WT - Ajax DuMaurier Picture

Ajax DuMaurier


Age: 31
Height: 6'1"
Weight: ~200 lbs
Gender: Male
Quote: "Some things are more beautiful for having been broken."
Creature: Magical Human
Sleeper Car: Diesel (D7)

Design Notes and Refs:
[1] [2] [3] [4]

Voice Ref:
"Locked in a Room" by Oren Lavie -- Subtract a little breathiness and add a little roughness.

Additional Recommended Listening:
"Down the Road" by C2C
"Daisy" by Brand New
"Old Skin" by Ólafur Arnalds (ft. Arnór Dan)


Personality


Fatherly | People-Pleaser | Problem-Solver | Self-Effacing | Depressed
Ajax radiates calm and security. He welcomes newcomers to the Train with soft smiles and a reminder that if you need anything, anything at all, he can help. Whether it's a leaking pipe, homesickness, or plain old boredom, Ajax's door is always unlocked, and he will always be there to fix things for you.

However, beneath the surface, Ajax is plagued by the sense that there is something wrong with him. He lacks long-term direction and purpose in his life and often fails to meet his own standards. Consequently, he suffers frequent depressive episodes and extreme, irrational feelings of guilt, both of which he tries to hide.

Since Ajax cannot "fix" his issues with himself, he extroverts this obsession onto the outside world. Fixing things (be they objects, situations, or people) gives him a sense of purpose. He truly enjoys helping others and making things better. However, he also has trouble letting go of things that resist being repaired and will internalize any inability to "fix" something as a personal failure. He deeply fears letting others down.

Fortunately, Ajax is effective at finding solutions for problems of all kinds. A pragmatist, he is good at analyzing situations and making plans and decisions on the fly. However, so long as time is available, Ajax will always be careful to ensure that his repair projects are completed to perfection, that his solution to a problem is the most effective one available, or that his response to a question is well-considered.

Ajax is well aware that he is better at taking care of others than taking care of himself. Thus, despite a guarded exterior, he is very sensitive to the problems, feelings, and needs of others, even with people he has just met. He naturally takes to a mentor, brother, or parent role, something that he simultaneously loves and uses to further hide his problems.

Moral Code: Ajax typically regards moral decisions on case-by-case basis, each to be "solved" in its own way, rather than following a strict code. He generally approves of following rules and obeying laws so long as they are fair and reasonable; however, being people-oriented, he is prone to empathizing and erring on the side of compassion.

Ajax loathes violence as well as those who would use it too easily. However, if he finds himself in a situation in which violence is the most expedient and reliable option, especially any situation in which his life or the lives of those he cares about are at risk, his pragmatic side will take over and he will invariably fall back on it. Afterwards, his guilt and depression will spike, and he may be found berating himself or buried completely in his work.

Biography


Birthday: November 19th, 2014
Birthplace: Lyon, France

History:
Ajax was born a bastard child to fresh-out-of-college Jeannine. Though she was physically frail and though they lived on the poverty line, Jeannine was a loving, gentle woman, and she never resented Ajax, his absent father, or the family that disowned her. However, in private moments she often pined for what she had lost, and despite her unwavering love Ajax was keenly aware that he could never fill the emptiness in her heart. Even as a child, he tried to help her cope with day-to-day life in any way he could.

Ajax discovered his magical ability early in adolescence. Hiding his unusual skill so as to avoid worrying his mother, he fixed broken items to generate extra income and lighten her workload, simply ensuring that no one saw his not-so-normal repair methods. As he grew, he studied regular repair work and got his first legitimate job at a mechanic's. In order to pay his way through college, Ajax found a second job at an antiques shop owned by an expatriate Englishman named Garrett. Garrett discovered Ajax's ability, but the old man kept his secret, and they became very close. Ajax found his calling restoring antiques naturally and supernaturally under Garrett's wing.

In 2033, Jeannine's frailty led to serious illness. Ajax dropped out of college to take care of her and became less reliable at the mechanic's, ultimately being fired. Garrett and the antique shop became Ajax's sole reprieve. One day, Ajax didn't come in. Suspecting the worst, Garrett paid his protégé a visit at home and found the teen unconscious beside his mother's deathbed. Due to Garrett's timely intervention, Ajax survived his suicide attempt and moved in with the old man. For many years afterward, Ajax and Garrett lived quiet lives running the antique shop, but they never discussed or resolved the circumstances surrounding Ajax's attempted suicide.

When magic was formally discovered in 2039, Ajax chose to reveal himself, and the antique shop enjoyed momentary surge in customers due to the novelty of his ability. Then the ban happened. Ajax decided to turn himself in. Garrett demanded that he run. And four years later, following rumors of sanctuary for fugitive magic-users, Ajax found himself standing in the station of the World Train.


Stats, Skills, and Weaknesses


Stat Points
» Health: 70
» Magic: 725
» Attack: 125
» Defense: 450*
» Speed: 70

*Contingent on magic; if Ajax's magic is somehow nullified or irrelevant, reduce to 125.

Physical/Combat-Related:
» Ajax has the typical strength and speed of a muscular 30-year-old human male (no advantages here besides a mean left hook).
» As a lifelong smoker, he can easily be winded/knocked out by a single hit and struggles when exerting himself in endurance activities.
» In his time as a fugitive, Ajax became adept at improvising on the fly and using the environment to his advantage.
» When in seemingly life-or-death situations, Ajax will shut off emotionally and resort to ruthless efficiency.
» Ajax can use his magic (see below) for combat, bludgeoning/spearing enemies with hurled parts or forming the parts up into a defensive wall.
» However, because of his dependence on man-made objects for weaponry, he is next to useless outside an urban environment.

Social:
» Ajax will take note of anything your character remarks on and may bring them relevant gifts or tailor activities to their interests. His memory is very sharp.
» If Ajax ever makes your character even briefly "uncomfortable," even if that character doesn't mention it, even if they don't notice this so-called "discomfort," he will internalize it as a personal failure. He can be very easy to guilt trip, even accidentally.
» Ajax is prone to thinking of those younger than him as children, or if they are close enough to him, as his children. This can be a blessing or a curse depending on your character's perspective.
» When in stressful social situations, particularly with those he is closest to, Ajax may lose his careful composure and become extremely defensive.

Other:
» Ajax is good at repair work of all kinds (including sewing clothes), unless you have a software or wiring problem, in which case he'll be more or less clueless. His medical knowledge is also quite limited.
» He is adept at a variety of household chores (cooking, cleaning, etc.).
» He can play the harmonica.


Magic


Broken or disassembled objects that Ajax touches will automatically reassemble themselves into a functional arrangement, moving of their own accord after initial contact. The ability can also disassemble and reassemble already functional items. The parts move independently of Ajax (i.e., he does not control them), but they are non-sentient and still act as an extension of his will, behaving in accordance with his 'desires.'

There are many limits to this ability. Although the new arrangement may not perfectly match the item's original arrangement, the item's functionality will not change in the reassembly. Similarly, a pile of mismatched parts will not assemble into anything (unless there are matching parts in the pile that make a regular object).

In addition, an object that has a missing or irrevocably damaged essential part will not reassemble into a functional arrangement. However, the object will assemble up to the point that the missing/damaged part would be necessary, making it easier to identify the problem and solve it manually.

By extension, the ability applies exclusively to multi-part physical objects, be they mechanical, electrical, or otherwise. If a single part is damaged (by heat, water, breakage, etc.), it must be replaced or repaired normally; Ajax's ability will not fix it. Fortunately, such repairs are usually well within Ajax's normal skillset.

A good way to gauge whether Ajax's ability will work on something is to determine whether it could be disassembled and reassembled from a completed state. For example, although you could contend that paint and canvas are separate "parts" in a multi-part object, a completed painting cannot be taken apart and put back together.


Pet


A tiny mechanical creature named Widget is Ajax's companion. When Ajax rescued Widget from a scrap heap sometime in 2040, the miniature prototype had been discarded by the creator that imbued it with magical life. Now, the playful and curious creature is Ajax's literal pet project.

Widget's "life essence" is contained in a small, spherical, glowing core. Though Ajax has no understanding of how the core was created or even how it works, he has found that the core can be transferred to different mechanical bodies with no ill effects. Widget has two preferred bodies: a mouse and a canary.

Just as many normal pets seem to believe they are a different species, Widget is utterly convinced he is a real canary. He doesn't seem to notice that he is made of metal or that he has no vocal cords with which to sing. He clicks and whirs his parts in imitation of birdsong, and that's what every other canary does, right? And all canaries have wingless “travel cases” (i.e. his mouse body) for when their master needs to pop them into a convenient pocket to sneak by some magical ban enforcers, don’t they? He's not weird. You are.

On the surface, Ajax mostly just humors Widget, but he not-so-secretly adores the goofy little guy, and in return he receives Widget’s boundless loyalty.


Miscellany


Likes:
Kintsugi, cigarettes, stop-motion animation, Frank Lloyd Wright, Greek mythology, coffee, crowds.

Dislikes:
Death, alcohol, digital clocks, flirting, electronic music, bright colors, crimes against fashion.

Extra Facts:
» He studied architecture in college.
» He has a firm baritone voice that is a little rough from smoking. He speaks softly to downplay the abrasiveness. He also masks his accent quite effectively, and he rarely slips into it; only his vowel pronunciation is very, very lightly French.
» He has declined to speak French since he left the country in 2039, mostly because he's trying to suppress his accent. Since joining the Train, he's resumed speaking French, but only occasionally and little more than pet names.
» His prize possessions are a leather-bound journal, an ornate music box, a single damaged photograph, and a vintage chromatic harmonica. He also seems to constantly be acquiring broken watches, but he has no attachment to these.
» He exchanges letters with Lyle's father and stores them in a keepsake box that he hides on a shelf in his closet.
» Although he does prefer his birth name, he uses the names Ajax and Jacques/Jack equally. He'll answer to any variant on his name as well (Jax, AJ, Apple Juice, etc.).
» He is very self-conscious of his scars and tends to hide them with long sleeves and turned-up coat collars.


RP Samples


Ajax: *Ajax blinked as he stepped into the Electric Car. It seemed as if every surface was blinding white or lit with neon. He winced, raising a hand against the overhead light and looking for Lyle's room. Christ, how does the kid stand this--? It had been a while since they'd seen each other, and Widget was antsy to play with one of his new friends, hopping on Ajax's shoulder. Ajax was just about to approach Lyle's room when a loud explosion burst from somewhere down the hall. He wheeled around, startling Widget into the air.* Son of a bitch-- *Since the stove incident, he'd acquainted himself with every fire extinguisher on the train. He grabbed one and moved toward the newly opened door, where dark smoke was billowing. He heard someone coughing as the ventilation began to whir but couldn't make them out.* Hey, everything okay in there? Any fire?

Ajax: He rests his temple in his palm, leaning heavily over the table as he writes in the leather-bound journal. He hadn't really touched it since he had arrived on the train, and the loss of what had once been an essential part of his routine had sneaked up on him, gnawing at him so subtly that he didn't notice until, suddenly waking a little under an hour ago, he had felt a barely comprehensible twinge of grief that spurred him to the darkened dining hall with his journal for a coffee and a bit of writing. The door opens, and Ajax glances up, shutting the book behind the cover of his seat. He recognizes the red hair and mask right away and offers a warm smile as he places his journal on the seat beside him, out of sight. "Good evening, Ospire."

Ajax: He gets his glove off and keeps his bare hand by his side, his eyes still gazing through the stain on the floor. "Or you'll kill me? Is that it?" Slowly, slowly he turns his head, until the barrel of the gun is directly centered on his forehead, locking his eyes with Daniel's. "It seems so easy, doesn't it. When the gun's in your hand. When you have the advantage, and you have nothing to lose." He tilts his head, moving the barrel with it, keeping it centered on his cranium. "But pulling the trigger destroys you. Whoever you were before the gun kicked back just stops. You stop. You take a life, and slowly but surely your own leaks out of you like air from a balloon." He straightens again, looking this man dead in the eyes, commanding his attention. "After this, you will find a bathroom, because your arms will be vibrating from the recoil and you will desperately want to wash your hands, your face, your everything, not so much to be clean but to feel your own skin, to remind yourself that you are still real and alive and not lying on your back with a hole in your head. You will look at yourself in the mirror and see the blood that you smeared across your face when you tried to wipe your jaw on your sleeve, and from that moment on you will never see your face any other way. Never." His fingers tighten on the corner of the shelf. "And neither will anyone else." He lets that sink in, lets Lyle's frightened eyes make his point, then tips his head down a little so that the barrel presses more firmly against his skin. His voice is subterranean. "Are you going to kill me in front of your son?"

-----

So basically, I've written three pages of material about the master of assembling IKEA furniture.

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