ames Hawking

 

Odain Alias: Jim

 

Played By: Alicia Ashby [lynxara@bad-candy.com]

 

Homeworld: A slightly divergent variant of the world presented in the anime "Outlaw Star."

 

Character Description:

 

Jim is a very attractive young man of roughly 19 years of age; however, he often seems quite a bit older.  He has light brown hair that falls roughly down to the nape of his neck, and down to his chin towards the front; the bangs are cropped a bit shorter, but still tend to fall in wisps in front of his eyes.  His eyes are blue, and his build is rather wiry and skinny. He stands at about 5 feet and 8 inches of height.   He usually wears a pair of technician's goggles that appear much like classic aviator's goggles; when not in use (see Equipment) he generally pushes them up to let them rest on the top-front of his head.  His usual outfit is a reddish-brown t-shirt under a light brown jacket that's slightly oversized for him and considerably baggy; dark brown Mechanix gloves; loose, baggy khaki pants held up with the aid of a dark brown belt; and a pair of rather futuristic-looking shoes that look like a merger of hiking boots and sneakers, with a white and brown color scheme.  He can also usually be found toting his duffel bag of working tools over one shoulder, and wearing Caster (see equipment) strapped to his back.  Around his neck, he always wears what appears to be a plain gold ring hung on a loop of string. 

 

Powers: None whatsoever; Jim is a normal human being.

 

Weaknesses:

 

Jim shares all the weaknesses typical of your average human being.   However, there is another trait in particular of his that, while not a weakness in the classic sense, is best described here.

 

Even as a child, there was something about Jim that made others find him inordinately physically attractive (which made him a tempting target for child pornographers and pimps before he made the acquaintance of one Gene Starwind).  This is not really a power, because it doesn't involve any invocation of superhuman forces, and is in fact beyond Jim's control; it just seems to be something about the way Jim looks, or perhaps something about the way he carries himself.  It's hardly infallible, and it's hardly enough to make people around him lose physical control, or be attracted to him in defiance of their natural sexual orientations - - though he is very likely to turn a few heads upon entering a room for the first time.

 

This is listed as a weakness because it annoys Jim to no end and causes him *nothing* but trouble, *and* because it is the basis for several of his more negative personality traits (see Personality).  He has a disarming tendency to end up infatuating other people's significant others, or becoming the fixation of obsessive types.  He quite often inspires jealousy, and has had to avoid being physically assaulted for 'stealing' someone's boyfriend and/or girlfriend on numerous occasions in the past. Jim himself doesn't understand why people insist on finding him attractive, and as his physical description shows, clearly goes out of his way to look as much like a slob as he can while remaining sanitary.  It should be noted that Jim will never, ever, even in the direst of situations, willingly exploit his attractiveness, and for the most part simply wishes that overly amorous people would leave him alone. 

 

Skills:

 

Jim is, first and foremost, an incredibly good mechanical and electrical engineer.  Even at the age of ten, he was capable of understanding the workings of spaceships and performing minor maintenance upon them; after years and years of on the job training, he's become the self-proclaimed best mechanic in the galaxy, and is arguably deserving of that title.  He excels with working with heavy machinery of all types, along the lines of mecha, spaceships, and particularly various kinds of cars (landbound or airborne).  However, he's still quite, quite good with electronics, and can easily manage feats like computer repair, rewiring, and jury-rigging if the occasion calls for it.  He's also a very talented computer hacker, though he must completely understand how a system works before he can attempt hacking.  It's worth noting, however, that his skill and ability to repair a particular machine is limited by the availability (or lack thereof) of appropriate building materials; even Jim will not be able to make something work if he doesn't have the right parts on hand.   If given enough time to understand a device, particularly one of a sort he hasn't seen before (as most in Odain are), he can attempt to minorly modify or improve it; but doing so requires a week of studying in detail how the device works, and will be limited by the quality of the tools and parts he has on hand.  However, an attempt at making 'improvements' too extensive is likely to just end up damaging the device irreparably, and he'll make a point of refusing to modify a machine effectively to death.   He does have an unnerving tendency to dissect machines and computers he's attempting to understand; he rarely fails to be able to put them back together, though.

 

Beyond this, Jim is a very shrewd and well-organized young man with an excellent business sense and a particular talent for managing money.   He excels at weighing risks of a venture against benefits, and often will not take action or make a decision until he's had plenty of time to think about it.  He is also a rather gifted pilot with all sorts of vehicles; generally, if he can figure out how it works, he can manage to pilot it with at least an average level of skill, and he can usually figure out how to operate any secondary systems (like weapons systems or other special functions) as he does so.  He bears a particular love for cars, and can pilot most any type of car at a professional stuntman's level of skill. 

 

Equipment:

 

Jim's never seen without his duffel bag of tools.  It functions about like your average toolbox, but seems to weigh a bit less due to the lightweight construction methods used in his homeworld.  It contains a variety of types of wrenches (adjustable, socket, you name it), a multi-purpose plasma-based cutting and welding torch that can customize the intensity of the beam (anything thicker than 1/4 inch will begin taking exceptionally long amounts of time to cut through, however), a multipurpose screwdriver/drill with a wide array of detachable utility head modules, a few sets of various types of pliers, a multimeter capable of taking several different types of electrical readings, a plasma-based soldering iron, wire strippers, and a few other minor odds and ends.  It should be noted that only Jim's heaviest wrench can be used as an effective bludgeoning instrument of any sort, and his soldering iron can inflict no more damage than a lit cigarette.  The cutting/welding torch could be effectively used as a weapon, but only at very, very close ranges (effectively, only if someone is close enough that Jim could easily touch them).  Most of the tools are pretty resilient and fairly hard to damage, even the soldering iron, but they're hardly indestructible.

 

Another piece of equipment he's never seen without are his technician's goggles.  A very high-tech piece of equipment, they have a powerful but tiny CPU concealed in the leather around the lenses.  When the goggles are activated, the lenses work together to project a heads-up display superimposed over the wearer's field of vision.  In their active state, the goggles act as a portable database and an optical analyzer; they will present, upon command, spreads of technical data based on visual analysis of anything that meets the system's definition of a complex machine.  The data is useful for analyzing alien technology (this is, in fact, what they were designed for), and they allow Jim to correlate alien technologies against those he is familiar with very rapidly.  The goggles can also record and later display possible functions of visible individual components of a particular machine.  If Jim manages to take apart and re-assemble a machine while the goggles are 'on', the computer will record the process and construct a 2D technical schematic that can be accessed in the future for reference.  It also stores a library of schematics that can be displayed for reference when attempting to find parallels for a foreign technology, or when the user requires it.  The user's commands are delivered to the goggles' CPU via voice command, with the CPU designed to only recognize one particular voice-pattern as legitimate at any given time.  Jim's goggles will recognize only his voice as the operator's voice.  In order to make doing work capable in a variety of environments, the goggles can provide night vision, infravision, and thermographic imaging modes to the wearer upon command.  The goggles will switch in and out of active mode whenever the CPU's name is spoken; the CPU's name is "Gehirn".             

 

Jim's final especially noteworthy piece of equipment is Caster, a gun shaped vaguely like a cross between a pistol and a small shotgun, with a barrel approximately two feet long and constructed of a brass-like material.  The gun is enchanted, and shoots specially prepared bullets that are enchanted and release their spells upon being fired.  Each bullet, like a normal bullet, can be used only once.  Whether or not the spell hits the target depends on whether or not it was aimed well enough; it should be noted that Jim has no particular training as a marksman and can only hit targets consistently at very close range (within 10 feet).  Caster itself will radiate magic to those able to detect such things, but only faintly; the bullets, however, will seem extremely magical.  Jim has exactly six bullets for Caster, and keeps them in one of the internal pockets of his jacket. Preparation of new bullets is impossible to all but wizards specially trained for the task.  The bullets are all visually identical, save for the inscription that proclaims their function.  However, this inscription is an arcane, kanji-like rune written in a language that Jim cannot read.  Particular elemental detection powers may be able to discern what kind of magic is in a bullet; otherwise, if Jim fires Caster, what bullet he gets will be determined by random rolling with the appropriate sided die.    It is also worth noting that, due to Caster's exceptionally antique nature and the unstable nature of the magic in the bullets, there is a 1 in 20 chance of Caster jamming when being fired, and a 1 in 20 chance of a bullet being a dud.   When Caster successfully fires (even if the bullet is a dud), it temporarily erects a field around Jim that absorbs and nullifies all incoming attack-based magic (such things as energy blasts, lightning bolts, or fireballs).  The field lasts for roughly 5 seconds, if that long, after the bullet is successfully fired... but that's usually long enough to parry incoming hostile magic.  It should be noted that this field only works against spells expressly cast with the intent of directly injuring Jim; non-attack forms of magic will still work against Jim and Caster just fine during that period of time.  Caster can hold precisely one bullet at a time, and Jim never keeps it loaded.

 

The six bullets Jim has for Caster in his possession are as follows:

 

  • #5 - The Ghost Killer Bullet: A bullet designed purely for combating creatures that can be damaged only by magical means.  When fired, it causes a foot wide beam of raw destructive magic force to erupt from the barrel and plow through most anything in its path.  Magical spirits and creatures who would ordinarily be immune to all physical damage will take double damage from the magical beam, making a direct hit enough to kill said creatures easily with one shot.  The beam is also effective against human targets, but does damage on a spiritual as opposed to a physical level.  Humans hit by the beam will likely be knocked out at the least, or at the worst (say, dead-on shot at point blank range) killed instantly, yet left with no apparent damage to the body.    

 

  • #18 - The Crippler Bullet: This bullet causes Caster to fire, oddly enough, a lightweight, large-caliber but otherwise normal bullet; however, the bullet will be glowing with the force of the magic bound into it.  The shot will hit and deal damage as a normal bullet, with its magic only being activated in the event that it hits its target and does non-lethal damage.  In that case, the bullet will begin to radiate waves of a rather malicious magic that amplifies the body's physical sensitivity to pain by a very great amplitude.  If the bullet is lodged in the body, the overall effect will leave the target in a paralyzing amount of pain, sometimes too much to even stand (hence the bullet's name).  The effect will end when the bullet is removed from the target's body.

 

  • #14 - The Nightshade Bullet: Another bullet that causes Caster to fire a glowing but otherwise normal, slightly lightweight bullet.  It's magic is also activated in the case of the bullet hitting its target but doing non-lethal damage.  In that case, the bullet will begin to radiate waves of magic that will cause living beings to lose consciousness very rapidly.  The target will remain unconscious until the bullet is removed from their body.

 

  • #7 - The Slow Burn Bullet: Yet another bullet that causes Caster to fire a glowing but otherwise normal bullet.  However, the Slow Burn bullet's magic is activated regardless of whether or not it does lethal damage to a target, so long as its lodged in the body.  Once lodged, it will begin to grow increasingly hot, and will only begin to cool after it has grown hot enough to burn the target's body to ashes, or after it has been forcibly removed. 

 

  • #8 - The Snare Bullet: This is the only non-damaging bullet that Jim has.  Firing it will expel a silvery orb of energy at the target.  The energy orb can swerve to follow a target's motion, though no more than 45 degrees at a time, and will follow a target unfailingly until it hits something like a wall or is activated by accidentally hitting something else.  Upon impact with a target, the orb of energy will begin expelling silvery, thread-like filaments.  The filaments are a form of solid energy and effectively unbreakable, save by perhaps being disenchanted.  Once they've wrapped around a target, they will remain in place for six hours before fading away.  A living being ensnared by these energy ropes will be completely incapable of movement, and the snare is strong enough to impede the workings of machines with freely moving parts if the snare orb happens to hit them.

 

  • #20 - The Lightning (Robot-Killer) Bullet: This bullet, when fired, causes a magical beam of electrical energy similar to a lightning bolt to emit from Caster's barrel. The bullet is at its most effective when fired at mechanical targets, like robots or mechanoids, which can take enough damage from a blast to make them effectively inoperable and immobile, or to 'kill' a robot unfortunate enough to be at close range when it goes off.  Humans will take a severe electric jolt, but generally not enough to be lethal in itself; those with weak hearts may enter cardiac arrest, and at the least a hit target will black out for awhile.                 

 

Personality:

 

Jim is a very odd young man. In terms of responsibility and reliability, he seems more like a man of 30 than a teenager.  He's very careful when it comes to planning and making decisions, and often comes off as considerably anal-retentive or a bit neurotic.  For the most part, he's calm, approachable, and not unfriendly; but he's also a bit withdrawn and closed when it comes to speaking about topics that he considers too personal. He's leery of magic and magical things in general, and makes a point to avoid them when possible; even when it comes to defending himself, he'd much rather talk his way out of trouble or try to hit someone with a wrench before he'd resort to using Caster.  He loves machines and technological devices in almost the same way he loves people, and will happily talk shop with someone else for hours and hours on end.  He's very pragmatic and skeptical, and likes to rationalize things in terms as rational and logical as possible.  He's a bit prudish, and tends to disapprove rather strongly of lewd and licentious behavior of any sort in public.  Even PDA between members of an established couple is enough to irk him.  Lewd and licentious behavior directed towards himself is likely to garner a very cold reaction indeed, particularly as regards other men. 

 

While Jim can often come across as a bit cold and uptight, he's actually just a man under a lot of stress... he prides himself on being able to be responsible and help take care of his friends, and any extended discussion with him will make it clear that he feels like a total failure in that regard.  The precise reason why is something only Jim knows, and that he will be very reluctant to talk about.  If he can be made to relax, Jim can become very personable and will begin acting in ways far more appropriate for his age.  The transformation will likely strike onlookers as startling, as Jim can approach being legitimately charming when he wants to be. 

 

Connections:

 

In Odain, none of any importance that he'll admit to.  He will be very clear about his wife being killed when his spaceship crashed on the planet's surface, but he'll be very reluctant to refer to her by name or give any specific details about her unless pressed; it was clearly recent, however, as the incident clearly has affected him deeply... he loved his wife very, very dearly and blames himself for her death.  He'll also refer to an older brother, particularly when asked about Caster and how he obtained it, but will again refuse to give specific details or names; all Jim will divulge is that his brother was killed, and he's trying to find out who did it. 

 

Theme: L’Arc En Ciel, "Neo Universe"