Elise Sedwell

Elise The planet of Kinorb is a dark, rough hewn world. What isn't ice is mountain. Sturdy domes shield the population from the elements ranging in size from holding 50,000 to individual habitations. Elise comes from one of the city-states large enough to afford a few orbital mirrors to give it a reasonable production level. Her parents both work, her father for a software accounting firm and her mother in the retail service industry. She is an only child.

Her family considers themselves of "Solomani descent." Kinorbians, however, trace descent based on income level at the time of birth. So, genetically, she is as mixed as most other citizens of the Spinward Marches. It is a distinction that is made on the world, although not much is made of it.

The political scene is very active, outsiders would say unstable and volatile. There are frequent coups and military juntas overthrow governments on a regular basis. The alliances between various city-states is extremely fluid. However most of the action takes place at a high enough level that ordinary citizens are not negatively affected. Politics is a national pastime and each new government is cheered in as glorious liberators. In truth, the conflict is mainly around the amount of potential damage a force can cause. One force subverts another usually through technical exploitation. If they can prove that they could have kicked their butt, the other side loses all support. Seldom is there an actual confrontation.

Following in the fashion of her world Elise feels most comfortable in paramilitary garb. Wrap around cloaks which give the appearance of being warm, often patterned in snow camouflage. (She'd kill for a snow leopard cloak!) Body suits resembling combat armour and chunky boots. Pockets aren't that popular. Rather they wear wide military web-belts with lots of boxy pouches. You would not be seen dead without a sidearm, or at least the appearance of one. Most are non-functional visual pieces made of a variety of flashy material. She does, consequently, have a weakness for fancy looking guns. Even though she hardly knows how to shoot one (but she can handle it very well) and disdains direct confrontation.

She was active in the computing field from an early age. In hardware more than software. She was widely known amongst her adolescent peers by the handle 'Elysian Fields' but moved onto the less pretentious 'Well Said' once she joined the merchant service. She participated, rather fanatically, in a succession of youth combat programming cadres under the handle 'SixTen'. She showed great prowess there and, for a time, considered a career in politics. Through a daring and imaginative infiltration she had come to the attention of some higher up in the ladder who considered her promising and made offers to take her under their wings.

But she always played a bit dirty, bending the rules a little bit. She wired custom boxes to solve with hardware things that were more difficult with software. This was not entirely culturally acceptable but she kept it quiet. However one pure software technique she had managed was stealing time and access over the lines to the orbital mirrors. By the conventions of combat anything orbital was strictly off limits. It was a fine point of debate whether this was acceptable.

In one notable encounter she became totally adsorbed in the confrontation. It was particularly difficult and she knew people she wished to impress were watching. She used all her tricks and was still being forced to give ground. She had slaved the entire orbital network and was about to rain fire down in one final thrust when her cat stepped on her breadboard stealth modem, severing her connection.

By the time she re-established contact the battle was lost. In reflection, later she realised some of the enormity of what she had been about to do. Her actions would not only have been obvious and ruined her career, they would have had the potential of actually causing damage to the orbital software, something all juntas took very seriously. By mere happenstance she was saved from this.

The Kinorbians believe that god is largely passive. She set things in motion and, mostly, just watches them. However, once in each person's life, god will act. And when she does you are judged by how you react. Elise decided that the cat's action was god acting in her life. Her judgement was upon her. So she sentenced herself to abandoning her career in combat programming and seek service off planet. She passed the handle with all its contacts on to someone else, and, as far as she knows, it is still active. She has no regrets, though. She feels she has passed her test and, thus, secured her place in the afterlife.