1. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Reconnecting a Daughter and Father

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by Sclavus, Oct 8, 2017.

    In my story, Blair has just retired from the Air Force as a captain. She has come back to Colorado Springs after ten years in the Air Force. The last time she saw her father, Ian "Padre" MacDougall, was just before she left for USAFA.

    Padre went to prison when Blair was twelve years old. Blair's mother and sister were killed in a home invasion, and Blair survived by shooting one of the attackers with his own gun. Padre was at the church then, a year into his service as an Episcopal priest. He got home to find the wounded man in his house and Blair crying in a cabinet under the sink.

    Drawing on his skills from the Special Boat Service, Padre hunted down and killed the other attackers. He was defrocked, arrested, and sentenced. His godson, Tommy Watson, took custody of Blair and raised her. When Blair was 22, she graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant from USAFA, and began her work in military intelligence overseas. The same year, Padre received a full pardon (after Blair had already left).

    Now Blair's come back, and things are awkward. I'm not sure how Blair's first interaction with her father should go. She hasn't seen him outside of prison in 16 years.
     
  2. izzybot

    izzybot Transhuman Autophage Contributor

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    It seems pretty dependent on what types of people these two are. Does Blair resent her father for abandoning her to get revenge? Does he feel guilty about it? Are they both totally cool and understanding? Is he proud of her for joining up or was he more worried? Does he feel like she abandoned him in that way? Did she visit him often? Was she made to / did she want to? Does she feel guilty about it if she didn't? Does he resent her for it if she didn't? Has he tried to get in touch with her since he got out? Has it worked? Did she actively deny contact with him, if not, or was she just too busy / unable? Is the religion aspect part of either of them that might influence things - eg has he lost his faith but she still has it, does he still believe and she doesn't, how do each other them feel about the other's feelings/opinions on that topic, if it's important to one or both?
     
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  3. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Good questions. Thank you.

    Does Blair resent her father for abandoning her to get revenge?
    No. She didn't necessarily understand what Padre was doing. For her sake, he did all his "research" in secret and all the wet work in a weekend while Blair was with Tommy. Padre had time to explain himself to Blair before he was convicted, and they share the same belief he was justified.

    Does he feel guilty about it?
    Not in the least. He feels guilty for not being home when the attack happened, but he has a clear conscience about taking his revenge to protect his daughter, who could identify the attackers.

    Is he proud of her for joining up or was he more worried? Does he feel like she abandoned him in that way?
    Padre was sad he wouldn't get to see Blair when she joined, but it was her childhood dream to serve in the Air Force, and he is fiercely proud of her.

    Did she visit him often? Was she made to / did she want to? Does she feel guilty about it if she didn't? Does he resent her for it if she didn't?
    Blair and Tommy visited Padre every week until she joined USAFA. That first week they couldn't see each other was rough for them both, but Blair didn't feel guilty, nor did he resent her. They loved and missed each other very much.

    Has he tried to get in touch with her since he got out? Has it worked? Did she actively deny contact with him, if not, or was she just too busy / unable?
    They've talked on the phone when Blair has been able, but that's been rare since Blair was sent overseas.

    Is the religion aspect part of either of them that might influence things - eg has he lost his faith but she still has it, does he still believe and she doesn't, how do each other them feel about the other's feelings/opinions on that topic, if it's important to one or both?
    They were both mistreated by the Church during the investigation, but they maintain their faith without the rituals and trappings usually associated with religion. Blair has a tattoo for her faith, among the many on her arms. Padre has a full shirt of tattoos, and the left side from waist to neck to wrist is devoted to his faith. They believe in God and live quietly by their beliefs, without trying to share anything about it unless someone asks. In short, they're devoted to God, not religion, and certainly not the Church.
     
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  4. Mom2PruQ

    Mom2PruQ Senior Member

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    Izzybot asked some good questions on their backstory, and you clearly know it well. So the questions I have for you are about who they are Day to Day and where they are from. Recalcitrant or chatty? What sort of ritual would Padre be doing should Blair just show up--making coffee in the kitchen? Watching tv? would he offer her something to eat or ask how her work is? I'm guessing tension and a lot of avoidance .
     
  5. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    Thank you. More good questions.

    So the questions I have for you are about who they are Day to Day and where they are from.

    Padre

    Padre was born in Glasgow. He had a relatively easy life, with parents who loved him, a good education, and a childhood sweetheart. Treasa Rose Wallace was an Irish expatriate whose family sent her to friends in Scotland during The Troubles. Padre joined the British Navy as soon as he was eligible, and quickly became part of the Special Boat Service.

    It was there Padre became the godfather to John Thomas Watson, known as Tommy. During his time in the military, he also started his family with Treasa, and she gave birth to two girls: Heather Lily and Blair Cluran. He then retired from the military to become an Episcopal priest. Padre moved his family to Colorado at the beckoning of the church, and became the priest of a small church. A year into his priesthood, he came home to find his wife and eldest daughter murdered.

    Padre took his revenge, but refused to cooperate with the church's "investigation." They defrocked him, and he was later given a plea deal thanks to John Thomas "Tommy" Watson, Esquire, formerly of the Royal Marines and the Special Air Service. He served 10 years before he received a full pardon.

    Blair
    Blair was born in Glasgow as well, and moved to Colorado when she was eleven years old. Her first memory of Colorado was seeing USAFA Cadets get off a plane. From then, she was hooked, and started working with her father's tenacity toward the goal of becoming a Special Tactics Officer. For young Blair, everything went swimmingly until the attack on her home.

    It was a home invasion gone bad. The trio had scoped out the MacDougall residence through the house church ministry Padre had started. It was a very nice house, and the trio wanted what was in it. They waited for Padre to go to the church, then knocked on the door. Treasa recognized them as members of the house church, so she let them in. They killed Treasa and Heather for fighting them, and Blair hid in the kitchen cabinet and called the first number on speed dial.

    Unfortunately, one of the attackers heard the phone ringing, and tried to pull Blair out. She pulled the gun from his waistband and fired twice, just as Padre picked up. He sped home, and arrived after the other attackers had fled. In the investigation that followed, Padre's clerical enemies at the church tried to use Blair to get dirt on her father. Meanwhile, Blair stayed with Tommy when Padre went away for a weekend.

    Padre was arrested three weeks later, and Tommy became his lawyer. Padre was convicted with a plea bargain for the murder of the other two attackers. Blair stayed with Tommy until she joined the Air Force. She was trained and sent to the Middle East, where she worked as a Special Tactics Officer (the third female to do so). After ten years in the Air Force, Blair retired to move back home with her father. He got her a job as the receptionist for Jude's House as a temporary measure until she found something more to her liking, like CSPD SWAT or a civil service job.

    A typical day for Padre involves a semi-retired lifestyle. He came into quite a bit of money before going to prison, and it was managed well when he was incarcerated. When he got out, he bought the old church that became Jude's House Homeless Shelter, an old bar he turned into The Drafty Kilt Public House, Thistlebrick Martial Arts studio, and Valor Ink, a tattoo parlor. He checks in on those businesses, then spends his time cleaning his house, reading, going to the gun range, and working out.

    Blair's typical day post-USAF has been mostly making travel arrangements and saying farewell to friends. Upon her arrival to Colorado Springs, she has a new world to adjust to, so she spends her time getting to know the guys of Jude's House and doing whatever she can to help out, in addition to her fitness and martial arts routine.

    Recalcitrant or chatty?
    Blair is definitely the more talkative of the two, but not annoyingly so. Both the MacDougalls use an economy of words when they're working, so good luck trying to chat them up if they're focused. Socially, Blair would rather you talk and let her take in your story. Padre would rather you talk, let him listen, and then he'll assess your problem or offer sage wisdom. He doesn't think of himself as wise in an arrogant way, but he loves to help people, so when he speaks, he's analytical and matter-of-fact.

    If you need a "sounding board" to pour your emotions out, you go to Blair for her empathy. If you need an analytical problem solver, Padre's your man. Both have a sense of humor befitting the military, aren't easily offended, and have a laid back, approachable demeanor until the shit hits the fan.

    What sort of ritual would Padre be doing should Blair just show up--making coffee in the kitchen? Watching tv? would he offer her something to eat or ask how her work is?
    That, I don't know. I think they'd both be strong until they saw each other, and then there'd be lots of crying and hugging and kisses and smiles. After that, I just don't know. What does a person do when they're reunited like that?
     
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  6. Mom2PruQ

    Mom2PruQ Senior Member

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  7. Mom2PruQ

    Mom2PruQ Senior Member

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    So you've decided that their reunion will be joyful, not tense. Will they immediately discuss the chaos that's occurred? Or will it be formal?
     
  8. Sclavus

    Sclavus Active Member

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    I'm basing an initially happy reunion on the fact Blair and Padre do love each other, and I think there would be a lot of the raw emotion from that up front. Afterward, I think it'll get more complicated. I don't think they'll catch up right away, but just enjoy their time together. As the differences they've developed start to surface over time, the tension will probably build. They might sleep on it, and it'll start to sink in that they've changed in the past decade.

    Here's how I see the conflict in my story:

    Vincent (MC)
    • Padre (Mentor) - Vincent doesn't always listen to or appreciate Padre's advice, which is okay in some instances, but in a survival situation where following orders is a matter of life or death, Vincent needs to listen.
    • Blair (Love Interest) - Vincent is over-protective by nature, but Blair's sense of self-reliance doesn't jive with Vincent's well-intended but sometimes overbearing nature.
    • Tommy (???) - Vincent sees Tommy as overbearing. Vincent doesn't want another father figure who looks down on him.
    Padre (SC)
    • Vincent (Friend) - Padre sees Vincent as being full of potential, but also potentially a liability to the safety of the group.
    • Blair (Daughter) - Padre isn't used to having a woman back in his life, especially a daughter. It's not just a change of pace, but he really doesn't know her like he should.
    • Tommy (Godson) - Padre accepts Tommy as he is, but thinks Tom is too rough with Vincent. Padre is also jealous of the friendliness between Blair and Tommy.
    Blair (SC)
    • Vincent (Love Interest) - Blair thinks Vincent is handsome, charming, and caring, but he's also overzealous in his attempts to show Blair affection. This causes a lot of conflict for her internally, and with Vincent externally.
    • Padre (Father) - Blair doesn't really know the man her father has become, and it's a stretch trying to learn about the last sixteen years in a short time. Blair loves her father, but has some growing pains in her relationship with him.
    • Tommy ("Uncle") - Blair feels closest to Tommy, but he's been distant, which makes Blair double down on her self-reliant instinct. As a result, there's affection and conflict between Blair and Tommy. The grief Tommy gives Vincent also hurts Blair.
    Tommy (SC)
    • Vincent (???) - Tommy sees Vincent as irresponsible, apathetic, and useless. He also sees him as a bad influence on Blair when he realizes they care about each other.
    • Padre (Godfather) - Tommy respects Padre like a father, but he also never really got along with his real father, so Tommy pretty much does what he wants, which occasionally chaps Padre's hide. At the same time, Tommy tries to give Blair and Padre time and distance to connect, because Padre is jealous and Blair knows Tommy better than she knows Padre.
    • Blair ("Niece") - In trying to give them space, Tommy hurts Blair. When he's antagonistic toward Vincent, it also upsets her.
     

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