Arson is a vigilante operating within the "West Side" of whaterver city he's in.
Appearance Habits & Personality
It has been said that Arson looks like 10 miles of hard road or the red neck from hell, depending on the viewers own prejudices.
Arson is not a big fan of the traditional 'hero outfit' for personal reasons. Typically he wears tricked out biker leather pants and vests until they are damaged beyond repair. He also carries a steel guitar most of the time at the insistance of the label, but thats really more of a prop. It sounds like shit because its design is for appearance and durablity. It has on occasion been useful as a club.
Arson is living the Rock and Roll dream. He typically shaves every thursday whether he needs to or not. He always has a back up pair of cheap sun glasses and he keeps a black sude suit on hand for special occasions.
The dragon tattoo was inked to his body as a publicity excersise for his 2009 Ashes tour that started and finished in Japan. During the tour the art was done bit by bit and then shot and loaded to the tour web site, Then net result was then animated, and the over all effect on film is that of a dragon burning itself onto him.
Arson is not a loner, but some confuse him for one due to his habit of getting to know someone before talking too much about himself.
A sure fire way to get on Arson's bad side is to talk to him about his childhood tragedy before he determines you are close enough to talk about it.
He has a habit of writing notes and word play to himself on his arm, mostly cause the steel pen can take the heat but napkins tend to burst into flame when he uses his powers.
R.J. keeps 10 $100 dollar bills in a fire resistant wallet at all times, mostly so he can afford to destroy any TV that happens to be airing 'that damned Super Crusaders cartoon' that he was 'featured' in.
Rich J Roberts used to be known as Ritchie Roberts, and for a while in the 90's he was conservitive right's poster boy for continued enforced powers registration through ASPRA, and a cartoon character at the same time. The fact is neither of those 'images' are accurate. Those images are a product of the disconnect between fantasy and reality caused by TV and those images reflect the agendas crafted by opposing political factions, trying to capitalize on the tragedy of his 'awakening'.
According to one of those images Arson has been doing the Hero thing for a very long time. If you believe what the TV tells you it's been fifteen or so years. Maybe you remember Kid Arson back in the mid 90's, the 'side kick' of Gadjet-Smith in the cartoon Super Crusaders. That image is a complete distortion. While he may of been grateful for the safety of the dampening suit, he was typical teen, too busy figuring out algebra and girls too go spend his time being a danger magnet for a retired inventor.
According to the other image, Arson as been a menace to society all of his post puberty days. The awful picture of the burning boy being carried out of the burning house by what looks like a fireman set aflame is a picture of Rith Roberts at the absoulte lowest point in his life. According to the media the picture that was supposed to be emblematic of the safty issues caused paranormals, and was used side by side with images of Doctor Destroyer and a demolished Detroit on the TV lead for every story discussing the need for parnomsl registration.
If you want the truth behind these images it is the story of a painful awakening. One night during his early adolesence he awoke to his bedroom ablaze. Frightened, he ran to his parents and little brother's room trying to rouse them and get them out. The problem was that he was the point of ignition and everwhere he went the flame erupted behind him. His parents and brother died of smoke inhalation trapped in thier rooms. Ritchie was immune to the flames, and watched them die unable to touch them as they struggled to get to clear air. Stunned by what he'd done and seen, a Fireman had carry him out to get him away from still burning fire.
The authorities had no idea what do with such a child. Fortunately the retired hero Gadjet-Smith had lab facilities for the child that would resist his fires, and and a sympathy for the the Ritchies plight. The following months were a trial on everyone as Ritchie tried to master control of his powers. Gadget-Smith watched him struggle and supported his efforts, but inevetably frustration compounded and led to an outburst. Eventually young Ritche lost hope, and begged that Gadjet-Smith find a way to get rid of the powers and make him normal. At this point most scientists would have read the situation and proceded with experiments designed to do just such a thing. That is, make him normal. But Gadjet-Smith had other ideas based on his own life experience and and acceptance of his own 'difference'. The result was the specialized suit that was the basis of the Kid Arson cartoon image. The suit was very likely the most sophisticated heat sink produced in the early 90's using a combination of ceramics, water cooling and meatl fins to allow Arson to focus his power through the suit safely. As he matured he found that his powers were controlable, as long he used them to keep the energy from storing inside himself.
Ritchie Roberts pretty much disappears from public life as he grows into adulthood, but both of the images of him surface in the media from time to time as the agendeas surrounding Paranormal Registration collide. When they appear he doesn't look. He can bear the pain alone, but when forced to share it with world it still hurts too much to bear. He does normal teen things, dreams normal teen dreams. He gets his first guitar and discovers that all of the pent up emotion, anxiety, and frustration can be harnessed like his fire powers and directed into helping people feel the same things he does. This isn't through super powers though, it's through learning and practice and dilligence and patience. As an adult this experience is someting that he looks upon as one of the most 'human' things he has ever done.
Then in November of 2000 Rich is caught on film and identified at the funeral of DR. Gary Howell PHD, strongly suspected as being the man behind the unregistered Gadget-Smith mask. The jounalists do thier thing and manage to verify the suspicion through the papertrail of his few manufatured inventions and the estate passing into Rich's hands. The paparatzi start hounding him, and in a possibly suprising turn of events he doesn't have a firey outbust. At the urging of Gadjet-Smiths friends in the super hero community he holds a single press conference. During the conference he attempts to build a truthful case for Gadget-Smith’s avoidance of ASPRA relative to his guardian’s romantic preferences, but at the first rude interruption loses control and smears ash in a journalists face. Days after, RJ Roberts signs with Millennium Talent, partly on assurances that any press that he meets from this point out will be vetted by them.
From NBC file footage
- Teen Aged Rich Roberts approaches a podium in an ornate but subdued hotel lobby dressed in a black suit and wearing black out shades.
I've come to you today to clear the questions surrounding my guardian Gadget-Smith. My statement is brief, if I may have your silence. Gary Howell was great man who should be known for his virtues. He was as couragous and compassionate as any other serving Super Hero. He was close to retirement when ASPRA wnet into law, and chose to do set the Gadjet-Smith mask aside instead of surrendering his right to privacy. He came out retirement once in order to nothing more or less than rescue me. As his ward I grew into the man you see today, and came to think of him as a friend. In his death I come find my feelings for him leave me thinking of him as a father. Gary died at the age of 81 of complications relating to AIDS. He will be missed not only by me, but by his friends, and lover. Gary served his country honorably as bomber pilot in WWII. His love of flying and machines led him to a career in invention. Gary served his community honorably as the hero Gadjet-Smith. That same community he loved so much required the surrender of his privacy, something he held dear as a right due to experiences with his other difference...
- at this point a reporter buts in, halting the monologue
Mr. Roberts, you said, AIDS and you said, lover, was Gadjet-Smith Gay?
- And now point the room explodes with questions.
- Rich Roberts frowns and looks down, then his head pops up smiling as make complete candid eye contact with the reporter and whipsers into the microphone.
Your Dave Spinaker, yes? The Dave Spinaker who wrote the headline, Gadjet-Smith was FABULOUS?
- Spinaker pales
- Roberts crumbles the prepared and burns the ball of paper in his hand to ash, the nearly growls,
I came here today to be polite and extend a hand to the media. I have done so. Even though in the past you have treated me like a zoo exhibit. You treat me thus because 'I am news'. I am not news. Anthrax being passed though the postal service is news. In school I learned that you are he 5th estate, guardians of the populace. You have privlidges because of that status. You waste them chasing celebrity. The man I am here to honor, you would 'out'?
- at this point Roberts is descending from the podium toward Spinaker
How does that serve the populace Mr. Spinaker? You are a low man Mr, Spinaker and YOU are exactly the type of man that he did not want to trust with his secret or sexual identity. Fourty years ago the revelation of his sexual preferance could have ruined him professionally. For a man who truly was a guardian of his community. Tell me, Dave, if you had your hands on the list of those like me, would you out them too? Would you stick with the successful and brand them deceptive, or would you go for the ones who witnessed trauma and lacked the courage to intervene, and label them craven?
- Roberts reaches out to hold Spinaker's face in his hand.
You like labels Mr. Spinaker, heres one for you then. I label you ash.
- The camera zooms as Roberts hand drops leaving a black ash handprint on Spinaker's face.
Moving Forward and Recent History
Upon reaching adulthood, Rich J. has done everything he could recreate himself into a common mans rock and roll hero. And has been suprising successful. His debut Album, Arson and other Crimes was critically accliamed within the alt rock and college radio community but failed to take root in the mainstream. His second album, Burn It Down, influenced by hip hop producer Sullivan 'Sully' Black tightend the focus to stronger beat and guitar with cleaner vocal tracks was marked as a 'hip hoppy' sell out by alt rock critics and Arson looked to be fast tracking to failure. Then the moody and creepy track Black Wanting from the first album featured in the movie "Heart Shaped Box", opening the film and being scored into the Judas Coyne theme, along with a new track Suit Without Substance. The critical success of the movie brought both of Arson's albums into wide noteriety and caused lable to finance the launch of a world tour in support of the third and most recent album Ashes.
A quick blurb like this may make it seem like Arson has been extraordinarly lucky. But the fact is there has been plenty of struggle along the way. When in a rough patch, Arson did bartending gigs at clubs featuring live acts, partly to study and partly to be inspired. Along the way he has learned to make some fine cocktails. He is also conviencesd that jiggers are for amatuers, and flair bartenders useless because they are more interested in attention than tips.
While touring in Poland early last year, Arson met Mistrz Shadoette (Champion of Shadows) while he was prowling around Krakow looking for trouble and began a romantic entanglement that has followed him back to the states, much to his chagrin and pleasure. The two can be found together pretty much all the time, whether thay are on stage playing or out prowling for criminals.
During that time he unknowingly upset the daughter of Tazwell Gold, the Talent Mogul behind The Gold Agency. Tiffany Gold is as crazy as she is rich, and has been very persistant in her rvenge attempts.
Arson is a Pyrokenitic of substantial talent. The problem is is ability to control the talent does'nt seem to equal the magnitude of innate power available to him. Arson has found only one way to control the power, and that is to use it frequently. Too his thinking, his power is always burning inside him, building up like pressure in a boiler. As long as he can release the pressure, he has the control. But if he is forced to hold it in, the pressure keeps builing. Eventually something is gonna blow, then the burning starts.
- Arson , like many of my charaters was inspired by fusing disparate elements that I enjoy and seeing what happens. Arson is one part Kid Rock, one part passionate fireball archtype, and one part Scott Weiland.
Arson is played by @Mangle_Paw, and is his primary duo character with his signifigant other. He is built primarily for PvE dps duty.
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