Monday, September 19, 2011

Amelie Bossan

Character Sketch

Name: Ámelie Bossan

Age: 20 years

Gender: Female

Sexual Orientation: Claims to be straight

Current Location: 16, Rue Saint- Benoȋt, L’Auberge de Jeunesse, Paris- 75006, France. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in French and Comparative Literature from Sorbonne University.

Place of Birth: Resolute, Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada.

Languages Known: English and French.

Religion: Christian Catholic

Family

Father: Late Jacques Bossan. Scientist/Alchemist.

Mother: Hélène Bossan. 48 years old. Teaches History at University of Bordeaux.

Uncle: Christophe Trévisan. 51 years old. Occupation- unknown.

Socio-economic Status: Apart from her mother’s lavish salary, she has a substantial portion of her ancestral property in Bordeaux to her name.

Physical Attributes

Ámelie is 5’7” tall. Her complexion is somewhere between cream and white matching the shade of the pages of the Penguin Classics. She is neither thin, nor bulky. Rather she has a fuller figure like the woman in Paul Delvaux’s painting Pygmalion 1939. Her chestnut coloured, ear-length hair often appears dishevelled. Her eyes twinkle like emeralds but are often obscured by her hair, still their innate gleam draws the onlooker’s attention. The sharp nose stands like a mountain-top in the middle of her oval face. Her thin lips were once red, but time has worn out the colour and has lent it a faded hue.

Timeline

1991. September. Ámelie is born to the delight of M and Mme. Bossan in St. Patrick’s Hospital, Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada.

1998. February. Jacques Bossan dies at the age of 31 due to an accident at his lab in Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada.

1998. April. Mme. Bossan and Ámelie move to Bordeaux in their ancestral mansion to live with Mme. Bossan’s brother Christophe.

1998. May. Ámelie is enrolled in Lycée Privé Le Mirail. She starts going to a proper school for the first time.

2006. October 16. Morning. Ámelie is ‘bitten’ by a Hyrophil (a kind of monster) in the garden of her home.

2006. October 16. Afternoon. Mme. Bossan reveals to Ámelie that M. Bossan was not a ‘conventional’ scientist but an alchemist. He was working on a secret project under the International Union of Alchemists (IUA), an undercover organisation, to annihilate the Hyrophils. M. Bossan had chosen Queen Elizabeth Islands as the cite of his research because he had thought that the he would be able to protect his findings from the Hyrophils in this largely unpopulated island. But the Hyrophils were not ready to be executed this easily. They did eventually find out about M. Bossan’s objectives and barged into his lab one fateful day and killed him and destroyed his lab. So, what Ámelie had known to be an accident all along, was actually a murder. There is something that Hyrophils did not know either. Although the IUA had commanded M. Bossan to create a killing machine for the Hyrophils, but he was actually working on the creation of the Philosopher’s Stone to restore the Hyrophils to their original human form. A secret confided only in his wife. Unfortunately, all his notes and findings were lost in the rampage of the Hyrophils. The death of her husband induced a sense of disillusionment in Mme. Bossan and she severed all ties (whatever she had left after her husband) with IUA and moved to Bordeaux with her daughter to live with her brother, who was genuinely pleased to have them over.

2009. September. Ámelie joins Sorbonne University, Paris, to study French and Comparative Literature.

2009. October. Ámelie visits the IUA headquarter in Paris and is found to have developed a psychic ability due to the Hyrophil bite to be able to tell if there is any Hyrophil around within a 1Km radius.

2009. November. Ámelie is invited to join the IUA Hyrophil Annihilation Squad (IUAHAS) for having special psychic powers. She accepts the invitation. She is currently under training and has not been to any actual combat.

2011. January. Ámelie accidentally discovers from a book in the IUA library that her maternal grandfather was a descendant of Bernard Trévisan. The fifteenth century French count Bernard Trévisan was believed to have procured the Philosopher’s Stone and even wrote a short treatise on the bounty that the stone had brought him. Something tells Ámelie that there is some truth to this legend of Bernard Trévisan. Although her mother and uncle, the only two living descendants of the Count, have heavily denied any authenticity to the matter.

2011. February- present. Apart from performing her IUAHAS duties Ámelie is secretly looking for Bernard Trévisan’s Philosopher’s Stone.

Hyrophils

The IUA believes that alchemic experiments should be strictly confined to metals and alloys as outlined by Roger Bacon. But when the extensive searches of the IUA for the Philosopher’s Stone proved to be futile, a rebellious faction of alchemists violated the rules in 1995 and added organic matters with alloys and created a strange liquid substance called étern el printemps. It had the power of bringing back a mortally ill person to life. But it was not able to entirely cure the disease rather enabled the person to extract energy from living organisms and live until that energy lasted. Once that energy was exhausted, the person would have to find a new host. It made the person a parasite. The IUA coined the term Hyrophils for these human parasites. The alchemists who had created étern el printemps (endless spring) were thrown out of IUA for breaching the rules, which enraged them even more and they went on creating Hyrophils because they believed that they are serving mankind by curing the sick without realising that their act might turn out to be fatal for humanity. The Hyrophils can extract energy from any living organism (trees, birds, animals, insects, human beings and others) by clasping them for a few minutes. This is called the ‘bite’ of a Hyrophil. The appearance and lifestyle of a Hyrophil is just like any other human being. It is not possible to tell by looking at a person whether or not he/she is a Hyrophil. They generally domesticate cats or dogs or some such animal to act as the host. A full-grown golden retriever can withstand approximately six Hyrophil bites before it dies. A Hyrophil bite is not fatal or does not cause any injury for a human being and they generally do not thrive upon humans unless they need energy urgently. However, five or six Hyrophil bites in a row without given the chance of recuperation may prove to be fatal for a man.

The IUA has set out to annihilate the Hyrophils because they consider them to be upsetting the ecological balance.

At the age of 15 Ámelie was bitten by such a Hyrophil.

The one thing that can put a stop to the creation of Hyrophils is the Philosopher’s Stone. It will be able to cure any fatal disease and étern el printemps will not be needed any more and therefore futher Hyrophils will not be created. This is why Ámelie is looking for the stone.

Internal Map

Ámelie’s experiences in school

For the first few years she was rather pitied by her teachers and classmates for not having her father. The special attention made her uncomfortable. As a result she gradually became an introvert person. A sense of determination to prove her potential grew strong in her.

Ámelie’s thoughts on Alchemy.

Ámelie is not much interested in the intricate alchemical reactions. She is more drawn towards the mystical side of it. Growing up with the magical enchantment of Harry Potter, Artemis Fowl, Bilal and Profondeurs she was rather pleased to know that alchemy was not confined to ancient scriptures only. She regards alchemy as almost something supernatural and is glad to be a part of this unconventional universe. She is devoted to IUAHAS and wishes to make a mark in the world of alchemy as a warrior. The thought of a ‘normal’ life is boring to her. She somewhat pities the mass for not having the least bit of magic in their lives. She enjoys living her dual lives, one as a University student and the other as a secret IUAHAS warrior.

Ámelie and her Mother

Ámelie shares a close bond with her mother. Throughout her teenage her mother was her best friend and confidant while her friends complained of regular fights with their parents. Although Mme. Bossan’s over-protectiveness sometimes drives her crazy, but she understands the reason behind her anxiety. Her daughter is the only one she can hold on to (Christophe does not really count). In Paris, Ámelie misses her mother a lot.

Ámelie and her Father

Ámelie has become prouder about her father since the day she came to know that M. Bossan was not just another scientist but a high-profile alchemic researcher. She remembers her father mostly through the photographs. She can envision the face of a young man with a benign smile. Although she doubts whether it is an actual memory. She holds a deadly grudge against the Hyrophils for snatching her father away from her.

Pride: After joining IUAHAS Ámelie has become a bit too proud. Although she is not aware of her having an excess of pride. Also she feels that she is burdened with all the responsibilities of saving the world and without her contribution the world might stop rotating. It is her idea that she and she only will be able to find the Philosopher’s Stone.

Fears: Ámelie fears that she will not get the recognition she deserves for her contribution in alchemy. She does not want to suffer the fate of her father who is remembered as an unfortunate victim of the Hyrophils but his alchemical findings are blissfully forgotten by IUA.

At the back of her mind Ámelie feels that without the associations of alchemy she is just another brick in the wall.

Needs: Ámelie is subconsciously always seeking attention. When she is with her friends from her university she always wants their conversations to be on topics she is interested in. If they talk about anything else she feels left-out and tries her best to change the topic.

Strengths: Growing up with a single and working mother made Ámelie self-sufficient earlier than usual. She has grown to be a strong and brave person. She can keep her calm in troubled times. She is not scared of Hyrophils. However, she is no wonder woman. She runs the possibility of snapping midway if tried to the ultimate limit.

Secrets: At twenty Ámelie is still a virgin and has never been physical intimate with anyone. She is very embarrassed of this fact and claims to have made out with nameless people.

Shinjini Chattopadhyay

2 comments:

RBC said...

This is excellent, Shinjini. I can see a whole series of novels based on this plot idea. You shoudl really think of developing the story. i am agog to learn how Amelie goes about defeating the Hyrophils. You would need to create a cast of supporting characters though. Lots of work, but likley to be worth it.

Shinjini Chattopadhyay said...

Thanks a lot Rimi Di. I have a whole crew of characters in mind but the problem is I don't have the faintest clue how to write a short story about this. Because the plot I have come up with is heading towards becoming a novel no matter how hard I try to turn it into a story.