It snowed today so I think (outdoor) running season is probably over and so this seems as good a time as any to call a halt to one of my thought exercises while running and (because I can?) share the results. My mind goes all over the place during a two or three hour run, and this summer (among other things) I thought about putting together a crew of fictional characters that could handle any situation. This is what I came up with, and it’s my blog entry for today.
I went with seven spots because of course ‘Magnificent Seven’ and also Seven Against Thebes and because why not. I didn’t pick any superheroes because once you start doing that you pretty much go all superhero. I didn’t pick anyone who can do actual magic because that tends to invalidate every other skill pretty quickly. The picks are also not necessarily about the strength of these character’s story arcs or the depth of their writing (although I do think they are all, in their way, well-written), they were primarily about how useful they would be in my notional super-elite team.
There is no need to point out that this was an immensely dorky thing to do. I’m aware. On with the picks.
These are in no particular order.
1) Kara Thrace (Battlestar Galactica)
We might need someone who can fly … something … and we’re not going to get anyone better at it than this. Also she’s great at shooting Cylons and mutineers if it comes to that. Basically, anyone who’s motto is “Fight ’em till we can’t”, I want on my team.
2) Walter Bishop (Fringe)
We’re gonna need to do some science at some point. Walter can do interdimensional portals and telepathy and whatever the heck else we need. If we need to analyze some hideous creature or obscure technology, Walter’s got us covered. If we need LSD, Walter can do that too. Also, yes he made some bad mistakes but he was willing to cut out parts of his brain to make up for them. I’ll take that on my team all day as well.
3) Imperator Furiosa (Fury Road)
We need a driver, because you always do. She drives modified death rigs across a post-apocalyptic desert. Check. Also, another tremendous no-quit badass. Got your artificial arm ripped off? Beat ’em with the stump. Strap that thing back on. Keep fighting until the arm gets torn off *again*. Even then, don’t take a break until blood loss makes you. Yeah. All day.
4) Sherlock Holmes (Conan Doyle version)
Probably gonna need to solve some puzzles or figure out what some clues mean at some point. Holmes is still the king. Give him a speck of cigarette ash and a toe clipping and he’ll identify the culprit, the culprit’s accomplices, and the culprit’s mother. Also, great at disguises, boxing, fighting with whatever a single stick is, and pistol-shooting. May need to keep him from spending too much time with Walter, though.
5)Leela of the Sevateem (Doctor Who): My all-time favorite Doctor Who setup is still Tom Baker’s Doctor and Leela. I loved her character from the first adventure I saw her in (not her first appearance but w/e) when she threatened to cut the heart out of someone who wouldn’t listen to the Doctor. It was a great contrast from previous companions who had mostly been there to scream and need rescuing. I love that Leela f’n decided she was travelling with the Doctor and jumped in the TARDIS even after he said ‘maybe not’. She copes with threats way out of her comfort zone and experience with nothing but a knife (but it’s a good knife!). Her assumption about how her relationship with the Doctor will work is that she will protect him. Book it. Walter is going to have a blast with her.
6) Henry Dorsett Case (Neuromancer)
Perhaps a bit of a nostalgia pick, given my absolute love for the novel, but come on, at some point someone is going to have to Do Computers and although Case might not want to do it, he’ll be awfully good at it. Adapts with a uniquely charming resignation to whatever weird situation gets dropped on him, which is going to be good for this. Also if he really needs drugs, again, we’ve got Walter!
7) Sir Gareth, the Knight of Many Colours
Might need a sword-fighting, lance-tilting specialist as well, and Gareth is pretty good at that. But the real reason he is here is that Gareth was the glue that kept Camelot together; Lancelot loves him like a brother, which keeps Gawain (his actual brother) from denouncing Lancelot and Gawain keeping their other jealous jerk brothers in check. When Gareth dies, it’s all downhill from there. Sir Gareth will keep this whole team together. Always assuming he knows what to make of Leela.
Didn’t make the cut:
Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer version): a specialist gunfighter seems like a good idea, and I like the idea of having a guy on the team who will go on a vendetta ride through the wilderness while dying of tuberculosis and the only reason he has or needs is ‘Wyatt Earp is my friend’. However, honestly with Kara, Furiosa and Holmes we’re pretty set for shootists.
Molly Millions (Neuromancer): Another tremendous badass, whether in close combat or with a gun, but we’ve got got lots of shooters again, Leela can cut the heart out of things, and things might get awkward with Case on the team.
Indiana Jones: I love all three (emphasis there) movies, and this was close because you never know when you’ll have to deal with some long lost temple or arcane relic. On the other hand, if we need obscure knowledge Holmes probably has it covered, and if we need to throw down we’ve got Furiosa, Kara and Leela. And Gareth. And kind of Holmes. Plus there’s that whole theory where Indy doesn’t actually affect the events of Lost Ark at all. Sorry, Dr. Jones.
Leda clone Helena (Orphan Black): Sometimes you just need crazy on your side. Plus, if she gets taken prisoner (and someone always gets taken prisoner) she’ll end up killing everyone there and burning the place down. Kind of a risky pick due to being really unstable, but her being on the other side is a pretty big risk too. Might be able to cheat and get favours from the other Leda clones with her on the team. It basically came down to her or Leela and in writing my ‘missed the cut’ entry for Leela I talked myself into making the swap. Now I gotta hope Helena doesn’t come after me with the business end of a paper slicer.
Robert Hawkins (Jericho): Season One Jericho was a fantastic treasure of a show and Hawkins was one of my favorite parts of it. Reluctant CIA agent Hawkins can be relied on to have a U-Stor-It full of weapons nearby, a zillion fake identities prepared, and knows six ways to kill you with whatever objects you’ve got in your pockets. While he can get satellite reconnaissance data in the post-apocalypse, he does smile like he’s out of practice at it. However, a lot of the crew is plenty dangerous already, and between Case and Walter I figure we have gizmos and information covered. It’s ok though because Hawkins really just wants to be left alone anyway.
So those are my picks, established over a summer’s worth of running, so of course they are clearly Correct. On the other hand if you want to point out my obvious unforgivable omissions or argue about my choices, have at it in the comments.
I had a blast at Ottawa Pop Expo last weekend; there were amazing costumes and meeting everyone who came by the Renaissance Press booth was a lot of fun. The energy at conventions is something I’m still getting used to and I’m already looking forward to the next one!
Work on The King in Darkness sequel continues – the first super-rough draft is very nearly done. There’s a special, cool kind of feeling when you know a story is nearly finished and I can feel it coming on. I’m pretty excited and I can’t wait to share this one with you as well. Of course, if you haven’t read King in Darkness you should probably do that first.
I’m just saying.
Thanks for reading. I’ll try to do better the next time.