Personal Journal: the_jynxed
Contact: AIM: Phoenixaenigma
Your First Canon Character: Armand
Total Characters Played: 2
Character: Alex Furest
Description of World: The world is a dystopic modern America, the year 2010, percisely. Their technology is years ahead of the technology we know (your standard sized modern laptops actually being only used by people who want a lot of power in a computer, your average user using a tablet, possibly with a keyboard extension. 50 Terabytes is as common to them as a 500 gigabyte hard drive, and 40gigs of RAM is like our 8gig option). Beyond computer technology, their general sciences are more advanced than ours, most viral/bacterial diseases that cause us major problems, such as STDs, have cures. They are capable of repairing nerves, and growing limbs to replace prostheses- or even partially organic prostheses is something that is possible, if not actually put yet into major usage. These advances occurred thanks to the past of the world- where a few smaller discoveries were made, skyrocketing scientific discovery.
As of 1998, Cars also do not run on oil, but mostly on solar power and various alternate fuel sources, such as bio-fuel, hydrogen, or ethanol. This is because the world has actually run out of fossil fuels at the start of the economic crash. While managing to develop methods to deal with this problem, flights and most deliveries were made impossible for some time worldwide, setting the entire world into a desperate situation. Because of this loss, there were no terrorist attacks the following years by trains or planes, as tickets were nearly impossible to get, and both modes of transportation had mostly shut down. This means that no war started either, saving America's wealth and leaving them better off than most other countries. By 2010, things had begun to recover economically, though the middle class had essentially disappeared. The government, while still democratic, has become rather corrupt and is mostly a puppet government, various unnamed people having control over things, keeping things and changing things regardless of votes.
Another major difference between Alex's world and ours is the government program called the CRP “Children's Rehabilitation Program”. Their public line is that they take children predisposed to mental disabilities or insanities and study the developmental process while attempting to minimize the possibility of such problems actually emerging. What the program actually does is genetically treat youth so that they are given the genes that allows them to see and eat negative emotions rather than food. They call those who do such “shadow eaters” since they see the negative emotions as a kind of dark three dimensional shadow. This particular genetic structure was discovered within a South-American mountainous tribe that developed it to cope with the lack of food in such high altitudes. The government planned it to avoid such a disaster from happening again, but when they realized that some of the people put through the experiments are able to use their emotions and the emotions of others and shape them into strange powers they began to steal those away for further studies. They continue pressing on the research and hope to train those that do show powers within the labs as soldiers. The people subjected to the experiments are treated as being less than humans, due to their genome having been changed to be different enough from human.
Personality: [Trigger Warnings in Personality and Background: Child abuse, sexual abuse mentioned, suicide, and rape. Though I will do my best to keep all triggering parts as non-triggering as possible.]
Alex is extremely introverted. He shows little interest in going far out of his way to interact with others in a face-to-face situation, though he can be quite talkative online. When forced into a social situation, or a situation he finds otherwise uncomfortable, he tends to zip up his oversized sweatshirt and put up the hood, hiding his hands in his pockets. He has a fear of large crowds, but if he gets to know a person in smaller groups or over the internet he can usually form a decently stable relationship.
The abuse from the labs at the C.R.P., combined with the abuse he suffered at home has caused him to dislike being touched suddenly as it causes a kind of flight reflex, as he is expecting there to be pain associated with the touch. That does not mean he does not like contact, but it either needs to be initiated by him, or from someone he trusts when he can see that they are moving to touch him. In fact, contrary to his typical response of fear at being touched, he tends to be rather affectionate when someone has his trust.
He is non-confrontational and more likely to avoid a subject he disagrees with than pursue it with very few exceptions. Most importantly, he will stand up for his friends if they are insulted. Another thing that he feels strongly against is men who bully others. He might not always stand up to the bully, being horrified of getting hit himself, but he will do his best to support someone he sees being abused. The more he loves someone, the more likely he is to break these usual patterns of behavior, getting himself hurt to protect them, or sometimes actually going out of his way to attack someone that has hurt his loved ones.
On the rare occasion that Alex does decide to stand up for himself, it is usually via the internet, computers, or some sort of program. Of course, he even goes so far sometimes to make sure the person does not know it was him. This is especially true if it is because someone has insulted his computer skills. Usually, however, Alex will fall silent and take the abuse. Over the years he had become accustomed to it, though in recent months he has gained more confidence and become more likely to actually stand up to himself. One of the only things that will make him physically attack someone else is if someone insults his mother. He considers her the only good part of his childhood, and has grown to think of her as an angel, putting her up on a pedestal. Anyone trying to take her off of that needs to be stopped.
He also has a phobia of sexual situations, blood, and heights. The fear of sexual situations is caused by his past, as is his fear of blood. While not a phobia, he avoids doctors out of fear as well due to the trauma the doctors and scientists at the C.R.P. put him through. He is also afraid of many other, smaller things as well and a rather skittish person in general, but when he is needed he is usually reliable. There is the occasion, however, where he will freeze completely. This occurs when what is going on is just too much for his to process- like being on the front lines of a battle.
Alex is a genius of sorts. He had a hundred- if not a near hundred- in all of his classes in high school, but his true genius lies in his skill with computers and math-at least math that is involved in algorithms for dynamic programming. He can rattle off most programming languages as easily as if he was speaking English. He is even capable of reading the binary versions of commands as easily as he can English. He works with many various computer programs, especially creating AIs with a dynamic learning ability.
However, his programming is not what he is known in the internet community for- it is his hacking skills. He, if he desired, could hack even the most secure systems. Once he is able to establish communication with a network, there is nothing that can keep him out if he really wants to get in. Of course, this might take a few days for a particularly hard system, but he will not give up until he gets in.
The way he will relentlessly attack a program is the same way he will relentlessly attack a puzzle. There has yet to be a puzzle he has not solved, but he still loves a good puzzle that takes some time for him to complete, even if it takes days or months.
He is also able to set bones and sew stitches because of his experience in doing so for himself after particularly bad night with his father. Still, his fear of blood keeps him from often offering this aid if there is anyone else who will do the job. He's also a halfway decent singer, though he only sings when he's alone, usually when he's hacking or programming.
Background:His earliest memories were of his mother, Maria, getting hit to the floor by his father. He can still recall most of his childhood, even if some of his memories of the abuse he suffered are fuzzy. This included for him both good times and bad, with both his mother and father. His father was an alcoholic, but used to play catch with Alex every Sunday, and his mother never looked at him without a smile. His favourite treat is still ice cream because it brings back happy memories from when his mother was still alive, in addition to feeding his huge sweet tooth.
Alex’s mother killed herself when he was four. Alex had gotten up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water from the bathroom. He walked in, just to slip on his mother’s blood. In the dark, all he knew was that he had slipped on something wet and fell onto something she and large, but he screamed in surprise as he fell. His father, who shared a room with the mother across the hall, rushed over and turned on the light. The first thing Alex saw was his mother’s face in the pool of blood with her eyes half open. To this day, he suffers from nightmares about this night, along with nightmares about the abuse he endured at his father’s hands.
Alex has been in the C.R.P. since he can remember. It is a cover operation for a genetics experiment that has allowed him strange powers, but made it so that he cannot survive without certain pills that keep the gene code activated. He had to suffer through various tests that measured his perception, pain tolerance, ability to respond to various threats, and were constantly pushing his limits to try to get him to show his powers and abilities. Many of these tests were not strictly humane, and many were at least slightly painful. He isn't clear what the purpose many of the tests had, but over time he has discovered the purposes of some of them. Between these tests and the abuses of his father Alex is covered with many scars from many sources from burns to whips to cuts from broken beer bottles.
He grew up with two others in the program, Loretta and Mikel. After his father beat him particularly hard one night when Alex was 13 Mikel was finally completely fed up with Alex’s father, and despite Alex’s protests, Mikel went to ‘speak’ with him. Alex’s father has not hit or sold Alex since, but the damage had already been mostly done. Still, it did afford Alex a slightly more comfortable life. That is not to say that things went well between him and his father, or that his father stopped verbally abusing Alex, but it prevented the worst abuse. His father even occasionally bought him things, like a computer.
Once Alex was not dealing with such a terrible home life he went from a ‘B’ student to an ‘A+’ student with a near perfect average. Despite this, his best skill was not something discovered at school. He learned shortly after getting his computer that he had a knack for hacking and programming.
This came in useful when he was 16, and Loretta, Mikel, and others of the C.R.P. began to take action against the C.R.P. He hacked not only the databases, but the security systems, allowing them access to some of the most crucial areas of the C.R.P so that they could stop the inhumane research being done.
Gradually he and his friends learned more and more about the tests being done, why they were being done, who is truly in charge, versus who just is in charge on paper. They delved deeper and deeper into investigation and discovered things such as some hauntings being caused by high-level shadows that are now capable of independence, that other shadow eaters like them are also capable of various abilities and the government is watching to see just what they are capable of. Alex had a run-in with one of the programmers working for the C.R.P. rather recently. He soon found out that the other programmer was a girl named Kaylee, and with the help of Mikel they were able to convince her to switch sides. They got along for some time together, enjoying each other's company very much. It was the most Mikel or Loretta ever saw Alex talk to anyone. She was the first friend Alex really ever managed to make on his own, but there was still work to be done in toppling the C.R.P.. Kaylee, as a relation to one of the C.R.P. executives, was to make a public speech revealing the truth instead of the speech they had actually given her to read. Before she could actually say anything, someone in the crowd of reporters shot her. Mikel set up all the plans, knowing just how dangerous it would be for Kaylee. Despite that, Alex does not blame Mikel for it, only himself. Since then he has only become more and more protective of his friends. Little of importance has happened in the month between then and when he is pulled into Adstring, save some healing of a broken heart.
Abilities/Additional Notes: A detailed description of shadows and how they work is here. The entirety is also reproduced here:
Shadows and their Powers:
Negative emotions: Emotions that are generally considered to make you feel bad, such as sadness, irritation, trapped, doubt, or fear.
Destructive emotions: Negative emotions that have a harmful impact on your and/or other peoples lives. Anger is always considered destructive because of how powerful it is. Depression, Phobias, terror, or other long-term or severe emotions are considered destructive.
Inanimate shadows are the natural by-product of normal negative emotions. They are not sentient, and fairly harmless. They do not usually last long, but have the potential to build and "awaken". These shadows provide nutrition, but do not increase the feeder's power. It can be wiser to leave them be than eat them, since negative emotions help a person sort through certain issues, such as the death of a family member or close friend. Not allowing someone to use these emotions to work through a problem can result in the emotion coming back later stronger.
The biggest difference between animate and inanimate shadows is that animate shadows are sentient. They can tell if you are able to see them, and if they are strong enough they can even attack back when attacked. Only shadows of the shadow eater's top accessable tier and the tier above that will attack. These shadows "awaken" from inanimate shadows if they have occurred for too long, or are too severe. The exact point at which this change occurs changes from case-to-case. Theoretically the inanimate shadow is just the incubating version of the animate shadow. Like with an egg, not all of the eggs will hatch. These are the shadows that hatch. Animated shadows can spread from one person to another with varying degrees of effectiveness dependent on the emotion. The easier it can spread, the weaker the shadow tends to be.
Tier I: These are the weakest of the animated shadows. They are most likely found with anger and arguments. They have little power on their own, but they quickly spread to other people. When a large group of people have these shadows feeding off of them, the shadows build off of the increasing emotions. When an argument explodes into a fist-fight, the shadows have reached Tier II, since they are inspiring physical injury. Still, they are easily overcome with a little will power and can be eaten fairly easily.
Tier II: These shadows inspire physical injury. Whether it's self inflicted (such as caused by depression), or through the attacking of someone else (Anger, desperation), these shadows love physical pain. They are also the first tier that can cause injuries with their own power, though they, like all shadows, only attack shadow-eaters. This seems to be only a self-defense mechanism, since they want their victims to live for long enough for them to mature. Unlike Tier I shadows these shadows do not spread quite as easily between one person and another, assuming that the other party is not being effected by a shadow. These shadows, however, do create a "spark" that can elevate tier I shadows to tier II shadows.
Tier III: Much like the tier two shadows, these shadows usually cause physical harm, but they are far more severe injuries in comparison. The difference between tier II and tier III is the difference between a fist fight and murder. These shadows, however do not try to inspire suicide, though the first seeds of though might appear in the victims mind. These shadows have a very hard time spreading, though the people most sensitive to the spread of these shadows are the ones closest to the victim. For someone who is depressed, this is when they might start pushing away their friends and family, or for fear this is when the victim starts really avoiding whatever is the cause of their fear.
Tier IV: At this level the shadow is mature, and may push their victim to suicide. What ever emotion it is begins to completely consume the person's life, making it impossible to live normally. These shadows almost never spread to others as the person ends up generally secluding themselves from any relationships. Sometimes a person with a will that is strong, but not quite strong enough, might develop a mental illness such as dissociative identity disorder, dissociative disorder, psychogenic amnesia, and other illnesses that form as coping mechanisms.
Tier V: These shadows have either disconnected themselves from their victims, or their victims have died. If they have disconnected themselves, the person may slowly recover from the shadow's influence, though this is a rare occurrence and takes a great deal of will power. What is more likely to happen is that the victim slowly wastes away or is left insane. If you have ever entered a room or a house or have otherwise had a passing feeling of explained uneasiness, anger, fear, or some other emotion, then you've just passed through one of these shadows. They have a hard time spreading, but they can last centuries, and there is always that one person who they can spread the seeds of their emotion to. These are by far the most powerful shadows.
The stronger the shadow that is eaten is, the more power it grants to the shadow-eater, but they also get increasingly more difficult to overcome. A shadow-eater cannot eat a shadow that is affecting them, and shadows attached to shadow-eaters seem to gain from this a way to avoid being effected by any shadow-eaters until the shadow eater reaches a similar amount of power as the shadow. Of course, that is when the shadow will attack those shadow-eaters. The victim can do nothing to help the other shadow-eater but to try to ignore the negative emotions the shadow pours into the victim as a by-product of the fight.
Shadows are also only visible and able to do anything when a person is actually experiencing an emotion. Someone suffering from depression may have a tier III shadow attached to them, but if they happen to be in a good mood, that feeling is repressed and "hibernating". This does not mean the shadow is gone, but that it is hidden. When the person becomes depressed again, it is the same shadow feeding off of them. It takes shadows time to develop, and they 'hibernate' so that they can only feed on emotions that will further their evolution.
Shadow Eater Powers:
Alex has powers that are derived from the consumption of animated shadows. Shadows are the essence of negative emotions. They have two types, animate and inanimate. Animate shadows are the sentient shadows and the cause of extreme or enduring emotions. Their power varies and is separated into five tiers. The power of shadow-eaters, the term for people like Alex, also gets gradually stronger. His power works in the physical realm as well as on Shadows.
In order to use stronger powers, not only does he need to have eaten enough shadows, but he needs control of his emotions. For each level of power, Alex must be able to cope with the negative feelings that a shadow of that tier would inspire in a person. Right now, for Alex that level is rather low. See list above for current known/ accessible powers.
The powers work by manipulating a shadow that is connected to the Shadow-Eater, hence the shadow-eater needing to be able to overcome the emotion. If they do not, the Shadow can just grow stronger off of the shadow-eater, and even use the shadow-eater to physically harm others once that Shadow-Eater attempts to manipulate them. Of course, a shadow-eater can use higher levels of shadows and be stronger than their normal strength, but when they do, there is a good chance that the shadow will take them over, and it would take a lot for them to be calmed down-such as someone they care for throwing themselves in the way. Even then, the shadow-eater might not be able to stop in time. When a shadow-eater is taken over by a shadow, the shadow becomes visible to the normal person, appearing as a sort of dark shapeless mist, akin to a swarm of millions of tiny gnats. The more powerful the shadow is, the more condensed the shadow appears, with a level IV and V shadow appearing completely solid, and the shadow-eater barely visible as more than a few glimpses of colour -though a shadow eater's mind has developed to see both the thickness of the shadow, while also seeing the world as a normal person can. Similarly, a shadow eater can force their shadow powers to be visible as well, though it drains from their strength. All shadow powers are by default invisible to the normal eye, even the ones that are used as various powers.
The ultimate use of shadow power would involve being able to manipulate a tier V Shadow- a shadow that is free from a host. This would allow the eater to not only use shadows as weapons on his own, but to send the shadow out to attack someone far away. This, however, is not something easily done, and Alex is a long way from getting even close.
The side effect of his powers that occurs on all levels is that anyone struck with his power feels, if only temporarily, a negative emotion equal to the strength of the power of the weapon or ability.
There are three ways to manipulate shadows of each tier: Defensively, offensively, and ranged. While a shadow-eater may not learn to use these ability in this order, his control over his own emotions allows him the ability to learn them in this order. All three ways are able to be manipulated at one time, once the shadow-eater has learned how to use it. Learning these abilities is mostly instinctual, and so they are discovered as needed once the shadow-eater has the ability to use them. Differences in how a shadow is used changes depending on personality, and can change drastically based on a major event occurring. As it stands, Alex's abilities will progress as shown below:
Defensive: A shield is summoned that is capable of withstanding about twice a normal human’s strength. That is the base strength of a shadow. The shield is only about two feet across and four feet high in a slightly curved rectangle shape.
Offensive: Shadow encases the striking limb- be it arm, leg, or even head. The shadow is what actually impacts with the opponent, striking with the same strength as Alex can, but is harder than a fist- making it more seem like the opponent has been hit with stone.
Ranged: Tentacle-like pieces of shadow materialize from Alex, and these can be used to restrain most human-strength creatures. It would not be able to restrain say, one of those body builders. It can also be used to trip or carry things, though attacking with them is rather ineffective, since they do not cause harm themselves, they only can basically grab on to something. Any harm that is caused would be caused by the person fighting against the restraint, or landing after getting tripped. These ‘tentacles’ only have a range of about 20 feet.
Defensive:A half-shell can be created that blocks a full 9 by 9 foot half-circle area. Any frontal attacks would be blocked and pushed off to the side. However, the half-shell also cannot be held for more than an hour at a time, needing at least ten minutes of rest between each use. If it is used for less than an hour, then he must rest for relatively as long. For example; if he uses this shell for a half hour, then he must rest for five minutes.
Offensive:Shadows work much like the first tier, except he can also move faster now, twice the normal human speed. Using this he wears out twice as quickly, but it offers him much harder of a punch, to super human levels. Also, he can run faster and dodge faster.
Ranged:With this power he can allow someone to see shadows as he can for 15 minutes. With every extra tier of ranged he gains access to, he is able to increase this time by 5 minutes for a max of a half hour.
Tier III: Defensive:Up to two other people within a foot of Alex are protected by a sort of shell that is difficult to break. It would take an extreme amount of force to break, but it is also not able to block things such as bullets. Pressing against the edges of the shell from the inside would also shatter it. Any injuries of the people in the shell are healed at a much faster rate, so that something like a broken arm can be healed in a matter of four or five hours. This follows the same rules as the half-shell for use. Offensive:For this level, he can send out his shadow and have it wrap around a person's neck and chest. It can't kill someone through suffocation, but can cause them to pass out. Ranged:Alex can send out a line of shadow, the end of which raises off the ground at various levels. He can see from the end of this shadow. At first he will need to close his eyes, but through use he can learn to see both places at once. This works for up to 1000ft, and can travel through cracks, even ones only small enough for water.
Tier IV: Defensive: The same as the tier III defensive shadow, except it can only hold one other person, and is now virtually impenetrable. Offensive: He can channel his shadow to emit from his skin an extreme heat or cold. Both of these can cause burns to others, varying in severity based on how long they are exposed and how directly. Ranged:By manipulating his shadow he is capable of rendering himself invisible, including his clothes. He still creates sound as normal, however.
Tier V: Defensive: The same as tier IV except it can now also be created for up to two other people at a distance. Offensive: Alex is capable of making copies of himself at this level. They have actual mass, though the more there are, they weaker and less accurate each one is. He may also cause them to be only vaguely human shaped while still looking like shadows. Ranged:When he learns this ability, he can share his shadows with anyone nearby, willing or not.
How Shadows are Eaten: Shadows can be eaten at a range, though it is more difficult that way, like when you are drinking something thick through a long straw. The easy way to eat a shadow is to come in contact with it. That way, it can be absorbed through the skin. In order to eat a shadow, the shadow-eaters must be able to cope with the emotion that they eat. The process of eating also brings with it a basic sense of the cause of the emotion. The process of eating an animate spirit involves a sort of internal emotional battle. To lose this battle can cause physical internal injury and exhaustion. If the shadow was far too strong, it could even result in death.
Alex currently knows all his Tier I & II powers, Tier III Defensive and Offensive, and Tier IV defensive. He is currently capable of leaning up to Tier IV defensive, but slowly, as he eats animate shadows, he will gain the ability to learn more of his abilities. It is also possible that if his personality changes enough the powers he has will change as well- but it must be a decent change, either caused by a major event or years of small changes- the most likely would be Alex learning to be capable of more conflict, which would result in some of his offensive abilities gaining a more directly offensive trait. In this case, his old ability would not work, and he would need to rediscover this ability.
He learns how to use abilities by using them the first time intuitively, in a situation that requires the ability. After that, it can be used at will, though it should be practiced to be used with more ease in situations that would not always call for the power.
The pills are only a certain kind of Amino Acid, so they should be able to be made by someone with enough knowledge about such things.
Alex also has a Rat named Alice, who he has always found as being a line of support and is well-trained and intelligent, however she will not be joining him here.
Sample Journal Post: [text]
Hello, ah, my name is Alex. I am not sure what this place is or how I got here, and I just pray that it is real.
Just where do you find such ancient technology anyway, these things seem rather slow, not to mention the design could use work. Or, at least that's how it looks to me, but I'm pretty good with technology.
But I'm not exactly a scientist or doctor or anything, but I have a problem that I will need someone for, but I swear if you dare even think about trying to do a test without telling me everything about it....
I've had enough problems with doctors, okay? I just need help with some medication... It's not the sort of thing I'd announce if I didn't need it desperately, okay?
If anyone I know is here, anyone who knows Alex Furest, please, I'm by some lake thing. I guess I'll wait or something.
Sample RP:Infiltrate a lab, an office building, a house. It was becoming routine at this point. Hack the security, slip in when no one is looking, get out. He didn't even mind it. He got to avoid people, and avoiding people was something he had gotten good at over the years. Instead of getting out this time, Alex took a step and the whole world lurched. He closed his eyes, expecting a fall, but instead when he opened them his surroundings were completely unfamiliar. The stark white of the office building was replaced with warmer colours as he found himself in the entrance hall of what looked like a mansion. It started as just a clenching in his stomach, but the panic mounted as he looked around. He could feel his throat clenching and his heart racing as he tried the door to no avail. He couldn't think to do much else than try again, and again, but still the door refused to budge. He began pounding on it, “open the door! Let me out!” He banged on the door in desperation before finally turning around to face the rest of the house, his back pressed against the wood. He took a deep breath, even though it drew in jagged an choked. So far no one showed their face. If he was lucky, he was alone, and could figure some way out on his own. There had to be windows right? He could break those and get out, and then figure out where he was and how he had gotten here. He pushed himself up and put one foot in front of the other. As long as he managed to avoid anyone, he would be fine. He had always had trouble with remembering things, and knew it would just be a matter of time before he ended up in a completely unfamiliar place. His heart felt like it was going to burst from his chest and his feet were unsteady, but he knew it was something that he was just going to need to work around. All he could do was to pray to what powers might be that he didn't find another person.