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Created on 2010-08-04 23:21:36 (#544478), never updated

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Name:Jade Curtiss


Character Name: Jade Curtiss
OC or Fandom: Tales of the Abyss
Age: 35

X where applicable:
New Trainer {}
Seasoned Trainer {X}
RTF {X}
Team Rocket {}
Gym Leader {}
Elite Four {}


Region and Town of Origin: Sinnoh, Snowpoint
Character's Pokemon, if not New: Haunter, Marowak, Ninjask, Shedinja, Lapras, Gardevoir, Houndoom, Flygon, Lucario, Espeon, Metagross, Gallade, Porygon-Z

Character Personality: Jade is, even to his closest friends, an often irritating enigma. He's usually smiling, no matter what his mood, so it's difficult to tell what he's feeling or thinking at any given moment. He's also very rarely straightforward; he'll frequently confuse or irritate even his closest companions with his idiosyncrasies, although when said companions are confusing and irritating each other he just as often steps in to silence their bickering and remind them of their shared goals. In a way, Jade tends to have the opposing effect on any given atmosphere; into a chaotic and emotionally charged situation, he'll bring order and level-headed logic, but give him a calm discussion and he'll turn it into a delightfully entertaining fiasco of bafflement and aggravation.

This is largely because Jade is, without embellishment, a genius. He was a child prodigy and his talents and intelligence haven't dimmed in the least with age; in fact, they're still so prodigious that he has yet to really push their limits, and they remain exceptional. With an intellect like his, he tends to grow bored easily...and, having a somewhat free and loose view on whether or not it's morally justified to annoy people simply because he finds it funny, he's quite happy to harass those around him to keep himself entertained in the dull moments. Although this isn't exactly a popular character trait, it's all relatively harmless...although it does tend to make his allies eye him askance, as a lot of his fun comes from his keeping them constantly guessing about his true feelings and intentions. However, he's not truly cruel, and he's never gone beyond mocking or irritating his companions with mere words, or the occasional failure to intervene to prevent something mildly and amusingly unfortunate from happening to them.

Jade is capable of being entirely serious, but these are usually in crisis moments. Either something Very Bad is happening, or Jade is confronting one of the mistakes of his mysterious past. Those mistakes are such that he's occasionally pensive or angry without offering any explanation as to why, usually when something reminds him of those mistakes or - as has begun to happen more frequently - he suspects that people are using his (or Dist's; their work was similar enough that he considers them to be identical) past research for unethical ends.

Jade has always had some difficulty empathizing with other people; in fact, he's well-known for it. He'll readily admit that he doesn't really grasp the significance of death as most other people understand it, nor does he seem to connect with people emotionally in a normal fashion(although this isn't to say he doesn't like and dislike people the same as anyone else - it just means he has rather dysfunctional ways of expressing those preferences that only those closest to him really seem to understand and appreciate). A lot of this translated, in his youth, into the casual mistreatment of Pokemon and a general lack of empathy toward them - not out of any desire to be cruel so much as an absence of comprehension or compassion for their suffering. (In fact, he wasn't all that much kinder to people during this period; his own sister considered him a monster when they were children and has never really trusted him since.) He reached an epiphany of sorts about his behavior and its consequences long ago, however, and these days he's much more conscious of the well-being of both people and Pokemon...even if he's not overly (or at least obviously) affectionate.

In terms of natural ability, what Jade has most going for him is his intellect. He's remarkably intelligent and tends to catch onto things before other people do - or things that other people don't catch at all. He also has good instincts which serve him equally well. Add to that his ability to be utterly dispassionate and logical - he's usually the one to point out when morality and emotion will hinder the greater good; for instance, leaving behind someone too weak or useless to be of help in achieving their goal, or the logic behind killing one person to save thousands - and you can usually bet on Jade's plans being the best possible course of action anyone is going to be able to come up with. This applies to all situations, but as a well-studied trainer with an extensive knowledge of Pokemon, he's also well-versed in battle strategies.

When it comes to physical ability, Jade is strong - for his build, anyway - and capable enough should he ever have to fight for himself. He's not a particularly heavy hitter, but his blows can get the job done. He's also quite fast and agile, more so than one might expect. Jade is almost cold-blooded in his willingness to deal with problems - enough that any member of Team Rocket who encounters him might well fear for their lives. There are even rumors that he's killed people before, although there's no hard evidence anywhere to back this up.

Jade has a noted lack of patience for explaining things to people. Whenever he can, he'll foist off the responsibility of exposition to someone else, even if he was the one asked to do the explaining. However, if he's the only one at the moment qualified to speak on a subject, quite often he'll simply elect not to explain at all, which sometimes has serious drawbacks; a failure to explain why something cannot be done, for instance, might prompt a person to try anyway and grave consequences to come about as a result. This is partially due to Jade's not wanting to bore himself explaining something he already knows, and partly sheer laziness. This laziness also occasionally manifests in making other people do grunt work(usually while he excuses himself as being too old - "when you get to be my age, all your joints ache...", etcetera.)

Jade also tends to fall under suspicion for strange things due to his odd behavior around even his friends. (On at least one occasion in his canon, his appearing unbothered by the heat while wandering the interior of an active volcano caused his allies to gang up on him and strip him, believing he had some secret way of keeping cool that he wasn't sharing.) Further, his smiling denials - even when he's speaking in all seriousness - fail to convince anyone of his sincerity, whether he's telling the truth or not.

Finally, Jade has something of a reputation. No one is quite certain of his past, and not even every detail of his present is entirely concrete; there are rumors that circulate of inhumane experiments Jade runs (or has run in the past) on both human and Pokemon subjects, both living and dead, that have earned him the title 'Jade the Necromancer'. It doesn't help that Jade never actively denies them...

Character History: Jade Curtiss was actually born in Snowpoint as Jade Balfour, the eldest child in a small family(one that later expanded to include his younger sister, Nephry). The same illness that claimed Saphir's mother also claimed his own while he was quite young, not long after Nephry's birth, and it could either be said to have had a terrible impact on him - his views on death were skewed for years, although he's never pointed to any deaths close to him specifically as the cause of that - or no effect at all. Certainly, at the time, he could hardly have been said to be upset at all...though as he grew older, it would become clear that this was in no way his only area of pronounced abnormality.

As a child, Jade clearly did not understand the permanence or significance of death. Add to that an almost complete lack of empathy for other things - people and Pokemon alike - and he was exactly the sort of kid who would take a magnifying glass to ants. Not for reasons of cruelty, or a desire to feel powerful, but simply because he was curious to see what happened and was truly incapable of recognizing what might be wrong with hurting or killing other living things. And, as he was both brilliant and ambitious, he didn't settle for anything as small as ants.

His intelligence was notable even before he began attending school, leading to his being placed in Professor Gelda Nebilim's advanced Pokemon class from the very first day. Saphir - who would be known in later years as Dist - wound up there as well, along with Jade's sister Nephry (once she was old enough to attend) and another boy named Peony that Jade wound up befriending. Jade received his first Pokemon from Professor Nebilim, a Houndour that - being a bookish boy even back then - he named Baskerville. He was pleased with this acquisition, but saw Baskerville purely as a means to an end, paying his Pokemon no more or less mind than a tool - and, using Baskerville, he made a habit of preying on the wild Pokemon around his hometown (made all the easier by having a fire-type Pokemon in an icy environment) in brutal fashion. He had no interest in catching them; he simply wanted to test his power, to see what sort of moves and tactics were effective, and to gauge how much abuse a Pokemon could take, and he saw no reason not to hurt or kill wild Pokemon in pursuit of this knowledge - and no reason not to force Baskerville to be complicit in this brutality, or to risk his own Pokemon's well-being in these experiments. However, as he spent time with Professor Nebilim - a considerably kinder, gentler person, and one who served as a maternal influence in the absence of his mother - this behavior began to slowly slacken off.

Unfortunately, it didn't last. Jade decided that he wanted to make his Houndour stronger - and immediately, rather than through steady care and training. So, borrowing one of the professor's machines, he taught Houndour the move Flamethrower, before either Houndour - or Jade himself - actually knew how to use such a powerful and advanced move. Houndour wound up accidentally setting fire to the professor's school, and in the process of saving Jade from the fire he'd caused, Nebilim was mortally injured. Though Jade and Saphir managed to pull her out of the burning building, she ended up dying in front of them.

Nebilim's death - and Jade's own hand in it - finally did affect the boy, and deeply, although it didn't actually change his behavior immediately. Before he had truly decided what to do with himself after the fire, his father was abruptly killed in an accident, leaving himself and Nephry orphans. As Jade had shown considerable promise in his time at Nebilim's school, a rich family of breeders, the Curtisses, adopted him. He was quickly enrolled in a prestigious Pokemon academy, and was only too happy to lose himself in study there. But it was there, when studying some of the stranger peculiarities of dealing with Pokemon, that he first heard of duplicate Pokemon.

The idea of creating an exact duplicate of something immediately caught his interest; even though it had only ever been done with Pokemon - and not very successfully, at that - part of Jade believed that, if he could master making replicas of Pokemon, he could then figure out a way to apply the same methods to humans, and through that, rectify his past mistakes by resurrecting Professor Nebilim. He immediately began throwing himself fully into the study of duplicate Pokemon and what conditions had to be met to make them appear...and when finding, to his own surprise, that his old classmate Saphir was working in the same field, the two loosely combined their studies. Saphir, however, focused on Pokemon replication through the use of the PC storage system; Jade concentrated his efforts on Pokemon replication through PC long-distance trading. However, neither of them was particularly successful, and when Bill heard that their work included actually putting their knowledge into practice he angrily insisted they stop immediately.

Jade had no intentions of doing so, however, until confronted by Peony in the aftermath of a rather dangerous Charizard replication where Jade himself had been wounded by the angry, confused clone. It was only to Peony that he admitted his true goal in pursuing such strange goals, and it was Peony who ultimately brought his quest of guilt to a definite end, literally smacking some sense into him. Peony forced Jade to acknowledge something he had been deliberately ignoring - that while he could in fact replicate a Pokemon(even though he couldn't actually get them to survive), being identical in appearance and features and known moves still didn't make it the exact same Pokemon that had been cloned. The replica Pokemon had none of the memories or individual characteristics of the original, making them separate entities...meaning that, even if Jade had ever been able to find a way to succeed at cloning Pokemon, and even if he had then been able to apply the technique to humans, he could never bring back the Professor Gelda Nebilim that he had killed.

It was in this moment that Jade finally came to understand the finality of death.

Jade did an almost immediate 180ยบ; he went from being one of the foremost researchers in Pokemon replication to being its most outspoken opponent almost overnight. He stepped away from study entirely, in fact, aiming at a more practical field than a scientific one - specifically, he decided to join the RTF instead, as much out of a desire to atone for his past actions as anything else. His desire to pursue Saphir, in particular, drove him; Saphir had no Peony to knock sense into him, and had taken his own replication research underground in a huff when Bill had pressured them to stop - possibly, Jade suspected, to Team Rocket. As Jade felt culpable for Saphir's research almost as much as for his own, he couldn't accept the thought of it being continued.

However, Jade had a lot to prove, and very few admirable credentials (or even Pokemon) to his name. He had to spend several years not just catching himself (or, in a few cases, trading and purchasing with his adopted family's extensive connections) a proper team, but bonding with his Pokemon in ways he'd never even considered before...though his adjusted outlook on life helped him considerably in this regard. Despite having had Baskerville the longest, bonding with his Houndour (and eventually Houndoom) actually took Jade the longest, as his treatment of it in the past hadn't exactly endeared Baskerville to him...but it wasn't until he had Baskerville's full trust and acceptance that he applied to join the RTF, leaving all but the six Pokemon he'd eventually chosen as his intended team - plus Baskerville - in the care of his family. With the Curtisses being breeders, Jade's extra Pokemon are quite well looked after, and lead something of a life of luxury since Jade rarely calls upon them.

Given what the RTF turned up when doing their standard background check on Jade, the Rangers rather reluctantly agreed to take him on a probationary basis, with his becoming a full Ranger entirely dependent on his performance. Jade's answer to this was to almost immediately set about tracking down Saphir...which, as Saphir was absolutely miserable at hiding anything, especially to someone who knew him, wasn't hard to do. What followed was an extremely significant bust of a Team Rocket operation, and the RTF felt considerably more confident in accepting Jade as a full Ranger in the aftermath.

However, Saphir managed to escape, and took his Pokemon with him. While this wasn't really his fauit, Jade once again made it his personal mission to track down Saphir - or Dist, as he began to be known - yet again, pursuing him all over and eventually right out of Sinnoh. He is, in fact, still on Dist's trail, and has tracked him all the way to Bohren, where he's currently biding his time waiting for Dist to idiotically reveal himself the way he eventually, always does. The RTF seems content to let Jade deal with Dist - perhaps because no one else really wants to have to deal with either of them.

First Person: As much as I appreciate your making my job that much easier, Dist, I do still wish that you would present more of a challenge. Have you actually forgotten that you're supposed to be in hiding, or have you simply gotten even worse at it over the years? It's hard to conceive of, but announcing your name and where you can be found in public...there are only so many conclusions one can draw.

Perhaps you simply miss me that badly?

Third Person: Well, that had been unexpected.

Jade had covered his head through the worst of it; as the tremors died down, he allowed himself to relax, at least enough to wave some of the dust away from his face. The explosion had been unexpectedly large, although thankfully the thick walls of the facility had largely contained it. It was perhaps, Jade reflected, the first time Dist's plans had blown up in a face that wasn't the idiot's own.

After brushing dirt off of his glasses, Jade dusted himself off and made his way slowly back to the entrance to the warehouse. He could hear a couple of his RTF associates picking themselves up more slowly behind him, but he paid them little mind. There had been time enough to get everyone out and to a relatively safe distance; being killed by Dist was simply too humiliating a death to actually be possible, so he wasn't particularly concerned for any of his coworkers.

The facility was, as he'd feared, a complete loss. The ceiling had collapsed in several places, making exploration largely impossible, and the compromised structure would be dangerous to poke around in regardless - and almost any information there might have been to glean had almost certainly been demolished in the initial blast. Either this was a stroke of brilliance on Dist's part, or Jade himself had grown careless in his pursuit...possibly both. And now he stood at the smoldering end of a cold trail.

It was a terrible feeling, to have been outwitted - however temporarily - by Dist. The fact that they'd only escaped because, even in success, Dist was a failure made it that much harder to take.

He still had the note; he'd shoved it hurriedly into his pocket before calling for the evacuation, although he didn't know why he'd bothered. Still, he took it out to check it over again, on the off chance there was something useful to be found.

Nice try, Jade! Once again, your efforts have been fruitless! How does it feel? I bet it stings, you long-haired savage! But I'll never know, because I'll never see you again! Be sure to stick around, because I've put together a lovely gift for you; you triggered my little surprise when you stepped through the doorway. Not that it's a bomb or anything! Because it isn't, so there's no need to run! You'll love it, I promise!

Jade sighed, and nudged a badly banged-up pink Pokeball on the floor nearby with the toe of his boot. He'd never expected atonement to be easy, but it did it have to be actively irritating?

[This is a Jade Curtiss character journal for [community profile] bohren_rpg. Player is at [personal profile] callie_chan.]

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