golonghorns: (Default)
Kissletoes Memorystravaganza.

....hoooo boy.

-Being a single Dad in a small town near Austin Texas. Barbecues, soccer practice, Sunday Football. All of that.
-The day his world went from normal to notzombie apocalypse, including the shooting death of his daughter.
-Falling out with Tommy over the Fireflies and separating from him.
-Living however he could. Year after year of terrible, violent, reprehensible acts that nevertheless allowed him to keep breathing.
-Meeting Ellie.
-Tess dying.
-Realizing that he actually cared quite a bit about Ellie and wanted her to not only be safe, but have a good life.
-Getting a bit of steel through his guts and being saved by Ellie.
-Staggering and killing his way through a village of armed cannibals to save Ellie and finding that she'd killed David and was in desperate need of a hug.
-Saving her from the Hospital after he'd killed everyone inside, pretty much damning the Human race.
-Arriving in Smash Academy's woods.
-The last eight months of trying to remember how to be normal.
golonghorns: (Default)

Out-of-Character Information

Name: Jim
Are you over 15?: Twice!
Time Zone: California time.
Personal Journal: [personal profile] jimim
Reliable Method of Contact: monotreme101 is my AIM and not_geoffrey@yahoo.co.nz is my email! But PMing any of my accounts is good too.
Other characters in the game: Knuckles, Jon Talbain and Sonny Moe Snorlax
Link to slot request if 6th, 7th slot: Nope!
Anything Else?: I don't have a Plurk at this point so if plotting with me is a thing you would like to do, PM, email or AIM is best!

In-Character Information

Name: Joel Miller. (His last name is never mentioned in the American game so far as I can find but in the Japanese version it's said to be Miller so we'll go with that. He'll probably never mention it unless asked anyway.)
Game/Series: The Last of Us
Teacher/Student/Other: Teacher
Canon Point: Post game - he and Ellie made it back to Tommy's power station.
Age: 49
Grade Level/Class Taught/Job: Wood shop. All grades. Every grade. Come learn how to build bird houses and stuff to hit people with
Dorm or Living Arrangement: Teacher's dorm.

Joel had a rough start in life. He wound up raising his younger brother Tommy from a relatively early age. How early, he never says. And where his parents went, he also never says. It's implied that while he did his best, there was a lot he didn't do WELL and even as adults, there's some friction there because of that. He got married and became a father quite young, probably right after finishing high school. He never got to go to college or trade school. As a student, anyway. His wife left him soon after his daughter was born and he raised her as a single father, learning a trade and becoming a carpenter along with his brother. He eventually wanted to own his own business, and while he worked hard, often working into the very late hours of the night, he did make as much time for his daughter Sarah as he was able. Taking her to soccer and out on hiking trips.

Which all sounds like it should go into the backstory section, I know! However, it's more for the sake of contrast. You see, Joel used to be a decent, hard working guy with ambitions and things in his life he very much cared about. Before September 29 of 2013, that is.

After that point, he had to change. Because the Zombie apocalypse... oh... uh... I mean the Cordyceps fungus infected person apocalypse started that day. Right after his Birthday. At like 2am-ish. And he had to kill his neighbor. (Who's name was Jimmy. So sad. Such a promising guy with a wonderful name.) And then after some other appropriately terrible things happened, the worst possible thing that could happen actually happened and a soldier tried to kill him and his daughter. But only managed to kill one of them. And it wasn't him. So... y'know. That broke his heart into a trillion little pieces.

Over the next 20 years, Joel became a very different man out of necessity. He is known to be ruthless and unyeilding. He's murdered in cold blood before and as much as it might have tortured him once, his conscience has been battered, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. He's done what he felt he had to do to survive and if he allowed himself to get cut up over it, he would have withered and died long ago. That isn't to say his conscience is clear. A more apt way of thinking about it is that he simply doesn't allow himself to get hung up on it. His inner Jiminy Cricket is under strict lock and key.

Killing isn't an issue for Joel. If you're a threat, he will kill you without any visible pause or reluctance. That isn't to say he enjoys killing or gets any kind of pleasure out of dispensing death. But he'll do it without blinking and move on to the next target. Almost everyone he meets in his job as a smuggler or in his travels with Ellie is either out to kill him or screw him over and he has no patience for either kind of person. Those who have seen him fight his way through an area definitely get a particular impression from him. He's a crazy man. A ruthless killing machine. Some kind of monster. Death in dirty plaid. Even the CANNIBALS think his innate ability to kill a shitton of people is spectacularly terrible and he needs to be wiped out along with anyone he knows. And these guys eat other guys. For real.

He's also no stranger to 'enhanced interrogation' and will use it to get information he needs if it's important enough. It's probably worthwhile noting that anyone we SEE him interrogate also gets killed. Whether this is mercy (Considering the things he's done to these folks, you could chalk it up to being a mercy killing.) or to prevent any kind of repocussions from letting someone with a severe grudge survive, he doesn't let on. (He's not as inventive as Trevor from GTAV but he actually gets pretty good results without use of a car battery sooooo....)

He's more than a little paranoid. Anyone he meets is a subject of suspicion and scrutiny until he's sure he has a handle on their intentions. He CAN form friendships once a person reveals themselves to be somewhat trustworthy and he can forgive mistakes or decisions made in the interest of self preservation (An example being Henry, who he initially tries to kill because he thinks Henry is in league with some Hunters who have been giving him and Ellie trouble, though once this is shown not to be the case they form an alliance. Later, Henry abandons him and Ellie when their escape route is compromised. They meet up again later after Ellie and Joel wind up jumping into a fast flowing river and fall unconscious and Henry grabs them out. And while Joel's initial impulse is to shoot Henry for ditching them, he is won over by Henry's logic which amounted to 'It was nothing personal but I didn't have time and you would have done exactly the same thing. But then I dragged your ass out of the river so we should be cool, right?') but it's hard to get on his good side and stay there. Even with the people he's close to, like his partner Tess, he is short tempered, gruff and impatient. Not to mention cynical and pessimistic. He doesn't generally talk more than he needs to to get his point across. Ellie being the exception. And to a lesser extent, his brother Tommy.

He doesn't like talking about himself especially and is pretty good at deflecting any questions that get into even remotely personal territory. He won't talk about his daughter or his ex-wife or where he lives or where he's been or what he thinks about any given topic that he thinks might compromise his position in any way shape or form. However, he's happy to talk about all the things that annoy him about whatever it is you're doing. So. Enjoy that. I guess.

He does care deeply about the people he choses to be close to, however. Tess sacrificed herself for Joel and Ellie after she'd been infected. And Joel is reluctant to talk about her any time afterwards. The memory is painful to him and it's obvious he feels her loss keenly. They had worked together for a while and he had come to rely on her and care about her. He couldn't even admit to Bill, a mutual contact of he and Tess, that she'd died.

This is further evidenced by the fact that, y'know. He pretty much damned the entire remainder of the human race to save Ellie. 'The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one? No, screw that, screw you, screw everyone ever. I'm getting my baby girl back.'* But the fact is, he would do anything and pay pretty much any price to ensure that Ellie stays safe. As much as he may have initially protested her presence in his life, by the end of the game it's clear he regards her as a second daughter and woe betide anyone who tries to harm her. He struggled through a village of heavily armed cannibals with a still mostly unhealed hole through his lower abdomen to try and save her. Which was pretty amazing. (Though, she'd done a pretty great job of taking care of herself and killing the head cannibal creeper guy and a bunch of other dudes besides.) She had effectively saved his life after the accident that caused him to have a hole all the way through his body, catching food for the two of them and keeping him warm with the one blanket they had while she herself slept on the floor with her backpack as a pillow. And he states later in the year that he wants to teach her to play guitar. He even offers to just end their quest and take her back to his Brother's city so they can live a normal, happy life. Her determination to finish what they started, however, sees him escorting her the rest of the way despite his misgivings.

Though, he can pretty effectively cut people out of his life, even if he does care about them, should they make that necessary. His world view and his Brother's world view were pretty different (His brother being all 'optimistic' and 'hopeful' and all those other wonderful things that Joel isn't by this point.) and it caused a lot of arguments. Eventually they split up, and though this seemed to be more on Tommy's part than Joel's, he didn't seek any kind of reconciliation until much later when he needed Tommy's help to locate the Fireflies. Once together again, they got along just fine for the most part. But it had been a long time and it was obvious Tommy was more moved initially by the reunion than Joel was despite being the one that told Joel he never wanted to see him again. (Make up your mind, man. Way to be wishy washy.)

In short, he has a very hard exterior and appears cold and cruel in many ways. But there's a decent guy in there somewhere who's just been repeatedly crushed under everything else, and frankly more than most could bear. Maybe some time in a place where he doesn't constantly fear for his life will loosen him up a bit.

(*Not an actual quote.)

Handy dandy wiki link

He arrived at Smash Academy entirely by accident. Having returned to Tommy's city in the old power plant in Jackson County Wyoming, he and Ellie were able to start trying to live a normal life. Infected tended to wander into the area every so often but not in great numbers - open air areas with a lot of wind don't lend themselves to the growth of cordyceps fungus so being out in the wilderness was a definite boon. More trouble came in the form of raiders and bandits. But being as Joel is a pretty good marksman and owns a sizeable arsenal? Even those attacks started to dwindle.

The always present problem was food - with a lot of people to feed, there was always a demand for meat. They grew their own crops and they could fish. But Joel would often go hunting with Ellie in the woods to bring in rabbit, deer, and whatever other fuzzy quadrapeds were around to be shot at with arrows.

He and Ellie got seperated at one point and that was OK. They knew these woods pretty well by now and how to get back. But the longer he walked, the more unfamiliar the woods got. And eventually he found that this was an entirely different set of woods with an entirely different kind of wildlife. Time and space had gotten all wibbly-wobbly (Maybe he walked too close to the Blair Witches house?) and he had walked himself right into the woods out back of the school.

Anything Else?:
-Joel likes country music. Mostly older stuff.
-He also loves to play guitar and wanted to be a singer when he was younger. However, he is reluctant to sing now.
-He was a fan of football and possibly soccer, being as his daughter played pretty well.
-He seems to have a soft spot for dogs.
-Before September 29, 2013, his world was entirely normal. Same history as ours. So he has memories of things we would consider current. Though, to him, it's 20 years ago.
-This also means that he doesn't know any people who aren't humans. So. That's going to be... a thing.

In-Character 1st person sample:
[Here's a guy who doesn't look at all comfortable at a computer. But he's managed to set himself up with a video post anyway. Because that might be better, should Ellie somehow come across it.]

Look, I never took the brown acid, OK? So I got no idea why a giant hand would tell me I'm teaching carpentry at this school. Wood shop. Whatever. Maybe I've finally gone nuts...

[A pause. Beard stroking pause. Glaring at the camera pause.]

Look, I gotta get back to where I'm from. Nice to see somewhere in the world hasn't been over run by infected or hunters yet. Y'all have a nice set up here. But I need to find a way back to where I'm supposed to be. I got people relyin' on me, OK? Anyone can help me out with that, I'd be somewhat obliged.

....Ellie, you happen to see this, let me know. I'm in the teachers dorms.

In-Character 3rd person sample:
He struck out into the woods again.

It was 6am and the sun wasn't up yet. He had to find his way back to Jackson County. If he'd walked here from there, it was only reasonable to figure he could walk back. He'd tried this every day for the past three weeks.

...nice to walk through the woods and not have to worry about bandits. Raiders. Undiscovered nests full of clickers. Nice, but not nice enough for him to stay. He had to get back to Ellie and Tommy and the others. They needed him in the city. He was the best shot they had and it wasn't as though no-one else would ever try to muscle their way in to the power plant. Wishful thinking wasn't one of his strong suits.

More than anything, though, he worried about Ellie thinking he'd abandonned her. Or died somewhere. He remembered what she'd said to him once. "Everyone I have cared for has either died or left me. Everyone — fucking except for you! So don't tell me I would be safer with somebody else, because the truth is I would just be more scared." And, regretfully, he remembered his reply. "You're right...You're not my daughter, and I sure as hell ain't your dad. And we are going our separate ways." Ouch. What an asshole.

Well. He had the rest of his natural life to make it up to her. Assuming he could find his way out of this damned forest.

He hunkered down for a second. He could hear approaching footsteps. His hands found their way to his latest section of pipe and he grit his teeth, springing out from behind a tree and slashing at the throat of.... some kind of giant yellow bird?

Jesus. Did he just kill a Sesame Street character?

He'd never seen a chocobo before. But it didn't matter. There were lots of things he'd never seen around here. He finished cutting off the head and the legs and strapped it to the bottom of his backpack. Hey, if he DID get back to Jackson county? This would feed almost everyone tonight. If he didn't? He could probably give it to the school cafeteria. Apparently the lunch ladies name was Nancy. He wouldn't mind meeting her, actually. Maybe she could make him some meatloaf.


Oh also DR post.


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December 2014

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