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PLAYER INFORMATION
Your Name: Reg
OOC Journal: [personal profile] regasssa
Under 18? If yes, what is your age?: Nope, still 26.
Email + IM: regasssa [at] hotmail -dot- com, regasssa on AIM
Characters Played at Ataraxion: Nathan Petrelli [personal profile] cargojet

CHARACTER INFORMATION
Name: Errol Partridge
Canon: Equilibrium
Original or Alternate Universe: Original
Canon Point: The moment of his death
Number: 202

Setting: Libria; a future dystopia where the extremes of emotion have been sacrificed by use of the drug Prozium for the greater good, and clerics police sense offenses, destroying all kinds of artistic expression.

History: Wreaked by war and fearing further confrontation, the Father of modern thinking divined a way to prevent further war and unify the world into a safe dystopia. This is Libria, where people have been liberated from their selfish, animalistic ways, surrendering the extremes of emotion - love, joy, pleasure - so as to do away with the lows: rage, jealousy, fear. To achieve this, every person is required to take a dose of a drug called Prozium several times a day, indicated by sirens inside the city, and personal alarms outside of it.

Children in Libria are born to passionless families and raised from the moment they are born to follow the same beliefs and rituals as their parents. Errol was one of these children, brought up on Prozium, on Father's propaganda, and from an early age fell into the system of children raised to police the use of Prozium, looking out for anyone who didn't take their interval, as well as those who betrayed any kind of emotion. Prozium even neutralises the emotions of children, such that any child that cries is supposed to be reported.

Errol would have had to have been trained for a considerable amount of time, specialised, in order to become a Cleric first class. He would have begun his service in the Tetragrammaton's equivalent of special forces, and recognising his superior ability in close contact martial arts would have found himself respecialised. Clerics are effectively the Tetragrammaton's commanders in the field, and are granted special clearances, allowed to interrogate prisoners, check in and out evidence before the offensive items are destroyed, investigate the field without observation, make decisions on their own intuition, etc. They are unique among Libria's population as they can come and go and act more or less without question.

It was for this specific reason that Errol was targeted by the Resistance, who wished for him to - eventually - kill Father and, coupled with the destruction of the Prozium factories, bring down the whole system. Errol came off Prozium perhaps four weeks before the events of the film, and would have spent the first week acclimatising himself to the initial changes, struggling with feeling emotions for the first time, and also finding a way to hide it from his extremely sensitive partner. He met Mary O'Brien with the Resistance, and exerienced love and passion for the first time, stopped checking in evidence for destruction, experienced sadness (he watched the Mona Lisa burn, and was the last person in the world to see her smile), but eventually he finds that he can't do it any more, incapable of keeping his secret while confronted with the hopelessness of an empty, gray world.

Errol takes a book of Yeats' poetry from one of the Resistance's hoardes, and it's that book and the tone of his voice which draws Preston's attention to him. Preston follows him out into the wastes, and confronts him in a ruined church, where Errol, after quoting Yeats, tells Preston that he pays the price 'gladly', and - not wishing to be taken back to Libria, interrogated and then incinerated - he causes Preston to shoot him by reaching for his own weapon.

Eventually, Preston would take Errol's place, contact the Rebellion, and eventually kill Father's replacement himself. Sadly, Errol would never see it.

Personality:

Because Errol had only been off Prozium for a short time, he didn't have much time to actually demonstrate his personality, or perhaps even learn who he was himself. However with a careful reading of the source material, and his short appearance in the film, it's possible to explain a little of who he is, what he wants, and most importantly how he feels. What's going to be most important in playing him is building him into his personality with those building blocks, letting him feel out who he really is, how he feels about the ship and the sudden proclivity of things of beauty, art and emotions, things he's been cut off from for so long. His is a journey of self discovery for the most part, and it's that which I'm most looking forward to discovering.

How Errol presents himself to others will initially be as he's been taught; he doesn't know how else to act. Socially and emotionally he is awkward, and his natural self defense is a rigid unemotional determination that's been trained and bred into him. Errol is always stiff shouldered and professional, militaristic even. He has a clipped, unwavering way of speaking, which as time goes on will betray more emotion. He is seemingly fearless, hard and cold, but there is a ferocity just beneath the surface, and when he is confronted by Preston just before his death, he quotes Yeats, giving a reading made all the more powerful by the circumstances.

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.


When you take this particular poem and apply it to the world Errol knows, it's important to remember that Libria is a grey, empty place. The real world isn't beautiful, and because they burn anything that's left, then all that remains are dreams and imagination; nothing is tangible, nothing is real. Errol has watched it all burn, and all he wants is to reach out and take something, save it from the fire--in this case the book of poetry by Yeats, as though if he can save the book, there's a chance to save the world from what it's become.

Errol's release from Prozium resulted into a slump into depression and eventually hopelessness. The effect of Libria on his psyche was utterly destructive; while Errol is incredibly strong, psychologically he's been cushioned from his stark utilitarian reality by the drugs. The result is incredibly traumatic--he exists among the other citizens of Libria, all of them taking their drugs, not understanding what they've lost. He feels everything, but he's the only one, and in the meantime he watches the other people who do understand as they're murdered and silenced by the Tetragrammaton, the art they're hoarding and protecting destroyed and forgotten; lost forever. As a result Errol becomes increasingly self-defeating, building himself into his own bleak defeat. His actions could almost be seen as suicidal, since the eventual result of his actions is his death.

The last thing that Errol sees burn before he dies is the Mona Lisa heself. He's the last person in the world to see the Mona Lisa's smile, just before it burns. It seems like a hollow smile, empty, like Errol feels, and hopeless. The lyrics of Mona Lisa Smile, by Seal, probably describe it - and consequently it's relationship to Errol's life - better than I can:

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there, and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa
Or just a cold and lonely, lovely work of art


Other people and their emotions are a mystery to Errol; something to discover, something new to explore like his own feelings. He doesn't know how to read others, doesn't know what to do with their feelings, because he barely knows what to do with his own. Mary made some effort to teach him about his emotions before he died. She taught him how to laugh and smile, how to hide his developing feelings. She taught him the pleasures of art, poetry and music, all for the first time, and he fell in love with her over the course of just a few weeks. What he does know about people, how they act and how they feel, he learnt entirely from her.

Errol's most important relationship, it's fair to say, is with the only person who he believes will never understand him. John Preston is a Grammaton Cleric first class, and consequently the least likely to stop taking his interval and feel the way that Errol does. They've been partners for long enough that Preston effectively begs him not to cause him to have to shoot Errol. Errol, in turn, chooses Preston taking him out over processing by the Tetragrammaton, even sees it as a mercy.

Abilities, Weaknesses and Power Limitations:

Although Errol doesn't have any superhuman abilities, he has been trained in martial arts, knowing how to fight with a variety of weapons, including swords, batons, and with his hands. He has a comprehensive knowledge of weapons, noteably handguns. More specifically, as a first class Cleric, he is a master of something called Gun Kata, a martial art designed to optimise a person's efficiency against multiple armed opponents, rendering them nearly incapable of being hit, while giving every opportunity to return fire.

To perform at this level, a Cleric like Errol must be in a state of absolute calm, something that is usually achieved by using Prozium. As Errol has been weaned off the drug - and because it presumably isn't available - he will have to achieve that flatline calm by deliberate effort.

Errol is neither invulnerable, nor does he have any particularly superhuman qualities. Everything he is capable of is a learned ability, and he suffers from otherwise human strengths and weaknesses.

Inventory: His uniform, a photograph of himself and Mary O'Brien, his Cleric ID, his gun (a modified Beretta 92) and two replacement magazines. Finally the book that sealed his fate: the complete works of Yeats.
Appearance: Errol is played by blonde haired, green eyed Sean Bean. At 5'10 he is not particularly imposing on his own, but in his featureless Cleric's uniform, his expression sharp and cold and clinical, there is nothing more terrifying, a symbol of Libria's impassionate power.
Age: Around 30

AU Clarification: N/A

SAMPLES
Log Sample:

Sad.

Perhaps, Errol thought, La Joconde had once smiled for another reason. Like the English word, taken from the original French, she may indeed have been jocund; merry, but Errol doubted it. Errol knew what it was like to smile, both intentionally and purely because the joy had overcome him, felt a short lived happiness bubble up in his chest and let his mouth curve into it, let himself taste the sensation as muscles that he used only for speaking twitched despite themselves, mirrored Mary's broad, glorious smile.

The rest of the firing crew had passed on now, leaving the fire to take to the thick oils on the canvas, the ancient paint playing its part to make the flames take hold like petrol splashed on kindling. They had moved on, and Errol looked down at the painting, would be the last to ever see it, and he wished bravely that he could track his eyes over every inch of it and memorise it, imprint it on his dreams so that it - in at least some small part - might never be forgotten.

But all he could see was her smile, her lips sadly twitched up as though to say 'So this is how it ends.' It was artificial, false and hollow, as though she could see Errol now, and all his lies, and all his pain, see the impossible task lay out before him, and her smile was as hopeless as Errol himself felt it to be. She was sad, because how could anything ever be right again? There was no coming back from this. There was no repainting the Mona Lisa, or recapturing the brilliance of Mozart. It was all gone - burned - and if there was a contradiction then the sadness was also wryly happy. She was gone, now, and no longer had to see thie cold, gray, heartless world; a world which no longer appreciated her.

His thoughts strayed on into hopelessness. The fire licked its way across that smile and all its unanswered questions, leaving only an empty wooden frame to smoulder and twist and burn, and Errol closed his eyes, tried to remember how the painting looked, tried to burn the memory of the smile, in turn, into in his mind. He was the last free-minded person to see the Mona Lisa, and even Preston - who had found the hoard - could not understand what he had done.

Try as he might, though, his imagination could not replicate it. The particular sadness was gone. It had slipped away, like a fragile thing; blown away like dust in a strong breeze. Errol almost crumbled under his failure. What was the point, if he couldn't even save one thing? How long could he live like this, with one soul-destroying loss after another, watching people murdered, burning anything that still defied the Tetragrammaton's strict codes, and Father's rules? The smell of burning paint and canvas was acrid in his chest, made him feel like he wanted to vomit. Somewhere a voice was calling for him to follow--they'd found something else.

All Errol knew was that he couldn't allow them to destroy it. He had to save something - anything - to make up for the terrible loss that he felt; to somehow fight off the guilt for a day or two longer. He had to.

Comms Sample:

[Video]

[ By now Errol has at least worked out the details of where he is and how, found his way around existing here, and knows that there's no Prozium, no Tetragrammaton, that everyone is free to do what they want and speak what they want. He's seen more than enough examples of both, and in certain ways it's frightening. The Revolution had been unified, and a great deal more controlled as a result, and the extremes of emotion he's seen here have already demonstrated that at least some of what Father said was true. That feeling could be dangerous. He almost misses Prozium, if only because people were so much more predictable with it. But he can't avoid the comms forever, not used to this listlessness, to having nothing to do.

He swallows as he opens up the feed, looking uncomfortable, perhaps a little pale. His hand shakes briefly, before he smooths it across the book in his lap for courage, thumbing at the dog-eared corner.
]

My name is Errol Partridge. I am--I was a Grammaton Cleric, First Class. My world... Imagine the very worst dream you've had, multiply it by itself, and in all likelihood it still doesn't come close.

I--

[ He seems uncertain as to how to proceed for a moment, closes his mouth again and looks back at his hands. By now they've closed around the edges of the book - a collection of W.B.Yeats' poetry - tightening until his knuckles are bone white. ]

You all have songs and stories, poems, art in your worlds. Beautiful things. I think... I think that some of you can do beautiful things, too, can't you? You can play music or sing. Paint?

Would anyone... [ A bleak, desperate look. ] --please show me?

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Errol Partridge

May 2012

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