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Michael Eastmund
Edits made.

Introduction Thread

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
It's one of those interesting accidents I like analysing.

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
MK Kilmarnock
Aug 21 2012, 08:44 PM
So, what you're saying, brother, is that Everybody Loses? :B

While I'm pretty sure it's really just coincidence - Dodd brought Adam back for v3 because he could, pretty much, and Bryan never actually finished v2 endgame; v3 epilogue is likewise unfinished, so we have no idea what's happened to most escapees in that game - I think it adds something to the game. Two winners are even confirmed dead (Riz and Sydney Morvran - the first winner of a proper SOTF), the test run winners always ended up dead or put in the next game, and the other two main games' winners have their fate up in the air. When you take that and consider that the only confirmed survivors have been those who broke the rules and escaped, going on to do some good (STAR/V3 escapees) or at least getting to return to their lives (V4 escapees) it gives the idea that you never really "win" or get away if you go along with Danya's game at all. The island just takes too much away to allow for it. I like it when accidental themes develop like that.

The General SOTF Discussion Thread
Sorry to bring up another topic, but while editing stuff on the wiki I noticed something. Am I the only one who finds it interesting that none of the actual SOTF winners are confirmed alive? The only people who've properly survived the games have been AT members and escapees.

Michael Eastmund
I'm not sure I got everything, and bloody hell the thing's still huge, but I made edits. Tried to trim fat away, made changes you asked for, clarified things, clarified Jason's involvement and Mike's misinterpretation of the whole "be a real man" thing, made Alicia more involved, added details, etc. Sorry, it's 2:30 AM now so if I missed things or you want more stuff changed up let me know.

Michael Eastmund
(Quick note, anything to do with Paulo and his backyard MMA stuff has already been talked over and ironed out with Outfoxd, as have connections with other characters mentioned in bio)

Name: Michael Eastmund
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Grade: 12th
School: Aurora High School
Hobbies and Interests: Football team, working out, reading, fighting, boxing, mixed martial arts, art, internet browsing, gaming, film

Appearance: Mike is someone who stands out in a crowd. At 5'10" and 210 pounds, he's very solid in build; Mike doesn't have a perfect six-pack or the ridiculously cut physique of a professional bodybuilder, but the bulk of his weight is lean mass and powerful muscle. He has a thick waist, broad chest and shoulders, large back and trapezoid muscles, a strong neck and long arms that, while not huge, are noticeably well-muscled. Mike's legs are like stone, cabled with rock-hard muscle and prominent, very well-defined thighs and calves. The lines of his muscles show well on his lightly tanned skin.

In contrast, Mike's face could be described as handsome, in a slightly boyish way. His sandy hair is kept in a Caesar cut so it's out of his way, and his features are somewhat soft and youthful. He has fuller cheeks, a firm but rounded chin and jaw, thin lips, a small, slightly pointed nose and large blue eyes that are slightly sunken but not noticeably so. His face is clean shaven. He is nearsighted, but never wears his angular-framed eyeglasses in public, opting for contacts instead.

Mike often has a fairly casual manner of dress, with mostly subdued colours like greys and deep reds, and comfortable and practical clothes like sweatpants, hoodies, sleeveless shirts and nice sneakers.

Biography: Michael has lived in Seattle all his life, the second child of Jason and Alicia Eastmund. Jason had been a college football star before becoming a bigshot defence attorney, while Alicia is a detective in the Seattle Police Department. Alicia had a decent salary from her work, but Jason clawed his way to a senior partnership at a major Seattle law firm not long before their marriage, so money was no longer an object for them by the time their children came along - first a boy named Thomas, then Michael two years later.

Mike was somewhat quiet in his youth, but friendly enough. Even though he wasn't always the most active or enthusiastic child, he tended to get on quite well with other kids, often making friends with other lawyers' children despite any rivalries their parents had in the courtroom. Part of this was his own naturally friendly demeanour, and part his father's influence - Jason has always tried to keep relations between himself and other attorneys friendly and respectful, both to help everyone's careers and because of his belief that there's nothing personal to two lawyers facing off in court. Even though Thomas and Mike's parents could have easily afforded to send them to a private school like some of their friends, Jason chose to put them in public education instead. Michael didn't have much trouble on starting school, reaching a comfortable level of popularity just from being honest, polite and willing to spend time around anyone who seemed interested.

However, while his father was something of an alpha male, Michael didn't seem to have quite the same natural edge. Michael grew up in good health, but he wasn't particularly gifted physically, and while he as was fine with running around on a field and getting his hands dirty as any kid, he preferred quieter pursuits like reading, watching movies, playing video games, or working on art projects, as he quickly discovered he was a fairly talented artist. Michael was also soon discovered to be nearsighted, and became the only person in his household who needed glasses. Worst of all, he honestly found the law to be extremely boring, and has never been able to understand his father's passion for it. When he looked at his father, it seemed to him that the only thing they had in common was their love for the sport of boxing - when Michael was only a few years old, his father took him to his first professional fight, and Michael has been fascinated with the sport ever since. At first, Michael just thought the fights were cool, but as he grew older he was drawn in by the sport's history, its physically demanding nature and strategies, and the inherent sense of drama to two men squaring off in the ring.

While he didn't care how Michael preferred to spend his time, it looked to Jason as if Michael were heading down a path of being weak, unassertive and unwilling to live up to his potential; this, coupled with feeling it was a father's duty to pass down his wisdom, led him to try passing down his philosophy and encouraging Michael to become more of a real man, though he neglected to clarify what he thought a real man even was. Unfortunately, he was too busy with his job to spend as much time with Michael as he would have liked, and forgot Michael was still just a child who would see it as Jason disapproving of him not being more of a typical alpha male. Michael also began having his first encounters with less pleasant students around this time, who often saw him as just a weak rich kid and thus easy prey, which reinforced Michael's feelings that he was somehow lesser for not being more like his father. Thomas defended him from these bullies when he could, physically or verbally, but eventually became vocal in his disappointment with Michael's inability - or lack of will - to stand up for himself. As much as he cared about his brother, he was frustrated to no end by the fact Michael seemed willing to just sit there and take it.

As time went on, especially through middle school, Mike began to grow bitter and insecure. He started hiding his interests and true feelings from people, often becoming defensive when questioned and much less willing to open up to people outside of a few close friends; this was both due to growing feelings of insecurity and inferiority, and a perception that this was how real men were supposed to act. Michael resented his apparent weakness and failure to match his father or brother's examples, and became more and more withdrawn, feeling unworthy of anyone's time. Michael kept to himself for much of middle school, often browsing the internet or reading books on his own time rather than socialising with people he felt were too good for him; these feelings of worthlessness weren't helped by the fact he was at the age when boys were first starting to notice girls, and he felt he simply didn't match up to any of his colleagues.

Eventually, Michael's family noticed his deteriorating self-respect and loss of interest in socialisation, and midway through eighth grade, his mother decided to have a talk with him about it. As a result, Michael realised he was sick of feeling so disgusted at himself all the time, and rather than continue on this path, Michael chose to start making improvements. Before long, he began dedicating himself to making a complete physical transformation, spending much of his free time in the school weight room, and completely revamped his diet to encourage better health and gains in muscle mass - to this day, he still dislikes sugary foods or drinks, and will generally only drink water, milk, some juice and the protein shakes he makes himself.

Michael became almost obsessed with getting in shape, reading up on and asking people about the best workouts for him to do and religiously following what routines seemed effective, even forcing himself to start getting up at five in the morning to go on long runs. To further his goals, Michael tried out for the football team on starting high school and actually made it in, though he wasn't very good at first. The training was very hard, and it was a while before he started seeing real improvements, but Michael had grown to hate how he used to be so much, and want to impress his father enough, that it kept him going even when things were at their most difficult. When his family realised how seriously he was taking it, they also leant their support, though his father warned him not to overdo it. Thomas often acted as a coach to him, while his parents were frequent sources of advice; often, Jason would provide motivation and dietary advice while Alicia helped out with workouts and kept a more direct eye on him to make sure he wasn't getting hurt or in too much trouble. The sudden outpour of support caught Michael off guard, as he'd partly expected to have to go it alone, but he was glad for the help and accepted it without protest.

Michael's efforts started to slowly pay off late in freshman year, as his hard physical training coincided with a growth spurt, and he received another boost to his confidence when he started wearing contacts instead of his glasses before the school year let out. Michael also discovered just how strong he was becoming shortly into the summer, when he ran into one of his old tormentors. The other boy began harassing him again, and eventually Michael lost his temper and threw a punch, laying him out.

Word spread about the fight, which eventually led to Michael being roped into Paulo Silva's circle of backyard MMA fighters. The idea of fighting took Michael a little while to get used to, and he didn't fight terribly often, but few of Paulo's fighters had any real skill, so Michael's raw strength carried him through until he began to discover a certain amount of natural talent as a fighter. Michael's football training continued, and with his improving performance on the field, and hanging out and fighting with Paulo's group as a way to vent, Michael's self-confidence began to improve. He rarely came home with anything worse than a few bruises, but he hid the signs of his fighting from his parents, knowing they would disapprove of his involvement.

This served him well until about a quarter of the way through his sophomore year, when Michael ran into his first opponent who actually knew what he was doing, a slightly older boy from the circle. The other boy was a talented practitioner of Kyokushin karate, and took Michael apart without too much trouble despite the difference in strength. Paulo has not allowed Michael to live the loss down. Humiliated, Michael realised his strength alone would no longer be enough, and a short time later he was finally able to work up the nerve to join a local boxing gym. Balancing the football team with serious boxing training - especially if he wanted to make room for his studies or any other extracurriculars - was difficult, but Michael was hooked right away; he'd always loved boxing, but watching and actively training to compete were two different things. Michael threw himself into the training, and though he lost his first fight, he quickly found his strengths as a fighter and improved immensely. At about 160 pounds, Michael started as a middleweight, and has steadily crept up through the other weight classes as time went on.

Starting his boxing training has been greatly helpful to Michael, and life has been good to him since. Michael is now a promising heavyweight on the amateur scene, amassing a 5-1 record in two years, including two knockouts and one referee stoppage. Michael's football has also developed well, and he soon managed to claw his way to his current position as a fullback on the varsity team. Even though he sees football as a hobby and a means to an end, he takes great pride in his position and puts his all into every game and practise, which lets him do his job well.

With a few exceptions, Michael gets on well with his teammates - he sees them as people he has bled and sweated alongside for years now, and as people who were supportive of him during his quest for self-improvement. The team has helped him become much more confident and assertive than he once was, and while he still trains hard, he's largely happy with his body as it is now, having largely overcome the self-loathing of days gone by. Michael still hangs out with Paulo's backyard MMA group, but is less actively involved with the fights than he used to be; boxing and football have taken up most of his extracurricular time, and he feels he has nothing left to prove, as he's already beaten what members could provide a real challenge to him - including Paulo himself.

Michael is now one of Aurora's more popular students, and he has a number of friends and acquaintances in the school. At the same time, he has made a few enemies among the rest of the popular crowd for his tendency to butt heads with those he sees as bullying weaker and less popular students. Notable examples of this would be clashes he's had with former football player Adonis Alba, and a relationship with Stacey May-Mordetsky that abruptly ended with him cutting all ties with her once he realised just how self-absorbed she was.

While he doesn't hate himself like he used to, Michael sometimes wonders how many people are actually his friends, and who just likes his family's money, or his position on the football team, or who sees him as just a tough fighter who's good to have around if there's trouble. He can still be a bit shy, and is a little reluctant to fully open up, worried about potentially losing respect from people if they find out about his nerdier interests or learn more about him as a person. In moments of weakness, there are people he will go to for support, but he tries not to show any signs of being weak if he can help it. These are all thoughts he keeps private, or will let out to a select few people he considers close friends, such as teammates Brian Zhdanovich and Cody Patton, childhood friend Naomi Bell and fellow art and film enthusiast Amy Bachelor.

Michael has grown closer to his family thanks to his efforts at self-improvement. Thomas now studies Criminal Justice at the University of Washington, with plans to study law at Stanford University once he's earned his Bachelor's, and the two brothers keep in touch through Facebook. Relations between Michael and his father vary from pleasant to slightly cool, though not deliberately - Jason is proud of what Michael has accomplished, but worries about the pressure he puts on himself, while Michael still isn't very good at reading his father and is still figuring out what Jason means by being a real man; his father has always intended for him to find his own answer to that. While a bit loud and overbearing, Jason has never been outright mean or rude to Michael or anyone in his family, just stubborn and sure he knows what is best, so it hasn't been hard to make amends. Alicia is often busy, but they have a close relationship without much of note happening, and she still gives Michael advice when he needs it. There is occasionally some awkwardness in the Eastmund household due to Jason and Alicia's naturally opposed careers, but nothing too problematic.

Academic requirements have pushed Michael along when he might have otherwise got distracted and allowed his studies to flag behind, and he currently has a comfortable 3.0 GPA, with his plan for senior year being to push it as close to a 4.0 as he can. This is partly a matter of pride, and partly to increase his options as he looks around for colleges. The added study load is a daunting challenge considering all his other commitments, but Michael plans to figure things out as he goes on that front. While he isn't entirely sure what he plans to do after high school, he knows that after graduation he would like to try to get into the Golden Gloves tournament, and eventually become a professional boxer. He has read up a lot on the corruption surrounding the sport and its problems, from judging scandals, promoters playing at politics, the overabundance of sanctioning bodies and declining popularity in the United States, including the sorry state of American amateur boxing, but none of these issues have diminished his love for the sport. Instead, he has decided he will try to become the next prominent American heavyweight on the world stage, and do what he can to fix the state of boxing in the US.

Advantages: Mike is very physically strong, and a good hand-to-hand fighter who knows how to use his strength effectively; this fact has given him a reputation that might make people less willing to mess with him. Football and fighting have given him good reflexes, along with training him to be able to take a lot of punishment and to have a lot of stamina. He has a high tolerance for pain. Michael also has a strong work ethic, plenty of determination and quite a few friends he can rely on, including his teammates.
Disadvantages: His vision will be a factor; while he has glasses in his rucksack along with extra contacts and solution, it is possible for these to be lost, and he will be vulnerable if he needs to take his contacts out. Michael isn't quite as agile as he could be; while he has plenty of explosive speed, his mass makes for a bit less manoeuvrability. Michael's reputation as a good fighter might make people reluctant to mess with him, but could also leave people less willing to trust him, and some might take it as a challenge to bring him down. His combative nature could draw him into confrontations that would be better avoided, and his desire to be seen as a real man means he's unlikely to risk looking like a coward by running away from a bad situation. He has also alienated some people among Aurora's social elite, somewhat limiting his chances of making allies, and isn't a particularly subtle person.

V5 Character Themes
Mike Eastmund's theme is easily The Measure of a Man from Rocky V. The others I still have to figure out, though.