Personalities

Composer
I’ve spoken before on the fact that I ended up deciding that I wanted to do more series, and fewer standalone stories on this site. In reality, I don’t think I’ll really ever go back to the way it was in the beginning. Sure, the Dreams series will include a hundred different dreams, but they’ll still all be dreams. The problem with this plan is that the solar calendar doesn’t really make this easy. I end up with dangling remainders on both ends of the calendar year. This could be solved if we used a calendar that had 28 days in each of 13 months, but you people are too bloody superstitious. Anyway, these danglers are fine, because I end up coming up with something based on however many installment slots happen to be left over. And how many do we have this time? Well...14. I didn’t have any ideas broken up into 14 sections, but what I did have was a set of 16. This turned out to be perfect, because I could set aside two Saturdays to complete it, which helped with the mezzofiction math. Unfortunately, however, this meant I didn’t have room for an introduction, which I’ve discovered to be narratively important. If I don’t explain what’s going to happen ahead of time, I feel awkward, because I’ve just jumped into this weird new thing, and it never had a real beginning. So that’s what I’m doing here, instead of talking about Composers. Why would I talk about composers, you ask? Why because it’s a type of personality. Composers are observant artisan entertainers. They are creators, artists, inspirers. But they are also methodical, deliberate, and stable. They’re considered to be ever-present, choosing not to focus too much on the future, or dwell on the past. It is for this reason that, although I’ve discussed the future of this project, I cannot tell you what the other installments are going to be like. That’s mostly because I don’t know. But that’s okay, I’m not worried about it. Let’s just be here. Now.

Healer
All right, so I’m still not sure how I’m going to handle all of these personalities, but for now, this is what’s up. I’m going to talk to you about a character I’ve created who’s known the Healer.  A few years ago, I started writing a story set in another galaxy a very long time ago. No, really, it’s longer than you think—and I’m certain it’s much longer, and much farther, than that the events in that other galaxy you’re thinking of. Why’s they humans? Unlike that other franchise, I can explain...just not yet. Please note that these personality titles are based off a particular psychologist’s model. That doesn’t mean that the character who holds a given personality actually carries the most obvious job associated with it. That being said, the healer of this story actually is a healer. Just to add some level of mystery to this whole thing, though, I won’t name names. His life path was chosen for him at a young age. In fact, he was born on a planet that prides itself in contribution determination. Through genetic analysis, and early development testing, scientists have decided that they know what kind of person someone is going to grow up to be. And so they’re raised with that assumption in mind, and this pigeonholing is rarely challenged. For them, it seems to work, for no one more than for the man in question today. He is naive and excitable but was given little time for social interaction as a child. He can be a bit bipolar, switching from bubbly to down right mean, unable to tell the difference between lightheartedness and rudeness. Strangers will find him vulgar while his friends generally give him the benefit of the doubt. He has magnus degrees in neurobiology, physiology, cytogenetics, and diagnostics. He has a sub-magnus degree in robotic surgery. Magnus degrees are the equivalent to doctorates in this galaxy. They use separate terms to avoid ambiguity. They use separate terms in order to avoid ambiguity. This is something our planet ought to consider, in my opinion. Understand also, however, that people in this galaxy live much longer than we do, so the fact that he holds four magnus degrees isn’t as impressive as it may sound. It’s quite low for his age. That’s not to say that he isn’t intelligent, just that he ultimately dedicated himself to military service, which limited his educational pursuits.

Inventor
Like I said with the last one, some of these titles will be more literal. The Inventor is one of these. If ever something needs to be repaired, or built on the fly, she is your girl. She seems to know more about what’s going on than she lets on, frequently dropping hints as if under the assumption that people already know what she knows. She needs others to ground her so that she does not abandon a project in excitement for another one. Because of this, her workspace includes a number of half-done inventions that she finally finishes and uses later, but only when and if the need arises. She tends to reject traditionalism, preferring instead to look for new, improved, and especially interesting, ways of getting things done. She has a goal towards universal efficiency. Even if she doesn’t actually operate like this herself—often jumping into new projects without any sort of planning stage—her creations are designed to ultimately increase the end user’s speed and accuracy. Others like her for her ability to both be social while recognizing that not everyone is like her, but also know her to be absent-minded. The longer her friends know her, the more they accept her quirks, and the more they love her for them. She has magnus degrees in astrophysics, quantum dynamics, plex mechanics, radionics, and engineering, as well as a sub-magnus degree in matterology. She has studied a plethora of other subjects on her own time too without ever bothering to earn formal recognition for them.

Supervisor
Right from the start, the founder of the renegade group could see that the one eventually known as Supervisor could be a great leader in her own right. Early on in the ordeal, she would submit to others, but she ultimately had little choice in whether people looked up to her or not. She ends up sort of falling into being responsible for managing the details of the day-to-day operations, while the other appointed leaders plan the overall goals of the group. Her focus is mainly on the short-term, and she finds herself drawn to directing the people themselves, rather than policy or outreach. Her honesty and high standards have gotten her into trouble in the past, but everyone now seems to find it refreshing, necessary, and a vital force for good. Unlike nearly everyone else, by the time military service came on her radar, she had only earned a technical certification in team management. As young and inexperienced, however, as she appeared to be, she is actually quite knowledgeable. She has already been through more than most people do in centuries. Her only true confidant is her partner, whose connection and relationship with her remained a secret for quite a long time. They did not join the military for the usual reasons, and it is these secrets that give her an advantage over their enemies. The Supervisor is the most dedicated and loyal member of the cause. When others begin to doubt their resolve, she interferes and reminds them what they’re fighting for. She believes in rules, but more so in people, and trusts them to either follow procedure accordingly, or come up with better ideas. It’s true that she likes to push her agenda, but that agenda always aligns with the greater good, and so she doesn’t limit herself to her own perspective. She might be the greatest unsung hero in the history of the universe.

The Crafter is the resident computer expert. His mind can process massive amounts of data, which are exceedingly difficult for him to forget. Furthermore, he understands the concept of causality so well that it borders on precognition. He is extremely quiet and speaks only when contributing something he feels is important. In fact, he has spent entire strings of days not saying a single thing to anyone else. He often forgets how much smarter he is than others, which frequently leads to a gap in communication. He sometimes has trouble knowing what is important to say, because he assumes others have already came to the same conclusion. He regularly speaks in half-sentences that are either setting up—or finishing—a thought he had in his own mind. Whenever he finds himself in a new group of people, he usually attaches to one particular person. Most of the time, there is at least someone around who can sort of translate his thoughts for the rest. He doesn’t even always have to speak to that person for them to understand what he’s going for. In this latest situation, that person happens to be The Architect, whom he grows closer to than anyone he’s met before, including his family. Though he appreciates efficiency, he is flexible, and willing to accommodate other people’s needs. Rather, even when he has an idea of how to proceed, and can’t fathom doing it any other way, he can at least acknowledge other people’s perspectives. He works incredibly hard to make sure everyone around him is on the same page, even if it doesn’t seem that way to people who don’t “get” him. He has magnus degrees in data management, computational systematics, cognitive science, and linguistics. He has a sub-magnus degree in network security.

Now that you’ve seen a few of these personalities, you can look them up and find out where they come from. They’re used in what’s known as the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. If you read a few of the descriptions, they might seem familiar. That’s because it’s closely related to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which is probably more famous, and older. Both of them do a great job of categorizing people into sixteen different types, however there are differences. I prefer Keirsey—not because he uses more creative type names—but because it focuses less on each bullet point for a given personality, and more on how those characteristics interact to form a whole person.

I’ve taken the test a few times and gotten different results each time. That’s why I ultimately created a seventeenth personality for the story I’m writing that involves these. I call it Consultant, and I will not be giving it its own entry in this series (partly because I don’t have the space). Basically, the Consultant role variant expresses personality traits from all other types. I don’t mean that they pick and choose a few traits from a few types; I mean all of them. After doing significant reading into these types, I noticed that I myself identified with a lot of them. I feel like a Supervisor, because I appreciate standardization and rules; but I also feel like a Teacher, because I’m creative and abstract. I don’t feel like I fit well into any category, but I’ve found that most people do. I know that sounds pretty  self-aggrandizing, but that’s not really what it’s about. This system works. Not one of the personalities is better or worse than any other—nor do they diminish the concept of individuality—but they are rather accurate and helpful in describing social interconnectivity.

I might be more like a Counselor than any other. Indeed; Counselors most closely resemble my description for Consultants, but I also tend to lean more towards the Protector variant. I have a deep, almost obsessive, need to protect the people around me. When I see someone crossing the street, I hope that traffic is slow enough to allow me to watch them, and make sure they get to the other side safely. I’ve developed a desire to learn medical skills, not so much that I could heal people, but so that—wherever I am—I know that someone can help alleviate a medical issue to some degree. Protectors do not necessarily contribute to the progress of society, they often let others handle that. What Protectors do is keep the world safe, so it survives long enough to enjoy social and technological change.

Still, there are other aspects of the Protector variant that do not effectively describe me. Protectors regularly perform other people’s jobs, and complete tasks that others don’t really want to do. Though I have a strong work ethic, if I don’t feel like a job really needs to get done, then I either won’t do it, or I’ll do it grudgingly. I kind of have a problem with motivation and procrastination, which makes me a little like an Inventor. Which in turn makes me more like a Consultant.

The Protector character in my story exemplifies all facets of the type. She steps up on her own accord to become second-in-command to the group leader, even though she was not selected. The two of them disagree with each other more often than they agree, but they both value each other’s opinions and perspectives. They have a great deal of respect for one another, and eventually fall into a healthy rivalry that supports the group’s efforts, because it promotes balance, and prevents closed-mindedness or tunnelvision. The Protector, however, is not as worried about the group’s mission, but is instead concerned for the people themselves. She always makes sure everybody has what they need, and schedules time to speak with each and every one of them so that she understands what their concerns are. She is always looking for ways to improve their situation, and I would say that she succeeds in her goals, even if only for a limited time.


The Teacher’s behavior is often misinterpreted as condescending, but he is always acting in the best interests of those around him. His primary goal in life is promote the education of the populace. Though he has sub-magnus degrees in educational philosophy and theology, he’s never worked as an actual teacher. Instead, he uses his own education and experience to lobby for educational programs designed to lift society, and propel the galaxy towards enlightenment. He never really wanted to be in the military, and is actually a pacifist, but pragmatism and family legacy sort of forced him into it. Though he accepts his new role, and will harm people in order to protect the innocent—and his team—he will always look for a nonviolent solution. Much like The Counselor, he likes to help others find their way, and will become especially excited when he encounters a challenge. He finds that helping others learn something new helps him understand it better, or even in the first place. He is excellent at planning for the future, and is an invaluable source in creating safeguards and contingencies for potential problems. Though his ability to predict the future nowhere near matches what The Crafter possesses, their similar perspectives as big-picture thinkers leads them to having an interesting—and unexpected—friendship with each other. Before joining the team, he was taking part in a special mission that very few people even knew about, including The Crafter. But it is what he learns while on the team that puts him in a position to really execute change...and save the galaxy.

History and Anthropology is the name of the game when it comes to The Fieldmarshal. Though he was never considered a genius, he appreciates academic pursuits. He has memorized fact after fact about history, culture, and the sciences. He will usually be explaining the reason behind situations, and is able to apply random knowledge to solve problems in an out-of-the-box manner. He is quick to accept leadership if it comes to him, but will not seek it out. He can be stubborn and may shut down when he comes across something he does not so easily understand. Much of what he knows is rather useless to practical application, but he believes that merely the absorption of knowledge is intrinsically important, and has never worried himself with what skills could help him in his life. He is rather famous in certain circles, actually. Though the galaxy is vast, carrying with it trillions of individuals, he enjoys a level of familiarity across a multitude of planets. His books have been downloaded billions of times, and not only because they are required reading for a number of educational programs. Before joining the military, he was spending most of his time as a lecturer. He particularly loved explaining basic scientific inquiry to young ones. While part of the team, he becomes a tool of problem-solving. When others have technical expertise to help them achieve their goals, he provides them with unique insight, especially into older cultures. Sometimes the best way to get something done is to remember how it’s been done before, possibly in order to avoid mistakes experienced by these predecessors. Though his background is in academics, he takes well to combat training, understanding almost immediately that any preconceived notions of how the galaxy worked before needed to be seen from an historian’s perspective. Things have changed, and he’s ready to make a difference in a new way.

For certain political reasons, the most senior member of the military contingency becomes unable to lead the team. She remains as...a consultant, but someone else has to take charge of the team, and be the public face of it. She thusly appoints The Inspector to be the de facto leader. This works out, because the Inspector feels a responsibility towards them anyway. She failed her first attempt at enlisting and has slightly more experience than the others, so she takes her job seriously. She failed before because of her inability to make snap-judgement calls, but she knows now that they won’t survive if that character flaw isn’t addressed. Her team trusts her for her loyalty, realistic perspective, and dependability. She values planning and organization, but knows when to delegate tasks...and appreciates a level of interpretation. Thorough and careful, the Inspector works tirelessly to protect the legacy of her fallen comrades, while understanding that this is the time for drastic change. She pushes the galaxy into the future, and instead of dismissing their enemy’s wishes, tries to find compromises. She respects everyone’s position, and though she can, at times, be impatient, always recognizes other people’s strengths. And that is her biggest strength. She has a sub-sub-magnus degree in public administration.

A great deal of mystery surrounds The Promoter. He claims to be from a planet that no one has ever heard of. Nor can he tell anyone exactly where it is. A few theories are indeed floating around about planets spinning somewhere in the galaxy that have not yet connected with everyone else, or have lost contact, and been forgotten by history. The most recent of these was Rinen Rinen, but that was a special circumstance, because its settlers were traveling at relativistic speeds. Since its discovery, scholars and scientists have pored through the records, looking for any evidence of secret planets, but have come up with nothing, not even the Promoter’s home. Just the same, he assimilates into society perfectly. He and The Mastermind are best friends with much in common. Both are spontaneous and ever-present, but while the Mastermind tends to be more independent, the Promoter prefers to use his easy-going attitude to lighten the mood for others. He is always game for a good joke, or an intriguing story. He is an excellent problem-solver, and could probably work well alone, but chooses to help others around him find the answer at their own pace. He is a strong advocate for both self-reliance and communal assistance. He is often seen eating literally, or biting off more than he can chew on a new project. He has no apparent education—which only adds to his mystery—but likes to get his hands dirty and try new things. He’s always asking questions, and it’s hard to tell whether he wants to know the answer, or if he already does, and is just testing you. Because of how mindful he is of the present, he can often lose focus on the future, and stresses too much about immediate results. He also likes to disappear with no explana

The Architect has a knack for solving problems, which I know, seems like something everybody around here can do. He’s always preferred to work alone but has recently become more engaged with others in an attempt to be a better person. He is often found with The Composer and The Crafter; two other quiet people who just sort of get him. Together they carry out special projects and missions, sometimes without speaking a word, each one understanding what the others are thinking by their actions. He acts as a conduit between these two and the rest; able to kind of translate what they mean by something. He can be a little over-critical, but he always has everyone’s best interests in mind. He has a level of secrecy, but unlike The Promoter—who has legitimate reasons to keep everyone in the dark—The Architect is really just trying to protect himself. Yet he can’t help himself when it comes to his interactions with other people. A lot of people know his secrets. What none of them knows, however, is all of his secrets. This level of compartmentalization serves as a subtle hint as to how the new organization should operate. Independent departments are created, inspired by The Architect’s theories of cooperation, each one tasked with taking care of a different aspect of oversight. But that is not his only legacy...

So these aren’t going as well as I’d hoped. I started writing short fiction not really knowing how short is short, and how short is too short. The early ones are the shortest, but grew longer the more I wrote, and I ended up settling into a range of about 300 to 500 words. I know that length isn’t supposed to be all that important, but look at one next to the other, and the story with only 150 words just doesn’t look right on the screen. It looks like I didn’t have much to say. And that’s always true. The length is always a decent indicator of how great of a hold I have on the material. But as you may have noticed, these are sort of danglers. I like my series to be grouped in nice and large chunks. I’ve been thinking of the Headlines series a lot more than these Personalities, and have even written a few of them already, so they are just naturally bound to be better.

As I’ve said, I identify most with the Counselor personality type, but it’s not what you think. Real Counselors derive satisfaction out of helping others. It’s never done that for me, though. Community service, holding doors open for people, making sure to accommodate everyone around me are just things that I do. You see, the real world doesn’t interest me all that much, or rather it’s hard for me to be too invested in it. The imaginary mind palace I’ve created for myself is no less vivid than my desk that’s in front of me right now. I can always and no matter what, about as close to literally as possible, escape to another world. These can have been created by others, or by me. I can jump into Fillory, take a Nexus to Ceres, then stroll down the block in Wayward Pines, before relaxing on Tribulation Island. When I’m here, in the real world, I ultimately don’t need all that much. So when someone wants something out life, the only thing I need to get past before helping them with that is my physical indolence. Real Counselors really want to help, and they get something out of that.

The Counselor in my story is the same way. He’s a diplomat from a recently deveiled planet. For reference, a veiled planet is one that exists without any knowledge or witting interaction with people from elsewhere. My characters operate under what are called The Priorities. Priority Two is like the Prime Directive in the Star Trek franchise...except not...because it’s the exact opposite. When you go out into space and find a veiled culture, there’s this unwritten rule that you share with them everything you know. Allowing war, disease, and other horrors found in underdeveloped civilizations when you have the power to stop it is considered by most people who contribute positively to society to be immoral. The Counselor knows very little about interplanetary relations, and galactic conflicts. He is not officially a member of the team, because he literally didn’t sign up for this, but everyone accepts him just the same. His life is in constant danger for his frequent attempts to have civil audience with a threat, and everyone is always having to protect him. As he becomes more jaded, however, he eventually learns to protect himself.

The Counselor likes learning about other people, and tries to figure out their motivations so that he can make everyone as happy as possible. He knows intellectually that you often can’t give someone what they feel they need without taking something away from someone else, but he doesn’t want to. He always tries to look for the solution that pleases everyone, and even though the team’s enemies treat him as an enemy as well, they have a level of respect for him, and tend to give him the benefit of the doubt. Though he does learn to adopt certain military values, and even develops some violent tendencies, he never lets go of his diplomatic leanings. At one time, he becomes a powerful force in the galaxy as the leading negotiator. There’s no telling how many conflicts he’s ended or prevented, along with his own team of counselors.


 The member of the team who most easily adapts to the new dynamic is The Performer. She accepts their situation almost immediately, but she has trouble dealing with the future. She’s always done a great job of reacting to problems as they come across, but has never enjoyed, or really even appreciated the concept of, preparing for future consequences. She experiences a constant inner conflict between doing the right thing, and just letting everything go. She is quick to discover the easy way out of a situation, which often involves cutting her losses and running. She feels a strong sense of love for everyone in her group, and develops these connections surprisingly quickly, but then feels an apathy for anyone she has not met personally. She understands on an intellectual level their duty, but does not fully recognize the intensity of their new life. She has a sub-magnus degree in weapons & combat. Spontaneous, and a little ill-tempered, the Performer can be a little delusional about how defiant she is against authority. She wants to be a team player, but doesn’t always realize what that means, and how she should modify her behavior. Her team eventually learns to not turn their backs on her when they’re planning a mission. As soon as she finds out when and where they’re going to be, she’s likely to run off and try to take care of it on her own. If anyone can handle a team mission by herself, it’s certainly her, but that doesn’t make it a good idea. Rest assured as well, if there is too much tension, or awkward silence, in the room, she is going to find a way to break it. She’s always good for an inappropriate joke, or a quip about superficial qualities of their opponents. Her capacity for loyalty is really only outshined by her ability to pretend like it doesn’t exist. She is highly extroverted and entertaining, but very few people truly know her, because she carefully constructs a facade to protect herself, and those around her, as she’ll claim. Work hard enough on a relationship with her, though, and always try to give her the benefit of the doubt, and she will ultimately come through for you.

 Ah, The Mastermind. Bold, clear-headed, and sometimes rather rude, he knows what needs to be done, and doesn’t wait for his team to catch up. Like the Performer, he too will run off on unsanctioned missions. The main difference is that he never apologizes for it, and is less adept at reacting to unforeseen circumstances. That’s not to say he isn’t smart. He is, in reality, likely more intelligent than nearly everyone else in the group. The Crafter may be the only one he wouldn’t be able to measure up to. Unlike many other smart people, though, he’s never felt the need to prove himself to anyone, least of all himself. His ideas more often than not clash with those of other, and he has trouble relating to them. He sees things one way, and doesn’t really understand why anyone would not see it that way. He knows intellectually that there are as many perspectives as there are people, but doesn’t really like to fall in line, and act accordingly. He possesses what’s known as a super-magnus degree in literature. Basically this means that he is one of the greatest authorities of the subject, and that you would have a hard time finding anyone who knows more than him. This degree can take centuries to reach, and doesn’t really allow for much else. He can read a full-length novel in a matter of minutes, and comprehend it excellently. Unfortunately, he doesn’t always apply his knowledge appropriately to social or business situations, which makes it difficult for people to want to work with him. His brother is The Composer, but you would not know that if you weren’t made aware of their last names. They do not have a brotherly relationship with each other, and each one has to earn respect from the other through professional conduct. To be clear, the Mastermind is a very good person, who has always kept an open-mind..about...having an open mind. Over time, working with the group changes him, and he goes on to be just as much of a hero as everyone else.

The Provider, as you would imagine, is known for being incredibly generous. He spends most of his time worrying about others, and making sure they know that he’s available for them. He has leadership qualities—and is, in fact, placed in a position of power for the team—but chooses to have little to do with actual decision-making. Instead, he finds himself roaming from unit to unit, offering moral support and spiritual advice. He does not feel that he knows more about cooking than anyone else but gladly contributes in that area, ensuring everyone’s needs are met, both physically and emotionally. Think of him as a stereotypical bartender, pointlessly wiping down the bar...listening intently to your problems. He treats the people around him very much like The Counselor in that way. One thing that makes this easier for him is his excellent social memory. He never forgets a name, and never forgets a face. Nor is he likely to forget anything someone told him about themselves, no matter how insignificant. He’s the guy who asks you about your neighbor’s once-ill pet years after you mentioned it in passing during a brief conversation. He is very concerned with the quality of the group’s dynamic. Though they don’t really have any downtime, he sort of forces upon them his agenda of team-building and cooperation. With all these different types of people trying to work together, he understands the necessity of creating a healthy and well-balanced work environment. His life has not always been so great and fulfilling, though. His desire to provide for people was stunted while working at a dead-end sales job for a large corporation. He felt disgusting selling people things that they didn’t need, and eventually generated enough courage to quit and try to make something good out of his life. People were surprised when he joined the military, but he saw no greater service to his convictions. It is perhaps his actions that make the greatest impact on the future of the galaxy.

The Champion is very physically strong, and is often underestimated as nothing but a brute. He is, however, very soft-spoken and intelligent. He is skeptical of his own ability, though, and requires a lot of encouragement from others. He has no fear, and will try anything for its own sake. He will come up with many ideas during a brainstorm, and always needs someone else there to determine which ones are viable. He was bullied as a child, which caused him to overcompensate with his physique. One thing he didn’t take from his experiences is a bad attitude. It’s not that he doesn’t understand how grave the situation is, but he doesn’t see the point in dwelling over their problems, because he doesn’t think that’s going to help. He recognizes the devastation, so he doesn’t dismiss it, but he is also the first to see it as an opportunity. The galaxy has, up until that point, been massively divided. Perhaps now, they can learn to come together, and find solutions to their disagreements, so that everyone can find happiness. His primary goal in life is to work for other people. This does not mean literally, like he’s a born servant. He just feels more comfortable providing support for others, and picking up the slack when they’re drained, inadequate, or otherwise preoccupied. The Champion is always looking for the good in people, and this can sometimes get him in trouble, because if he doesn’t find it, he will fabricate it. He has an unreasonable desire to make everything perfect for everyone, and will not allow any sort of friction. Some disagreement is healthy for a group to function effectively, but it can be hard for him to accept this. You can always count on the Champion to have your back. You’re going to have to be prepared for him to have your opponent’s back too, though.

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