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  1. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Senior Member

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    If a Black Hole was a Person

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by DarkPen14, Apr 30, 2019.

    I've got world where celestial bodies could become sentient if they were old enough, among them is a black hole. These celestial bodies can create avatars of themselves to go off and do stuff besides exist. As these are the avatars of celestial bodies, I want their personalities to reflect what they are the avatar of. For example, a star would be proud SOB.

    One of these avatars is a black hole. Here's a bit of background;

    Ship trapped in gravity field of black hole. Can't leave on it's own, but isn't destroyed by black hole forces.
    Ship gets pulled out of black hole by salvage ship.
    Black hole is pissed that her prize just got finessed.
    Black hole sends avatar onto ship to bring it back.
    Unsuccessful, but the captain agrees to let black hole avatar stay. Black hole becomes member of the crew.

    I'm trying to decide the personality traits of the avatar. I feel like she would be very possessive, but I'm not sure. What do you guys think.
     
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  2. SoulFire

    SoulFire Member

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    So these avatars are like a projection of the celestial bodies? Do they still exist within their celestial forms as well as in these avatars?

    If they leave their celestial form to become the avatar, does their celestial body still exist? Like, does the black hole disappear when she becomes the avatar? And if so, when she chooses to become a black hole again, can she choose to do so anywhere? Like, say, on earth?

    When it comes to the emotional behavior of Black Holes I'd say possessive is for sure something to use. I'd also consider the fact that there is so much electromagnetic radiation / light that surrounds black holes. So perhaps even though they have this possessive attitude, they attract lots of attention and get people that stick by their side. Loyal potentially.
     
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  3. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Senior Member

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    The avatars exist separately from the celestial body in question. Think along the lines of Trance from Andromeda (Yes, I got the idea from a Star Trek reject.) Trance and her star were originally very closely connected, and then over time that connection strained, snapped, and the two became individuals, with Trance remaining on the Andromeda and her star coming to get her.

    So I'm thinking that Darc (Creative name, I know) will definitely be extremely possessive of the ship in question and its crew, I mean the whole reason Darc as an avatar exists is to go get the ship and bring it back to her event horizon, so that's basically her defining trait at the beginning. Over time, I'm thinking that maybe she develops some kind of respect for the ship and crew, because they were able to break away and stay out of the pull of a black hole, which is somethign she's never known to be possible. At the same time, due to their inherently destructive nature of a black hole (black holes eat nebulas as they pass through, I think it's safe to assume they mess stuff up, and therefore wouldn't be very popular among the sentient celestial body community. I can see the fight between stars now XD), black holes wouldn't be very popular and probably reclusive by nature, so as Darc develops as a character beyond "You've stolen my stuff and I want it back." she develops a sort of familial bond with the crew, which is something she's never experienced before. Time is meaningless to a black hole (unless I'm understanding this wrong, time stops in a black hole) so it breaks her metaphorical and non-existent heart that eventually the crew is going to die of something, whereas the only way she herself could die is if a bigger black hole swung by and ate her.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
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  4. SoulFire

    SoulFire Member

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    Totally unrelated but potentially cool thing you could do is have her named "Darcey" and they call her "Darc" and as the relationships develop she becomes comfortable enough with them to be refered to by her real name. Otherwise, all of that sounds really nice.
     
  5. Maverick_nc

    Maverick_nc Senior Member

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    My missus is a fcuking black hole... for my cash. She swallows it and spits out shoes and handbags. I'll ask her advice.
     
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  6. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I just had this line of dialogue in my head: "Why do I keep eating my friends?! :cry:"

    Sorry :supergrin:

    Anyway your premise sounds cool and I like that you've already created a drawback for her immortality - that of being left alone.

    Would she like to destroy things and people in order that nobody else can "have" it? That would be in line with the possessiveness as well as black holes eating things.

    Maybe she also ought to be particularly hungry all the time - more of a comedic trait bit might make for a fun aspect of the story :) in fact, does she eat and drink? What does she eat and drink? Maybe it could be something beneficial for the crew (because why else would they let her stay?) Something like she eats electrons or metals and spits out something useful.

    I think that was totally inspired by @Maverick_nc 's wife by the way :superhello:
     
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  7. Laughing Rabbit

    Laughing Rabbit Active Member

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    I would say they would be like someone who just sucks all the energy out of a person. I know a few people who can tire you out just by their mere existence, they walk into a room and the atmosphere just changes. You talk with them for a few minutes and it feels like hours and afterwards you need to go take a nap because you have no energy left. They aren't bad people, they can even be friendly and nice, but they just have a habit of making everything and anything about themselves, speaking loudly non-stop, very animated, constantly changing subjects, etc...
     
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  8. J.D. Ray

    J.D. Ray Senior Member

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    I like this concept, particularly this implementation. A character like this would have quite a bit of gravitas, right? ;)

    Seriously, a few character traits that cross my mind:
    • She doesn't say much; a very reserved person. Perhaps contrast this to the person that inhabited the body before that was a member of the crew (?), who may have been very outgoing.
    • As you point out, time is an unrelatable concept to her. So make her always late for things, or early. Like ridiculously so.
    • Stuff just falls apart when she's around, not through any action of hers, but just because she's there. She walks into the galley, the coffee maker goes on the fritz, and a plate randomly falls on the floor. She's not really allowed on the bridge because systems keep going on the fritz.
    • Her stateroom increasingly has random stuff decorating it, to the point that the place eventually looks like a worst-case scenario episode of Hoarders. She's fine with it, but the crew stops visiting because there's no place to sit.
    • Her human (?) form needs to eat, which takes going to the mess hall, which (per above) is problematic. On the upside, there is crew there, and she somehow likes interacting with them, though she doesn't really understand why. And while she understands consumption, she doesn't understand why she's limited to consuming a particular class of matter the rest of the crew refers to as "food". It seems very limiting.
    I hope to catch examples of your writing as it relates to this setting, this sounds interesting.
     
  9. DarkPen14

    DarkPen14 Senior Member

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    Um... I never actually thought about her destroying things. She values the ship and crew, so she'd probably destroy them as a last resort to keep them from falling into the metaphorical hands of another sentient celestial, but perhaps she might have asserted her dominance on the ship early on by sabotaging it so that they couldn't go anywhere without her?

    About the eating thing... I actually do not think she would even have a stomach. She's basically matter shuffled into a vaguely human form, but she lacks organs as we know them. I'm thinking that she might absorb matter to "heal" herself, but her actual form does not need sustenance. She would eat for the fun of it, not because she needs to eat.
     
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  10. The Bishop

    The Bishop Active Member

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    Black holes consume anything that's around them, therefore your character could have a consuming personality. For example, if she had any relationships with anyone on board the ship then she might take up a ton of their time and eventually over time, consume them and make them more like her/a part of her (mentally).
     
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  11. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    What you suggested re sabotage sounds fine to me. I was more thinking of the small stuff - like, she simply likes something, say someone else's shoes, but because she cannot have them, she goes and burns them or does something to ruin them. It would be a trait that's part of her personality, not necessarily solely for the moving of the plot.

    @The Bishop mentioned being "all consuming" - it could be as he interprets it, or you could swing it around. What if Darc was super charismatic? Like those terrifying cult leaders: all consuming indeed, to the point where people give the leader their lives and utter devotion. Some might be repelled by her and terrified of her, but there could be others who are irresistibly drawn to her - just like a black hole ;) You get too close and then there's no return. Perhaps this "all-consuming" quality causes others to do things they otherwise wouldn't do (think of lovers turned murderers and the like - people acting completely out of character) and perhaps Darc can't even help it, doesn't even want it, but doesn't know how to stop it.

    You know, looking to things in nature for character inspiration is a heck of a good idea it seems!
     
  12. J.D. Ray

    J.D. Ray Senior Member

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    In order to expend energy, she has to consume things. But she (?) might not even really realize this is the case, but it could happen naturally for her. Like she's sitting at a table watching everyone else eat, and she just randomly absorbs things that she touches. Clearly she wouldn't do this with everything she touches, because the ship would implode. But it could be kind of subconscious, like, "Oh, I feel a little peckish," and the salt shaker disappears when she attempts to pass it to someone.

    Even if your story is "serious" (e.g. not intentional comedy), interspersing little bits of humor like this can give it life.

    JD
     
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  13. GrJs

    GrJs Active Member

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    For a blackhole, given that they suck in and destroy everything they can get their gravitational pull on, I'd say you're looking at a narcissist with the need to be in control. Probably a psychopath as well given that they are quite charming people but will suck the life out of you if you get pulled in.

    Really nothing good can come from the personification of a black hole.
     
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  14. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    There are more black holes in the universe than people. Wouldn't it make more sense for the avatar to not be some kind of stereotype?
     
  15. big soft moose

    big soft moose The Moderating Moose Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    it has to be recognisably a black hole for the avatar to work i'd suggest
     
  16. Fallow

    Fallow Banned

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    But does it need to be recognizable by its personality being an analogy to human behavior? That would imply that every black hole has the same personality and personality flaws, rather than being individuals. It just seems like a huge limitation on a story, and more akin to a throwaway line from a Douglas Adams book: "The ship had a black hole as a crew member, but the captain found her too needy."

    I would suggest some other characteristic like appearance or physical limitations on the avatar to demonstrate black hole-ness, and give the avatar a complex and unpredictable personality. Or, at most, make its personality quirk be secretiveness as it "gives nothing away".
     
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  17. Matt E

    Matt E Ruler of the planet Omicron Persei 8 Supporter Contributor

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    I would expect someone described as a black hole to be able to suck all energy and emotion out of a room. Kind of like Lucious Malfoy. Cold, callous apathy.
     
  18. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Not if it's mentioned that different black hole avatars can have distinct personalities that are still recognizable as being distinct "black hole" personalities ;)
    • Some might be more possessive
    • Some might be more gluttonous
    • Some might be more secretive
    • Some might be more destructive (the event horizon becomes a very violent place when the black hole is actively feeding)
    • Some might be more nurturing (our galaxy would exist without a supermassive black hole holding everything together)
    Or any combination thereof :)
     
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  19. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    Objection! Supermassive black holes do not hold galaxies together. The black hole at the center of the Milky Way makes up less than .001% of the galaxy's total mass.

    I like the rest of what you said, though.
     
  20. SolZephyr

    SolZephyr Member Supporter

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    According to the more accepted theories, time and space flip roles inside a black hole. That might sound weird, but that's only because it is. Even black holes eventually decay and die, though (Hawking radiation), so death might not be a completely foreign concept to her.
     
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  21. Radrook

    Radrook Banned Contributor

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    Some scientists conjecture that we might be living inside a black hole.
     
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  22. Foxxx

    Foxxx The Debonair Contributor

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    Step 1: List qualities of a black hole.

    Step 2: Personify.

    You can take a subtle approach, as Fallow suggested, or you can make it more obvious. Your discretion.
     
  23. almostvoid

    almostvoid Member

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    us all little singularities
     
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  24. almostvoid

    almostvoid Member

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    if a black hole came near me I'd stand well back then let my avatar go supernova - just to say hello - from a safe distance
     
  25. J. J. Wilding

    J. J. Wilding Member

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    I'd imagine he/she would be very wise, having lived long enough to watch stars and planets die. I see them as having quite a normal appearance, with something distinctive that otherwise sets them apart (check out Geras from Mortal Kombat 11, dude is 99% african american but with subtle details to set him apart). I can imagine an interaction where the captain asks their name and the black hole asks what's popular, to which the captain gives her a ludicrously average name. Lucy for example. But the concept is super interesting and personality wise, I think she would make an attempt to rally against her all destroying perception and ultimate power to be very grounded and helpful, but a badass when she needs to be. Don't know why but I seem to have chosen female as my preferred black hole... read into that what you will!
     
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