Name: Luke Mendoza
Hobbies and Interests: Gambling, betting, card and dice games, drinking (hard liquor only), spectating boxing and MMA, exercising, hanging out with friends.
Appearance: Luke is 5'9" tall and weighs 155 pounds. Luke was born with a naturally light tan complexion, thanks to his mother's Spanish descent. His hair is black and cut short about two inches in average. His hair tends to be cut a little shorter on the sides and pointed at the ends of his short cut sideburns. Styling paste is used on his front hair and styled upward as to avoid touching the forehead. Rather than being completely straight, his hair tends to curve slightly at the ends, due to his father's Greek ancestry. If he allows the length of his hair to grow a little longer, the curves become more visible, giving his hair a wavy look. Luke has dark eyebrows which are naturally thick, but he keeps them groomed to an average length, not too thin or too thick. His eyes are dark blue like his father's. Also inherited, is his father's straight Greek nose. His lips are thin and narrowed, hiding his straight and decently white teeth. His face also tends to be smooth with barely any facial hair. What little facial hair Luke does grow is almost immediately sheared off to keep his smooth and clean facial complexion. The one stand out irregularity on his face is a one inch scar located on his right cheek along his jawbone.
Luke is quite fit, but appears slim and not obviously muscular. Unless he's in work out gear, at the pool, or in any situation involving less clothing than one would normally wear, it's hard to tell that he exercises on his free time. Without a shirt he's lightly cut, with lean muscles due to work outs he does with his friends about twice a week. Unlike most boys his age, he doesn't show off his body, keeping clothed most of time. Luke's clothing usually consists of brand T-shirts, normally in darker colors or white as he doesn't like to dress too colorfully. For pants, Luke likes to wear long shorts, cargo pants, khaki pants, camo-pants, or longer pants in dark colors like brown. For footwear he wears brand tennis shoes. The brands he wears are whatever popular brands are trending at his school. For accessories he wears a thin silver chain necklace and thick framed aviator shades. Along the outer side of his left calf muscle is a tattoo of the four playing card suits: a spade, heart, club, and diamond. They are arranged in a line from top to bottom with a letter in each spelling out his name.
On the day of the announcement, Luke wore a white T-shirt and loose fitting dark jeans. Over his white T-shirt he wore an opened up black sweater jacket. His shoes are white with black trim and he is wearing his usual silver necklace and aviator shades.
Biography: Luke Mendoza was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to his father Adrian Ari and mother Reba Mendoza. Adrian was born in the United States; his family line had came to America from Italy/Greece in the late 1800s. Similarly, Reba was born in the U.S as well; her family was of Spanish ancestry, originally coming to the United States dating back several generations before the formation of the modern militaristic government of the new America. The two met while going to college at Pennsylvania State University, where they started dating and became a couple. Soon after, Adrian developed an interest for acting and left for California promising Reba to keep in touch over the phone until he returned. After just a few months, around the time Reba found out she was pregnant, calls from Adrian became less frequent and stopped all together. She found out from one of his friends, that Adrian met another young aspiring actress in California whom he also started dating. Following this Reba, became cold and bitter when it came to dating and focused primarily on her education. Eventually she gave birth to Luke, who she left in the care of her parents until she finished the last two years of her education. She had crammed as much as she could in those two years, in order to get her business degree as soon as possible. She felt that in order to raise a child, she would need a good job, to give the best possible life for her son, even without a husband around. Reba promised herself she would never again have intimate relationships with anyone and thus developed an ideology for individuals to be somewhat self sustained, rather than depending on a partner or one's parents. Thus she thanked her parents for helping her and taking care of Luke, and told them she was going to move to Pittsburgh for her business career.
Reba took Luke with her to Pittsburgh and moved into a small house in a middle class suburb, thanks to some help from her rather wealthy parents to get her started with her new life. Reba was eventually hired for a corporate job at the H. J. Heinz Company Headquarters. Being unable to watch Luke while constantly working, Reba managed to befriend her next door neighbors, a family of Italian ancestry dating back to the early 1900s; the Luciano's. Genevieve Luciano, as a stay at home mother with several boys of her own, took Luke in and practically raised him as one of her own. As Luke grew up, he saw Genevieve as a secondary mother and her husband Antony as a father figure. Luke never did meet his real father and barely knew anything about him, especially due to his mother's tendency to avoid the subject completely. Luke didn't mind much, because he was happy with his family outside his family. Luke considered the Luciano boys: Tyson, Lex, Danny and Dante, like brothers to him; or at the very least close friends. Dante was his best friend of the clan, being the same grade as Luke.
Starting with Elementary school and throughout his early schooling years, Luke was protected by the Luciano clan. Through his surrogate brothers he learned how to deal with other kids himself and developed some good people skills. He was introduced to different people by the Luciano's who he also befriended and learned how to befriend people he met on his own. He looked up to and would often emulate the older Luciano boys, but could also develop a personality of his own. He would often hang out with different friends aside from the Luciano boys, but Dante would always be around as part of Luke’s group of friends. It was in 4th grade, that Luke was first introduced to playing cards and would play games like Go Fish, but would eventually graduate to less kiddie card games like blackjack. It was then that he learned how to gamble with his classmates and friends for fun. Luke started off gambling items like snacks and candy, basically kid’s stuff, until one of his friends brought some money into the mix. It was at this point Reba was doing well at her job, getting promoted quickly and could give her son a weekly allowance. With this allowance Luke was able to first gamble with small money like coins and dollar bills.
In 6th grade the teachers discovered that Luke was quite good at math and working with numbers. They informed Ms. Mendoza about her son's good progress in school, but also noted how Luke seemed disinterested in most subjects. Reba would give Luke her first lecture about responsibility and the importance of education in order to be successful and self-sufficient later in life, if he didn't want to end up as a poor homeless man, with no house, or no money. To prove the rewards of working hard and doing well in school, Reba told Luke she would raise his weekly allowance from five dollars to ten dollars. This lecture and subsequent life advice from his mom would stick in Luke's mind. He liked money a lot, because money meant he could buy all sorts of things and would do all he could to gain more money. Luke kept up his grades in the most minimal way possible, since he still found school work, boring. He would mainly do so in order to please his mother, his main source of income.
In Middle School, Luke met even more people to expand his social connections. He discovered the older he and his classmates get, the more money they had to gamble, and the more money he could win. He was introduced to new card games like poker and rolling dice for craps, which he became very good at. Using his math and numbers knowledge, he could figure out the best probabilities for him to keep winning or to prevent himself from losing the money he earned. He won often and earned a reputation among his social circle as a gambler. With his newly acquired money, Luke purchased some fancy aviator shades, silver chain necklace and some popular trends in clothing to form his “signature” look. It gave him an aura of quiet, cool confidence and charisma, among some of the student populace. With this new attitude that he shaped himself with, Luke found it easily to become somewhat liked with his peers. At school he didn’t let his well known status at school get to his head. He did not engage on picking on those lower on the school’s social ladder than himself, like other individuals on the same level as him, would. Although, he doesn’t exactly go out of his way to defend, help, make friends with or even talk to people who he feels aren’t fun or cool, which made him appear snobby to some.
With influence from others in his age group, including the Luciano brothers, Luke became a big fan of the combat sports, like boxing and MMA and would often watch. He also learned to bet money on the fights on who might win. The elder Luciano brothers, were growing into athletic young men, often working out and exerting to be fit like the fighters they saw on TV. It was also in preparation for the required military service they would complete right away, straight after high school. They taught Luke and their youngest brother Dante how to exercise and keep in shape. Due to this weekly exercise throughout his adolescence, Luke began to develop a fit healthy body. Like the Luciano’s, Luke also planned on doing his required military service right after high school, staying physically active and fit now would be easier for him later and important for him in the long run. This was an idea Reba endorsed for her son, so he wouldn’t have to worry about the required service and be able to focus on his college education later.
In his summer before his first year at General's Pride High School, Luke would often play fight with Dante. Trying to copy some of those MMA slams, the two would grapple and lightly toss each other on the grass of Dante’s backyard. At one point during one of these play fights, Dante flipped Luke over and accidentally slammed Luke's face against a jagged rock. The rock gashed a one inch long scratch along the right side of Luke’s face. Dante apologized profusely and Luke accepted, but was worried about what his mom would think. To avoid his mom's anger to Dante he claimed he fell from a tree he had climbed. Reba found it questionable, but let it slide and brought him to the hospital for stitches. Eventually the wound scarred over leaving the one inch mark on his face.
In his first year of High School Luke joined the football team, because Dante had joined. He made even more friends among the athletes to start off his high school life on a good note. He enjoyed the conditioning phase of football practice, since he felt the strength training and speed training in running would be useful for him later on, plus he liked keeping fit. Unfortunately, Luke was benched often for the actual game, which was something he disliked. He ended up getting bored and lost much enthusiasm in playing sports due to this and decided to quit early. He would often only join other sports, like soccer and track simply to meet more people and for the practice phases, because he liked to keep himself busy in ways that kept him physically active. Despite this, Luke wasn’t particularly interested in playing the sports themselves and would sometimes no show or quietly quit the teams.
Luke’s sociable personality carried on from middle school to high school. He found he could now befriend adults with sweet talk and charm. He used this to his advantage to be friendly with the school's security guards and some of the teachers. Doing this would allow him to get away with things like breaking minor rules or ditching some classes, with little consequence. Luke still goes to class sometimes to do the minimal for a decent B-C grade average, but still finds class boring and hates taking notes. Some of the more academically minded students started to view him as lazy, and a slacker, due to these habits and obvious disinterest in classes. Luke realized that if High School work was this much of a hassle then maybe college is not for him. At least he had a break between school and college, due to his planned required military service. Luke quickly reminded himself that he needed to make his mother proud and needed college to be successful and earn more money.
Luke’s social status was raised up to the upper middle-class, due to his mother Reba becoming an Executive at the Heinz company, earning big yearly income for them both. Luke's allowance once again increased. With it, he’d sometimes gamble for fun during school hours at lunch time and break time with students near the gym. He became known as the school's “hustler,” arranging small gambling and betting sessions among some of the school's population and getting away with it, due to his relationships with the security guards. Luke's gambling and subsequent wins made him feel richer every time and life was going good. Until one day, the school's vice principal was tipped off about Luke's actions by General Pride's resident stool pigeon, Karl Chalmers and put a stop to it all. Luke's mother was informed of her son breaking the school's "no gambling" rule, suspending him for a week as an example to rest of the students. Reba was angry at the thought of her son using her hard earned money to gamble, cutting off his allowance completely. She told him if he wanted to gamble he would get his own job and gamble his own money and maybe then he'd learn responsibility.
Luke felt very guilty about upsetting his mother and disappointed in losing his source of income. He now had to find a job and follow his mother’s morals of being, self-sufficient. Luckily for him finding a job became quite easy as Dante's dad Antony, offered Luke a job as a dishwasher at his Family Restaurant "Luciano's!" The job was monotonous, but at least he could work with Dante and the other Luciano brothers who hadn’t gone off into the military yet. Luke noticed that many of the customers of the restaurant seemed to be friends with Mr. Luciano. Some of them would stay past closing time to talk business with Luke‘s boss.
As Luke closed up, ready to go home one day; one of the business men called him up to his table. Luke told them he was off the clock and was ready to go home, but the man insisted he join them, offering him an alcoholic drink for his hard days work. Luke felt it was best to comply with his offer and accept the gift. It was his first experience with alcohol, where he coughed a bit before finishing up the drink. He didn’t really like the taste of the beer. The man requested that they “give the boy another drink,” which Luke reluctantly accepted. He coughed a bit more, since the second drink was stronger, but preferred the taste of the wine and hard liquor to the beer. The man noticed this and handed him a bottle of the hard liquor, telling him to enjoy it with some of his buddies, finally letting Luke go home. Luke went home with an interesting feeling in his stomach which he surprisingly liked. He loved the rush and the way the liquor felt in his gut. Arriving home he made sure to hide the bottle from his mother. He was hooked on hard liquors ever since.
Social drinking eventually became a weekly get together, for Luke and his friends. Dante already had some experience with his older brothers and gladly supplied Luke’s friends with some hard liquor he had “borrowed” from his family’s restaurant. This made the night time hang outs more fun for Luke. They even invited some of the girls at school to hang out with them sometimes, giving Luke his first real interest in girls. The attractive ones who’d flirt with him, made Luke weak at the knees. He was not as comfortable around girls like this as he was with other guys. Luke would make sure not to go any farther than talking, and would resist temptation, knowing how his mother felt about drinking and dating young.
Luke’s dish washing job gives him his own money, more money than his mother had given him, which he can use anyway he wanted. Knowing that gambling was his “thing” Luke decided to get a tattoo representing this aspect of his life style so far. He told his mother of this interest and asked for permission as she would find out anyway. His mom protested at first, but settled on the fact, that it was his money and if that’s what he wanted she allowed it. A family friend of Dante, offered half price for the tattoo Luke received. The tattoo consisted of each card suit aligned on his left calf muscle with a letter in each, spelling out his name.
Ever since his first school gambling bust, Luke makes sure to be extra careful when breaking school rules to avoid disappointing his mother. Luke has grown wary of teacher’s pets, or any students who suck up to authority figures at General’s Pride High School, especially the student who had snitched on him the first time, Karl Chalmers. He dislikes anyone he perceives as having the potential to be tattle tales or rats, practically alienating those he feels aren’t cool. Fortunately, Luke tends to be very friendly with people he gets to know better.
Advantages: Luke is fairly well known at the school and has quite the array of friends due to the social connections he has gained over the years. This may mean he could have a few allies during The Program. Luke has very good people skills and street smarts he learned from many different people over the years. He can use that to his advantage to work people over with his charm and sweet talk. Luke also happens to be somewhat athletic and fit from exercise and experience in some high school sports. Meaning Luke’s body is healthy enough to endure the survival conditions The Program may give, especially if it’s in an island environment. His fitness means he could probably outrun an average student and is stronger than most boys around his size. Being great at math, can be of some benefit if numbers get involved in The Program. Being the gambler that he is, Luke has an excellent poker face and can bluff others quite well. Luke’s personality is also good for rallying up a group together, from his experiences as the school “hustler.”
Disadvantages: Luke’s reputation in school isn’t exactly the best. For those outside of his social circle, Luke comes off as unfriendly. Rule abiding students or those more academically oriented, tend to dislike his slacker, rule breaking personality and view him as someone who has no ambitions, beyond high school. As such first impressions on him can be very bad. Some will refuse to ally with him and some might have no problem ending the life of someone they view as having no life anyway. Luke also tends to be picky when befriending others; he doesn't go out of his way to befriend people who he feels are boring, or not cool and fun. In a situation like The Program, one can't afford to be picky and may need any ally they can get despite how they are at school. As such, Luke may find himself in some trouble. As a gambler, Luke will take some big risks and gambles during The Program, which might not always pay off so well. Finally, Luke gets uncomfortable and tongue tied around attractive and flirtatious girls. A girl using this tactic could charm him enough to back stab him later.
Designated Number: Male Student #16
Designated Weapon: Heritage .45 Rough Rider revolver
Conclusion: M16 has a very good draw for his weapon, however his lack of confidence around females will very likely mean that it won't be put to it's full use.
The above biography is as written by Cake. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Killed by: Sophie Mason
Below is a list of threads that contain Luke, in chronological order.
- Daddy's Little Girl Ain't a Girl No More
- Actions Speak Louder Than Words
- Monkey on My Back
- There's No Fun in Playing Cowboys for Pretend
- Plenty Death To Go Around
- The Calamity Symphony
- Hell on Bare Feet
- Out of the Darkness, into the Night
- Show Them What the Backs Our Hands Are For
- 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 Luke. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
I have to admit, Luke Mendoza was one of my favourite characters in The Program, and its a shame that he couldn't have made it just a LITTLE bit further. Still, I'm glad to have been a important part of his overall story, and I hope to see Keaka's other characters in TV make it far as well. - Fioriboy