glassesonachain: (haha yeah that's embarrassing)
Bennett Halverson ([personal profile] glassesonachain) wrote2025-01-06 10:08 pm

Application for [community profile] ataraxion

Your Name: Emma
OOC Journal: [ profile] lotusunset
Under 18? If yes, what is your age?: I'm over 18.
Email + IM:, lotusunset
Characters Played at Ataraxion: N/A

Name: Bennett Halverson
Canon: Dollhouse
Original or Alternate Universe: Original
Canon Point: Pre-canon, though there are flashbacks from 2x11, “Getting Closer”
Number: RANDOM

Setting: The world of Dollhouse is almost exactly the same as our own. The differences start with some technological differences and end with the Rossum Corporation controlling just about everything ever on some level. The Rossum Corporation is an enormous pharmaceutical/health care company that's constantly making breakthroughs in medical technology, especially within the realm of neuroscience. They are also responsible for, well. Pretty much orchestrating the apocalypse.

The Dollhouse itself is the Rossum Corporation's dirty little secret where they use extremely advanced technology to essentially brainwash people. The brainwashed, called “Actives”, originally sign a 5 year contract with the company. They give them their bodies and the company will “help” them with some trouble in their life. Whether it be severe mental illness like schizophrenia, PTSD or depression or financial woes, the Dollhouse will cure them or make sure their debts are taken care of.

Bennett gets involved with the Dollhouse in her future as a chief programmer at the Dollhouse in Washinton, D.C. From the canon point I'm pulling her from, she's still just a student, albeit one that was handpicked by Rossum's CEO to be molded into the sort of perfectly amoral scientist the company needs.

History: Like most characters in Dollhouse, not much is known about Bennett's full history. As such, I've developed a wee bit of headcanon to fill in some blanks.

Bennett grew up in a small farming town in northwestern Minnesota. She was the middle child of three girls and it was obvious from an early age that she didn't...quite fit in. Her intelligence was so above average that the older she got, the more isolated she became from her family. They had an increasingly hard time trying to relate to her and she had troubles relating to them and just about everyone else in the town. With no friends, Bennett's social skills became somewhat stunted and her awkwardness around other people just served to push her even farther away from them. Instead, she'd just soak up as much knowledge as she could.

She graduated high school at 16 as valedictorian, though truthfully she could have done so much, much sooner. The next step was college and with her genius, she could attend just about any school she wanted. She ended moving to Los Angeles, California to attend UCLA. Once there, she blazed through her classes at dizzying speeds and her work in neuroscience caught the attention of the Rossum Corporation's CEO. (/headcanon)
Bennett was offered a full scholarship to the very prestigious Tucson Institute of Technology and accepted it. In Tucson, she really began to flourish as a scientist, making many groundbreaking discoveries.

Meanwhile, back in Los Angeles, one self-proclaimed terrorist by the name of Caroline Farrell was sneaking into the Rossum regional office there. Through her snooping, she found a file containing information on herself and Bennett's file. Seeing how she was marked as a priority and given that scholarship, Caroline made it her new mission to find out why she was just so important to Rossum and see if she could somehow use Bennett against them in her plans to destroy the company.

Caroline ends up enrolling at Tucson Tech and more or less spies on Bennett until she finds the perfect opportunity to approach the girl. Once she does, the two become friends quickly. Bennett, never having had a very close friend like Caroline before, latches on. Hard. The two become virtually inseperable for years while Caroline slowly gathers information on Rossum.

Towards the end of her time at Tucson Tech, Bennett acquires a job doing research at Rossum. This puts Caroline into overdrive, trying to be nosy and finagle whatever she can out of her friend about the evil experiments that they're performing on animals and people in there.

Which means, of course that Bennett kinda finds out that Caroline has been using her this whole time. Oops.

Bennett goes into Caroline's closet to get a dress that the other girl said she could borrow. Then she finds the files that Caroline stole from Los Angeles. Way creepy. Bennett goes back and forth about confronting Caroline about them but she ultimately decides to once Caroline returns. And it goes a lot better than planned.

Caroline explains that she stole the files and befriended Bennett so that she could get close to Rossum to hurt them. She defends herself by trying to tell Bennett about the horrors she's seen. As an employee, Bennett...probably knew about some of them and as a relatively nice little nerd girl, was likely appalled by them. Since she was also insanely loyal to Caroline, she actually declared that she was hurt that Caroline wasn't using her and her knowledge more to get at Rossum.

At that point, they start putting an elaborate plan to blow up the Rossum Corporation's headquarters. During this planning phase is when she'll be showing up on the Tranquility.

Personality: Bennett is an incredibly shy and quiet girl, preferring to be alone over being around other people. Because of her extreme intellect, she always found it difficult to relate to other people. When her peers were first learning how to read, Bennett was probably reading classic novels without much difficulty. She's brilliant, freakishly so and that's isolated her immensely. She doesn't feel the need to be very social, even with people who share her own interests. Despite her genius, Bennett isn't one bit arrogant. She tends to lean more towards being humble, even if she very well could be one of the smartest people alive in her world. Her self-esteem is pretty low from years of being the awkward nerdy one. Given the chance, she tries to downplay her accomplishments, acting like they aren't that important. She never takes compliments gracefully; it tends to blow her away when people mention they admire her work.

Although she is more than just a little bit reclusive, Bennett does try her hardest to be friendly and polite with people. Of course, sometimes that doesn't always work the way she intended. She's very stubborn and can be brave when she needs to be. Bennett isn't easily intimidated by anyone. She has a very technical and occasionally awkward way of interacting with the people around her. She doesn't always pick up on slang terms, pop culture references frequently go over her head and sometimes she just doesn't understand even the simplest of jokes. It's rare for her to exaggerate anything and it isn't uncommon for her to take things too literally. If something bad happens, she won't be the one to sugar coat it. In fact, she'll probably lay out all the facts, regardless of how much they might hurt. She's very realistic and doesn't let herself get too caught up in fantasies or dreams. She's definitely not a creature of too much whimsy. When Bennett is stressed, she tends to lapse into episodes of palilalia, repeating her own words over and over.

Fashion isn't a very high priority for Bennett, her outfits are incredibly formulaic. Her wardrobe has the same cardigan in twenty different colors, all of them muted, none of them bright. She dresses to maintain comfort while still looking professional. Bennett is incredibly self-conscious about her appearance, though.

It doesn't take much to keep her content. A good book or a new idea can keep her occupied for hours at a time and she frequently gets lost in her work. Bennett just doesn't have much interest in any facets of life outside her little bubble. She startles easily and it's not uncommon for her to forget to eat real meals. Most of the time, she just ends up snacking on wasabi peas or other various finger foods. She fixates on her projects until they're completed and even then she nitpicks them into perfection. She has a definite eye for detail, often seeing things that other people overlook. This carries into how she keeps her workspace too, exceptionally clean without much clutter. She does decorate her spaces with a somewhat classical flair, though.

When she tells Caroline that no one's taken an interest in her before, it leads one to believe that Bennett has been supremely lonely for most of her life. She obviously never really had any friends before.
Caroline was the first person to really befriend Bennett, even if she had ulterior motives for doing so. Bennett was absolutely elated to finally have a friend, to have someone to talk to. It was strange for her at first but Bennett quickly grew accustomed to it and came to think of Caroline as her best friend (with a healthy dose of lesbian subtext thrown in, heeey). Not wanting to lose that friendship, Bennett found herself willing to do anything to keep it, even after she found out Caroline was using Bennett to get close to the Rossum Corporation. When Caroline asks if she's mad because she used her, Bennett replies "I'm hurt that you won't." That's when they start planning to blow up Rossum's HQ and the fact that she was willing to commit an act of terrorism with her friend probably speaks volumes about her loyalty. She also may have known about some of the “evil” things that Rossum was doing herself and wanted to take action to stop them but still. Blowing up a building is pretty extreme, man.

Bennett is presented as a reasonably sane, albeit socially awkward genius girl most of the time but as evidenced by her future actions, she's got more than a few screws loose. It leads one to believe that she'd always been somewhat mentally unstable. Much like a piece of glass that's broken but doesn't quite shatter all over until the right force is applied.

In her future, after Caroline leaves her trapped in the rubble of the Rossum building, Bennett grows very cold and even more detached from people. She adopts a very nihilistic approach to life and intentionally keeps everyone at a distance so that she may see the absolute truth behind them.

She develops a fascination with torture; she enjoys watching people in pain and inflicting it upon them. Having that sort of power over people is thrilling to her. She can be a bit sociopathic but Bennett doesn't fit all the criteria exactly. She still cares about other people, she just doesn't know quite how to do so in a healthy way. She can have a volatile temper at times and she can get very manipulative. She even goes as far as concocting an elaborate plan to actually murder Caroline for what Bennett perceived as the ultimate betrayal. She's malevolent, a bit deranged, incredibly vengeful and prone to holding grudges. She has no qualms about lying to people when they might get in the way of her revenge.

Her scientific mind has always lead her to have a rather gray sense of morality, she has a tendency to put the advancement of science before people. Science is something she can trust, people aren't as reliable. This doesn't necessarily mean she actively pursues acts of evil, though. She'd much prefer to stay uninvolved. Truly, she's a good person at heart. She's just been a bit misguided.

Trusting people is one of the few things she's afraid of. It's incredibly difficult for her to open up because of this and her general social ineptitude just adds to it even more. She's absolutely terrified of being left behind. If someone does manage to get through her shell, Bennett is an incredibly loyal friend to the point where that loyalty might even border upon obsession. There's probably very little she wouldn't do to preserve a friendship; she certainly wouldn't hesitate to put her own life on the line to save that friend.

Abilities, Weaknesses and Power Limitations:

In her world, Bennett is lauded as a genius of the highest calibre. She has experience in many different fields but Bennett really shines when it comes to computational neuroscience and neural engineering. She knows the human brain inside and out and exactly how to change specific neuropaths, or program, a brain to create the desired effect. Whether this means curing a disease or inflicting terrible, terrible pain, she can do it and everything in-between. She's very skilled with computers. She can build them, program them and she's creative enough that she would be able to construct a wide variety of technological things with very limited parts. She also has an eye for extreme detail, often seeing ways to improve on already existing designs that other people miss. Physically, she's not very impressive, though when she loses her temper, Bennett can launch some pretty powerful punches.

A lot of Bennett's greatest strengths are also her weaknesses. Her extreme loyalty to the few people she calls friends can get taken to the point where it puts her in danger. Her incredible genius mixed with her innate stubbornness is another dangerous combination since if she has a particular scientific goal in mind, she just won't stop until it's achieved. Even though she does stop to calculate consequences of her actions, sometimes she ignores the warning bells in her own mind and just keeps barreling through and just continues with little regard for someone else's or her own safety. It's all in the name of science.

--Gray leather purse containing:
-1 TB external hard drive with her school work on it
1 pair of glasses (on a chain) with case
Brass cuckoo clock necklace

Appearance: Played by Summer Glau, Bennett stands around 5'6” and is actually very pretty underneath her awful fashion sense. She's thin and a bit gangly, most everything about her screams awkward. Her clothes usually clash or don't fit her body just right and her glasses lean towards 'giant geeky 80's chic'. It all adds up to whoa, frumpy.
Age: 23-25

AU Clarification: N/A

Log Sample:

Bennett wanted to claw out her own hair. And that really wasn't an exaggeration. She'd been sucked in by Caroline's whole speech about how Bennett was starting a fancy new job and that she needed a new look to go with it to impress people. Which in retrospect, Bennett disagreed with on a fundemental level because she was a scientist. Scientists were not judged by their outward appearances, they were judged by their work but Caroline had that habit of being...remarkably persuasive.

So now Bennett's hair was dyed this ridiculous dark purple plum color and the dress she was wearing revealed far too much skin than was necessary. She was uncomfortable like this and Bennett had a feeling that Caroline knew that she would be and that the more extroverted girl pushed this makeover on her just to make Bennett's skin crawl. She probably found great amusement in it.

Actually clawing out her hair would have been unproductive though, so when Bennett returned home from her first day of work, she quickly changed into clothes that...suited her far better. Gray tights, plaid skirt, matching sweater, a much better wardrobe choice than the low-cut abomination of a dress that Caroline had convinced her to wear. Then Bennett headed out again after stuffing her mess of hair under a hat to hide most of the purple. Since Caroline was still in class, Bennett was on a mission to dye her hair back to it's natural dark brown color before her friend could stop her. She'd just run into Walgreen's, grab a box that was close to her natural shade and get out of there. In theory.

In practice, Bennett ended up staring at all the different shades and brands for a good 45 minutes. She knew all about rewiring neuropathways in brain tissue but...absolutely nothing about hair dye. Then add the fact she was a horribly indecisive creature and that made things even worse. Eventually, some teenaged girl with neon hair ended up helping her pick one out and Bennett was eternally grateful. Except for the part where the girl asked to see Bennett's current hair, then completely invaded her personal space to snatch her hat and make the purple atrocity come tumbling down off her head but. She was in a forgiving sort of mood.

By the time she made it back to her apartment, Bennett realized that Caroline was going to return from class in fifteen minutes. Perfect. Only not really. She let out a slightly exasperated sigh, grabbed an extra towel and a shirt she didn't really care about and then locked herself in the bathroom. There was no stopping her now!

Except now she was mildly paranoid that she was going to do this wrong and her hair was going to fall out and that was really, really dumb since all she had to do was follow the instructions. She could merge proteins and control the blood-brain barrier, figuring out how to dye her hair should be easy.

As she shook the bottle to mix it, Bennett looked in the mirror and gave herself a determined pout. She was going to do this and succeed and even if her hair fell out, dammit, she'd just live with the consequences and be bald. So with a slight bit of hesitation, she finally started squeezing the stinky goo on top of her head.

Comms Sample:

So. This is...a giant spaceship. And we're...actually in space. That's new.

Well, not new since it is possible to travel in space where I'm from but the technology is fairly primitive in comparison and this is a...this is an entirely new experience from my perspective and this must be some sort of twisted dream, yes? Yes. Or perhaps I hit my head and the force caused a traumatic brain injury and now I'm hallucinating. Also probable.

I don't like this. At all. It's unfamiliar and, and it's wrong. And I'm sure I'm not the first person who has expressed a similar opinion on the matter so I'll...shut up now.