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Jack Ibis

 

Name: Jack Ibis

Sex: Male

Age: n + 12

Birthday: Temfeath 20th, 2315.

Appearance: At 5'5, Jack is not a particularly tall drake, but he's well proportioned and possesses speed and a wiry strength which more than makes up for his lack of heft. There's not an ounce of surplus fat on his lithe body. His medium brown feathers suggest a seriously mixed lineage; Nijhro, Korsain and Mayalan are all certainties, and he claims to have some Skuan blood as well. His hair is dark brown and shoulder-length, worn in loose dreadlocks, and his eyes are black. He sports a couple of unusual markings: a ring of white feathers around his neck, and black 'gloves' -- the feathers on his arms start darkening to near-black at his wrists. He is missing the pinkie finger on his left hand, right to the knuckle. There is a certain sharpness to his features, but not in an unpleasant way. Jack is rarely seen without a smile or a grin on his face. His posture and expressions all suggests a loveable congeniality that draws people to him and allows him to make friendships and earn the trust of those around him very quickly.

Attire: He favors loose cargo pants, bush boots, army fatigues, sleeveless shirts -- utilitarian, hardwearing clothes, always in shades of green and brown. He'll never be seen in a bright color. He wears these clothes both around the Lair and on the job. He feels the cold quite keenly when outdoors, and bundles up in a full-length trench coat, brown leather gloves and a scarf, much to the amusement of his companions. He wears no rings, but there are two items of jewelry he's never without: a gold stud in the right side of his beak, and a large, polished fang which he wears on a leather thong around his neck.

Weaponry: His weapon of choice is the knife, and he carries an assortment of these. His favorite is an enormous serrated bush-knife with a ten-inch blade and leather grip; he wears this sheathed at his side like a sword. It doesn't use Saber technology -- it's an actual blade, and he can frequently be seen casually sharpening it on the steel caps of his boots. He also carries a few smaller throwing knives, and has excellent accuracy over a long range with these. But he's not the sort who's afraid to get up close and fight. When it comes down to it, if he's deprived of any weapon, he can still hold his own in a fistfight. His size is deceptive, and he encourages that: he likes catching his opponents off-guard. Jack collects knives as a hobby; prides of his collection include a slim little switchblade that folds away into a credit-card-sized square, a Saurian battle dagger, and an ancient knife with an engraved bone grip which he insists once belonged to one of Drake duCaine's men.

Accent: Broadly Tarctican (Australian). He talks quickly when he gets excited, but slows right down to a drawl when he's feeling amused or sardonic.

Personality: Jack is easygoing and fun to be around. He's a storyteller by nature, and more than a little prone to exaggeration. He makes friends easily, and perhaps one of the reasons for this is his seeming ability to give anyone a "fair go" -- no matter what he's heard about someone, he'll approach them as a friend and find out for himself what they're like. As a result he has a variety of friends throughout the Brotherhood, a vast social network encompassing people as different as Ranger Stormwing and Rain Roguefeather.

His cocky self-assuredness earns him a lot of attention from the women of the Lair, but while he delightedly encourages flirtation, it's surprisingly hard to get him into bed. In fact, it hasn't been done yet. There is a strange duality at play with Jack: on the surface, he's the most open person you could run across in the Lair, but when it comes down to it, he holds his cards close to his chest. Aside from avoiding deep relationships with people, he refuses to talk much about his own past. If he's asked about his missing finger, he changes the subject without missing a beat. It's extremely rare to see him upset or angry about anything. He can be serious when need be, but the moment the emergency situation is under control, he'll be cracking wise once again. He delights in gently stirring the more serious denizens of the Lair.

Jack also has quite an aptitude for con-artistry, though he doesn't indulge in it himself. He seems to have no desire to compete with the established "artistes" in the Lair. Instead, he has aided Ranger in various scams, and aided Darrell in others. Jack is perhaps the only person in the Lair capable of maintaining a friendship (or, at least, a working relationship) with both con artists at once. As he is much older than them, he doesn't allow himself to be dragged into their competitiveness or their sniping. He considers what he does to be a job and nothing more -- at the end of the day, he leaves it behind at the door.

He's excellent as a "plant" in confidence schemes, as he can loose his accent completely and slip into various roles with ease. He has a gift for gaining trust. Perhaps this should have made someone in the Lair suspicious by now, but it is testament to his gift that, so far, nobody has batted an eyelid.

That's probably just as well, because Jack Ibis is an undercover federal agent.

History: Jonathan 'Thanny' Ibis -- only his family called him 'Thanny' -- was nine years old when the Saurian Invasion hit. He was living on a farm in Northeast Tarctica with his family at the time. His family consisted of his mother, his father, and three sisters and four brothers, ranging in age from four to twenty-two years old.

The Saurians had no problem handling the resistances in the major Remaican cities, as they were well accustomed to combat in high-population-density areas. However, the invaders were particularly interested in the continent of Tarctica, as the warmer climate was more in line with their own home planet. This was where they ran into trouble: The Tarctican population was widely spread over a great deal of land, and many of the wildly independent farming families there decided they wouldn't give up their homes without a fight.

The Saurians had a guerilla war on their hands. Hundreds of Tarctican families went bush and formed a resistance of their own, mostly based on stealth attacks on Saurian bases and vehicles. Thanny, the youngest boy in his family, was considered too young to take part in these attacks, and each time one took place he was told to "stay at camp and look after your sisters".

The resistance camps were spread throughout the bushland, with each camp limited to only twenty or so people in order to maintain the secrecy of their positions. Thanny's camp, formed of his family with two others, was hidden high in a rocky outcropping, a little cluster of camouflaged tents protected from view by ridges of stone and bush.

One night, his father and brothers returned from a raid with an injured Ingallish man -- a bulky Raptrin named Ernie Falcone. They were jubilant, believing they had freed a prisoner from the Saurians. All night long, the family sat around the campfire and pressed Falcone for details, and he gave them, seeming eager to please. It was three in the morning by the time they all went to bed.

Thanny got up at around five am, shortly before sunrise, to relieve himself. Wandering off into the bush, still half-asleep and clutching his father's bush knife for protection, he was horrified to run right into a Saurian soldier. Thanny screamed to raise the alarm, and then bolted for his life, away from the camp. As he tore through the bush, he heard screams and laser fire from the camp. He was only ten at that point, but he knew enough to know that they'd been set up -- Ernie Falcone had been a plant; he must have been wearing a homing beacon when the rebels had brought him back to their hidden camp. And now the Saurians had attacked, at dawn... and they would leave none alive.

Thanny was terrified, but he couldn't leave his mother and sisters to that fate, so he tried to head back in the direction of the camp and spotted the Saurian he'd run into in the distance, tracking him. Thanny threw himself into the underbrush and crawled, trying to keep himself out of sight, knowing that a knife would only be any good against a laser gun if he had surprise on his side. He lay in wait for the Saurian near the edge of a cliff, and when the Saurian walked right past where he was hiding, Thanny slashed the back of its leg with his knife. The Saurian collapsed, dropping the laser, which clattered over the edge of the cliff. The creature bellowed for help, and then Thanny was upon him. The two wrestled desperately, a little boy with a big knife up against an unarmed but powerful Saurian. The Saurian bit Thanny's hand in desperation, severing his little finger. Thanny found the remaining strength to slash at the Saurian's throat with his knife, and the creature collapsed on top of him, bleeding out its life rapidly.

Thanny was weak with his own blood loss, and found it impossible to get out from under the enormous body. He heard footsteps approaching, and called weakly for help. The owner of the footsteps came into view -- one Ernie Falcone.

Falcone had a laser of his own, but made a disparaging remark about not wanting to waste charge on a runt like him. Instead, he placed his boot against the boy and the dead Saurian, and shoved them both off the cliff.

Incredibly, Thanny survived the fall. This was partially due to the fact that he landed on top of the Saurian. The boy walked five kilometers on a broken leg to the nearest surviving rebel camp. When he arrived there, he was told that his own camp had been wiped out, with no survivors. Ten-year-old Jonathan Ibis was the last living member of his large family.

After he healed, he became a valuable member of the Tarctican Resistance, who by now were desperate enough to use a ten-year-old who volunteered as determinedly as Thanny did. The boy worked spying on the Saurians and taking messages on foot from camp to camp. When the war ended, eleven-year-old Thanny managed to get passage on a refugee ship to Remaica. He ingratiated himself to every Remaican he met along the way, dropping his childhood nickname of "Thanny" -- and all the sad associations it carried - and adopting "Jack" as his handle and new persona. Jack Ibis was brash, cheeky and friendly, and broadly Tarctican, because Remaicans always seemed to like this. It wasn't long before the charming boy was adopted by an elderly couple who lived in a suburb between duCaine Metro and Keltor. Jack was outwardly affectionate, but he never allowed himself to get close to them.

As he grew, he made it his aim to someday avenge the deaths of his family. His only clue to the identity of the man who had betrayed them was the sight of that red circle tattoo. When he was fifteen, Jack came to learn that this was the mark of a senior member of the Remaican thieves' guild, the Brotherhood of the Blade. From that day on, the course of his life was set: he would find the Brotherhood thief, destroy him, and destroy HIS family… the Brotherhood of the Blade. And he would do it all lawfully.

Jack got into the Keltor police force at age seventeen, and rapidly worked his way up the ranks, showing an aptitude for undercover work. Through a sheer stroke of luck, he was partnered with Seth Ryder, who had his own vendetta against the Blade.

By the time Jack was 27, he and Seth had been working on the Blade case in their own time for years, but they continually turned up one dead end after another. That was the year that Jack saw Ernie Falcone again for the last time. He was called out to a murder scene, and although it had been fifteen years since he'd last laid eyes on Falcone, Jack recognized the victim.

It should have been a relief, but it wasn't. Death, Jack thought, was too good for someone like Falcone. He should have rotted away in prison for the rest of his days. Deprived of personal revenge, Jack didn't let go of his desire to see the end of the Brotherhood of the Blade.

The FBI became interested in Jack when he was thirty. They offered him a position as an undercover agent. He accepted on one condition -- that he be allowed access to their files on the Brotherhood of the Blade. They refused, reminding him that they did not encourage personal vendettas or independent investigations. Jack accepted the job anyhow. This brought him a great benefit: his government records were entirely wiped and replaced with a harmless enough profile that listed him as a minor criminal and con artist -- this for the benefit of any of the people he would be associating with when undercover who might decide to look into his past.

Once in the Bureau, Jack simply bribed his way to the records he wanted.

There was enough information in there for him to track down some minor criminals and fences who had previously -- and unsuccessfully -- been interviewed about the Blade. Jack went to talk to them himself, wearing a different persona each time. Eventually, he got the information he needed: the location of the Brotherhood Lair.

Jack was 34 at this point. He asked for Seth's help in an elaborate con to convince the FBI that he'd had some sort of breakdown and would need a year of unpaid leave. It was his belief that, given a year, he could achieve what he wanted to achieve with the Blade -- infiltration, and the gathering of incriminating evidence on every single person there. He was aware that simply being a member of the Blade wasn't a criminal offense, so if he just revealed the location of the Lair, only those few criminals in there with records would be arrested, and the Blade would eventually reform elsewhere. Jack needed to completely devastate it in a way that it would never recover from.

Deciding it was best to keep his own name and persona for such a long-term undercover operation, Jack concocted a cover story about a gangster trying to have him knocked off after a confidence scheme gone wrong, and set out to the Lair.

Almost immediately, something went wrong. He was crawling across the roof of the decrepit hockey rink built over the top of the Lair when it gave way beneath him, sending him plunging to the ice below, right into the middle of a kid's hockey match. He was fortunate not to break anything, but when he sat up, dazed, he found himself with half a dozen saber blades at his throat...

Thinking quickly, Jack blurted out his cover story and was taken before Kel. He repeated his story, and Kel told him to wait. Jack's minor injuries were treated, and Kel got back to him half an hour later, plainly having had a hacker check into Jack's record. Apparently the falsified FBI record held true, because Jack found himself being inducted into the Brotherhood of the Blade.

He quickly became involved in as many aspects of the Blade as he could, always keeping an eye out for up-and-coming major criminals, always gathering evidence, which he kept in a locked filing cabinet in his quarters. He quickly zeroed in on Ranger Stormwing and Darrell Evenfeather, as the two of them were involved in so many different schemes, they had contacts all through the criminal underworld. Jack had discovered the keys to the kingdom.

Likes: Telling tall tales, kids, training in the gym, Ranger, cooking distinctly unusual meals, the adrenaline rush from a successful con, kicking back in the Lounge, unbelievably hot curries, knives (he collects them), a good laugh.

Dislikes: Saurians (more so than usual), the cold, snow, hockey (someone his size gets hammered out there), people with no sense of humor, and... well, he hates the Brotherhood. That, however, doesn't show. It's also clear that he's not comfortable around Raptrins, though he is always polite to them.

Overheard:
Ranger: "Didn't your mother ever tell you not to run with sharp objects?"
Jack: "This isn't running, mate, this is 'a graceful and expedient retreat'."

Anon: "So who are you? Really?"
Jack: "I'm exactly who I said I was. I'm Jack Ibis."
Anon: "Yeah, but I don't think you know who that is…"

(eyeing Darrell) "You call that a knife...?"

Voice Artist: Hugh Jackman.

 

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