Charles is a genius who loves to analyze puzzles and figure out things connect. He pieces together how to find the new camp and join up with it, based on what he figures out about radio wires. He also realizes that Ruby is an “orange” long before she admits it to any of them, and at first doesn’t want to take her along due to the risk, but then changes his mind and bonds with her. In the camp, he knows something is wrong, and points out how some of their gardening methods are irrational. It bothers him that everyone is given an assigned role and not allowed to deviate from it or do much of their own thinking. Though he initially doesn’t want to allow Ruby to accompany them, he is persuaded by the wants and needs of the rest of the group to accommodate her involvement, and finds it relatively easy to talk to her, confide in her about his frustrations and feelings, and bond with her over their shared sense of something being off about Clancy. He almost dies attempting to help Ruby during the firestorm in the encampment.  

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Charles has a nickname that only a few people are allowed to use – “Chubs”  — and it’s not long before Ruby starts calling him by it. He can be hostile or welcoming, suspicious, paranoid, and worried about the trouble she might cause them, fretful that her orange level of danger might draw adults to their trail, and not sure he wants to take that chance – but also willing to compromise for the greater group. He prides himself on being rational above all, and can be quarrelsome when he notices ineptitude in other people. He doesn’t easily take risks, and keeps a lot of his theories about people and their motivations to himself.