Kurt Bergstrom

A twenty-nine-year-old Marine Officer who prefers to be called Kurt rather than his first birth name, Eric. He is a specialist working for the Special Naval Intelligence Service based at Port McKinley but he currently calls Enlightenment, New Liberty (New Liberty) his home. He comes from a family that holds its Swedish ancestry proudly. McKinley's new Port Admiral believes Bergstrom has served superbly during the continuing Abyssal Void War and understand that he has no plans to leave the military at present. Despite the danger, Bergstrom enjoys his work, finding it challenging but rewarding.

He is the oldest of three siblings and, for most of his training, acted as senior officer of his Class of '93 Marine Trainees based at McKinley. Bergstrom's best friend and fellow trainee officer is Ariel Weinberg.

His father is a prominent surgeon on Faculty in the Research system and his mother, Katherine, was a nuclear physicist and UCS AI research officer based on New Liberty in the Sanctuary system. Bergstrom has two younger sisters, fourteen-year-old Rayala and sixteen-year-old Ritha, both born only shortly before he left for the Karma Military Academy on New Liberty. Kurt Bergstrom As a marine his dress tends to be fairly formal but off duty his style is very informal, shorts and garish t-shirts.

His accent standard northern colonial, his speaking style best described as well-spoken and his tone as average. When he has had time to prepare a talk, he has a very precise pattern of speech but, when not prepared, he can easily speak out of turn and "put his foot in it". Well-educated, a natural mimic, he is capable of many styles of speech and affects a "lazy drawl" under most circumstances. His voice can be demanding if required and, although naturally fairly volatile, he has learned to be calm in adverse situations. His posture is generally relaxed and, outside of a muscle flickering in his cheek when stressed, he has no obvious habits. He doesn't tend to gesticulate much when talking and slouches slightly preferring to keep his hands in his pockets.

His mother, a nuclear physicist and AI expert, died aged 69 on a family vacation in late 2973. His relationship with his father, a prominent seventy-six-year-old consultant surgeon and lecturer at Einstein University Research Hospital on Faculty, is best described as distant. Bergstrom has two sisters, Rayala born in 2776 and Ritha born in 2777 but the older one is in a coma. His Uncle Erik Ingerman, his godfather and mother's younger brother, died when the UCS Aquila was destroyed.

Bergstrom, Eric Kurt by birth but preferring Kurt, comes from a family that holds its Swedish ancestry proudly. He considers himself to be religiously neutral, not so much atheist as unconvinced by any arguments he's heard since entering academy. He is not keen on evangelists, is intolerant of stupid beliefs or behaviours and considers himself an "equal opportunities sceptic".

He currently has a small, one-bedroom apartment in Enlightenment on New Liberty (Sanctuary system) which is rarely used and usually tidy. He has considered other places to live but it suits his needs as it is close enough to New Plymouth and the elevator to the Independence ODP. He has no pets, only an early AI robot that he has taught to respond to "Zippy" and trained to act as a simple pet and guard dog, which works for Bergstrom because he's away so much.

McKinley's Port Admiral believes Bergstrom has served superbly during the continuing Abyssal Void War and understand that he has no plans to leave the military at present. Despite the danger, Bergstrom enjoys his work, finding it challenging but rewarding.

Bergstrom is not so much financially prudent as rarely gets the opportunity to spend his money, most of his funds are locked up in high-interest accounts and, assuming he survives the experience, he expects to exit the Navy in fairly good financial form.

He doesn't smoke or gamble unless the situation demands it but he does like to drink and in private he will sometimes drink quite heavily especially on shore leave. He prefers more expensive darker spirits such as single malt whiskeys and brandies. More recently he has shown an interest in warmed Saki.

He doesn't typically use alarms although he will do on important occasions and is generally able to wake almost exactly an hour and fifteen minutes before duty begins. After exercise and ablutions, he will grab a reasonably healthy breakfast and be on duty around fifteen minutes before he is required... he is rarely, if ever, late. Though his work style is "relaxed", he tends to fill his day fairly easily and, having carefully selected his subordinates, knows that they will do much the same. Handing his duties over to his successor (he doesn't mind occasional lateness but dislikes it when he is paired with someone who is consistently so) he will, will spend an hour or so engaged in some kind of social sports activity, often slam-zero, before retiring to a substantial evening meal usually while watching the evening news. His late evenings are spent studying and, later, watching a film or HV show and finally retire to bed where he will read and/or hypnotrain. Whilst on duty he aims to get at least get seven hours sleep per night. On leave, he tends to lie in much longer and be out later but still tends to get around eight hours sleep. He is extremely good at sleeping anywhere regardless of noise, light and most adverse conditions, when queried he suggests that his Special Intelligence training accounts for that.

On duty Bergstrom eats three times a day, once before a shift, once on shift and once after and his diet is fairly controlled and healthy. On missions, he eats as time & circumstances dictate. On leave, he is more relaxed eating perhaps twice a day but snacking and drinking more. Bergstrom is, as he describes himself, a sucker for anything to do with old Earth particularly music, movies and military documentaries.

He has a mind of exceptional quality, both intelligent and quick. He is one of the few mutants voluntarily remaining in both the UCS and The Extent since the end of the Amaranthine War, having the ability to reach mentally into and across "hyperspace" and to establish the precise coordinates a ship needs to emerge at any point required in real space. Like others of his kind, he suffers a number of debilitating effects from passing through hyperspace but, with the help of a Naval medic he met before graduation, has co-developed a fairly effective cocktail of drugs that grant considerable protection to him when he has to undergo it. Unfortunately, such cocktails are all but useless if he is the one initiating the "jump". Another chemist/medic he associated with further developed the drugs he was using and another that supressed the post-jump trauma. Nevertheless, he recognises that the effects are cumulative and understands that he will eventually die fairly painfully unless he stops passing through hyperspace. Based on his research he estimates he can make between two and three hundred jumps before he is in serious danger. His current count stands at fifty-eight, over half of those since he joined the Intelligence Services.

Bergstrom remembers his childhood as reasonably happy, his parents were fairly close and his sisters too young to clash over much. His earliest memory is of riding an AESRA hoverbike around the halls of the house whilst half-aware of his mother working in her study. His saddest memory is of his mother's death.

As a youngster Bergstrom excelled at school, averaging higher scores than all but one of the class and particularly in math and language skills. Something of a geek, he was picked on mercilessly by bullies until the day, aged twelve, that he decided it had to stop and faced down one of the pack leaders. Unsurprisingly, he lost but in doing so gained the respect of fellow students and the hatred, and a new-found wariness, of the pack leader. Others now viewed him with a grudging respect but that didn't stop the pack leader's parents from raising formal charges against him that the school, with no evidence to support the young Bergstrom's claims of bullying, had little choice but to support. The Juvenile Courts gave Bergstrom a juvenile criminal record.

Despite his problems, he continued to excel until the age of fourteen when he realised that he was different from other children, not just smarter but faster to respond and more capable at tests of intelligence and dexterity. A series of ability tests established he was gifted with a number of special, mostly latent, skills and it wasn't long before his parents were visited by government officials. He was withdrawn from school and transferred to Karma Military Academy on New Liberty where many of his new skills were developed... he did not attend university like his younger sister.

Despite an initial stance of nonviolent pacifism, the rising tensions between the UCS and Akatsu, as well as reports of Geist Atrocities, pushed Bergstrom towards the realisation that true peace could only exist in a society willing to ensure it which, ironically, required force. In his final year of his extended term at the academy, Bergstrom signed up for military service and, weathering the concern of his sisters and his father's anger, left quietly to start his military training. Joining the military wiped his juvenile record several years early.

Polite and sociable, Bergstrom doesn't form friendships easily but when he does he has a tendency to form strong bonds and, until such time (if ever) that a friend demonstrates their unworthiness, will stay utterly loyal to them. He is most uncomfortable in "heavy" social occasions where he has a tendency to be fairly reserved, he is uncomfortable in large social groups especially if they're already on fairly friendly terms. Bergstrom values friendship above all else but to him, a friend is more than someone he is merely friendly with, it is someone for whom he would lay down his life, someone to whom he is utterly loyal and believes there is a bond between them in a relationship that is both accountable and near indestructible. Because he believes he would instantly attempt to correct any errors on his part (by apology or other compensation) he also believes the only thing that will end such a friendship is an unacceptable or uncorrected action on the other's part. Like most marines, Bergstrom would be willing to lay his life on the line for his family, his friends, his team or his country.

His best friend is a female naval officer by the name of Ariel Weinberg with whom he graduated and who was subsequently assigned to the UCS Aries at McKinley amidst rising tensions with the Akatsu. He has a few other friends including Squadron Leader Kendra Wilson, Captain Anamaria Hutchcraft, Lieutenant Ben Forest, Commander Rod Hartwell and Sergeant Major Andy Powell. He also has quite a close relationship with an AI that goes by the name, David Inchy.

Bergstrom is fairly cordial with strangers, gets on well with people of all ranks and most occupations but has little time for those in careers he considers pointless or demeaning to others. Despite a general antipathy towards religions, he is quite a close associate of Independence ODP's chaplain, Pastor Robert Zepeda, the two of them often hitting the strip together determined to drink each other under the table (Zepeda usually wins). He generally doesn't seek to compete with others unless the mission specifies he do so and relates well to police, government officials and senior officers. He thinks doctors are awesome and dislikes almost all lawyers except those involved in genuinely humanitarian representations.

Bergstrom has a good sense of humour, is always willing to get involved, always willing to help others and can take a joke as well as give it. Although he doesn't tend to form close friendships with others, in many ways is quite remote, he finds it reasonably easy to form romantic attachments, has a healthy sex life and can usually find someone to date whilst on leave but, although faithful and attentive whilst dating, rarely keeps in contact once back on duty. He has a fairly experimental sexual style if his partner will allow it and, living in a fairly liberal society, experimented a little in his youth but ultimately decided he preferred women.

Generally speaking Bergstrom is not a person who carries grudges however he does hold a particular dislike for the Executive Officer of Independence ODP with whom he has clashed frequently but more particularly because he appeared to be "on a mission" to get him and anyone in his unit after he was turned down for an officer role in Special Naval Intelligence Service.

Bergstrom greatly admires the historical military leaders such as George Washington, Napoleon Bonaparte and Julius Caesar for various reasons but mostly because of their tactical brilliance.

He accepts death as a natural consequence of war but his greatest fear is the loss of family or friends, his unit particularly the thought that he might fail them and allow any under his command to die.

Bergstrom's greatest strength is that he will always see a mission through and would never willingly leave one of his own behind. Like everyone else Bergstrom has prejudices but he is intelligent and uses that to counter such prejudices, he remains biased against stupidity especially when it is disguised as wisdom. Bergstrom's political stance varies from election to election, tends to be fairly moderate but is somewhat distant from most administrations. Bergstrom's other strengths include loyalty to his commanders, planning, out-of-the-box thinking, faith in those serving under him but he tends to suffer from an unwillingness to fully delegate tasks.

Bergstrom's idols include the current First Admiral of The Navy, Charlton West and Old Earth Chinese tactician and philosopher Sun Tzu. His least idolised is the Akatsu Emperor, Kazuo Ishimori.

In entertainment terms, Bergstrom's favourite books are violent Westerns and alternate history science fiction books that imagine the Earth developing in a completely different way, usually much farther into the galaxy than they have to date. He also likes older, pre-hologrammatic, films such as those created by the Old Earth, United American Empire as well as the Skean and Vishnu nations. He also likes more modern films, mostly holos, counting military films such as "Zulu Terror", "Spartacus Lives", "The Gladiator" and "Space Wars" amongst his favourites. He is also fond of big effects Zuìzhōng martial arts films such as "The Last Warrior" and "The Caine Vengeance".

Bergstrom's favourite colours are khaki and black which reflect themselves in his dress style. His favourite food is steak and he likes to drink Saxon bitters and Alban whiskeys. His musical tastes are fairly catholic and he prefers songs that make him feel something different to his current mood but, if pushed, admits he has a preference for 22nd century Earth "metal" and 21st century female singers. He's fairly negative about Old Earth sports except for a game called "football" that is played even now in The American Nation, the successor to the UAE following its collapse in the 22nd century, because the players dress up like warriors before going into battle.

Bergstrom's favourite hangout is a seat outside a quiet bar with a friend where he can watch the people go by and discuss The Extent's problems. His favourite possession is a genuine Chinese Samurai Sword apparently once owned by Akatsu empress Kaya Ishimori.


Tell the readers a story! Because without a story, you are merely using words to prove you can string them together in logical sentences.

Anne McCaffrey

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