Marcus Chang

Marcus Chang Portrait
Marcus Chang Portrait
GI Ace
Ron Swartzendruber
Art Approval:
Feel free to draw my character, but I want to approve it before publication, please!
Marcus Chang
Name Notes:
Goes by "Chang" on the ship and in other military/corporate type settings. Prefers "Marc" to "Marcus" when first names are used.
Date of birth:
World of birth:
Electronics/Communications tech
Physical Appearance:
Despite his last name, he looks Caucasian rather than Asian.  His eyes are blue and round, and tend to bug out when he's startled or angry.  His skin is pale and easily sunburned. He's 175 centimeters tall (about 5'10".) In contrast to the usual geek stereotype, he keeps himself clean-shaven and neatly groomed; this contributes to a general "core-boy" impression that is a lot stronger than he thinks.
Usually wears military-surplus cargo pants along with civilian T-shirts sporting irreverent slogans or obscure inside jokes.  It's not always easy to tell what his shirts say, though, because he also wears a dark gray photographers vest with many, many pockets.  Those pockets are filled with all manner of small tools, plus generally useful items like electrical tape and zip-ties, and even bits of random salvage with no discernible use or value except in his own mind.  When he first came aboard, most of the pockets were empty because he'd been reduced to trading his tools for food. Wears a well-broken-in pair of combat boots when outdoors or in port, and rubber-soled tabi socks while in transit. Has a dark-green poncho for rainy weather. When he gets the chance, he'll buy himself a basic suit and tie for special occasions. General color palette is dark-to-olive green, and gray to black, with a random bright color on the t-shirt.
His vest of many pockets, and a handheld computer resembling a Terran smartphone with a ruggedized shell.  He's never without it and would never sell it; its sentimental value is too high.  After the first few months aboard ship, he acquired a pair of optical goggles made to resemble vintage RAF pilot goggles from Earth-That-Was, with the addition of a few tiny lenses and camera pickups built into the frame.
Father killed early in the war.  Mother went into the Alliance military and is MIA. Even getting that much information out of Marcus is like pulling teeth.  He won't say anything else on the subject, and is clearly carrying some baggage about it.
Has few close friends, but stays in touch with quite a number of fellow history fans.  Has no foes that he knows of, though he does worry about crossing paths with certain former shipmates who may be carrying grudges after a parting on bad terms about a year back.
Electronics (both newtech and oldtech.) Sensors and avionics. Programming/maintaining communications gear, from personal radios to Cortex routers. Cryptographic and security systems, historical and modern. Electronic surveillance and data mining. Mathematics and logic.  Also knows a lot about cosmology, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, and other "hard" sciences, but unlike his other listed skills, these come from book learning with little experience. Has a metric hump-ton of miscellaneous reference data in his head and even more on his little handheld.
Tinkering with little electronics projects (his room is littered with them.) He likes making mundane, apparently useless parts work together to do something unexpected (though often still useless.)  He's also an Earth-That-Was fan; in college he was even part of a re-enactment group, and he has stayed in touch with some of those people.  He does Tai Chi every morning, and is trying to take up zen-style meditation, but is having a hard time with it.
Marc is still very much a core-boy. He has worked alongside plenty of people from the rim and talked with them enough that he thinks he understands how things are on the hardscrabble colony worlds.  His recent couple of months on Haven were a real shock; NOW he finally gets it, or so he thinks. 

He is pretty much balanced between introversion and extroversion; he likes going to parties and mingling with crowds as long as he's not the center of attention, and can tolerate being alone for days on end but will seek out conversation if it's available.  He can get very enthusiastic when describing something he's interested in, sometimes to the point of missing the little social cues that his listeners would rather he stopped.  He's clever with wordplay and irony, but not the best at picking up nonverbal hints.

Marc has a very good memory; though not truly eidetic, if he reads something thoroughly and understands it then he can recall all the details even years later.  He's less good at unstructured data like lists of random names, but still better than average.  He's good at correlating seemingly unrelated facts and drawing conclusions, and part of his brain is always observing and analyzing any situation he's in. He loves puzzles of all sorts and has difficulty resisting the temptation to solve any that cross his path.

Due to his service as a headquarters intel analyst on the losing side of the war, he has a peculiar form of PTSD that manifests itself as an intrusive internal voice delivering evaluations of people and events in intel terms.  This is strongest when he is short of food and sleep, as he was during the later stages of the war when this pattern was set.  He doesn't think of this as PTSD at all; he was way behind the lines after all, and other than a few high-ranking officers everybody had it way worse than him.  He's well aware that his "inner analyst" has no special access to people's inner thoughts and motives, so he tries not to trust what it says too much.  It also, of course, doesn't have any information that Chang himself lacks; though it can pull surprising conclusions from apparently unrelated data, those conclusions are just as likely to be false or incomplete as otherwise.

He is very reluctant to talk about his data analysis experience, instead focusing on the IT aspects of that position, which were significant.
Born on Albion (in the outer core) and grew up in a solidly middle-class environment -- by core standards, that is.  By anyone else's standards, he was a privileged rich kid.  He was raised to be a True Believer in the Alliance but had a crisis of faith during and after college.

When the war started, he went Independent and soon ended up as a comm/scan tech on one of the more up-to-date ships the Independents fielded.  In 2508, that ship was lost with all hands-- except for Marcus Chang, who was left at base recovering from a head injury suffered in an embarrassing shore-leave accident.  Once out of the hospital, still under light-duty orders, he was posted to an IT and data analyst position on a skyplex orbiting Shadow.  As the war went on and things got tighter and tighter, he spent a lot of time jury-rigging equipment, and filling in for other techs pulled out for ship duty.  Marc's commander didn't want to let him go because he was too good with duct-tape-and-baling-wire repairs, and got the base doctor to extend the light-duty orders time and again. Towards the end, he wangled his way onto a ship anyway, and thus missed the final attack on Shadow.  His captain refused to surrender after U-day, but the ship was soon caught anyway.

Marcus had a brief stint in a re-education camp, then found his way into a job on a fairly cushy civilian transport ship. After about a year the company was bought by a larger one, and the new buyer didn't trust anyone who had fought against the Alliance, so there went the cushy job. Since then Marcus has served on a few other ships, in more and more desperate straits, and ended up stuck on Haven when his last ship was repossessed. Unable to find a technical job on such a backwater world, he lived hand-to-mouth for a couple of months, until hearing about a ship looking for crew down on Deadwood.  He hitched a ride on a shuttle and barely made it to the Jin-Dui on hiring day.

Linked Fic:

Bon Voyage   2514.03.18* (Supporting Role)
Sully is concerned about what he and the rest of the new crew may have stumbled into...
Launch Point   2514.03.18* (Supporting Role)
Captain Cooper is looking to hire a new crew, but things just never go smooth...
Sihnon Standard Time   2514.04.08* (Leading Role)
Now under new management, the Jin Dui makes her first call at the Persephone’s Eavesdown Docks.
Uncovered   2514.04.11* (Casting not entered)
Captain Cooper delves into her crew’s secrets -- and confesses one of her own.
Favor Points   2514.05.02* (Cameo)
As the ship arranges to take on a cargo of furniture downsized from a Santo resort, Sully follows up with some old business contacts, and takes on a small smuggling job for Beylix.
Three Years Gone   2514.05.02* (Supporting Role)
Hoss reacts to the arrival of Unification Day, three years after the surrender at Serenity Valley.
Lucky Day   2514.05.16* (Leading Role)
The Jin Dui departs for the Bonnie Prince Charlie, an asteroid smuggler’s depot, to deliver a load of contraband… not knowing that they’re walking blind into a trap...
Aftermath   2514.05.22* (Leading Role)
Captain Cooper and the rest crew of the Jin Dui come to terms with the arrival of Ben Carver… and deal with sorting out a cargo hold full of materials looted from the Lucky Day.
Collecting Strays   2514.06.18* (Cameo)
Carver is asked to undertake an unpleasant duty, while Sully offers a job to a friend in need.
Lettin' The Cat Outta The Bag   2514.07.05* (Leading Role)
While the Jin Dui is at Whitefall, Captain Cooper rescues a traumatized cat from a dockside butcher’s shop, leading to Carver’s arrest for murder…
High Noon At Sturges   2514.07.23* (Leading Role)
On the anniversary of the Battle of Sturges, the Jin Dui's crew has to deal with a terrorist bombing and its aftermath.

Linked Art:

Marcus Chang Portrait
Marcus Chang Portrait
GI Ace

Marcus Chang
Marcus Chang
GI Ace

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