Full Name: Daniel Christopher Sheldon
Weight: 159 lbs
Class Rank: 42 out of 1023
Build: Normal, Fit
Beliefs: Moderate Conservative
Birthday: July 10, 2061
Favorite Color: Orange
Genetics: Scotch-Irish, German
Religion: Methodism (formal religion), Mennonite (strong influence)
Distinctive Qualities: Intellectual prowess, physical prowess, cunning wit, technical genius, comedic genius, well-coordinated, tolerant, brave, sincere, respectful, charitable, moralistic, even-tempered, casual, social, athletic, agreeable, faithful, lighthearted
Distinctive Drawbacks: Dense, childish, unsophisticated, unkempt, reckless, careless
Disorders: Albinism, mild ADHD
Character Inspirations: Tony Stark, Dr. Watson, Hoban Washburne, close friends
Summary: A kind and simple young genius with an unshakable faith in God. He is Jan Sherael's long-time best friend and one of the few people he trusts. Dan has a passion for designing, fixing, and operating any kind of machinery. He enjoys working, sports, video games, and socializing. Despite past ridicule and a very physical personality, he has rarely been known to show aggression.
Daniel, or "Dan" as he usually prefers, has a severe case of albinism; he cannot produce pigment within his body. Hence, his skin and hair are extremely pale and his irises are clear, allowing the red retinas to show through. His eyes are very sensitive to light, particularly to drastic changes in lighting, and he suffers some degree of myopia because of their malformation. His skin burns very easily in direct exposure to sunlight and does not tan. Dan's albinism is constantly at odds with his character, because he loves the outdoors and despises any special care. He addresses his condition casually, commonly wearing a black hoodie over his usual plain T-shirt, using the hood for direct exposure. He also dons a pair of prescription photochromatic sunglasses when necessary. While people tend to be taken aback by his pale features and red eyes upon first meeting him, he regularly dismisses his condition as, "no big deal." Ironically, even with his albinism, his vision and tolerance to sunlight are far superior to that of Jan Sherael. Daniel is generally unaffected by the numerous snide comments he receives about his complexion, but does find it regrettable that some people cannot accept diversity. He and Jan are commonly referred to by peers as the two palest people in the school. Jan himself has also gotten accustomed to Daniel's condition, though he will sometimes take advantage of it in sarcastic banter.
Aside from his albinism, Dan has a very normal physical demeanor for a boy his age. He is actually more fit and physically adept than most of his peers. He shares Jan's high metabolism and lanky build, but his weight is much more believable because of how much he exercises. He does not advocate or condone fighting, but can easily street brawl his way out of a dangerous situation if need be. While knowledgeable in computers, he is not highly influenced by the digital age, preferring simple and more social activities like sports and helping his family with large projects. While Jan is a more cerebral intellectual, Daniel is a true "hands-on" genius. He does not see manual labor as "below" him, and he often applies for part-time jobs to fund his personal hobby: fixing and restoring used cars. He's extremely skilled with all manners of tools and can usually be found under the hood of a car, fiddling with the engine. He is particularly jaded to the physical pain that sometimes results from mechanical mishap. His mechanical knowledge comes from books and personal experience, which enables him to think up practical solutions to mechanical problems. It is not uncommon for him to devise and construct simple inventions from various discarded machine parts. In school, Daniel specializes in math, technical education, and computer science. He even surpasses Jan in these areas because Jan, whose mind is analytical, but not mathematical, cannot specialize. Daniel has the potential to be even smarter than Jan is, but he does not devote much time to schoolwork. He does not possess Jan's fervent persistence, nor his reliable memory, instead exchanging them for superior wit and charm. Rather than lose himself in ambition, he prefers to focus on the big picture of life.
Dan is a Methodist Protestant, making him a religious majority in the United States. He refers to himself merely as "Christian," having never understood the concept of Christian denomination, though he has recognized Catholicism as "supposedly different" from what he believes. While Daniel is very confident in his faith, he is remarkably tolerant of other beliefs. Unlike Jan, he is openly willing to socialize with those who possess radically different beliefs from his own. He is more of a relativist, respecting others' points of view and admiring the wondrous variety among people. His personality is rather even-keeled, albeit excitable and emotional at times. Occasionally, a topic will come up about which he has a strong opinion, often regarding the importance of conservative American values. Jan refers to these opinions as hypocritical discrepancies to his ordinary personality, which were "unfortunately implanted into his mind by his redneck family." He respects the emotionality and humanity of others, and may even lie if to protect those ideals. Daniel was born to a poor family like Jan was, but rather than overcompensating and acting above others, he acts amiably. He has high hopes for his future, but he respects the world for what it is, not trying terribly hard to change himself or others.
Daniel is of typical American lineage, not taking particular interest in his ancestry or heritage. If asked his ethnicity, he would easily reply, "American." He finds other cultures interesting, but makes no effort to fully understand them or implement their elements into his life. Jan is surprised that his "lackluster blend of genetics has produced a genius of his caliber." Daniel's mother is a peaceful and sensible homemaker with a part-time job as a clerk. His father is a frequently unemployed auto mechanic with a mean temper and a smoking, alcohol, and gambling addiction. He has a younger brother and even younger sister, both of which he is often required to care for. His home life is hectic and laborious from chores, but is fundamentally stable. Like Jan, Dan is the smartest person in the history of his family, but by an even wider margin. While Jan is on good terms with Dan's family, he thinks of it as a "willfully ignorant Midwestern family with adorably simple values." Dan is well aware that he is an intellectual anomaly within his family, but unlike Jan to his own family, he does not hold its shortcomings against it.
Daniel himself is extremely uncultured, much to Jan's frustration. The first time Jan invited him over for tea, Dan squeezed out the teabag with his bare hands, creating a huge mess. Daniel tries to be polite and respectful whenever possible, but is fundamentally boorish and unmannered from his upbringing. His cleanliness and hygiene are not obsessive, but are kept up on the basis of what he deems sufficient. For instance, he would not using someone else's silverware. He doesn't thoroughly believe in formal practice, and has a general distrust of unnecessary authority. For example, he tends to mistrust mainstream analysts, doctors, and politicians -- a belief which he picked up from his father. He has the self-sufficiency to live by these ideals, because he isn't nearly as sickly, pampered, or vulnerable as Jan tends to be. Jan's affinity for culture and formality perplexes Dan because he sees humanity as a unit, but he nonetheless finds his friend's opinions interesting. Daniel's personality is rather homely and "rough around the edges," as Jan would put it, because Daniel "apparently doesn't know his own strength." Daniel has indirectly and inadvertently injured Jan several times, to the point that Jan has made him promise to be careful around him. Daniel never consciously tries to hurt anyone, but he does have a violent streak to him. However, it tends to surface more out of childishness rather than aggression.
While not officially a popular kid, Dan is a regular friendly face around the school and local community. He's a volunteer and an extrovert in almost any situation, which has gained him status among his peers. He has a large group of acquaintances that he often forces Jan to hang out with in order to get him to open up, often to no avail. Among the girls in his school, Dan is considered to be rather attractive, which completely mystifies Jan, who thinks of him as an "ugly farm-boy." He's been through a handful of girlfriends over the years -- luckily the breakups are usually rather tame. Since he is on rather good terms with most of his peers, he can flaunt his nerdiness a little more openly than Jan does. Esoteric T-shirts and pop culture references are an occasional part of his repertoire.
Relationship with Jan:
Daniel met Jan in the fifth grade, shortly after Jan was traumatized. Daniel, out of general courtesy and having often been mocked himself for his condition, sympathized with Jan when he saw the way he was being treated. Dan saw him as "an interesting guy who looked like he could use a friend." At the time, Jan was very much content with having no friends. Having never learned to socialize, Jan often interpreted Dan's acts of concern as aggression, and continued to shut him out like he did with everyone else. Jan's initial impression of him was "that annoying kid who tries to make my life hell." This all changed when Jan realized Daniel's true intentions. Jan was being badly harassed by another student, and upon witnessing this, Dan assaulted the student. He was suspended for a short period of time, but he earned Jan's respect as "the only person who really stood up for me." Having started to pay attention to Daniel after this, he began to notice his extraordinary intellect. He never stood out as a genius because he doesn't apply himself, but Jan concluded that he has "natural intelligence," and therefore his "core nature" is compatible with his own. Jan keeps him around now because he often puts his convictions to shame, breaking every stereotype he attempts to form about him. Mystified by his strong spirit and uncanny altruism, Jan sees him as one of the few people he can't predict.
Unfortunately, this friendship did very little to mitigate Jan's rage towards the rest of the world. His ambitions and goals remained uninterrupted. The friendship went through various remissions when Jan was making major progress in his research. They always saw each other in school however, because their last names, close to each other in the alphabet, frequently put them in the same classes. The two would frequently make wisecracks in the back of the class, and when reproached, Dan would take the blame. They constructed a barter system by which they would do each other's homework depending on who had more time that day. They also devised a secret code by which they would write messages to each other if they were forbidden from talking or sat too far apart. Neither of them respected their school system, but they made each other's school lives a whole lot more bearable for each other. They tend to disagree on matters just as much as they agree, though both tend to back off when they realize no good can come from arguing. Jan is fairly confident that Daniel would agree with him on most things if "he could just understand." When Jan gets into an argument with someone else, Dan will often support him and step in with a fresh and witty retort, since Jan's thoughts tend to get emotionally compromised under pressure. Daniel's energetic personality and spontaneous humor easily lighten up a dull or gloomy situation, and his company is particularly comforting to Jan because he reminds him of his former innocent self. Jan sometimes suspects that Dan was the reason he kept his ambition, because his presence kept him from snapping completely.