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londovir- by iamsab

Things I REALLY think about when I'm working:

Today, I'm meditating on Stark's origins- wondering, for one thing, if he's unique among Stykera or if they're all like that. *g* Is this covered in canon at all, or am I free to speculate?

My hunch- which may be proven totally wrong by canon for all I know- is that Stark is unique- that in society fractured by slavery and oppression, he never had the opportunity to master completely the standard mental disciplines a Stykera normally uses to deal with the residues of the dead, and that this disadvantage was exacerbated by years of torture in the Aurora Chair. Because I don't think a stable society would allow such a spiritually important segment of their population to descend into madness- they would have some sort of adaptation, some sort of safeguard. And because I think this interpretation is more interesting. *g*

So what do you think? Am I completely off base? *g*
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Sounds good to me. You and astrogirl2 are going to have many wonderful discussions, I can tell already. *g*
I agree with you. I don't think canon tells us much more about Stark but I haven't seen season 4 yet. I just found the DVDs are due out in the US though--yay!
S4 tells you exactly one thing about Stark's backstory (well, maybe two, depending on how you figure it), and it doesn't actually make a whole hell of a lot of sense. You may be better off without S4 in an attempt to understand him. :)
You are entirely free to speculate, because canon tells up pretty much nothing about Baniks. :)

I generally agree with you, though. I had to work out a lot of backstory on Stark and the Banik people for the RPG version (almost completely from scratch, I might add, and man, I'm almost hoping the miniseries doesn't tell us anything new about them, because it's bound to contradict something I made up, and they I don't know what I'll do. :)) The answer I came up with was that, in pre-slave Banik culture, Stykera did have a reputation for being kind of "eccentric," partly because having other people's memories in your head does strange things to you, and partly because they were given a lot more social license than most people to behave oddly. But Stark-level craziness was very rare, because they were taught mental disciplines, and because there were mechanisms in place (social and medical) to help them out if they started having problems.

But Stark (the RPG) version was pressed into service way too young. He wasn't born a slave, but by that point Peacekeepers had rounded most of the population up, and he was the only Stykera for a large rural area by the time he was about 8 or 9, by which time he'd learned the mental disciplines, but hadn't really had enough time to develop them well, and didn't have as much guidance and mentoring as he should have. Then you factor in crossing over a lot more people under a lot more traumatic cicumstances than most Stykera pre-slavery ever did, a generally hard and downright tragic life, the Aurora chair, and being dispersed (after which, canonically, I think he made a very noticeable change for the crazier)... and, yeah, it's not too surprising the guy's a wreck.

Man, I have spent way, way, way too much time thinking about this stuff. But, anyway, that's my version, or one of 'em. Feel free to invent your own. :)
I had to work out a lot of backstory on Stark and the Banik people for the RPG version (almost completely from scratch, I might add, and man, I'm almost hoping the miniseries doesn't tell us anything new about them, because it's bound to contradict something I made up, and they I don't know what I'll do. :))

Great Maker, I know what you mean! *g* I was also forced to work out a lot of backstory for my RPG version of Vir. Though, of course, B5 gave us some more information about the Centauri in general, so I didn't have to imagine the culture at the same time. There was a starting point for me at least. *g*

Your version of Stark's bio is pretty in line with the fragments of my own version. But I'm curious: Do you believe Stykera are bound to help anyone who is nearing death, or is there a choice on the part of the individual Stykera in the matter? How do you think the ethic works?

See, I have to work these things out before I start writing him. *g*

Well, just in canon, you can see a few examples where people are dying around him and he doesn't actually do much of anything. So if there's an ethic that says he's bound to help anybody and everybody, regardless of the circumstances, he doesn't seem to be following it. :)

In the version of things I'm using for the RPG, I'd say he would be considered ethically bound to help another Banik, but that the situation with aliens is a lot fuzzier. But, even if he's not bound by the rules of his culture to help everyone, I do see him as generally wanting to help most people, because he's a compassionate guy, and because, well, that's his function. I also think there's probably an ethical constraint that says he's supposed to help people who are having trouble crossing over for one reason or another (e.g. Sierja, although I'm sure he had lots of other reasons for wanting to help her, too :)).

Again, though, as with pretty much everything else involving Stark, you've got a lot of leeway to decide on the details