Avery is a grumpy old Gunner with a stick up his butt from Unified ~future!Earth~. He arrived in-game on 4-17-11 and currently lives in [tba].
origins: Avery Cates Series: The Digital Plague
app link: [x]
played by: Jess
contact: AIM: Agent Sapphire | email: firstname.lastname@example.org | plurk: whaleintraining
The Cates novels take place on Earth several decades after a war which unified all countries under one government, known as the System. It also destroyed the everloving shit out of most of them. Many cities are abandoned bombed-out wrecks, populated sporadically by criminals and squatters that get driven out during routine government sweeps. Avery lives in lower Manhattan, which is still more or less a functional city. There's a pretty serious uptown/downtown class divide though, with major differences in quality of living and the state of the buildings (like whether they have massive fucking holes in them or not). Despite being extremely rich now, he still lives on the shitty side partly to keep a low profile and partly because he can't stand the fresh air and snobbery above 23rd St.
The government itself is kind of a clusterfuck. Officially led by a Joint Council (secretly all dead and rotting below the streets of London because they tried for immortality and failed), but in actuality run by their Undersecretaries who do not always have a united agenda. Dick Marin, Director of Internal Affairs for the SSF (System Security Force -- basically the worldwide police force), has a lot of clout as well and tends to play puppetmaster. He has several robot avatars, one of which was killed by Avery. The civil government (represented by the Undersecretaries) and the SSF have tentatively worked in tandem for years but are currently in the process of splitting apart. Violently.
There is a high level of tech including security droids and various other robot types, hovercars, gesture-activated doors, holograms, you get the idea. Most government facilities and upper-class establishments are only accessible by rooftop hovercar landing pads with no entrance at ground level (keeps out the riffraff). In addition to all the technology, there are people who have natural psionic abilities. Most are recruited by the government and become Spooks.
As for where our boy fits into all this? Avery is a professional hitman, aka a Gunner. He's pretty well-known and even did a job for Dick Marin once, although that doesn't mean his activities are condoned by the government. On the contrary, pretty much every System Pig and Spook would love to get their hands on him.
"So far, everyone who'd ever come up against me had died."
Put simply, Avery Cates is a bad man.
He has killed a lot of people without remorse and wouldn't hesitate to increase the number if attacked or suitably inconvenienced. Honorable to some degree--he believes in not selling out your friends and not shooting a man in the back if you can help it--but not naive. Always, always looking out for number one.
"It was good to be unpredictable. Kept the rubes terrified; people liked to learn the rules, because once you knew the rules you could manipulate the outcome. If there were no rules, it was best to keep your fucking arms and legs inside the safety cage."
He also happens to be one of those guys who just doesn't know when to shut the hell up. Seriously, he'll stand there talking shit with a gun to his head and grinning all the while. In a bad situation he is all about bluff and bluster until he regains the upper hand. Even when he's pissing himself on the inside, he never lets it show. He wisecracks until he sees an opportunity or the other person makes a mistake.
Avery likes to keep people off balance. If they're expecting him to behave, he'll lash out. If they're expecting a violent street thug, he'll play nice. He employed a 15 year old girl as his bodyguard because she was adorable and off-putting and fucking scary with a knife.
Although very patient within the confines of his job, able to lie in wait for hours without twitching a muscle, Avery's tolerance for getting dicked around hovers somewhere close to zero on most days. Basically, he's too old for your bullshit. If he senses that someone is holding out on him or lying or not taking him seriously enough, he will seek to rectify that in the quickest (and therefore bloodiest) manner possible. He does not necessarily enjoy these demonstrations, however; they are often done with exasperation or the air of a father spanking a child. Whenever he can, Avery prefers to coast by on reputation.
"'Ooh, Avery is protective. Avery is a father figure.'"
Now that said, Cates might be a cold-blooded killer, but he is not entirely heartless. He cares for his people--the ones who have proven themselves loyal and earned his trust. Granted, a lot of them are dead these days and it's kinda-sorta his fault, but the fact remains that he cared about someone. He has the capacity. When his protégée Gleason died, he felt real grief. She had been almost like a daughter to him and the way he let her mock him (Avery pants when he runs, Avery's such a lardass, Avery's getting ooooold, etc.) showed how much affection he had for her.
"'You're not executing me. I'm committing suicide by cop.'"
More than anything lately, Avery is tired. Tired of the System, tired of running, tired of killing, tired of living. He feels old -- too old. He's not quite suicidal, but his sense of self-preservation is not at a high point. Until and unless he encounters something that makes him give a shit, he doesn't much care if he lives or dies.
Abilities & WeaknessesEdit
Avery is a very successful Gunner. At the beginning of The Digital Plague he admits to having killed fifty-four people personally, many of them cops, and the body count continues to rise from there. You would think this makes him some kind of amazing crackshot, but he's not. He knows what he's doing with a gun in his hand, of course -- but it's his quick reflexes and oft-correct guesses about his enemy's next move that keep him alive and them, well, not. Annnd a healthy dose of luck. That too. He doesn't have any kind of superhuman ability or power that helps him fight though, he's just been doing it a long time.
Avery is an un-augmented human, so traditional weaknesses apply. He's also in terrible shape for a guy who's only in his thirties. Bad knees, bad back, both attributed to diving around alleyways "like [he's] mad at the ground" in the course of his job as a Gunner. He also smokes and drinks a lot and wheezes like a motherfucker when he runs.