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Immortal Teen Warrior
A young immortal, still trying to find his place in this strange and suddenly unfamiliar world. An orphan with nowhere to go, he wants to make himself useful and make the most of life.
Jake is a kid that is no stranger to tragedy, and has a tendency to take most things into his stride. While his life so far has been far from perfect, he's far too optimistic to let it change him much. As with all kids his age, Jake only wants a few things out of life and on the whole tends to get them. He looks for stability, safety, comfort, and to have fun whenever he can.
On the whole, Jake is a happy kid, with occasional bouts of melancholy that he tries to suppress as soon as they manifest. He is, however, always on the lookout for friends because he's very confused about what has happened to him. He's not the type to let bullies walk over him, but is sensible enough to know when discretion is the better part of valor. Few things will get him truly angry, but messing with his friends will do it. And a truly angry Jake can be hazardous to your healthy.
He's not the least bit interested in dueling other Immortals. He tends to be chirpy, chatty, friendly, a bit sarcastic and perhaps a little bit too trusting.
Jake was an active child before his first death, and becoming immortal really hasn't slowed him down. Growing up in Chicago, he's used to ducking into and out of alleys or make headway through a crowd. He's quite adept at running (usually away from trouble) and parkour, because nothing is more fun than jumping from improbable places to impossible places when you know the drop isn't going to kill you.
A child of modern times, computer systems are no mystical secret to Jake. Day to day computing is a trivial matter, and setting up or even building a new system is equally not a problem. He can just about make out source code and could probably build a fairly snazzy website given time and inclination, and knows his way around the Dark Net well enough to find other immortals or supernatural communities.
There's a difference between the practice floor and a real down and dirty fight. Of the former, Jake has quite a bit of experience. The latter... not so much. He is likely to be able to hold his own against one or two assailants long enough to get away or for help to show up, but in a straight up fight he's likely to end up eating pavement.
As opposed to many of his generation, Jake actually paid attention in school. Of course, due to his age, there are very well defined limits to his scholastic knowledge, but he's at least competent in the subjects he /does/ know.
While on the whole Jake prefers not to defy authority, he has become remarkably adept at getting into and out of places unseen so that defiance is never actually necessary... or discovered. He's certainly no ninja, but can still move around quite quietly and seems to always know exactly where the best bit of concealment can be found.
A very unusual quirk of the Quickening, upon waking from his first death Jake felt infused with a certain knowledge on blades and how to best apply them in a manner most inconveniencing an opponent. Academically he seems to know everything there is to know about swordsmanship, fencing and the various arts of edged weaponry, but this wealth of knowledge is limited by a lack of experience. Still, it's undeniable that a Jake brandishing a sword is infinitely more dangerous than a Jake barehanded.
Jake is capable of feats of equilibrium and coordination that are clearly beyond that of a human. While this does not let him dodge bullets, catching him in crosshairs may prove to be very tricky, and he thinks nothing of running full speed along a narrow ledge. Limber and agile, he could easily make a living as an acrobat.
Immortals are able to emulate the traits of other creatures around them, attuning themselves to specific elements of nature. This might take the form of running with the speed of a stag, hearing as acutely as a wolf, or feeling the earth and wind around them through trees and plants. The immortal cannot change shape, such as to gain claws or such, but they may gain the "essence" of a target creature's ability. Their targets must be living creatures with some connection to Nature; this power generally does not work with the undead, with spirits, or with extraplanar beings such as angels or demons.
Immortals have developed a technique for concealing blades upon their person, leaving the weapon completely shrouded from the perception of any other. The blade does not become non-corporeal, per se, but the sense of touch of anyone but the immortal carrying it will simply not perceive the blade, fooling the mind. However, once the blade is drawn, the shroud of concealment is broken instantly. The only purpose that can be served by this technique is carrying a concealed blade, so that an immortal can, for example, produce a full-sized katana from beneath a light jacket.
Immortals develop a rapport with the weapons they carry, allowing them to empower their personal blade. This makes the blade virtually unbreakable, as well as empowering it to do increased damage. Jake's blade is capable of feats that seem remarkably beyond that of what regular steel (even steel forged by the legendary Masamune) should be capable of and will cut up to a thin layer of steel as easily as a hot knife through stone.
All immortals have powerful healing abilities, with any wound vanishing within seconds. Very serious injuries, such as those that result in a temporary death, may take a few hours of a death-like state to recover.
Immortals have an innate magic sense, commonly called "The Buzz." This sense allows them to sense the presence of magic and supernatural beings, though it is most potent and focused in the presence of sources of The Quickening, which allows them to easily perceive when another of their kind is near. Perhaps because Jake is physically unimposing, or maybe simply because he's aware that he's living in dangerous times, this power seems particularly strong in him.
The Quickening is the mystic energy that grants an immortal their power. It causes them to heal rapidly, halts their aging, and fuels their personal gifts. Their Quickening is lost when the immortal is decapitated, and it is transferred--along with the fallen immortal's memories and experience--into the victor. The Quickening is a mystic power directly tied to nature and life force, and it links the immortals to those energies. This could mean many different things, depending on the specific situation. Visually, the Quickening manifests in a form very similar to arcing electricity.
The one enhanced physique element that all immortals share is resiliency. They are immune to disease, though they can be incapacitated by toxins or poisons. Sufficient physical trauma results in a temporary death, leaving the immortal inert for up to several hours. After this, they awaken fully recovered, so long as they have not been decapitated.
Unlike most other immortals, Jake has been blessed (if such term can be used) with the ability to regenerate lost limbs and body parts. Limbs regenerate to full use in the space of a day, while fingers or other smaller parts take significantly less time.
Jake is beyond the grasp of mortality and does not age, nor will he die of natural causes. His is the gift of true immortality.
While decapitation is a fatal premise for all humans and many supernatural creatures, it is also the only way to permanently kill an immortal. Beheading an Immortal will release the stored Quickening, which in turn will be absorbed by the nearest Immortal.
Jake has had the good fortune to have been born an Immortal, but the misfortune that his first death occurred when he was fairly young. While he is currently still very close to his actual apparent age, he will forever be trapped in the body of a child and all the limitations that carries with it. Other Immortals may see him as particularly easy prey, and even mundane humans may constantly ask awkward questions about his parents, or why he's not in school as he's supposed to be.
The exact result of killing on holy ground is unpredictable, but it is almost certain to create a mystic backlash that powerfully impacts the immortal who did the killing. This could result in a crippling loss of Quickening, for instance. Immortals are able to sense Holy Ground via The Buzz, allowing them to know when they are on it. (Holy Ground includes any consecrated site, not only those of a specific religious tradition.) Some have speculated that because The Quickening is closely tied to natural energies and life force, this may offend the spirits of such sites. As such, all fighting on Holy Ground is strictly forbidden by the immortals' code.
Although Jake has the ability to regenerate limbs, this comes at a price. After losing a limb, Jake is plagued by phantom pains until it has completely regenerated, which range in severity from distracting to near-debilitating depending on how traumatic the limb was lost.
I'm pretty sure that everything that's happened to me can be traced back to a single incident in Afghanistan. Probably anyway. Was dad like me? I don't know, and I'll never know for sure, but I digress. I was born in a nice little town in California called Oceanside, late July 2002. Dad was a marine out of Pendleton, and my parents had settled down in town because it was so close by. And because it's a pretty nice place to live in, I guess. I don't know what went wrong, nobody ever told me, but mom died giving birth to me. Dad was deployed at the time, all the way on the other side of the world for Operation Enduring Freedom. When they heard about what happened to mom, they let him come back to the States, which was pretty cool of them, I guess. Except, of course, he never made it back. His Chinook was shot down over Helmand while he was on his way back, no survivors. Grandma gave me his dogtags when I was seven, and I still wear them. He was called Samuel Alexander Morgan, so they named me Jake Alexander Morgan in his name. Sam, with S A M as his initials, shot down by a Surface to Air Missile, a SAM... ironic, isn't it? Sometimes I picture dad the way I saw him on some of his old pictures, with this goofy grin on his face, scratching his hair and telling me that this sorta thing could only really ever happen to him. They were good people, mom and dad, that's what everyone always tells me. Just wish I'd have gotten to know them.
In Loco ParentisEdit
Now, a lot of kids like me end up in foster homes or worse, an orphanage somewhere. I got lucky because grandpa and grandma didn't mind taking care of me, even if they lived all the way over in Chicago. But, you know, on the whole it wasn't that bad. It took me a while to find out they were my grandparents, and for really young me that was as confusing as you can imagine. But over the years, bit by bit, I got told about what happened, and who mom and dad were and all those things. It wasn't that bad, actually. It's hard to feel sad or miss someone if you've never really known them. Gramps and Granny never pretended they were my parents either, even when I was very young, and I loved them for that. Of course they were a bit old while I was growing up, but they always tried to be modern about things as they called it. Even if I got to grow up in a small house in Chicago rather than a bigger house in sunny California, things were still pretty good. All in all, it could have been worse.
Turnpikes and CrossroadsEdit
Things got weird after I turned ten. I'd gotten used to living in Chicago, and having grandparents for parents, did okay in school, had friends... Normal kid stuff. Then one evening Grandma has a heart attack driving us back from the movies. I was asleep in the back seat, never even felt the car swerve or the SUV t-boning us a few seconds later. I'd gone straight from watching the Avengers to waking up in hospital with a broken arm and a few million bruises. Grandma and Grandpa weren't that lucky. They told me they'd died pretty much the moment the SUV rammed us which isn't a bad way to go, I suppose. I still miss them, even now.
Of course, it didn't sink in until after the funeral that things weren't going to be the same, that I was a proper orphan this time around. And while they tried to track down any Aunts or Uncles I might have left, it was off to the Group Home for me. I didn't like that much, let me tell you, but they didn't have a foster family for me, so that's how it was. I was too old to really make friends with the younger kids, and the older kids didn't like me at all. I got bullied, I got picked on, I was pretty miserable for the first couple of months. But I learned... I learned fast. I learned how to run away, I learned how to hide and I learned how to stand up for myself. Not that I didn't go to bed with a fat lip every couple of days, but at least it felt like I was doing something about it. I learned how to get along, and that more than anything has been the most positive thing I've taken from that period of my life. I know, it was only a couple of years ago, but I can be proud of that at least, can't I?
Requiscat In PaceEdit
Things didn't start getting properly weird until just after my thirteenth birthday. By then I'd been pretty much told nobody was going to be adopting me because I was too old, and not cute enough or special enough to stand a realistic chance. That sort of thing hurts at first, but in the end I made peace with it. Things had started to settle down for me in the Home, I didn't get picked on half as much as I was at first, and I'd even made a few friends. We got good food, school was okay and the staff was actually kind of nice to us, so... yeah, again, could have been much worse. I was hoping that maybe I'd get a nice foster family in a few months. All pretty normal stuff for a kid like me, you know? And then on August 23rd, 2015, I went to bed in Illinois and woke up in California.
You know how it goes when you wake up. First thing you see is the ceiling. If you don't recognise the ceiling, or even see no ceiling at all, you know something's not right. In my case, I opened my eyes expecting to be in my room at the end of the hall on the second floor, just in time for breakfast, when instead I see the fading purple of sunrise in the strip of sky above me between two buildings. I'm still not entirely sure how that happened, except it happened to other people too, and even to entire buildings later on. I found out later what it was all about, some kind of apocalypse thing. Some power somewhere decided that the world really needed me, all of me, right then and there and was tired of waiting around for me to wander over. Typically, it didn't consider just asking. Karmic imperative, I tell you...
Of course, back there in that alley, the last thing I was expecting was magic, that sort of stuff just didn't happen as far as I was concerned. Stuff you read about in Harry Potter, sure, but not something you expect to happen, and certainly not something you'd expect to happen to /you/.
Likewise, the last thing you'd expect when you suddenly wake up halfway across the continent is someone going through your pockets. When I noticed, I must have startled the guy, must have sat up just a bit too fast. Maybe he was just jumpy, maybe he'd been transported just as I'd been and was just as confused. I don't know. What I do know is that he tried to grab my dad's dogtags and I reacted pretty much on pure instinct. I guess he must have just reacted on instinct too, because half a second later I had a knife in my chest. I remember thinking that maybe it should have hurt more than it did. I remember thinking that maybe just laying back down and playing dead wouldn't be a bad idea. And then, when I realised that I wouldn't have to play at being dead, I remember thinking about mom, dad, grandma and grandpa... how I'd get to see them again soon. On August 24th, 2015, at 6:35 in the morning, I died in an alley in San Francisco.
Rise and ShineEdit
All the more surprisingly to me, and certainly to one very startled orderly, I woke up in the morgue on August 24th, 2015, 10:30 in the morning. It was an unfamiliar ceiling, but at least there was one, and they hadn't gotten around to putting me in a freezer yet. I can't tell you how glad I am that I didn't wake up in one of those steel boxes. Of course, at the time, I was pretty freaked out about having woken up at all. I jumped off the table, grabbed my stuff from an evidence bag and got out of there as fast as I could. I ran past the nearest alley and then hid in the next alley over, because even when I'm panicking I'm not stupid. First thing I did was check for the stab wound, except it was gone. It's only then I noticed that I was still wearing my dad's dogtags, and somehow that convinced me I wasn't dreaming this. I was alive, in San Francisco, when I should have been dead. The world around me felt... weird. Alive somehow, but more alive than I had ever felt it. Some people felt more alive than others as they walked by the alley. It's at that time I realised that I felt a lot more alive myself, as if I'd been asleep my entire life up to just then.
It's been a crazy ride since then. Found out the hard way exactly what I am. Turns out condemned buildings are condemned for a reason, but I needed a place out of the rain and it didn't seem /that/ dangerous. Long story short? Electrocution is no fun. I could talk about starting to trust my instincts after that, about how I got drawn to a dusty storage building and found my sword, about vampires called Angel and a coven of witches that needed protecting, but truth of the matter is... it's hazy. Stuff has happened, I know it has, things I can kind of remember but grabbing the memory is like trying to see a single fish from the Presidio on a particularly foggy day in the Golden Gate. It ain't happening. I remember something about Fae, about a favor owed... about the world ending. Except the world is still here. I'm still here.
There's something weird going on, and I'm going to find out What. And Why. Possibly even Whom, or How Many. When is probably out of the question, but I might get lucky. There has got to be people around here that know what's going on. Maybe they can use my help... or if I'm really being honest with myself, maybe I can get them to help me.
Logs featuring Jake Morgan: