Name: Karl Chalmers
Hobbies and Interests: Politics, the military (academic interest only), mathematics, science, leadership programs, comedy shows, pop music
Appearance: Karl is a relatively tall (5'11"), thin (153 lbs) boy. He has straight black hair, cut short and close, and dark brown eyes. He does not yet need to shave. Karl's face is lean, with his most prominent features being his thin eyebrows and his sharp nose. His teeth, thanks to two years of braces, are perfectly straight, though they are not as white as he would like, despite his meticulous oral hygiene. His complexion is fair, and clear overall. Karl has a thin scar running about an inch down his left cheek, the result of an attack by a bully during his second year in middle school. He is generally considered fairly handsome, though is not popular with girls.
Karl is not particularly strong or muscular, devoting little of his time to physical conditioning. He jogs and lifts weights sporadically, but does neither with enough regularity to achieve any notable results.
Karl always dresses semi-formally, wearing slacks and long-sleeved shirts or polo shirts, with expensive leather shoes. Every Announcement Day, he wears a clean black suit and black tie to school, dressing formally for the event to show respect for the solemnity of the occasion.
Biography: Karl hails from a very wealthy family. His parents are officials in the Mylan, Inc. pharmaceutical company, and, throughout his life, they have made sure to provide Karl with the best of everything. Karl has no siblings, and spent much of his childhood in the care of various nannies and extended family members. His parents are people he respects and admires, but does not feel particularly comfortable around, always fearing that he will let them down or somehow damage the family's reputation.
In his early schooling career, Karl's parents decided to send him through public school, so he would learn to understand the world and his less-privileged peers. He was quickly placed into several advanced classes. He displayed an easy aptitude for mathematics and science, though his interest in reading and literature was notably below average. In fact, it is only in the past year that he has finally managed to pull his English scores up to a reasonable level. As school went on, Karl quickly discovered that he was not like most of his peers. Anything he wanted, he could get by asking his parents, while often, his classmates had to work for rewards or were simply unable to have the things they desired. This inequality led to Karl being ostracized fairly quickly, especially since he was prone to flaunting his status, a habit he toned down significantly in later years.
The disrespect he faced from his classmates confused and upset Karl, and led him to try to find the source of it. He took an interest in economics, social issues, and the government, running for (and being soundly defeated in) a bid for class government in his first year of middle school. His loss in that election temporarily dampened his interest in politics, and he focused even more on mathematics and science, seeking solace in subjects in which he could find success. In the meantime, his mistreatment at the hands of his peers intensified, culminating in a savage beating by a boy a year older than him that left him with a scar on his cheek. Karl's parents were horrified, and, by complaining to the school, were able to get the offending student expelled. It was at this point that Karl realized the power of complaining to higher authorities. He began to report any slight, however trivial, to the school administration. Usually, this had no effect, but it gave Karl the reputation of a tattletale. The bullying stopped, but instead of accepting Karl, his classmates simply ignored him.
Rather than give in or change his ways, Karl decided to find out where the school's authorities derived their power. He knew that nobody ignored the principal, and figured that he, too, could command respect with a similar position. His political aspirations revived, Karl sought to understand not only how one joined the government, but also why it existed. He was fascinated by the thought that people could not be allowed total free will, instead requiring guidance from wiser sources. Suddenly, he saw all the propaganda he had been fed throughout his life for what it was, and embraced it wholeheartedly. In Karl's view, the government does what exactly what it is supposed to: It serves the majority of the people to the extent of its ability.
He realizes that there are unfortunate aspects of this. Compulsory military service is quite a burden, and other aspects of life, such as The Program, are undeniably unpleasant. There are clearly corrupt elements in the government, as well. However, even with these flaws, Karl cannot bring himself to disapprove. In his view, The Program, while a terrible shame, is necessary; it teaches that sacrifice for the good of the many is sometimes required of the few, and it keeps the populace in line. Two hundred students a year is hardly even a relevant number, compared to deaths in car accidents and through preventable diseases. In fact, Karl suspects that were it not for The Program, crime would be more prominent and claim far more lives than those sacrificed.
Karl is not quiet about his views. He has no reason to be. The institution agrees with him, and contradicting that view is a dangerous proposition, especially around someone so willing to turn other students over to the administration. Karl has a few friends who share his views, but, for the most part, his classmates find him to be a highly distasteful individual. As a result, he does not have much of a social group to enjoy his free time with, instead devoting it to studying the government, the military (because military activity is key to the government's existence), and math and sciences. In particular, his military interests lie in the military's role in society and government, as well as the organizational aspects of the institution; he has no practical knowledge of tactics or combat, and no interest in acquiring anything more than the bare minimum necessary for his ambitions. Karl is a slightly better than average student in most areas, not attracting too much notice, but certainly performing adequately enough for his parents and teachers, and still earning a place in advanced math and science classes. He hopes to spend his military service as an officer, particularly one stationed domestically, and to use the experience to cultivate contacts and opportunities for future government advancement.
Karl is a member of every leadership program offered by General's Pride High School, as well as all officially-sanctioned political groups that correspond to his views or allow debate. He is a member of student council, but has never managed to get elected to any notable office.
Karl is a fairly charming and personable figure in conversation; however, he is also a notorious administration pawn and political fanatic. In discussions about politics, he speaks with fervor, justifying and explaining away any unpleasantness the government has been involved in, or claiming it to be the work of corrupt elements. When not discussing topics of interest to him, Karl is distant yet polite, nodding along and listening until he can graciously exit the conversation.
When Karl has time to actually relax, he is fond of comedy shows (so long as they are not disruptively subversive) and pop music. He does not read for pleasure, though he has forced his way through several classics recently, so that he will be able to converse intelligently on them.
Advantages: Karl is charming, and a good speaker. He understands leadership, though he is not particularly adept at putting it into practice. He's good at keeping his cool, and, though not a fighter, he is not unfamiliar with the pain of taking a punch or two.
Disadvantages: Karl is extremely unpopular with the majority of the school, being viewed as a suck up, an elitist, and a narc. He has few friends, and is generally not well respected, so convincing someone to listen to him long enough to work his charm may be a challenge. Also, given Karl's outspoken demeanor regarding his views and the nature of the class' fate, there is a very good chance that he will immediately be assumed to be a killer-in-waiting, and treated with hostility or aggression.
Designated Number: Male Student #6
Designated Weapon: American Flag
Conclusion: That American Flag may be a deterrent to some of our more patriotic participants. However diplomacy will only work for so long, especially if his peers already have such a mindset about him. Early to middle out.
The above biography is as written by MurderWeasel. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Killed by: Sophie Mason
Collected Weapons: American Flag (assigned weapon)
Allies: Juliet Watanabe
Enemies: Bryant Carver
- Karl was the first character submitted for The Program (though not the first approved).
Below is a list of threads that contain Karl, in chronological order.
- Some Folks Are Born Made to Wave the Flag
- M05: START
- Daddy's Little Girl Ain't a Girl No More
- Strange Fruit
- A Couple of Cooks in the Kitchen
- The Burial Of The Dead
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 Karl. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!