JACKSON "JACE" PULLIAMA P P E A R A N C E
⟁ 28 ⟁ Male ⟁ Human (North America) ⟁ Sentinel
Jackson stands at 190.5 centimeters and 93 kilograms, a muscular, broad-shouldered frame that belies his quickness but leaves his strength fully on display. A weight lifting regimen that alternates between high-reps, low-weight and high-weights, low-reps has given him a body that does not fit comfortably under the descriptors of 'lean' or 'burly.' He's bulky, but no bodybuilder; he fits in everyday clothes (specifically the human-casual wear he bums around in day-to-day, black t-shirts and grey sweatpants or compression pants) but a bit snugly. All in all, he cuts a handsome figure - with a notably comely face, all smoldering dark eyes and strong cheeks underneath thick brown brows and a mop of brown hair - which is slightly darker than his browns but notably less sandy-colored than the permanent, close-cropped stubble around his jaw. It is shaved short, but not completely, in a deliberate effort to look slightly unkempt and bedraggled. A fighter's hair and nails must always be cut irritatingly short, and Jackson has always believed that the scruffier he looked the better, so as he moves from one career to the other he is attempting to reclaim some of his image.B A C K G R O U N D
But every Southern boy should look a little rugged, and every cage fighter - no matter the species or background - is going to have some dings on them; pretty boys need not apply to such a lifestyle. Part of the reason his hair is grown longer is to hide the old, faded cuts at his hairline - three of them, two on the left side and one on the right, that resemble ugly lobotomy scars. Two are from his days as a stuntman and a fighter; the third is from the procedure he made to upgrade his implant two years ago. His hair has been forced to grow around them. His nose has been broken three times. Both of Jackson's ears are afflicted with cauliflower ear, where the features of the cartilage are worn away and swollen due to repeated trauma and blood pockets. Four years ago, the apparatus he wore - designed to defend a fighter's mouth from strikes - was knocked out by a head kick from a drell, and Jackson chose to continue the fight without it; his front tooth on his right side, as well as the incisor, were both heavily chipped by the encounter. Occasionally phantom pains - an old fractured shoulder here, pain in the calves from years of endured leg kicks - will require the use of an ice bath for soothing purposes.
He makes few concessions to ornament on his appearance; he has never gotten any tattoos, out of fear for how stupid they would look if he ever grew old, and going back to the studded ear piercings he wore growing up is not an option with the sustained damage to his ears. He does occasionally wear the twin wedding bands of his parents (white gold, no precious stones) on his right ring finger, but only in private moments where his solitude can be assured.
"Alright, genius. Show me how the hell you would kickbox an elcor. Since you're such a fucking champ and all."S K I L L S
Norfolk, Virginia began assembling ships in the United States before there was a United States, going back to the middle of the 18th century when North America was still a colonial holding of the British. In the centuries since, it became one of the American Navy's most vital ports and shipyards, assembling and repairing tens of thousands of vessels through the American Civil War, two world wars, and the Second American Revolution. As the future of naval warfare shifted from intercontinental to interstellar, the old shipyard underwent yet another one of its centennial overhauls, as a go-between for ship parts and materials (including the barely-understood element zero) from Earth to Arcturus, where vessels were ultimately constructed. It was also here that Curt Pulliam, an agent in the Washington-based Secret Service for the United North American States, met with civilian starship engineer Katherine Callahan. The two struck up a whirlwind, if infrequent, romance that resulted in Jackson Curtis Pulliam's birth in 2151.
He lived an active childhood, enjoying the beginnings of martial arts training under his dad's guidance and growing up an ardent fan of baseball while decidedly not enjoying his early education. Prhaps he would have chosen to pursue a career on the diamond - or at least as far as high school - if his biotic potential hadn't manifested at a young age. At the time it was unknown why, but it seemed likely that Kat Pulliam's supervisory role in handling eezo shipments around the shipyard played a large role in Jace's development. Instead of a normal life as a prom king in the wings, Jackson Pulliam found himself shipped off to Biotic Acclimation and Temperence Training.
If the expectation was that the young man would finally grow into a model student when surrounded by other biotics, perhaps grow into a leader of his peers through his great personal charm, then Jackson was a complete disappointment. Judged on the merits of any trainee, however, he was decidedly average. BAaT's training regimen was harsh and violent, and many students found themselves on the brink of physical and mental collapse, but Jace's athletic background and discipline had prepared him for something as simple as punishment and the rigors of training. If anything, the stresses were the things he enjoyed; it was the very nature of his biotic abilities that he seemed to lack interest in developing. He only displayed real prowess with defensive measures and some mild offensive techniques, with not enough result to give him the fights he really craved. As for the aforementioned personal charms, they worked - long enough for Jace to start sleeping his way through camp and sparking up fight clubs with some of the rowdier students.
By the time the program was shut down, Jace had decided he needed something a bit more thrilling than your average military man, and he lingered at home for a few boring months watching movies, doing recreational drugs, and sleeping with a different girl or two every weekend. Finally, during a showing of an old Terminator movie on a classic movie channel and laughing at the special effects, the (admittedly very stoned) Pulliam realized that the idea of stuntwork appealed to him. It meant rubbing shoulders with glamorous people; it meant connections in an industry that was positively rolling in money; it meant explosions, punches, and all general manners of fucking shit up.
At the age of 21, he borrowed enough money from his parents to go to the Citadel for the first time, where he began working for an asari film production company - although admittedly, it took some time on the casting couch for a young human with no film studies background to be trusted to do so much as walk near a camera. He proved himself more than capable of taking a punch, though, or of standing in for an actor as a body double during strenuous fight scenes. His loud, brash personality meant that generally by the end of production, everyone on the crew wanted to take a swing at him, too - creating a perpetual motion cycle of schlocky action movies, one after the other, that took no time to produce and put money in his pocket until the next one. It was easy work, fun work, but not something to do for the rest of one's life.
By happenstance, one of the movies he was working on early in 2173 - Second Contact: The Many Saints of Shanxi, a sequel to a First Contact War movie with more than a couple unfortunate racial overtones - happened to star a turian martial artist who went by the mononym Cipher. Cipher had carved out a solid niche as a top ten contender in the Galactic Combat Sports League and during production, he struck up several conversations with young human stunt double whose neck he was supposed to snap with his bare hands. Impressed by Jackson's lifelong grasp of martial arts and his respect for the game, Cipher began leveraging his connections to get Pulliam a few amateur fights. His showings in each of the three were more impressive than the last, and by 2174 he was fighting professionally full-time.
This new career path was one of two things that helped patch up his relationship with his father, which had grown frosty after Jackson's departure for the Citadel; the other was his mother's sudden cancer diagnosis, which had blindsided his parents back on Earth while Jace was making his bones in the GCSL. At first, his visits to see her were as frequent as he could make them. But by now, he was devoting more and more of his time to fighting and training, with more vigor than he had ever pursued anything. He had met a girl, too - Charlotte Hunt, an interviewer for the GCSL who went from an occasional drink date to a truly serious relationship. As his life blossomed, he began sacrificing more and more time with his ailing mother to build a life as a fighter, traveling the galaxy and making a name for himself. In 2174, he spent five months out of the year on Earth; that time was halved in 2175, and by the time she died in 2176 he hadn't been to see her since her previous birthday the year before. He set his anguish aside and kept working. It was all he could do to stay sane, and he hoped it would be of some comfort to his old man.
Then his father died too.
Much was made of the assassination of President Enrique Aguilar and CPF Premier Ying Xiong in 2176; the assassin received weeks of free media on his backstory, his manifesto, and the lethal potential of the military-grade Locust he had used to carry out the murders. Effusive posthumous praise was also heaped on Premier Ying, for giving his life in a heroic but failed attempt to shield Aguilar from the bullets. But that was not Ying's job to perform - it was Curt Pulliam's, and he was one of two Secret Service agents who died apprehending the gunman. In months, Jace had lost both of his parents, and on top of that, Charlotte had come to him between the deaths of his mother and his father to announce she was pregnant with their first child. Robbed of his own parents and faced with the daunting prospect of becoming one, there was only one outlet remaining to Jackson to exorcise his fear, anxiety, and grief. So he used that outlet.
His first opponent after the death of both his parents was a salarian grappler who had no business being anywhere in the cage with Jackson that night, and Jackson had proved it. He beat the salarian until the poor alien could hardly stand, until one giant black eye had swollen shut with blood and swelling, and then finished the fight with an anguished scream and a head kick that could well have broken the other fighter's neck. He felt no guilt, no fear of reprisal, nothing. He just wanted to keep fighting.
He would, but not for the GCSL. The sheer optics of pummeling an opponent within an inch of his helpless life, live on the omni-tools of millions, necessitated Jace's release from the organization, and doors started to close on Jace faster than he could knock on them. The only alternative he had remaining to him was Omega, where the line between combat sports and sentient cockfighting was blurred underneath the neon of the casinos and the muck and blood that masticated the bars. He knew it wouldn't go over with his pregnant girlfriend, and it didn't. She pleaded with him to find another profession, to let her help him work something out, not to risk raising a son or daughter in the grime of Omega.
So he left without them.
Three years have passed since he lost one half of his family and abandoned the other, and the gains he's made in Omega were not worth the cost. In Omega, the fights have no meaning; nothing he does goes on a pro record, there are no championships, and there are no beautiful women to interview a man while he basks in his glory. There is only one fight, then the next, then the next, and using whatever money you're wise enough to bet on yourself (or your opponent, for the weaker but wilier fighters) to survive in the meantime. Jace has scraped this meager, violent existence together for three years. He has finally had enough of it.
But not enough of fighting. He never could get enough of fighting.
"The ground is an ocean, I am a shark, and most people don't even know how to swim."E Q U I P M E N T
Space is rife with people who are accomplished with a gun in hand. Jackson is no exception to this; he is gifted with both a pistol and a submachine gun, especially the latter - where he has honed his skill time and again with one particular weapon, the M-12 Locust. At longer ranges his skill starts to diminish, and his aim with a shotgun is spotty at best, but mid-range firefights are where he is most comfortable - and it is at close-range, when the weapons gap is closed, where Jackson truly shines.
In a galaxy full of biotics and gunslingers, the majority of mercenaries have neglected the original weapons they were all born with - their bodies. Beyond the understanding it takes to throw a basic punch or kick, most combatants in the galaxy haven't put in the years of education, practice, and sparring with martial artists or boxers. Jackson has been learning to fight since he was seven years old, with knowledge in judo, jiu-jitsu, and kickboxing. In his time as a professional fighter he picked up a workable knowledge of amon'fa, a deadly form of drell striking performed with open hands and knife-like, chopping motions. His abilities in a fight stem from his knowledge and technique as much as the blind, raw strength favored by angry mercenaries in street fights, leaving him capable of incapacitating or even killing two or three untrained opponents at a time.
Though he was never more than an average, unmotivated student at BAaT, Jackson found life in a fighting cage more conducive to his education. Professional blood sports, especially on Omega, allowed for cybernetics and biotics within the cage, meaning that the human couldn't just rest on his laurels when it came to his fighting prowess; he had to get inventive in guarding against both, and he did, utilizing a mix of protective barriers to guard from dangerous blows and throws to keep opponents at range for his strikes. The years, and a risky upgrade to an L3 implant, have only increased his prowess as a biotic in ways that may have brought a wry smirk out of old, dead Vyrrnus.
A B I L I T I E S
Kassa Fabrications M-12 Locust - The weapon that killed his father. Jackson has refined his skill with this weapon to the point where he knows it almost as well as he knows his body. Though it may strike some more hardened mercenaries as a strange choice for a go-to weapon, it works well with the cage fighter's style of combat - and, if the letters 'p o p' carved into the grip have any significance, it also serves to reflect the simple, sentimental nature of the Earth-born cowboy who once was.
Hahne-Kedar Shadow Works Cobra - A small, but highly efficient pistol designed by the eggheads at H-K as a next-generation sidearm for private security and military. It doesn't pack quite the same amount of punch as an equivalent weapon of turian make, but its recoil and ability to squeeze off enough rounds for the kill before overheating doesn't leave much to be desired.
Ariake Technologies Light Mercenary Armor - Ariake's top-of-the-line Ronin armor models stack well against any human-made product on the market. This is not Ronin armor. This lightweight armor, the color of burnished copper with a score of scratches, scuffs, and hastily-buffed plasma singes, is what mercenaries across the galaxy like to call company armor. It was bought second-hand off a member of Eclipse and repainted before being bought by Jackson - who, it could be said, acquired it third-hand. It makes little difference to him, since the human is accustomed to taking most of his fights head on and with no armor at all. Anything would be an improvement.
L3 Implant - Like most of the first real wave of affected humans, Jace was fitted with an L2 biotic implant through much of his adolescence. While some biotic preferred the raw edge that the precursor implants gave them, they also came with a set of debilitating side effects ranging from intense migraines to potential outright psychosis. In Jackson's case, the L2 was a double edged sword; keeping it in his brain was obviously killing it, if the roiling pains in his temples that were plaguing him by age 24 were anything to go by, but the procedure to switch to a safer L3 was invasive and high-risk. In the end, Jackson underwent the procedure; the side effects of his L2 were beginning to interfere with his fights and preparations, and any brain damage risk he accepted from the surgery was about equal to the odds he took on being beaten insensate twice by an angry turian three times a year. His L3 has given him no problems since, and he was never enough of a biotic god savant to notice the difference in his powers, anyway.
Logic Arrest Tool - An omni-tool brand preferred by the Alliance rank and file and lower-grade officers, this omni-tool was acquired by Jackson during one of his stays on the Citadel. Many professional fighters utilized cybernetics or implants in their bodies and incorporated these enhancements into their fight plans, and he was interested in the potential of using tech to neutralize these advantages. In the end, this idea never went anywhere - it was just as likely that an omni-tool wearer would gut an opponent as it was that he would hack him - but Jace still has the tool, blade and all. So maybe there was some merit to the commission's complaints.
PSYCH PROFILET R A I T S
V I C E S
P O S I T I V E
N E G A T I V E
H A U N T
S E X
God's gift to his chosen species. Jackson first lost his virginity at BAaT to one of the trainees (by now he's forgotten her name) and showed no signs of slowing after the program dissolved. His job as a movie stuntman was a good icebreaker on dates (and, better yet, an excuse to rub shoulders with the cute assistants of the galaxy's thespians), and to this day he can still entertain a girl for hours with tales of his time on the silver screen. After his failure to settle down with his nascent family, his womanizing ways have returned, and he is happy to cultivate short-term flings and connections that wither in weeks, if not days.
"Do I know Blasto? He threw me through half the camera crew on the set of Blasto II: Blast Again Tomorrow. Still calls me on my birthday."
S P O R T S
Jackson's fighting days are done for now, but his love of the game will go with him to his grave. He will still illegally stream events from all four major galactic fighting commissions from his omni-tool, and at times the sounds of his own fight analysis will ring out through the gym - and, depending on the brutality or genius of the combat display before him, possibly the entire deck. He also streams biotic-ball, but his knowledge of that sport is far more casual; poker tournaments are an occasional feature, as well.
C I G A R S
An appreciation for fine cigars is one thing Jackson started to pick up when he was on the fighting circuit. He grew up in a household teeming with hand rolled cigars, which his father enjoyed; high quality cigars were made on Earth, of course, but the agriculture colonies at Edem Prime were also a household favorite. When he started earning the money to truly afford them, they were Jace's favorites as well - for a time. His tastes are a little bit fancier now, and though they may not be the wisest financial move, he likes to savor the good shit, straight from Bekenstein. The perks of making money, indeed.
D R I V E
G Y M
Jace has set up shop in the gym of Achilles and is slowly molding it to resemble one of the specialized fight camps standard to professional fighters across the galaxy. The gym is more than just weights to mindlessly lift to heavy music or machines for cardio - though it features both in spades. A circular section of the center of the room has been cordoned off as an impromptu ring for wrestling or sparring, and punching bags and kicking stands stand vigil in a larger circle. A small entertainment center has been set up for music or movies while working out, flanked by a horseshoe bar that is not as impressive as the ones in the crew lounge or rec rooms, but still serviceable. Blunted knives, clubs, and even a pair of nunchaku hang from the walls in the event that someone wants to shake things up a bit. Jace sleeps in the gym more often than not, sleeping on a comfortable-looking mat behind the bar raised up on a slight platform.
Jackson has no burning need to prove himself...per se. His nature is that of a warrior and competitor, and he has beaten and been beaten; conquered and been conquered; how could anyone who has weathered and enjoyed the fights that he has need to prove himself? The voice in the back of his head does not scream that he needs to prove himself; it challenges him to challenge himself. He was a student at BAaT, protected by his youth; then he was a stuntman, merely replicating dangerous activities for the rich and famous; fighting was the greatest joy he's ever known, but even that was still in a cage with rules and referees, judges analyzing his performance and fans to cheer or jeer. Security work is lawless, the possibilities limitless. He wants to see how he thrives in such an environment.
As far as his family goes, he has not gotten over the near-simultaneous loss of his parents, and it in turn led to him fleeing from his own growing family. He feels some regret over this, but not as much as he would feel if he settled down too soon; through mercenary work, he hopes to move past the deaths of those who mattered most to him, and decide for himself the kind of future he wants - and hopefully find a point where he's ready to be a father.