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Sterling's Garage
I'm sorry, have we met?

A common occurence in fandoms of animated cartoons is for the fans to create their own characters, as a way of expanding on the storylines and giving a whole new dimension to the show. This sometimes doesn't work easily though, because the plotline centers around a small group which relies mostly on itself, thus making the introduction of outside characters difficult.

However, Road Rovers doesn't have that problem as it was told that The Master has a worldwide network of Rovers all over the globe (and even in space!) to help keep tabs on General Parvo or any other megalomaniac bent on conquest or destruction. With that in mind, there's few limitations to creating your own Road Rover, provided you have a good knowledge of the show that is.

I tried to create Sterling by keeping as true to the show's overall feeling as I could, while putting in a few personal touches to make him unique. So anyway, here's way more than you'd really ever want to know about my Road Rover, Sterling! (Man, took me long enough to get around to it, huh?)

Full Name: Sterling Bardow
Breed: Dalmatian (male)
Age: 3 (that's 21 in dog years)
Hometown: Watkins Glen, New York, USA
Position: Road Rovers VEMC (Vehicle & Equipment Maintenance Crew)

A bit over six feet tall, with an average build (for a Cano-Sapien, that is). His most noticable fur markings are that both his ears are solid black, as is the tip of his tail. Like any Dalmatian he has many spots, but they always seem to be different from day to day... a few new ones will have appeared, while others seem to have disappeared. Of course, these "magic spots" are more than likely just motor oil... such is the nature of a mechanic.

More often than not he's wearing his uniform; dark blue coveralls with the Road Rovers insignia on both shoulders and a few brightly-colored sponsor patches on the front, with a dark green shirt underneath, thick-soled black work boots, and a black baseball cap with a red number 28 on the front and a red-on-yellow stripe running along either side. If he's not in uniform he wears a dark green shirt and black jeans, along with his boots and cap. (Hey, I never said he was a fashion trendsetter...)

As a puppy, Sterling lived with a track worker of the famed Watkins Glen road course. Often he would bring Sterling to the track with him on race weekends so the pup wouldn't have to stay home alone, showing him around the garage where all the race teams busily worked to get ready and taking him trackside to watch as the cars wound their way around the course. Sterling loved it all; the cars, the fans, the noise, the excitement... and especially the leftover food in the concession area after the race!

After almost three years of bringing his beloved dalmatian to the races, Sterling's owner retired from his career at Watkins Glen at the age of 64, after working for the track since it had re-opened in 1983. Unfortunately, a few months after retiring he became very ill and had to be hospitalized. When he was told that it would take months for him to fully recover, he decided that it would be best if Sterling was given to someone who could take better care of him, and reluctantly gave him up for adoption to the animal shelter.

Sterling wasn't in the "lockup" for long though... only two weeks in fact, before he was chosen by The Master and brought to Road Rover Mission Control. After he was Transdogmafied (and given a little time to get used to walking on two legs), he learned why he was chosen; with the huge fleet of different vehicles and gadgets and gizmos that the Rovers had to battle the forces of badness, The Master needed dedicated crews of Cano-Sapiens who could keep them all in top condition and ready at a moment's notice, and the years Sterling spent at the track around all the special-built racecars had made him a perfect candidate. Realizing that he was being offered a dream job (and also realizing this would mean he wouldn't have his food mooched by that fat Labrador at the shelter anymore), Sterling immediately accepted.

Friendly, very active, and very, very energetic. It's not surprising to see him working on three things at once, practically running over anyone in his way while dashing between jobs. (If you're wondering, it's because Dalmatians are a very energetic breed by nature, not because Sterling drinks too much soda. Well okay, that's actually part of it too...)

While he can be aggressive if the situation calls for it, Sterling doesn't get angry very easily; the only exception is when one of the Rovers brings a vehicle back destroyed or near-destroyed. He considers them to be his own works of art, and when one comes back in more pieces than it left in he tends to get very steamed about it. But even then he's never resorted to violence, knowing that clubbing someone with a wrench isn't going to make them any better a driver. (That usually doesn't stop him from yelling at them really loud, though.)

Super Powers:
Super Creative: It takes a lot of ingenuity to just maintain and repair all those different vehicles. But considering how often the things get blown up, Sterling has to be super creative to get those burnt-out wrecks and loose piles of parts transformed into working transportation in time for the next mission.

Super Efficient: Three years of watching race crews change four tires and fill up a car's gas tank in under 17 seconds has had a definite effect on Sterling; he can get 'em ready to go faster than almost anyone. He even keeps a stopwatch with him so he can try and beat his best time for a particular job.

Super Driver: What, you don't think the ability to control anything with wheels and an engine is important? Just take one look at the way Hunter and Colleen drive and tell me that it isn't. Still think so?

I noticed a few other people had sound clips of what their Rovers would sound like, so I put in some thought on what Sterling should sound like and dug up some sound clips. Turns out the best choice was Dirk Benedict. Yeah, the guy from Battlestar Galactica and The A-Team. Okay, so he's no James Earl Jones or Sean Connery, but the voice best fits the character and that's what's important.

Anyway, here's a few short clips, with a little setup from me.

Clip 1: Sterling is introduced to General Parvo. Remember, the first impression is the most important!

Clip 2: A change of pace as the heroes explain their plan to the bad guys. Notice how he emphasizes the important parts for the more dimwitted henchmen.

Clip 3: Whenever Hunter brings back a wrecked vehicle, his explanation is usually just a smile and a shrug. Sterling REALLY hates that.

Clip 4: The guys in the VEMC have some really weird habits.

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