Name: Christopher Harlin
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Football, Soccer, Mechanics
Appearance: Standing at 5'11 and weighing in at 165lbs, Christopher's broad frame often makes him appear even taller than he is. While he is stocky, most of his body is muscle rather than fat, built up from years of exercise and sports. With short dark hair shaped into a small Mohawk and a full face of proudly grown stubble, Christopher looks older than his eighteen years. While his eyes are a dark brown, topped with bushy black eye brows, his pale white skin provides a sharp contrast, blemished only by a faded line of freckles across his high cheekbones. His nose, having been broken several times, is wide and his rounded face is framed by his thick square jaw. Amongst the stubble, Chris's lips are thin on a wide mouth, covering a pair of chipped front teeth. He was due to see the dentist to get it fixed after the school trip.
Christopher often spends most of his time wearing training gear, covered with a hoodie and a pair of track bottoms, feeling most comfortable in them. While Christopher favours wearing darker colours, his bright coloured hoodies stand out against the dark shades of the rest of his wardrobe. Christopher normally buys one a month from Wal-Mart or Target and has built up quite a large collection. He is not a label follower for his clothes, but Chris often wears branded trainers. This is because he believes that quality footwear is essential. On the day of his abduction, he was wearing a pair of loose fitting blue jeans, a Nike white t-shirt, and a zip up plain red hooded top with Addidas black trainers.
Biography: Christopher never knew his real father. His mother, Sasha Valentino, was a single mother, giving birth to him after a drunken one night stand. While she was never able to contact the father, she was determined to give her son a good start in life. Despite being a single mother on a waitress's budget, Christopher had a happy early life. While his mother skipped a meal and the power often went out, Christopher was cared for and happy. Even as a young child, his passion for sports and the outdoors was apparent, as he spent hours watching the nearby park by his house, seeing the older children play ball. It was on one of these meetings that Sasha met her future husband, Nigerian born mechanic Adeyemi Harlin. A whirlwind romance started and by the time of Chris's seventh birthday, Chris had a new stepfather and a newborn baby sister, Makosi.
Despite the fact that they were not biologically related, Christopher and Adeyemi formed a close relationship, only strengthened by the birth of Makosi and the fact that Chris did not know his real father never really mattered to him. He had a father and that was Adeyemi. Like most older brothers, Christopher was fiercely protective of his little sister and Adeyemi treated Christopher with as much love as he did his own biological daughter. Both Sasha and Adeyemi were only children and while it was never spoken of, Adeyemi's parents disapproved of their son marrying a white girl and cut ties with the new family. With Sasha's parents both long dead, Adeyemi and Sasha had no help in raising their children, nor did they want any. For Christopher, this was never an issue as he had only met his new grandparents briefly and had gotten the impression that he was not wanted. From that young age, it was clear that even though Adeyemi was his father; his parents were not his family. Shortly after Adeyemi lost contact with his parents over their disproval, Sasha and Adeyemi decided to have Adeyemi adopt Christopher. Due to Christopher’s biological father having no position in his life, the courts ruled in favour of the adoption and Christopher Valentino became Christopher Harlin.
Elementary school passed without incident and going into middle school, Chris fully developed his love of soccer. Finding a weekend club for under 16’s in the local area, Chris began to play almost religiously for the team, thriving off of the physical edge. When the small club banded together with a few others to form a small league for the children, Chris was overjoyed. While he was willing to play most positions, it was as a defender that Chris found his specialty. However shortly after his thirteenth birthday, an accidental collision on the pitch lead to Chris breaking his nose for the first time. When he became too old to play for the teams, Chris still turns up regularly to support his sister playing. Makosi and Chris have a strong relationship, although she often got frustrated by how protective her older brother was of her.
In middle school, Chris found his friends amongst the other sport fans in his classes. While Chris had been a soccer fan, it was here he discovered his other passion for American football and began to spend most of his evenings playing ball with the other boys. Due to a sudden growth spurt, Chris found his new height and build lent themselves naturally to playing the sport, favouring the position of a linebacker. Chris had already been a fan of the sport, often supporting Redskins, although he could rarely afford to see them play.
While he was bad at the more creative subjects, Chris was surprised at how well he was doing, often getting B’s in the majority of his subjects. Science, in particular physics turned out to be Chris’s forte, although his favourite class was still gym. However, he often downplayed his results as not wanting to seem too smart as Chris did not want his friends to think he was a nerd. In turn, he often used to mock other students openly with his friends, garnering a reputation as a bully. After several warnings by his teachers about his behaviour, Christopher toned it down, unwilling to get into trouble for having fun at his own expense.
Going into high school, Christopher slowly began to realise that he was attracted to his own gender. While he had a large crush on his older next door neighbour, the new feelings confused him and Chris began to take out his confusion in sports. Easily getting onto the football and soccer teams in high school, Chris tried to vent his frustrations out through sport. Fearing he would lose his tough reputation, Chris began to play rougher in games, getting warned repeatedly to tone down his aggression on the pitch. After a particular bad incident at the age of sixteen, Chris was suspended from the football team and in turn, the soccer team until he had shown marked improvement in his attitude.
With no outlet for his emotions, Christopher began to take out his anger on his fellow classmates more and more with his insults, to the extent that he began to isolate his older friends. While at home he was the perfect son and loving brother, even when the letters home about his behaviour arrived, Chris relished in the enjoyment that his bullying gave him. However, with loss came new friends as Chris found other students who found his attitude and antics amusing. Despite receiving several written warnings and detentions, Chris was not discouraged. Eventually it came to a head where another student bumped Chris accidently and in return he called them a faggot. This happened to be within earshot of a teacher who immediately called for a suspension for Chris. With his history of written warnings over his comments, the school had little choice and Christopher was suspended for verbal abuse and bullying under Aurora High’s anti bullying policies. He was ordered to attend counselling sessions so it could be determined whether his bad behaviour was something that could be changed.
Sasha and Adeyemi were shocked that Chris had turned into a bully. While they had received notice of his behaviour, they had assumed that it was just boys being boys. While Chris had normally taken advantage of their laid back parenting approach, they held him to account for his behaviour. With the counselling sessions, Christopher began to deal with the truth about his sexuality and how his repression had led him to reject the people around him. After the course of sessions had finished, Chris was allowed to return to school under a watchful eye. Part of his agreement to continue attending Aurora was meetings for Chris to formally apologise to the people who he had affected most. While most naturally would not forgive him, others were able to.
Chris eventually was allowed to rejoin the soccer and football teams, although he was barred from playing in competitions, he was encouraged to take part in the training. Here, Chris rediscovered old and new friendships with the rest of the sports teams, gaining friends who had previously shunned him because of his behaviour. It was here that Chris finally managed to accept that his sexuality, after developing a crush on one of his fellow sportsmen. A year after the suspension, a few months after his eighteenth birthday, Chris was allowed to play back on the teams.
Adeyemi began to take Christopher to his work at the weekends, to teach him the meaning of hard work. Despite being reluctant at first, Chris soon discovered a passion for working on cars, especially on classic cars, although motorcycles left Chris with little interest. While he was not allowed to work on them by himself due to lacking professional training, Chris’s apprenticeship in the garage soon lead him to learn a working knowledge about the engines inside. Christopher fully threw himself into his work, spending every Sunday at the garage, learning under Adeyemi. Being able to see and fix a problem, the simplicity in being able to repair something that was broken appealed to the teenager. So much so that one weekend, Chris took a tumble and fell head first into a car bonnet, chipping his teeth and breaking his nose yet again.
For nearly a year, Chris worked there for free under his father, until his eighteenth birthday where Adeyemi repaid him for his hard work by giving him a paying part-time job and a promise of once he finished school and if he managed to maintain his current 2.5 GPA average, he would help Chris receive formal training to become a mechanic. Planning to become a mechanic after he graduated, Chris gladly accepted the challenge. Along with the other team members, Chris excitedly planned for the field trip, even though it will be the first time he has travelled without his family. Being away from his mother and sister will be especially hard, seeing as Chris is so close to them both. Although he is still in the closet, Chris is planning to come out on the trip to his friends.
Advantages: Physically, Chris is fast and strong due to the amount of practice he puts into his sports, with his muscled frame helping to potentially intimidate others. His reputation of being a bit of a thug may help with this and may also make people unwilling to argue with him. He is not one to shy away from conflict, although this may find him out of his depth quickly. He is confident that his athleticism will be an advantage.
Disadvantages: While Chris has been seeking help for his issues, he is very quick to anger and prone to rash decisions. His insecurities and reputation may count against him when finding allies and his behaviour may find him a lot of enemies and give him a target on his back. He tends to underestimate others physically and overestimate himself in the same way. Mentally, his emotional issues may make him a bigger threat to his own survival than others may be.
Designated Number: Male student No. 080
Designated Weapon: Pair of Ice Skates, sharpened
Conclusion: This would be a good time to learn how both to ice skate and to start kick-boxing, Mr. Harlin. Learn both and you'd be unstoppable, and the ice would cool down that temper of yours. - Penny Sullivan
The above biography is as written by Lexi. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Kills: Stephanie Wright
Killed By: Hansel Williams
Enemies: Hansel Williams
Mid-game Evaluation: Chris awoke somewhere in the woods and spent a few hours wandering alone after he took stock of the situation and his weapon. He finally emerged on the golf course and entered the clubhouse, where he found Jesse Jennings and Carmina Maliksi, two people whom he recognized but didn't know well, trying to formulate a plan. Jesse was welcoming, Carmina slightly less so since she knew Chris as a bully, but they allowed him to stay and he explained what little had happened with him so far. After Chris expressed the notion of safety in numbers, Jesse agreed and revealed that he intended to gather a group together in order to escape. Chris and Carmina agreed with the sentiment and let Jesse assume the position of leader; he then decided that he and Chris should head out for the remainder of the day and spread word of the plan to anyone they encountered, while Carmina established a home base for them in the clubhouse. Though he was still frightened and unsure about leaving Carmina on her own, Chris followed Jesse and tried to comfort himself with the fact that he felt like he could survive any trouble they encountered.
The two of them reached the school after a nervous trek back through the woods, and Chris approached the broken-down buses when he noticed people inside. He first recognized his football teammate Benjamin Ward, along with Matt Vartoogian and Brianna Battaglia. Ben greeted him, while Matt and Brianna were wary and Matt questioned who Chris was with. Ben revealed that the three of them had been discussing the possibility of escape just as Chris, Jesse, and Carmina had been, and Jesse was happy to advocate joining their groups once he caught up with Chris. The five of them agreed, and Matt and Brianna decided to rest for the night in the bus as it was getting late, and Ben set off with Chris and Jesse to retrieve Carmina with the intention of grouping up the following morning.
When the group did reach the clubhouse, however, they found Carmina gone and Theodore Fletcher, the first day's only two-time killer, inside. Matt attempted to make peace, as he knew Theo, but Chris was angry and suspicious and tried to hold Theo back with threats. The situation was further complicated by the appearance of Jaquilyn Locke, who claimed that she had joined Carmina in the clubhouse the previous day and accused Theo of killing her. The tension, arguments, and threats escalated as Jesse tried to get Theo to turn over his supplies and weapon, and it soon became clear that although Theo was a killer, it was Jaquilyn and her ally Joachim Lovelace who had been responsible for Carmina's death. The confrontation fell apart when Joachim intervened on Jaquilyn's behalf, allowing Theo to flee and causing Chris and the others to back down, though they were able to claim Theo's abandoned supplies and gun.
In the end, only Chris, Jesse, and Brianna stuck together. They regrouped in the hospital, where Jesse tried to continue laying out his plans, met with opposition from Brianna, who wanted to find Matt again. Chris decided to just stay in the hospital while Jesse and Brianna set out again to spread word of their plan once more and hopefully find Matt. Brianna returned alone after a while, and she and Chris had a quiet conversation until Brianna chose to reveal that her younger brother had been one of the victims of Chris's past bullying. Having thought things over a lot the past few days, Chris chose only to apologize for his past actions and try to comfort Brianna when thoughts of her family caused her to break down. He let her alone once she had calmed down and went to sleep, only to discover when he awoke that Jesse had returned and Brianna had killed herself at some point during the night. At a loss, Chris could only agree to go along with whatever Jesse had planned when he advocated that they move on again.
Jesse's plan turned out to have something to do with retrieving a collar from one of the dead students. However, once he had accomplished this by decapitating a dead Summer Simms and attempting to conceal the stolen collar beneath his shirt, the terrorists struck, detonating the collar Jesse was holding and killing him. Chris was helplessly standing by, and he fled the scene after confirming that Jesse was dead.
Chris ran until he reached the park near the gated community and was promptly sick. After taking some time to recover, he encountered Leona Van Kamp and they warily assured each other that they meant no harm. Leona asked whether Chris was willing to spare a weapon that she could use for self-defence if necessary, and he handed over a shard of glass for a makeshift knife. They were soon joined by Stephanie Wright, who similarly announced her non-hostile intentions, and the three of them conversed until Amaranta Montalvo announced her presence by throwing them a box of pizza, the remnants of her Best Kill Award.
Chris and the girls were unsure about Mara, but she likewise had no violent intent towards them and merely inquired whether any of them had seen Stacy Ramsey, the girl who had killed two of Mara's friends. None of them had, and Chris openly doubted Mara's claim that she just wanted to talk to the girl. Mara was annoyed, but she departed without further conflict, shortly preceded by Leona. Stephanie and Chris opted to share the pizza that was left and set off together as neither wanted to be alone at the moment.
Chris and Stephanie's alliance was unfortunately short-lived, as the stress of the situation was getting to both of them, and encountering yet another corpse set Stephanie further on edge, questioning why people had chosen to kill. Chris wasn't sure of the answer himself, and opined that some people might just be damaged in some way, trying to shut down the conversation. Stephanie wouldn't be calmed, however, and Chris's brushing her off caused her to hit him in annoyance. Startled and now trying to keep his temper in check as well, Chris questioned her actions; though both wanted to de-escalate the situation, neither backed down, and a sudden movement from Stephanie caused Chris to lash out at her physically. Though he initially acted in self-defence, Chris's anger and fear carried him too far, and he realized after beating Stephanie for a while that he had fatally injured her. He fled the scene once again.
He reached the beach after running for a while longer, where he found Hansel Williams attempting to mug Madeline Wilcox. Still out-of-sorts, Chris pulled his own gun, the one he had taken from Brianna's body, and called Hansel out. Things seemed like they might defuse as Hansel insisted he wasn't interested in a shootout, but Chris was distracted by the arrival of Michael Mitchellson and he yelled at Michael, unsure whether he was friendly. Hansel took advantage of the distraction to go for his own discarded gun and bag, though he was driven off with a shot in the arm from Maddie. Frustrated at letting Hansel get away, Chris nonetheless confirmed that Maddie and Michael weren't interested in fighting with him, and the three of them decided to stick together, again out of mutual loneliness.
The three of them ended up at the mall, and Michael slipped away for a while to take a look around the bookstore. While waiting for him, Chris asked Maddie how much longer she thought the game would go on and reflected on how he had spent his time on the island. They rested for a while after the conversation dwindled, and Chris eventually got up to go in search of Michael, who had been gone for a long time at that point and unbeknownst to Chris and Maddie had left the area. Instead of Michael, he encountered Hansel once again and was quickly held at gunpoint. Chris lied that he was alone, hoping to buy time for Maddie to vacate the area, and he refused to turn around so that Hansel could shoot him in the back. His last demand was for Hansel to at least show him the respect of looking him in the eyes as he killed him, and Hansel obliged, dispatching Chris with a shot to the forehead.
Post-Game Evaluation: He went out with his head up. I'll give him that much. - Abby Soto
Memorable Quotes: "No." (...) "You can look me in the eyes and shoot me." - Chris's last words.
Below is a list of threads that contain Chris, in chronological order.
- The Visionary
- Welcome to Summoner's Rift
- Interstice of Time
- Nessun Dorma
- Cause When You Try Hard
- In Total Control
- The Faster The Treadmill
- I Was Once Alive
Your Thoughts Edit
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 Christopher Harlin. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
Chris was pretty good, but I never felt like he was ever the main fiddle, even in his death. It was always for somebody else, with somebody else, and about somebody else. Characters who are comfortable in the backseat are highly valued for a reason, but they don't end up better remembered for it, and that's sad.- Un-Persona
Chris was a pretty good read, though his early threads were sort of plagued with spelling errors and redundancy that took me out of his story a bit. I think Chris is a pretty solid example of adoption done well, and Deamon did a good job of getting in his head and trimming down the filler.
While Chris was well-written, he unfortunately sort of faded into the background in his larger earlier threads, to the point where his allies seemed to forget all about him when his activity slowed down, and afterwards he never stuck together with anyone else for long. I liked his death when I first read it back in V5 and still do, both for the subtle power move of forcing Hansel to look him in the face as he's dying and for the fact that his last thought is admiring Hansel's eye color, of all things. Overall, he's sort of a background character but a pretty good one. - backslash