Holly is the codename for Captain Mara Ellison, the protagonist and narrator of OAKPODCAST.
Season One Edit
Holly wakes up on the sidewalk of eastern Alabama on Saturday, March 11, with nothing but her clothes and a burner smartphone. She sends a distress call to Oak or any member of Yule Team.
As of Transmission 2, Holly has officially been declared dead. She struggles to find work or panhandle enough to get fake documents.
Her encrypted morse code messages paint an ominous picture, mentioning a "deadline" in early May 2017 and begging her team for urgent medical assistance. Her team never responds, and Holly grows increasingly distraught, saying in a more secure transmission that she may have to do things Oak would never approve of due to the latter's jealousy.
Shortly before her phone call with Willard in Transmission 4, it's implied that Holly engages in survival sex work to obtain money for food and a beat-up Chromebook. Around the same time, Holly resigns herself to not making the deadline, saying she shouldn't have to suffer and stress over fixing "someone else's massive fuckup."
Upon speaking with Willard and then Oak, Holly's situation begins improving rapidly. She has the context to figure out what she's supposed to be doing to restore her security clearance and earn her honorable discharge, and she is much more hopeful and optimistic knowing Oak is still alive and on the way back to her in a few months. However, in Transmission 6 Oak appears to betray her, or at least the mission, and Holly is forced to set off a fireworks display in a Walmart to escape the approaching military helicopter sent to retrieve her.
Season Two Edit
In season two, Holly is still hiding from Willard and the U.S. Government. In Transmission 7, she says she's had to move locations twice due to Willard's aggressive pursuit of her. Although Willard says she's only wanted for safety and questions, Holly trusts Oak enough to flee twice, despite being seven to eight months pregnant at the time.
In a last-ditch effort to get Willard to stop tracking her, Holly gets drunk on a small box of pinot noir and reads a statement she recreated from memory from the papers she previously signed. She confesses to jeopardizing a mission in April 2016, leading to her abstinence from drugs and alcohol, leading in turn to her severely reduced tolerance eight months later at the Willards' party. She reluctantly "admits" to supposedly waking up after the holiday party to seduce Willard, then bitterly says she hopes he, his family, and the USMC can forgive her for any "trauma" her false statements may have caused them. Her statement harshly condemns Oak for repeatedly coercing and abandoning her. She says that she won't let the military take her and Ivy alive, and she ends by pleading that if Tom ever really cared about her, or Ivy... but then trails off before finishing.
She gives birth to Ivy a little over 36 hours later. Early on the 21st, Holly makes Secure Transmission 0817, in which she seems tired but ecstatic to meet Ivy. She practices the Jewish custom of reading Psalms (and hanging them on the wall, sort of) during labor. By the end of the short transmission, her contractions appear to be getting much stronger and more painful, so she cuts out abruptly and says she needs to get back in the shower.
The next few hours are apparently brutal, as Holly soon after returns Willard's call and takes him up on his promise that no one will find or bother her if she gets help. She seems on the verge of having a meltdown at the idea of being alone, but also at the idea of strangers being "in her space." She gives him her address and asks that Camellia (and only Camellia) come help her. Willard keeps his word, and Camellia arrives to help Holly give birth.
Early Life Edit
Holly was raised in an affluent Jewish home. She attended private school with Oak, although their exact relationship is canonically undefined. One of Holly's parents was a Navy Officer.
Holly was diagnosed with autism in her early teens. Although she felt relieved to understand why she was so different from everyone else, she also experienced an increase in teasing and bullying, which pushed her deeper into depression. Oak was her only friend for most of high school, and subsequently she got into much more trouble than she would have on her own.
After The Incident, both students were homeschooled. The pair later attended university in Boston together (2002—2006), where Holly studied computer science.
Oak talked Holly into joining the USMC after college graduation. They went to USMC Officer Candidate School (essentially boot camp for aspiring Marines who hold college degrees) together in 2006 and obtained the rank of second lieutenant upon completion of the program. Holly struggled tremendously to complete OCS, but cites a number of factors as helping her, such as training for months beforehand, researching the program obsessively to learn the reasoning behind everything, and being more afraid of being separated from Oak than going through OCS.
Holly and Oak both obtained the rank of first lieutenant in 2008. Although Oak was promoted to captain in late 2010, Holly did not receive her promotion until late 2011. Oak was promoted to major in 2015, but Holly's chance was pushed back (if not lost permanently) due to her issues with alcohol and heroin in 2015–2016. She seemed to be getting back on track and Willard was advocating for her promotion to major in late 2016, but then the holiday party incident occurred. Holly took an extended medical leave from the party to when she woke up in Alabama in March 2017, and by Transmission 4, she was simply trying to earn an honorable discharge and leave the military entirely.
After Ivy's arrival, Holly says in Transmission 9 that she received an "Other Than Honorable" discharge, making her ineligible for most veteran's benefits. She doesn't seem devastated by the news, although it is unknown how much of her words are a brave face. An OTH discharge is the most severe administrative/non-punitive discharge possible, and it was likely given due to Holly's disclosure of working while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Yule Team Edit
Holly is the most technologically gifted member of Yule Team, but she's also the clumsiest and least combat-ready. Camellia frequently accompanies Holly in the field to protect her or help her infiltrate high security areas. This non-infrequently leads to them making out to avoid suspicion. Holly has reportedly made out with every member of Yule Team.
The majority of Holly's work is boring computer work from home, however. She generally works part-time, opting for a pay cut in order to avoid having to go into the office regularly. General Willard helped her modify her workload in response to her substance use issues in 2015–2016.
Personal Life Edit
Before the events of Transmission 1, Holly lived with Oak in an apartment in Ottawa. It is unknown whether Holly is a Canadian native or simply working with CSIS, but she has spent a significant amount of her adult life in Canada.
Holly drove an older model Volvo and was very resistant to upgrading. She hates loud noises or having substances/gloves touch her hands (the clinging/sticking bothers her).
Holly is no longer religious, but she still finds comfort in conservative Judaism due to nostalgia.
Food Preferences Edit
Holly has a number of food aversions, due mainly to the texture. These aversions include:
- Cottage cheese
- Soggy bread
- Mashed potatoes
Holly lives predominantly off chocolate milk during the three month period she's without Oak in Ottawa. In Alabama, she consumes a lot of cheeseburgers, coffee, and the occasional pizza. She is also developing a taste for extremely raw meat, correlated with her other recent physiological changes.
Special Interests Edit
- Gemstones and minerals
- Hockey (Ottawa Senators)
- Horror movies
- Star Wars
- Star Trek
- Video games
- Steven Universe
Fears and Triggers Edit
- Christmas music/lights/festivities
- Being separated from Oak
- Harm coming to Ivy
Oak and Holly were roommates for many years prior to Oak's departure in December 2016. They appear to have grown up together and went through both school and military training together. They are highly codependent, but their strengths and weaknesses are complementary enough to allow both characters to function relatively well.
Holly and Camellia are surprisingly close friends. Camellia brought groceries to Holly while she was alone in early 2016. She sometimes watched hockey or Chopped with Holly to keep her company, and she was the one to dress and groom Holly the day of the tribunal. Later, she tried to check in with Holly and then apparently called the military police to do a welfare check when Holly didn't answer.
Holly and Evergreen are friendly. Evergreen, who is older than Holly, often gives her sound advice and is a calming presence. The two occasionally watch football together, but neither is very interested in it.
Holly and Willard were especially close at one point, with Willard mentoring Holly and helping her work out accommodations. The two share an interest in fancy alcohol and classic sci fi, although Willard looks down on Holly for her interest in sports and video games and her picky eating habits. Nonetheless, the two had an affair for at least two years, until Willard was up for promotion to General and needed to make things work with his wife. Although Holly supported his decision, she was upset because she was still in love with him.
They have recently become antagonistic due to Holly pressing sexual assault charges against him, although Holly slips in Transmission 4 and calls him "Tom" while extremely distressed. Willard is distraught while Holly is attempting to give birth alone in Transmission 8. He reminds Holly that he's protecting her, at great personal cost to his own career. After Ivy's birth, Willard continues to support Holly both emotionally and financially. As of Transmission 9, the two appear to be on at least amicable terms.
Holly is madly, deeply in love with Ivy and would do anything to protect her. Ivy appears to prefer Holly's company over anyone else's.
Leia Janeway Edit
Leia has proven Holly's closest and most reliable friend since Transmission 3. Although reproachful about constantly getting stepped on in Holly's extra-clumsy condition, she seemed to forgive Holly, mostly. She accompanies Holly throughout her travels, stands watch during Holly's naps, and even tries to bring Holly still-living bugs and mice to hunt and eat.
Holly found Leia being picked on by birds behind a Burger King in Alabama. Holly chased the mean birds away and then gave Leia some of her cheeseburger. Leia devoured the cheeseburger and then rubbed up against Holly's hand, purring. She climbed onto Holly's belly and kneaded it before falling asleep, and from then on, she followed Holly everywhere. She was even napping in Holly's backpack when Holly set off the fireworks in Walmart and then went on the run.
The reason Leia always tries to bring food to Holly (and later Ivy) is because she's returning the favor and trying to thank Holly for the cheeseburgers (and then wet food, once Holly's living situation and finances became more stable).
Holly knows Ashley from before the Corps, and even before university. The Willards have been friends with her parents for many years, and Ashley has always been very sweet to Holly. Holly feels minimal guilt for her initial affair with Thomas, since he and Ashley were separated and discussing divorce at the time. However, Holly would never willingly have sex with Thomas while he was back together with Ashley—her strongest reason for believing she did not consent the night of the holiday party.
Drug Abuse Edit
Holly has done drugs recreationally with Oak, but much less extensively due to her fear of breaking the law. She occasionally binge-drank in university, but her alcohol and heroin use became a problem the year or two before the show started, due to her insecurities about not being independent enough.
After her drinking and heroin use nearly jeopardized a mission, Holly cut down significantly. She doesn't believe total abstinence is necessary for her, but she is currently attempting to adhere to that for unrelated reasons.
- Holly lists Carrie Fisher as her biggest role model.