User Name/Nick: Meredith
User DW: Sidhebeingbrand
AIM/IM: Tejarik/ Shiplizard at gmail dot com
E-mail: Shiplizard at gmail dot com
Other Characters: Vasilia Aliena, Richard Riddick
Character Name: Nathan Hendricks
Series: The Dresden Files (Novels)
Age: Early 40s
From When?: The end of Changes
WARDEN: While Hendricks works for the mob, he does so in the capacity of moral compass and general ego deflater. He knows that he lives squarely in the gray area of morality, but serves as an example of a man making the moral-best out of a bad situation.
He has the strength of his convictions and can take, and argue, an ethical stand. He actively seeks to reduce harm and mitigate the collateral damage of his industry.
Item: A Droid smartphone
Abilities/Powers: 21st century Human standard.
Personality: At heart, Hendricks is a pacifistic, pedantic guy who loves the modernists and would like to get into teaching. Nature went ahead and gave him the face of a bruiser, the body of a gorilla, and bright red hair. He's aware of the external perception of him as a thug, and allows it to roll over him as camouflage.
An acquaintances with crimelord John Marcone has forced him deeper into the Thug role-- after all, Marcone chiseled out his own identity as Mafia Don, a character almost as artificial as Hendricks'. The fewer people understand that John is the real brutal, violent one, and that his hulking bodyguard is the moral compass and common-sense double-check, the less danger they're both in. Despite his intensive knowledge of philosophy and modernist poetry, he communicates through standard-issue threats ("get in the car. It'll be better for your knees") and grunts. He'll even count on his fingers just to be a dick and play up his brainless-buttonman schtick. (Harry Dresden to this day thinks that he was counting on his fingers for HIS benefit and not Harry's. Hendricks, on the other hand, thought that the wizard couldn't keep up without a visual aid.)
He thinks more than he talks; a lot more than he talks. His friends are trained in his monosyllabic native tongue-- his employer can pick the culturally accessible quote he has in mind out of a single grunt. Forced to talk to strangers and enemies, he's come to default to simple, short statements. It's not easy for him to open up and really get rolling. At this point, it's almost dangerous for him to-- which does grate on him. After all, being treated like a moron tends to rankle.
He disapproves of killing, but when he needs to do so does so thoroughly (and not cruely). He avoids extremism in his own thoughts and practices and examines his impulses and instincts, quantifies and qualifies them. He is fastidious and picky even about his emotions.
He is an agnostic who has been slapped in the face with the existance of demons and angels; he is braced to deal with the inexplicable aspects of the barge. After all, the Chicago he currently inhabits is a pit of monster and vampire activity. An interdimensional prison barge isn't outside the realm of possibility at all, and psychoanalyzing the admiral should be... interesting?
Canon is not clear on young Hendricks' life-- at best guess, he had a fairly normal life-- single mother, older brother, nice suburbs, school-- and probably would be happily ensconced in academia if he hadn't had an attack of Principle and decided a) that he wouldn't make his mother finance him through a philosophy degree and b) that he was going to be a Good Soldier and a Credit to his Country.
He enlisted in the military full of ideals, and met a violent, brilliant young man who taught him how to kill. Later, when said violent, brilliant young man had left the army, changed his name to John Marcone, and quietly taken over most of Chicago's underworld, Hendricks was tapped for the job of bodyguard, moral guidance counselor, and criminal civil engineer in the task of making the drug and prostitution industries as least harmful as they could be.
Canon takes over in 2001, after one of Hendricks' coworkers, Tommy Tomm, was murdered by what seemed to be an explosive heart attack. (A condition so contagious that it happened to the woman he was having sex with as well.) A quiet, intense investigation turned up only one explanation, over and over again-- magic.
Hendricks, along with his employer, went to go talk to Chicago's only practicing wizard-- or at least the only one listed in the phonebook. Enter Harry Dresden, who turned out to be the real thing, not a crank-- and then things went to shit.
As Marcone was dragged into a whole new arena of politics-- one including faeries, vampires, retired gods, demons and werewolves-- Hendricks followed grimly along with him.
This new playing ground meant a need for new muscle; Marcone contracted out a retired god, and for a ruinous payment now has a genuine taker-of-the-slain Valkyrie on staff-- name of Sigrun, call her Ms. Gard. Working with her, Hendricks gained a much wider knowledge of the magical world and of philosophy--and someone he didn't have to pretend to be stupid for.
Things were going well. THen in 2011, Harry Dresden was murdered, and the resulting magical/political power vacuum brought all the monsters back to the Chicago yard; now Hendricks, Gard, and Marcone are part of not so much a crime syndicate as a human resistance movement, pushing back the things that go bump in the night. He enters the barge from the end of a long, dark year, willing to sell his services if he can just bring some hope to the city.
Sample Journal Entry: Hey. [It's a low grunt, and he looks embarassed just to be getting people's attention.] Wondering. Since we've got all kinds of people on the barge.
[There's just no way to say this within his mental approved scripts of The Brainless Thug. He bites the bullet.]
People who aren't from Earth circa twentieth-twenty-first century, I'm interested in your cultures' takes on biological determinism-- the roles of the genders, how those roles are implied by biology, any caste or racial distinctions you draw. I want to see what's changed between now and then, or then and now.
It's for my thesis.
[He nearly winces. It's been... a long time since he talked that much. Even among friends he relies on them knowing what he means.]
Hendricks had spent every day for a week in the library and still hadn't run out of things he wanted to explore. An actual annotated copy of the Rules of Acquisition had his attention, but the writings of Surak were screaming his name from a few shelves down. If he could just do his thesis on this-- but 'philosophies of fictional cultures' just wouldn't cut it. And 'The ramifications of fictional archetypes as fully realized culture' would get him some very dubious looks.
He could tell John, at least. Men who go to the Allfather for their security contracting weren't allowed to throw stones about ostensibly-fictional people who turned out to be real.