Sunday, February 3, 2013

Character bio #1 and deleted scene: Commodore Cruel

I thought it might be interesting to do some character bios from the Consortium of Chaos series.  I've always been someone interested in deleted scenes and DVD commentary and such, so I thought I'd share some of my own.

For no particular reason, I thought we'd start with The Commodore.  The Commodore is the patriarch of the group, and one of the few people whom everyone seems to like.  Even Tyrant treats the man differently than he treats the others.  The Commodore is Harlot's father, and as far as I know, she is his only child.  The identity and whereabouts of Harlot's mother has never been revealed in the series, mostly because I've never really given it much thought.  Given his crusade against "the communist contaminant that is Canada" though, it's somewhat surprising that she has been identified as being French-Canadian.  I'm unsure if she taught him the error of his ways as far as Canadians go, or if his vendetta against her homeland is the result of a bad breakup, but whatever the case, he is currently single.

The Commodore is a barrel-chested man in his mid to late 50's.  He has a handlebar mustache, and dresses in a chartreuse Napoleon style military outfit, bicorne hat and saber. 

He’s generally good-natured (for a super-villain), and seems to have a good sense of humor about life.  He does expect his team (mainly Harlot) perform up to their abilities though, and is displeased when they fail to apply themselves in their evil efforts.
Strangely, the man uses nothing but words which begin with the letter “C.”  I have no idea why.  I would like to say that it is my homage to Allan Moore’s “V for Vendetta,” where V has a short monologue of nothing but “V” words, but I’m afraid I’m not that clever.  The Commodore’s preoccupation with the letter “C” sprung from the fact that I had already decided that his name should be “Commodore,” when I realized that the name of the organization he had founded was “The Consortium of Corruption” (I changed the name to “Consortium of Chaos” before the book was completed, simply because I thought it sounded better).  In any event, I thought since both began with C’s, I might as well make it a theme and turn a negative into a positive.  If there were already two C’s, then there should be more.  Sadly, that innocent idea meant that every word out of the Commodore’s mouth takes ten times as long to write.  Maybe more.  Eventually, I realized that the simplest way to write for the man was to think of what he needed to say, then search a thesaurus word by word for synonyms which began with “C.”  It still takes a long time to write for him, but it’s far simpler than my original method of just trying to think of every word which begins with C that I could and writing it down. 
The Commodore hasn’t showed up on canvas as much since Wyatt took over a lot of his duties, mostly because I’m guessing the man is <i>more</i> than happy to sit around and play his Modern Warfare video games.  Still, he’s the leader of the group, and still has a huge sway with the rest of them, mostly because he rules through force of personality, rather than issuing them orders.  Generally, none of them like being told what to do.           
When I was finishing up the first book in the Consortium of Chaos series, I realized that it was far too long.  As such, many parts ended up on the cutting room floor.  One such scene was a formal introduction to the Commodore, his powers and his backstory.  Since it wasn’t vital to anything in the book, I decided it wasn’t needed in an already bloated chapter.  So, I thought I’d share it here instead.  This exchange takes place during the sequence where Wyatt is reading from his files on all of them, on page 39 of the finished book:

"Wyatt stood behind the Commodore, and pulled out another file.  “Code name: Commodore Cruel.  Real name: Carl Calvin Ceigh.  Age: unknown.  Founder and Chief Chair of the C of C.  Father of Harlot. Tactician, strategist and master planner.  Ceigh was a carpenter who was working on clearing out clutter from a museum storeroom of military antiques and curiosities.  One night, a stray spark led to an explosion and he was trapped inside the burning room with the treasures.  When he was finally pulled free of the wreckage, he discovered that he had somehow obtained all of the military knowledge possessed by the original owners of the objects he had been surrounded by.  It was as if the information had become a vapor as the objects burned and he inhaled it during the fire.  From Alexander the Great to Patton, he knows every trick, strategy, ability and tactic that they ever imagined, and how to properly execute it.  He used that knowledge to go into the military life, but was discharged for his rather extreme views.  He holds several degrees from a few very prestigious military colleges, and even more from some not so prestigious ones.  He is an expert in the arts of war, especially fencing, both swordplay and… also apparently the stuff you put around yards.  Which is weird.  He is a chess grand master, and a skilled carpenter.  Among his long list of crimes, he once toppled the corrupt government of a country in Central America using a 'commandeered cruise ship' simply because he didn’t like the 'color of their currency.'  Huh.  He is currently the most wanted man alive and has the death sentence in every jurisdiction which allows it, and several which don’t.”
The Commodore nodded in approval and let out a bark of laughter.  “Certainly captured my complete criminal career.  They crave my capture in copious countries.  Completely comical!”
Wyatt stared down at him.  “Wow.  You’re really going with that constant use of the letter ‘C’ thing aren’t you, Sir?  Committed, if you will.  I don’t believe I’ve ever really spoken to you for any length of time before, so I never noticed.”
The Commodore frowned and looked uncertain at the question.  “‘C’ thing?  Come again?  I’m confused at your concerns with my conversation.  Care to clarify?”"


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