"Her voice is full of money."
Obsess me as everything you want to be
Source work, author and character: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Daisy Buchanan
Name: Gaius Asher
How long have they been in the human world?: A year, give or take.
Source of income: Runs a high-end escort service.
Personality: There is something about him that draws people towards him. Maybe it’s the smile, or the easy laugh. Perhaps it’s the twinkle in his eyes or how laid-back he appears. People don’t know what it is. All they know is that they like it and when they spend enough time around him, they’ll crave it. Some have tried to describe it and come up with ‘the promise of something’ without being able to specify what that something entails. Something good, something wonderful, something they’ve always wanted, of that they are certain.
And, yes, Gaius Asher really does seem to be the promise of everything but he always - unfailingly - fails to deliver anything. What they see is what they want to see. They see him as everything he could never possibly be and they obsess him as everything they want to be. He is an ideal they aspire to, a dream that will make them happy if they can make him happy.
People, however, are not something Asher derives happiness from. He divides them into entertaining and boring. The former he will keep around for a while, the latter he doesn’t even notice. Although his parents have tried to raise him to be a good man, they have raised an empty shell. All pretty on the outside, completely hollow on the inside. He is irresponsible and careless, unsympathetic and selfish, a person with no sense of morality, of good and bad, an emotionally detached if not crippled jerk. Good is what is good for him and makes him happy which is very simply put amassing material wealth, bad is everything that makes him unhappy.
Being almost obsessed with appearances makes him a very superficial and shallow person. Scratch the surface and you will find more surface, but, strangely enough, that doesn’t seem to bother people at all. Once they’re hooked, they’ll stay hooked until he discards of them when they have outlived their usefulness and even then they can’t seem to find it in them to say anything bad about him. They might think it maybe, but never voice those thoughts.
In short, born to be the golden boy with the world at his feet, Gaius ended up as a rotten apple - with the world still at his feet.
History: Born into privilege and wealth, the boy grew up the apple of mommy’s eye and the source of daddy’s pride. They gave him everything he wanted even before he knew he wanted it, only the best, of course. Thus they raised him to believe he was entitled to everything and that the world owed it to him which for the longest time was confirmed by his environment. That the exceptional treatment he received was due to his parents’ status didn’t occur to him until much later.
His early childhood was fairly uneventful. Being an Asher meant that your path was always clear of sticks and stones, that the winds were always favourable and that everyone was more than happy to bend backwards to please you. However, trouble started when he was sent away for school. Cut off from the gentle care of his mother and supervision of his father, Gaius was left to his own devices and that allowed certain tendencies and habits to develop which had been dormant until then. Sweet smiles which used to be a sign of gratitude gradually changed, twisted from an innocent and sincere ‘thank you’ to a promising ‘if you..., then I might...’
Surface, he learnt, was everything and so he took great care to polish that surface until it shone. People were easier to work when they were distracted by something shiny and he made sure he was the shiniest object around before he pressed his advantage, yet somehow - luckily, fortunately - he ended up collecting more favours than he owed. In his last year, however, there was that incident with a girl in the library. Nobody knew what exactly had happened but the girl never came back and it was only due to his family’s generous donations that Gaius was allowed to graduate.
Upon his return, it was arranged for him to start working at his father’s company and at first it seemed as it was going to work out just fine, which it did for a couple of years. During the third year, however, he grew tired of the monotonous life, didn’t understand why he should have to work at all, and several dozen clashes with Mr Asher Sr. later, he found himself on the streets - disowned, disinherited and disgraced; terrified, helpless and bewildered.
While the mind was numb, instinct took over, prompting him to seek out old schoolmates in order to call in the favours he’d more or less ‘accidentally’ collected in the past. No longer a boy, his natural charm worked even greater miracles for him and he soon found himself in the comfortable albeit not quite honourable position of being provided for by a handful of kind-hearted (gullible) and naive (stupid) ladies who were willing to do anything for him to make him happy.
Nearly two decades later, Gaius had exhausted most of his resources and was beginning to grow tired of the same old faces and same old stories, tragedies, whatevers. Besides, he had too many run-ins with The Law for him to be comfortable anymore. Paying his parents one last visit during which his father oh so gracefully agreed to reinstate his only son as his heir and generous enough to release half of it to his son’s accounts, he organised the necessary paperwork to leave Musings. There was a whole new world to be explored with people who had no idea who he was. That had to count for something, right?
Ability/Powers: People always see what they want to see. Gaius is the blank canvas on which people can project their image of him. It rarely matches with who he really is but it isn't something he can control or influence. But, hey, whatever makes them happy.
The downside of having no control whatsoever over this is that if he is exposed to the same 'painter' over a long period of time, bits and pieces of the projected image might bleed into him, and get stuck in there, creating fractures in his perception of self.
How they came to be in the human world: One encounter too many with law enforcement had him reconsider his position in society and he decided a change of scenery would be of advantage for both sides.
Purpose: I’d say evil but not on purpose. Gaius is definitely not interested in helping humans, and he does prey on them but at the same time he doesn’t consider it as harming them thanks to his warped perception of the world and what it is there for.
Future Plans: He’s build up a rather successful escort service and has managed to get several influential figures under his thumb (I’m thinking politicians, judges etc.) and plans on expanding his business and collect more puppets for potential future usage.
Source conflict: Outward appearances play a central role in his life. Everything revolves around that and that alone. The wealthier someone is, the more appealing they become to him. Everything else is inconsequential and insignificant, cumbersome even, considered beneath him and he has no qualms about stepping on people and crushing them in order to stay on top because he is incapable of forming emotional bonds.
Callum Keith Rennie is in no way associated with this journal. The thoughts contained within are not their own, nor are they meant to represent the actual thoughts, lifestyle, actions or image of this person. Their image is being used for the fictional representation of a character in the role-playing game Musings, from which no profit is being made. No harm, misrepresentation, libel, malice or copyright infringement is intended. The images used are not the property of the player and belong to the person depicted and/or their respective copyright holders.
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