Jan. 8th, 2020 10:00 pm
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As this is my first time playing an Original Character, any and all comments are welcome.

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Jan. 11th, 2014 01:00 pm
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Last updated: 20150516

Banzu )


Jan. 11th, 2014 12:00 pm
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Jan. 11th, 2014 11:00 am
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Items )
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Name: Goggs
Contact Information: [ profile] GoggleDragon or PM this journal
Time Zone: EST
Characters Played: Apollo [personal profile] whateveryoueatliveitspart


Character Name: Varun "Banzu" Elmas
Character Canon: Original

History: N/A

AU History: Banzu doesn't know who his father was and he's long since stopped asking questions about him, but what he gathered from his mother was that they had a brief time together and then he left, the implication being that he was exiled from the city. Banzu's mother didn't go to any great lengths to look after him and ended most evenings passed out with a bottle in her hand, forcing Banzu to look after himself from an early age. He spent a lot of his free time running around with other kids and getting into trouble. Among the trouble that he got into was dragging home interesting scraps and junk, not all of which their former owners had intended to part with. At first he simply kept the stuff in his room, but after a while he grew curious enough to start playing with the various tools that he'd acquired and began taking his treasures apart. The way that small pieces of metal came together to create devices that did things fascinated him, and it wasn't long before he was focusing on finding new things to take apart and understand instead of just causing trouble.

Banzu's mother died when he was ten, and he wasn't as broken up about it as most people expected; as he pointed out to those who asked, their relationship hadn't been great to begin with. He was put into an orphanage, where he immediately began to feel confined. It was the first time that he'd ever had other people looking out for his well-being, and the continued insistence that a ten-year-old couldn't do anything for himself was highly frustrating considering how much he had already been doing for himself. He spent as little time as possible around the orphanage, instead searching for scraps and junk that he could sell and hanging around the Salvage Shop and the Industrial District talking with the regulars and watching people work. He managed to get paid for a few odd jobs during this time and used the references to get more odd jobs, but as young as he was there was no steady work, especially since he was still forced to go to school. He persisted though and gradually built up a list of contacts and the beginnings of a reputation as a kid who was good at fixing stuff.

It was during this time that he discovered that he was an Enlightened, futilely trying to bend a part back into shape only to suddenly fold it in half. He didn't tell anyone about his ability, instead teaching himself how to control it and experimenting with what he could do with it. Once he was confident that he understood what he could do, he began making use of it by doing next-day "engraving" for people and fixing things he found that would otherwise have been scrapped due to damage and getting a better price for them. It was while sitting in an out-of-the-way corner in the Industrial District that he first noticed a Klink watching over his shoulder as he shaped metal. Asking it what it wanted resulted in it slinking off, but the next time he came to that spot to work he found it watching him. He let it watch this time, and the next time he came it was there again, and the next time. Soon he began to notice it in other places where he regularly sat and worked, and eventually it was just always there, whatever he was doing, gears softly grinding away, and he didn't feel any need to shoo it away.

When he was 15 he managed to get some irregular part-time work at a shop in the Industrial District, helping to repair things. While working one day he accidentally made a large scratch in the casing of the object he was working on with a screwdriver, and with his body blocking everyone's view he used his ability to remove the scratch, going back to work seconds later once it was gone. However, someone who worked at the Laboratories was in the shop at that moment, and while not seeing him repair it they had caught the scratching out of the corner of their eye, only to glance over a moment later and see the scratch gone. The jig was up, so to speak, and after having to demonstrate what he could do and no one understanding why he would ever keep such a useful ability a secret, he eventually received an offer for a position in the Laboratories, the combination of his mechanical skill and his specific Enlightened ability appealing to someone with the authority to hire. Banzu managed to negotiate that part of his pay be in the form of a workspace for himself (which took the form of a small underused storage room that happened to have a small window; it's pretty cramped), where he frequently sets up a cot and spends the night in lieu of returning to the orphanage, as well as spending time there working instead of going to schools. Currently 16, he enjoys having access to technology brought up from the Old City, but he's been feeling the confinement of Union a lot lately and is taking steps to have a change of pace, such as trying to join some Delvers on a trip to see the Old City for himself.

Canon Personality: Banzu doesn't like to draw attention to himself unless it's on his own terms. He mostly wears black and some dark gray, with dark blue and brown being the closest things to splashes of color; he isn't interested in flashy clothes or bright colors and he has a slightly lower opinion of people who dress to impress, seeing it as trying to fake value rather than doing something to earn it. Assuming that he doesn't know someone and has no particular goal in mind while speaking with them, he's reasonably polite but not formal. His baseline opinion of others is apathy, but he tries not to make enemies out of people, knowing that they might one day have need of some service that he can provide them with. He tries to keep a level tone, but when he starts getting annoyed he becomes a bit terse, becoming increasingly snippy as he gets angrier. He's not one to express his anger through violence under any but the most extreme circumstances. When it shows up, his humor tends towards the crude and dark. It usually doesn't take long for people to realize that Banzu is quite cynical, a fact that he takes no efforts to hide. While he doesn't try to make enemies, he doesn't go out of his way to make friends either, though he won't push people away if a friendship seems to be forming. He never introduces himself as anything other than "Banzu" and avoids using his real name unless he has no other choice. Similarly, he doesn't volunteer unnecessary personal information, seeing it as none of anyone else's business.

Banzu is honest and honorable when it comes to business; he charges what he believes are fair prices, refuses tips, and won't make inaccurate claims about his merchandise or abilities. He's self-confident without being arrogant and has a good sense of what he's capable of. He's usually right about whether or not he can do something, but this record of success causes him to give only token planning towards the possibility of failure, meaning that when he does fail it's a scramble to salvage the situation. He enjoys tinkering with stuff and figuring out how it works, getting intense satisfaction from putting something back together and having it work better than it did before. Tinkering is his default response to boredom or unpleasant emotions, since it allows him to focus on the task at hand instead of whatever else is going on in his life. He does, however, tend to stay up late working, and he isn't a morning person. It's rare for him to not have some tools on his person, and if his tinkering has taught him anything it's that everything can be used for something, which results in him being something of a pack-rat when it comes to parts and materials. He always finds himself conflicted about whether to sell something for scrap or keep it because he might be able to use it later, and he'll frequently end up looking over an object for the slightest imperfection so that he can justify getting rid of it to himself.

Banzu doesn't like handouts or sympathy, wanting to earn what he gets and not wanting to feel obligated to others. Gift-giving irritates him because he feels the need to give a gift in return. He looks out for himself and his own interests first and expects that others will do the same; even his allies are assumed to be looking after themselves and thus not in need of help until they ask. People who haven't worked for what they have, whether through being born into money or simply sitting back and relying on the charity of others, irritate him, and he's the kind of person who would tell a beggar on the street to "get off your ass and get a job" without considering for a moment that the person might have some legitimate issue that prevents them from being employed. Though he understands the general morality systems of the different sentient species on his homeworld, he doesn't care about following any of them and ignores moral questions. He focuses on actions that will benefit him and allow him to support himself, with their legality only being an issue if it could lead to the intervention of the local authorities. While he won't victimize people to get ahead, with the possible exception of people and organizations that can handle the loss, he won't go out of his way to help them without a reason either. For example, when two ships collided over his homeworld he took his ship up, not to rescue survivors but to salvage stray cargo containers and components from the wreckage, leaving the rescuing to the people whose job that was.

Banzu focuses virtually all of his efforts on leaving his homeworld, a colony planet with a corrupt government, a terrible climate in the inhabited regions, and minimal value beyond being a convenient stopping point for ships heading to and from other outlying worlds. The planet has a severe lack of opportunities for work that interests him; working for a small-time mechanic isn't enough for him, and he certainly isn't interested in farming. He doesn't like feeling confined and like he doesn't have options. He's a person who wants to be free to do what he wants and make decisions for himself, getting the results that his decisions lead to. He doesn't want adventure per se, but he wants a level of variety and challenge in his life, both for their own sake. While normally fairly cautious, when faced with a possible opportunity to progress his main goal of leaving his homeworld he took it with little hesitation; acquiring a spaceship through paying accumulated docking fees after its owner met an untimely demise (and paying the person in charge of granting captain's licenses to "forget" how old a human needs to be to own and operate a spaceship) is not something to do without some research and a thorough inspection, but he did so anyway and was rewarded with a ship that keeps manifesting issues that a proper inspection would have revealed.

In reality, Banzu's desire to earn what he gets stems from his childhood. He wonders if his mother's neglect of him was due to some inadequacy on his part, if he was too much of a burden on her, and this has turned into a desire to not be a burden on anyone else. In his mind if he can support himself it will prove that he isn't a burden to anyone. He's convinced himself that this isn't the case though and buried those feelings deep in his subconscious. What he hasn't managed to bury is the knowledge that he really should be sadder about his mother's death, and he finds himself feeling a bit guilty that he doesn't. Thinking about that makes him irritated as well. His relationship with his mother is part of the reason why he doesn't use his real name; he doesn't want the association with his mother through his family name. The other part of him not using his real name is less profound; his mother named him after a fairly well-known human politician to give him a "successful-sounding name", and he neither likes that association not does he like the way it sounds, and even if his relationship with his mother had been perfect he still wouldn't like using it.

AU Deviation: With Union being the last city and as rigid as it is, Banzu has an internal conflict; he feels confined in Union and wants to get out and spread his wings, but outside of Union there's no practical way to do what he enjoys most: tinker with stuff. The fact that he got his current job due in part to the usefulness of his Enlightened ability irritates him, since it's something that he didn't work for, unlike his mechanical skills. He doesn't advertise that he's an Enlightened if he doesn't have to, but he won't look a gift Rapidash in the mouth if he's presented with an opportunity solely because he's an Enlightened. He will, however, such as in the case of his current work with the Researchers and Engineers in the Laboratories, work to ensure that his non-Enlightened skills are what people judge him on.

He's not hugely interested in Pokémon, not wanting the obligation of having to look after a creature that provides nothing but companionship. His relationship with the Klink he's starting with works in no small part due to an attribute of the species; according to the Pokédex entries, Klink produce the energy they need to live by interlocking their two bodies and spinning around, meaning that Banzu doesn't have to worry about feeding it. This has allowed him to just hang out with the Klink naturally with neither of them asking anything from the other and volunteering their assistance as they feel it's needed, not because they feel obligated to. This is a unique case, however, and Banzu's interactions with other Pokémon will be more businesslike, his gathering of allies done with a purpose in mind rather than whimsy. Bonding with other Pokémon through the Warp Band will be closer to proposing a contract than a heart-to-heart ("Lapras, we need water transportation. If you carry us whenever we need you to I'll see to it that whenever you're not working you'll be in a place where you won't need to worry about food or predators. Do we have a deal?"). That's not to say he'll never bond with a Pokémon because of his personal attraction to it, but it's not as likely.

Canon Abilities: Banzu is extremely skilled at understanding, working with, and repairing technology of all kinds. This is talent backed up with research, experimentation, and hands-on experience, not genius; he usually can't make the grand intuitive leaps that a genius would be able to. He needs to be able to systematically examine a device, or at least read over a detailed description and/or schematic of it, in order to understand it. In general he's good at any task that involves fine manipulation, such as sewing, but he doesn't focus on improving his skill in those areas unless it relates to his work with machines. Physically he's in decent shape from semi-regularly lifting heavy pieces of junk and equipment but is no athlete, and while he knows a bit about fighting from his time getting into trouble as a kid it's mostly of the "kick them between the legs and escape before they recover" variety; he'll almost certainly lose if he's forced into hand-to-hand combat and can't get away.

For equipment, he has an antigrav bike (think the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi, only bulkier and not looking like it'll snap in half) and a decades-old space freighter. The freighter is fairly small as such ships go and initially unarmed and its faster-than-light drive nonfunctional. He gradually overhauls and repairs it, acquires a tractor beam, and eventually gets its faster-than-light drive working, after which he gradually upgrades and arms it, though it never becomes a combat ship. He's a competent pilot of both vehicles, but not exceptional.

Enlightened Abilities: Steel, Engineer

Banzu's Enlightened abilities will allow him to reshape metal, initially restricted to only pieces of metal that he can physically lift. When he uses this ability metal reacts to him as if it were clay, allowing him to reshape it with his bare hands (and only his bare hands - he can't use the ability through gloves or tools) as well as give it fine detail by focusing on the desired result and running his fingertips over the area he wants to affect. He's restricted to the material that's in the original piece and can't add more from another source or take any away (although he can and does pull the excess into a barely-connected piece that he can cut off with snips). He normally uses this ability to change the threading on screws, create parts from scrap metal, and other utilitarian, cost-cutting tasks. The time it takes for him to use this ability means that it has no direct combat usage. There will be no visible signs of his Enlightened status at this stage, but he will be immune to metal poisoning.

After his first evolution, tiny patches of steel will begin appearing on his body, and while he'll be able to reshape them, they'll grow back if they're removed. At this stage he won't need to be able to lift an object to affect it, being able to alter any metal object he's touching that's smaller than he is. The speed at which he can work will increase as well, some of the fine detail can be applied as he's molding the basic shape, and he'll be able to add material from another source or pinch off sections to remove them. The ability to add and remove material also allows him to introduce or remove impurities in the object, creating alloys and compounds or purifying the metal. Removing impurities is done by running his fingertips through the metal like it's water, where he'll feel whatever substance he's considering an impurity as a grit that he can lift out. Adding impurities is done by kneading them in like mixing two colors of clay. He's not restricted to metals when he's manipulating impurities, so he can add carbon to iron and make steel or remove it and make pure iron, but working with nonmetal impurities is more time-consuming since he can't manipulate them directly with his ability.

After his second evolution, the patches of steel on his body will expand and in many cases become useful, such as forming striking surfaces on his knuckles. At this stage he'll be able to affect any metal that he's currently touching, regardless of the size of the object it's part of, with all but the finest details forming as he shapes the metal. If the object he's affecting is one that he can lift, he'll no longer need to physically shape it; the metal will rapidly form itself into whatever object he's focusing on, expelling unwanted sections and impurities and absorbing and distributing desired impurities without him needing to do anything other than keep holding it. All this applies to the steel embedded in his body as well, and at this stage he'll have enough metal on him to use Iron Defense by forming it around himself. By moving metal to his fists or shaping the metal that's already there, he'll be able to use Meteor Mash, Metal Claw, Cut, Slash, and Sharpen. He will also be able to duplicate Iron Head (by forming a helmet around his head), Iron Tail (extruding a long piece of metal), Autotomize (pinching off the metal on his body) and any move that functions similarly to any of the previously mentioned moves, but he's unlikely to do so for a variety of reasons (respectively: he's not going to risk a concussion, he'd need to have a lot of extra metal on hand to make a good tail, the pinched off pieces of metal would get caught in his clothes and slow him down even more, and who needs endless variations on the same moves if the typing doesn't change?). Finally, he'll be able to use this ability to heal, alter, or harm the metal parts of Pokémon, but to say that this would be an unpleasant experience for the Pokémon involved would be an incredible understatement; the pain alone would be extreme, since this is equivalent to unanesthetized surgery, but there would also be the Pokémon's sensation of it being wrong for their bodies to experience this, like a human having their bones turn to liquid and moving around on their own. He's unlikely to make many friends by affecting anything living with his abilities.

Starter Pokémon: Klink

Notes/Special Considerations: If the situation presents itself, giving Banzu the opportunity to repair or build a vehicle, especially a flying one that can carry multiple passengers such as the Flying Palace from Pokémon 2000, would be ideal. Alternatively, finding info about vehicles and becoming inspired to build a Pokémon version (such as strapping seats on the back of a Wailord with Dive for a submarine, or having a bunch of Drifblim carry a basket for an blimp) would be good too. In either case, him going into business providing explorers with transportation would be an ideal outcome for him.


First-Person: [Text]

Got a few announcements:

First, I'm done my current project, so if anyone's looking for a Moon Stone, a Never-Melt Ice, a Round TM, a Rock Smash TM, or for me to make or repair something else get in touch with me and we can talk price and timeframe. First come first served. If you have an evolution item, a type-enhancing item, or a TM that you'll give me, I'll cut my price to just the materials costs.

Second, Multi learned Sketch again. Looking for someone who knows or knows a Pokémon who knows Telekinesis, Flash, or Heal Pulse. I'll pay whoever can show one of those to him first.

Third, the answer is no. Hell no. You know who you are.

Think that's it. Banzu out.

Third-Person: Question version:

-What do you seek for humanity’s future? Not my job to worry about shit like that. Ain't that what the Elders're for?

What would you say the most important occupation is within Union? Eh, prolly farming. Someone's gotta feed everyone. Without food no one else's gonna be around too long.

A human has attacked a wild Pokémon who retaliates in defense. How do you respond and whom do you defend? It ain't my fight. No reason for me to pick a side.

You are alone and bereft of your Pokémon allies, upon what strengths do you rely on to see yourself safely home? My head, same as always.

You plunge into the depths of the Old City. What is it that you seek from the past? Treasure, technology, wisdom? Technology. Treasure's good and all but you can always make money somehow. Technology's more interesting cuz it's more than just stuff. Who the hell seeks wisdom in some old ruins?

When encountering a rare and powerful Pokémon, what is most important? Researching it, bonding with it, or defeating it? Why? Why do you gotta do anything with it? Can't you just ignore it and go on with your life? [A soft snort] If I gotta pick one, research. Prolly a good idea to know what it can do in case it attacks later or if there's anything special you can get from it. Like those Slowpoke tails I've heard people talking about.

What strengths make you most qualified for your role within Union? I'm smart enough to figure out how shit works and fix it when it's busted or make another one. That's pretty much what you need to be an Engineer.

In your eyes, what is absolutely unforgivable. Exploiting people who can't afford to lose what you're taking for your own gain. You want something go work for it. Don't just take it from someone who worked for it. [Unsaid: Of course if they can afford to lose it or they didn't work for it that's a different story.]

No Enlightened chooses their abilities - and not all are Enlightened. What type abilities would you most desire to manifest and why? What I got right now comes in handy. I guess being able to fly'd be good. Get away from the city for a bit and not hafta worry 'bout walking or being attacked. See shit from the air, that kinda thing.

What area do you seek to explore? The peaceful forest, in search of new, previously overlooked discoveries; the uncharted caves, in search of the unknown; or the wildest of mountain terrain, in search of danger, adventure, and thrills? I'm more interested in the Old City, cuz I'm pretty much guaranteed to find some tech there. But if I have to pick one, the forest. Ain't interested in fights to the death or getting lost. Still rather do the Old City though.
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