Spec. Mike Houseman
5'10", thin but muscular, Black hair, dark eyes

Mike has a large tattoo on his upper right shoulder of the American Flag.  He and his squad agreed to each get the tattoo when they finished basic training.  He is extremely well kempt.  Never a hair out of place.  Mike likes to keep his moustache trimmed neatly and close cropped to his face.  Out of uniform, Mike likes to show off his sense of perfection.  Even in this day and age, he tries to always wear his uniform.  Mayamiko Houseman earned this right to wear the uniform coat and now displays it proudly. While he rarely leaves the sanctity of the home he has ‘adopted’ he may adorn less ‘elevated’ clothing.

Why.  Not how.  He’s got the how part.  Patience with an interest in the unknown, Mayamiko was set on this path a long time ago.  More on that later.  Mike is an observer; a watcher.  He’ll sit on the sidelines and watch the play unfold.  He’ll pick out the wrong part, the missing part, and fix it. He’s not necessarily a ‘doer’ but he will absorb what is happening then act upon that information. Houseman is the epitome of an investigator. When something goes wrong he wants to know why it did.  Anyone can figure out the how.  The early bird gets the worm, but the smarter mouse gets the cheese.

Definitely not your Alpha male, Mike is the guy who works behind the scenes to make sure everything goes right for those types.  He internalizes pain, anguish, frustration.  But he’ll keep that smile going.  He’s an i dotter and a t crosser. He never wanted the fame or fortune that went along with being a soldier.  Mike figured it was a way for him to better explore the whys revolving around in this world.

Growing up Black in the south isn’t easy.  Hell, growing up Black anywhere isn’t easy.  Even though his parents were hard working folk, he would often be on the end of callous, rude, bigoted remarks made by others during his schooling.

While his father made a decent living as a long-haul trucker, he wasn’t around for much of Mike’s young life.  Mike heard the racist jokes from his peers about “…Mike’s in the Guinness book of records…he actually knows his Dad and he’s an only child…” or “what’s the difference between Mike’s Dad and a pizza… a pizza can feed six people…”  Mike learned at a young age that the world was a cruel place.  Often running home crying, he had to grow a thick skin quick.  Mama out working day shift at the hospital and Dad on the road left Mayamiko to his own devices.  Most often that was books.  He loved diving into stories that took him off into other worlds.  He poured through the old Hardy Boys books sneaking ahead to find out if he had correctly identified the robber or found out where the hidden jewels were kept.  Housemen read, and read a lot.  It was the mystery of knowing that there were so many other worlds out there, and he had yet to see it all.

Mike Houseman had a taste for mystery.  On rainy days he would climb onto his grandmother’s porch, and Mau-Mau would sit him up in her lap and tell him stories of the old South.  The really old South where education wasn’t allowed and "colored folk were hanged because they walked into the wrong store or sat at the wrong counter". Mau-Mau didn’t sugar coat anything.  She told him exactly what he wanted to know.  He learned of the Klan and the Secret Societies that ran the small bumpkin country towns, where they were held tightly under the reign of corrupt judges and abusive policemen. Mayamiko learned that his great uncle had been hanged right in his own front yard.  His Mau-Mau’s cousin was dragged to death because she looked at a white woman in the street.  She always answered his questions and looked him straight in the eye. But she couldn’t answer one question for him.  ‘But why Mau-Mau?” Always ending her story little Mike would ask her: “Why?”

She didn’t know why.  She couldn’t give the boy an answer.