Portrait of a Character – Branch Borodin
Branch Borodin is such a wacky character, he’s also in some wholly original writing.
I conducted a thought experiment, thinking about what it would be like if someone’s cells were sentient. Hence they would almost be a pocket-size version of the Borg, but without the cybernetics and without the nasty assimilation issues.
Instead, they would be more of a colony of like-minded microscopic individuals. Unlike canon shape shifters, they would have no real central consciousness, and would have to find some way to agree on whatever it was that they wanted to do. Hence they would also be overly committed to democracy.
The character is quite a bit like a walking, talking coral reef, except the individuals in the colony are a lot smarter. Polls and straw votes are common, and the individuals sometimes hold caucuses. Furthermore, just like in real-life voting, there is no guarantee of 100% participation. In fact, it’s rare. After all, the cells have other jobs to do. Much like in you or me, the cells are also conducting respiration, etc. They don’t always have the time to just drop everything and vote.
Branch is played by actor Keanu Reeves.
I love how this actor can seem at sea at sometimes, and thoughtful at others.
Yes, there is a bit of a stoner look and feel, and a wooden air. But that’s the idea; Branch isn’t exactly Mr. Personality. I mean for him to be very, very alien. Excuse me, they.
Found by the Temporal Integrity Commission during a meeting, the entity touches Deirdre Katzman, and picks up her memory of her first boyfriend, Anatoly Borodin. Since the entity needs a name, and it had just been a branched tree, Deirdre dubs the colony Branch Borodin. The name sticks, and it also evokes Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances (“A Stranger in Paradise”). A fitting reference for someone who is more of a stranger than other aliens.
Hence Branch’s personality is whatever is convenient and reasonable at the time, more or less. For an entity that has been a tree, a coat of paint, and a chair, that would more or less tend to follow.
Branch just is. Er, are.
The colony is not exactly capable of a relationship like you or I would have. Because every decision, every argument, every expression of affection – these would all require a vote. But Branch might relate to the Var-gi-yeh, who I envision to be more or less a female version of the same species.
Branch reminds me of jazzy, funky, weird rhythms and things that sound off and strange.
In a way, the Var-gi-yeh are the mirror version of Branch. They’ll get their own blog post, some time in the future.
“The cuff of Lo passed to the descendants of Thomas Grant and Eleanor Daniels Grant. The family eventually donated it here. The key charm and Xindi initiation medal passed to the children of Richard Daniels and Milena Chelenska Daniels.The museum has facsimiles as that family is retaining those pieces. This sword is Ironblaze, once owned by the Empress Hoshi Sato. It passed to her descendants, and the descendants of Charles Tucker VI, and was kept in trust by the adopted descendants of mirror High Priestess Yimar and her consort, Joshua Rosen. The original is in the mirror’s version of this museum – what is being shown to you is a facsimile.
The wedding rings worn by Douglas Jay Hayes Beckett and his wife, Lili, passed to, eventually, the descendants of Henry Desmond Avery IV and Sheilagh Bernstein, who retain them. The wedding rings worn by Lili O’Day Reed and Malcolm Reed passed to their descendants, who are with us today – the Ishikawa family of Dawitan. That family also retains the rings although we do have facsimiles. As Deirdre Katzman Ishikawa had said, ‘Wedding rings are to be worn.’”
Branch is my oddest character creation. I really like them.