The (More Than) Complete Cast of CVRPG
Heroes, Villains, Low-lives, and Agents of Leisure
Like many living in this wondrous, futuristic times, Claypool grew up looking to the stars. He knew, from the day when he first though of what he'd want to do when he grew up, that's he join the military and explore the cosmos. He worked hard, went to school, got he degrees, and immediately enlisted. He was gonna make it!
And he did. Kind of. Claypool, among his many traits, is very smart, and he had a tendency to think his way through situations before others did, realizing what would be successful and what wouldn't. And then he'd open his mouth and question orders that he didn't think were right. If you know anything about the military, this wasn't the best move Claypool could make.
That's why, despite his double-masters (electrical engineering and robotics) Claypool wasn't made an officer. Talent is appreciated but insubordination is not.
Still in many ways Claypool found his groove in military life, eventually working his way up to Staff Sergeant. It was the right amount of power for him -- just enough that he could question orders and find his own way to work through situations, but not so high up the ladder that people started noticing when he was off doing his own thing.
Of course, when certain missions came up that required a keen mind (while at the same time having potentially small survival rates), Claypool was often volunteered. His tendency to survive was likely part of the reason, but his smart mouth didn't hurt.
Claypool loves to tinker with gadgets. When left alone he'll look at what's available and try to find new ways to do things, new things to build and experiment with. Now that he's with our heroes on an intelligent, living ship, there's all kinds of new things for him to explore. He's likely to be able to get up to all kinds of trouble.
While some might be upset to be assigned "babysitting duty" for this crew (by the Terran Intergalactic Government), Claypool is actually pleased, over all, with the situation. He gets to explore new worlds, see new parts of space, and no one is getting in his face about questioning orders. Asking questions and defying orders (especially from the captain) is all part of being a part of the team.