"Ugh, hot bloodedness is no substitute for strategy, skill, and superior technology. However, technology is only a tool. What really matters is what you're using it for. Your ideals and morals, and what you accomplish, what you're fighting for... that is what really matters."
A teenage prodigy born to a mad scientist couple in the Orb Union, Staren has had a rather unusual home life. At a young age he had a computer implanted in his brain, and with its help and some home schooling he learned quite rapidly -- At age 14 he's already learned enough to become an amateur mecha engineer. All his life, idealistic heroes inspired him... and now he tries to live up to those ideals, using his inventions and mecha to help people. He's lived a somewhat isolated life, however, and so is sometimes... a bit naive about the real world. Also, despite the talents of his parents, Staren's inventions lie completely outside the area of Mad Science -- He builds machines that behave according to well-defined properties rather than according to the plot's demands.
Born to Makaio and Christina Wiremu on April 22, NCA 104, Staren Hokulani Whetu Wiremu would lead an interesting, if relatively safe and sheltered, early life. With the Orb Union's high standards of living and technology, little Staren wanted for nothing. The child of two brilliant but eccentric scientists/inventors, he inherited great intelligence and aptitude for math, science, and technology. Having social problems in school, he was pulled out and homeschooled -- though he was mostly self-taught with some guidance from his parents.
While still relatively young, his parents, seeking to improve his future life, had him implanted with a tiny computer connected to his brain. Unlike most children subject to experiments, once Staren recovered, he loved it. Now able to absorb information faster than ever before and handle more complex problems and tasks with the help of the computer connected to his brain, his rate of learning increased to an incredible rate.
By the age of 14, he's reached college-level understanding of math and general science, and focused his aptitude on the area of robotics (particularly mecha) and computers. Mecha had always fascinated him as long as he could remember -- as a small child he played with mecha toys, graduating to scale models and mecha-themed computer games as he grew older, and then finally actual mecha engineering so that he could live a dream: Piloting mecha to help people.
It should be mentioned that Makaio and Christina are the type of inventors who might be described as... 'mad scientists'. You know the type: Building improbable devices that shouldn't work and probably are more cool than useful -- and when they are useful, it's only until they are no longer useful to the plot, at which point they fail (often spectacularly). Staren grew up surrounded by... strange hijinx. Like the time his dad accidentally swapped minds with the family cat. Or the time his mom accidentally shrunk herself and his dad and they had to avoid overzealous cleaning robots until they could make contact with Staren and tell him how to 'reverse the polarity' on the machine and return them to normal. Or the time they 'improved' the cleaning robots which then decided to take over the house until his parents could macguyver weapons out of things lying around the attic to fight them back. Or the time... well, you get the idea. That family cat is now part bunny or something, and more intelligent than it looks... Staren's taken a shine to it and asked them to please be more careful with it as they don't need a repeat of the laser chicken incident.
Interestingly, while Staren has inherited his parents' intelligence and talent for things technological (and, perhaps, some of their carelessness), it is in a very different area: He completely _lacks_ the ability to make what might be described as 'mad science' inventions. His talents lie in the area of real science and engineering -- Building machines on repeatable demonstrable principles determined by the scientific method. While this means he can't build things as outlandish as his parents, it does mean they more often behave predictably, and usually don't explode or otherwise fail spectacularly after awhile, at least without a good scientific reason to. His feelings about this are mixed... On the plus side, his talents lie in an area that could actually help people on a great scale -- developments he makes in the field of mecha engineering could actually be copied and used by other real robot engineers. On the down side, it takes a lot more work, researching, debugging, revising, testing, etc, before things he builds are really ready, and he can't build machines of super robot power from scratch (though he can retrofit such devices into machines he understands and, given a piece of superscience with defined properties, he could build a machine to use it. IE, given a power plant that runs on the emotions of its pilot, he could build a machine around it -- but he's unlikely to build such a power plant himself, unless the technology involved becomes well understood, repeatable, etc). The thought that there are devices that work when they shouldn't frustrates him sometimes, but he loves his parents and has grown used to at least their antics. He kind of envies their ability to create what seem to him to be impossible inventions sometimes, but then ensuing chaos from said inventions reminds him that not being able to make such things is far from all bad.
As previously mentioned, he stayed out of school, so time others would spend socializing, he spent with other leisure activities. Born with a naturally logical mind (which the computer in his head only helped), he had difficulty understanding most other humans... But he developed a voracious appetite for stories. Books, television programs, everything... Stories, unlike real people, were often less subtle about pointing out things important to the story, and he used them to study human behavior, learning the 'tropes' of human interaction just as one might learn the tropes of story plots. But through this process he also absorbed the morals and ethics taught in stories. He came to idolize the heroes of stories -- doing good, helping people without thought of a reward, standing up when noone else will, that sort of thing -- And so he hopes to be able to live up to that ideal. Being a mecha pilot is cool, but it's this ideal that guides his actions. Technology is fascinating and useful, but it is a tool, not an end in itself -- What you do with that tool, what you build tools for, is determined by your ideals.
(will write this out later)
Personality Traits & Thoughts on Life and WarEdit
Staren's general temperement is positive and upbeat... Seeing unfairness and injustice can throw him into a rage, and poor performance in social situations can bring out his angsty side, though.
Staren's quote is a bit misleading, stemming from the player's misconceptions about how Super Robots work here (I'll have to get it changed at some point). It's not so much that super robot science is bad science as it's inefficient and less useful in most cases... While sometimes a super robot with experimental, bizarre technology may be the best way to combat a specific threat, in most cases it's more efficient and useful to make reproducible technology that can be understood and mass-produced (Staren's avoidance of any experimental hardware is what allowed him to easily rebuild the Star Hawk during testing and after the loss of the initial and subsequent units).
Staren has noted a disturbing tendency among people, such as Ryusei and even Sanger Zonvolt, The Sword That Cleaves Evil, to assume that right makes might. Staren respectfully disagrees. This is not to say that he believes might makes right. Rather, he believes that in the real world, those who desire right must obtain might and use it for right -- because while might does not determine who is right, it does determine who is left.
Further discussion with Ryusei in attempt to understand "Super Robot Spirit" indicates it may not entirely be righteousness, but also the determination to get the power needed to win, which makes some sense to Staren... However, it seems to be more than that, something Ryusei cannot explain.
Discussion with Adler has revealed the quantifiable power of emotion and the ability of specially-built machines to utilize it, but does not explain how people could use that power without a specially built machine. More research is required in this area.
"Life and what matters in it? Hmm... That's for everyone to decide for themself. To me... I don't know, exactly. I hope to have good experiences and leave a mark on the world, a good one, many good marks even, before I die. ...If I die. Honestly I figure I'll have found a way to upload myself into a computer or something long before my body reaches the end of its lifespan."
"Wars... It's such a waste, for people to die over petty squabbles. It's not fair. War is unavoidable, though. As long as you have multiple groups, with multiple, incompatible, ideas about how the world should be, that cannot be convinced by words... Force is the last resort. And sometimes things _are_ worth fighting for. Like freedom. Piloting giant war machines... It's kind of cool, but it helps that most have ejection seats. So I'm only destroying people's ability to fight, or stopping alien monsters. I don't want to kill anyone, but... if I had to, to save people... it would be the right thing to do, though I don't know if I could do it."
...Since saying that to himself, he's had to deal with accidentally killing an EFA pilot while helping free Allelujah from prison. He's come to terms with it best he can... This is a war, these things happen, that doesn't make it okay, or mean he need not worry about it happening again, but... Giving up the fight now would mean sitting by when he could be helping stop evil, and he couldn't live like that.
When Britai's fleet attacked, however, he had no illusion that these were nice aliens, and when it became necessary killed Zentraedi and Meltrandi without hesitation. He feels less guilty knowing that every one of them wanted to see everyone on Earth dead, but he derives no joy from this grim necessity.
Talents & AbilitiesEdit
As previously mentioned, Staren is a whiz at technical things involving mecha and computers, and has become an at least decently skilled (for a newbie) mecha pilot. On the less practical side, he's also good at videogames, especially Virtual On Burning PT, and has seen enough TV and comic books to be familiar with their tropes. Despite being a fan of these things, he can tell the difference between fantasy and reality, unlike some other ascended fanboys...
Staren lives in a house/lab with his mad scientist parents in the Orb Union. As such, he has plenty of resources and access to technology and the facilities needed to build mecha and related things.
Staren has been implanted with cybernetics from a young age. This does not bestow any supernatural abilities -- Basically, he has a computer in his head with a wireless connection and a port in his neck for wired connections. This does not make him able to magically interface with all computers and electronic devices. He cannot remote-control the toaster (unless it's a toaster with a wireless connection that uses a protocol he has drivers for). He certainly cannot hack into and control an enemy mecha from the outside, unless said mecha's control software is accessable through an unsecured wireless connection that extends outside the mecha, and said software is also in turn unsecured. What it _does_ mean is that he has a computer in his head. He can do complicated math in an instant, access any data stored in it ahead of time, and if he's got an internet connection he can read new information faster than reading it off a screen. In addition he can benefit from software specifically designed to make use of this connection, such as his personal mecha control software, which allows him to control the mecha mentally and recieve sensor data. And if he has to hack a computer, he can certainly think commands and program mentally far faster than anyone with a keyboard. And with the help of image manipulation and voice generation software he can fake radio signals when needed.
Friends & EnemiesEdit
Kazuma Ardygun - One of the good and friendly trailers, and a fellow Burning PT player. To Staren's knowledge has never intentionally fought against Orb. Staren is glad to have Kazuma alongside him as a member of Waerter.
Alia Winchester - Friendly former fellow Orbulon. Ascended fangirl and fellow Burning PT player that became an EFA pilot and then defected to Orb and ended up allying with the kingdom of Lagran in La Gias and now pilots a magitech mecha. Staren hadn't seen much of her after the fall of Orb, eventually learning that she had named herself Alicia and decided to stay in Lagran and only occasionally aid the EFA, keeping out of surface politics. After the Balmarian war, her still-elevated psychic powers allowed her to read his mind and see that despite his research, he was good at heart. As such, Staren considers her one of very few people he can be completely open with.
Akira Tadokoro - Friendly psionicist fellow Orbulon. Saved Staren's life on one occasion. Can read minds, teleport, set things on fire with his mind, and pilots a super robot. Someday Staren would love to know how all that works. Has saved Staren's life twice, and is now another member of Sanctuary. Was also the pilot of the MBF-X1AT Astray T-Link Type, Staren's first project for the military. When he was taken by the Balmarians, Staren planned and succeeded at breaking the control and freeing his friend -- in the wake of the Balmarian conflict, Akira is currently not piloting.
Camille Bidan - Staren looked up to him as a slightly older person in a similar position of being both a mecha engineer and pilot. Staren wished he could make something on par with the Zeta Gundam someday, and in fact considers the Star Hawk MkII to be its unofficial competitor. Staren lost contact with him when Orb broke up, but fought alongside him many times after the formation of Katharon.
Teletha Testarossa - The nice Orb CO. Lost contact with her during Orb's breakup, reestablished conflict in Katharon.
Amuro Ray - The other nice CO, not around much. Haven't seen him since Orb broke up.
LumiNoize - A friendly AI in some kind of botanomechanical mecha body from La Gias with the personality of a small child and an interest in music. Staren relates well to Lumi's initial lack of knowledge about society. Heard he may also be a tentacle monster or something but never got to talk with him about it. Haven't seen him since Orb broke up.
Renton Thurston and Eureka - Although they fought twice early in Staren's career, Staren quickly recognized that Renton despite taking anti-Orb missions was a good guy who tried to avoid taking lives. Eureka seemed friendly but sheltered when Staren met her while stuck on the Gekko-go for a day. Staren saw the Nirvash kill some people awhile back, but Murata prevented him from investigating. Staren hasn't talked to them much some time. They were taking jobs from the Divine Crusaders lately and fighting along some pretty unsavory people, but they still seemed to mean well when Staren last saw them.
Folka Albark - Although the first time they met was as enemies when the mysterious alien attacked Morganroete, he's since proven himself to be one of the good aliens with his help against foes like Koch and Gajeelin.
Yue Rohay - Founder of Sanctuary, finally giving Staren a chance to do some good in an apolitical organization.
Cagalli Yula Athha - The princess of Orb and now one of the AEUG and Katharon's leaders, Staren remains her loyal follower even without their country -- loyalty earned by her continuing ethical leadership since her involvement in military affairs.
Macua Huitl - A fellow Orb Remnants and now Katharon, although she fought by his side in his second fight ever he never really did get to know her for awhile. Apprently she was brainwashed in a lab as a living weapon, but escaped. She also captured the Gespenst Type-TT that made the X1AT Astray T-Link Type possible. Has been one of the allies Staren has talked to most. Because of her past, does not think highly of Staren's research into psychic matters.
Heero Yuy - Attacked in the middle of Orb training sessions twice, almost killed Staren outside their machines. Frustratingly untalkative. First one to make a death threat on Staren, which was kind of scary but the stated reason, that he was too skilled to allow to live, was kind of encouraging given it was his first real combat ever. It was also encouraging that in said combat he fought Wing Gundam and lived. Later Staren would fight and defeat Wing Gundam, and later still Heero was finally captured by Orb. Staren never got around to interrogating him, and
has no idea where he is now that Orb broke up was incredibly surprised to find that he's now working for Orb as part of MITHRIL. Staren didn't trust him, as at first he still thought Staren should die, but they had something of an uneasy truce that has grown into a sort of distant friendship as Heero stopped believing ZERO's warning about Staren.
Bright Noa - The commander of the Argama, where Staren has spent an increasing amount of time since the beginning of NCA 120. While they don't see eye to eye, Staren respects him for the most part.
Naoto Tsukioka - One of the good, to Staren's knowledge, EFAers. Helped fight DG-infected Slival. Now a fellow member of Waerter.
R - A sapient AI modeled after the mercenary Archangel, Staren came to help him and his friends fight off A-LAWS, and has been recruited into R's new "Waerter" group.
Slival - Initially seen as a particularly bizarre trailer from La Gias who loves destruction, Staren fought him so many times he came to see the slime as a rival of sorts. Staren was reluctant at first to kill him after his DG Cell infection, but eventually came to terms with it long before Slival's death, and in time he came to see that the slime had a kind of honor even despite the DG cells. Deceased April 2, NCA 119.
The Trinities - Initially Michael had Staren afraid they would come to his house and try to kill his family out of sheer psychoticness. Nena's lack of ability to understand that killing innocents is wrong is disturbing and Michael is just crazy, getting pissed off no matter what you say to him. Johann is much more reasonable, but his zealous faith in VEDA is as disturbing as that of any religious zealot. At least they were kicked out of Orb
and haven't been seen since... until Michael resurfaced, working for A-LAWS of all people, in a huge GN Mobile Armor! Staren hopes he's taken down someday soon...
Roy Fokker - Staren's kind of sore over Fokker's use of a tactical nuke to blow up the first Star Hawk. Also this guy's speciesism is disturbing. Haven't actually heard from him since that day, though.
Adler Koch - Staren can kind of understand him. They both think that producing effective unpiloted units to end the war quicker with less loss of life is a good idea, but Adler is willing to do unethical things to get there. He tortures people, yet he gives away his findings, no strings attached, and it's technology that Staren can actually understand and use... And as long as the technology itself is not morally reprehensible, shouldn't the best technology available be used to stop people like this? That said, he's yet to actually produce any technology Staren finds both useful and ethically acceptable. Now that Staren's joined Sanctuary, they'll probably be meeting on the battlefield a lot more... ...at least, Staren expected to, but hasn't heard of him in several months.
Ali Al-Saachez - Staren never liked 'Gary Bradge' and wonders just how much damage the incognito Ali did to Orb and Celestial Being in his time among them. Stealing Tessa's sub and taking her hostage while framing Orb for terrible things was far too much, though. Ali would have killed Staren in his last fight, but Akira teleported him out of the cockpit a split second before Ali's GN Buster Sword pierced through it.
Fortunately for the world, Al-Saachez is dead now. ...Right? Staren recently saw him again while fighting against the DC near Panama.
Cal Cathan and Gajeelin - A mysterious monster, presumably from La Gias -- It must be stopped! If only he could prevent it from just sinking into the ground when defeated... Staren hasn't seen it lately, but the last time he did it had gained technology from Adler Koch.
Alejandro Corner - The man who, in Staren's eyes, betrayed the Orb Union and caused its fall. Staren would seek revenge if the man hadn't died in the very conflict he helped cause.
Urvin Galleon - Some Divine Crusader that delights in the slaughter of innocents. Staren will fight to prevent this at every turn.
Gym Ghingham...Ghinginham...whatever - A nutjob from another dimension who somehow got ahold of an 'ultimate weapon' (the Turn X) from same. Believes humanity must fight and suffer forever, lest it become weak. Staren disagrees. The Turn X must be taken away from this madman before he destroys the world with it. Fortunately, right now he seems to be more interested in being emotional and using its power to do flashy moves in combat. Staren hopes this foolishness can be used against him to stop him before he does something the entire planet will regret...
Shinji Ikari - The guy in the purple robot from NERV. Robot accidentally eats people for unclear reasons. Staren hasn't talked enough to him on the radio to tell how nice he really is, but he seems shy. NERV apparently attacked Akira's hometown in the past, though. Shinji claims to be the only one who knows the truth about Gendo's plans and what happened during Third Impact, and has challenged Staren to beat it out of him. Staren intends to take him up on the challenge, someday...
Novas Stellas - The reincarnation of Akira's friend Ekelia Mossberg. Staren never really got along with her, but would like to because of their mutual friend.
Solis Vivent - A fellow cyborg raised by a cult to believe in the extermination of all humanity, and an example of what everyone seems to fear when they learn Staren is a cyborg, Staren felt a kinship with the socially awkward boy. Staren is glad to see that he has left the Crusaders and changed his dogmatic views, but with Solis taking a dim view of Katharon, it seems they cannot become friends.
David Churchill - Originally just 'some EFA meanie that keeps calling me a terrorist' as far as Staren was concerned. But even meanies don't deserve to be kidnapped and turned into science experiments. Fortunately he was eventually rescued, and now has fought at Staren's side as a member of Sanctuary against Adler Koch and Gajeelin, so he can't be all bad. Right? Staren's not so sure though, after witnessing Churchill backstabbing Katharonites when they were fighting together against a Zondar Robo.
Daiyu Lin - The Reasonable Titan. So refreshing to hear another logical person on the radio! Showed Staren that the Titans aren't all mass-murdering extremists, and reminded him that thinking the EFA or even the Titans in general are bad is just as bad as people thinking all Orbies are terrorists. Hadn't heard from her in some time, apparently she eventually joined Katharon.
Hogarth Hughes and The Iron Giant - Maybe this is the pot calling the kettle black, but isn't Hogarth rather young to be involved in the war? If he really is The Mysterious Pilot H though, he has surprisingly good skill... The Iron Giant seems to be an example of a friendly alien.
Ryusei Date - His heart's in the right place, but the real world is not a TV show!
Sanger Zonvolt - The Sword That Cleaves Evil! Staren is totally down with the cleaving of evil, and Sanger's battle prowess and record are undeniable, but does this guy seriously believe that right makes might? Staren seriously questions his ways, and is one of the few who doesn't think that letting people beat him up is enough to redeem him by itself...
Bastion - Prince of some La Gias kingdom, a fellow warrior for good. His certainty that anything that evil helped create cannot possibly be put to use for good could be a problem should Staren ever find some of Adler's technology useful... He seems to be one of the good EFA commanders though, as he showed up to stop Churchill during the latter's friendly-fire incident.
Alex Rosewater - Some rich dude from Paradigm City. Hired Staren to get 'Big Fau', a type of mecha called a megadeus, into working order again. The first person to actually come to Staren to get a job done!
The Zentraedi - An alien warrior race once bent on conquering Earth. During the war Staren fought to kill them without hesitation, due to their overwhelming numbers... He tries not to think about that now that the war against them is over. Now he judges them individually, like any other people.
Dr. Hell - A stereotypical mad scientist who sends giant monsters to subdue cities and wants to take over the world, Hell is everything Staren doesn't want to be. But he has offered Staren the knowledge to conquer death itself, which Staren hopes to take for the benefit of all humankind. Now he studies in 'secret' (or so he thinks) under the good doctor, already a master of medicine and patiently waiting to be taught the secret so he can stop leading this double life. That said, Staren kind of likes talking to the guy -- Dr. Hell understands all about how closeminded most people are, and the need to change reality to suit your own desires.
Battlemechs - A bit slow and clunky, but this is how you build tough robots without needing bizarre experimental science. The Star Hawk is an attempt to hybridize battlemech-like toughness with mobile suit-like agility.
Mobile Trace System - Gundam fighters use a system that makes the pilot feel pain whenever the robot is damaged?! Those guys are nuts!
T-Link System - At last, he has his hands on this 'secret weapon' of the EFA! Perhaps in time he will understand it's workings, and if he's really fortunate, maybe it will help him understand how Psychodriver powers work...
GN Drive - Amazing energy sources and generators of some of the best beam weapon fuel around. If only Celestial Being would share the technology with others...
GN-Ti Drive - Ha! Staren has his hands on a GN Drive variant now! And it makes an excellent short-term power source!
- 2009-02-04 - Tintin
- 2009-06-02 - Sanctuary and Shu Shirakawa
- 2009-09-27 - VI: Ramiel
- 2010-01-02 - I Left My Heart In Neo-Mexico
- 2010-03-31 - Slicing Up Eyeballs
- 2010-07-18 - Third Impact Epilogue: A New Morning, Changing Weather
- 2010-11-08 - Unstoppable Force
- 2010-11-10 - Desert Ghost
- 2010-11-26 - Children Of The Mind
- 2010-12-02 - Argama's New Maid
- 2010-12-16 - Wings Of Liberty
- 2011-01-02 - Encounters In Space
- 2011-01-06 - Being for the benefit of...
- 2011-01-06 - Join Hands
- 2011-01-21 - Kennedy Redux
- 2011-01-30 - Pirate Hunting
- 2011-02-01 - Million Miles From Home
- 2011-02-02 - Space Ketchup and Jupiter Fries
- 2011-02-18 - The Mars Daybreak: Kessen! Daikaiju
- 2011-03-03 - Metatron Revenge On The Argama
- 2011-03-05 - Dial 2 For Camille
- 2011-03-06 - Operation Riksent
- 2011-03-15 - A Kinder Soul
- 2011-03-18 - The Sun God Emerges
- 2011-04-08 - Objects In Space
- 2011-04-20 - The Burning Sea Of Hellas
- 2011-05-14 - Force Your Way
- 2011-05-21 - Gundam Sailor Scouts
- 2011-06-03 - Awakening Mayet
- 2011-06-07 - Azure Wings
- 2011-06-12 - Unfinished Business
- 2011-06-24 - A Poke In The Eye: The Russian Base
- 2011-06-25 - Escort Quest
- 2011-07-20 - Busybodies
- 2011-07-26 - What is Mine
- 2012-01-22 - A Shadow Over Innsmouth, Part I