Name: Henry Barren.
Hobbies and Interests: Wargaming, reading and writing, gunshooting (interest, no experience), motorcycling, metal and horrorcore music, and swimming.
Appearance: At first glance, Henry is very much your average sixteen year old male. Obviously an ethnic American, pale in complexion but mildly tanned on the arms and face, the former being heavily dusted with freckles. Five feet eleven inches in height, with a stocky, somewhat beefy build, he is slightly overweight but actively trying to correct the issue through exercise, most usually doing laps at the local pool. His teeth are strong and naturally straight with pronounced, almost fang-like canines, cosmetically damaged from a mixture of a smoking habit and poor dental hygiene. His hair is brown or dirty blond, depending on how much time he has had in the sun recently. It hasn't been cut in about a year and half, so he keeps back in a ponytail, or a braid if he is dressing up.
As to clothing, his favorite garment was an old military surplus BDU jacket, festooned as it was with large, buttonable pockets, perfect for carrying any odds and ends he happened to feel he needed. Likewise, he favored cargo pants, always of the long-legged variety no matter the weather; for some reason unknown even to him, he despised any sort of trousers that didn't reach the top of his foot except for swimming trunks. Another thing he despised was a garment with any sort of icon or advertisement; thus he shunned popular band shirts or shops that insisted on printing their name on every strip of cloth they sold, preferring simple grey or black t-shirts for everyday wear.
Biography: Henry was born in Central Texas as the third child and only boy of the Barren family. His father was a paramedic and something of an anarchist, though too quiet about it to gain attention, while his mother was an elementary school teacher, as well as a loyal citizen. Their conflicting political views caused quite a lot of trouble in their marriage, and it convinced Henry and his sisters to remain fairly apolitical until they were moved out.
It was a fairly normal childhood for Henry, a good-sized family with many pets, with the added bonus that they lived nearby two other families directly related to them; his father's brother's family, and his father's cousin's crowd. Added altogether, there were six Barren kids and two McLane's stirred in for flavor. Life was good, though the adults fought a lot, especially when dad was not feeling so good after a bad call. But that made little difference to the child's mind, only inspiring worry and sometimes fear in the moment, to be immediately blocked out by the next adventure.
One thing the boy took to with almost unnatural enthusiasm was swimming; though he had a phobia of deep water after being dunked a little too hard his first time at the pool, he enjoyed the sport immensely. It would become his favored mode of both leisure and exercise, that latter being deepened into a passion after he found that doing laps is the best possible way to prepare oneself for sword-fighting. Even at that age, he had a powerful imagination, and would become a veracious reader of literature.
He had other delights, too. Frequently he found quiet solace in the library, and he was never lacking in company wherever he went; sisters, cousins, dogs, he had all these for playmates and sometimes teachers, at least as far as the older children were concerned. That was probably good, for though the Barren's lived in the quiet little community of their own family, they were definitely lower class. This meant that the children grew up without many of the conveniences other families took for granted, such as gaming systems and powerful Internet connections.
Eventually, Henry's quiet pride in the relative austerity of his childhood turned into anger at the upper classes; he saw himself as better than them, more prepared for real life on his own because his parent's only provided the necessities of life, and anything extra was a wonderful treat. In his mind, wealthier adolescents look down on him for the same reason, and he is very cold to them unless they prove him wrong entirely.
The Barren family relocated to Pittsburgh when Henry was fifteen for uncertain reasons. Most probably it was an issue with the aforementioned brother, though this remains inconclusive. As the only one young enough to still be in public school, Henry was immediately enrolled into the General's Pride High School for his freshman term. There he displayed an above average intellect, making good grades until halfway through the year when he simply stopped trying to complete assignments past the bare minimum to make A's and high B's. However, he found himself to be out of place amongst the locals, feeling at once ostracized by and superior to the Northerners.
Sophomore year; Henry fell into a 'bad crowd', running with a fringe group formed from a shared love of the Horrorcore rap genre. From this band of friends, he picked up some rebellious behaviors, such as smoking cigarettes and sometimes cannabis, as well as an increasingly libertarian mindset. At the same time, he became involved in minor gang related activities, mostly in an indirect manner such as standing watch while his friends painted graffiti or set off all the alarms on a certain street. Not really a criminal gang, the group never stepped beyond the line of hooliganism, preferring to stay relatively safe in their antics.
Even though his after-school activities were less than admirable, his grades skyrocketed during his second year as he started completing homework assignments with A grade results. Once again though, he lost interest halfway through the school year; this time stopping his attendance of school for the most part. He collected thirty-four counts of truancy throughout the year, until his parents were called about it for the second time and the problem ceased. Effectively, his father bribed him with a motorcycle and lessons in its use, with the warning that it would be confiscated if the problem resurfaced. The elder Barren's experienced chronic marital issues, which Henry blames himself for, seeing his acting out and dangerous riding antics as causing yet another issue for his parents to snipe at each other over.
Even so, he was not wasting his time while playing hooky. When he wasn't riding his motorcycle around town for the joy of it, he generally settled into some library or other for the duration of the school day. Clearly he had a great hunger for knowledge, since he read his way through half the science fiction and adventure novels in short order. Growing bored of that, he moved on to social sciences; history, geography, politics, famous military maneuvers, and so on. Much of what he learned was esoteric and probably useless for the purposes of surviving the game, but only time will tell on that issue.
The main problem with this self-education was that he was incredibly picky; if the book was not to his taste, he would immediately dismiss it as pointless and move on to more exciting texts. One thing he found to be very interesting was survival in the wild, and he devoured tomes of knowledge on the subject. Evenutally, he got his hands on a military survival manual, and carried it with him on field trips into rural areas; in the slim green hardback was a fount of knowledge, not only detailing the various necessities of survival such as distilling water and creating makeshift weapons and traps, but also the more common edible or poisonous flora and fauna.
All that paled in comparison to Announcement Day. Henry knew that as a Sophomore he was now eligible for the Program, but it had never really bothered him before it was actually a very real possibility. Like everyone else at the school, he turned out to hear the results. When his name was called, it was like a punch in the stomach; no more school, no more buddies, no more motorcycle. Compared to that, death was just a little thing for a sixteen year old boy. Still, he went quietly, almost dully. Generally described as quiet and unassuming, he was now completely silent, speaking only when required to by the soldiers who took him away.
Advantages: Henry has something of a phlegmatic attitude, taking things as they come. Though this is a trait he inherited from his father, it has been accentuated by a few months of riding his motorcycle around Pittsburgh; in such an environment, being nervous and freezing up is likely to get you killed.
He has no known enemies amongst the student body, having formed no obvious rivalries or hatreds since he stopped being a rather arrogant novelty. By the second year of highschool, he was largely ignored, though some knew of him as one of the stereotypically odd, quiet students to be found in any school.
Used to standing guard while his friends perpetrated hooliganism around Pittsburgh, Henry has sharp eyes and ears. His attention to detail will likely stand him in good stead on the island, where noticing danger signs is vital to survival.
He has a very broad knowledge base, being almost encyclopedic in some areas, whereas in others he has only enough information to extrapolate.
Disadvantages: Henry has a fairly strong nicotine addiction for someone who has only been smoking for a few months, but his friends have been keeping him well-stocked as long as he gives them money. Following from this, he also has a minor case of Smoker's Lung which harms his stamina, though not by any means a large margin.
Following from the above Advantage, he has no close friends amongst the student body, keeping his own council for much of the time. Still, he is clearly capable of social interaction, having formed a few loose ties with other students. However, it is very likely that he feels himself to be more on the level of an adult than that of his peers.
The one other problem which will probably get him killed is his bravado; a firmly Southern attitude was ingrained in him by the time he left Texas, and he carries it as a badge of honor. In the same vein, he feels he has to prove how much better he is than "the damn Yankees" since he was born in Texas, believing himself to be superior simply for that reason. This is evidenced in his artificially pronounced accent, as well as the epithet 'Damn-Yank' for anyone who happens to get on his nerves.
Designated Number: Male Student #12
Designated Weapon: A Brick
Conclusion: Such a 'free spirit' would have fared better with a firearm, however M12 seems to be a bit of a wild card with his draw.
The above biography is as written by Tiurabo. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Killed by: Stephanie Mason
Collected Weapons: A Brick (assigned weapon)
Allies: Marilyn Williams
Below is a list of threads that contain Henry, in chronological order.
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Henry. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- It was unfortunate that Henry was gone so soon. His handler did a great job on writing his initial posts. He made the southern gentleman in the Program Universe, work very well, in my opinion. I did like his interactions with Marilyn, quite alot. - Keaka
- I really agree with Keaka on this one. Henry was unusual, in no small part because he represented an archetype which, combined with the Program universe, suggested some serious potential for unpleasantness. He had a pretty strong start to his story, but then went inactive and got rolled, and his death was sort of an anticlimax given all the promise he'd showed beforehand. - MurderWeasel