Barrett Ruger

A camera, a flask, and a burning ember in the dark of the lit end of a smoke.

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a character in “Back to the old house”, as played by Abbi Normal


Barrett Ruger


Name: Barrett Ruger, PI
Age: 25
Nickname: People who have known him longest call him Rett, but he hates when unfamiliar people say it.
Sexuality: straight



The best way to describe Barrett would be "haggard". Habitually slightly disheveled and tired, with a look like he slept somewhere unpleasant if he slept at all. Distracted, jaded and cynical, with a 'not this again' air about him. His clothes don't quite fit properly and have never seen an iron. He makes no effort to keep his hair in any sort of order. He caries his equipment in a vinyl photographer's bag that's scuffed and fraying at the seam. Over his suit--tie loose and askew--he wears a battered navy blue trenchcoat, and in the trenchcoat, in the inside breast pocket, is his silver flask: he keeps it close to his heart. Him and everything he owns seems tired, harried, the worse for wear, the weight of the world on his shoulders.

He has extreme prolonged mood-swings sometimes, that, if he were the kind of person to go to doctors, might even be labeled as bipolar. So he veers from times of confidence, energy, ambition and passion, where he's going to accomplish everything he ever set out to do if he can just keep the same thought in his head for a minute at a time, to times where it's too much effort to change out of his bathrobe, eat, or do anything but sleep, and drink until he's numb.

He's always worrying about money, and uses things until they're totally destroyed, then tries to make something else useful out of the pieces. Much of his investigation equipment is made of re-wired household electronics and appliances, and the car is held together with jury-rigging and wishes. He's very handy at those kinda of things, though he doesn't remember anyone ever going out of their way to teach him about electronics or computers. They were always just kind of there, all around. It's just sort of a knack.

Berrett comes off as gruff, hot-headed, and rude, and that's because he is. But he also uses those traits as a front for things he'd rather not show, like lashing out and threatening others when he's threatened by a too-small space, hiding his claustrophobia anxiety by taking it out on other people. In a more general sense, he also uses this demeanor to hide the fact he really doesn't care about or even like himself. He's clever and funny in a gallows humour kind of way, good-looking, experienced in the world, risk-taking and adventurous, and can't stand by when people who can't protect themselves are taken advantage of, and he has a lot of other positive qualities hidden away in there somewhere, but none of that matters when he looks in the mirror. All he sees when he looks at himself is a failure of an ex-detective and hopeless alchoholic who can't control himself well enough to hold a real job or friends or family and lives in his car at nearly 30 so he can chase ghosts; the worst kind of pathetic delusional drunkard. But as long as he stays angry at the world, all this can be the world's fault instead of his, or he can convince the world so.

Needless to say, Barrett comes off to people seeming much older than his years.


  • Chain smoker. Has a smoker's cough that acts up when he's stressed.
  • Heavy drinker, gets cantankerous if he has to cut back for just a day, gets much worse when his depression comes.
  • Claustrophobic, fears spaces tight enough to confine the movement of his arms because it reminds him of a coffin, and he has recurring nightmares about being buried alive.


Bio and History:

Once, the PI on his office door meant "private investigator", because he'd been a junior in an investigation firm when he was young, until a few years ago when he was fired from the position. A combination of recklessness on the job costing them cases, a clash of personalities with the head investigator, and his coworkers' concern about the budding drinking habit that, they correctly guessed, would soon become part of his daily routine.

At first he thought he'd prove he didn't need them and start his own one-man firm, but he never had a single case, and quickly tanked. He lost most of his money to the failed venture, and what he didn't was finding its way to funding his vices more and more frequently. Soon, he was living out of his car. At this point, his depression was at its worst, and he starting experiencing psychosis, became convinced that there was some force or voice compelling him to go to different places and destroy things, dig up graves, sleep in long-abandoned houses.

When he came out of his episode, he was a patient at the county hospital mental health ward. He remembered very little of what happened to him before that or how he got there, and even after he was discharged, still thought that much of what he thought he saw was real, or had basis in reality. After he got out of the hospital--still living out of his car, since he had nowhere else to go--he decided that the PI after his name now stood for paranormal investigator.

And against all odds, he actually found a modicum of success at this. He had enough money to live comfortably, albeit still out of the car, as he traveled constantly on cases and had little use for a permanent address. One case he took was one he heard of online, on a show with an announcer he wasn't sure he cared for. He reported the possible and the ridiculous with equal belief, and in his fervor to promote his beliefs, never checks enough facts for Barrett's liking. So Barrett decided to go down to the house the man had been discussing and check the facts himself.

He took his modified camera, an EMF detector made from a PDA, and a voltmeter designed for testing motherboards, and he did a little bit of simple breaking-and-entering--something he was an old hand at in these kinds of snooping situations--onto the private property and found the network of tunnels, as well as finding Stephanie. He quickly felt awkwardly protective of her, like a little sister, or maybe a little more. What they saw in the pictures he took, he hoped he'd never have to deal with again, but now, he can't go on a case, he can't go out for a good time, he can barely wake up in the morning without something, some hint or clue in everything he does sending him back to that damn house.

So begins...

Barrett Ruger's Story