foolishwren: rise up above it rise up above it (rip you to pieces and tear you apart)
Heather Mason ([personal profile] foolishwren) wrote2014-07-17 05:51 am
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Name: Kit
AIM: Phantastus
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Other Characters: N/A

Character Name: Heather Mason
Age: 17
Canon: Silent Hill
Canon Point: The tail-end of Silent Hill 3. She remembers killing the final boss and starting to walk away, but that's it.
Character Information: Heather's complete history is told pretty thoroughly between this Wiki article on Alessa, her past life self, focusing on her role in the events of Silent Hill(s) 0 and 1, and this article focusing on Heather's reincarnated life and the events of Silent Hill 3.
The Book of Lost Memories is another good resource for the history if the Wikis aren't sufficient.
If a written history would work better, let me know and I'll write one!

On the surface, Heather is a perfect example of your average attitude-laden modern teenager. Bright, but disdainful of school. Hard-working when it comes to the stuff she cares about, but also prone to youthful irresponsibility. Frequently moody and sarcastic, but a fun-loving goofball at heart. She's the sort of kid you'd expect to see loitering around a mall with a gaggle of friends, gossipping and giggling over ugly clearance-rack stuff in Macy's or scarfing down pizza at the food court. She's rowdy, sharp-tongued, fiercely independent, and has a short-tempered chip on her shoulder the size of a brick. As hotheaded as they come, she can be prone to rushing headlong into situations that might land her in hot water, but fortunately also possesses the creativity, resourcefulness, and quick-thinking that allows her to get back out of it-- well, most of the time. At age seventeen, she straddles the fence between childhood and adulthood, having grown up far too fast in some ways while remaining distinctly childish in others.

To anyone meeting her for the first time, it would be easy to write her off as a wild, slightly airheaded tomboy-- all summertime and hot sunlight and running around the neighborhood doing wild airheaded tomboy things.

As one might expect, there's a lot more than that going on under the surface.

Growing up with a loving but paranoid single father who preached constant caution crafted Heather into a very wary creature, her daredevil nature in direct conflict with (or perhaps partially because of) the secrecy and perpetual air of stranger-danger she grew up surrounded by. Heather constantly see-saws between a thrill-seeking YOLO mindset and a 'Trust no one' philosophy. She was taught to hold her own in a scrap but not to pick fights (not that that... stops her), to run fast and hard but know when to go to ground (or seek higher ground), and to always, always be on her guard. Despite being a brash, impulsive person, she is usually much more aware of potential dangers than she lets on. There are a lot of hands in the world that she doesn't want to fall into, and she's good at keeping herself out of them. That said, she's been up and down the stupid rebel kid route, picking up a lot of unfortunate Rebellious Youth Habits (tm) along the way. She makes references in canon to being something of a trouble-maker, with a history of smoking, underage drinking, and even shoplifting (most are habits she's tried to kick by the beginning of her story, stating that she quit cigarettes "for good", and isn't a thief, even if she "might act like one now and then")-- and although she's a fairly honest person at heart, she has no qualms about blatantly lying to or tricking strangers. Due to an incident in her early childhood where her father was treated as a murder suspect (for shooting a home invader that had tracked them down with the express interest of kidnapping her, no less!), she severely mistrusts authority and is likely to sneer at anything with a badge.

Relatedly, long-lasting childhood friendships were a thing that just didn't happen, due to constant relocation. The shooting incident had been a major wakeup call for her father, who now realized that the cult he had rescued her from was more than capable of hunting them down, so from an early age Heather grew up adopting a different name and an altered appearance, bouncing from town to town every couple years or so. She has little attachment to material positions when it comes down to it and is quick to shed her usual enjoyment of shopping and basic teenage girl stuff in favor of more practical things if the need arises. The ongoing lack of a really solid place to call home has made her adaptable to change, able to quickly pick up her life and move on to safer pastures, but that lifestyle didn't come without costs. Without the security of a permanent home or outside-the-family connections, her father was the one pillar of stability in her life-- a pillar that sadly wouldn't last forever, despite his unfailing devotion. She never had a terribly hard time fitting into new schools (on the surface she usually has no trouble being sociable and friendly), but her relationships with her peers were frequently shallow. Upon entering her teens, she started to resent her father's well-meaning but stifling protectiveness and acted out more and more, falling in with bad crowds and flagrantly defying his authority. But even as she loped around on the wrong side of the tracks, deep down she took her father's teachings to heart. As such, her trust is and probably always will be a difficult thing to earn in full, and she is reluctant to let people get too close. This reluctance is covered up by her class-clown exterior, an exuberant and playful facade that usually tends to throw people off the scent when it comes to sniffing out the chinks in her armor. Nobody expects the girl hollering 'HEY GUYS, GET A LOAD OF THIS' and trying to do flips off the monkey bars to have any dark secrets.

That said, people who show her real kindness (after, you know, proving they're not just doing it to get something from her first) are something she cherishes, particularly because the only individual in her life who truly had her best interests at heart was her father, making genuine good intentions something of a rarity in her experience. Other kids tend to get on Heather's sympathy radar, especially ones who, like her, have led difficult lives (adults tend to have a harder time getting close to her-- more on that later). To the people she cares about, her affection is heartfelt and freely-given, characterized most often by playful aggression. If you've managed to worm your way into her heart, you can expect frequent bearhugs, spontaneous wrestling matches, and merciless teasing. Because under all the deep-rooted trust/intimacy issues, Heather is still a just a troubled kid who's aching to fill the considerably-sized hole in her life left behind by her father's death. Heather's loyalty is hard-received, but once it's earned, you're family. Congratulations on your new big/little sister.

But unsurprisingly for a survival-horror protagonist, there's even more to it and not all of it is pretty. Underneath the peppy exterior/layer of caution and secrecy, Heather has an inner hardness that surrounds a veritable hotbed of emotional scarring-- her trust issues run far deeper than even the paranoia she inherited from her father. Especially after her return to Silent Hill, an ordeal in which she was thrust into a period of direct, prolonged mortal peril, Heather's previously-reliable methods of dealing with the world were dramatically altered. In the wake of everything, Heather is likely to exhibit symptoms of PTSD and exist in 'survival-mode' whether or not she's in immediate danger-- instinctively checking rooms for escape routes, mentally planning ways to utilize anything nearby as a weapon, etc. The experience put her physical strength to the test as well, and now more than ever she's come to rely on sprinting, jumping, climbing-- anything that can give her the edge against things much bigger and meaner than she is. While she's more than willing to get her hands dirty in a scrap (and even has a tough time backing down when blatantly challenged), she also has very few qualms about noping out of any situation that looks to be headed south in a way she doesn't like, whether it's an awkward conversation or a matter of life or death.

That said, although mostly confident in her ability to deal with danger, Heather is profoundly afraid of being caught off-guard or showing vulnerability-- an aversion which, at its core, is a desperate and terrified bid for survival that began long before even her birth, stretching all the way back into her past life as a girl named Alessa Gillespie.

Many of Heather's deepest fears come from the suppressed memories of this life. A few of the most direct carryovers are a generalized fear of fire, dogs, hospitals, churches/religious institutions, anything related to infants/pregnancy, and maternal figures. Her response to encountering these fears can be anywhere between 'gets mildly uncomfortable, would avoid if possible' to 'goes into full-blown panic attack'. Although she's usually pretty good at pushing her fears back to tolerable levels until she can safely break down somewhere else, she can only take so much before needing to end the situation by any means necessary. Unfortunately, Silent Hill likes to manifest your deepest fears in twisted, unexpected ways, and then force you to confront them without always including a means of escape. Even in her new life, Heather bears a permanent connection to her first life's fiery fate, making a significant portion of her fears come straight from the inside... literally in some cases (THANKS, PREGNANCY HORROR). While she likely abolishes it-- or at least the apocalyptic aspects of it-- over the course of her story, Heather is seemingly trapped in an endless, phoenix-like cycle of death and rebirth, represented by the Halo of the Sun, a constantly-present symbol bearing her own name in runes. Continuous respawns are pretty convenient when you're trying to stay alive, but as Heather notes at one point, dying still hurts. Even outside of the more-irrational phobias, Alessa's entire life was spent being heavily manipulated (when she wasn't being actively abused) by adults. Being born into that horrible environment from day one, she initially coped with it passively and tried to appease her abusers with obedience and good behavior (at least until she was made completely aware of the true nature of their sinister plans, at which point she threw everything she had into preventing those plans from coming to fruition). Thanks to those experiences, Heather is extremely reluctant to give any adult or other figure of power control or sway over her, lest they turn out to be interested in her for the wrong reasons. The cruel bullying she endured as Alessa, both from her schoolmates as well as her monstrous biological mother, left her with a tangled web of self-worth issues that she carries even now, despite having escaped into a new body and life.

She copes with these things first and foremost with humor, trying her best to hide her insecurities behind a steady barrage of jokes and sarcasm instead of showing fear or doubt (which she knows can be a doorway for someone to stick their foot into if she's not careful). Laugh at something long enough and eventually it seems less scary. Of course, laugh at something long enough and you end up a little desensitized too, so while Heather's intentions are harmless 99% of the time, she sometimes loses sight of of what's acceptable to joke about and what isn't. No, Heather, it's not okay to trick someone into thinking you're possessed/going to knife them. No, not even if it's a friendly prank. No, not even if it's somebody you like. ESPECIALLY not if it's someone you like. What is wrong with you. Twisted sense of humor or not, though, it does the trick and that's why Heather sticks with it. She'd rather laugh than cry, which is about the only other option when it comes to dealing with the things she faces. While it had taken an incredible amount of resilience and courage to do what she did as Alessa, Heather fears nothing more than once again feeling as powerless as she did when in the wicked clutches of her mother. Getting Heather to let her defenses down long enough for a hook to sink in, even a well-meaning one, can be a frustrating venture as she prefers to verbally dodge, dance, mock, and wriggle her way out of any grasping hands (even ones that seem benign) rather than ever again be snatched into a situation where death appears to be the only way out.

But even her own considerable perseverance/deflection-by-deadpan-snark gets shaky at times. Block off her escape routes, and the humor evaporates to reveal the desperation underneath: the caged creature she was in her first life is very much still alive, and it comes out the most visibly when she's encountered something that she can't laugh at anymore. At that point, she channels her fear into anger and toughness instead-- her first life was spent in misery from start to finish, but her second one gave her a taste of what's really out there. And she would rather kill than give that up.

Which brings us to... that little issue.

The fact is that for all her flaws, Heather is a pretty good kid. After all, she inherited her father's heart of gold, even if it occasionally gets a little grubby-looking. But despite her strength of character, she doesn't always act like a good kid. Even before being dragged back into the horrors of Silent Hill, she carried a switchblade on her at all times (stating that she just "liked to for some reason") and was generally quick to grow irritable and snap. If someone says the wrong thing, she'll whirl on them with a sharp tongue and sometimes even sharper intentions. She hesitates very little when it comes to resorting to violence, and is quick to acclimate to situations that involve taking lives. In fact, the first thing she vows after experiencing a devastating loss is to hunt down and kill the one who ordered her father's murder. Heather may have lived her life perpetually running away, but when the foot falls she is more than willing to shed the role of the hunted and become a pursuer instead.

Anger as a coping mechanism can lead down dark roads, and Heather possesses an innate, bloodthirsty hunger for justice when wronged. She is not insane, but such dark experiences do change a person. She kills the monsters she encounters with little to no remorse (although occasionally expressing sympathy for ones that seem trapped or in pain/aren't actively trying to harm her), and often seems to go overboard in doing so-- kicking and stomping on their bodies long after they're dead. She is even accused of finding pleasure in the act of killing by another character, although whether it's 'pleasure' or just 'out of control fury' is up for debate. Of course, that's when it comes to monsters--but even though she considers the harm of innocent human beings to be reprehensible and horrifying, killing actual people falls well within her capabilities. Flat-out, unjustified murder is off the table, but she is quick to pass judgment on people she deems evil or monstrous, even telling a man in canon "Well, I guess you're not a person anyway" as justification for killing him in the ensuing fight. Regardless of the actions or moral standings of the people she's willing to take lives from, justifications like that are an awfully slippery slope. Heather has thus far avoided falling into violence past the point of no return, but the potential is there.

But at the end of the day, even though she is undoubtedly scarred by all she's been through, it's her sheer love of life that keeps her going. "Suffering is a part of life. You either learn to deal with it or you go under," she says at one point, arguing against the idea that removing pain from the world entirely would be able to solve humanity's problems, and it's obvious which of the two categories listed she falls into. Although understandably pessimistic at times and even occasionally grappling with the choice between 'taking the easy way out' and risking further pain by continuing to fight, in the end it is always life that wins out, no matter the cost. Heather exists because, even though she'd spent years silently plotting to destroy herself for good (and in the process, all hope of the cult's plot succeeding) as her situation grew darker and darker, Alessa Gillespie decided to take a chance on life one last time. "Morning always comes," says a poster in Heather's room, garnering a scornful remark from her but nonetheless summing up the attitude that kept her fighting long after it seemed like the sun would never come back up.

TL;DR: Heather is a decent, if rough-natured young woman trying her best to live her life except HOLY SHIT KIDDO YOU GOT ISSUES PLEASE PUT DOWN THAT KATANA

5-10 Key Character Traits:

Would you prefer a monster that FITS your character’s personality, CONFLICTS with it, or EITHER? Fitting, please!

Gargoyle, Goblin, Demon, Minotaur, Faerie

Roleplay Sample: TEST DRIVE THREADS with:
Eren Jaeger
Kanji Tatsumi
Jean Prouvaire
and a bunch of others oh my god i can't choose I'M SORRY THE TEST DRIVE WAS SO MUCH FUN