Personality & Description
Height: 1.88 Meters
Weight: 84.2 kg
Gates is a lean but toned individual that has dealt with the rigors of space travel for years. His body is conditioned to atmospheric pressures bearing multiple G loads, and has been in a fair share of scrapes keeping him fighting fit. He sports a few scars across his body from stories that he actually doesn't mind telling about, and is most often seen sporting a fair amount of stubble across his chin, sideburns, and upper lip. He boasts a hardy constitution, from not only his early life training, but getting the sithspit kicked out of him more times than he'll admit.
Most often when not directly engaged in combat, he sports a variety of spacer leather dusters and jackets for the general purpose protection they offer and their wide range of pockets. He tends to favor darker greens and slate gray colors, but those aren't his only choices. Almost without fail, Harland can be seen with two weapons holstered at either his hips or beneath a jacket at his sides. If however he decides to brave Mustafarr and come in guns blazing, he dresses for the occasion with a battle vest, light armor for his appendages, and a blast helmet for good measure.
Once described as a sun-stone in the rough by his former Master of the Jedi Order, Harland Gates is no longer considered a prized commodity waiting to be shaped and polished. Out in the black he's been forged through adversity, trial, and a string bad choices that left their fair share of scars on him. He's rough around the edges, space-wise, but also a self-assured independent man who is trying his level best to make his way in this Galaxy.
Never had he been a very disciplined youth, and that trait only carried over and amplified when he struck out on his own. Gates turned his back on the teachings of the Jedi, his connection to the Force and all the mantras that came with it. His old life is part of the baggage he carries with him, and continues to bury. Much as he tries though – not everything is able to be so easily suppressed, and that shows itself in his distaste for Jedi, and those who have their eyes and minds closed to what the real Galaxy is like.
Of all his character traits, and flaws – nothing is more evident than the spacer's mouth. It has been his salvation, but more often than not, it's his downfall. Gates learned soon after departing the Temple that if he played the fool – he could get by with a bit of luck and the element of surprise. While he may seem like a dense loaf of sweesonberry bread; he is often just sizing up the competition. This aloof personality can come and go in less than a parsec, replaced with a person with more grit and determination than a hungry rancor.
It's this arrogant bravado that has cost him relationships, and kept others loyal enough to remain on speaking terms. Granted he's left a lot of relationships in disrepair – but he's also proved himself more than a few times to be someone you could rely on – if the price is right. Chasing the almighty credit is the man's game – and he genreally prefers a don't ask, and don't tell policy. The less he knows about your woes, and your reasons – the less likely he is to have to care.
Some of the more amusing idiosyncrasies of his personality are his pet peeves. First among them are people who don't pay. That he generally settles with a blaster bolt – and if they are extremely fortunate he won't put it between the eyes and rob them blind, although he doesn't mind that method. Secondly – he's quite a daring spacer with a need for thrills and spills, often stemming from some laserbrain idea that he puts together on the fly. Lastly – and this is important to Gates - droids shouldn't talk. Those canners can beep and whistle all they like, but speech is for folk, not for machines – and he'll remedy that quickly.
Force Abilities & Other Skills
Gates is a Nyriaanian, and from that heritage comes the adapted evolutionary trait of being able to see in very low-light conditions without needing to adjust to darker surroundings.
This waning connection can only be blamed on him. His departure from the Jedi teachings, lack of training, and overall neglect has made his Force abilities almost nonexistent. Overall though, it is actually Hal's willpower that keeps his focus on things on far more material matters than an overarching cosmic power.
Deceased / One with the Force
At times when he's put in times of distress or vulnerability, these attributes might flare up, but there is no guarantee – and he certainly doesn't rely on them.
- Enhanced perception
- Enhanced Reflexes
- Danger sense
When Gates was practicing utilizing the lightsaber, he started off with form one, and then progressed to his preferred form five. Although at this point he hasn't touched his saber in over a decade – so these are just points of historical reference now.
- Form I - Shii-Cho
- Form V Shien/Djem So
Hal belongs in the cockpit, and has ever since he got the chance to play in the Simulators back on Theed. Pretty much anything that flies, he can pilot – and some things that shouldn't. He's been in countless dogfights, flew in rescue missions, and now pilots his own modified HWK-290 known as the Wild Goose for transport back and forth across the Galaxy
Gates prefers blasters over a saber any day of the standard week. He's got impeccable aim, and often pulls off shots that are one in a thousand. Though at some point he's aware it's not all him and once in a while the Force gives him a nudge. Still there's few and far between who have drawn on him and lived to regret it later.
While he's not a military strategist, he does think outside of the box. Sometimes he's right, other times he's wrong, but he tends to make do in whatever situation he finds himself in. While his ideas may seem half-baked they are generally built on some sort of flimsy logic, and with any luck he actually pulls them off.
He is annoyingly stubborn and strong willed – which generally protects him from being influenced by the likes of mental manipulation. It also makes him one hell of a sore loser, and it starts arguments that end in punches, wounds, and chill-packs to fresh bruises.
Gates speaks Basic, Bocce, and Huttese.
To say that Gates had choices in life was a correct statement, although the choices made might of not been the best ones for the youth. He was called a natural born pilot, always driving something, even when he wasn't supposed to. As a child he wasn't the best at listening to authority - and was perfectly fine with taking the risk of punishment over getting his own way, and carving his own path. Headstrong and stubborn were two of the words he heard the most of from his parents, and the village he grew up in.
It was their species home planet - and only so because they had crash landed there. Those stories of that time were just textbook fodder and didn't mean much to a boy who looked beyond the planet and to the stars every night. In part, the desire to see the stars is most likely what cemented his decision to join the Jedi Order. It wasn't for fame, it wasn't for power or even the desire to help other people. It was to see the stars.
What Harland didn't bank on though was how he'd feel once he left the security of a family and a village he'd known all his life. Suddenly he was thrust into a much bigger world, on a far larger scale. Everything was larger than life - even his mentor and guide was an impressive and awe-inspiring icon. Being in such strange settings, and having a completely new set of guidelines to adhere to was a bit too much for a boy who was barely reaching into his adolescence. The day he got lost going the wrong way in the Temple was the day however when things changed.
Hardland met his future best friend; another Padawan in the order, and someone who wasn't larger than life. She had humor, and spunk, and a spirit that he gravitated to. The two became thick as theives, and no matter how much the Masters of the Order tried to keep their minds focused, they were more than most joined at the hip. A pair of youths that would reign terror down on the Order by being just obstinate enough to squeak by. She was better at it than he was. Still things weren't nearly as bad as when he had first arrived.
The rebellious spirits of Gates and his younger counterpart did not go unnoticed by their respective mentors in the Force. A long term training project was decided at the onset of the girl's adolescence; and the team of both her Master and his own took the two to the beautiful and somewhat remote world of Naboo. While it also encompassed the royal city of Theed, it was a fertile training ground for the two youths. Missions were still accepted and done by the two pair of Jedi and Padawan teams, using the planet as their base.
It was during this time that Gates found a great deal of respect for his Master. The planets they traveled to, and the situations that he generally thought were a lost cause were not seen that way by his Master. He never gave up on anyone, ever - even a delinquent forcer like Gates. Not only did he foster that respect, but he confided in the man. He was a friend, and a mentor - and had a level of patience that blew Gates' young mind. Though the most important part of these mission was his time in the cockpit, and the freedom to fly.
Oh to fly, that was a dream of Gates for as long as he could recall. To soar the cosmos and traverse the black of space. Under Jedi law, he was trained on how to operate their fighters, and he practiced day and night in the Theed sims, (that were open to him and all pilots in the royal academy) whenever he had the chance. Often teaching other recruits the ins and outs, and tricks he had learned. Saber tactics, Force usage, sleeping - all came second in line to being able to get another standard hour in the sims, or up in space where he could let his problems and his cares float away.
Many long nights were spent talking with his best friend and soaring the simulated star-lit sky. That is until a change in the wind brought something unexpected to the life of the young Jedi in training. A distress call from another system called the girl and her Master away - not to return to the noble planet. It was at this time that Gates' Master thought him ready to stand trial as a Knight of the Order. The two would separate for the first time since they had met.
The trip to Coruscant and the Temple was one filled with emotions both good and bad. Emotions that were felt for his best friend, and his own path. A conflict of interest leaving him distracted and unprepared. Especially for what came next. While the Jedi were awaiting the young Padawan to come to the council for his trials, there was another distress call, and the Master of Gates' was called away without option to deal with the threat several star systems away in the mid-rim. While the Master had confidence of Gate's ability, he wasn't as sure. He was without his best friend, or his respected Master -- alone to face the council, and the trials. His emotional state, his lack of real precision training left him defeated and declined the opportunity to rise to the rank of Knight. Only compounding this problem was the sad and disheartening news of his Master who had perished in battle, and would never again return.
The years spent with him were etched into his memory, as were his teachings and methods. A man he respected, and thought of as invincible was taken out. The choice to replace his Master and not promote him to Knight was a heavy blow that he took. He hadn't been training as he should, hadn't been using the Force in the right ways. He still was conflicted emotionally, and had a lot of rough edges. This new Master was certainly a far cry from the former. He was all business, and showed zero empathy. This was not a man that Gates respected, and it showed. Even his longtime friend could see the change in daily holo-chats while she was on Kiffu.
The change was evident that this was not going to bode well. This man wasn't the Jedi that he expected, he ignored inquiries from his Padawan, and refused information that he'd received from the council to his young learner. However, what truly hammered home the concept of betrayal was when he started to see that the man was lying to him, about everything. The Order, the Jedi - they were not the things he thought they were. The ideals his former Master had held to, the very virtues of the Jedi Order were being mired and destroyed by the politics of it all. This new Master was as much a politician as he was cold and distant.
The metal met the pavement when a joint mission caused Gates to face a moral dilemma. Still holding to the ideals of his former Master, he acted against the orders of his current Master in the field. A prisoner that was supposed to stand trial and be rehabilitated was cut down by Gate's new mentor. It was a political statement in essence to that world, and to the followers of the villain they had come to capture. It rocked the mind of Harland who refused to by the hypocrisy of the Order.
Instead of challenging the man he couldn't bring himself to speak to, he went the complete opposite way. Gates left the temple that day, only with a note of apology sent by datapad to his friend before he fled Coruscant and left the life of a Jedi behind him.
For the next several years his mindset, attitudes, and morals had changed. They had been shaped in the real Galaxy, the one not viewed through ruby hued shades of platitudes and mantras. He found the Jedi to be a disrespected, hated bunch, and he found solace knowing that he wasn't the only one who had seen the corruption in their ranks. It has been a hard road, and caused Harland to second and triple check his priorities, until it became clear that he was the only thing he needed to worry about. When things were circling the drain, you grabbed every last bit of precious to you and hauled tail. It didn't matter to him who he hurt, or who got in the way, he was looking out for persona non-grata.
In this time he acquired an older model ship and set sail doing jobs here and there with what talents he had. A blaster at his side, and a ship to take him back and forth through the Galaxy. Jobs were jobs, as long as they paid, and that settled into his guiding star.