Character Profile - Gunnar Arnason
Place of Origin: Iceland, Earth
Height: 1.93m (6’4″)
Weight: 82kg (180 lbs)
Hair Color: Blonde
Eye Color : Blue
Physical Description: Almost stereotypically Nordic, if Gunnar was a bit less clean-cut he’d look right at home in one of his ancestors’ longboats. However, his manner is too easy-going for the impression to last. He has a lean athletic build and stays fit, sometimes obsessively so after a period when working out was the only therapy available to him.
General Overview: Easy-going, seems quiet at first, but he enjoys being around people; he just likes listening more than talking. Xenophilic – loves learning about other species/cultures. He is an avid reader in this area, almost as addicted to books on the subject as he is to the sort of coffee that ought be stirred with a trowel.
He is very good at being calm, and confident in a non-threatening way, which are valuable traits for a nurse. They also make him good with animals, although it helps that he is very fond of them – one of the few things that can provoke a show of temper is cruelty to an animal. Otherwise he has a strong inclination toward pacificism and is pretty difficult to provoke. Even the annoying people who wonder if he’s a nurse because he wasn’t good enough to become a doctor will generally only get an eyeroll.
Strengths & Weaknesses:
+ Dedicated medical officer; has taken enough psych as part of PhD in patient care that he could almost qualify as a counselor
+ Kind, willing to go out of his way to help nearly anyone
+ calm and good at keeping his head in a crisis
+/- Xenophile – fascinated by other species/cultures. Generally a plus Starfleet, but can make him less wary than he should be since he’s a quart low on most peoples’ inherent fear of outsiders.
– Inclined toward pacifism. If Aikido hadn’t been an option he never would have passed hand-to-hand in the Academy
– Struggles with lingering PTSD
– Claustrophobia developed as a result of experiences in captivity
– Terrible patient – very good at caring for others; really bad at accepting care from others
Ambitions: Gunnar would say that Starfleet had him at “seek out new life and new civilizations” and seeing the universe and its various species and cultures is a major driving ambition. However, whether he consciously recognizes it or not, being a caregiver is a big part of his identity, and he can’t be content without a way to satisfy that impulse.
Hobbies & Interests: rock-climbing, swimming, basketball, reading
His maternal grandparents own a horse farm (which is how his parents met), so Gunnar, while a bit out of practice now, is an experienced rider and loves horses.
Early years Biography
Gunnar grew up in a rural area of Iceland and first learned about medicine assisting his father, a large animal vet, when he made rounds to neighboring farms. However he took an interest in sociology and was torn between pursuing that or medicine. While studying a unit on community health care he followed a nurse practitioner and decided that represented the best of both worlds. In the modern era doctors rarely got to take the time to interact with patients and get to know them the way old country doctors used to – the people who made house calls were generally NPs, who can write prescriptions and handle most medical care short of surgery.
He might have settled down to a practice like his father’s, except with human clients, except for a strong xenophilic streak. As a direct descendent of the Vikings who settled Iceland, by comparison to most of earth’s largely intermixed population Gunnar is almost ridiculously purebred , but he has a genuine fascination with different peoples and cultures. He’d gotten a basic nursing degree and was working part time at a hospital in Reykjavík while studying toward an NP when a chance meeting with Andorian from Starfleet set him on a different path. Starfleet was quite happy to recruit an experienced nurse – especially one physically strong enough to handle certain types of patients and unlikely to be intimidated by them. Gunnar was thrilled by the environment and opportunities at the Academy and completed graduate degrees in Advanced Nursing Practice while taking the regular Starfleet courses there.
Gunnar was initially assigned to the USS Southern Cross, until a mission to extract colonists ahead of larger conflict was seriously mistimed. Seeing no choice but to keep working despite a badly wounded arm, Gunnar woke later in a starbase medbay and much to his dismay learned that he’d been given a medal, a promotion, and new assignment: Outpost 112. He was somewhat embarrassed at getting a commendation for just not ignoring people in worse condition than he was, but the new assignment was one where his interest in xenosociology could be applied while providing medical support to a range of species involved in a unique archaeological mission. He made a number of good friends there, including for a time a fairly close relationship with Dr. Divash – one humans might call ‘friends-with-benefits’ and the Orion doctor would simply call ‘friends’. However, the person he became most attached to was a Dosadi exchange officer, LT T’Ango.
It was not all positive. His attempt to shield a wounded man during a surprise attack on a conference lead to capture and months of brutal captivity. His skill as an observer and understanding of social dynamics ultimately helped him escape, but it also made him the resident expert on the group when they came to the negotiating table, forcing him to face them again. He acquitted himself well in the talks, but struggled with recurring bouts of PTSD, made worse by subsequent events.
Since he stubbornly refused a medical discharge, his friends leveraged his close association with T’Ango to find another arrangement, using her connections and those of a local diplomat grateful for his service to have him assigned as medical staff at UFP embassy on Dosad.
Note: Iceland has stubbornly stuck to historic Norse naming conventions wherein surnames truly are patronimics. Hence, because his father’s first name is Arne, Gunnar’s surname is Arnason (son of Arne).