Character Name: Jerrard Lovel Prideaux
Character LJ: on_stolen_time
Physical description: Black hair, gray eyes, pale skin. Solidly muscled and athletic. 5'9".
Age: 29 (in appearance)
Abilities: His original and most powerful (if somewhat impractical) mutation is the ability to jump from one body to another. However, this ability only activates once per lifetime. It is an automatic action that takes place at the last few moments of life. A sort of survival reflex. He can only jump into the body of someone he is touching at that time. The consciousnesses switch, leaving him in the healthy body and the previous inhabitant in his body in the throes of death. He can consciously suppress the action, but he doesn't know that and can't imagine why he'd want to.
Physically, when he can choose, he always takes a body in good health and conditioning. He works to maintain and improve that conditioning. He is highly skilled in hand to hand combat, gun play, and knife work. Also very handy with a sword, although rarely gets a chance to use it anymore.
If the body he takes has an ability of some kind, he will take control of that ability. But, he will still have to learn to use it. His current host body was a MI-6 agent who had a minor precognitive ability. He is now able to see several seconds into the future. Minutes when he concentrates hard. It gives him an edge in business and in battle.
Speaks and writes English, French, German, Italian, and Latin fluently. Currently learning Mandarin for the hell of it.
Weaknesses and flaws: He can be killed just as easily as any other human. If he dies without another person near enough to touch, he will die permanently. In addition to gaining the abilities of the body he takes, he will also take on their flaws such as addiction, illness, or -- in one unfortunate, previous jump -- mental illness.
His prolonged existence has started a growing disregard for any person, place, or object. He takes on a role to play out each lifetime, but there is no true connection to anything or anyone.
Character location/Home: New York. Has an apartment above his club.
Relatives: All long dead. Closest he has is a personal assistant.
Backstory: Jerrard was just 20 when Napoleon returned from exile to make a second attempt at his war on England. He marched with the Little General's army to their ill-fated battle at Waterloo. He was no true patriot, just a high-born debtor who wanted to remain outside of a jail cell. When the battle turned and Wellington's forces began to beat back the French army, Jerrard was on the front line with his infantry division. Musket empty and out of ammo, he fell back at his Captain's orders using his bayonet to clear the way. But, bayonet fighters don't last long in a shooting war.
As he bared down on an English soldier in his path, a musket ball tore through his chest from close behind. Determined to at least take one of the red coated bastards with him, he made a last lunge at his target. His reward was the other man's bayonet lodged in his lower abdomen. Clinging to his killer, his vision started to go black.
When his eyes opened again, he was looking down at a bloody man in a French uniform. It took him a few moments to realize that the empty eyes he was looking into were his own. Or had been. In shock, he fell in with his new, victorious regiment. He used the stolen body's personal letters and effects to assume his identity and led a debt free, if mostly illegal, life until a knife fight in a rundown pub ended that life and stole him a new one.
Over the decades, he's assumed many different identities, retaining his knowledge and a good deal of wealth as the years went by. In the latter part of July 2007, he ran afoul of MI-6. They had taken exception to the weapons he was dealing back and forth across British borders. He took exception to the agents shooting him. He ended up with a nice, shiny new body that he had to promptly leave the country with.
He now owns and operates a night club in New York city called "Devil's Island". He uses it as a front for illegal gambling, and drug and human trafficking. He is also using his birth name for the first time in almost 200 years. It feels good.
Jerrard weaved his way through the crowded club; his body fluidly moving around and between other bodies as he cut a path toward the bar. The evening was seeing a large turn out. Weekends were always good for business. Although, week days weren't half bad either.
He stopped at the bar and nodded to the bartender. A new kid. What was his name? Brian? Something like that. He would look it up again when he visited his office. Jerrard never passed up an opportunity to scope a future host. The body was fit enough.
Without a word from him, a drink was poured from a bottle hidden under the bar and set in front of him. A highball of old Evan Williams. No ice. One did not pollute $300 Bourbon with water.
"Excuse me?" A voice behind and to his left got his attention and he turned to give his best, charming smile to the young lady who had spoken. Petite, fit, brunette... just like he liked them.
"Can I help you, mademoiselle?" The French accent he no longer truly carried was poured on a bit thicker for effect.
"Are you really the owner of this club? That is... one of the bouncers told me you were." She smiled prettily and shuffled in place.
"That is correct." He turned fully to face her and caught one of her hands, bringing it up to kiss the knuckles as he bowed to her. "I am Jerrard Lovel Prideaux. How can I be of service?"
"I just, um. I was wondering about the name. Did you really name it Devil's Island to compete with Dante's?"
"No, no. Good heavens, no." He laughed and sat down on a bar stool, gesturing for her to take the seat next to him. "What's your name, pet?"
"Melanie," she giggled, blushing at what she perceived to be an endearment.
"Have a drink with me, Melanie." He gestured for Brian to bring her a refill of whatever it was she was carrying. It looked disgusting and fruity. "No, I'm a bit of a history buff, you see. I did not know much of Dante's when I opened the Island, here. I named it after a French penal colony."
"A what?" She asked, eyebrows raised as she prepared herself to be outraged.
He laughed again, smoothly. "A penal colony, my pet. Prison colony if you will. You see, when France colonized what is now French Guiana in 1852, it was largely populated by criminals. The 'civilized world' called it the Devil's Island. France's answer to Australia."
"Oh!" She smiled again and took a sip of her drink. "I see!"
He doubted it. But, still, he smiled and reached over to pat her arm lightly. Smooth skin. Very nice. "I welcome them, you see. The misfits, the outcasts, the unwanted. They are wanted here."
"Aww. That's so sweet!"
At that moment, Jerrard's personal assistant Matthew came up to whisper in his boss' ear. The new 'inventory' had arrived. He nodded to Matthew and the younger man disappeared back into the crowd.
"Terribly sorry, my dear. I'm afraid I have some business to attend to." Her frown was easy to read and he smiled to see the disappointment there. He slipped a business card out of his wallet and held it out to her. "Why don't you let me make this up to you? Call me tomorrow at that number and I'll show you New York as you've never seen it before."
Melanie lit up instantly and nearly snatched the card from his hand. "I will! Thank you, Jerrard. It was so nice to meet you."
"And you as well, lovely Melanie." He kissed her hand again, winked, and turned to walk back through the crowd. A self-satisfied smirk settled onto his features as he expertly navigated the room once more.
The car waiting out back with the still running engine and the darkly tinted windows was well known to him. He smiled as he slipped into the back when the door was opened for him.
"New delivery for ya," the Doctor said by way of greeting. In truth, Jerrard did not know the man's proper name. He was always referred to as the Doctor on account of the white coat he always wore. He was the man in New York who could make things happen.
And what a happening the Doctor had brought him tonight. Blond hair and buxom. A little too skinny for his taste, but that was likely the drugs. Yes, she would do nicely.
"Once again, you have outdone yourself, Doctor." Jerrard chuckled as he reached into his pocket and withdrew a wad of bills. The money was exchanged and the car drove away, leaving the scantily dressed blond standing in the dimly lit alley with Jerrard.
The new girls always spent the first night with him. Tomorrow, she would be put to work.