Charlotte Langly's world, like that of most Americans, was shattered by the States War, which lasted through much of her early adulthood. Despite the violence, she managed to get the education necessary for her career in meteorology. She also met and married David Langly. Together they had a daughter, Lily, in the midst of the conflict. Their son, Logan, was born five years later, just before the introduction of the Marking program.
Charlotte eagerly accepted the Mark, hoping that it promised a permanent end to bloodshed. Her husband David did likewise. Charlotte's mother, Sonya, received the Mark as well, but when she came to resent it, tension built between Sonya and Charlotte. Charlotte thought her mother must be senile, and the two often grated on each other's nerves. Lily sometimes had to serve as the family peacemaker.
When Lily flunked her Marking, Charlotte was stunned. Her son Logan later explained, "I think the day my sister didn't come back from her Pledge, Mom just...checked out. Everything inside her just left. Like poking a hole in an egg and sucking out the yolk...Mom's all shell now." She quit her job, seldom left the house, and rarely spoke above a whisper. Charlotte came to fear the Marking process, although she still supported it.
"Mama, stop it! Today's about Unity, country, quality of life! The States War—we were falling apart!" —Charlotte Langly
Charlotte remains a shell for the duration of Swipe. Logan knows that he cannot discuss the Mark with her, so he initially turns to his dad for comfort. But once Logan begins "acting up"--at least in his parents' eyes--Charlotte sides firmly with her husband. She helps him confront Logan after they find out about the burning note on Logan's desk, although she supports David mainly by her presence. Charlotte accompanies her husband to the Umbrella after Logan's arrest. She says nothing, but David is so upset that neither does he.
On the morning of Logan's Pledge, Charlotte is extremely tense. She sits stiffly in her chair and watches Logan as he leaves. Charlotte is too overcome with dread to even bid him goodbye.
"I've been reading disease reports--"
"Oh, have you? That's good, dear. That's real healthy. Just read about all the death you can--I'm sure that's helping to ease your pain." —Charlotte and Sonya
Somehow DOME's announcing the news of Logan's escape from his Pledge brings Charlotte back to the real world. She returns to her work as a meteorologist and regains her much of her old spirit. Unfortunately, she ends up using that spirit to quarrel with Sonya, whom David invites to live with them. Sonya, meanwhile, uses Charlotte's meteorology equipment to secretly broadcast a pro-Markless radio station from the Langly's own home.
"Is this—a broadcast? Are you broadcasting this from my office?" —Charlotte
Charlotte continues her meteorology work with no idea of what is happening to her children. She also has no knowledge of Sonya's activities, assuming that Dianne Phoenix's nightly visits are really about playing gin rummy. When Sonya asks for information about how weather mills work, Charlotte offers her a copy of a technical manual without suspecting that Sonya's real interest is anything but recreational. Charlotte accidentally walks in on Sonya's final broadcast, just after Sonya burned off her Mark, and reacts in fear. She pulls some wires and ends the broadcast herself. Despite her opposition to Sonya's activism, Charlotte and David continue to allow the now Markless Sonya to live in their home.
Charlotte is still working as a meteorologist three years after the Markless protests ended. Logan decides against "living" inside her computer weather programs, however, considering his father's architectural programs more interesting.
As a scientist, Charlotte tends to value objective facts. She loves her family deeply, however. The loss of Lily not only shattered her family, it shattered all of the facts Charlotte thought she knew about the safety of the Marking process. The double blow stunned Charlotte, draining the liveliness from her personality. Only a second shock--Logan's disappearance--pulled her back to reality.
Charlotte has little tolerance for what she views as nonsense. Although she cares for others, she seldom comes across as warm.
Family and RelationshipsEdit
Charlotte loves her husband and two children deeply. Her relationship with her husband was strong enough that he remained faithful to her even after she changed as a result of Lily's disappearance. Her relationship with her mother is not nearly so strong. Charlotte believes that Sonya's opposition to the Mark is irrational. Both are strong-willed women, and their political disagreements have created a barrier between them.
Charlotte is a trained meteorologist as well as a competent housewife.