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Jonathan Roaker

"The people need to know what is going on here, and it's my duty as a journalist to report it."

0 · 284 views · located in Moscow, Russia, 2021

a character in “Haze: The Administrator”, as played by Cypher


Name: Jonathan James Roaker; alt. Jon Roaker, J.J. Roaker
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 138 lbs.
Appearance: Jon Roaker came to Russia a much healthier looking man than he is now. He appears, at first glance, pale and haggard, his hair unkempt and his beard growing in shaggy clumps. His skin is stretched tight over his deteriorating musculature, his eyes reddened and his lips cracked. He stands with a slump and looks like he hasn't slept in days.
Clothing: He wears a faded green canvas shirt cut in the style of an army BDU, beneath which is a wifebeater or a white t-shirt. He typically wears jeans or heavy cargo pants with thick-soled leather work boots. In cold weather he typically wears a wool jacket and outback-style hat, and a pair of light gloves.
Personality: Straightforward and no-nonsense; could almost be considered rude in several respects. Typically a loner and a recluse, he nonetheless will grudgingly accept aid where necessary. He doesn't have too many loyalties or friends, but those he stands by he will defend to the death. His primary loyalty is to reporting the events around him, however, and he will go to any lengths necessary to add to his report.
--Quirks/Flaws:[/b] He's a chain-smoker with moderate-to-severe insomnia and (although he'd never openly admit it) is beginning to show signs of clinical depression.
Other: He has limited experience with firearms due to his experience as a war correspondent, and is partially fluent in Russian.

(High Sierra Foxhound 50 hiking pack)
Clothing: 2x shirts, 4x undershirts, 2x pants (jeans/cargo pants), 4x undergarments (socks and underwear), 1 jacket, 1 pair gloves, 1 hat
Sperian Opti-Fit gas mask, side filter mount, 3x spare filters
Basic food rations, 3 days
Satellite phone, issued by NBC
GoPro mini-camera, issued by NBC
Pen and several wire-bound notebooks
Sleeping bag (Coleman Crescent mummy bag, capacity: one, good to 15*F)
Smith & Wesson Bodyguard Model 38 (Concealed Carry pistol; revolver--shrouded hammer; 5rd. capacity; .38 Special
20 rounds .38 Special; Winchester Super-X 110-grain Silvertip; Hollow-Point
Black & Mild cigarillos, (4/5)
Book of matches (18/20)

Jonathan Roaker was born in Ludgate, Scotland, but his parents--people of simple means following the money upstream--moved to New York City when he was young. Roaker scored well in English and averagely in other areas, and went on to study Communications at NYU with a concentration in Journalism. He signed on as a foreign correspondent to NBC three years before the events in Moscow and was selected to be NBC's foreign attache, reporting the effects of the Haze in the zone where it is heaviest. Although in the last several months the situation has deteriorated significantly in the previous several months, Jonathan has been reporting reliably from Moscow since almost the first week of his arrival.

So begins...

Jonathan Roaker's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jonathan Roaker
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#, as written by Cypher
Jonathan didn't slow down for much while he was on an assignment. When he had lost his baggage upon arrival in Moscow he had adapted, spending most of his money on replacements for his notebooks, writing supplies and most of his clothing. When his arrangements for housing at the US Embassy had fallen through, he'd taken it upon himself to pay room and board in a semi-upscale hotel.

And when the Haze had settled over the city, well, he adapted to that too.

NBC had issued him with a gas mask in light of the developing health issues regarding the Cloud Dust. It was not, as Roaker had expected, one of the more recent, highly-touted microfilration models; rather, it was a standard civilian mask with a carbon-based filter. When the Dust settled heavy in the streets, the mask proved to be ineffective in filtering heavy concentrations of the stuff. Roaker had compensated by limiting his contact with the outside world, preserving his remaining filters for when he needed to gather food or water.

The gun had been more difficult. In the early days, with the riot, the hotel in which he resided had become a hotly contested zone for several reasons: its height (taller buildings were less subject to the effects of the Cloud), its strategic location at the border between uptown and downtown Moscow, and the availability of on-site plumbing and kitchen facilities, as well as the general defensibility of the hotel itself. The police had defended it in the early days, but after driving away repeated assaults they had abandoned the building, deeming it a "tactical liability". Shortly after, the other residents had followed. Only a few remained in the building when the police pulled out. Roaker had simply torn up floorboards from the abandoned rooms and helped to build up barricades on the remaining doors.

During those later days and weeks, a small party had come through, mostly women and a few more robust types defending them. They had bartered for some of the hotel's dwindling available foods and fuel oil. The few mask filters that Roaker could afford to part ways with ended up being sold off for the tiny pistol and a few rounds. It hadn't been a bad decision in hindsight. More often than not he'd never needed it, but it served well as a tool of intimidation. In a world where most parties traveled armed with nothing but sticks and knives, and a well-placed shot could rupture a gas mask or drop a man, the gun was a powerful symbol as well as an effective weapon. Roaker didn't take pride in its use. But he had no doubt that he could kill if he had to.

There were more mundane things as well. When the power grid had dropped, he switched to kerosene lamps. When he ran out of kerosene, he switched to candles, and then wrote in the dark. When the plumbing started to go, he started to filter, boil and re-use whatever liquids were on hand. Fresh foods were traded for canned. Clothes went longer without being washed, as did his body. Above all, he scavenged batteries for his phone--his one consistent link to the outside world. He continued to compile notes from his pads, but they would have to wait until he could find a way out of the city. For now, his reports were relayed directly to the NBC offices by phone to be delivered in full later.

Today, though, was reserved for hunting down a meal. Roaker stood at the front door of the hotel, flanked by two residents, both of whom were preparing to remove the barricades and open the door for him to leave. The security was necessary even on days where there seemed to be a lull in activity outdoors. Roaker waited as the doors opened, settling his mask in place as the wan light of the day filtered through the thin parts of the Cloud, odd shafts decorating the dead front lawn with an odd patchwork pattern. Roaker took a few tentative steps outside, fondling the pistol in his pocket like an ancient worry token before he exited the shelter of the hotel awning, thick with Dust. Already his clothes were collecting it in their folds. It swirled around his feet in motes with every step, individual particles dancing in the sunlight. The art in the situation was lost on Roaker, though--the hotel needed more food, and Roaker himself was nearly out of candles.

He moved quickly out of the hotel yard, weaving through abandoned vehicles--the dust quickly clogged air filters, rendering them useless--and the bodies of the wildlife that once ranged about; songbirds and squirrels mostly. He headed downtown, searching for a wholesale store he'd encountered a few days ago, searching for more food. One hand stayed close to his pocket, his other stayed near the side pouch on his backpack, where the filters lived. He kept his breathing slow and methodical, trying not to use up his filter too quickly. He made a mental note to search for filters on his next trip.

Over all, he stuck to the shadows.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Stefan Aleksandrov Character Portrait: Basil Orlov Character Portrait: Nilda Korbachoff Character Portrait: Jonathan Roaker
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#, as written by Cypher
The wholesale club had been a bad idea.

Turned out that, in the face of an apocalypse, there are--in fact--other people who possess some degree of intelligence and common sense, scavengers that (not entirely unlike Roaker himself) believed that the best way to survive was to find the largest caches of preserved food and camp out near those. Places like the wholesale club Roaker had planned to steal food from.

When he'd arrived, climbing in through a back window that had been improperly boarded over, leaving just enough space for a semi-fit journalist in his mid-thirties to crawl through, he'd immediately taken note of the fact that something strange was afoot--namely, that the store's lights were on. Fluorescent bulbs buzzed feebly overhead, providing the entire store with a hazy bluish tint. Jon stood for a second, basked in the seemingly unfamiliar light, realizing it had been weeks, maybe even months, since he'd seen functional fluorescent lights. Wonder turned to bewilderment as he suddenly wondered how they were still working--a question that was quickly solved when he looked to his right and saw a series of car batteries daisy-chained together into the store's power grid via an alternator.

Then he realized who was running it. Five or six armed figures of indeterminate gender appeared out of the corner of his eye, moving towards the grid. Roaker immediately realized he was outnumbered and outgunned and slipped away, down a row of shelves, heading for what may have at one point been the butcher's or the frozen goods section. He slid into a cooler, now serving as a bunkhouse, as the others reached the power grid. Roaker realized he wasn't getting away with any grand old spoils, so he decided to do the next best thing: moving up and down the rows of bunks, Roaker removed any food, water or supplies he could find, which was maybe two tins of tuna and a half-empty bottle of vodka, and a map of the city apparently edited for the destruction the post-Haze chaos had wrought, and split.

He was near the front door when he heard shouting from above him, followed by the sound of cans being rattled. Roaker kept moving calmly, carefully, towards the front doors, when a volley of shots rang out. 'Yeah, they found me,' he thought to himself, throwing his body through the front doors and scrabbling through the broken glass and twisted chicken wire that formed an outer barrier, angry shouting in Russian and the occasional warning shot hot on his trail.

Roaker didn't know how long he ran, but he was sure by this point he was lost. The buildings all looked the same, now; residentials, but not familiar ones. Worse, he could tell by the fact that his breathing was becoming more labored that his filter was running low. He would have to stop soon.

As luck would have it, he didn't wander much farther down the block before he was greeted by human voices. He stood at the far end of the block, crouched in a doorway, looking at a small group being ushered into a building about four doors away. And parked out front--was that a running car? How the hell was that possible? The Dust was capable of choking out even the sturdiest air filters in a matter of seconds.

Speaking of filters...

Roaker let out a sigh. He didn't have a choice now: he had to get indoors and change his filter, and figure out a way back to the hotel. It was either that or he was going to die out here in the cloud, his lungs ripped apart by the tiny Dust particles that even now were beginning to infiltrate his mask.

He slipped out of the doorway and raised his hands high above his head, moving towards the door. Once he was nearly at the doorstep, he let out a yell, his voice hoarse with disuse:

"Hey! My filter's almost down, I need to change out! Let me in!"