Character Study: Christopher

Less collage, more Shane West. 🙂

Kind | Caring | Thoughtful | Masculine | Intelligent | Calm | Instinctive | Mature | Articulate | Self-possessed | Aware | Good | Ambitious | Wandering

 Readers don’t get many hints to his past within Harbinger, but Christopher comes from an interesting history.

**Harbinger SPOILER ALERT**

Christopher is kind and good-natured.  He is both very self-aware, and aware of those things happening around him, on a small and large scale.  It was this realism and self-awareness that led him to work alongside The Heir, both because he wanted to be a vehicle for change for his kind, and because he could see that his personal situation demanded that he break away from his family. It was the same set of instincts that drove him to save Matra’s life when they were children, and led him to her when she was lost in Seattle. 

 Christopher’s calm, self-possessed manner has developed in the face of untenable circumstances.  Within days of saving Matra’s life, the Mythological Ordinances were revised and his kind was required to relocate to Beta1, without the possibility of returning to Alpha (Earth.)  Matra was still recovering (though her parents assumed she was simply ill) and Christopher felt that he was making a mistake by leaving her.  He was also confused and scared, as any child would be—by giving Matra his blood, he had done something on instinct that his higher reasoning objected to.  But, in doing so, he’d saved her life.  He was terrified of the consequences, both for Matra and for himself, if anyone found out what he’d done.  So, when the time came to leave, Christopher had no recourse.  He was forced to leave before he got to see if Matra fully recovered.  In fact, he lived with the fear that she had been permanently damaged, or worse, by his actions; you can only imagine his relief and joy upon finding her.  Seeing her safe and whole deleted thirteen years of panic and self-loathing he had harbored since leaving her. 

When [the words] left my lips to become audible, I spoke them with a desperate, confessional resolve. “I could smell everyone—smell their blood and my throat ached with the scent of it.” I swallowed forcefully, pushing down the sensation, recalled by the memory, along with my tears. “I could—still can—see in unreasonable detail—every color variation on every surface, and colors I’ve never seen before. I can see in the dark.”

I paused to judge his reaction. He kept his face composed, but I could see that beneath the composition, my words were affecting him.

I pressed on, wanting to continue while I was still able to hold the ever-threatening hysterics at bay. “Is this how you live? Does your throat rip into fire when a defenseless girl blushes in embarrassment?” Saying this all out loud was drawing the tantrum closer; I would lose myself to it soon.

His eyes were full of concern, but behind that, was a hint of fear. Was I frightening him with my story, or because my words held a truth that he recognized?

After being so relieved that Matra appears to be alright when they first find one another again, Christopher begins to see his greatest fears come to life in this scene.  His reactions here (as well as in the larger scene this excerpt was pulled from) are a direct result of the fear he’s lived in since leaving her.  Consequently, it’s also part of why he accepts what she tells him so completely.  Luceam is, in his eyes, his redemption.

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