For her entire life, people have been telling Fiona Richards that she's special. From the Key Form 1 teacher who found five year old Fiona reading "A Tale of Two Cities" in French to the A-level instructor who embarrassed himself in front of Fiona when she corrected the equations he'd been working on for decades after having seen them only for two minutes, she's been constantly told that she's just smarter than everyone else around her.
She was put into special programs. She started college early. And by the time she was fourteen she'd designed her first robot. It was small, just about the size of a mid-sized lawn mower. But it mounted sufficient weapons and had enough zip that she won the International Robot Wars Challenge four years running. At age eighteen, she published "Nanoscopic Robots In Physical Reconstruction of Bodily Tissues as a Means of Fighting Cancer", and instantly became an internationally known wunderkind (you would too if you had just cured 80% of all the cancer in the world). Her designs made her richer than the dreams of avarice. Not really knowing what to do with her sudden wealth and fame, she started a technologies corporation.
And the rest is history. Since the founding of her company twenty-four years ago, its become one of the largest multinational firms in the world.
Personality and MotivationsEdit
Like most metagene enhanced intellects, Fiona Richards is a driven person. It seems to be in her nature to constantly tinker with whatever it is she is working on. She's capable of focusing like a laser beam in order to get things done, but when not actively working her mind tends to flitter like a butterfly from subject to subject. Granted, her high intelligence means that even such "fluttering" is brilliant by nature.
She's friendly, and generally likes to please people when she can. She's generous to a fault, kind, and caring, but somehow doesn't seem to recognize where people's personal boundaries are, or when she should really stop talking (or when profanity is inappropriae... Doctor Richards can swear like a pro). This can often lead to embarassing situations, which is why she keeps Margaret Shaw around.
"We will never know the answer to that question unless we test the hypothesis."
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Doctor Richards' metagene-enhanced intellect makes her a master of a variety of scholarly and scientific endeavors. She can quickly grasp the meanings of most languages, and her work stands far ahead of the efforts of most other researchers. This has allowed her (and her company) to produce robots, computers, and other machines more advanced than any in the real world, and in some cases more advanced than even the cutting-edge technology seen in the Butlerverse.
When it comes to science and research, Fiona Richards manages to hit just about every mad-scientist stereotype one can find: she's obsessive, sometimes blind to the consequences of her research, and willing to overlook all kinds of dangers just to finish an experiment.
On another level entirely, Fiona Richards is an immensely powerful person politically and socially (it comes with being one of the fifty richest persons on the planet). She's friendly, and she tries to make the world a better place, but one should never, ever think she's naive. She's a skilled political player and is not afraid at all to throw her money behind whatever cause she feels needs support.
The one thing that Fiona obsesses over more than her science is her adopted daughter, Portia, whom she spoils as only one of the richest people in the world can. Fiona Richards is open about her homosexuality, and is engaged in a long-time relationship with her partner/bodyguard, Margaret Shaw.
The thing that surprises most people the first time they meet the world-famous Doctor Fiona Richards is this: she's a tiny, plump, middle-aged woman rather than the usual tall-standing, sleek captains of industry that the stereotype of "successful businesswoman" seems to require. She stands only 4' 9" tall, and while she might weigh a bit more than she should at her height, the extra padding makes her look happily plump rather than grossly fat.
Fiona is pretty, but not beautiful (her jawline might be just a bit too hard and straight to be completely feminine, and her nose might be just a little too large for her face... at least that's her opinion of her own appearance). Her hair is dark brown with a generous smattering of gray, and when it is long it is almost unmanageably fly-away. (This is why she normally keeps it in a bob, just below her jawline.)
When in the office, she dresses in light-colored business suits. She prefers whites, creams, and sometimes even pastels to the standard dark blues, grays, and blacks other professional women usually wear. In the lab, she dresses much more casually. She often wears a lab coat over a tank-top and cut-off jeans shorts, though more commonly she wears slacks and a t-shirt.