Alma was created in the American Sanctuary City 2, (Around what is now considered Seattle WA, but has changed in the future according to the lore of my series.)
Alma’s creators are Gayle Chen and Evander Graves, and could be considered like parents to him. There are two other prototypes that could be considered siblings to him as well. The medical synthetic, Arda, and the military synthetic, Abel. Gayle Chen, Arda, and Abel are all still in Alma’s life, but Evander is put in prison after stealing Alma and dissembling him. He gets minimal time for theft and destruction of personal property, but by the time he does get out, Alma and the others are on the Horizon, a ship taking them to another planet to terraform it for human colonists.
Alma makes friends with a domestic synthetic that saves him from Evander Graves after he’s stolen by the co-creator. I repurposed a character I had from a scrapped story and put him into my Synthetic Series, so he might sound familiar. Errol. He also becomes fast friends with one of the crew members on the horizon. Her name is Brook-Lynn, and she’s a botanical and environmental scientist.
I’d think the beginning, as his creation is the pivotal point for the whole story and sets everything in motion.
In some ways he is extraordinary, because he is the first of his kind as a breakthrough in technology, the first A.I. to reach technological singularity, and a mystery as to how he acquired a “soul”. In other ways, he’s just another person, like anyone else. But that’s sort of what makes him extraordinary in the first place, because he was never meant to be a person. Just a machine.
Alma wants to protect the medical synthetic, Arda, who he sees as a little sister. I’s not a big plot point, but it is an important goal for him to keep her safe.
Alma doesn’t want to end up being like Evander Graves, his co-creator, but eventually ends up becoming more and more like him as the story progresses, seeking power, having an unpredictable temper, viewing himself as better than others, etc.
Alma didn’t really have a childhood, as he was created as a fully grown adult. But he definitely has trauma and a lot of anxiety. Not only was he taken apart piece by piece and put back together again, all while conscious and in pain, but he also endures emotional abuse from people that look down on him for not being human, including from his own creators. He has a lot of fears. Fear of never being enough and disappointing others, fear of becoming like Evander Graves, fear of losing his sentience, fear of being sentient, fear of emotions, fear of loss, etc… The list goes on and on. This sad robot has anxiety.
I could easily describe him as adorkable. He’s very socially awkward but not in a creepy way. Very much in a childish way because he’s emotionally immature. After all, he never had a childhood, so he’s still learning. He’s curious and awkard and a very endearing sweetheart. At least to start off with. He gets a darker side later on, but to begin with, he’s very innocent and naive, and definitely has his quirks.
Yes, he meets the villain in the very first chapter, but has no idea how bad he can become until about halfway through the book.
I try to keep an equal amount of attention on all the side characters, but Alma definitely gets the spotlight most. Errol and Brook-Lynn also get their own chapters from their POV too, but Alma is obviously the main character and they are secondary mains.
There are definitely characters that dislike Alma right away and stay that way through the whole series. There’s also some that meet him and dislike him but grow to like him later. I think there’s an equal mix of them. There’s also the complicated relationship he has with his creator, who dislikes and is very critical of certain aspects of him while also loving him at the same time.
I’m not sure how this one would apply to my MC, since Alma is a synthetic and is his creators legacy through their work. So I guess that counts?
Social situations are very much Alma’s fish out of water experience. The more people the more out of his element he is. He struggles with social behaviors and understanding them, so you put him in the middle of a big party and he is likely going to have an emotional breakdown.
He’s more of a closed book, purposefully trying to conceal his emotions and shove them deep down because he’s afraid of them. That’s less because he doesn’t want to get close to others and more because he struggles with processing emotions. This and the fact that he isn’t human puts a disconnect between him and most other characters in the book. There are some, like Brook-Lynn, Errol, and Arda that can see through his walls though and read him easily, as if he were very transparent. It has more to do with personalities meshing well than his behavior, I think.
Alma hates that humans as a whole seem to be very unaccepting and hostile towards anything that is considered an “other” or different than them. Several people tell him that it’s human nature and people will never change, especially Errol. But that’s a very generalized view of them and excludes the individuals that are capable of change and acceptance, such as Brook-Lynn, who is a very accepting person and never saw him or any of the other synthetics as less than human.
Alma’s full name is simply his first name. Alma. He doesn’t like nicknames or aliases, so simply goes by Alma. He feels pretty neutral about his name until he looks up the origins of it and finds out what it means. Then he likes it a lot more. His name is derived from the hebrew word Almus, which means soul, or to nurture the soul. This ties in with the plot as he is a machine with a “soul” and nurtures that same quality in other synthetics like him.