AIM SN: GrahamCracking
Have you played in an LJ based game before? Yes.
Currently Played Characters: Abraham Van Helsing | master_helsing
Conditional: Activity Check Link: Was on a hiatus during the last AC.
Canon Source: Hannibal Pentalogy by Thomas Harris
Canon Format: Film adaption of Red Dragon.
Character's Name: Will Graham
Character's Age: 38 (in 1980)
What form will your character's NV take? A hand-held tape recorder.
Character's Canon Abilities: Though Will’s exceptional photographic memory seems on the verge of preternatural, even psychic in consistence and accuracy, the former FBI profiler is just a regular Joe. Or at least he wishes he were. Will’s Eidetic Memory is a constant force that flashes itself into the forefront of his mind, unable to be hindered by anything but a stiff drink and sleeping pills.
It allows him to take on the perspective of anyone he comes to encounter, personally and second-hand; even of those who may frighten or disgust him. This hyperempathy is hardly superhuman, though its rarity and capacity to reconstruct a killer's fantasies and reinvent/recreate everything in vivid, living detail make him a valuable asset to the FBI--all at the cost of his sanity.
As for everyday talents, he happens to be a pretty decent mechanic; spending his warmer years in the Keys fixing boat-motors for a living.
Conditional: If your character has no superhuman canon abilities, what dormant ability will you give them? Given Will’s eidetic memory is a truly exceptional trait, it is still quite human. Thus it would be acceptable to take his ability for pure empathy and projection a step deeper, say, to literally and figuratively “step into the minds of others”.
Just as Will has no control over who he empathizes with, nor will he have control over whose mind he can project himself into. For him, it will be as if he is literally seeing past the windows of one's soul and stepping past the threshold of one’s mind. He will see the minds of others as figurative ‘homes’, stylized by the individual’s personality and hosting rooms with dozens of that person’s memories.
Above all things, Will fears the darkness that lies in the sorts of minds he comes in contact with. Thus he would be entirely apprehensive to ever walk where he is not permitted… That is unless one’s mind is so labyrinthine that he becomes lost, and unable to find his way back out.
Weapons: A FBI Issued S&W Model 459 (9mm semi-automatic), .S&W Model 38 Airweight Bodyguard (.38/.44? Special), and a Charter Arms Pug (.357 Magnum).
Character History: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
The movies give a very condensed version of Will’s backstory; however many important details that are left to the cutting board are easily explained by the book.
Before working for the FBI’s crime lab, Will grew up a relatively poor boy who stole watermelons from the local farm in Mississippi, admired Kewpie dolls in the windows of soda shops, and never stayed in the same place for long. He went from a homicide detective in New Orleans to graduate school in forensic science at George Washington University where he attained his degree and became a member of the FBI.
Will’s impeccable gift for insight made him invaluable in the crime lab and in the field. However, because of his apprehensive, albeit sensitive nature to particularly gruesome crime scenes, Will was moved to a position as a teacher at the FBI Academy. His title as “Special Investigator” was reserved for his outer field work.
In the Case of Hobbs, the “Minnesota Strike”, Will was left in a state of unrest. Having witnessed the brutal death of Hobbs’ wife and the subsequent stabbing of Hobbs’ own daughter, Will had no choice but to shoot Hobbs to death. The severe trauma of the incident admitted him to the psychiatric ward of the Bethesda Naval hospital for a month of recovery.
In spite of his intrinsic cleverness, Will would not have successfully caught Hobbs without the help of his mentor: Forensic Psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Whenever in a bind in building his criminal profiles, Will would seek the good doctor’s infinite wisdom. As a man whose trust was very difficult to win, Will found himself comfortably befriended to the renowned doctor as if they both walked in the same pair of shoes. Learning that one of the few men he could open himself to would turn out to be one of the very killers he sought could certainly damage him beyond repair.
To avoid Will from catching onto his latest case of the “Chesapeake Ripper”, Dr. Lecter purposefully fed Will false information when asked for his opinion on the matter. Will’s keen perception however saw through the carefully placed obstacles, and while glancing through one of Lecter’s books, found the key to his mentor’s undoing. Will’s revelation of the killer’s true intent regretfully forced Lecter’s hand into ending their little game. The FBI profiler found himself lanced with a linoleum knife and carefully laid upon the ground as he went into shock. His courage which prompted Lecter to long to devour his heart, impelled Will to retaliate with the nearest available defense… a quiver of arrows, with which he successfully stabbed into his assailant. Gun-shots fired from Will’s .38 Special, alerted Maryland State Troopers who were soon on the scene to find the two men’s bodies in the Psychiatrist’s office barely clinging to life.
Through months of hospice recovery and a second admittance to the sanitarium, Will became a media celeb and legend amongst the FBI for his capture and incarceration of Lecter, but found himself at the end of his career. With his discharge from the psychiatric ward, Will retired and went on to live with his wife and stepson in Sugarloaf Key, Florida.
Merely three years passing his retirement would not last, as his former boss Jack Crawford saw fit to manipulate him back into the field with “The Toothfairy” case. The killer, Francis Dolarhyde, was known for his peculiar bite-marks he left on his victims on the eves of the lunar cycle.
On the right track, but once again hitting a road-block in solving this crime, Will challenged his courage by facing and consulting his former mentor again. It was an opinion he wanted, the strange view and analytical minds-set he needed to recover after softening for three years in the Keys. Stinking of fear, Will was an easy target for Lecter’s taunts and paid for the haphazard consultation with a second-hand threat to the lives of Will’s family; A threat that would later come to fruition through Dolarhyde who received a coded message instructing him to kill Will’s family at his home address. However with the letter intercepted and cracked by the FBI, his wife Molly and son Josh were moved to the country to stay at Crawford’s brother’s cottage, only later to go to stay with her late first husband’s parents in Oregon.
After linking Dolarhyde to a home-movie production company which had filmed the families he had killed, Will, Crawford and FBI agents arrived at his home to arrest him. They were late to find the house on fire with Dolarhyde’s blind girlfriend Reba McClane inside, who announced he had apparently killed himself. After carefully tending and consoling Miss McClane, Will returned to Sugarloaf with his family, resolved that he left this case shaken but relatively unscathed.
Like his retirement, his contentment would end in an instant as Dolarhyde’s suicide was nothing but a ploy. A deter that only prolonged the inevitable. Dolarhyde attacked Will’s family, slashing Will across the chest and face before the killer met his end by a gun in the hands of Will’s wife.
Point in Canon: Though seemingly a happy ending, after the events of Red Dragon, Will is described in Silence of the Lambs as now (between 1978 and 1983) living alone. Unable to cope with the post-traumatic stress of the incident with Dolarhyde, Will’s wife eventually left to Oregon with her son. Stricken with grief over the loss of his family and thus forced to bear his deep scars alone, Will drowns his sorrows in alcohol. While still a legend amongst the FBI, he’s known as “A drunk in Florida with a face that’s hard to look at.”
Character Personality: As a tenacious man in a constant state of empathy, it is difficult for Will to have a true grasp upon what makes him ‘himself’, but never does he falter from losing hold of it. The conglomerations of personality-types he comes into contact with mold and shape him against his will. In this constant battle to simply be himself, it comes to a point that his emotions threaten to shut down.
At first glance, Will Graham may seem overly unreadable, terse, modest, introverted, and attempting at all costs to avoid being poked and pried at like a laboratory rat. A formidable judge of character, he knows instantaneously if one has ill-intent towards him or not. Thus, Will shows an exuberant amount of caution.
Typically passive, he hardly, if ever plays into conflict unless brought into situations of extreme emotional stress. Even so, these outbursts of anger are relatively short, and leave him just as quickly as they appear. Generally speaking, he seems to take on a stance of indifference or neutrality where conflict is concerned, but in reality he is something of a pacifist. As this makes him an easy target, people often interpret this as a weakness, and use it to their advantage, seeing him as a push over.
On a personal note this is nearly true, in the sense that he doesn’t think very highly of himself; most significantly when he called himself merely a “Layman” in the face of Dr. Lecter’s vast intellect. Will thinks of himself as an average Joe, just trying to make ends meet. Despite his ‘gift’, he feels that anyone can do the sorts of feats he does in his field of criminology. To him, the facts and clues are all there for anyone to find. To him, he's neither special, nor exceptional, and tends to take praise with a grain of salt.
Getting past the fact he’s a natural procrastinator who doesn’t enjoy talking about himself, one would find that he’s a speedy, kind, humble, and compassionate individual—One who seeks the preservation of innocence with a subjective sense of justice. He is the sort that cannot simply stand by when the chance to save lives is at stake. Because of his warm heart being worn upon his sleeve, he is easily taken advantage of by his peers and superiors, despite how much he attempts to ignore the emotional pull.
To play upon his heartstrings, Will has been known to be trapped and manipulated by his overseers, namely his former boss Jack Crawford; who knew that by showing Will photos of the recently murdered Leeds’ family that Will would instantly register an emotive response to the incident. This led to Will coming briefly out of retirement to be used by the FBI: a decision that would ultimately cost him his family and the last of his dignity by the end of the case.
Will’s courage, seen as admirable even by the formidable Dr. Hannibal Lecter, brought him from Hell and back. Despite his survival of three attempts at having his life taken, Will could not shake his fear, the single handicap his former mentor offered to help him bear. Will’s fear—losing his loved ones, losing his dignity, but most importantly losing himself—drove the former FBI profiler to the madhouse on more than one occasion. Though incredibly resilient, Will harbored a frangible state of mind that splintered after the Hobb’s case, fractured when his mentor turned out to be the very killer he sought, and nearly shattered in the case of Dolarhyde. Refusing to commit himself for a third time, Will turned to alcohol abuse as a last means to drown out his empathy.
His perception of the world and its unforgivable denizens was a two-edged blade; One that cut him with the depth of a linoleum knife.
Character Plans: Having holed up in Florida’s Sugarloaf Key for nearly two years since his wife left him, it would be enjoyable to reintroduce Will into the world he had secluded himself from. With the constant news of mysterious deaths abroad Siren’s Port, Will will have a difficult time attempting to ignore the morbid feed. He would eventually be compelled to want to help the police force in their findings, but not after some serious counseling and likely a thorough detox.
Appearance/PB: Will has sandy blond hair, bleached from the Florida sun, and ‘ice blue’ eyes that seem in a constant state of dolor. Portrayed by Edward Norton, he stands about 6’ (1.83m) and takes on the facial disfigurement he receives at the end of Red Dragon.
First Person Sample
[The crackle of the tape recorder evens out after a few moments of muffled shuffling and white noise. Whoever is holding the device is seemingly unaware of its rolling as it relays his stifled breaths. His successful startled gasp is caught as someone touches him and a flurry of questions bombards him without a moment to gouge how or when he came to… or better yet, where he came to.]
Name? … name? Look newcomer, we don’t got all night.
[The slight irritation in the stranger’s voice is blurred, but eventually filters through the deafening buzz in this certain Johnny-come-lately.]
Graham.. Will.. Graham.
[The shuffling continues as the hesitant Mr. Graham seems jostled about, but hardly resisting. There’s a female’s voice from behind him.]
Got any I.D.? Passport? Work VISA?
Uh yea.. yes, sorry.. Officer, here.
Look I was just at home and I.. I have no clue how I got--.
I.D. checks out, says he’s FBI.
What? No, I’m.. I’m retired.. How did you even get—I’m not here to screw with your jurisdiction.
I just.. n-need to get back to the house.
[His confusion is apparent, but attempting his best to be cordial. There was always a stigma between the Feds and the local Border-patrol, one he was keen not to get caught up in.]
We’re counting on you not screwing around, but it’s a long walk back where-ever you’re from.
That’s.. that’s just fine, Officer.
He’s a norm, BAC is .14. Alchie can barely stand.
…I’m.. fine, please, if you could point me towards Sugarloaf S-shores, I’ll—
[A choked cough followed his plea, as disgruntled groans from the staff drowned out the nauseating retching.]
[The tape continues to roll broadcasting only the cumbersome resounds of feet, and a heavy object like a sack of potatoes tossed onto a hard wood flooring. The last humanoid sound to be heard is a pathetic groan before the recorder is rolled over on top of.]
……. . . . .
[Click, click. The reel starts up again, small quivering breaths whisper across the receiver as if the holder is in a state of shock and attempting to shake themselves of it.]
…It’s a small apartment.
Owned by a tenant who resents it..
The smearing of dust on the floor.. I was dropped in here by two men.. Size 11 shoe, and size 9.. Seemed careful with me.
Th… the door.. The door is.. it looks burnt.. rotting.. around the edges.. Like gangrene.
When I we--when I went to the windows.. they were barred.. So dark outside I can’t see a thing..
And the sounds.. screeching.. wailing..
…I thought I was in the dungeon again.
Third Person Sample
Flash. The bright floodlight seemed to paint the baseball diamond in a blinding pearlescent white. For a split second he thought himself hallucinating heaven, but the debilitating buzzing in his ears quickly snatched the thought away. It was much more tangible, and less cheap and half-baked than that. He wasn’t that crazy yet.
No, this just had to be his dumb luck again. He had wandered away from the beach-house and walked right into a sobriety check post. That was the most logical explanation, at least as much as he could gauge while attempting not to stagger in the infinite white.
Will Graham held up his hand to shield the light, squinting, trying to make out the blurred figures that came towards him in an orderly fashion. He couldn’t make out their faces, and the barrage of questioning was too bizarre for him to register right off the bat.
…Newcomer.. Siren’s Port.. NV communicator… Proto Sci-Fi bullshit he expected out of Star Trek. Right. He was watching that earlier while pounding back his fifth whiskey and Coke. His mind was playing tricks on him, trying to convolute and over-analyze again when he had specifically taken steps to shut it off.
Turn off already, the officer is talking. Don’t piss him off.
“Graham.. Will.. Graham.” He answered with as much clarity as he could muster. It had taken months of elocution and speech therapy after his attack to bridal his tongue properly again. The deep cut in his left cheek had been as kind to him as the soft pallet was for Dolarhyde. It sickened him more that he continued to sympathize with the very man who cost him his marriage; a moment of critical consciousness that posed him to turn that cheek away from the strangers who looked so intently at him.
Shaking off the nausea would be as easy as shaking the urge to vomit right then and there. He wasn’t the type to suffer hang-overs, and with how disheveled he was now, he was nearly convinced someone had slipped him a mickey in his own home… but that was absurd. About as absurd as himself wandering away from his porch on the coast. Will never did that either.
Something was seriously off about this; a foreignness that raised the heckles of his neck. Like goose-flesh. Goose-flesh.
It was cold. When did it get this cold in the smoldering Floridian nights in early summer?
Will was shaken by this disturbing unfamiliarity when he was asked for his I.D. and haphazardly shuffled in his jeans for it. He willingly put his arms out to be patted down while the official checked his creds. This felt like general procedure, he expected this and complied, though sluggishly questioned some of the other requirements. The former FBI profiler felt like he was being given the ‘once-over’ required to patients after a severe pandemic quarantine.
‘I.D. checks out, says he’s FBI.’
He almost didn’t quite catch that observation, completely baffled how the officer obtained his old field card… He swore he left it in a file drawer to be forgotten.
“What? No, I’m.. I’m retired.. How did you even get—
There was a small panic in his oceanic eyes and he quickly patted himself down for his real I.D., though the officials seemed more than satisfied. Rough hands swept over his white tank, picked in the pockets of his blue Hawaiian shirt, and fished in the breast-pockets of his black leather jacket, only to realize that along with the card, these were his typical field clothes. Yet he did not pale till his fingers brushed at the weight on his shoulders. He was packing his old .38 and 9mm.
“I’m not here to screw with your jurisdiction.” He wanted to get it out of the way that he was not there to get in a pissing contest with the local sheriff’s department.
Any attempt to make his way past was held easily back. Too limber to resist. Too disheveled to fight. But just panicked enough to want to take to flight. His heart was racing, pounding in his ears. Why the Hell were these clothes on him? Sweat beading his brow, he plead with the faceless officials.
“I just.. n-need to get back to the house.” To rip this shirt off and wash himself with a scouring pad. Already his flesh felt filthy with the taint of his failure to uphold the Oath. He couldn’t save anybody, nobody was safe around him.
‘We’re counting on you not screwing around, but it’s a long walk back where-ever you’re from.’
He would need it to sober up, “That’s.. that’s just fine, Officer.”
‘He’s a norm, BAC is .14. Alchie can barely stand.’
Though said with half-hearted concern, Will restrained himself from taking offense. But regrettably the diagnosis was the tip-off to pushing his nausea, anxiety, and bitter confusion over the edge.
“ …I’m.. fine, please, if you could point me towards Sugarloaf S-shores, I’ll—“
He blacked out before his retching could hit the floor.
SP Test Drive Meme