Klaus Bergmann

The Charismatic and Enlightened Weapons Master of Las Vegas Proper

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a character in “Rise from the Ashes: A Story of the Change”, as played by Fear of a Female Planet


Klaus Bergmann


N a m e s a k e:
Klaus Bergmann

A l i a s:
King of Spades

N u m e r i c a l:
Age: 42 Birth: January 1, 1974


S o c i o l o g i c a l :
Profession: Weapons Maker / Instructor
Marital Status: Single
Pre-Change Home: Ashland, Oregon; Los Angeles, California
Post-Change Allegiance: Paradise Republic - Las Vegas Proper Artisans
Status: Leader of the Artisans, Las Vegas Proper Weapons Master

B i o l o g i c a l :
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 190 lbs.
Ethnicity: American


P s y c h o l o g i c a l:
MBTI Profile: ENFP
Klaus has worked for years to embrace his outgoing and prospecting nature while balancing it with directing his energy toward positive outcomes. He's gregarious and outgoing but can force himself to be serious only when the time must come. When not committed to someone romantically he can be a devious flirt and loves women.

P r o f i l e :
Klaus stands at 6'3", with a slender frame and broad shoulders, but he's stronger than he looks, even as he grows older. Usually his brown hair is grown out above his shoulders, and his beard, when present, now has a bit of gray creeping into it.

K i n d r e d:
Klaus was living temporarily in Las Vegas when The Change occurred; he had dropped his then-girlfriend off at the airport as she flew back home after a few days visiting him, so he had no close ties with anyone besides the other consultants, experts, athletes, and actors developing an upcoming show. They had no problem finding work with The Mafia in providing weapons and expertise to help protect their territory. Klaus has no trouble making friends and gaining allies thanks to his charismatic nature, and genuinely cares about the people around him. He loves women and is known to have a string of affairs, but the woman he cares most about is Aves, who he can't seem to fully figure out. Currently he's seeing Jane, an exotic dancer who's recently come to Las Vegas from up north.

F e a t s:
Klaus has been a force of nature since The Change occurred, not just in the ways of organizing to obtain resources and facilities from The Mafia, but also in the art of war, thanks not only to his academic interest in such things but also a knack for weapons smithing and battle tactics. After the start of The Change he helps single-handedly bring The Strip under control in a matter of just a few days, and earns his fellow artists and soldiers a place in The Mafia's elaborate plan to maintain the peace. In 2008 he steps up again to not only negotiate with The Mafia but to also drive back North Vegas invaders with brute force. Over the years he continues to become the foremost expert in weapons-making and tacticians in Las Vegas Proper and one of the best in the Paradise Republic.

A r s e n a l:
Klaus makes all of his own weapons and does so with great care and love. In 2006 he aids The Mafia in asserting control over The Strip with both strategy and force alike, and in 2008 strikes a deal to get The Mafia to grant The Artisans their independence and stops an oncoming force from North Vegas in its tracks.Work in progress.

P r e - C h a n g e:
Born in 1974 to a family of hippies in Ashland, Oregon; encouraged as a child to be creative, he takes up a variety of hobbies and interests from sculpting to soccer to drums to the sciences. There was no subject Klaus didn't love. His parents have him educated through a community school with other like-minded families and encourage him in his interests.

• Klaus ends up receiving a full ride to Yale University to enter the Medieval Studies program in 1993, and attends Oxford for post-graduate degrees in Medieval Studies and Medieval History. He develops an enthusiasm for making weapons and decides to blend his love of performance with his love of weaponry, deciding to teach stage combat in New York City and Los Angeles to actors and theatre students from 2000 to 2005. He makes a decent living doing so. In 2006, he's invited to Las Vegas to participate in the creation of a new show relying heavily on medieval combat techniques for visual effects.

P o s t - C h a n g e:
Work in Progress


So begins...

Klaus Bergmann's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Klaus Bergmann

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"It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace." - George Bernard Shaw

Bakersfield, Sacramento
Las Vegas, Paradise Republic
The Change, Year 10

Clarissa's bright, alarmed eyes scanned the horizon from where she stood at the edge of the camp. She adjusted her poncho and shifted her weight from one foot to the other impatiently. "This is killing me, Gary," she called out fretfully over her shoulder at the man sitting at a makeshift desk, focused on his task at hand. "We need to go after her. Right now."

"She made her own choice, Clarissa," he called back, patterning her speech as he did so, as he jotted down a few notes in a ledger. Clarissa paced inside their tent, the door flaps pulled up to still see over the valley. At the sound of his voice her head angled more over her shoulder as she shot him a disdainful look. "I know you're worried. But she made her choice."

"Klaus is going to come unglued on you," she hissed quickly, narrowing her eyes. "You don't deserve that but you know that's what's going to happen?"

"Yeah, I know," the man said, reaching his hands up to drag down the sides of his face. He leaned back into his chair and cast his eyes irritably out at the sky. "Aves doesn't realize what she's done."

Clarissa paused. Her eyes went clear for a moment as she contemplated what he had said, then she nodded. She should not have let Aves go. "Gary, I need to go back to Las Vegas." She whirled around fully and dropped to the ground to tug a small trunk from underneath their cot, her sudden movement surprising Gary.

"What for?" he demanded, springing to his feet and spreading his hands inquisitively. Clarissa was spontaneous by nature but wasn't in the habit of taking roles in situations like these. "What do I not know?"

She looked at up him. "I promised Klaus something," she said gently. "I'll tell you about it when you get back. Okay?"

Gary blinked and stared for a moment. "I don't like this," he repeated familiarly. "We're better off all traveling back together."

"No, someone needs to go, and go fast," she insisted, tossing some of her belongings into a trunk and packing a few changes of clothes and provisions into a backpack. "I'll take the speedy horse. She can get me there in two or three days."

"You can't send a bird?"

"Can't trust a bird with this."

Gary folded his arms across his chest and paused, rolling his tongue around in his mouth as he tried to think of some way to reason with herr. "I'll need to send someone with you to keep you safe," he gruffed. "That's one less person who can help get us on the road."

Clarissa plucked a small leather case from the trunk, her two favorite blades rolled up safely inside. "I'm not worried." Gary knew full well she wasn't afraid to use them. "I don't need much rest. The horse is terrific. We'll stop through Barstow and I'll switch out if I have to and you can pick her up on the way back."

Gary opened his mouth to say something, but a voice called out sharply from outside the tent. The two dashed out, and ran to the scout offering a pair of binoculars. Gary lifted them to his eyes, and frowned deeply. Clarissa impatiently reached toward him, snatching them away anxiously and sticking them up to her eyes: Aves, on the sand-colored horse, heading up the highway. She tore the binoculars away quickly, shoving them back into Gary's hands and started out toward the horses. "I'm leaving now," she said emphatically, skittering away on her long legs.

"Safe travels, Dear," Gary responded distractedly as he watched the scene.

# # #

Three days later…

# # #

"I wasn't expecting you to come back so early," said the tall, slender, sandy-haired man as he gestured for Clarissa to enter the house. He offered her a friendly embrace, grinning and chewing gum at the same time. "Jane's gone out, otherwise she'd be here to say hi." He shut the door behind her and offered her a spot in the large parlor outside of the kitchen area. He pulled a kettle off of the wood stove fixed next to one of the windows and retrieved a nearby mug. "Tell me how the route's going! You've all been gone for three months and I'm sure you've-"

"Klaus," Clarissa interrupted, waving her hands and looking at him seriously as he poured boiled water into the mug. "You told me to tell you if something went wrong."

The friendly face drew into a blank stare as he quickly realized what was going on. "What did she do?" he asked curtly and calmly.

She folded her arms across her chest and leaned into the doorframe of the large parlor. "Bakersfield is captured-"

His eyes widened. "It's true?" He suddenly startled back; in his moment of paying rapt attention, he'd accidentally burned his hand with overflowing water.

"-and Aves went to go initiate trade with them. So she said. But we spotted her riding north instead."

"Who took Bakersfield?" Klaus asked sternly, his eyebrows furrowing darkly as he absently waved his raw hand. He'd sustained some strange injuries over the last ten years, but being burned by hot water still felt uncomfortable, more or less.

"Sacramento. And the Lord-Commander is there."

Klaus opened his mouth to say something, but stopped for a moment before he reached his unscathed hand behind his head and cringed. "This… we need to do something. Is she heading north to…" he trailed off, the thousands of possibilities flipping through his fast mind. He shook his head quickly and looked at her. "You need to go to town to tell Giuseppe."

"I just rode three days in the Mojave with little sleep or food," Clarissa snapped back tiredly, tilting her head forward to glower at him from under her dark eyebrows. "If I have to ride in the next week I'm going to be pretty poorly off. No thank you."

"Then write a note and I'll have it sent down," Klaus instructed nonchalantly, rushing to a cabinet in the parlor and pulling out an old, blank notecard and a pen to set on a large table. "I'll get ready to go soon."

"You're sure about that?" Clarissa asked, immediately setting about transcribing a quick version of her account. "They took the city in less than eight hours," she recounted as she fixed her eyes on the paper, "and they brought a lot of people. A lot. Resettling a lot of locals, too, from the looks of it. They're not messing around."

Klaus started to rush toward the back door of the house, shouting an order from the porch to a young assistant wheeling a large box toward the smithery, then rushed back in. "That's fine. I'm not going to instigate a conflict. I just want-" he stopped for a beat, then continued quickly. "We just need to locate the whereabouts of our leader. That's our explanation. No reason for bloodshed."

"What about Jane?" Clarissa queried curiously, lifting her pen and waving the card to dry the wet ink. "She might not like that very much."

Klaus plucked the card from Clarissa's worn hands and started toward the porch to hand it off to his scout. "I suppose that's my problem."

The setting changes from alternate-historyfiction to Paradise Republic

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aves Beckett Character Portrait: Klaus Bergmann Character Portrait: Clarissa Gregory Character Portrait: Giuseppe Allegro

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"Charm was a scheme for making strangers like and trust a person immediately, no matter what the charmer had in mind." - Kurt Vonnegut

Las Vegas, Bellagio
Change, Year 10

"You're kidding me."

"Afraid not," Klaus responded distantly, his fingers playing on the rim of his glass of Scotch. No rocks to be had, of course. "Clarissa came back to tell me about Aves. Signals and intel coming back confirms she's right." He took a sip of the stinging, smoky concoction.

"Why would she go north?" Giuseppe asked thoughtfully, his large brown eyes tilted up to the ceiling in deep contemplation. He crossed one pinstriped arm over another and drew his mouth into a corner. "I wonder what her reasoning was."

Klaus shrugged and raised his eyebrows briefly, clicking his teeth together to feign searching for some kind of explanation. "I'm not sure."

Giuseppe's eyes bore into Klaus'. "Yeah, you are," he said finally.

"Pardon?" Klaus asked after he took another sip.

"I think you know why she left."

"Probably kidnapped," Klaus mused aloud, lifting up his knobby shoulders again to indicate a feigned lack of awareness.

"No. Aves doesn't do anything Aves doesn't want to do," Giuseppe corrected icily, putting his own glass down on his end of the table and rising to his feet. Klaus said nothing. The dark-haired man smirked. "She'd rather be left for dead than taken alive." He paused again. Still nothing from Klaus. He laughed. "I know you know. Otherwise, Clarissa wouldn't have come to you. She would have come to me. If she came back at all."

Klaus rolled his eyes. "She's angry with me."

Giuseppe shrugged. "So, you're the reason behind this sudden, unexpected departure by your colleague, my colleague, one of our trade masters, and one of our Republic members? Someone who's actively been working against progress? Someone who we agreed should be watched?"

"Twisting words doesn't make them true," Klaus threw up defensively, bolting the rest of his Scotch down as he slowly rose to his feet.

"You are so full of shit. Why's she angry, and why is she going to Sacramento?"

Klaus gritted his teeth behind his placid expression. He knew exactly why. He looked down at the polished table, a mainstay from a conference room at the former Bellagio. He reached out a long hand to grasp his empty glass, then with the other hand held up four fingers. "It's a long story."

# # #

Las Vegas, Luxor
Change, Year 3

"Out of the way!" Clarissa shouted as she burst through the front doors, a huge smile on her face, her voice booming through the huge hall. "They're here, they're here!"

Aves watched the dramatic entrance from her place upon the staircase, shocked as she witnessed dozens seemingly clad in nothing but metal--men and women alike--stream through the entrance and situate themselves further into the cleared lobby, wasting no time in getting ready. Most of the others gathered on the upper levels high above to look down into the open area with great curiosity, whispering and chattering amongst themselves. Many of the newcomers pushed carts filled with what must have been handcrafted weapons, clanking and shishing along as they were wheeled in quickly. "Crafters," they called themselves. Some of them even ventured as far as "Warriors." As for Aves, she thought the idea "Quaint" and "Silly." Titles were stupid.

Clarissa dashed up the stairs to sit next to Aves excitedly on one of the steps. "Do you see all these gorgeous men??" she inquired teasingly, elbowing Aves slightly and hiding a giggle behind her hand.

The other woman rolled her eyes. "Just think of all the babies who will be born approximately nine months from now," she grumbled irritably as she continued to stitch a heavy needle into her leather guitar strap, which saw fit to fray and snap earlier in the day. Good leather was in short supply.

Life in the Luxor was already so disorganized as it was, and the news that more would be coming was alarming. Where would these people go? Not to mention, it wasn't like the artists there currently had been using this section of the building. She had to remind herself to think of their welfare. She let out a long sigh. "Why do I have a feeling that no one but me is getting any sleep tonight?"

"Oh, I know I sure as hell am not getting any sleep tonight," Clarissa said through smiling teeth as she waved at a few of the men gathering in pockets around the bottom of the staircase. "And if I were you, I wouldn't, either. Just look at them. I'm so bored by all the same boys, over and over. Don't you just… ooh, those swords are just so… so cool."

Aves turned her head to look at the other woman, and laughed. "You're kidding me, right?" she smattered out somewhat condescendingly. Clarissa laughed. "Do you realize what you sound like?"

"Oh, I must sound like a horny human being to you, that's what it is!" the girl scoffed humoredly as she lengthened a long arm and wrapped it around Aves' tense shoulders, giving her a friendly squeeze. "Lighten up, Kitten. Not everyone is like you. Besides, what should I be on the lookout for, a cool car?" Clarissa cracked, tossing aside Aves' grumpiness with ease. "No one's got a car now. At least, not one that works. And, just think of it," she added excitedly, gesturing her hand below at the carts of metal weapons being parked along the old check-in desks, "I bet most of those are cars. How much you wanna bet?"

It was then that Aves spotted Giuseppe striding confidently through the front doors, barking at his entourage and occasionally glancing at and talking to the taller man walking beside him, nodding as he surveyed the lobby full of people and objects. Unlike most of the people around him, he wore what looked from afar like leather armor and didn't carry a sword. His face was bright and mischievous, framed by long'ish hair, eyes smoothly reverting between coolly examining his new surroundings and actively acknowledging the other.

Aves thought he almost looked funny standing next to Giuseppe and his crew, despite the fact that they themselves were wearing their own similarly-fashioned ensembles. She'd never understood all these men and this need to feel "armed to the teeth." And there, they were, lo and behold… a hippie and a bunch of mobsters. Classic.

"Avey, you know who that is?" Clarissa asked, nodding her head at the stranger.

Aves shrugged her shoulders and took her eyes off of him. "I have no idea."

Clarissa bit her lip teasingly as she raised her immaculate eyebrows at Aves, and then let out a long, dreamy sigh. "That's Klaus Bergmann. From the way you were looking at him, I thought you knew him."

Aves shook her head. "I've probably never seen that guy in my entire life."

It was then that Giuseppe looked up and made eye contact with Aves from far away. He smiled broadly and nodded to her, lifting up a finger in a "just wait a moment" gesture. He said something to the hippie, who looked up and stared at the two for a few long seconds. Aves laughed internally. Clarissa's ability to draw attention was uncanny.

"Looks like he wants to know who you are," Aves quipped. "He looks silly."

Clarissa burst out laughing. "Oh, Avey, come on, don't tell me you don't know who he is!" The other young woman shrugged again. "That's the guy who supplies everyone on The Strip with weapons. I heard he hand-makes every single one. And I hear he teaches them how to use them. I also hear he's some big history geek. I think that's cool."

"What else did you hear about him?" Aves laughed. "And I highly doubt he makes every single thing. Look at all that stuff down there."

"Well, even if it's not true, he's really fun to at least look at," Clarissa said, looking down in the direction of Giuseppe and Klaus, narrowing her eyes and offering a huge, flirtatious smile. "You know they're coming right toward us, huh?"

Aves looked back to the lobby as she noticed the small group had gained a considerable amount of ground as they made their way toward the staircase. "You mean, you," Aves laughed.

"He's not looking at me," Clarissa responded with a little bit of an accusatory low tone, "he's looking at you."

Aves rolled her eyes and pushed her hands down on the step she was seated upon and began to elevate herself to her feet. "I better let you guys talk."

Clarissa likewise stood and put a hand on Aves' shoulder to stop her from rising, effortlessly popping her back down to sit on the step. "Giuseppe!" she squeaked out come-hitherly as they approached. "You never call anymore."

Giuseppe shrugged his shoulders dramatically and half-smiled, his tired eyes the only indication that he was remotely out of sorts. "Clar, my Egyptian queen!" he greeted dramatically. He then turned to Aves and smiled, far tamer in his expression toward her. "Aves." She nodded and smiled wordlessly, keeping her eyes on Giuseppe as Klaus approached. "I'd like for you to meet Klaus. Bergmann. He wanted to know who's in charge here."

Aves balked before she could politely greet the man. "'In charge'?" she repeated almost dumbfoundedly. "That's fancy. It's also something I've never heard before."

Giuseppe didn't skip a beat. "Well, fuck it, you are now," he sighed. "You're the smartest one here. Except for Clar, of course," he added with a slight wink in her direction. He glanced back at Klaus. "This is Aves. The one I told you about. Beckett. And that's Clarissa Gregory." Klaus' blue eyes bore into Aves' own as Giuseppe talked after nodding cursorily to the tall beauty beside her. The newcomer's face carried an almost neutral expression as she looked back at him, except for the fact that he let his eyes travel a little more freely than she would have liked. "Aves will get you acclimated when you're ready."

Aves looked at Giuseppe again. "Why? Clarissa's been here longer than I have," she protested, fatigued and generally annoyed. The last thing she wanted to do at the moment was talk to the man with the wandering eyes.

"Because I have to talk to her," Giuseppe answered simply. Clarissa bounced down the stairs after Giuseppe as he turned to leave, but not without craning his neck to face Aves and wink on the way down. "It's important, Becks."

Aves watched as the small group sent themselves away, then looked at Klaus, who still hadn't taken his eyes off of her. One thing she couldn't tell from far away was that he was… handsome. Oh, no. Intense blue eyes. Hair almost like a surfer. A very striking face, indeed. She quickly caught herself after she realized and cast her eyes away casually. Men were nothing but irresponsible trouble. She smiled nervously and hovered her hands in the air inquisitively. "So… what do you need?"

Klaus' smile broadened further across his face. "I can think of a few things," he spoke a little flirtatiously. Aves stared back at him and rolled her eyes. He laughed and straightened up. "Like some water."

Aves eyed him suspiciously for several seconds, then started for the top of the staircase. "You can have some of mine," she quietly offered as she plucked up her lantern. The sun was setting outside, depriving them of most of their light, which came through a few windows--some already in place, some that had been added after The Change. She quietly led him down one of the corridors overlooking the scene and up several flights of stairs, and finally approached her door. Before entering, she turned around and held a finger up, still refusing to make eye contact with him. "Stay here. I'll go get it."

Klaus burst out laughing. She pursed her lip and opened the door, quickly shuffling inside. He moseyed to the door frame and leaned into it, comfortably stretching his arms to grab the top as he watched Aves grab a massive guitar case and strap it around her back, then approach the shelf containing her food supply. "I'd hate to see what you'd do if you wanted me to walk in," he cut, still laughing teasedly. Someone sure liked pushing buttons.

Aves grabbed the handle of her plastic gallon container and made for the door, shoving it into both of his hands as she rolled her eyes. "Just keep it," she grumbled. "I have an extra. Consider it a welcome gift."

Klaus took the container and held it to his chest and nodded to her, not breaking eye contact or moving his arm or getting out of the way. "I already feel so welcome."

Aves shook her head and folded her arms across her chest. "Would you just please get the fuck out of my doorway?... or Giuseppe will have to find someone else to show you around."

Klaus laughed again as he backed away. "Fine, fine, I am kidding around with you," he managed, striking a more serious tone. "But Giuseppe was pretty set on the fact that you're the one who knows what's going on."

"Clarissa is more suited to show you around than I am," she insisted as she exited, pulling her door shut behind her. She shoved her hands in her coat pockets and adjusted her green scarf. "She's social, and she's been around longer than me."

Klaus imitated her body language, in what must have been an attempt to mimic her. "Well. Giuseppe thinks you're brighter."

A pause. "Well, Giuseppe doesn't know Clarissa very well, then," Aves fired back broodingly. "I thought I was, too, when I first met her. But I ended up learning a lot from her."

"Like what?"

"Like how not to listen to a word that comes out of a man's mouth."

She picked up the pace and began to head down a set of stairs when one of Klaus' associates scurried up and mentioned something about a guy named Gary. Klaus rolled his eyes and turned to Aves, smiling broadly and extended a hand to her. "I better get going, but I hope I see you soon," he said politely, having clearly taken the hint that perhaps she wasn't one to be trifled with.

"Maybe," she answered awkwardly as she accepted his hand, but still forced a brief handshake before she turned on her heels and walked away.