AGE: Approximately 30, give or take a year.
PARENTS: Mother: Died of cancer when Arthur was 15. Father: Still living, a retired army man in his home state of Iowa. Incidentally, his father believes that Arthur currently does security consulting for wealthy private individuals and corporations. Their relationship is complicated, to say the least.
CHILDHOOD: Arthur was an army brat - he was born on an army base in Germany, and his family never spent more than a year or two in one place before being stationed somewhere else - several places in the US, Germany, Italy, Japan and Thailand. As an only child, Arthur thus spent most of his time alone - it was difficult for him to make friends. He focused instead on his studies from an early age, and by the time he graduated from high school he was already multi-lingual - English, German, Italian, Japanese, and French to name a few. They were living in Bangkok when his mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and she died a little over a year later - Arthur was fifteen.
EDUCATION: Arthur enlisted in the army right out of high school, ROTC, to pay for his college education. He got degrees in Economics and Computer Engineering from Duke, then went right into full-time army service.
CAREER: He rose quickly through the ranks, and was recruited into special ops. From there, he was tapped to help oversee a new, top-secret program: dreamsharing.
Arthur was trained in the operation and maintenance of the PASIV device, and became heavily involved in the development of the program for the army. That's how he met Cobb. (And Mal, and Eames?)
Dom and Mal Cobb had been contracted to help design training simulation environments for the dreamers, and Arthur was assigned to oversee the work that the Cobbs were doing. The three of them, despite disparate personalities, hit it off, and Dom and Mal started showing Arthur some of the things that could be done with the dreamsharing tech that no one in the army would ever consider. Arthur liked what he saw.
So, almost four years into his service, Arthur engineered an 'accident' - one which allowed him to receive an honorable discharge from the army. He immediately went to work in the employ of the Cobbs - mostly as a kind of research assistant, as they delved into the world of the human subconscious.
At that time, they often skirted the bounds of legality, and sometimes they even crossed them, taking on the occasional extraction job because they involved very large pay days, but for the most part what they were doing was 'pure creation' - creation for its own sake, or for the sake of furthering academic knowledge of the dreamsharing and what it could do.
When Mal fell ill, or so Dom said, Arthur had a tough time dealing with it. He spent more and more time away from them, doing extraction jobs on his own and building a list of contacts in the criminal dreamsharing underworld. Then, when Mal killed herself, Arthur, maybe feeling a little guilty for having been so absent the last months of her life, took it upon himself to help Dom get back to his kids and clear his name. Other extractors tried to woo him away from Cobb occasionally, but he never budged, acquiring a reputation as a perfectionist, someone who gets the job done and done well, and simultaneously as somewhat of a loyal dog, following along at Cobb's heels no matter how crazy his notions got.
This entry was originally posted at http://aloadeddie.dreamwidth.org/4181.html. Please comment there using OpenID.