Clear is the Main Character for Clear and The Hopeless. She is of the Salmitton species, a race of people from the planet Mars often dubbed Martians. She is the last known of her kind so far and lives as a salvager aboard a derelict spacecraft named The Hopeful, which she then named The Hopeless. She is emotionally fragile on the topic of her people and often dreams and longs for those of her own kind. She blames humans for the destruction of her homeworld and views the spacestation Saffron Five as a symbol of their tyranical conquest of her world. Although she hates humanity on principle, she doesn't despise every individual human and even works with a human mechanic named Hebedee.
Also see: Salmitton
Clear is a typical Salmitton, having bright red skin and stark white hair. Like all Martians she has blue internal colouring, so her tongue, the most visible internal organ, is blue. Her lips are bright pink as are the irises of her, otherwise, black eyes. Being alone most of the time, she doesn't care much for her appearance and doesn't try to keep herself tidy. Her hair is often in a messy braid, keeping it out of her way, and her clothes are normally stained with fuel and dust. When salvaging she will wear her brown leather gear that it quite form-fitting, with a heavy once-white scarf to protect her mouth and nose from the fierce winds of Mars[CatH 1]. Clear doesn't concern herself very highly with hygiene or keeping herself looking tidy, due spending so many years all alone[CatH 2]. She is regarded by many to have an attractive bottom, which several have commented on admiringly - usually to Clear's frustration[CatH 3]. Rather than her skin turning red when blushing, her cheeks will turn bright pink[CatH 3]. When relaxing aboard The Hopeful she will wear loose-fitting one-piece clothes of her people. They look something like a sheet attached to the body (citation needed).
Clear is often direct in her mannerisms and is not tactful in speech, as she is unused to communicating with others[CatH 4]. She is likely to say the wrong thing at the wrong time and not even know it (citation needed). She keeps much of her feelings to herself but when alone in her room she often laments her place in the universe and feels a great deal of sadness within her[CatH 5]. She spends a great deal of her alone time drinking away the sorrows and staring at random pictures of other Martians, now long dead (citation needed). She outwardly displays a hatred for humans, though she isn't above getting along with individuals. She hates the whole species on principle (citation needed). She is naturally suspicious of others, especially humans, and is slow to trust someone(citation needed). She is more open to trusting those she perceives as innocent or naïve in nature[CatH 6]. She is susceptible to addiction, having a drinking problem[CatH 3] and later a chronic addiction to the Dreamviewer(citation needed). She dislikes overt displays of grovelling, especially when in her own direction. When it is revealed that the Kryptons, of Saturn, reserve their best technology from trade so that they might protect themselves against an invasion after they saw the demise of the Martians, Clear feels some sense of fulfilment that her people are not forgotten and can be an example to others[CatH 7].
Powers & Talents
She is a competent pilot and capable of flying various kinds of spacecraft that she's encountered[CatH 3]. She has a logical method of approach when applying herself to new craft, normally easily figuring out how it works. She is capable of field repairs to many vehicles, but especially small crafts like the Bug (citation needed).
Her primary skill is salvaging. She can spot useful salvage from the useless and determine what can be done with it. Her focus is normally on what can be used for The Hopeless, but she is also capable of spotting items to be sold at high prices[CatH 1]. She is able to bargain quite well, despite her lack of communication skills, simply because she is normally aware of the actual value of the products she is bartering over(citation needed).
Agility, Stealth & Combat
Salmittons are naturally gifted in agility when compared to humans, able to do naturally what a human would need training to do. She has demonstrated her combat proficiency several times, usually relying on her agility rather than strength[CatH 8]. Clear considers herself good at infiltrating places and getting around minor scuffles with relative ease[CatH 4].
Main article: The Hopeful
The Hopeful is the name of the massive derelict spacecraft that Clear calls home. It is managed by an Artificial Intelligence called Note. Note is not terribly efficient, however, and is meant for minimum system duties. His communications skills are barely existent and is far from being completely self-aware in the same manner as other A.I. such as CynthAI. The ship is decades old and is constantly repairing the damage from the battle that left it derelict. The captain of the ship, dubbed Icer by Clear, is frozen in time within the command deck of the ship. Clear cannot be named captain of The Hopeful by Note because its former captain is technically not dead[CatH 1].
Main article: The Hopeful#The Bug
The Bug is a small craft that acts as a shuttle for Clear aboard The Hopeful. The craft is capable of acting as a home, if required, having facilities such as bedrooms and a living room. However, like its mothership, the Bug is in poor condition and Clear is often envious of other, newer models of spacecraft that she sees. The Bug has no official designation and is merely called the Bug because it looks like a moth or a butterfly in its design[CatH 1].
Clear possesses a carbine, a short-barrelled rifle, capable of firing 7mm bullets[CatH 1]. The carbine is of standard Martian design, somewhat dated by comparison to modern Earth standards. She claimed it mostly for self-defence against any other would-be scavengers that might try to steal her salvage (citation needed). Against most armoured people, the weapon won't do much damage, but against unarmoured flesh it will work just fine (citation needed).
Clear first uses her PIP when salvaging on Mars. It was capable of holographic projections to display information on the area[CatH 1]. She later upgraded it and learnt the term "PIP" for the first time (citation needed).
Clear and the Hopeless
Main article: Clear and the Hopeless
The story of Clear and the Hopeless opens with Clear getting ready for a salvaging trip to Mars. The Hopeful, the ship that Clear calls home, is little more than a space-station orbiting the rust-coloured world below. The Hopeful is in a complete state of disrepair, barely kept in workable condition by the ship's Artificial Intelligence, Note, and the salvaging materials that Clear gets from abandoned cities and towns of Mars. To get to Mars she uses The Bug, an ugly, old transport ship that isn't supposed to be flashy, and gets help from the ALEX the robot, who is able to use his various tools to strip down metals and other resources Note requests of Clear. After a mission to Mars, Clear returns and visits Icer, the former captain of the ship who has been frozen in time in the Command Deck. This is a habit she's had for a long time, often alone on the ship with no one else to talk to. However she's interrupted when Note suddenly instigates a jump through space, something The Hopeful has never done ever since Clear has been aboard. During each jump she is automatically pinned to the wall due to the age, and therefore inferior quality, of the jump drives; all meant for her safety[CatH 1]. After a few jumps Note states that salvage is required to make another jump, which Clear assumes will take them back to Mars. Hebedee, the mechanic living on the ship, believes that the unexpected jump is because the Earth went missing all of a sudden. Why Note was concerned with the Earth, Clear didn't care. She wants to return to Mars. She agrees to try to trade for fuel at one of the local inhabited stations. Before she leaves, however, she decides to check on the third, and newest, crewman named Green. As Clear nears Green's quarters, she finds the whole area is covered in magical plants and even insects living in them. When she meets Green, the human girl cannot speak. Instead she creates vibrations, using small plants, in the communicator to create speech through the radio. Green is very excited that Clear would ask for her help and is eager to make friends with her[CatH 2].When they get to the spaceport the narration speaks of the history of Mars and the human's acts of dominance over Clear's people - the human attack, the ushering of her people onto unfit reservations, the human diseases that finally killed her people and finally the human colonisation of areas of the planet (such as Saffron 5) - all of which she admits she learnt in a human museum, built from a derelict Martian spacecraft. Green, afraid of the technological spaceport, tries to get close to Clear but Clear is uncomfortable with such intimacy and tells her to back off. Clear asks why she's so spooked since Green came to The Hopeful from Saffron 5, a much larger station, and Green admits she hadn't intended to stay there but she'd been robbed and had no money to return to Earth. She was happy to get aboard a quiet place like The Hopeful until she could return to Earth. They find a low-life bar where Clear expects to find traders will to trade for low fuel prices and rare Martian goods. The leader of the crew she speaks with is Kaptin Kwanza and when he learns that she's a Martian, and very valuable, he and his crew try to chase her down[CatH 9]. They escape through the bars and Green uses her power to immobilise two of the humans with vine-cocoons. They use the Bug to escape the spaceport but Kwanza gives chase in his own ship, The Jolly Wanker. They manage to land, roughly, in The Hopeful's hangar and make an instant jump to escape[CatH 6].
She then laments being reduced to a commodity, like the salvaged goods she's been gathering over the years. In her sorry state she, as usual, resorts to drinking alone in her room. When bothered by Note and Hebedee about salvaging she rages at Hebedee and smashes a bottle against the closed door. Alone again she weeps, blue-staining salmitton tears. Only when she's sobered up a little is she able to steam-wash and make her way towards Hebedee's Workshop to apologise, however Note informs her that he, and Green, have gone to a mysterious ship to gather salvage after they were invited to go[CatH 5]. She, likewise, receives an invitation and travels to the ship, the Oh My Love!, via their compact, but luxurious, transport ship. She is then sent flying down a tunnel in some kind of anti-gravity tractor beam for people. Through windows she can see a massive party in full swing. When she enters the party-room she finds that the windows are one-way, so nobody saw her coming in. The room she's in is a familiar disco but there's a lot of strange aliens she's never seen before. The Oh My Love! Barmaid gives her a drink for free, which turns out to be exactly the kind of drink Clear loves. She's amazed but goes on to the next room to find her friends. The second room is bursting with oxygen that makes her feel light-headed. She passes quickly to the next room, which is like a garden. Finally she moves into the fourth room, where she sees a lot of raunchy dancing and meets the barmaid again. The barmaid reveals that she can make duplicates of herself as well as feel the vibes of people. After Clear gets another drink and follows the woman's directions to meet The Boss. The Boss turns out to be a human, male transvestite, wearing a yellow sequinned dress and wig. The Boss is very intimate, which makes Clear uncomfortable. He seems insightful enough to claim that his ship could never truly satisfy a woman that doesn't know who she truly is - a woman displaced between the lost culture of her people and the conquering culture of humanity. Although he seems patronising, especially when his friends chuckle at her expense, he is helpful enough to tell her that Hebedee is in Room Six and Green is back in the garden. As she leaves he spanks her bum and asserts that she needs to loosen up, which mortifies Clear[CatH 4]. She goes to Room Three to find Green, who is stoned on plant smoke. She ends up dragging Green away when she sees guards chasing Hebedee though the room[CatH 10]. Clear saves Hebedee from the guards but then The Boss reaches them with a fresh set. Hebedee has a power source that he claims could power The Hopeful's power core. He throws it at the guards and it emits a pulse that knocks everyone down. In the confusion, Hebedee tries to grab the power source but it reacts by absorbing him into itself for energy. Clear takes the box with the source inside, hoping to recover Hebedee from it. She and Green escape aboard the Bug and use its tractor-shears to break away from the Oh My Love!. When The Jolly Wanker appears, it, instead, is caught by the Oh My Love! and Clear escapes aboard The Hopeful. Note tells her, however, that Hebedee is dead and cannot be returned to life. She, very reluctantly, puts the power source into the power core of the Engine Room to power the ship[CatH 11].
Note instantly jumps away several time before he finally stops, unable to continue jumping due to a gravity generator on an icy world that has captured The Hopeful. Clear travels down to the planet, taking her time as she knows she has to try to stop these jumps, and eventually finds the building for the generator and turns it off. Without waiting for her to return, Note jumps out of the system and leaves her stranded[CatH 12]. She is picked up by a Captain Londris, a Stormtrooper captain. Clear is then interrogated by a man named Deonal Strang who then reveals himself to be a warlord separatist of The Galactic Empire of the Milky Way and is combating the Rebel Alliance. Clear had accidentally found herself in a trap set for rebels. He believes her story, but she kept her Bug a secret until it they detect it flying away from Ledus - stolen. She is then back under suspicion and Strang decides she should be present when the Bug is captured[CatH 13]. Clear professes her innocence and informs Strang that her Bug has a tractor-shear and the thief wouldn't know this. So when the Bug is successfully tractored, she believes she's in the clear. The person who stole the ship turns out to be an A.I. named Wai with an android body. He seems to have an eccentric personality but he reveals that there were a group of rebels on the planet Ledus after all. Wai is sent into prison while Clear is taken to the bridge of the ship to watch Captain Londris, through video feed, make an attack upon the rebels. Londris defeats the rebels and Strang orders her to execute the aliens and take a single human as prisoner. Strang then jumps after The Hopeful. They arrive in the system of Terra Flux, a world surrounded by flux that influences the minds of the people of the Perseus Arm. The Hopeful is there, disabled by plants growing all over the engines and the hull. Clear is given permission to board along with Londris and her squad[CatH 3].
The Living Daylights
Main article: The Living Daylights
With The Hopeful in better working order than ever, which is not saying much, Clear was able to take on passengers as they were bound for the Cosmic Nullius. One of the passengers was Uppity Bags, who would be ambassador for Saturn. He reveals to her that Jupiter has signed a unification agreement with Earth with designs of mutual benefit and that someone intended to bring up the issue of Zenos, the second star in the Solar System, at the G8 summit. When she suggests that he might want to trade some of their rare and powerful liquid-armours he refuses and tells her that the example of her people, now all dead, has given the Kryptons the good sense to keep their best technology to themselves in case they too come under such an attack. This gives Clear a great sense of achievement, that her people are not forgotten and can be an example to others. The ambassador was taken to his room by Mother and next arrived Green and Rui-Rho with the second passenger; a drow named Dhaeriend do'Ziikin who was quite unlike most drow that Clear had ever met. He was still very witty but horrified by Rui-Rho's awful jokes as she leads him to his room[CatH 7].
The World of Tomorrow
Main article: The World of Tomorrow
With The Hopeful in
"The origins of Clear came hand-in-hand with the invention of The Hopeful itself. The original inspiration for the large and poorly manned ship, along with Clear being the very last of her kind, came from the BBC[Ext 1] TV Show named Red Dwarf[Ext 2]. Unlike Red Dwarf, however, I wanted a sense of loneliness to pervade the character and a feeling of being apart from society. This may be due to my own circumstances as a foreigner living in China, a culture apart from my old friends and family. Even her loss of her people, her home and her family may have been a subconscious reflection of my own sense of loss.
As I've always been better at designing characters than space ships, the exact dimensions for The Hopeful remain largely unspecified throughout the entire CatH series, while I began to form very clear and vivid depictions for Clear. The colour scheme of red skin, complimented by white and blue was loosely inspired by the Star Wars[Ext 3] character Ahsoka Tano[Ext 4]. While most sci-fi aliens still have the red innards that humans have, I thought it would be more interesting to specify that Clear's innards are coloured blue - including her tongue. I was also intent from the very beginning that Clear would mirror The Hopeful in its bedraggled state, so while The Hopeful is broken down, Clear is often unkempt and even unwashed."
"Although Clear is clearly meant to be socially and is seen to be more comfortable when alone, she was otherwise meant to have a very loose character that could be fairly "everyman", meaning a reader could more easily identify with her. She's rarely extremist in her opinions and actions and while this makes her less vivid in a readers' mind, it allows them to take her place in the story." - Britt the Writer
Britt: The Legend
"Britt: The Legend features a chapter wherein Britt takes part in the destruction of Mars and its people. This makes Britt a direct, though unknown, major influence on Clear and her circumstance. It was interesting to have a character that is essentially a good guy and hero of his own story, be the cause of ultimate misery for the main character and hero of another story." - Britt the Writer
- ↑ Wikipedia, BBC article.
- ↑ Wikipedia, Red Dwarf article.
- ↑ Wikipedia, Star Wars article.
- ↑ Wookiepedia, Ashoka Tano article.
Clear and the Hopeless References
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 CatH Post 2, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 CatH Post 3, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 CatH Post 12, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 CatH Post 7, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 CatH Post 6, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 CatH Post 5, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 CatH Post 83, CatH Page 3, The World of Tomorrow, Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ CatH Post 9, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ CatH Post 4, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer
- ↑ CatH Post 8, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ CatH Post 9, CatH Page 1,Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ CatH Post 10, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- ↑ CatH Post 11, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.