(Spoiler Alert: So, I cheated a bit and omitted his name, but there are some spoilers for Book 2, so watch out. If you don’t want to know if the Professor is telling the truth or not, don’t read this profile!)
Name: Professor A. Spencer
Birthday: January 15th.
Appearance: Tall, incredibly bald and with a bit of a beer gut. He has a long nose, thin mouth and sharp face. He enjoys suits, neckties and fine shoes, using only the best even if it drains his bank account. Very picky about color and texture, Spencer cares a lot about his appearance.
Personality: Professor Spencer is a very intellectual man, focused on teaching and studying biology, virology and social studies. Even when younger, he enjoyed intellectual debates over beer inside smoky pubs with his equally pretentious mates. However, this doesn’t mean he hasn’t a crass side: fighting in the street while drunk was often the end of such nights.
Cunning, not above lying and ambitious, not many would think he cared for the good of Humanity, but he does. He feels very accomplished and happy by surrounding himself with students, teaching and discussing ideas about society and human behavior compared to how viruses behave. He has compassion for the little guy, the one that works very hard to learn something and dedicate all his time to get better. Unlike his brother, Spencer believes society is more good than bad, and can rise above pettiness if given hope. This is all during civilized times, of course. When push comes to shove, Spencer is willing to do what it takes to survive, especially if his survival is important to the greater of good (which of course it is!).
Background: A Londoner all his life, Spencer shared his youth with his brother. They would do everything together — bad or good. One year apart only, they shared ideas, dreams and challenged each other to do stupid, reckless things in order to gain a deeper meaning of life. Both extremely intelligent, they were arrogant and thought themselves better than 80% of the world. When they lost their mother, and then years later, their father, the brothers began to grow apart. Touched by the loss of their parents, Spencer learned how to be more empathic of other people’s suffering. While he matured and dedicated himself to be a better person (with questionable success), his brother became even more bitter and disillusioned with others. Unable to hold a job for long, he turned to Spencer for money, with resulted in disagreements and finally the end of their friendship.
After getting a job as a professor in a university, Spencer married a colleague and fellow teacher. The marriage didn’t last long and by the time the Pan-African War started in the 90’s, Spencer had already divorced her. Thus, his social life consisted of drinking in a pub while grading papers, when not lecturing.
Hobbies: Reading, watching documentaries, drinking and enjoying a good night of sleep. He occasionally also watches football (or soccer).
Bonus round: Spencer is a fan of The Beatles. He also likes to watch silly reality shows and competitions. He’s fond of Dancing with the Stars, although he won’t ever admit it out loud to anyone.
Alignment: True Neutral.
Name meaning: Well, the meaning of his first name isn’t what’s important in this case, but if he’s telling the truth or not about who he is. His surname, on the other hand, derives from Despenser, which means steward and I thought fitting since the Professor is in charge of protecting and guarding the briefcase.
Trivia: The Last One Out was the last character and chapter I came up with. I felt that I didn’t have someone who showed the spread of the virus and gave the outbreak worldwide validity. That and the fact none of the other characters had this ruthless view of survival or the stakes that the Professor provided. The briefcase always existed, but not him. As I wrote the book, I began to like him even more. At first, I was afraid that I couldn’t like him as much as I did the others, since he was the last one, but the more I wrote him, the easier it was to enjoy his dry humor and outlook on life.
And that’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed the profiles. Next week I’m going on much-needed vacation, but after I’ll start a new series of blogposts, maybe about zombie history to celebrate October.