through her plans.

Colin checked out, however, and was more than eager to join the team. He lacked his father’s business mentality, but was fantastic when it came to technologies. His hacking, among other things, gave them a much needed edge. Their intelligence pay out was much larger that year, but Kara learned one very important thing about her first teammate: Caleb was a lot of things, but he wasn’t a killer, and she needed a killer.

She returned to something that she had somewhat ignored in her hurry to build her team: her father’s notes. She spent majority of the off season pouring through them and comparing them with the stats from the previous few years of competition (which Colin had nabbed for her off the committee database). About a month before the registration deadline, she found someone.
The stats showed that, while each winner was a different person, there was one contestant – registered as a weapons expert – that had consistently gotten better and had almost won on her own the previous year. Kara knew they found their closer, and immediately tracked her down, practicing her pitch the whole way: if you’re this good on your own, think of how great we’ll make you. She had their team stats at the ready, but they were unnecessary. The young girl agreed to join the team with very little persuasion.

They took the title with surprising speed, setting and breaking a few records along the way. They also received the largest combined payout of any T11H in the history of the game, garnering them loads of attention, and sparking a new craze: Team play. None of that mattered to Kara, however: she had helped her father see his dream become a reality. That was enough for her.

Or at least, it should have been. It wasn’t until she achieved her goal that she realized she was using it – obsessing over it – to distract her from the truth: she was losing her father and there was nothing she could do about it. She was suddenly unable to sit in his room for long periods of time, and just the thought of him wasting away in that room brought her to tears. Her emotions were almost impossible to control, changing at the drop of a hat. She was worried about her father, devastated over the truth of the situation, angry about being Damned, hatred for the man that put them there, etc. She felt like she was at the end of her rope when she bumped into Caleb in the same bar they had met in 3 years prior. Unable to keep it inside any longer, she told him everything, and he listened. When she finally stopped talking and, subsequently, crying, he told her of his situation, and the grand prize he was reaching for: the chance to move up. The chance to be Blessed.

It had been her intention to quit competing once she gained her title, once she helped her father, but it dawned on her that she hadn’t truly helped her father, and the only way to do that was to win the grand prize. That meant competing – and winning – three more times, and it meant making a name for themselves. If they were going to do that, they were going to make themselves appear professional.

They entered the following year with a name – CHECK – and an actual plan. She had made the mistake of ignoring research in favor of building the team, but it was time to truly play her role. Everyone returned the second year with more official titles – Analyst, Interrogator, Technology Expert, Executioner, and Intelligence Expert – and took their second title with relative ease.
The third title earned them all enough to live comfortably, along with endorsements that paid them throughout the year, but they accepted it without batting an eye. Their reasons were different, there was no doubt about that, but their goal was the same. And while it was never spoken amongst them, they all knew it no longer had to do with getting Blessed, and everything to do with the man that would bless them…

Skills: Aside from being a natural leader, Kara’s brain functions on a higher level than most others. As a side effect, she views the world from a strategic standpoint, and is thus able to put together plans at the drop of a hat. She is also quite talented when it comes to cracking codes.

Flaws: Kara is extremely fragile. She has never received any type of combative training in her life, and the sickness that hit her father is very likely genetic. In any type of scuffle, she could easily be seriously injured.

Based on: Felicia Day

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Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 5: Sarge

Name: Caleb Joshua Ellis
Age: 25
Job: Persuasion/Interrogation
Hair: Light Brown
Eyes: Blue

Birthplace: Northern East Edge

Personality: Caleb possesses an intense sense of responsibility, and is thus the most serious of the group. He does what he is told, and as efficiently as possible. Due to his ability to change his tone and temperament at a moment’s notice, it is often difficult to know exactly what Caleb is like, even when he is around the group. He is the oldest and thus sees it as his responsibility to make sure the others are not being wreckless. This makes him enjoyable company at times, but his protectiveness also annoys a few of the other members.

Biography: Caleb comes from a rather large family (as far as Damned families go), and is the oldest of 4 boys. His father – who, before Nicolae’s reign of terror, was the FBI’s best and brightest – was arrested and executed on the same offenses as Emily’s parents: crimes against the nation.

Being a single mother was hard enough; being a single mother of 4 boys on the Damned side of town was next to impossible. For years, Caleb watched as his mother did what she could to keep her boys healthy and safe, often times going for weeks without eating so there would be enough food for them. He was forced to watch his mother change from the beautiful young woman she was into a horribly frail creature, older than her years. Unable to watch any longer, Caleb bottled the hate that he had for the man who murdered his father and enlisted in the army the day he turned 18.

He was more than qualified, had the makings of a great soldier, and was not against taking orders no matter what they be, but he was still declined. He was told it was because Nicolae felt he should stay with his family – his poor mother wouldn’t be able to handle another loss – but everyone knew the real reason was his Jewish heritage. He had read a few of his father’s old books on a war years ago and knew not to push the issue, but his hate began brew again. Nicolae had killed his father and, by denying him rank in his army, he was going to kill his mother.

Unwilling to face his mother and tell her of his failure, he stopped off at a local bar to pass the time. There he met a young girl who looked no more than 13. She seemed nearly as frail as his mother and, his brotherly instinct taking over, he tried to convince her to be on her way home.

Her frail appearance was extremely deceiving, as the girl under it was one of the most stubborn individuals he had ever encountered. She not only refused to leave, but was also planning on registering for The 11th Hour, a game that Caleb himself had forbidden his younger siblings to enter. She introduced herself as Karalynn Anders (he was correct on assuming her age), and informed him that she was planning on building a team for this year’s competition. Caleb listened, intrigued, as she explained her ideas, past experiences, and the way the whole team structure would work.

He had to admit, he was impressed. Kara was smart, and her plan seemed flawless. On top of that, if they played their cards right, he would be able to support his family… at least enough to see to it that his mother could stop skipping meals. He registered with her, unaware that they were making history as the first ever “team” to compete. A few months before the competition started, they added Haylie Watson to their small group, and the combination of Kara’s planning, Haylie’s analysis, and Caleb’s surprising ability to get whatever he wanted out of anyone proved to work very well. They didn’t win – didn’t come close – but they gathered enough information to be comfortable until the next competition.

In the years to come, they added Colin Tatengko and finally, 17 year old Astrid Miller – who very quickly claimed the title of “pain in Caleb’s ass” – to the roster and finally, with the five of them working together far better than anyone had ever hoped, won the first of three consecutive T11H titles. As time went on and they continued to win – setting new competition records and creating new rules – Caleb was able to see to it that his family was taken care of. By the time they registered for their fourth and possibly final competition, he was being driven by something more than his family’s well being: the chance to move out of the slums and show Nicolae that turning him away was the worst mistake of his life.

Skills: Caleb can read people fairly well, and thus will know exactly what tactic is needed to talk them into giving up whatever information they may have. Likewise, he can adjust his tone and temperament at a moment’s notice, making himself incredibly hard to read. His soldier’s mentality and physical build help him to be as persuasive as he needs to be, in whatever way necessary.

Flaws: While his hand to hand skills are quite impressive, his weaponry skills are mediocre to poor. He has also developed a fondness for Kara that has a tendency to cloud his judgment.

Based on: Dave Franco

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Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 4: Razzi

Haylie Watson
Age: 19
Job: Photographer/Analyst
Hair: Black
Eyes: Green
Place of Birth: Upper East Edge

On the surface, Haylie is the most boisterous, out spoken member of the group, but is actually the most distant. This causes her to get into a good many arguments with the other members of the team.

Biography: There is nothing extraordinary in Haylie’s childhood. Unlike Collin or Astrid, her parents made no waves. They lived a simple existence, but Haylie longed for more. She developed a photographer’s eye at a young age, and received her first camera – an old Nykon antique her father restored for her – when she was 8.

She spent her days observing the Blessed, snapping pictures of them in their every day routines. She had an entire wall devoted to her pictures, and with every knew one, she longed to be one of them. As her life was, there was no way she was going to be able to make a living with her photos, but she was going to stop at nothing to make that happen.

When she was 14 years old, she learned that The 11th Hour paid participants for intelligence, including photos of participants and/or the targets that may help in the target’s execution. Seeing as this was the closest thing to being a paid photographer, she snatched up the first offer she received from a 13 year old veteran competitor. Her photographer’s eye served her well, not only allowing her to snag paparazzi grade shots, but also helping her to draw conclusions from the photo that others didn’t see. The payout was promising, and the next year she registered under a new title: Analyst.

For three years she returned, but only in the third year did she really see results. By then she was 16, and 17 year old Astrid Miller was the newest addition to the ragtag group. She was also the final piece needed to clench them a victory. But not just one; the team won three consecutive titles under Karalynn’s leadership, and by the second wind, Haylie’s dream had almost reached critical mass: She began receiving offers for her recreational photos. After their third win, one of the sponsors allowed her to host a gallery of her own work.

The same sponsor – a young Blessed museum creator named Benson Smith – informed her that a fourth title would ensure she get a chance to do what few Damned have ever achieved: the chance to turn her passion into a career. At 19 years of age, nothing was more appealing, and Haylie renewed her vow to do whatever it took to achieve her dream…

Skills: Aside from her outstanding analysis and photography skills, Haylie is very good at being undetected. Most people don’t realize they’ve had their photo taken until it’s on the grid.

Flaws: Haylie’s motivation is strictly monitary. Unlike the other 4 members of the team, she has no emotional tie to the event due to some sort of childhood trauma, and thus is the most distant of the 5.

Based on: Jessica Lucas

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Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 3: Hack

Name: Colin Tatenko
Age: 24
Job: Technology expert/computer hacker
Hair: Brown
Eyes: Brown
Place of birth: Unknown

Personality: Colin is shy and will tend to keep to himself, but can be quite fun to have around once he opens up. He is loyal to a fault and serious when he needs to be. Despite not being a Tatenko by blood, Colin inherited his father's pride, and is thus very confident in his skills.

Biography: In the years before Nicolae, when technology was still affordable by those in less than ideal financial situations, Tatenko Tech had close to a monopoly on the market. Unable to compete with owner and CEO Tatenko Kaito's business genius, other technology companies were forced to sell to the company, or go bankrupt.

Despite his cuthroat business mentality, however, Kaito and his wife, Tsuki, were quite pleasant and caring people. This was no more prominent than the day they found a small child whilst on a business trip to New America. The child - wrapped in a thin blanket and having nothing more than a bracelet with a single word on it - was no more than a few weeks old, and seemed to be suffering from hunger and illness. Unwilling to ignore such need, they took the child in and nursed him back to health. By the time he was healthy enough to be put up for adoption, Tsuki was unwilling to let him go.

Unable to have children of her own, Tsuki insisted they adopt him, and Kaito agreed. He became Colin Tatenko (Colin being the name left on his bracelet), and grew up learning the ins and outs of the family business. He failed to show any promise from a business standpoint, but proved to be quite useful in designing and building new gadgets and gizmos to pitch to his father. Kaito humored the boy, and supplied him with whatever trinkets he needed to continue his work. He was bent on supporting his son in whatever he chose to do.

When Colin was 11, however, his father had to put a limit on the amount of tinkering he did, after he successfully hacked into the company's database and released a computer virus that replaced all the computer files with pictures of squids. More impressed than angry, however, Kaito restricted his computer use to a smaller network or home computers, to see what the boy could do. The best internet security, firewalls, and other forms of protection were installed in these computers, but there wasn't a single one Colin couldn't hack.

When he was a teenager, Colin's father began to have trouble with his New America trades market. The new dictator was refusing any technology outside of televisions to be sold to the poverty stricken citizens. Ever and advocate for equality, Kaito refused to adhere to this policy, and instead elected to meet with Nicolae himself to sort things out. Nicolae agreed to this meeting, and the Tatenko's flew to New America to make it so.

Colin was 16 years old when a man he had never seen before gunned his parents down in front of him, 2 days before Kaito's meeting with Nicolae. Afraid of what would happen to him if anyone found him alone, he fled for his life. He used the skills his father helped him hone to hack ATMs, bank computers... anything to get him the money to get by. He had neither the money nor the resources to access the family account back home, and was thus on his own. In Japan he was the son of a multi-millionaire, but in New America, he was only Damned.

When he was 19, he heard about a young girl putting together a team for a competition. They needed someone good with computers, and he happened to fit the bill. The girl's name was Karalynn Anders, and she was indeed very young... but also bright. Colin felt right at home with the small group she had put together, and the chance to make a legal living out of hacking was appealing enough for him to join the group a second year, just as Astrid Miller joined the team.

With Astrid, the team began to win, and by their second consecutive title, Colin had what he needed to get ahold of his inheritance back home but, in doing so, uncovered a small conspiracy within the company. He wasn't surprised by most of it, but something did stick out in his mind. According to what he found, Nicolae himself was responsible for his parents' deaths. He was now able to get home, run his father's company, and leave the problems of New America behind... but he chose to stay.

Because if Nicolae did have something to do with his parents' deaths, he wanted to know why.

Skills: Colin is very skilled when it comes to any type of technology. He can look at any arrangement of wires and know exactly what to do to make it work. His hacking skills are second to none, and thus any amount of information is at his fingertips. If you need it, Colin can get it.

Flaws: All the intelligence in the world does you no good if you don't know how to use it... and Colin more often then not has no clue. His genius is specific to technology and technology only; he possesses average intelligence in most other issues. Thus, without Haylie or Kara, the information he gathers is next to useless.

Based on: Michael Stahl-David

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Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 2: Shooter

Name: Astrid Miller/Emily Marianne ???????
Age: 20/22
Job: Executioner
Hair: Brown/Auburn
Eyes: Hazel
Place of Birth: Lower West Edge/Central South

Personality: Astrid is a snarky, talkative young woman with a confidence that borders on arrogance. She is good at taking orders, but not so good at carrying them out. Despite her profession, Astrid is fairly girly, and tends to be emotion-driven.

Biography: Emily Marianne was born 2 years before the first year of Nicolae in the central south. She knew nothing outside of poverty; knew there was another group of people that could have anything they wanted, but didn't care. She was raised to be grateful for what she had, and was more than happy to embrace it.

Emily developed a very close relationship with her father, an ex-CIA sniper who was forced into retirement when Nicolae took power and dissolved any and all organizations with initials. Unable to trust a man who felt he should have complete power, her father did his best to hide his hate from his daughter. Instead, he began to train her as soon as she was able to understand. She learned at an early age that her most dangerous weapon was the art of concealment.

She showed great promise in weaponry, mastering knives with savant like ease. Her weapon of choice, her father's old military grade, bolt action sniper rifle, was a little harder for her to get the hang of, and she proved next to useless over long distances. Relatively short distances, however, she hit nearly all of her targets.

Hand to hand combat was another story. A combination of genes, youth, and environmental conditions left Emily unable to keep up with the physical demands of her father's training, and Nicolae saw to it that she never received it.

When she was 16, her parents were arrested and executed for 'crimes against the nation' (she learned shortly thereafter that her father's only crime was being a threat to Nicolae). Her father's training allowed her to slip away and go into hiding, emerging 6 months later as Astrid Miller, a 14 year old orphan from the lower west edge with nothing to lose, and a hatred for Nicolae Cain.

She continued to train herself and entered that year's 11th Hour competition, with minimal success. Unable to find any other work, however, she trained harder and entered the following year. She was beaten to the target by mere minutes; the following year seconds, and 3 weeks after her 17th birthday, she was contacted by Karalynn Anders about joining a team she was constructing. Not confident in her skills on her own, Astrid agreed to join the group.

The people Kara had assembled proved to be a winning combination, and that year she executed the target in record speed. It was the first wave of many they would be making in the coming years.

When she was 18, Astrid and the team took a second title, as well as one of the largest intel pay outs in T11H history, and earning themselves a minor endorsement from a company on the Blessed side of town. Their 3rd consecutive execution garnered them a larger pay out, more endorsements, and a shot at the coveted Grand Prize: A chance to move out of poverty. They had enough money, all they needed was a blessing from Nicolae himself.

However, moving out of poverty meant no more competitions. Once they were Blessed, that was it. And Astrid had yet to seek revenge for what had happened to Emily and her family. If she was going to strike, she had to do it now... the problem was, how?

Skills: Astrid is extremely talented when it comes to concealing herself and the weapons she uses. She operates like an assassin, her speed and agility allowing her to get into a crowd, make her kill, and get out without being seen... if she so desires.

Flaws: She has not been properly trained in hand to hand combat and, if ever engaged, she would most likely lose. Likewise, she is unable to sit still/keep quiet for long periods of time, and thus often struggles with keeping herself concealed until she is given the OK.

Based On: Odette Yustman

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Meet the Characters of "The 11th Hour" Part 1: The Target

Name: Samuel Abel
Age: 28
Hair: Brownish-red
Eyes: Brown
Place of Birth: The East Edge

Personality: Samuel is a somber individual due to spending his entire life watching Nicolae drive "New America" into the ground. At first, he may seem cold and serious, but this is merely because he is filled with guilt; despite his cold and serious impression, however, Samuel possesses and incredible amount of charm, which he uses to his advantage more often than not.

Biography: Samuel Abel was born 8 years before the first year of Nicolae's reign. His parents, having already had one son, neither expected nor wanted another child. Because of this, he was raised by his older brother, who took pity on him for reasons he did not know. When Nicolae took power, Samuel was too young to understand politics, but old enough to know the new leader was not all he claimed to be. As he grew, so did a hatred for the man that claimed to be helping those in poverty, and once he was on his own he began building up a resistance against him. He possessed an understanding of how a government should be run that not only went against everything Nicolae preached, but made far more sense... if anyone was willing to stop and listen.

By the time he was 18, Samuel had become an enemy to Nicolae, and thus an enemy to all of New America. He proved too smart for the dictator, however, and continued to evade the man's grasp as well as build his resistance. His moves were unpredictable, and not confined to the boundaries of New America. He spent majority of his time raising awareness in other countries, giving them examples of Nicolae's tyranny and promising them that he would not hesitate to conquer them, as soon as he figured out how to spin it positively.

And he would figure it out. It was what he did.

For ten years, Samuel divided his time between New America and the other countries that had not already allied themselves with the dictator, constantly one step ahead of Nicolae. But, while he had more support than he could ask for, no one was willing to make a move. No one was willing to risk war. He decided the only thing he could do was what he should have done all along: kill Nicolae himself. This would require planning, however. And planning required time... something he didn't have if he hoped to get close enough to Nicolae to observe him. He knew he would be on the chopping block before anything could be put together. And without him, he had no doubt that the resistance he had built the better half of his life building would crumble.

At 28 years of age, Samuel chose to risk everything in an attempt to liberate New America. Problem was, he couldn't be the one to assassinate him. Not directly. He needed someone to take the blame.

His return to NA coincided perfectly with the preparation period of Nicolae's competition, The 11th Hour... which meant appearing on his radar would almost assure he was the target of this year's game... but it also meant 90% of the poverty stricken citizens were now legally killers for hire. He simply needed to find someone that had a bone to pick with Nicolae, someone that would jump at the chance to assassinate him... someone that could - and would - actually do it.

A feat easier said than done.

Skills of note: Samuel is exceptional at staying off the grid. Very little can be found about him, and his excessive charm keeps anyone from digging too deeply.

Flaws: Samuel is his father's son, and thus possesses a familial arrogance that has, on occasion, caused him to talk a bit too much.

Based on: Xabier Alonso

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