Friday, August 20, 2004

Art of paranoia pt 1 - the characters

Alright. Examples...

See that first post down there? It has a comment attached to it from another of my voices, logged in from the outside as a test to make sure this page worked (somewhat). That... is Patrick. Patrick is an adrenaline junkie. He's British, young, athletic, strong (maybe too strong), mysogynistic, dark, brooding, dangerous... Yet, lift the veil enough to let light cast the tiniest of shadows over that mask and he's fiercely loyal, loving, protective, understanding, humorous, gentle and even a little bit fragile. How he was created is the thing... he was adopted first, then built.

A friend of mine, the one who introduced me to the game site where mutants like Drake, Cass, Pieter and about 30 other of my mutant/evolved character voices now live, came to me with an idea last summer based on a character she'd made for another game that had shut down. She thought it would be interesting to take that character, give him two brothers, make them triplets, each with an element of control (mental powers... think Mentok or something) and set them loose on the teens of the unsuspecting campus where this game takes place. She gave me Patrick, originally a renaissance-type ladies' man kinda guy who had some seriously f*-ed up relationships... big problems with the female population. She had an idea for herself for the brother that she coveted as her own due to the power she'd thought up. This is all fine and well. Okay, so I adopted Pat and she went further to describe what each of the brothers could do. The character started to shape in my head as something other than just a ladies' man with issues. He started to form -as- the problem in his relationships, what with the controlling ability, a slightly rebellious nature, the egotistical-bordering-meglomaniacal attititude.. he boiled and frothed right on up over the top and said 'create me'! And Patrick, "Tripp", was born.

Now, at first, I didn't think much of it, until she came to me with a picture of who she wanted to cast as the faces of the triplets. I had only a vague idea at the time he formed of what he would look like, sound like, act like... then I saw the picture and he was signed, sealed and delivered to my laptop moments later, oozing out my fingertips to say hello to the world. That knack of finding someone on the street to fit the character in my head had already started to show when I found a face to fit each of Drake, Cass, Pieter, and my irishman, Galen. One look at this picture and I was starting to get that tingle in my spine that warns of things unseen and lurking around corners waiting to be discovered... excitement, fear, wonder... Yes!

Take one look at FLAUNT magazine, and you'll know that their photo shoots are not the average oatmeal and white-toast variety. They give their subjects some fairly interesting things to play with. Although I haven't read the magazine, I've seen several series of their photos, from which this picture was peeled. This subject had been painted in a series of marker drawings to resemble tattooes and henna paint with bones, flames, stenciled letters spelling out his name, chains and other bits that made him suddenly more dark and brooding in my mind and placed him in the realm of actual people I hold close in my real life circles. He was masked in a face of the underground, a shadowrunner of the deviant kind, and not someone anyone would want to meet in a dark alley alone. This became clear through game play later on when two other characters found out the hard way.

Although the picture itself was not of him smiling, the visage came to life in my head with an oily, dark smirk and a look in his eye of embers about to ignite at any moment. Smoke became a big part of him, actually. If you can visualize demons and skeletons rising from the bodies of the dead on a smoke- and steam-covered field after the bloodiest of battles, then you can sense this look in his eyes, although figurative, and feel the cold danger and despair that come with it. This... is Tripp. "Tripp" is the persona that Pat dons when he's out to make a score or when he's seeking his 'high' in one fashion or another. To date, there have only been... *counts*... five.. well, four-and-a-half, we'll say... women strong enough or worthy enough to earn his friendship in place of a seat on the meat wagon. He has tendency to break his toys, but as a character, he's only played out a killing twice.. once in self defense, the other for revenge of killing the woman who is now his wife. Okay, so the story is a little complicated. His girl of five years was killed... he sought revenge... she was dead, but suspended in a way I can't be arsed to explain here, brought back in ways that only games and comic books can manage... and now they're married. Yes, she's one of the five... er... four... nevermind.. you get it.

So what does this have to do with the relative state of the universe and the examples I was going to mention? It comes to the next step, having cast a face, created a history, built a perfect dark demon of a man and decided on his habits and quirks. Keeping in mind that he's a ladies man (in unexpected ways) and that he's an adrenaline junkie, along with having had him suffer a couple of particularly damaging injuries during gameplay, I received a shock several months later when reading that the actor whose likeness was chosen came into acting admittedly for the women, that he himself is an adrenaline junkie and extreme sportsman, has had a broken back, but managed to rise up to walk again, and become quite the noteable face on screen these days. Those who know who I speak of earn a prize of being allowed to continue to read here with a particular face in mind, however I'm not putting the name here as this is not a part he's aware he's being used for and not likely one he'd agree to play. If, however, I do complete the script with this character, it will be submitted with him in mind. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but won't hold my breath. Blue really isn't my color...