Application for [community profile] raisetheearth

Dec. 17th, 2014 12:07 pm
solvethepuzzle: (Soft)
[personal profile] solvethepuzzle
OOC INFORMATION
Name: Misty
Are you over 15? Yep
Contact: PM this journal
Current characters in the game: Toushirou Hitsugaya

IC INFORMATION
Name: Nate River (Preincarnation. Always went by one of three aliases: Near, N, then eventually L) | Nathan Brooks (Reincarnation)
Canon and Medium: Death Note | Manga
Age: 18
Pre-Incarnation Species: Human
Pre-Incarnation Appearance: Here
Any Differences: Nope, he looks the same.
Starting Location: Locke City, NJ, USA


Pre-Incarnated History:

Near is introduced as a thirteen-year-old living at an orphanage in England, known as Wammy's House. This isn't a normal orphanage; it only houses and educates genius children. By the point of Near's introduction, its focus had specifically shifted to training successors to L, the world's greatest detective. Nothing is known of Near's life before Wammy's House and the implication is that he's been there for some time. Only he and one other child, Mello, are considered serious contenders to succeed L. Near himself is the top candidate, a position he usurped from Mello.

The two boys are notified by Roger, the head of the orphanage, of L's death during the Kira investigation. It's suggested that they work together, to be partners in the succession. Near is open to the idea, but Mello rejects it and leaves the institution, thus leaving Near alone to officially take up L's legacy.

All data from the Kira investigation had been erased, meaning that Near had to start from scratch. And he did very well, learning of the Death Note -- a notebook wherein if someone writes a person's name with their face in mind, that person will die -- and various other details of the initial investigation. Over the next few years, he put enough evidence together to convince the American government what was happening, and that the L currently in charge of the investigation was a fake, the real one being dead. Thus was formed the SPK, or Special Provision for Kira, composed of elite FBI and CIA agents, with Near -- at this point seventeen years old -- at the helm.

After working with the Japanese Task Force against the mafia that Mello took over, Near comes to the conclusion that the fake L is in fact Kira. He plants the seed of suspicion into the task force, eventually convincing two of them to move in his favour rather than that of the fake L, Light Yagami. Soon afterward, Near identifies Teru Mikami as Light's proxy, the person performing the killings in his stead. He orders one of his agents to follow Mikami, alter the Death Note the man has been using. The pieces are starting to come together for a final confrontation in Japan.

And that confrontation takes place in an abandoned warehouse, where all investigators on both sides meet. Both Light and Near are confident in their chance of victory -- and from what we see going on in Light's head, the circumstances do indeed appear to favour his plans. Near has acted just as he'd suspected. It would have been Light's victory but for a disruptive act by Mello days earlier. Mello's act had cost him his life, but also showed Near a crucial thing that he had missed; the possibility that the Death Note they'd been altering up to that point had been fake. He'd hurriedly made adjustments to his plan because of this -- namely getting ahold of the real Death Note and replacing it entirely -- and in the end this proved Light's undoing.

A year later, we see Near one more time; he has taken on the name of L in official capacity, with Roger as his caretaker and go-between with the outside world.


Reincarnated History:

Unlike Near, Nathan wasn't orphaned. One might think this would a good thing, but he'd been better off in the life where he had been. Here, he's the only child of a poor family, and his birth hadn't been a happy occasion for his parents. He'd been small and sickly, but what was more prominent to them was his albinism. His mother at least tried to accept it, but it wound up just being something his father resented him for. The first sign that his son was not normal.

Just as his birth had not been a pleasant time, neither had his childhood. It wasn't the lack of luxuries or even just special treats that was the problem. No, it was the constant derogatory remarks from his father for anything Nathan seemed to do wrong -- any perceived step out of line, any childish behaviour. Or just looking too different from other children, as if Nathan could help how he'd been born. And if the man had been drinking, which he was no stranger to, the punishments weren't just verbal.

Nathan learned quickly to just be quiet and take the punishments as they came, to shut down his emotions. Any hint of protest or rebellion made things worse. He spent as little time at home as he could, joining after-school clubs just so he would have an excuse to not be there. Most of them he didn't even enjoy very much, though the chess club was an exception.

But for everything that was terrible in his life, Nathan recognized that he was smart. Smart enough that if he just endured until he could get into college, he would be all right. That was the plan, anyway. He was a brilliant student and none of his teachers or classmates could deny it. His distant, perpetually placid-faced demeanour didn't win him any friends and that hurt somewhere within him, but his main focus had just been to get the college acceptance, get the scholarship he would need, and get out of his terrible home situation.

It didn't happen. Oh, he got the college acceptance -- from an ivy league school, no less -- but the scholarship application process fell through, and without it, he couldn't afford to go. He didn't know what to do with himself after that, found himself floundering. Making that even worse was the fact that his father kicked him out of the house on his eighteenth birthday, now that he was no longer legally responsible for the "freak".

Nathan had no friends he could turn to, no means to support himself, no place to go. Eventually, to his credit, he managed to pull himself a bit out of that hole. He was able to secure a job, find his own apartment. But he still has no one to rely upon. The job is entry-level, considerably beneath his ability. The apartment is run-down and in a poor neighbourhood; it's all he can afford if he still wants to eat. He knows he should be capable of more, wants to do better. And he will . . . just as soon as he figures out how. He's smart. He'll work this out.

He'd managed to avoid most of the chaos that's gone on in the city over the past year and a half, mainly due to his cautious nature. But in November 2014, he had a chance encounter with one of the ghostly presences that have been floating about for some time; this caused his first Echo, and he found himself holding an old, boxy-looking robot toy. Nathan had kept up with the news enough to be able to figure out what had just happened to him, and so despite the strangeness of the situation, he kept it.

But he avoided the network, tried to just proceed as normal. And then he saw the Lapland lights on television as he passed by a store window. This returned to him the memory of Wammy's House in Winchester, England. Along with it came the knowledge that it was an orphanage at which he'd been raised and he'd been believed to be capable of something great. Still, he didn't make contact with the network.

But finally, in early January, he began seeing Vermedi everywhere he went. This triggered the memory of the elaborate letter N he used to represent himself while speaking over a computer connection. Because of his instinct to avoid danger, he always abruptly changed course and tried to escape them. This caused him to literally run into Lazarus, who then helped him get to a safe place. During their ensuing conversation, another Echo triggered, the memory of being looked after by an old man called Watari, leading them to the conclusion that they must come from the same past. But he remembers nothing specific about that day beyond being helped away from the Vermedi by Lazarus. Since then, Nathan has still been laying low, but this is getting to be too much to ignore.

Edit: His mother, to his memory, had never intervened during the punishments. What he does remember is her face: that sadness and fear that crossed it. Part of him wanted to blame her for not helping him, but even as a child Nathan knew better. He wasn't the only one in the house that got "punished". He'd seen it. She was every bit as afraid as he was. When she thought she could get away with it, she would try to soothe him afterward, do something for the bruises. Nothing really worked, even though he wished he could have felt better if just for her sake. He couldn't. She understood his reasons for trying to stay out of the house and didn't begrudge this attempt to protect himself. And she never let on to him whether it had made things easier or harder for her at home. Some things, children didn't need to know and Nathan knew too much already.

It was too dangerous, he'd decided after he was on his own, to keep in touch with her. If his father found out, he would be angry, hurt her more for daring to associate with him after he'd gotten rid of him. She might not have protected him -- perhaps she couldn't have -- but he would try to do so for her the only way he could think of. By staying away. Given the circumstances of his departure, the only sure way for them to get into contact would be for him to initiate. He hasn't. He feels a measure of guilt for that, but he's convinced this is the best decision for both of them.


First Echo: Encountered one of the ghostly presences, returned one of his old favourite toys -- a boxy-looking robot obviously intended for a young child.

Pre-Incarnation Personality:

Near, at first glance and even at longer looks, can seem almost robotic. His expression rarely changes, he never acts out. One might be forgiven for assuming he feels no genuine emotion at all. But that's not true. While not specifically addressed in-series, the series' encyclopedia volume states that Near cut himself off from people due to being overly sensitive. As a young child, his feelings overwhelmed him to an unhealthy degree, so he made a conscious effort to deaden them. What we see is the result of his deliberate emotional repression; he got a little too good at it. He still has feelings, but they're very stunted and can be expressed in ways that are very off to an unsettling degree. Like his smile. You do not want to see Near smile; it's disturbing.

Whatever emotions do remain within him, he does not allow to influence his decision-making. He sees such an influence as a detriment and a way to make stupid, costly mistakes. Near very much favours a calm, logical approach to everything he does, using his considerable brainpower to full advantage. It's brought him a great deal of success. As he consistently beats out his rival who is similarly intelligent but subject to emotional whims, he has every reason to believe this is the way to be. This is the way to win the game, solve the case.

And that's what he wants. Near is oriented on the end result and is willing to take steps that aren't friendly in order to achieve his ends. He has no issue with tapdancing on the edges of the law himself if it means putting a dangerous criminal away. It's about priorities. Really, what's worse? Invading someone's privacy to find the evidence of their wrong-doing, or, say, letting a mass-murderer continue with their work because you got caught too caught up in legal niceties to investigate them thoroughly?

He believes that good and evil are entirely subjective concepts, that there is no absolute answer as to what is or isn't either of these. Having said that, this belief has not lead him to an "anything goes" philosophy. He has his own convictions, his own personal definitions of good and evil, and those are what he lives by; for all his seeming apathy, he honestly cares about doing what he thinks is right. When he encounters something he believes to be evil, he's openly disgusted, even angry. This puts immediate lie to the perception that he has no feelings. His anger isn't volatile, but it's cold, bitter, and damning.

Near's people skills are rather awful. He has a tendency toward bluntness; if he has a negative opinion, he's not shy about expressing it whether he's succinctly shooting something down or explaining in detail why it's stupid. This is not exactly endearing. If he needs to manipulate somebody, tell a huge lie to encourage people to share his suspicions? Yeah, he'll do that. Once the manipulations and lies have been successful, he does plainly admit to what he's done, explain why he did it -- but he rarely actually apologizes. What do you mean that's inconsiderate? Near often does not quite understand when he's being insensitive in his dealings with people unless he's actively trying to offend the other party. And he only actively tries with very few people. Even when he expresses genuine gratitude or acknowledges the contributions of others, people are left to wonder about his sincerity because his expression and voice are both flat.

It's unfortunate that Near's people skills are so bad, because he is heavily reliant on others for even basic things. It doesn't occur to him to look after himself properly. He can't cook. He can't travel alone even as an adult. If tasked with surviving on his own in the real world, Near would be unable to get by. On top of the codependency, he exhibits many unusual behaviours. He prefers to sit on the floor, his left leg tucked to his chest, and the position is the same if he's in a chair -- always the left leg. He constantly needs to have something to do with his hands and he highly prefers playing with children's toys for this. Which, when combined with his expressionless face, is rather unnerving when one remembers that he isn't a kid; he's a young man. He has an obsession with stacking things. These behaviours are strange, but they help him focus and stay calm in stressful situations, keep him on an even keel so that he can operate with just his intellect as he prefers.

Any differences?:

One distinct way that Nathan differs from Near is that he's able to look after himself in day-to-day life. He couldn't count on either of his parents to properly take care of him, so he learned to do things on his own. He's capable of living by himself, earning a living in the real world, something Near never manages to do.

Due to spending more time out of the house, Nathan is more socially competent than Near. He's not necessarily good with people, but he interacts with them more easily and in fact actively seeks to avoid causing offense. If he fails at this -- and he does sometimes -- he fears violent reprisal.

His compulsive habits are far less present; he prefers things to be neat and orderly, but he doesn't feel the need for his hands to be busy all the time. The toy fixation that Near has is entirely absent. And while Near was possessed of a certain quiet confidence -- helped by those same compulsive behaviours keeping him steady -- Nathan is anxiety-ridden thanks to his abusive past and lack of outlets. He can and does still put up an emotionless mask, but it's not as good as the one in his old life.

Abilities:

Genius Intellect: Above all, Near is extremely bright. He grasps new concepts with ease, can pick up on small clues and easily piece together detailed, accurate conclusions from relatively little information.

Focused Multitasking: Go ahead; have a few dozen television screens each running a different program at the same time. Near can isolate and pay attention to all of them, picking out small details.

Eidetic Memory: Exactly what it says on the tin.

Ambidexterity: He's seen performing precise acts with either hand.

Computer Programming/Hacking: Near is excellent with computers and with some work can break into many secure databases. (Much of the evidence he gathered on his own during the timeskip would have been heavily classified and protected; he had to get ahold of it somehow.)

Extensive Monetary Resources: Near had an inheritance that counted in the multiple millions of dollars.

Toy Collection: Near had quite a collection of toys, most prominently robot and superhero action figures. Also featured strongly was a blank puzzle with the gothic letter L in the top corner, a train set, and several decks of cards. Oh, and dice. Many, many dice that he would build entire cityscapes with.

What kind of involvement would you like your character to have in Save the Earth? Being somebody with no powers and possessing a very cautious nature, Near would be someone who mostly tries to work behind the scenes and use his mind to help others. Investigating, gathering information and putting together clues, and such. His old self was a detective, after all. Whether he gets up to more later would depend on how his confidence develops.

ROLEPLAY SAMPLES

- Third Person: From the 4th Wall

- Network:

Text

[It's silly, perhaps, to at least not use his voice. Would it really be so bad to just talk? Perhaps not, but he doesn't feel like pushing the boundaries of his comfort. And he can really think about what he's saying this way.]

I understand it has been some time since someone new has accessed this network. [Because he has checked backlogs before saying anything. Always better to be informed; he does not want to present himself as a burden or a fool.] I hope you will forgive my taking so long to do so, but circumstances have been quite unfavorable for people of our ilk of late. I certainly do not need to qualify that statement.

All that said, I have both read through the FAQ and gone back through more recent entries. The former is greatly out of date and to continue working the backlog would be needlessly time-consuming with all the trivial details mixed in with useful information.
[Nathan, that doesn't sound very nice.] I would appreciate it if someone may have the time to indulge a few lingering questions that I have.

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solvethepuzzle: (Default)
Near | Nate River

June 2016

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