Stark Harper [D1] [*fin] Jul 20, 2010 23:57:26 GMT -5
Post by d12m Cedar Halt [aya] on Jul 20, 2010 23:57:26 GMT -5
Name: Stark Harper
District/Area: District 1
District/Area: District 1
The first thing people tend to notice about Stark is her height. She's tall, for a girl at least, at an even six feet. She's slender, but not twiggy--she's spry and lean, with an athletic, agile build. Her training as a career has kept her very much on the slim side. Her skin is pale as a sheet and remarkably unblemished, save for the thick scar on her right shoulder--a knife injury, and one of her favorite aspects of herself. What about a nice, sizable scar doesn't shout "badass!" at full volume?
Matching her pale skin is her hair: light blonde--almost white--though a bit darker at the roots. It's about shoulder length and is most often worn in braids--they're just more practical than letting it fly all over the place, especially when one is subject to rage blackouts. When the mood strikes her--if Stark is feeling particularly fancy, that is--she'll do something different with her hair, although it naturally has a slight curl to it.
Stark's round eyes quite reflect her personality: icy. Her gaze is blue--pale like her skin, cold like her demeanor. Under most cases, her eyes can be found shooting daggers at the people that she'd very much like to actually be shooting daggers at. They come alive, though, in the heat of the moment. Though still a frozen blue, Stark's stare can melt--and it can burn. Either way, looking into her mesmerizing eyes is a dangerous task for all but the soulless.
Stark insists she's got no taste for fashion--whatever's practical to a Career is the majority of her wardrobe: pants with an infinite number of pockets, plain black t-shirts, a baldric, jackets with slots for knives (actually, just two of those) and combat boots. However, this isn't exactly true. When she wants to, Stark dresses fashionably. She'll even indulge and accessorize from time to time, although nothing too fancy, and certainly nothing that would get in the way or be too difficult to remove in an emergency.
Stark does not put up with your bullshit. She’ll have none of it, thank you very much, and would appreciate it if you’d stop making a fool of yourself. No? I hope you’re prepared to suffer her wrath--which, if you’re lucky, will be limited to her acerbic wit and blinding cynicism. In severe cases, the Wrath of Stark may result in internal bleeding, severed digits, broken bones, ruined social contracts, slow torture, or even death.
It’s not to say that Stark doesn’t get along with anyone--in fact, she’ll get along fine with at least half of everyone she meets--because she does. She’s cold, callous, and keeps her distance, but she’s got her friends. She just refuses to let them get close. She puts up a wall between herself and people, not because she doesn’t necessarily like them--she’s afraid.
Why does Stark--sarcastic, violent Stark--fear people, you might ask? There’s something that needs to be addressed first. Stark is two people living under one roof--not literally. She know who she is all the time, yes, and she doesn’t have a dissociative identity. But there are two Starks, really: who she really is and who she wants people to believe she is.
We must first deal with the latter, because this is who Stark presents. The façade!Stark is bold. She’s courageous and not afraid of anything. She’s doesn’t give a flying romp-in-the-sack what you think of her, and she doesn’t give one about you. She loves herself, thinks she's the greatest gift humanity's ever received, and if you don't think so too, well, then screw you. She’s venomous, too, self-admitted to be borderline evil--but in a fun way. She’ll laugh off whatever it is that any normal person would find upsetting, because really, who cares! It’s just life. It’s nothing permanent.
Who really cares, though? Why, Stark does. You could hold her down--if you could manage--and put a knife to her throat, but she'd never admit it. She does care, and other peoples' opinions do matter. She wears a mask, and she refuses to let anyone beneath it, to witness Stark completely starkers, raw and bare. She's too afraid of what they might do. Although Stark would never, ever, ever, admit to anyone--not even herself--she isn't fearless. She doesn't let people in because she doesn't want the pain.
In arguably the wealthiest district, Stark falls slightly out of the bell curve of normal. It starts with her beginnings: her name, even. In a district where people are named fancy, froofy things like "Glimmer," "Sheen," "Marvel," "Bauble," and every synonym of "Splendor" found in the thesaurus, Stark is named, well, Stark. Unadorned. She looked it up in a thesaurus once. Austere, barren, bleak, chaste, clear, cold, depressing, desolate, dreary, empty, forsaken, grim, harsh, naked, nude, plain, raw, severe, solitary, stripped, unclad, unclothed, uncovered, undraped, vacant, vacuous, void. In other words, some ways that Stark wants the world to see her, every way Stark does not.
It's a gift from her father, Keating Harper, a lowly gemstone miner that was imported from District 12 after an explosion when he was twenty. It was three weeks before his wedding. He's neither seen nor heard from--nor spoken much of--his previous fiancée, since it saddens him and stresses out Stark's mother, Whimsy, a scatterbrained sort of lady who logs the textile imports and from District 8.
Being in District 1 afforded Keating's children with many more opportunities than he'd had himself, and he'd insisted, despite his wife's protests, that they would be trained as Careers, "just in case," he'd said. She agreed because she loved him, and she was fearful that he still wanted his old fiancée, and not her. However, the decision still weighed on her, and she couldn't help thinking of her brother Malachite--Stark's uncle--who was a Career, struck down by his own alliance some twenty years ago.
But it was decided, so Stark began her training not long after her fifth birthday. Her younger brother, Viridian--awarded a more "District 1" name--followed two years after. She didn't mind it at first, and then she liked it a bit, then she enjoyed it. And by the time she was ten, Stark lived for her training. She was into it. Ready to play the Games, anxious to, eager to. She wanted to volunteer at her first Reaping, even tried to--but that's not how things work in District 1. You have to earn it. She should've known, and maybe she did in the back of her head, but she ignored it.
This attempt at insubordination, however, did not go over well with the older Careers--the ones who were meant to volunteer--the sixteens, seventeens, and eighteens. Four of them cornered her the next day, to politely inform her of her erroneous ways. Ha. No. They cornered the little Stark to beat her to a pulp, but they didn't really manage. That's not to say she fought them off--although she did get one guy pretty good in the crotch region--she was just smart enough not to stick around. She was quick and nimble, and managed to slip away before the hulking, steroid-abusing giants could cut her to ribbons--The first guy got a sizable gash in her shoulder first.
Stark was feeling a little less zealous about the Hunger Games after then--and a little more murderous. She wanted her pride back. An elaborate plan was hatched. Two weeks of stalking, one night of violent glee. She visited the four older boys, one at a time, They were bound and gagged while they slept--that had to be carefully done--and woke them up. Not politely, either: painfully. No one want to wake up in the middle of the night to a few fingers being severed. She removed both of one boy's thumbs and smashed his kneecaps, the second's entire right hand, the third's ears--and cut his achilles tendons for good measure--and the last boy, the one who cut her shoulder, was left to bleed out--from the carotid, femoral, and aortic arteries. It didn't take that long--the aorta gushes--but it left her feeling a bit giddy. None of them would be competing in the Games, for certain.
There were no legal ramifications. Spats between Careers ended that way all the time. Just like most Career-based functions, the Capitol and the Peacekeepers turned a blind eye. Few really liked the big career-types, anyhow--few liked the Careers at all--and if a couple had gotten themselves maimed or killed, well, good riddance. Fewer 'roid-raging idiots for the rest of everyone to deal with.
It was the night that Stark had taken her revenge that she realized something--she had the wrong career aspirations. To be a Victor would be nice, yes, but that wasn't enough. The control she'd felt, when she could do anything, completely anything to the four... it was intoxicating. She loved it. And that was when she decided that if she wouldn't be a tribute, if she wouldn't be a Victor--or even if she would--Stark would be a Gamemaker. It was a job that suited her--creativity, violence, a hard heart. She'd still train for the Hunger Games, sure, but it wasn't her passion, not anymore. She could thank the boys for it later.
At thirteen, though, something not completely unexpected happened--her parents split. Her father accused her mother of paranoia--true--and her mother insisted that her father never really loved her--true--and still wanted his former fiancée--probably true--and accused him of being unfaithful--sketchy--and a million other things, most of which fell a bit short of valid. She left, he stayed with his Career children. Watching the both of them go from relatively happy to completely miserable in a short week firmed up Stark's resolve to not let people get close--they only screw you over, she'd said.
And she's been shutting them out ever since.