Case Agent and Personality Assessor, Department of Occupational Assessment
None come to mind
Brayden is slightly shorter than the average American bred man, standing at about 5’8, but aside from this generally considers himself fairly typical physically. He is by no means a large, muscular guy but not scrawny either. He is quite literally the definition of average… of plain; some might even claim boring. Sporting an average build, he is well-kept, but with only a modest musculature as he spends only the necessary time maintaining his body. He would never consider spending excessive hours needlessly training for things for which he has no need. He is not a brawler-type and as such has no distinct scarring or other attained features, further adding to his rather neutral exterior. He is not ugly or bad looking, he just does not stand out that much. He does however have a birthmark on his lower left back, albeit usually out of sight as it is covered by all upper-body items of clothing he owns.
He has brown eyes to match his light-medium brown hair which is kept at a medium-short length and always well-groomed before leaving home. Similarly, his clothing is always well thought out and meticulously chosen. He prefers to dress in formal or semi-formal attire when working or attending any kind of official function. Though even while on his own time, he pays close attention to the way he dresses, as he finds it important to keep up appearances and look proper. Therefore, you will never see him in overly worn or holey clothes, and he has never in his life worn a tank-top. It is not that he is vain per se, he simply has a certain standard to uphold as a representative of the system, as he feels all working in either department or another official role should. In college he had a short period in which he fashioned a beard, but eventually decided against it, determining his face is best suited without one. Therefore, he has since kept his face shaven or at the very least closely trimmed.
Father: Calvin Spurling
Mother: Marissa Spurling, née Rhodes
Older brother: Randal Spurling
Younger brother: Darrin Spurling
Younger sister: Viola Rhodes Spurling
Student of life
- Intelligent and curious of nature, Brayden has an affinity for learning and an insatiable desire to strengthen his existing competencies and accumulating new ones - in a way an intellectual hoarder. For this reason, he was never particular about what he was learning or training for, but he always had an easier time in natural and linguistic sciences. His observational abilities and deductive mindset also turned out to help him a great deal in his field of study.
- His upbringing at times brought disadvantages, but necessity and a cunning nature taught him to use what he was given to the best of his ability and turn things around to his own advantage. He can thus take almost any given situation and make something good of it. A classic “When life gives you lemons…” type of person. In his case, he takes lemons and make penicillin.
- Brayden has a natural affinity for adjusting to changing circumstances and new situations, and as such generally require less of a turnover period than he otherwise would have. This has helped him in school, professional matters and in no small part when it became time that he was to be paired with his first partner. He hopes this will similarly get him through his next partnership, hopefully avoiding a repetition.
Impressionable - While firm in his beliefs and personal values, Brayden was always particularly susceptible to outside influences. He is not by any means gullible or naïve but does tend to take on certain traits or moods from his surroundings or the people he spends time with. This can come in various severities, but regardless of the degree it is always temporary and rarely lasts longer than until he changes up his environment. The only redeeming quality of this unfortunate tendency is that it somewhat makes up for his at times annoying more annoying traits, such as his tenacity or blind loyalty to “the man”.
Loyal to a fault - While generally an admirable trait, loyalty can be a burden just the same. Brayden is afflicted by an unwavering and unconditional loyalty and support towards science and society as well as the government which oversees it, and nothing so far has managed to shake these beliefs. Any time it comes to the government or the advancement of science, any notion of ethics or what-not goes out the window; once he was even suspected of being an actual robot planted by the government - which was absurd of course... For better or worse, this almost blind loyalty also extends to personal commitments, which means he will rarely be seen break his word. This also means he feels compelled to be careful not to make too many promises or too easily. Earn his affection or friendship though, and you will have a companion for life. This value of loyalty and constancy similarly means that if he finds himself on the receiving end of a broken word, he feels it that much more, despite trying to not hold others to the standards he holds for himself.
Guarded - Brayden is very probably the guy in the crowd less likely to tell you a lie. At the same time, however, he is also likely to hold back on you. Fiercely loyal to the system and the government lording over it, he is very particular about not accidentally sharing something he ought not with someone who turns out untrustworthy. Thus, his complete confidence is not easy to earn, and until you do, he might choose his words or leave out details. Until he sees little other way, though, he will not outright tell lies. This reluctance to trust is partially based on his previous experience with trusting someone and coming to regret it. He is determined to not let the past repeat itself.
- Learning new knowledge and skills
- Progress, whether personally or on society-wide scale
- Like-minded people
- Feeling in control of his circumstances or surroundings
- Simple and classical music
- Children - they are the future lifeblood of society and additionally he just finds them delightful
- Dependability and faithfulness
- Light rain
- Losing control of himself or his life - Untrustworthy people or those compromising their values - Unnecessarily rude people - Chocolate - Violence, despite accepting necessary force when dealing with matters of the state, such as removal of destructive individuals - Lies and deceit. Brayden prefers others to be honest with him and tries to return the favor. - Anyone not living up to their potential - Alcohol, as even in small quantities he feels like he’s losing himself and therefore he would rather not partake
None that he is aware of
When he first started at school and when he first reached high merit standing.
Realizing his partner had broken his trust and having to report her to the authorities.
Being branded a traitor or outcast and removed from society.
Brayden has two main goals/hopes in life: Being partnered to a person who complements himself and raise a functional family, which he never truly felt he had on account of not really fitting in. Making a major contribution to society, that he can look back upon and feel like as his intellectual legacy.
Brayden is generally very flexible in terms of who he ends up with, as he has always found a way to accommodate to most life throws at him, and amazing things oftentimes arrive in unexpected packages. There are, however, certain traits he imagines as paramount to being truly compatible. There might also be a slight variation in what he thinks he wants and what he truly needs. The most prevalent of values he seeks in a partner is being faithful and trustworthy. Brayden knows that in a world of arranged partnerships, some will unavoidably stray. He certainly does not applaud these behaviors and will likely never truly be okay with it. If he was to even consider accepting it, however, honesty and transparency would be an unconditional necessity for them to get along. Another thing he feels important is maternity - she should preferably like and want children, as he is certainly planning on having some eventually.
Is this all he needs, however? An outside observer might think not.
In truth, what Brayden really needs is someone to present a bit of contrast to himself. A confident, spirited, and adventurous woman who can break loose his steadfast goodness and loosen him up. Make him challenge his beliefs and ways and experience the world in a slightly different light - and maybe take the tiniest of changes in life for once.
Do your duty in all things… You cannot do more; you should never wish to do less.
Brayden was born as the second in a line of four siblings to Marissa and Calvin Spurling. The family was average through-and-through. There were no accomplishments to speak of and not even the implication of ambition or wishes to change this. The family would always balance on the edge between low and neutral merit. Therefore, the parents never really fostered a competitive or intellectual environment causing Brayden to never really feel at home. He was not particularly ambitious, but he was fairly clever for the family standard and wanted to do something with his life, however humble. Marissa and Calvin were not bad parents as such, they just had very little in common with the second-eldest son and little time to spare. His mother was usually off spending most of her days outside of the home doing who knows what with who knows who. The father, meanwhile, would typically spend his days coming up with any way he possibly could to slack off at work with minimal repercussions. What time he then had left over was spent with the children to whom he could better relate.
As a result, Brayden was often alone, and he would typically end up spending his time at the school or library. Here he would find himself delved into his studies, whether for school or personal projects. The first time he really felt comfortable was when he started in school. This was an entirely new and different environment, one where he was actually encouraged to learn and advance. He put in his absolute best effort from day one as already at this time, he was hellbent on making sure he would not end up where the rest of his family had. He would make something of himself and he would contribute and be a productive member of society. As soon as he earned enough merit to participate in extra-curricular activities, he signed up for as much as he could. This served the dual purpose of both keeping him out of the home and accumulating as much new information and skillsets as he possibly could. This over time let to a lot of weird interests or strange titbits of knowledge or skills seemingly well out of his expected range. It gave him a nice bit of range, though he never reached mastery of much of it, only those few things in which he invested considerable time and effort. A lot of it he also never got around to using again, or only on very few occasions. It was a stressful life at times, but it never bothered him much as he enjoyed learning and used it as a sort of outlet to get away from his family, who at this point felt more like a shackle than anything.
Brayden had grown up in a regular household, but never shared the familiar unity he observed in others, and they were not particularly lacking but never had anything in abundance. They certainly had no overall influence or family-name to speak of. From a young age he started striving towards all he never had or was, and he would not take no for an answer. This would serve him for both better and worse. In the positive column, he was inexhaustible in his quest to get where he wanted to go, which often helped him in his schoolwork or personal projects, but on the flipside, it had a tendency to make him unpopular. This was evidenced both at home, where he was the only member with any degree of ambitions to speak of, however little he had, and outside where his tenacity could get on the thinner nerves out there.
He was not late to learn the importance of adapting to a changing world, and he soon began to master this. Additionally, his determination to make it despite his horribly unambitious family made sure he learned how to use every resource to its fullest and get maximum output from anything. These abilities together he would learn to be important while balancing the merit system and attempting to defy the nurture side of nature and nurture.
About his fourth year of school he began to stagger as he started to find some acceptance in social circles. He fell in with some less inspirational types and discovered one of his less fortunate traits. In the beginning he did not realise what was happening. After a while though, he had to acknowledge that he might have been affected more by these people’s, compared to himself, incompatible way of looking at the world than he had initially believed. His schoolwork began suffering and he would have some trouble keeping up. As soon as he realised this, however, he distanced himself from the disruptive elements and soon everything went back to normal. This would later turn out to repeat throughout his life. These later instances though were usually more of a personal nature and he managed to keep it separated from his school-work. He had started pulling back a little socially in regard to school, afraid of what would happen if the past was to repeat.
Having always been drawn towards science and firmly believing that advancement of technology and knowledge should take precedence to all else, Brayden was the born poster-child of a government supporter. This was furthered by the pull he felt towards authoritative elements such as school and state, as they provided so many of the things he had missed in his distant, unreliable family. His support for the government was finally ratified in his first year of high school, when a government representative came to speak. He was truly inspired by the conviction and belief they demonstrated, and he was captivated, never to escape. He would subsequently never falter in his conviction and unconditionally supported the scientific society and the government, hoping to one day work to further their progress. This loyalty is by many considered beyond reason, although he does not necessarily share this belief. He is, however, aware of his staunch support and that he may be reluctant to challenge their decisions but shows no sign of changing despite this.
His ultimate dream was always to get a chance to somehow aid in furthering the scientific progress and the continued prosperity of society, but he had never had any clear dreams for how exactly. For this reason, it was difficult to aim for a particular end goal or know if he was happy or disappointed when it was time to find out what he would be doing. Still, however, when the results of his Occupational Assessment came back, he considered it a chance to contribute to the efforts of the community and it was well received.
Whatever had fuelled the decision, he was to study psychology specialising in behavioural analysis and from there work in the Department of Occupational Assessment. He was eager to start his term at college and looked even more forward to getting through and finally doing his part. He moved into an apartment as soon as he turned 18 and was able, as he could not get away fast enough. Thankfully he had earned enough merit! He still continued to participate in as many extracurricular activities as he was able and could manage, although now more so to strengthen his qualifications and track record than to get out of the house, as he was no longer burdened by his family’s lax attitude. Throughout high school and college, until he was matched, he dated a bit, but more often than not he would rather stay home and study. The dates rarely went overly well anyway, as he found himself not the greatest of conversationalists and their enthusiasm for everything he and their government stood for lacking. Eventually he decided to omit certain things as to not stir up things needlessly. Who needed dating anyway? It was just a distraction for the bored and unfocused. When the time arose, the proper experts chosen by the government would pick out his spouse and then his dating-history would be largely irrelevant either way. And this was obviously the right way.
He was 21 when he was first given a partner. The beginning involved a lot of getting to know and used to each other, and for a long time it was a very strange feeling living with, and being married to, a person he knew fairly little about and had perhaps not the most in common with. They got along decently fine, however, but it was hardly “love at first sight”. Still, he was determined to make the best of it, and he did his best to make it work and it seemed she did as well. After all, the guys at the department knew best; and they had decided to put them together for a reason. As time passed they started getting more comfortable with each other and he began to feel as if it might work, even if there were no romantic feelings to speak of.
At the age of 24 he started his work at the Department of Occupational Assessment after finishing his master’s degree and things really started to take off. He applied himself as much a possible as he was planning on achieving the best possible results and do as well as he was able. While he was moving forward in his professional life, however, things took a different turn at home. It turned out his wife was getting bored at home and instead decided to find comfort and company elsewhere. He found out about her affair when she became pregnant and he eventually deducted that he was not the father. He had emphasised the importance of honesty and openness from the very offset, so the sting of this betrayal was considerable. She implored him to not let anyone know, fearing the consequences, despite having no clear plan on how to avoid discovery once she reached the end of the pregnancy. He considered her plea, if only briefly; after all it was in large part the family life he had been dreaming of with the exception that the child was not his. However, he could not get himself to move past this, and he knew he would never trust her again, so instead he reported her. Besides, if she birthed the child, her betrayal would be revealed, and if she attempted to have it removed, she risked the same. He could not take the risk of people finding out he knew about it and kept quiet. Due to the severity of introducing unsanctioned children she was removed along with the father of the child, and Brayden would have to start over with a new partner. He was presented with the opportunity to adopt the child of his wife but refused, fearing he would never be able to truly care for the child, resulting in a relationship similar to that of his father. If this was to happen, he would never be able to live with himself. And further, he would not go into a new partnership with the illegitimate child of his unfaithful former spouse.
And his next partnership did come off to a good start. He was married to a strange, quirky woman - not that quirks had ever deterred him, quite the contrary - who had somehow been assigned a career as a fortune-teller. Now, this was a strange and fascinating job, that Brayden had certainly not had any run-ins with before. And she seemed great, they were given a big, luxurious house in Round Lake Heights and they were getting along. Yes, things were definitely looking up!
They had some good times, and children were even carefully sneaking onto the table, and somehow Brayden could not imagine how things could possibly get any better or go wrong from here. Somehow, though, they did. The marriage abruptly ended when he was notified his wife had died in a freak fortune-teller accident. Naturally, Brayden reacted quite strongly to this. How could this happen? What did this mean? What was that even? Brayden had expected this woman to be his last wife, the right one, and the one to disprove the doubts he had gotten regarding marriage from his first try at it. Seemingly this was not meant to be.
Having never been the best at making friends, Brayden had mostly learned to make do with his own company and those few he surrounded himself with. Maybe that was why, when he towards the end of last year ran into a guy on the street on his way to shopping for a wedding outfit, Brayden had never expected to see the guy afterwards. After helping him pick out a set though, they surprisingly found that they got along, despite a rough start. The men were somewhat different from the looks of it, and they certainly both had their preconceptions. Still, they found a way over that hump and it appeared the seeds of friendship might have been sowed. The man was xlearly anxious about getting married, but they seemed to genuinely like each other. Maybe these two, if he and Brayden could stand each other long-term, could have his late wife’s place in cementing his belief in marriage once more? Maybe even validate his confidence in friendships and the value of keeping them?
Unfortunately, though, much in line with Brayden’s luck, timing was not on their side. Brayden was temporarily relocated to Boston. They had gotten a sudden influx and it became necessary to allocate further resources there. As Ridgeway was among the less active places at the time, Brayden was called upon. Dutiful as he was, Brayden of course did not object, but immediately took off, leaving everything behind. Sadly, it put a halt on this new blossoming relation - dare he even say friendship? - but it was a necessary sacrifice.
Now he has returned though, and ready to pick up his life where he left off. Whether his life is ready to take him back in, however, is yet unclear.