Character Profile - Isaac Hughes
Place of Origin: New South Wales, Australia, Earth
The epitome of ‘tall and lanky’, Zac rescues himself from being a weed by favouring leisure activities that emphasise physical exertion over intellectual contemplation. Being naturally hirsute, he occasionally wears his hair long and has committed to a lifetime of facial hair because it’s honestly too much trouble to try and live without it.
Isaac is what some like to call an ‘old soul’. A patient, thoughtful, introspective man of reserved passion and even temperament. It takes a lot to ruffle Zac’s feathers, tending more towards brooding and seething when moved towards anger or resentment at all. This steady, calm influence makes him an excellent caretaker but his inch-thick privacy walls and tendency to keep to himself make him a difficult man to get to know beyond any surface level.
Isaac is the watcher in any group, the quiet one observing everything and keeping mental notes. Getting him to open up and talk about himself is a feat, he is a man of far more eloquence when writing down his thoughts and ideas such that he often tries to record his experiences this way. (Zac is one of life’s natural journal-ers.) Amongst those he trusts, however, he is a loving and generous man, able to laugh easily and is generally contented to make the most out of whatever life throws at him. He would prefer to be outside than stuck inside, loves making things with his hands and plays the piano like a dream.
Isaac is secretive, however, and closed off in a way that makes it very hard to know what he’s really thinking most days. His typical panic response is flight, tending to disappear into his own corner rather than stand and fight. He also smokes far too much for someone who should know better. Since heading into space travel, he’s been forced to follow his own advice and currently uses small patches to deal with the worst of the cravings.
Early years Biography
Zac doesn’t remember his parents, primarily because they died just before his third birthday, something he heartbreakingly shares with his daughter. (Though her biological father is presumably still alive, Isaac has no idea who he is.) Both were busy educators who had not planned on having children but nevertheless found themselves expecting. He believes they did their best, perhaps even grew quite fond of the idea of raising their son, but they were gone from his life before he could be left with any lasting memory of their efforts and, as such, he tends to give them the benefit of the doubt.
It was the young boy’s grandfather, Eli, who took on the responsibility of guardianship. The pair were close, there are no real skeletons in Isaac’s closet regarding his childhood, though his uneventful upbringing in the mountains of New South Wales possibly accounts for his love of the outdoors and restless wanderlust. Zac does not find settling in one place very easy.
Isaac is a graduate of the University of Sydney’s Medical faculty, having emerged from the program with an undergraduate Medical Degree, followed by a post-graduate degree in Psychiatry. Prior to that, though capable of further education, he’d been mostly content with the prospect of life as a carpenter and furniture maker and had left the pursuit of loftier goals to his fiancée, who he had met several years earlier as a young teenage mother. It was after dealing with the ramifications of her brain aneurysm, which she survived, and the subsequent decline in her quality of life until further complications eventually claimed her at just 21 years of age, that Isaac re-evaluated his priorities and recognised a retreat back into his natural hermitage to be an inadequate way of honouring Jennifer’s memory. Quite apart from anything else, her passing had left him as sole custodian of her daughter, Gracelyn, whose best interests were not served in the lonely mountains with only her adoptive father for company. Isaac moved them both to Sydney to be closer to Jennifer’s family, and after several months working as a boatwright, made the decision to enrol in medical school.
He was not always a natural fit for academia and found aspects of his early training to be gruelling and uninspiring, but he maintains a natural aptitude for biological systems and how they interact and eventually provided a rather novel ‘grass-roots’ perspective to both the theoretical and practical application of his studies. A kind interpretation of his methods labelled him as “rustic”; the more competitive of his peers viewed him as a joke. Whilst many concerned themselves with climbing professional ladders, Zac’s only driving force was to connect with the people behind every diagnosis. It wasn’t until he had moved beyond the basics of the undergraduate syllabus and into his year’s internship, and then a subsequent year’s residency, that Isaac began to see pathways that moved him towards a branch of study far more suited to his passions and strengths. Having commenced his studies at age 23, Zac was just shy of his 33rd birthday when he finally walked away with the qualifications he needed to forge ahead.
It is hardly surprising that Isaac’s first employment after graduating was in drug rehabilitation and addiction treatment, having already determined that a life suck inside a clinic was not for him. To this day, he holds a great deal of passion for assisting the vulnerable and added a short-course in social work to his credentials before rousing himself from the comfortable niche he was establishing for himself to execute one final promise.
Starfleet Officer Training had been Jennifer’s dream, though Isaac found himself drawn to the idea of space travel far more than he’d expected for someone whose natural preference was the solitude of a mountain lake. Deployment on the USS Atlantis, with Jennifer’s ashes in tow, was a final act of commitment that was originally intended to be the last step in a journey to set her free amongst the stars she loved so much. He found, in the process, a lot to love about working on the frontier, despite its restrictive nature and cramped conditions, not to mention the demands of falling back on his preliminary medical training. Had things gone according to plan, Isaac had another six months on his deployment contract before returning home. Now, having been flung beyond capacity for that to be possible, he is left clinging to the only familiarity he has left; the ship itself.