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Roman Durant

Independent A.I. Theorist, Professor, Creator, Developer

0 · 467 views · located in The Milky Way Galaxy

a character in “Nebula's Dawn: Lance of Liberty”, as played by VindicatedPurpose

Description

"I have my doubts that we are alone in this universe, for there are limitless planets out there capable of sustaining intelligent life. Yet, it only takes one person to shut out the infinite possibilities."


Name (With Preferred Pronunciation): Roman Durant (Roe-mun Dur-ant)

Age: 37

Place of Birth: Mars, Sol System

Gender: Male

Occupation: A.I. Theorist/Professor/Creator/Developer

Rank (If Applicable):

Appearance: Durant has dark, inquiring and protruding brown eyes that mark a gifted mind, and wild raven black hair which he keeps long and un-braided. Whenever he is in the lab, however, he keeps his hair tied back for safety reasons which he upholds above his appearance. His forehead is long, but not quite long, with few wrinkles. He often has a goatee accompanying his mustache which he trims occasionally to remain professional and kempt. Unlike most scientists, his skin is perpetually tanned, a reflection of his constant outdoor exploration. In the laboratory or any facility, Durant is usually seen in his trademark lab coat teaching students, or working with fellow associates. Outside of the laboratory, Durant has a sense of fashion, often wearing what is comfortable, aesthetically appealing, and appropriate which will vary including short sleeves, long sleeves, trench coats, and vests.

Height: 5 ft. 10 in.

Weight: 149 lbs.

Personality

General: To peers, Durant is a very professional person, who keeps work and play completely separate. Fellow scientists consider him to be a very passionate person, who is willing to push the boundaries of conventional science in the name of science. He isn't particularly a speaker, but he will voice his opinion when he needs to. Though Durant is entranced and mystified by current human technology, he is constantly searching for answers to whatever questions there may be.

While developing A.I.s, he works meticulously to develop them. One such example was the matrix method in which millions of matrices were poured into a system in order to conceive the A.I., A.D.A.M. The work required to systematically add matrices into the A.I. was arduous and perhaps no other fellow could have done it better than Durant, or so he would like to think. He sort of considers himself a genius, yet he's smart enough to realize that he isn't, so perhaps he is?

He will not flaunt his abilities before others, but he enjoys sharing the experience of making new discoveries, and he derives satisfaction and contentment as a result of this. Unfortunately, Roman has neither the time nor the occupation to enjoy a relationship. The only relationships he has ever had were with colleagues, and those were strictly professional with the exception of momentous discoveries in which he can share his joy with others.

His job as a private researcher only sends him around the galaxy. With the pace at which technology progresses and that which Roman follows, he can never settle down to establish a relationship. One could say that this pace has affected his mannerisms, sending them flying at the speed of light sometimes, as he is seen as an eccentric to others.

Likes: A.I.s, A.I. Theory, Biology

Dislikes/Phobias: claustrophobia

Quirks/Idiosyncrasies: He wears glasses, whenever he is acting as a professor to students, but will be seen without them whenever he is privately researching. Perhaps a mild form of bipolarity.

Equipment

Constantly Under Development
Optical Analyzer

Personal Wrist Communicator

Personal D29G Tablet

Holographic Projectors/Maps

Laboratory Equipment - Scalpels, Microscopes, Macroscopes, Telescopes

History

As a child, Durant scored exceptionally high on achievement tests, and excelled in analyzation oriented classes thereby illustrating his high natural intellect. After graduating, he found no work to complement his intellectual gifts. He was hired to work for the government and began in the field of artificial intelligence.

The motivations behind this stemmed from the fact that Cognitive Impression A.I.s lasted only about seven to eight years, before descending into a state known as Rampancy. There was no explanation for this in A.I. Theory and Durant was practically mystified as to why this was the case. He set to work developing a new method known as the Matrix Method, which required millions of codes to be entered into a single matrix that would ultimately conceive an artificial intelligence. The first and only A.I. ever created through this process was A.D.A.M. The Federation set this A.I. to accompany the Salient and its crew as part of its seven-eight year experiment to test the effects of Rampancy in the Matrix Method.

As for Durant, he resigned from his job, unsatisfied with his work, and rejoined the private sector to work on his own as a professor in the field of A.I. Theory, as well as a private contractor/researcher. However, he's leaned away from that since, and has begun to explore other scientific fields as his research transferred him to the Arcturus System, the very fringe of human space.

So begins...

Roman Durant's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Durant
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Two weeks before the Salient's arrival in the Arcturus System

The room was dark, until a small orange glint started to unveil the shadow. It was a chemical lamp that activated once a certain time of day had been reached. The light spread to the fountain prism, with the water flowing to the top, before rolling down the sides of the fountain walls. The prism was established near the blast doors as sort of a decoration at the entrance to welcome visitors. The light spread to the nearby desk with the terminal quietly inactive, and to the oval viewport which was sealed off with blinds that worked similar to blast doors. A man with flowing black hair was laying on a bed nearby the lamp, he was sleeping in an awkward pose. As the lamp light shone, he turned toward the bright source, and opened his eyes slowly. It was a bit of a struggle to lift his eyelids.

"Right then," he said to himself half awake. He immediately tossed aside the covers of his bed, and proceeded to establish himself in an upright posture while sitting on the side of the bed. The chemical lamp was the only source of light in the room, that is until he approached the oval viewport and pressed a key on the control panel beside it. The viewport's shades pulled apart sideways to reveal light of Arcturus, which seeped into the room slowly, as the suns had just awoken as well. He peered past the viewport and into the sprawling jungle that enveloped the land. The greens were leafy, and the vegetation was teeming. They swayed and danced slightly, while trees with whiplike leaves rested against the ground. Violet and blue flowers sparkled as if they had been sprinkled with magical dust and glitter. The sight of these exotic flowers was a visual overdose, but Roman was not one to care how intoxicated he was until it affected his ability to concentrate.

He turned away from the plants that were gathered outside of his viewport, and he proceeded to don his dress shirt, followed by his labcoat. He walked over to a table that was beside his bed, and he grabbed a small rectangular case that stood on the table. He opened the case and unhinged his glasses from the case before setting it back to rest on the table.

As he placed the glasses on his face, he turned to the terminal on his desk and spoke to it.

"Bring up yesterday's files please."

The automated intelligence voice responded, "Certainly."

The holographic orange glow of the terminal's keyboard came to life, while the screen flashed on. Several images began to dot the screen at random, while Roman inspected the images as he buttoned his cuffs.

"Thank you, that's all I needed, hibernate."

"As you wish," the voice spoke, the screen went black, and the holographic keyboard disappeared. Roman left the room, but not after grabbing his communicator off the nightstand with the blast doors sealing shut behind him.

The setting changes from gx-871a to The Milky Way Galaxy

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Durant Character Portrait: Jean Anthony Brocard (John Harris Davidson)
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(Co-written with VindicatedPurpose)

Two weeks before the Salient's arrival in the Arcturus System
Engrideo Research Station


Roman met the others in the main laboratory, it seemed everyone was gathered around for a meeting of sorts. Roman took a seat next to nobody, the seat beside him was empty, it was set out to make sure there were enough seats for everyone. Doctor Ronald Rinehart was sitting at the very front row, his bulging glasses and red hair could not have been missed, a colleague and friend of Roman. He was an expert in paleontology, digging up bones and what not. Of course, his field of research relied on existing or pre-existing sentient life, and at present they had not found much evidence to support either. To his right was Doctor Elise Tannenbaum, she was an expert in marine biology, and it was the planet's fifty eight percent that intrigued her. She was physically fit, for she was constantly occupied in the field. Though a researcher, she was attractive, if Roman could not think of another adjective. She had long blonde hair which she kept in fine condition, along with her face.

Professor Ludwig Junkers Lothar, the head of this research station stood at the very front of everyone beside the large holographic screen. He was a tall, and bold man in his late forties, baring a beard and glasses. He had special a sense of humor one that nobody else found funny.

"How wonderfully romantic don't you think, sir?" Said Jean with a chuckle, it was irony of course; the jungle could be hell and Jean should know since he was the sod who got assigned to gather specimen's and map the area.
This was going to be a mass "raid" for a change so Jean would not be going out alone, but Jean wasn't looking forward for this trip. When he was alone it was quite marvelous, but add a few rampaging doctorates to the expedition and a mostly peaceful pilgrimage can become an anarchy the Vandals would be proud of.

"Indeed?" Roman questioned Jean, who was a relatively new face to the scene, he had transfered this week, and was getting acquainted with everyone. Roman was not the suspecting type, and though he was a professional, he welcomed the younger man.

"As everyone knows, this will be our first trek into the wilderness," Lothar spoke with a loud and calm bass voice that resonated through that single lab alone. Everyone started cheering and whooping in ecstatic joy, to which Lothar replied with a solemn smile, "I understand everyone's quite excited for this, but we must stay professional. We have a 'mission' after all."

Professor Junkers gave Jean the eye, the normally light-hearted man was not in the mood for jokes. Jean shuddered half with fright and half in amusement, if the professor's new theory did not prove correct Jean could look forward to a month of hiking and of collecting information until the professor got it right.

Jean noticed Roman and nodded; since Jean arrived he had found Roman to be fairly sane unlike the rest of this fine collection of "exceptional" people. He stood up as Lothar nodded to him, so it was his turn next; This was his second address to the crowd, Jean actually enjoyed giving them a lecture... it saved him getting theirs.

"Thank you, professor" Said Jean, all those titles where quite aggravating. A few years ago Jean would have never used them but now? Jean needed this job and he was prepared to swallow his pride for once.

"Some of you may be unaware of my expeditions into the jungle, I have been conducting a number of scouting missions to more accurately map the area and assess the area for dangers. So far I haven’t encountered anything that may threaten our expedition, but I recommend that breathers be used for the time being."

Jean opened a three dimensional picture of the area map and began moving the hologram towards the eastern jungle. Technically the entire planet was a jungle, however, since the establishment of the facility the jungle had been divided into directions based on the position of the facility.

"As a result of Doctor Rinehart's request I have chosen East sector G3 for this first joined expedition. This area has more readily accessible soil which will allow for Doctor Rinehart and his team the opportunity to make their first excavation." Rinehart smiled at the mention of his name.

Jean signaled to Roman, fortunately Roman had volunteered to make the weather report saving Jean quite a headache in addition to his already guillotined state of mind. Roman was a bit surprised by this sudden appointment, but he stepped forth ahead of his colleagues to join Jean near the hologram.

"Right then, as we have all seen for weeks now, the planet can be quite troublesome atmospherically. Let's face it, it has been raining since the day we got here. Luckily for us, the past two days have cleared up to reveal a stark beauty in the landscape. We predict that it will remain the case for a couple of more weeks before the monsoons set in again. We should make the most of this window of opportunity." Roman smiled slyly.

As he said this, the sun glittered against the lab equipment as its rays poured through the oval viewport behind Jean and Roman. Lothar returned to his position in front of the gathered scientists and crew.

"Thank you very much gentlemen, you should take your seats," Jean and Roman returned to their seats as they were followed by a wave of applause.

"Well, now, with Dr. Durant's behest, we should really make the most of this window. So, everyone get suited, breathers, whatever equipment necessary. We'll meet in the east wing exit," and with that everyone stood from their seats and dispersed to their respective work settings.

The setting changes from the-milky-way-galaxy to GX-871A

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Durant Character Portrait: Jean Anthony Brocard (John Harris Davidson)
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(Co-written with Colonel_Masters)

They had been lucky that the climate was relaxing, the heat and humidity had taken a break and given the research group some breathing space to actually do their jobs. They had been about half an hour into the trek, and already most of the scientists were in awe at the spectacular surroundings that had revealed itself, unsheathed following the torrential rains that had battered the planet in the previous weeks. Doctor Rinehart and his specialists were leading the trek, with Doctor Lothar somewhere near the front. Lothar was busy keeping an eye on everyone, making sure that they nobody got lost. Rinehart for his part, eagerly led the way using the data that Jean had procured.

Meanwhile, Roman engaged in a conversation with Professor Isoroku Hidei and Jean. Professor Hidei was an old man, but he had an adventurous spirit. He was shorter in stature than most of the other professors. Although his eyes were small, there seemed to be an exuberant spark in them. That coupled with his bald head and his constant smiles made him an odd figure in the camp, but no one questioned his ability as a microbiologist. Hidei walked with his hands clasped behind his back as if he were on a simple stroll through nature, and Roman thought that Professor Hidei had the right idea. It was simply just a walk through nature, even Professor Lothar couldn't stop for two seconds to keep track of a fellow scientists without averting his gaze to some other miracle of nature.

Jean was once again surprised at how calming these jungles could be. An hour of walking seemed to pass in an instant, yet each breeze of wind felt like an eternity. Despite this being no lonely journey like those he had embarked on so far Jean still felt as if he was being absorbed by the jungle's vastness. Only the presence of two colleagues disrupted this meditation, Jean thought he would grow irritated of their chatter, however, unlike other examples of mumbo such as Lothar's he actually liked what he heard and was thus tempted to join their conversations.

"It's quite a sight," Roman nodded, as they heard exclamations of surprise and awe at the aesthetic barrage constantly leveled against them. In the jungle, they seemed to be more like tourists than laboratory experts and professors with their khaki dungarees instead of their usual stark white lab coats. Everyone had a breather of course, the atmosphere was still being tested. Scientists were a paradox of sorts, they were people who were adventurous and ready to explore, yet they did so cautiously.

"This jungle is old…very old. It is full of the ghosts of distant eons like a graveyard of ages past. It is so lonely to be out here in this wild yet I am drawn to this place as if remembering a long forgotten dream." Jean had not noticed he had spoken aloud, but saw no reason to take back his words. This was a discussion of the jungles; what could be more fitting than his own raw thoughts? Roman looked to Jean as he said this, and pondered on his thought.

"It does that sometimes." Professor Hidei chuckled.

"The planet seems to be teeming with life," Hidei said, as they passed more of the trees with whip-like leaves curled along the ground. They passed by some cone-like planets that fanned out and then retracted the petals in a repetitive manner as if they were breathing like humans.

"From the tiniest grain," he picked up a sample from the ground. It was a minuscule, yellow shelled creature, tugging along endlessly on Hidei's finger until he returned it to the soil.

The professor pointed at some giant creatures with massive featherless wings that flapped by overhead as the tall sprawling grass swayed around them, "To the largest creatures."

Jean was astonished at the strange "birds" he had never seen such a sight in the jungle during his journeys. Where did such a creature come from?

Roman finally spoke, "There are more worlds out there that may hold such untold beauty, I feel a bit saddened that I may not live to explore them all."

"Don't be, what beauty you have surveyed here will do. A wise man once told me, don't cry because it ended, smile because it happened." Hidei, taking his own advice, gave Roman a warm smile, to which Roman could only chuckle at.

"We have hardly even begun to emerge in this galaxy….there are still plenty of worlds yet!" said Jean excitedly as he attempted to capture a visual record of the strange creatures.

Jean allowed himself to enjoy the moment and forget the past, forget the future. Roman might be an odd sort but he was the right sort of odd sorts and his words where worth thought… at least here and now. Doctor Tannenbaum met them and joined the conversation, with a visual recorder in hand. She was keeping track of the entire trek on the device, filming bits of Roman, Professor Hidei, and even Jean.

"It's just so...I'm at a loss for words on this world," Elise scanned the area with the recorder, "To think that it was only a month ago we arrived here amidst the heavy storms which rather soiled our views."

"Indeed," Professor Hidei agreed, "Such a fascinating landscape, perhaps it is a dream," Hidei gave a nod to Jean as he chuckled.

"Blast and bother," said Jean as he attempted to get a Satellite linkup going so he could identify their location. The small comm fuzzed with interference and Jean was getting at least a dozen errors every few moments.

"Seems like we are near the dig site." said Jean as he finally got the comm to work, he was quite angered. He had asked the repair crew to fix up his comm…couldn't they do anything right?

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Durant Character Portrait: Jean Anthony Brocard (John Harris Davidson)
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(Co-written with Colonel_Masters)

Afternoon had reached the trekkers, and they were in the middle of the jungle. They were several hundred klicks away from the lab, one would guess.

"I suppose we can set up camp here for the next three days?" Professor Lothar propositioned to everyone.

The area they had chosen to set up camp was a shady spot, in the middle of dense vegetation, but there was enough space to set up the temporary habitation units.

Jean shut the Comm in disgust and broke into a brisk run in order to catch up with the others. Had he been informed of the imminent buggering of his puter he would have brought a full printscan of the damned jungle with him.

Jean looked down at the Comm one last time trying to make out his readings and nodded. "Well sir, there are some issues with the Comm at the moment but if memory serves I think our target area is only a few klicks to the west so we would be well placed for further investigation."

Roman watched the young man run up to Lothar with the news, he was waiting for Lothar's reaction. He expected one of two things, either for Lothar to yell at Jean, or for Lothar to yell at the comm. What came next, was a combination of the two.

"Blast it man, can't you fix it?" Lothar was a man who was quick to lose his temper.

Jean would normally have given the good doctor the almighty fuck you, but he found controlling himself not too difficult. Like everything this was a game, a play and he was acting the part of the loyal footman and the professor was acting the role of the royal asshole.

"No sir, its not the Comm which is the problem; something is interfering with the satellite uplink, once we set up camp I will be able to bring our more powerful systems online"

Lothar huffed, "Fine, you said we'll need to continue a couple of more klicks before we reach the designated site, right? Well then, let us continue. Once we arrive, you'll need to get the systems online." Lothar continued along, propped up with a hiking stick.

A couple of minutes later they had finally arrived at the designated spot, it was cleared of trees as expected. Though, the larger towering flora overhead kept them shaded. The little flowers and their curved petals sheathed glowing little orbs dotting the stigma. Large cone-like plants with thick red and interwoven leaves resembling an Earth bromeliad swayed before the wind. Roman noted the little orbs nestled within the plant's core, they were sacs filled with a glowing liquid, and some gaseous substance.

The scientists set to work establishing a temporary field post from which they could make and record their observations.

The setting changes from gx-871a to The Milky Way Galaxy

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Roman Durant Character Portrait: Jean Anthony Brocard (John Harris Davidson)
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Jean had departed the camp apparently on a further scouting mission along the route however this scouting ended where his official occupation did.
Jean had navigated his way into the interference area where nothing short of coincidence could find him however Jean was not about to risk even remote coincidence and paused to examine if he had been followed.

GX was an interesting place to work on; it gave scientist and colonists alike the freedom from civilization they so craved and the chance to forge something new that was truly their own. Pirates, smugglers and other desperados also found the freedom of such a virgin planet invaluable with Jean being no exception.

Since he had begun his work on GX Jean had been carefully building up a hidden cache for his business arrangements. By delaying the report on the planet's human life sustainability he was able to keep the others in the base for a sufficiently longer length of time to complete his little "store house" among the caves.

Satisfied that he had not been followed Jean continued his journey towards the cache. So far he had mainly done small jobs such as supply local pirates with energy cells and trade off promising local flora and life forms to the smugglers while the stuff remained forbidden material by law. There was some good money in these transactions but Jean had mainly started it to make it clear to the other "gangsters" that he was running the show on GX... Three unlucky brigands had learned that the hard way and where now decorating Jean's "Red room" after he had blasted their sorry asses to kingdom come.

The planet was indeed rich with resources and fortunately the great area of interference seemed to have blocked the scans of the Mega businesses when the system was being colonized many years ago. Jean had been able to penetrate some of the interference from the caves and discovered by scanner an underground deposit of Uranium ore.

While this was way beyond the league of goods he normally shipped out the money he could make out of it was far too serious to miss. Jean doubted he could mine the ore on his own even with mining robots but so long as he could keep this claim to himself he would eventually find some way to extract and sell the valuable material.

Jean reached the caves and entered them using waypoint markers primitively chiseled into the rock to find his way to the cache. Most of the goods apart from the power cells and local material where mainly odds and ends he had found off old bases and ships and what he had acquired by the more infamous smugglers who could not afford to risk a shipment to the populated planets so instead dropt goods of here for pickup by local runners.

Everything was here apart from drugs because Jean just didn't do them. There wasn't really much of a moral reason for that but Jean had always been careful with the drug barons because they were more likely to kill someone then sneeze.

There were quite a few weapons waiting to be shipped off to the Insurgents in the cache but surprisingly most where not bound to new Sydney but to the other planets in the system with far smaller Insurgent problems. Jean guessed that the NS Insurgency had by now developed its own weapons industry which was amusing considering the NSG where so short on supplies they had turned to more unorthodox methods of acquire them.

Jean got to work sorting out tomorrow's shipment of local plants which seemed to produce some potentially very interesting alcoholic beverages … or anesthetic if that failed.
It took a while to pack everything to the delivery container since the plants had to be treated gently as to keep the highest quality possible. Most of the goods where disguised inside old and worn food containers as an attempt to make the cache seem like an abandoned old storehouse in case someone came sniffing around.

With his work for the day done Jean left the caves, it took him a while because the cave network was quite immense with his cache being only a room in a city compared with it.
As he walked away Jean saw what seemed to be storm clouds in the distance… which was strange since his satellite report hadn't shown any build up whatsoever.