Arlene Sanders


Arlene Sanders, Private First-Class (later Lance Corporal), is a character from the Doom novels by Dafydd ab Hugh, and is the best friend of main character Flynn "Fly" Taggart.


Spoiler Warning: Plot details follow.

Arlene first meets Fly when she joins the Marines and arrives at his barracks sporting a high-and-tight haircut. Fly's commanding officer, Gunnery Sergeant Goforth, a many-years veteran from the deep South, spouts his disdain at seeing a first-year female marine with such a haircut and begins haranguing Arlene, who takes it all in stride. Goforth gets an idea in his head to test her out; he believes that "any muh-REEN!" is a rifleman first and creates a contest. Emulating William Tell, Goforth places an apple on Arlene's head and shoots it off with his rifle. As his men congratulate him loudly (sans Fly, who finds the entire event ridiculous), Arlene propositions Goforth to undergo the same trial. She places an apple on his head, grabs a rifle, and shoots it off almost dead center. Goforth, swallowing his pride, eventually admits "it's YOU, Private", and never harasses her again. She is then accepted socially into the group of marines, and this act of bravery makes her an instant friend with Fly.

Their friendship seems to be a ceremony of opposites, as their personalities and outlooks on things are quite different. Arlene was raised Episcopalian, but as years progressed she felt disenchanted with religion and became a staunch atheist. This is in contrast to Fly, a long-suffering Catholic who took his faith very seriously. She also at one time went to college and expressed interest in going back after leaving the marines, displaying an above-average intelligence regarding technical aspects, again in contrast to Fly, who was more level-headed.

She is also much more romantic than Fly, stemming from her relationship with Willhelm Dodd and marriage to Albert Gallaten, both of whom she originally hated upon first meeting. When Fly and Arlene are shot into space after attacking the Freds' ship, leaving Albert behind, she sinks into a deep despair over the loss.

Also a member of Fox Company, Arlene is the Fox Company's best scout, and one of the few people that Fly truly trusts. Like Fly, Arlene gets caught up in the invasion of Phobos and Deimos. Unlike Fly, she uses her scout training to sneak around, and leaves way points of sorts in the form of arrows marked A.S., influenced by the film Journey to the Center of the Earth. When they come under attack by the invading forces, she asks Fly to make a pact: If Dodd has become a zombie, Fly should be the one to take him out.

Despite the pact made, Fly hesitates to destroy her former lover, leaving her to finish the job. This is a relief for Fly, because they both knew if he had been the one to take him down, it would have created a barrier between the two of them.

Spoilers end here.

Character traits[edit]

  • Despite her smaller lithe frame, Arlene is nearly, if not as strong as Fly himself. While she is a better thinker than Fly, she does not have the same cool head that he does.
  • Arlene has/had a brother, whom was easily swayed. Because of this, she felt the Mormons, whom she deems a cult, had taken advantage of his "weak mind." To recover her brother, she had gone undercover, and tried to rescue him.
  • Arlene is one of only two characters who makes appearances in all four Doom novels.
  • She is a big fan of science fiction writing and films, as well as H. P. Lovecraft (she name-checks him when claiming that the alien invaders were "eldritch"). Though Fly does not really care for those kinds of films, she nevertheless "drags" him to sci-fi movies and conventions.

See also[edit]