Alec Walker

ARMA
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About Alec Walker

  • Rank
    Around Since Moses

CHARACTER PROFILE

  • GENDER
    Male
  • PLAY-BY
    Jason Momoa
  • AGE
    44
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION
    Heterosexual
  • RACE
    Magus
  • JOB
    Lieutenant in Cloak Division: ARMA
  • 'SHIP:
    Cassandra Greene
  • LOCATION
    Chelsea, New York City
  • FACTION
    ARMA
  • APPEARANCE
    Outside of work, Alec is always dressed almost exclusively in a button down with the sleeves rolled up. Jeans and Chinos are his pants of choice, and he sticks to suede or leather oxford shoes.

    When at work for ARMA, he consistently wears a well-fitted blazer over the shirt, often without a tie. Rarely will he remove the jacket unless heat or the situation so demands it.

    He has hazel brown hair that lightens in the summer, revealing slight streaks of blonde interspersed. His short hair is usually gelled back, with a few strands pulled down over his forehead.

    Alec is also the proud owner of a glorious beard. He takes great joy in the art of pogonotrophy, trimming the hairy growth only for the purpose of maintaining its shape.

    Aside from his rather muscular build, there is not much that would make him easily identifiable in a crowd except the long, jagged scar that runs down from the right side of his neck to the bottom left of his ribcage, which he received during a childhood car accident. A piece of glass embedded itself in his chest, somehow managing to avoid any vital organs, but producing a fair amount of blood at the time. A recent fight in close quarters gave him a scar which diagonally bisects his left eyebrow.

    Family lost and time under fire have given the magus a seemingly perpetual furrow in his brow, as though worrying about all the possible doomsday scenarios at any given moment. This contributes to a rather dour expression.
  • PERSONALITY
    Alec is a bit of a lone-wolf. He likes to isolate himself when possible, often locking his doors and plug his ears with headphones or earplugs. He doesn't come by friends easily, but those he befriends are his chief priorities, and he is loyal to them till the end.

    A long history of broken trust and failed alliances have left him scarred, both mentally and physically. Mentally, he is quick to judge, and first impressions make a stronger imprint than they would on most. A cordial greeting to him immediately creates a greater likelihood that he will accept a new acquaintance as a friend, while a violent snarl or other unpleasantness generally secures one a place on his bad side.

    In the field, however, Alec is very different from his usual isolationist self. He relies heavily on the support of his teammates, having usually studied their psychological profiles before, and (if possible), rejected any mission on which he would be assigned a potentially unstable or disagreeable partner. His reliance on his partners is an extension of his trust philosophy, and he considers them second only to family (all of whom are now dead) in importance to him.

    Now, and this is especially important, Alec considers his ARMA comrades as family, and will punish them accordingly should he discover that they have betrayed those who fight and die at their side. In his role as a Lieutenant of the Cloak Division of ARMA, however, Alec considers all people with whom he is not thoroughly acquainted to be threats, and will not bestow anyone with his full trust until he has either seen them in combat or personally evaluated their worth and dedication to their own just ideals.
  • PERSONAL BELONGINGS
    Alec carries with him an S&W model 29/629 .44 Magnum, as well as three full moon-clips for quick reloads. He makes it a point to keep a leatherman tool with him at all times.

    One of his most treasured possessions is a fountain pen, passed down through his family for generations. It's black, with a silver wolf painted onto its side.

    In his apartment, Alec has a gun safe with a Mossberg 500 and an X95R select fire rifle--Sadly, this rifle, along with its scope are completely broken as a result of magical interference. In searching for a gun to fulfill the same purpose, Alec has picked up a lever-action rifle, reminiscent of the repeaters of the old west, but chambered in 6.5 Grendel for increased stopping power.

    The fifth major possession in Alec's control is a large collection of books on various mythologies and ancient magicks, specifically of the Nordic cultures, with which Alec is most familiar. Within this collection is an early copy of the Galdrabók, containing within itself the rituals for great magical feats... but mostly a bunch of runes that don't do anything. But then again, what ya gonna expect from a 16th-century book?

STAFF APPROVED ABILITIES/SKILLS/HISTORY

  • APPROVED ABILITIES
    Low Drain:
    Basic Magi Powers (Cantrips)

    Telepathic communication: Alec connects one or two people in a closed communications loop within a circle. Alec is at the center, and it extends to a half mile radius.

    Wind Slayer:
    Alec concentrates air from the surrounding area into a hardened sphere, roughly the size of his palm. At its strongest, this ability forms a spinning ball of air which, when released, causes a slicing effect as it contacts a target. The further the target from Alec, the less force the orb imparts and the fewer cuts it makes, as the orb consumes itself for propulsion. At about 30 feet, the spell still has enough power to snap a moderate sized branch off a tree.

    Low-Medium Drain:
    Animal Communication: This can be anything ranging from simple communication of thoughts to more complex matters, such as telling an animal information to relay to another. Alec's speech may not contain any idioms, as they do not translate well into the thought patterns of the Animals to whom he speaks.

    Animal Coercion:This "control" can be broken by those with strong wills. It is a simple extension of the communication with animals. He can layer his voice, much like the Faeries of the Artemis Fowl series, creating a type of Mesmer which can overwhelm the sensibilities of weak-minded or weak-willed organisms.Animals will listen, except if they are strongly intent on completing a task at hand. Humans are sometimes affected, but only if they don't resist the spell or have had zero training in focusing their minds.

    Medium Drain:

    Ability to enter mindscapes:
    The OFL taught Alec how to enter and shape his own mindscape, and how to both enter the mindscapes of others and attempt to discover the secrets they keep hidden.

    Medium-High Drain:

    Speed-Learning Languages:
    This one is relatively self-explanatory. By extension of his ability to communicate with animals, Alec is able to speed-learn a spoken language by merely making contact with someone who fluently speaks that language, native speaker or not.

    Mental Assault:
    Alec combines his Mezmer/coercion abilities with the spell he learned from his teachers at the OFL to allow him into another person's mind, enabling him to assault the mind of a single enemy combatant and break down their mental defenses over time. Once inside, Alec can begin to cripple a magus' thought process, confusing them and, with enough time to both find and destroy a target's locus of identity, eliminating them from the inside out. A skilled mental magus can resist his assaults, while a more physically focused one is more likely to be susceptible to Alec's abilities. Player Characters will be able to defend against Alec's assaults, but it should be proportionate to their training. The chance of successful resistance would be directly proportional to the amount of mental training a target has received. This grants Alec neither an increase in physical strength nor physical resistance to harm. It simply allows him to fend for himself in a legitimate fight.

    Pigeon Smiter:
    Although this spell is actually translated more closely to "Falling Ice Shards" as it's written in the Galdrabok, Alec chooses to refer to it as his Pigeon Smiter, as that was the first thing it did on invocation. The spell essentially requires very little more than some available moisture and a mana source. It conjures ice crystals, roughly the size of a fist, then shoots them at the intended target at speeds of roughly 200 feet per second.

    The spell conjures between five and ten shards per invocation, and can be used anywhere between three and five times in a given 24 hour period before Alec has to rest again.

    High Drain

    Warg powers: Entering the mind of an animal and using it as a secondary body. Alec remains motionless and his body appears unconscious, but he gains control of this animal's body. If the animal dies while he is viewing the world through its eyes, Alec's eyesight will not return for two days, regardless of the time spent in the eyes of the animal.
  • APPROVED SKILLS
    Naturally fluent in English, Gaelic, Icelandic, Swedish, and Danish.
    Proficient in Aikido and Brazillian Jiu Jitsu, having adopted both as a means of exercise.
    Alec has become a relatively decent "dorm room chef," owing to his time spent in dorms and school.
    Near-photographic memory.
    Alec has become an expert in the customs of the Icelandic and Norse people, having lived among them for a time while doing his research.
  • APPROVED HISTORY
    Alec Walker and his younger sister, Amy, were born to an upper-middle class family in southern Georgia. The family spent much of their time in nature and with extended family members who lived nearby. Alec and Amy had lived a calm and relatively uneventful life--playing with dolls and action figures, going shooting, fishing, and reading the classics and great works of literature.

    David Walker, their father, had been a man of great integrity, a staunch believer in the importance of staying true to one's beliefs and family. He'd also been a professor of European History at Emory, and had held the post for nearly twenty five years before retiring and undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia.

    Maria Walker, Alec's mother, had divorced his father when he was 13 and Amy was 6, and had gone to live in Barcelona. No one in the family has seen her since the divorce papers were finalized.

    Alec had always favored his father over his mother, going in to his father's old study to look at and read all the ancient books, handed down from the past five generations of Walkers who had lived on the land. One of his extracurricular interests was cultivated by an old woman by the name of Hevlaska, of Nordic origin. She had noticed his interest in Norse History and the ancient texts before he or anyone else had. Hevlaska, as the local librarian, told him the old wives tales only one of her established age could tell--cautionary tales, stories of bravery, stories of heroism passed down through her culture for generations. Alec was entranced by these stories of heroes and their exploits, going to hear them every day after school, and even after Hevlaska died of a severe case of pneumonia at the age of ninety-seven, Alec continued to read and re-read her stories. He learned a number of ancient runic languages to better understand the texts, among them Elder Futhark and Omniglot Arabic.
    �Elder Futhark became his favored language. During the summer, he would spend hours in his room, writing, erasing, re-writing the runes--hoping to see something in them beyond a simple alphabet. Phrases in this language came out of his mouth naturally, as though he'd been born into a bilingual family.

    Alec graduated from his high school in 1993, going on to attend UVA.

    After his father's death in 1995, Alec took time off from school to put his home's affairs in order. By this time, he had completed his sophomore year of college at the University of Virginia.

    He would not return to his education for another two years, spending his time traveling and living in the Nordic regions of the world. At the age of 21, Alec returned to college, resumed his study of legends, linguistics, and libations. He graduated as a member of Phi Beta Kappa with both honors and a bartending license in the class of 1999, now 23.

    During his senior year at UVA, Alec grew close to one of his professors, Professor Keating, in the sociology department. Professor Keating encouraged Alec to pursue a graduate degree straight out of college.

    In 1999, Alec was accepted to the PhD program at the University of Chicago. He took seven years to finish his dissertation, becoming an authority in the somewhat vacant field of ancient Icelandic and Norse culture and commerce.

    2006 brought a dissertation defense and the beginning of the job search. Alec turned his dissertation into a book, which he managed to get into the hands of people at publishing companies. No one ever thought to publish it, however, so Alec bought an USB code and began selling it as a downloadable PDF. The income wasn't much, and Alec survived off odd - jobs until he was no longer dependent on them. He shared his Chicago apartment with a long-time girlfriend, and they managed the rent and living expenses between them. They split in 2007 over an argument about the so-called "War on Terror." Alec was against the entire conflict, while Karen, having come from a military background, was staunchly in favor of the troops and the mission of securing the nation's safety. She and Alec went their separate ways, and Alec moved to New York.

    In 2008, Alec was offered a position as a professor of history at CW Post on Long Island. He purchased a small apartment in the city and spent his nights often in the company of whomever he'd conned into going on a date with him that evening.

    2010 went by peacefully as well until May came and the sky tore in two. Alec had been in his bedroom when an odd ice blue glow burst forth from one of his shelves. An Icelandic book of magic had begun to resonate with the Nevus event. He rushed over to pick it up, and on contact, was repulsed into a wall. Unaware of the awakening of the mana within him, Alec attempted to close it again, and this time, succeeded.

    The book, Galdrabok, was an ancient Icelandic grimoire. Alec had acquired it from an odd old merchant in the town square of a small village on one of his research trips. It had been too beautifully bound and preserved to have been from the 16th century as the man had claimed, but it was worth the purchase, nonetheless.

    Alec hastily placed the book into his freezer, deeming that the safest place in case of another cold snap. He promptly went to sleep, leaving the first Draft of his syllabus for next semester half-complete.

    The following morning, Alec was awakened by the screech of "Eat shit, biped!" Needless to say, the historian was throughly confused. He shrugged it off, returning to his work. Little did he know or understand, Alec had actually heard and translated a pigeon's screech.

    Throughout the day, Alec continued to hear voices where none should have come-"I'm gonna get you!" "Nope! Now I'm in a tree!"

    It took some time, but Alec came to realize he was hearing nothing less than the thoughts and speech of animals. Squirrels and pigeons, no less.

    Slowly, carefully, he removed the galdrabók from its place in the freezer. It fell open to the active spell. Things had begun to make sense. Well, as much sense as magical books and talking rodents can anyway.

    Alec read the incantation on the next page, the invocation of a cancelation for this spell, and things grew quiet again.

    For the next few days, Alec didn't leave his apartment. He read through the book, cover to cover. Sometimes backwards, other times upside down. Spells he invoked had unintended consequences. He'd managed to remove a chunk of wall from the building, smite pigeons from the sky with bolts of ice, and wreak who knows what other kinds of havoc. Most of the time, though... the book just sat there while he danced around the room yelling the runic words on the pages, which did not respond. He found himself hoping no one was watching him.

    Alec sought out guidance in the development of his skills. That guidance came from the Order. He was questioned and introduced to the Order as a Magus in Training--not yet ready to use his powers in the field. They allowed him to take up a place within their research division until he cultivated his abilities better.

    In late 2013, Alec had become sufficiently proficient in various mental spells and techniques to be promoted and transferred into a field role. His teachers showed him how to enter and manipulate minds, how to protect himself from such assaults, and the like.

    When ARMA came into being, Alec was easily swayed towards the side of right. He swore his allegiance to Alistair's cause and was placed into the division known as Cloak once the organization's structure was determined and dust clouds had settled. For now, he trains under Lydia Slyva, and is one of the top interrogators in the division, owing mainly to his unique skill set-one not well suited for combat, but instead for the gathering of information and the absolute decimation of a single target's will to resist.

    In May of 2017, Alec was assaulted by a mentalist from the OFL, seeking to eliminate a seemingly weak target. After a protracted battle, Alec managed to break through the mentalist's defenses. He used the opening to identify her locus of identity. With that in easy access, Alec began shaping and molding her brain. By the time their encounter had ended, Alec was in possession of information about an incoming OFL strike team, and the mentalist believed herself a duck.

Profile Fields

  • Primary
    Alec Walker
  • All My Characters
    Alec Walker
    Kashmir Dorsanos
    Etan Jaeger (Inactive)
    Hector De Los Reyes (Inactive)
    Towenaar van Aarde
    Johann Sebastian Eligius
    Chibirias Balam (Inactive)
    Margaret Dunne Grier (In Progress)
  • Typist's Interests
    I'm a pretty simple guy, whose interests have been suppressed for the past four years in the process we call college admissions. From the before-time, when I was still a living human, and not under the influence of High School, I enjoyed Archery, Kayaking, Photography, and recreational Filmmaking.

    These days, my thoughts tend towards the moments at the end of the day when I can shut everything down and take a goddamn nap.
  • Typist's Role Play History
    I've been a RolePlayer for a number of years now. Floated around from place to place for a while, and the last site I was on closed down in early 2012. I took a brief break from writing to finish up my senior year of High School, resumed the summer before college, and I've been here ever since.

    AIM: alec.walker1
    Discord: Stoat #2136
  • Role Play Sample
    Alec had been spread thin of late. There were so few ARMA magi who could do the work he could--who could traverse the mental landscape of the insane or the traumatized. Sometimes, new magi were forced into a situation where it truly was kill or be killed, and many of them could not handle the guilt of having taken a life. He imagined it was much like the trauma cops experienced on their jobs.

    With magic, however, the level of power one put into a spell was nowhere near as consistent as is a bullet. What was meant as a stunning bolt of electricity could just as easily have become a heart-stopping lightning bolt in inexperienced hands. A flame meant to cauterize a wound could burst into greater conflagration, consuming the limb and causing greater scarring. These events sometimes resulted in a mage's loss of confidence--the fear that their intervention caused greater tragedy than if they had simply stayed silent and let events unfold as they should have--setting these men and women on a path to magical impotence.

    In the past week, Alec had been assigned four such cases. The OFL had ceased its assaults on ARMA members; the murders of magi were far more heavily biased towards the OFL than towards ARMA; and most importantly, ARMA had solidified its place as the magical police of NYC. Things were quiet, and ARMA's most effective mentalist was being kept busy with what some might call a "pseudo-shrink" job.

    For nearly three days, Alec had gotten no more than an hour of uninterrupted sleep a night; likely due to something he'd seen in the mind of one of these magi, and had been easily convinced that a visit to one of the city's few practicing individuals with psychiatric training was in order. After all, the mental crisis and subsequent insomnia was interfering with his ability to help these magi. One individual in particular had been recommended, due to his own experience with handling traumas and his knowledge of and engagement with the supranatural world.

    The mentalist closed his eyes, settling in for the long ride up towards Inwood. The line once known as the A train ran directly towards the office of Kai Alexander Morgan, the individual who'd get to poke around in his mind. All Alec knew was that the man had been former military,now worked with many of those who could not cope with the impact of the resonance, and had come highly recommended. Nearly a half hour later, Alec stepped off the train and made his way to the office, knocking at the front door to signal his arrival.
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  1. Nobody Expects the ARMA Inquisition:

    Alec sighed. Gavin really didn't understand. Sure, leaving ARMA would put them at a disadvantage, with a free agent out there operating, potentially against them, but that really wasn't part of the protocol. Yes, they'd done some memory wipes, some identity changes in the past. Yes, they'd had to completely wipe some people from the historical record... ARMA was an agency dedicated to protecting one of the largest subsets of humanity anywhere in the world. Of course, they'd taken drastic measures. And yet, it seemed entirely possible that Sergeant DeLuc was unaware of ARMA's actual exit protocols. Agents were brought in, sat down in a chair, and given a sedative. One of the trained mentalists would come in and expunge any highly sensitive information from their memories, replacing it with benign versions of events. Past operations with no bearing on current day efforts were left alone. Their memories of people and places not deemed mission critical were left intact. For all intents and purposes, the skills, magic, and relationships they had built over the course of their careers with ARMA would remain. It was a time-consuming process, and incredibly taxing on the mentalist responsible, but ultimately harmless to the agent being dismissed. Maybe Aura and her band of dragons had a different way of doing things out on the frontier, but since effectively forming Cloak in that meeting with Lydia and Ali, Alec had made it very clear he would not stoop to the level of the Order. He'd been there when ARMA made its break, and he was gifted...perhaps cursed... with the ability to remember every last horror he had seen, reliving them at will. Perhaps the Order had changed their way somewhat, but their legacy was indelibly stained for anyone old enough to remember who they'd been when ARMA made the world aware. It would be increasingly obvious to Gavin, as he talked, that the panel before him had honestly no idea what he was worried about. Only after Gavin finished speaking would Alec speak up. "I think, Mr. DeLuc, that you have the wrong impression, here. You're free to tender your resignation at any time and walk away mostly unmolested." Alec paused for a moment, and Halliday stepped in. "It is understandable that you seem uninformed of standard protocols. We rarely have anyone who actually wants to leave, and we do our best to make sure our mages and agents are happy in their positions so we can keep it that way. Aside from information regarding the highest level clearance... which you do not have... and any specific operations with clandestine significance... nothing in your head would cause permanent damage to ARMA's reputation, even if it were revealed. Your life is yours to live. Alec nodded his assent. "Your skills would be a great asset to us on Cloak... but if you want to walk away today and seek employment elsewhere, you're welcome to do so. We'd ask you not to act against our interests, in that case, for a period of several years... and we'd request a way to reach you in case of a true emergency... calling up the reserves, so to speak... but you would have your life to live. We are not the Order." The mentalist sat back in his chair, and Halliday closed his notepad. Now all that remained was to watch for Gavin's reaction. It seemed ridiculous, the divide between expectation and reality here. Perhaps ARMA really did need some PR help.
  2. Words and Wax

    Alec's eyes narrowed in a combination of amusement and annoyance as Rorye teased him. Still, he smiled back. Water would be wonderful, Rorye. He was sure... pretty sure, at least, that he'd mentioned Loke in the year since he'd had the beast at his side. Or had he really been out of touch for that long? It wasn't as though Alec ever actually spent dedicated time with Alistair's friend... girlfriend? He shook his head. Immaterial. He was here to help out with a problem. Man and beast made their way into the other room-- assuming, correctly, that there would be someone buried in books there. There always was. In fact, there were many people busy among the stacks. Most seemed agitated, as though they were searching for the secret to life, liberty, and the continued pursuit of happiness to be found somewhere in a book. Loke settled down by the doorframe in the teashop, just out of the way, where he could still keep an eye on the goings on, curling inwards, tail wrapped around himself, paws tucked under. There were glances from the patrons, some talking to each other, wondering about the cat. Some kept to themselves. Alec looked about, trying to read the room without breaking out any magic. People came here from all walks, some for legitimate reasons, others for reasons not so... and it was important that Rorye be allowed to continue her business, that her patrons were not disturbed by ARMA business unless absolutely necessary. Spooking a random warded patron with a broad mental search was the kind of rookie move Alec might have made some ten years ago. Now, he was a little more thoughtful, less brash. He would observe, still unsure what exactly Rorye needed from him. Hopefully, her return would bring answers, not just water.
  3. Words and Wax

    Alec's feet pounded the pavement... he'd always thought that was just an expression, but if you ran hard enough, you could actually feel that it was a legitimate description. The big cat followed suit, barely breaking a trot... even if it drew more than a few weird looks. It would be about another 5 minutes until he was there, but hey, he was coming, and that was all he'd been asked to do. The magus caught his breath, slowing down his heart rate as he approached the tea house, and walked in, half expecting the typical 'ding ding' of a bell above the door. First things first, find Rorye, then whatever madness could follow. A surprisingly gentle paw bumped on his leg as if Loke was asking whether or not his decision to come inside was ok. Just don't break anything or kill anyone... please. Alec said to the mountain lion.
  4. Words and Wax

    Alec listened, the words registering quickly. I'm in Central Park right now, but I'm on my way. There was a distinct pause, then the clarification of confusion. Don't stress about it. If there's anything you learn before I get there, just fill me in. Alec hung up and turned to the cat. Loke, You up for a sprint? The cat, named not only for a trickster god, but also for the spirit of the Lion, stood, stretching itself out with a quiet growl, and began to pad in a circle again. Alec directed it to follow him and headed off down towards Kells.
  5. Nobody Expects the ARMA Inquisition:

    Alec chuckled softly to himself as the mage before him stood taken aback. He would have probably shat himself were he called up before a disciplinary hearing... But this wasn't his disciplinary hearing. So he had nothing to worry about. Alec watched Gavin's face, noticing eyes flickering around the room the way we all do, subconsciously, despite best efforts to keep eye contact at all times. "In all seriousness, as long as the pay grade remained the same I would be willing to take offers from anywhere in the organization provided I could be at my house at least enough of the year to keep it from falling apart." Interesting. Was the mage more of a merc than a loyalist? Or did he still believe in the values ARMA holds dear? No matter how this went, Alec would be sure to follow up, learn more. "Your station and pay are, again, not in question here. And if you won't mind me speaking frankly, It's more of a hassle for us to take a trusted ARMA agent out of the field and... neutralize... the potential threat to our organization's security than it is for us to make sure our agents are happy, effective, and... not a liability where they are." Alec folded up the dossier on the desk and sat back, taking a moment to clear his throat as Merval took over. Before you go thinking we're doing this for our own reasons and speculating wildly, let me clarify. Cloak would benefit from having someone like you... both in the field and at home. The tower rep took his chance to chime in here. "Not to mention you'd break much less equipment if you were closer to HQ to have it repaired before it got that bad. "Now, as I was saying." Merval interrupted his interruptor. "We could use you. Knight squadrons could probably use you. There are other commanders in Shield who might give you greater freedom in your actions." Merval finally sat back in his chair, indicating he had said his piece. "So there you have it. No division can promise you won't be off on deployment for months at a time in extreme circumstances, but this isn't an inquisition... well, ok, we're inquiring, so maybe by the dictionary's definition it would be... Alec shook his head, pulling himself out of the rambling line of thought. I guess what we're saying is... it's your choice, Gavin.
  6. Words and Wax

    Alec was out when the phone rang. Why? Well, that was a question for... someone. The mage had enough shit in his mind to answer several times over. Nonetheless, here he was at 10-ish on a Saturday wide awake and sprinting through central park with a mountain lion by his side, a walkman on his hip, and a pair of headphones in his ears, hoping the aura of technological fuckery that accompanies all mages would cooperate long enough to get through this album. Slowing down and coming to a halt by a park bench, Alec motioned to the beast to sit as he fished the phone out of his pocket and flipped it open. Caller ID was a luxury he avoided. Too potentially complex, after all. Even if the phones were burners and flip phones to be discarded and replaced any time magic flared up, keeping them working longer was just easier. Walker. The word was spoken as an identifier, both of identity and of authority--not so much an invitation to continue speaking as an exhortation to do so. Breathing audibly slowed as Alec listened for a response, pacing back and forth to keep his heart rate from falling back to a resting rate.
  7. Nobody Expects the ARMA Inquisition:

    Alec had not chosen the panel. If he had, the men would have been representatives of each department. Such was bureaucracy, however, that availability of appropriate people takes a back seat to speed of execution where matters of review were concerned. Alec was also not a veteran by the military definition of the word. He had never been issued a uniform and a rifle and told to shoot in that direction. Nonetheless, the mentalist knew many who were, had spent time in their heads, and removed the most painful of their memories so they could function once more. He knew enough to recognize nonstandard dress, but not enough to engage off the cuff. Brown eyes registered recognition of the soldier's modifications to his service uniform. The man had tensed, recognizing the absence of shield. It was unfortunate... especially if the goal was to put this mage at ease. Alec would have to advocate for better matches on these review boards. Gavin responded to the invitation to sit by standing and taking full stock of the situation. He somehow grew more visibly tense and then relaxed mentally into what seemed to be a rehearsed speech. Good. The man was interested in staying afloat. Merval scratched a note on the pad at his desk. Alec let fluid motions carry ink onto page. Halliday sat silently, staring at the soldier. Ultimately nothing that would be discussed here mattered so much as the way Gavin portrayed himself. And he seemed to care. "As for willingness to lead, I think that it is fair to say that I am not the most excited man in the world to be in charge of other people’s lives when we go down range, or even when situations occur like the incident at the Harbor bombing with the virus exposure. There are risks that we take every day out there, and even a routine call can turn into a life or death situation for the entire squad." A slight smirk from the mentalist. He would let this continue. There had been recent situations that had raised concerns with many in leadership about Gavin's command. To hear that he was reluctant brought an actual chuckle, followed by a quick apology. Georgian drawl slipped through the layered Chicagoan and New York accents developed over a lifetime away from home. "Mr. DeLuc, I do apologize for that. Bit surely you know the old adage that a commander who enjoys his post is unfit to hold it." It was something he'd heard once, never attributed to anyone. "I dont think any of us walked in here to talk about stripping your rank or command and putting you away. And hearing your genuine concern for the lives of your fellow is as good a reason as any for us to stay away from that course of action. Isn't that right, Thomas?" Alec gave a smile and set his pen down, his last words directed at the representative from Tower, who nodded and acquiesced. Alec paused. "We are here to make sure you're in the right place, if that makes any sense. Your tactics lately have been... shall we say... unorthodox? for shield. You aren't a match necessarily for tower either, in terms of power set, according to records. However... there are places in ARMA not governed by those two branches." Alec was alluding to knight division, comprised mainly of those who had served prior to merging with the silver winged who defended the borders of the Eastern Seaboard. It had occurred to him that a man who had fought dragons might not welcome fighting alongside them. There was also cloak, there were commanders other than Gavin's own in Shield... there were options. Alec leaned forwards slightly. "So here's the million dollar question. Would you rather be somewhere else?"
  8. Silence, My Brother

    He'd zoned out completely, barely filtering through the conversation. After his second question, Alec made sure he was listening intently. It wasn't totally worth it. Though the "lose a report" tactic sounded fun. He really could just make it seem like he'd never seen a document before. Whiskey went down smooth as he settled the glass on the bar. I might just have to give that a shot. Not enough else happening to make it dangerous. The mage really hated small talk. There wasn't much else to say here, but it would be rude to just walk away. He did actually have work to do... ok. One more drink, and then he'd head back up. Bartender was signaled, glass refilled. Now what the hell would it be ok to ask here? He had no idea, and the silence sat awkwardly in his head.
  9. October 31, 2020 Mr. DeLuc, welcome. Please, take your seat. This is a pretty informal conversation that we'll have here... but you know that... don't you? Alec smiled kindly and gestured broadly at one of the comfortable chairs opposite the triad of senior ARMA agents. The commanders of divisions were far too busy to sit in on every hearing... or so they claimed. That was fine. It meant the agents under them had a purpose. To my right is David Halliday, our representative for Commander Zikara. At my left is Lieutenant Merval of the Cloak division. I am Alec Walker, also a Lieutenant of Cloak division. The man was not exactly affected in his speech, but Lieutenant was pronounced as the British had done-Leftenant. We're here today to just have a chat and see whether you've shown improvement in your willingness to command and lead. There's no value for us in hearing falsehoods, and we tend to be very good at spotting a lie, so as long as this conversation stays honest, it should be quite pleasant. Alec lifted up a fountain pen in his right hand and ran the tip lightly down a sheet of paper, making sure ink would flow. He pulled a sheet of paper out from under his legal pad and made a quick note. We can start whenever you're ready. And please, Mr. DeLuc, speak freely during this conversation.
  10. Silence, My Brother

    Fingers wrapped around the glass, holding it level. Right. The doctor. Not a field agent in the traditional sense. Still one of the most valuable mages they had ever had. Doesn't matter that you can nuke a city if your arm's not attached. Keeping the mages healthy had been a concern from the start. "So what are ya doing out tonight? Blowing off some steam from work or just restless and bored?" "Just taking a few minutes away from my desk. You wouldn't believ... Well maybe you would. Is hospital bureaucracy still as bad as it used to be?" Alec chuckled. He could remember the days before the event when hospitals needed some 7,000,000 signatures from 50 different doctors just to look up your nose. But since the nevus, the mage hadn't set foot in a hospital, let alone as a patient. The fact remained that he had mountains of paperwork on his desk. Psych evals to decrypt, requests for new training and sometimes tech, the usual shit. He needed a break from the monotony... maybe just go home early tonight. See if Cass wanted to go see a movie or something... scare the crap out of people by taking the cat for a walk... something completely mundane in a different way. But he was being rude. Here was someone talking to him. "Right... yes, paperwork. Pretty much Mount Kilamanjaro in my office back there. Sometimes I wonder if anyone would notice a page catching fire."
  11. Silence, My Brother

    There was good reason to recognize Alec. Before his current post in Cloak Division, he'd been a public face during the war. And yet this woman had a good reason to forget him. It was easy if you weren't under investigation. Or hadn't been. Those who had been investigated would have more trouble forgetting. They knew the face of the man who had been in their heads. Alec Walker. I think we've met a few times at the office. Strange how, in peacetime, it was the office to him, but that was a conscious decision. HQ sounded too military for everyday use. And it was as close to a workaday existence as he really knew. Show up, push papers, take lunch, more papers, go home.
  12. Silence, My Brother

    Eyes flicked around the bar again, settling on the amber liquid constrained within... probably glass. Boone wouldn't pull some shit with acrylic alternatives, would he? He wasn't one to forget a voice, Alec mused, but voices could come and go as they chose. Vague recognition sparked abandoned pathways in his brain, triggering a series of possible names and connections. Of course, if ever he actually forgot who someone was, he had a way of finding out--dive deep into the memory palace he had built and categorized... if only he could have a full-time curator in his head. His eyes would catch hers on another pass around the bar. Field Agent. The voice in his head piped up. We all have a voice... whether we listen to it or not is another question entirely. For the life of him, however, Alec could not remember what it was she did. Last name was a bird... Something like a sparrow... Martin? Well, nothing else to do here. Lifting the glass--yes, it was solid, heavy glass--from the bar, Alec walked the short distance over. Agent Martin, right? What brings you by? The words may have taken on a tone more accusatory than he'd intended, but with so little to do at HQ these days, disciplinary inquiries were a significant chunk of cloak's duties.
  13. Silence, My Brother

    Mon Aug 24, 2020 6:13 PM Blue. A single finger was held up. Johnny Walker Blue Label, already fine whiskey, was still scarce. The distillery had not had time to produce yet another batch since re-opening its doors. In other words, it would be a miracle if this bar happened to have it. Then again, Boone was nothing if not resourceful. The mage glanced around. Any familiar faces? Any faces best forgotten? That would remain to be seen. After all, it was only a little past 6 on a Monday. *Can you believe the balls on this guy? *I know you’re pretty much made of steel, but who the hell tackles a tiger? What? The man looked almost offended. It spilled my beer. Was I supposed to just let that go? Light glinted off the second speaker’s forearm, exposed under the shredded layers of green cloth that had once been a zookeeper’s uniform. Alec shrugged off their presence and turned towards the other side of the bar. Oh come on! What? Was it something I sai… Boring. ARMA was quiet these days. Could there be anything more obnoxious than quiet? He had nothing to do except handle paperwork. Why couldn’t they have some kind of scandal? Where had the false mages gone? And where the hell was that drink?
  14. HELP RETAG RESONANCE!!!

    Resonance: Because you really did need that prehensile tail.
  15. A few scattered questions peppered the audience. [walker] Joseph Browning's work is probably a good place to start if you want to know about the origins of chanted spells. Your very own Professor Moynihan wrote an excellent survey of linguistic magic about two years ago, and I'm sure the references cited in that particular text will illuminate the subject further. I hope that answers your question. [/walker] The girl who'd asked the question sat down, apparently satisfied with the answer, and Alec waited for the students to finish scribbling down the information he'd disseminated before taking another question, this time from a girl sitting in the back. [walker]That's a great question. For anyone who couldn't hear it, the question was about whether the strength of magic ties to a mage's native language and their level of understanding. [/walker] Alec paused. [walker] I wish I could give you a concrete answer, but I think the best way to explain it is a little roundabout. My current working theory is that there are primary languages that are closest to "pure" or "true" magic. These are the languages that became others--Latin, Aramaic, the so-called Babylonian Chaldean language. [/walker] Another beat as Alec quickly jotted down these languages on an empty transparency, leaving plenty of room between them. [walker] Societies developed and languages were formed, lost, and evolved. Latin splits into the Romance languages--Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Romanian--and into Italic scripts, which eventually become Runic Scandinavian languages. Aramaic splits into Hebrew, Arabic, of which there are many forms, even bleeds into Sanskrit and German in the form of Yiddish. So on and so forth. [/walker] As he spoke, each language was drawn onto the family tree of its respective root. [walker] I'll use myself and our friend with the tattoos as examples, then. [/walker] Alec marked himself down on a distant branch of the Latin tree, highlighting the direct connection between Futhark and Latin, only two nodes apart. He then marked down the tattoo-ed individual on the same tree, showing the six levels of distinction between modern Castillian Spanish and its Latin roots. [walker] I have no definitive proof of my theory, as we can never prove anything in science--we can only disprove--but as I understand it, the closer a mage's first or native magical tongue is to the core languages of 'pure' magic, the stronger the effects. It would absolutely be worth exploring whether pictorial representations are subject to the same rules. [/walker] Another pause as Alec looked out over the lecture hall. [walker] In fact, if any of you have magical aptitude and a high, by which I mean near-native, level of fluency in Egyptian Hieroglyphs, Naxi, or any one of the pre-colonial South American alphabets and languages, I would relish a chance to talk to you about investigating this theory. [/walker] He hadn't planned to recruit based on this event, or even to open himself up to communication from the audience members after he left the hall, but this was a new angle he had yet to consider, and it was worth examining. [walker] Thank you for that question. I believe we have time for a few more questions. Does anyone have a follow-up?[/walker] It was easy to fall back into old rhythms with students and lectures. Alec hadn't realized quite how much he missed this. Maybe there was a way for him to leverage this solid turnout into a more significant affiliation with the school.