Barry Sembène (S/F)

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Barry Sembène (2015)

Barry Sembène is a Fulani-French animal handler and former sailor in the French Navy. He is known for his involvement in the InGen Security I.B.R.I.S. project, where he worked as an animal caretaker.

Name

The given name Barry is the Anglicized form of the Gaelic name Báire, which is a nickname for Bairrfhionn, Barrfind, and Fionnbharr. These names all generally mean “fair-haired.” However, since Sembène is French, it is unlikely that this is his real first name. Barry is often a nickname for Bartholomew, the French version of which is Barthélemy. This name originates from Aramaic and means “son of Talmai.” The name Talmai is of Hebrew origin and means “furrow,” but is also thought to be a version of the Greek name Ptolemy.

His surname, Sembène, is a rare name of Senegalese French origin. Its meaning has not been shared publicly.

Biography
Early life

Sembène’s early life is unknown. The actor chosen to portray him, Omar Sy, was born in 1978. Since he was a member of the French armed services sometime between 2000 and 2003, he was at least eighteen at that point in time, meaning that his latest possible birth year falls between 1982 and 1985.

He lived in France and has Fulani ancestry. At some point, he became interested in animals, though he ultimately has a military background.

Sembène learned to speak American English sometime during his life.

Military career

According to Jurassic World: The Game, Sembène has military experience, probably with the French Navy. In France, citizens can join the military at the age of 18; Sembène’s age when he enlisted is unknown, as is the date when he did.

During his time in the military, he became acquainted with First Lieutenant Owen Grady of the United States Navy. Grady served between 2000 and 2003, meaning that Sembène met him sometime between these years. They appear to have met during joint training exercises between the American and French Navies, where Grady was the lead instructor in their group. The two men quickly became friends, though Sembène found Grady’s marching songs tiresome. This is all based on details given in Jurassic World: The Game.

Details about Sembène’s military experience are mostly undisclosed. By the early 2010s, he had left the military to pursue an education.

Biology studies

Like his military experience, Sembène’s education is also taken from Jurassic World: The Game and is not discussed in S/F canon proper. Therefore, it and other aspects of Sembène’s life are subject to updates at the discretion of Universal Studios.

Rather than pursue a traditional higher education at a university, Sembène worked at a zoological facility in the south of France, studying animal behavior and biology. By that time, de-extinction was already publicly known, and Jurassic World had opened in 2005. This opened up whole new fields of animal research in both paleontology and genetics. During his studies, Sembène worked under French paleontologist Dr. Frédéric Lepont.

I.B.R.I.S.

Beginning in 2012, the Security Division of International Genetic Technologies began conducting its Integrated Behavioral Raptor Intelligence Study, a project intended to research the cognition of eumaniraptoran dinosaurs for Jurassic World, particularly Velociraptor. Sembène’s friend Grady began working on the project the year it began. Roughly a year after this, in late May of 2013, Sembène was contacted by InGen Security on behalf of Grady inviting him to join the I.B.R.I.S. animal handling team. Grady had emailed his superior Vic Hoskins on May 17 notifying him that the animals’ social behavior was more complex than anticipated and that Sembène was the ideal candidate for supporting the project.

Sembène moved to Isla Nublar, Costa Rica in 2013 to join I.B.R.I.S., reuniting with Grady. He was introduced to his new employer and head of InGen Security, Hoskins, as well as the research paddock where he would be working. At that point, there were four Velociraptors involved in the project: the eldest, Blue, followed by Delta, Echo, and Charlie. The raptors were trained to respond to commands given by Grady, who was their primary trainer; the project had been successful so far, but as the raptors grew, they became increasingly challenging.

Also a difficulty was Sembène’s superior Hoskins, who began working on an application for the raptors the same year that Sembène arrived on Isla Nublar. While the project was originally intended by CEO Simon Masrani to help integrate the troublesome raptors into the park successfully, Hoskins had hoped to train raptors as military animals. Sembène and Grady vehemently opposed this goal, and frequently turned down requests from Hoskins to field-test the raptors and determine their true potential in the open.

By 2015, the raptors had learned over forty commands and responded to Grady’s orders correctly 73% of the time. Despite some escape attempts, the team managed to keep the animals contained with only a few incidents. Sembène’s main role was to tend to the raptors’ health: while they were at the grooming stations, he would clean their teeth, treat any cuts and bruises, and address other such issues. This kept the raptors in excellent health, while Grady’s training ensured that they remained in superb physical shape. Sembène got to know the raptors intimately, developing an in-depth understanding of their body language and emotions. He was particularly close with Delta. Still, he understood how dangerous the animals could be, and made sure never to let his guard down around them.

Sometime in 2015, an incident occurred at the paddock in which a raptor mauled a worker. It is not known if the worker survived, but they could no longer continue their job, so a new employee named Colby Boothman-Shepard was hired and began by that December. Sembène appears to have taken this incident hard, and later showed little to no tolerance for accidents at the paddock.

2015 incident

A training session on December 18, 2015 ended successfully with the raptors ceasing their pursuit of a small pig at Grady’s command. Sembène congratulated his friend on the successful session, which the team had been struggling with. The session was attended by scientists and InGen Security personnel, including Vic Hoskins. Once again, Hoskins requested a field test, which Sembène and Grady declined. Hoskins described his aims for the raptors, explaining that they could be trained as military animals and used as a more secure alternative to drones. Sembène’s counterargument was that, while drones could be hacked or electromagnetically damaged and had limitations, animals have their own form of intelligence and even a trained military animal could rebel. Hoskins suggested that they terminate bloodlines that did not possess the desired behavioral traits, which Sembène could not take seriously enough to argue against.

The pig used in the training session escaped accidentally, reentering the paddock. Handler Colby Boothman-Shepard attempted to snare the animal, but it was attacked and killed by Echo as he did; Boothman-Shepard was dragged off the catwalk and into the paddock. Grady immediately entered the paddock to rescue the worker, and Sembène rushed to his aid, waiting by the paddock gates ready to close them. Grady aided the injured man in escaping, where Sembène severely admonished the young man. Grady instructed Sembène to close the gates, despite Grady still being inside; Sembène protested, but reluctantly followed his friend’s instruction. Grady backed away from the raptors slowly as they advanced on him, held back only by Blue’s hesitance to attack the man who raised her. At the last minute, Grady dove under the gates as they shut, narrowly avoiding the raptors’ teeth and claws as they lunged for him. Sembène reprimanded Grady for this risky rescue, sarcastically commenting (in French, so Boothman-Shepard could not understand him) that Grady should have let the raptors eat the man rather than risk his own life.

Sembène spent the day tending to the raptors. While he was grooming Delta, Hoskins approached them. Sembène joked with Hoskins about taking a raptor home; Hoskins replied by telling Sembène about a wolf pup he had adopted when he was younger, and how it protected him when his wife attacked him with a steak knife. Sembène maintained that the raptors were not suited to domestication and could only be trained at best, never truly tamed, and noted that Delta was looking at Hoskins the way she normally looked at food. While the men were talking, Sembène received a Code 19 alert, meaning an asset was out of containment; other staff confirmed that the escapee was an experimental hybrid bred by InGen three years prior, the Indominus rex. Sembène prepared to help InGen Security mobilize and deal with the escape.

Grady was unavailable to help him, having gone off on a separate mission with the park’s Operations Manager Claire Dearing. Sembène, knowing that Hoskins would likely use the escape as an excuse to field-test the raptors, kept an eye on InGen Security. A contingent of Security personnel led by a contractor working under Hoskins arrived on the island’s eastern coast using amphibious vehicles, with helicopters inbound as well. Sembène witnessed their arrival from a cliff and attempted to warn Grady, but his call went unanswered. Throughout the day, Sembène covertly observed Hoskins and Security. During the incident, Simon Masrani died in a helicopter accident at the park’s Aviary, releasing over a hundred more animals and leaving Hoskins as the primary authority figure on the island.

Without Masrani to rein Hoskins in, he enacted his plan to field-test the raptors using the Indominus as his excuse. Sembène returned to the raptor paddock, but he, Grady, and Dearing were unable to stop him due to his domineering Security force. Instead, Sembène and Grady opted to lead the hunt, hoping to mitigate any potential damages resulting from Hoskins’s plan. Hoskins himself returned to the control room to observe, leaving Grady in charge with Sembène at his side.

They released the raptors from their paddock for the first time, having them track the Indominus by scent. Grady took the point position on his motorcycle, with Sembène following on a Kawasaki Brute Force 750. The InGen soldiers made up the tail end of the group. After tracking the hybrid north into Sector 5, the raptors began to slow down, which Sembène noticed. He and Grady surmised that the raptors had found their target and took positions to attack along with the soldiers.

For the first time, Sembène saw the Indominus in the flesh. The raptors, too, were seeing her for the first time, but they appeared curious, not threatened. As the dinosaurs vocalized to one another, Sembène recognized the raptors’ sounds as social communication, despite being directed at the Indominus. He realized that they could understand one another, which caused Grady to hypothesize that the Indominus was engineered in part with Velociraptor DNA. The raptors began to question whether Grady was a worthy pack leader.

Hoskins, unaware of this unexpected development, gave his lead soldier the order to engage the target and they opened fire. Sembène joined in, firing at the Indominus, but his rounds failed to penetrate its thick hide. The raptors scattered in confusion and fear, and the Indominus began to flee just in time to avoid a hit from a projectile explosive. Grady advised the soldiers that the raptors had become enemy combatants, just as Sembène had feared would happen. The soldiers tried to make an orderly retreat to regroup, but the raptors turned hostile and began ambush attacks which sowed confusion among the soldiers. Grady and Sembène were separated in the chaos. Charlie was killed in the firefight, causing Blue to become enraged. She charged Sembène, who sheltered in a hollow log as the furious raptor tried to claw her way inside. Sembène drew his sidearm, prepared to shoot his animal if necessary, but shouted her name before making a move to fire. Blue hesitated, peering in at him, but before the confrontation could continue she was distracted by Grady revving his motorcycle’s engine. She chased off after Grady, her anger redirected. Delta and Echo followed their eldest sister, leaving Sembène and the surviving InGen soldiers to safely evacuate.

Sembène, along with the rest of InGen Security, abandoned the island and helped the thousands of tourists evacuate Isla Nublar. By the morning of December 19, Hoskins was announced dead, as were the Indominus and all the raptors save Blue; the park was closed permanently. Sembène and the other survivors were evacuated to a hangar at Juan Santamaría International Airport where they were treated for their injuries. Sembène helped the injured tourists receive medical attention, directing doctors and triage nurses to the more urgent cases.

Aftermath of the incident

Sembène’s last major involvement with the 2015 incident was the Indominus hunt, so any information he learned about later developments probably came from Grady and Dearing. He probably learned that Hoskins had worked with Dr. Henry Wu to engineer the Indominus as a military animal, and sought to further this line of research. He would certainly have heard from Grady that Blue had ultimately accepted him as her alpha again and turned on the Indominus; this would have contrasted drastically with Sembène’s own last encounter with Blue. How he reacted to learning this information, as well as learning of Hosksins’s death and the deaths of all but one of his raptors, is currently undisclosed.

Sembène was not involved with the Mount Sibo controversy over the next three years, similarly to his friend Grady. The volcanic eruption took place on June 23, 2018; Dearing, now the founder and leader of the Dinosaur Protection Group, had contacted Grady but not Sembène about a rescue mission to Isla Nublar. The operation was carried out illegally, and Grady chose to join at the last minute, so Sembène was probably unaware of it. The next he would have heard was on June 25, at which point Grady and Dearing had been betrayed by their employer‘s estate manager, stowed away off the island, broken up a black-market animal auction, adopted a child, and bore witness to the last dinosaurs being released into the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

Skills
Physical ability

Sembène’s military background ensures that he has achieved excellent physical shape. He does not live a particularly rugged life, but is quite capable of performing fieldwork and keeping up with his peers on missions. He prefers a pragmatic and tactical approach over brute force, however.

Skill with animals

Having studied modern animal life as well as de-extinct animals, Sembène is a skilled animal handler and understands the biological needs and behaviors of Velociraptor especially well. He worked with this theropod extensively between mid-2013 and late 2015, tending to their health and psychological needs. At the time his involvement with I.B.R.I.S. ended, all four of his charges were in good health both physically and mentally. He did not participate heavily in training the animals to respond to commands, though it is likely that he assisted Owen Grady in this process from time to time.

Firearms skill

Due to his military background, Sembène is proficient with firearms. During his employment on the I.B.R.I.S. project at Jurassic World, he had two weapons of choice: a 4″ Smith & Wesson Model 500 that he used as a sidearm and a Remington 870 rifle for ranged combat. Like Owen Grady’s rifle, this gun’s purpose was likely to bring down potential rogue raptors, though he did use it in combat against the escaped Indominus rex. Sembène’s Remington is equipped with a Crimson Trace Rail Master 201 laser sight, Mossberg ghost ring sights, and a Magpul MOE furniture. He possessed JHP rounds for his pistol.

While Sembène took up arms against the Indominus rex in December 2015, his weapon did not harm the animal due to its intensely tough skin. He did not use his pistol during the incident, though he was prepared to use it in self-defense against a Velociraptor.

Driving

During his time at Jurassic World, Sembène primarily used company vehicles to get about the island. During the 2015 incident, he utilized a Kawasaki Brute Force 750. He is a proficient driver and capable of maintaining control even offroad in rough forested terrain. Sembène probably possesses a French driver’s license (permis de conduire), or did as of 2015.

Language

Sembène is bilingual, fluent in both French and English.

Views
Relationships
Owen Grady

Sembène’s closest friend is Owen Grady, who he met when the latter was a sailor with the U.S. Navy. Grady is the rougher and more headstrong of the two, with Sembène often acting as a foil to his friend by being more calm and collected. Still, Sembène is prone to outbursts similar to Grady’s when he is under stress, though he has better control over his temper. He is more tactically skilled than Grady, though not as physically strong or skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Their differing skill sets make them an effective team, as well as good friends to each other.

Their friendship persisted even while they were separated by entire continents. In 2012, Grady was hired by International Genetic Technologies to work on the I.B.R.I.S. project, moving to a remote Pacific island over a hundred miles from Costa Rica while Sembène lived in France. A year after the project began, Grady requested to his superior that Sembène be brought onto the project for his expertise in animal handling, which was approved. This speaks volumes of how much Grady respects Sembène’s skills, and Sembène’s accepting the position so quickly highlights the strength of their friendship. Sembène was an irreplaceable asset to I.B.R.I.S., helping Grady care for his raptors in ways that InGen’s other experts did not. The project was stronger with the two men working together. Sembène also backed up Grady in his opposition to their boss Vic Hoskins’s aims for the project. Although he sometimes doubted Grady’s judgment with the raptors, he ultimately trusted his friend to know what he could handle.

During the 2015 incident, Sembène and Grady were separated for the better part of the afternoon; during that time, Sembène tried to warn Grady about Hoskins’s plotting, but was unable to reach him. Instead, he continued to quietly observe as InGen mobilized, watching to determine what they were truly up to. When he and Grady reunited that night, Sembène immediately revealed Hoskins’s operation for what it really was: a field test of the I.B.R.I.S. raptors. Together with Grady, he took charge of the ill-advised field test to try and mitigate any potential damages. Sembène closely monitored the raptors’ behavior, looking for any signs of trouble and communicating to Grady what he noticed. He was the one to note that the raptors were slowing down, indicating that they had caught wind of their target, and the one who realized that their vocalizations with the Indominus were social in nature. These observations helped Grady plan his course of action, and caused him to realize exactly what had gone wrong with the mission. During the ensuing chaos, Grady used his motorcycle to distract the enraged Blue from attacking Sembène, saving his friend’s life.

Sembène was wounded during the incident, but was safely evacuated off the island along with Grady and the others. Safe in the knowledge that they had both survived, the two friends parted ways after the incident.

Vic Hoskins and InGen

When Sembène began his job as an animal caretaker for the I.B.R.I.S. project, he came under the umbrella of InGen Security and its head Vic Hoskins, who led the division from 2001 to 2015. Like his friend Owen Grady, Sembène respected Hoskins’s combat experience but disagreed with his enthusiastic support for the use of military animals as well as his rampant nationalism. Sembène was less confrontational, even joking with Hoskins from time to time, but was very clear in the ways that he disagreed with his boss. Sembène’s main issue with the use of Velociraptors as military animals was their intelligence: he feared that, if not properly trained, the raptors could choose their own path rather than listen to their trainers. This would naturally lead to disaster just as much as Hoskins feared would happen with drones. Hoskins’s solution to Sembène’s argument was to breed the raptors for loyalty. Sembène did not consider this even worth refuting, since loyalty is a learned behavior, not a genetic one, and Hoskins clearly did not understand enough about animal biology or behavior to formulate a coherent argument.

Sembène’s levelheaded demeanor led to him having a better relationship with Hoskins than Grady did. They did not have an open conflict even though Sembène made his objections quite clear and backed up Grady during disagreements. Sembène only became truly angered at Hoskins when the latter used the tragic death of Simon Masrani as an opportunity to field-test the raptors against a much larger and stronger opponent.

Sembène’s relationships to other InGen personnel are less known, though he had no tolerance for foolish decisions or mistakes. He cooperated with ACU in keeping the raptors contained, and though he opposed the InGen soldiers brought to the island during the 2015 incident, he worked alongside them without confrontation and protected them from danger. However, the InGen soldiers abandoned him after the firefight with the raptors and Indominus went poorly. He had less patience for the inexperienced paddock workers; after an incident in which a young worker was almost killed by the raptors, Sembène admonished Grady for risking his life to rescue the man, sarcastically remarking in French that Grady should have let the raptors eat the worker instead.

Along with Security members, Sembène probably worked with other animal trainers and the park’s paleoveterinarians. By 2014, the lead paleoveterinarian was Dr. Suzanne de Lange; she succeeded Dr. Tim O’Donnell sometime after 2004. Since Sembène’s job primarily concerned the animals’ health, he probably worked alongside these employees. He may have known Dr. Henry Wu, the creator of the raptors, or some of his scientists as they performed research on the animals. To recieve information about goings-on at the park, such as Code 19 incidents, he most likely relied on control room technicians Lowery Cruthers and Vivian Krill.

Claire Dearing

The Operations Manager of Jurassic World, Claire Dearing, was not Sembène’s direct superior, but she had equal authority to Hoskins. She was also the park’s Senior Assets Manager, so part of her job would have been handling information regarding the raptors and other I.B.R.I.S. assets; despite this, she had not visited the raptor paddock before the 2015 incident. Sembène and Dearing did not frequently work together due to their differing jobs, but Sembène’s work in keeping the raptors healthy was relevant to Dearing’s job managing and monitoring park assets, and vice versa.

I.B.R.I.S. animals

Sembène was introduced to four I.B.R.I.S. Velociraptors when they were about a year old, in mid-2013 after he was brought to Isla Nublar to join the project. He became a caretaker to the four raptors, grooming them and providing a source of comfort and familiarity. While the raptors often challenged their lead trainer Owen Grady for authority, there was no such conflict with Sembène, who was not there to act as the pride’s alpha but rather to ensure that they remained healthy and satisfied.

The eldest raptor, Blue, quickly proved to be a suitable leader for her sisters as she was stronger and more intelligent than them. She also was the only one to show signs of empathy, an essential trait in an effective leader. Due to her status, she had a closer relationship to Grady than Sembène. While she was friendlier with Grady during her youth, she grew to challenge him, trying to usurp power and status. She did not have this conflict with Sembène. During the 2015 incident, she attacked him after going rogue; Sembène was prepared to shoot her, but first tried to establish his identity by shouting her name. She paused her attack at this point, though no further attempts at de-escalation could be made as Blue was lured away by Grady.

Sembène had a particularly close relationship with Delta, the pride’s most skilled hunter. Enhanced with DNA from geckos and birds of prey, she had excellent night vision and tactical hunting skills rather than resorting to brute force, making her similar to Sembène in that respect. He had a detailed understanding of her body language and motivations, more so than other handlers did. Delta was one of the victims of the 2015 incident, being killed by the Indominus rex while Sembène was not there to protect her.

The third sister, Echo, was a troublesome individual who at one point challenged Blue for beta status in the pride. It is unknown if Sembène was there to witness their conflict, though he probably helped her recover from the severe injuries to her lower jaw that she sustained. Echo’s jaw was salvaged and restored by Jurassic World’s paleoveterinarians, though she was left with a permanent scar. Echo shared a position at the bottom of the pride’s hierarchy with Delta and frequently spent time with her, so Sembène probably worked with Echo often. Along with her sister Delta, Echo was killed by the Indominus rex during the 2015 incident while Sembène was absent.

Charlie, the youngest, was more energetic and rambunctious than her elder sisters and also more prone to having her animal instincts take over. She was Blue’s favorite, so she most likely worked with Grady more often than Sembène. Nonetheless, all of the raptors were Sembène’s charges, and so he provided care to her just as much as the others. Charlie was the only raptor to die during the 2015 incident in Sembène’s presence; she was shot by an InGen Security soldier using a rocket launcher. Because of her death, Blue flew into a rage and attacked Sembène.

Other de-extinct life

Sembène primarily worked with the raptors as a part of I.B.R.I.S., but probably spent time among the park’s other animals. His expertise in caring for theropods would have made him useful at other theropod-themed attractions, such as the Cretaceous Cruise or T. rex Kingdom, as well as in the animal habitats of Sector 5 (particularly the non-IBRIS Velociraptors and Deinonychus). He participated in the hunt for the Indominus rex, though he strongly opposed the use of raptors to track the escaped animal. Sembène took part in the firefight against the hybrid, but due to its thick scaly hide, his weapon had minimal effect. Once the animal fled from the gunfire, Sembène was pitted against the raptors until Grady lured them away; from then on, Sembène would have had to evade the Indominus through the jungle to safely reach civilization again.

Portrayal

Barry Sembène is portrayed by Omar Sy. He is not based on any particular character from Michael Crichton‘s novels, but is rather an original character created for Jurassic World.

His name is not mentioned in Jurassic World, though he appears in the credits. His first name became widely known due to his appearance in the video game LEGO Jurassic World, while his surname was first featured in the video game Jurassic World: Evolution.