[- Character Information -]
Character Name: James T. Kirk
Fandom: Star Trek: The Original Series
AU or OU: OU
Canon Point: Just-post TOS ("Turnabout Intruder")
Appearance: Jim Kirk is currently 36 years old. Of average height and muscular build, tending towards pudginess when he indulges. Dark blond hair, hazel eyes, and regular, all-American features, though particularly expressive ones.
History: James T. Kirk at Memory Alpha
Previous Game History: N/A
Personality: At first glance, Jim Kirk is the quintessential macho hero: strong, blandly attractive, a lauded captain of the exploratory and peacekeeping Starfleet organization. He makes decisions quickly, is good in a fight, and seems able to have any woman (and some men) fall under his charismatic spell in seconds flat. What is less obvious is that he takes his responsibility very seriously, and underlying the man of action is one of compassion. A man of both action and thought, he is ultimately a very adaptable, flexible person within the confines of his moral beliefs.
As a captain, Kirk listens to his subordinates and welcomes their input and debate. He maintains most of his crew at arm's length, while cultivating a familiarity that has resulted in a degree of loyalty which means they would do anything for him because they want to, not because he outranks them. While gregarious and open, he can be short-tempered under duress, but always apologizes. He can be overly familiar, but does not cross personal lines of conduct he has set for himself. In fact, he is a lonely man, having found that his first responsibility is to the ship and the crew, and that this does not mix with romance.
As demonstrated throughout his dealings with other races and the unknown, Kirk has a genuine compassion for all living things, a boundless curiosity about life, and a rigid belief in right and wrong. He has, to some extent, internalized the values of the Federation to the point where he no longer separates them from his own--leading, at times, to overstepping his duties (if not outright re-interpreting them) as its representative. This is demonstrated in instances where he violates Starfleet's non-interference directive in order to put right a situation according to his own interpretation. Justice is, however, always tempered with mercy, and second chances are always an option. While diplomacy is not his chosen field, Kirk would nearly always prefer to talk out a conflict than fight; on numerous occasions, he curbs his more violent instincts in order to determine that the threat can be neutralized another way. He often discovers that
the perceived threat is not one at all, and has been known to make speeches to the effect that Man, while containing natural inclinations to violence, has the reason and compassion to act otherwise. He firmly believes that we as a society have evolved beyond such conflict, and that a mark of our civilization is that we need not resort to our baser instincts. That being said, he seems to revel in the opportunity to fight, and prefers close, unarmed combat to remote methods or sophisticated weaponry. In this way he illustrates his vision of mankind perfectly: containing simultaneously the ability and instinct to fight, and the capability of settling differences more compassionately. And above all, maintaining a personal involvement.
Though compassionate and understanding, the above also illustrates that Kirk is not without arrogance. While accepting input from others (and usually able to admit when he's wrong), he is quite capable of asserting his vision as the correct one, sometimes in ways which seem naive or pedantic. When encountering other cultures, for example, he does not hesitate to remove sources of authoritarian rule from power, without necessarily considering the mess he may leave behind or the authoritarian quality of his own interference. Though he can be understanding of cultural differences, he is also certain about the "right" way for a society to evolve, and if the differences are fundamentally opposed to his values, he steps in and overturns them. An example would be in the episode "The Apple," in which he learns an idyllic, Edenic society is being kept from evolving by a computer they revere as a god, he destroys their god and leaves them to fend for themselves. Notably, similar scenarios unfold multiple times over his career.
Ultimately, however, Kirk is a good man. What makes him a rich personality beyond his heroic status is the blend of playfulness, flirtation, compassion, and authority, rendering him complex without being contradictory. He can be said to be playful in his work, and serious about his play, devoted beyond all else to his mission and those he commands but not above lightening the mood without taking his job lightly. It is this quality which can make him either compelling or infuriating to those around him, as he cultivates a sense of community and familiarity without sacrificing control. With both men and women he is expressive, touchy, and warm, though his is the sort of energy which takes over a room--it is possible to find it utterly charismatic or, resisting it, find him overbearing.
Kirk's relationship to authority is less well-documented, considering the mission's tendency to take the ship far from civilization. However, it appears that the above-mentioned "hands on" style of his command has resulted in two apparently contradictory results: commendation and censure. Highly decorated, the youngest captain in Starfleet history, commanding the fleet's flagship, it is clear that Kirk is highly valued. However, his ability to act "alone" or outside the boundaries of Starfleet policy have landed him in hot water with Command. He has been court martialed (though exonerated) and several higher-ranking officials threaten him with action when he refuses to follow the rules. He is usually proven correct, and the reasonable assumption to make is that his rule-bending works, and thus allowances are made. (For how long is debatable--while this canon point is before the films, the first movie makes plain that Kirk is behind a desk no less than two years after the five-year-mission depicted in the series, and that it is killing him.) This contradiction was noted even in his Academy days, when he "beat" the Kobayashi Maru test--a test designed to make command-track candidates face death--by altering the scenario so he could win it. He was commended, but there is also a sense that he cheated. His refusal to accept the "no-win scenario" is both an asset and a liability to Starfleet, and the push/pull of his resistance/attraction to authority is a very human contradiction.
Powers/Abilities: Kirk is a typical human, without any special powers or abilities. He is trained in tactics, combat (both weapons and hand-to-hand), and has a basic understanding of a wide range of skills and technologies, as is physically fit.
Possessions: One phaser (with settings for stun as well as kill), his clothes (uniform).
Reason for Playing: Kirk is my strongest character, so he's usually my first choice when looking at a game. Beyond that, he's a good fit for a survival game like this, and I'm excited about the other characters who will be here. I think he'll fit in well with them and with the setting, offering some balance. I'm also excited about joining a game that you're running, and Kirk is the most likely for me to be able to make work here!
World History: Tell us about the world your character comes from.
Character History: How does that character fit into that world? How do they interact in it?
[- Writing Samples -]
First person: Network post at Bete Noire.
Third person: Bete Noire log