Brook Barnes

Night radio jockey and blood soaked ranger cadet

Description:

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And once she was in bed, she said; “What a fine night! What a good walk! I knew the wolf wouldn’t find me.”
“Oh, but you must travel through those woods again and again,” said the shadow at the window, “And you must be lucky to avoid the wolf every time. But the Wolf? The Wolf only needs enough luck to find you once.”

Brook Barnes’ age barely shows on his features. Six feet tall, broad shoulders, strong arms, and stronger legs betray his good diet and active (if some involuntarily so) lifestyle. Black, wavy hair falls past his shoulders, usually in a ponytail. Scars from old nicks and cuts line both of his arms and even face: visceral reminders of falls from collecting bark samples and climbing up the steel radio-tower. His attire is rarely much more than jeans, a t-shirt with a band logo, and his favorite military-green canvas jacket with its lines of faded Park Ranger and band patches. Because of his job, and even more keeping his job and social life at the same time, Brook is a rare teen that showers every day and keeps great care for his appearance. Thanks to such, he’s not subject to horrid acne or the acne scars that so plague other teens of his people.

Demographical Profile:
Name: Brook ‘Madcatcher’ Barnes
Gender: Male
Race: White/Native mutt
Date of Birth: October 29th, 1983 (Assumed)
Age: 15
Height: 6’ 0”
Weight: 180 lbs.
Eye Color: Dark Green
Hair Color: Black
Complexion: Lightly Tan

Historical Profile:


Brook’s past is a blur up until a certain age, he can’t remember very much of it. Not even his name. Just nightmares, yelling, and a long car ride. However, a lot can be accurately guessed at from what happened to him. Around the age of 4, he was taken into Witiko Falls by his parents, tied inside a burlap sheet, and thrown in the river named the Green Lady to drown. Mary Madcatcher, the park ranger, saved his life. She pulled him out of the river and cleared the water out of his lungs, brought him back from the brink of death, and took him in to raise as her own.

It wasn’t as easy as she hoped, but despite his problems, the boy tried his best to be a good son. His mother had a difficult job; he found himself alone when she was out in the forests. Eventually, she trusted him with taking care of the firewatch and radio station at night, so she could sleep at home in her own bed. It worked with his insomnia; the boy couldn’t sleep at night, so he made the best of it. Townsfolk seemed to like having someone to talk to in the dead of night, as well. He started living there full time, letting his mother take control of the radio booth during the day, though she rarely did anything beyond record or pass along weather and fire reports.

Recent years have been rather tough. Puberty hit like a freight train: growing pains have only just started not to make life miserable, a new disgusting series of sexual twists have invaded his dreams, and school has become more and more difficult to stay awake in. Homework was simple enough to do while he does the radio show, and friends let him borrow notes and copy assignments, but attendance and sleeping in class ruins that. The only real reason he hasn’t dropped out yet is he’d lose a place to meet girls, not to mention how much it’d upset his mother.

Psychological Profile:


Summary: Brook’s head is no small amount of mess, only rarely is every moment he spends asleep not an exercise in terror. All the self help ‘Dream Warrior’ books he’s read and put into practice have done nothing to grant him control over his vivid dreams. Impossible geometry, casual gore, twisted caricatures of people he knows. Rape, murder, monsters, it’s never the same twice. But it’s always a terrifying situation, and sometimes, he doesn’t even have control of his own actions. Puberty made these kinds of nightmares truly terrifying. Sexual identity twisted into an animalistic sexual assault on everything from animals to his school friends. Horror is part of his daily routine; because of his condition, he enjoys surrounding himself in it -like someone who cuts themselves because external pain matching internal pain just feels right. For Brook, this means his hobbies of drawing and painting are as much cathartic as creative outlets.

Cognitive Aptitude: Brook is not a stupid person, but he doesn’t have a lot of interest in scholastic learning. Staying awake in class to absorb the information given to him is hardly ever an option. Most of what he’s learned, he’s either figured out through trial and error, or read on his own time. Self-help books, psychology, art history, and horror fiction are his very favourites. Underestimating his intelligence would be a mistake, but he really doesn’t have interest in academics, much less didactic or formal instruction.

Interpersonal Relationships: Brook’s schedule doesn’t allow a whole lot of friends, but that’s not to say he isn’t a friendly person. While at school, he has a bit of a fame as the town’s native night-time radio jockey. People from school call him sometimes, for better or worse. Regular callers have a relationship with him; he does an hour a night where he takes calls where people can talk about strange things they have seen or dreamed. And of course, he has a good relationship with his mother. If you want to be friends with Brook, chances are he’ll make it easy.

* Mary Madcatcher: (Mother) Brook’s mother is the model of a strong woman, inside and out. While she’s wrinkled a bit, and is shorter than most, she is a woman sculpted by her job. Strong arms, dark skin, fierce eyes, scarred up to hell, rarely seen out of uniform, and never without her shotgun. Mary earned the name Madcatcher from her job as a park ranger, which requires her to deal with the local deranged wildlife, including everything from elk to bears. She sets traps, tracks the ones too close to town, and puts them down when she cannot cage or ship them elsewhere. Despite being a solitary person married to her job, she’s proved herself to be a very caring, if not tough, mother figure. Makes a mean jerky, too.

Language: Brook is very informal as a person. Although he had respect beaten into him from an early age, he tends to try and make others feel comfortable around him by matching the way they talk to a degree. Reading as much as he does, his vocabulary is passable, but nothing special.

Morality: Brook is young and going through a very rough puberty. He doesn’t know where he stands on a lot of the heavier issues, but he knows this: his mother’s and his job is to protect people from what’s in the forest, and he doesn’t mind taking one or two for the team. Like any 15 year-old, he’s cheers for the underdog, such as skater delinquent running up against police. Beyond that, there’s one holy commandment he’s found through watching British humorists: ‘Don’t be a cunt’. This does not stop him from being capable of horrible things however, if it’s to protect people important to him. Such as revealing to a budding homosexual youth that he has photographic evidence of his proclivities to put a stop to his antagonism. Despite this, he held onto this knowledge for the better part of a year, only using it to prevent a physical conflict. While he tries his best to be a good person, there is a part of the boy, an old part, that screams for blood and territory. It’s most recent manifestation in his full intent to kill a psychopath he’d hunted down in order to save another life.

Personal Interests: When he isn’t working, or in school (and sometimes even then), Brook enjoys self-expression. Drawing is where he started, and still carries a sketchbook and pencil in his bag at all times. Painting is where his practice is right now, making intricate dreamscapes upon thick canvas paper with small brushes. They make perfect hobbies to do while watching movies or listening to music over his long harrowing nights. When he isn’t sketching or painting, he’s outside in the middle of the forest, shotgun under one arm, trekking through the woods to explore the things the forests took back.

Religion: After several events in Brooks life, he is very much someone searching spirituality. Not from any church, and very rarely taking his mothers and her clan’s stories at face value, but none the less he has a belief. How could he not, after hearing the drums summoned by Moon to push him just enough to save someone after he’d pleaded to the land around him to let him take this man to safety. After more horrific events that night, he voiced his worry and curiosity to his mother, and was taken in front of an elder to learn more of their people and what was beyond. He believes there is a spirit to all tings natural, and seeks a way to commune with such things to uncover the mysteries of his lands.

Sexuality: Awkward sticky feelings about a lot of things and people, coupled with puberty kicking his dreams in horrible new ways? What kind of 15 year-old has a nightmare of being 15 feet tall and screwing a horse? Shame and confusion mix in high volumes, and right now he’s just riding out a very high libido until he can calm it down somehow.

Quirks:

* Drinking/smoking: He’d be the stereotype of a mushheaded Indian in his eyes if he did either of these things. He barely identifies with his heritage in the first place, and of course in the back of his mind there’s the fear he’ll fall asleep with a cigarette and burn the station down. He keeps away from both in order to feel more dignified in his racial isolation.

* Insomnia: It’s not possible for him to sleep during the night. Shadows often toy with the boy. Tired eyes sometimes leave out details that pop into focus and can startle him. He’ll rub his eyes and suddenly the saturation of the sky can change. However, he’s dealt with it long enough to deal with it. Mostly.

* Driving: Barely old enough to drive (legally), he’s actually been behind the wheel for the better part of three years -having been trained early by his mother in case of emergencies. Right now, he has a dirt bike and a truck to help him get around to and from the station, as well as to get into the forest trails to do his job some days. Despite his advanced driving skills for his age, a fear lurks in the back of his mind of him falling asleep at the wheel and never waking up again.

Material Profile:


Though Brook and his adoptive mother have a home on the Kainai Reserve, both vastly prefer their de facto home and two-story, stone fortress on Ksah-koom-aukie’s Breast: Red Aspen Firewatch Station. Beyond being Brook’s most familiar domicile, it feels like an all–in–one armory, safehouse, and vantage point for the teen’s hobbies. Sitting at his little radio station in the sky, he can see everything in his territory: the town he’s grown to love and the forests he’s been raised to stalk through.

Red Aspen’s first story serves as a general ‘living floor’. A thick, heavy wood and wrought–iron reinforced door permits–or denies–entry into a small sitting area and lean kitchen. To the left of said entrance stands a wall of hooks with the names of each NPS staff member, from which hang coats, hats, and other outdoor affects. A small love-seat and coffee table sit below a small false window. A little further stands a worn, dark–blue door, decorated over with sharpie in jagged but beautiful animal patterns all drawn by the room’s primary occupant: Brook. Adjacent to the bedroom door is a corner swallowed by three large gun cabinets. All three have opaque doors with separate locks and keys that secure the station’s firearms–though only Mary Madcatcher knows what’s inside the third. Nonetheless, the regularly accessed contents of the first two cabinets have earned the corner a hand–carved plaque which reads: DEATH.

Right of the station’s entrance is an antique wood stove. Made of black iron and sitting on a raised stone platform, the cook stove is both fully functional and frequently, as attested by the collection of iron pots and pans hanging off its sides or resting on its archaic griddle-top. Adjacent is an old fridge and freezer combo, and a steel shelf of all the non-parishable food the station keeps. Chief amongst these food-stores is Mary Madcatcher’s locally famous jerky–which is always well–stocked (though her recipe is kept secret even from her son) and made of whatever was dumb enough to challenge the bear in the stone keep or her cub that month. Besides this supply of salted and smoked meats, there’s also a single counter to prepare food, a sink made of an old wash basin, and a tap that only gives off cold well–water. The adjacent corner has the ladder leading up to the second floor and tower proper. Behind the ladder, however, is where the rangers store their survival gear, bags, and medicine kits, which in contrast to the other corner have been given a plaque that reads: LIFE.

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The second floor is the firewatch tower proper, complete with a centralized circular wheel map to coordinate activities including fire and migratory tracking. This station’s tower however is a quite different than most NPS’ towers since it also hosts Witiko Falls’ sole all–night radio station: KALM 1307 AM. By day, the radio station is quiet save for automated weather reports, pre-recorded public service announcements, and the not–rare–enough emergency bulletins. By night, Brook plays disk jockey and informal talk show host for the town’s ubiquitous insomniacs, covering local issues from grizzly hunting licenses to homicidal home appliances.

The rest of the station lookout is all business. The ceiling and window frames are tacked with hundreds of newspaper clippings and photos, marking fires, animal sightings, fugitive postings, and missing persons. Beside a small work desk, a rather well–made and maintained cot sits in the corner. Miscellaneous boxed supplies are jammed beneath it. The place is cramped, if questionably cozy for the tower’s inhabitants.

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Similarly cramped and cluttered, Brook’s room is sloped roofed and windowless. Despite this, he’s thoroughly made it his own by decorating the walls with photos of his friends and family, a few band posters, and ironic dream catchers. A bed and loveseat fills up the floor-space. Reflecting Brook’s artistic attempts to deal with his phantasmagoric parasomnias, the bedroom swims with self–expression and its accruements: musical instruments, neatly stacked sketch books, a sock drawer of pencils and baggies of charcoals, paints and brushes, and even a small home–made easel he frequently brings up to the top floor. At the foot of his bed sits a mirrored dresser and sturdy bookcase. The former is full of clothes; whereas, the latter brims with romance, psychology, and mythology books. It’s his den inside a den, and one of the few places he thinks he ever has a chance to lay down at night and fall asleep in.

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Despite being a teen, Brook words hard for an ‘allowance’ he negotiated with his mother, seeing as how the two of them live rather lean, able to kill their own food, and live in a place for which they don’t have to pay. Rather than coming from Mary’s NPS salary, the young half–breed’s income comes from Mary Madcatcher’s ‘platinum’ pay, a paycheck given to pure blood Kainai simply for being pure blood. Brook often uses this money to help supply the tower with more modern amenities, treat his friends to meals and gifts, and buy things that make his life more agreeable, or at least easier.

Truck
Brook spends quite a lot of time in his truck. It’s a nap space, storage space, get-away vehicle, and the first vehicle he was ever given. Thanks to his rare status as a Park Ranger Cadet, Brook is one of the few fifteen–year–olds with his own vehicle. His truck is an older model, a Dodge Ram with a small back–seat, a steel lockbox in the bed, and a set of strobe lights on the roof (whose siren he is rarely allowed to use). His glove box contains the truck manual, a box of condoms, an extra flashlight, a multi-tool, a clean change of socks, and a box of .454s–and currently, a movie ticket with a locker combination code). The back seat is always kept folded down, a backpack having a near permanent seat, containing a change of clothes, a rain slicker, and a standard medical kit. In the tuck bed, the bolted in steel box is full of road safety equipment: flares, high visibility cones, lengths of chain and rope, and a loaded flare gun with a few extra shells rattling around. The passenger–side exterior has a big gash and dent left by a rampaging animal, causing the defaced NPS decal-letting to read _ARK ANGER.

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Bike
Unlike his NPS supplied truck, Brook’s dirt-bike is his Brook’s biggest purchase. Well maintained if not always clean, his 1992 Honda xr600 was bought used from a tourist to Witiko Falls, and subsequently fixed up to top order. Regularly practicing with the vehicle, its young owner has come to appreciate its ease of use. Made popular by the cross–country champion, Scott Summers, the five–speed Honda xr600 has a single cylinder, four-stroke and air cooled engine with a smooth kick–start. Thanks to its bloated production, Brook got it nice and cheap, and the only serious money he has since put into it has been the installation of a headlamp for use at night.

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Remington 870
This pump–action, 12–gauge, highly customizable shotgun has been in production for more than half a century, with millions of Remington 870s manufactured. The shotgun remains popular in local and federal law enforcement agencies, including the Los Angeles and New Orleans Police Departments, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, the US military–and perhaps most saliently, the Park Rangers of Witiko Falls. Gifted to Ranger Cadet by the gun’s previous owner, his mother, Brook’s shotgun has proven reliable and well–suited for his work, and can consequently be seen slung over his back or in his hands whenever he’s out in the woods.

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Ruger Super Redhawk .454
When Ruger started making the .454 variant of their longstanding Redhawk series, few people bought them as the kick was too strong, even more than the already puissant .44’s. Nevertheless, the round’s stopping power was simply too much of a draw for some people–people like Brook. The junior ranger bought the gun for his 15th birthday as a practical sign of his pledge to protect his forest and town. It’s a double action death machine that’s loud as god’s revolver and twice as shiny, and Brook takes it with him almost everywhere he goes. When in school, it’s locked away in the glove box of his truck, but he straps the iron on for everywhere else he feels it’s acceptable. It’s come in handy more than once, from tourists letting their dogs out of their kennels to being out in the field without his Remington.

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Longbow
When teaching kids to hit a target, several options exist. But when teaching a child to hit a target in the Kainai nation, there’s only one option: bows. With a Kainai guardian if not blood, Brook was raised with bow-hunting. When he was younger, he thought it made him a racial caricature, but he’s since matured into realizing its use. Guns are loud and let everyone know where you are. But with a bow and arrow, one can kill with barely a sound save a light ‘whoomph’ of the released bow-string. After many boring nights, Brook made his own bow, and after many years of practice, he knows how to use it to deadly effect.

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Sap Gloves
Originally produced and still used as protective bike wear, ‘Sap Gloves’ have plated steel underneath their leather, particularly around the sensitive knuckles. Since remarketed as self-defense weapons as far more discrete but equally damaging alternatives to knuckledusters, they became a stepping stone to what would later be known as MMA protective wear, wherein the knuckles’ steel was replaced with cushioning. Brook’s sap gloves, however, have no such modification.

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Apart from these favored implements, Brook has a number of other items that rightly belong in Red Aspen’s DEATH corner, including a tomahawk, hunting knife, and catchpole. On the other hand, Brook also owns various gear more appropriate to the ‘other’ corner, such as automotive tools, duct tape, first aid kits, flashlights, glowsticks, a multi–tool, bear traps, camouflage clothing, climbing gear, a crowbar, pepper spray, rope, binoculars, NPS–quality survival kits, and a multiple–purpose cassette recorder and player.

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Bio:

Brook Barnes

Witiko Falls: Disillusion Parasomniac Rawrmoar