Dr. Laura Essington
Head of Medical
Laura is an older African-British woman in her early 70’s. She’s fairly tall, about 5’9, and despite her age she walks straight as a rod and speaks with a tongue sharper than a scalpel. Her general demeanor is a bit condescending, as she does not like having to be around people she does not consider worthy of her time, though she always makes an attempt at professionalism, even if it’s thinly veiled professional derision. She takes no chances when it comes to the health and safety of those under her, and dislikes those who put that in jeopardy. she maintains a healthy cynicism of anyone in power without a science or practical background, especially if those people take credit for or “trademark” someone else’s discoveries.
Laura did not grow up in an affluent family, and spent her childhood in one of the multitude of cinderblock flats of London with her father and her two brothers, one older, one younger. Her older brother, David, was always trying to protect his younger siblings, if a bit overzealously, and picked one fight too many. He was ‘removed for reconditioning,’ and spent a good portion of his life in a rehabilitation prison. Her younger brother, Harry, did not take it well, and got into a similar situation. Determined to break out of the cycle her family was stuck in, she excelled in school, developing a passion for biology and DNA splicing. However, she could not afford medical school, and so served in the Peace corps for a few years to earn military scholarships. She also took speech therapy lessons to sound more respectable, and replaced her original cockney accent with a more professional proper British. Once she graduated, she established herself as a brilliant mind and an insightful scientist, finding her interests to be more medical research than practical medicine, though she had some skill in that department, as well. She became particularly renowned for her work heading the research towards developing the cure for melanoma, which her team succeeded in achieving.
She returned to visit her family after, in an attempt to help bring her brothers out of the figurative hole they had dug themselves. Her father had passed away while she was gone in school, and though she had come back to the funeral, her brothers resented her for being gone for so long. Though she did everything she could to help them, they largely rejected it, feeling she had become ashamed of them, regretted being related to them. She was “too high and mighty” to understand, “too posh” to be real anymore. After a particularly incendiary fight, she stormed out, and was forever estranged from her family.
She threw herself further into her career, no time for relationships, no time for anything but work, and she became, she believed, one of the best for it. When the Zao made contact, she was ecstatic at the possibilities, and was even more excited when she was invited on the ship, an opportunity she jumped at. Now she looks forward to anything new she might study or discover, her old world left behind.