Name: Allen Birkman
Grade: Senior (12)
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: physics, chemistry, astronomy, saxophone, walking and hiking
Appearance: Allen is approximately 5’7 tall, making him shorter than average height, though he is by no means tiny. He weighs around 148lb and has a normal, if a bit skinny, build for his height. Any muscle mass he has is mostly concentrated in his legs from all the walking and hiking he does. His skin is a touch tanned from being out in the sun often, and he has a small breakout of acne on his cheeks. His face is angular and his nose is slightly crooked from breaking it at a younger age, when he tripped over and hit his face on the floor.
He has wavy chocolate brown hair, deliberately unkempt and cut to a medium length with his ears half-hidden by it. His fringe is long enough to completely cover his dark brown eyebrows and nearly reaches his eyes. His eyes are blue but with hazel surrounding the pupil, the odd coloration due to central heterochromia that he inherited from his father. His eyesight is unaffected by this, so he doesn’t need to wear corrective glasses, though he does wear shades from time to time. He has dark stubble around the lower half of his face where he is beginning to grow a beard and a mustache.
He has two faded scars on his body; a 2” long scar on his left forearm and one that’s half an inch on his left palm. He sustained both when he slipped and scraped his arm against a rock during a hike with his father when he was 15.
He wears a black and light-grey checked short-sleeve shirt, dark blue denim jeans and medium grey tennis shoes (size 8). He also wears a wooden bead necklace, a gift from his sister for his 17th birthday.
Biography: Allen was born to Andrew and Sharon Birkman in Faribault, Minnesota. He was the youngest of three children; he had one brother, Iain, three years his elder and one sister, Jennifer, older by one and a half years. Sharon had a well-paying desk job with an insurance company in Saint Paul, while Andrew opted to stay at home to look after the children while she worked. Allen and his siblings got along for the most part as they grew up, with the occasional argument, tantrum or falling out, but that was just kids being kids.
Then tragedy struck. When Allen was 7, he and the rest of the family were on a vacation to Oceanside in Californa. His brother Iain was playing around in the water, while Allen and the rest of the family were on the beach. Iain was suddenly dragged out to sea by a sudden change in the current and drowned before he could be rescued by either his father or the lifeguards. Since then, Allen became deathly afraid of dying, and refused to go anywhere near any large bodies of water, fearing the same fate would befall him as well. He developed both thanatophobia and hydrophobia, which he still suffers from to this day, and as a result of the latter, he never learnt how to swim properly. Iain’s death also badly affected his parents, both of them stressing out and arguing a lot more often with each other.
At the age of 12, almost five years to the day that Iain died, Allen’s parents split after 19 years of marriage. Allen and his father moved out of the house and relocated to Woodbury in the Twin City suburbs while his mother and sister remained in Faribault. Allen still kept in touch with the female half of his family fairly often, though he held some slight resentment towards his parents for not trying hard enough to keep the marriage working. After the move, his father got himself a job as a bank worker to support himself and his son.
Allen was first introduced to the saxophone when he received it as a 13th birthday present from his father, who was hoping it would give him something to take his mind off the family’s recent break up. It worked surprisingly well; Allen enjoyed playing the saxophone more than he thought he would, though after five years of playing it, he currently considers himself more of an intermediate player rather than an expert, and doesn’t plan on making a career out of it.
Every other weekend, Allen and his father would drive to the nearby hills and go for a simple walk through the woods or a longer hike, occasionally camping out for the night as well and watching the stars, something that fascinated the teen. Allen enjoyed being in the outdoors and experiencing nature, a world away from the stresses and strains of school and the city.
At school, Allen excels in chemistry and physics, as well as in math and music, but does poorly in history and biology. The rest of his grades are around average, though all of them had initially taken a dive when his parents first got divorced. He plans on studying physics at the University of Minnesota once he leaves Bayview Secondary, and hopes to pursue a career in aerodynamics in the future.
He isn’t part of the mainstream crowd and tries not to draw attention to himself while at school, which was the reason he hasn’t joined the band with his saxophone playing. He does have a handful of friends, the majority of them either in the band or simply into music in general like himself.
Allen has a mostly optimistic outlook on life, especially now it looks as though his parents may be thinking of getting back together again. He used to have a quick temper, especially around the time of his parents’ split, but he has mellowed out in recent years and is now much more content to let minor things slide. When he’s around people he’s not so familiar with, he tends to be quieter and doesn’t get involved too much in the conversation. If he’s with friends though, he’s much more open and even displays a humorous side. Allen is straight, though he isn’t in a relationship with anyone at the moment. He isn’t fazed by this or what his peers think, and believes he will find the right girl for him eventually.
Advantages: Allen has a slightly larger lung capacity from extensive saxophone playing, so he is less likely to run out of breath. He is also quite nimble from his slim build, is a smaller target due to his shorter size, and is used to walking/running long distances should he need to in the game.
Disadvantages: His smaller stature and lower muscle mass in the rest of his body makes him comparatively weaker, i.e. he can’t lift heavy things, can’t punch very hard, etc. It also makes normally mundane injuries more serious for him. He can’t swim well either, if at all, so drowning would be a big issue.
Designated Number: Male Student No. 121
Designated Weapon: Fragmentation Grenades (x4)
Conclusion: Gahahahaha! You've gotta be kidding me... the kid seems solid enough for competition; if that competition was a walk-a-thon or spelling bee! As for his performance here, I can't wait to see if he throws the pin instead of the grenade!
The above biography is as written by JamesRenard. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: JamesRenard
Killed by: N/A, Escaped
Mid-Game Evaluation: Allen started his game on the northern beach. After a short period of confusion, it dawned on him what exactly was happening, and he immediately started crying and addressing his family back home. When he saw the water and realised that he was on a beach, his hydrophobia kicked in and he scrambled as fast as he could away from the sea until he reached the rocks. It was there that Allen was approached by Chris Davidson, who meant him no harm and was just as upset as he was. However, the encounter with him was short lived when Clio Gabriella, hidden from view by debris on the beach, shot at and killed Chris in front of Allen's eyes. Paralyzed with fear, Allen could only watch as Clio walked up to him and intended to take his life as well. Fortunately for him, Brendan Wallace arrived and tackled Clio to the ground, giving Allen a chance to escape.
Allen soon arrived at the residential area and, desperate for a place to hide, ducked inside the pub where he cowered behind the counter. His hiding place was soon discovered by Carla Conners, Jennifer Perez and Mike Jeffries. While the four of them attempted to calm things down and try and socialize, Robert Lerger came across the building and, while not entering the premises, his presence was enough for Carla, Jennifer and Allen to leave.
In search of somewhere else to hide away, Allen decided on scaling the mountain and arrived at the cellphone tower, where he came across Andrea Raymer. Exhausted, Allen briefly conversed with Andrea and then went to sleep a short distance from the wrecked structure. He woke up the next day to the announcements and was shocked by the number of dead from the first day.
- "S-sorry if I'm sounding k-kind of on edge right now, b-but I've been on the run ever since someone standing next to me was shot and killed right in front of m-m-my eyes." - Allen informs Jennifer Perez, Carla Conners and Mike Jeffries on how he's feeling.
- Allen's home town of Faribault was also where V1 contestant Sidney Crosby hailed from, although the two of them never knew each other. Allen paid a brief visit to Sidney's school after his death however.
- Allen shared all but three of his threads with Andrea Raymer.
Below is a list of threads that contain Allen, in chronological order.
- Testing Faith....1...2..3
- Shelter From the Storm
- Can't Fall Down
- Jesus Loves the Little Children
- Burn the Louvre
- Out on a Tether
- Make Your Own Kind of Music
- The Man Your Man Could Smell Like
- The Cavalry Arrives
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Allen Birkman. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- Allen wasn't Renard's most popular or visible character, but in my opinion he was the best. Allen came off as very real. He had moments where he was awkward, where he didn't know what to do. Sometimes he let his emotions get hold of him. He wasn't much of a hero, and he wasn't larger than life, but he stuck with Andrea and tried his hardest. He was very grounded, and that made him a character I could easily root for. I do wish we'd seen some more of him later on after his return home. We got to see a little about the continuation of some of his important relationships, but for a normal guy like Allen, I think it'd have been really cool to see more of his transition back to the real world. - MurderWeasel