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Duane Cooper

"Way I see it, we all got a job to do. This's just another thing needs gettin' done."

0 · 812 views · located in Ever

a character in “More Than Ever Before”, as played by Cypher


Duane Cooper

Name: Duane Ronald Cooper
Nickname: Firebug, Sarge, Scarface
Age: 50
Gender: Male
Sexuality: Heterosexual
Race: Human
Nationality: Caucasian; Anglo-Franco-German Ancestry

Eyes: Blue-grey, flecked with brown.
Hair: Gray, black at the roots.
Height: 6 ft. 5 in.
Weight: 224 lbs.
Skin Tone: White, but very tanned (leathery).
Build: Solid. Cooper is tall, but his frame is filled like that of a prize fighter or linebacker; massive torso and otherwise well-portioned with a thick neck. His muscle structure isn’t as developed as a professional bodybuilder, but he isn’t underdeveloped.
Body Markings: The vast majority of his skin, including his face, is marked with severe burn scars. None of them are particularly remarkable, but together they are very noticeable, especially when exposed.
Voice: Rasping Tenor/Baritone
Description: It’s safe to say that Duane Cooper is a large man. With a build like a concrete outhouse and shoulders as wide as most compact cars are long, Cooper has started and ended many a barfight despite just having celebrated his fiftieth birthday. Despite his immense build and leathern hide; however, he has an easily identifiable gait. He walks very light on his feet despite himself and seems to keep his arms and legs well apart, his eyes are always focused straight ahead and he attempts to keep contact with himself to a minimum. He has the appearance of a man who, while not broken yet, has just started to fall apart. His face is fairly inanimate; although he does occasionally make expressions, for the most part his face remains neutral by choice.

Quirks: He has a tendency to mess with the loose ends of his bandages, and depending on how he feels, he may shy away from physical contact. When deep in thought he lifts two fingers to his mouth as though smoking a cigarette. He also makes a habit of snapping or pointing for emphasis.
Fears: He doesn’t fear anything in particular, he has a slight phobia of condemned buildings, but other than that everything else is a minor foible.
- Sweets
- Tobacco products
- Lone Star beer
- Monday night football
- John Wayne films/westerns in general
- Country & Western
- The ability to kick up his feet on the porch in the evening time and watch the sun set.
- The feeling of satisfaction at getting a job done right.
- Bleeding-hearts.
- City people/complicated people.
- Modern TV.
- People dying, the thought of death at all.
- Burnt food.
Personality: Duane may be large, but he is a thinker at heart. Genuinely altruistic and well-meaning, Cooper is always willing to put himself in harm’s way for someone else’s sake. He loves a good joke, although his own wit is a bit dry by most folks’ standards and he has a tendency to ramble a bit. He’s a bit simple-minded, and not really a deeply intellectual soul, but he’s still quick-witted and fast on his feet. In general he fits the stereotype of a Texas cattle-man; honest, up front, soft spoken but always ready for a fight, courteous to everyone he meets. He likes to drink with his friends and reminisce about bygone times, which is difficult when most of your compatriots are more than twenty years younger than you, but that doesn’t stop him from making his best attempt at it. He tries to be as happy as possible, but there are some times when he gets into a funk – and it’s difficult to solve this with a hug when the huggee in this case has permanent nerve damage.

Future Armor: This. A more streamlined version of a firefighter’s uniform from our world. Duane isn’t a creative person, so he’ll stick to what he knows, thank you very much. Flame-retardant overalls with lots of pouches and belts for holding, kneepads and combat boots, a flame-retardant wool turtleneck on his torso, over which is thrown another flame-retardant overcoat. An impact helmet with integrated breathing mask is added to the mix, and an oxygen tank finishes the “ensemble”.

Casual Clothing: Duane prefers loosely-fitted clothing that doesn’t hug his form due to the fact that it hurts his skin. Generally a baggy t-shirt, over which is thrown a denim jacket or vest, beaten and stained carpenter’s jeans, and either layered boots or hobnailed cowboy boots.
Carried Items: A pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes and a green Bic lighter, a money clip with $75 in odd bills, three sticks of Wrigley’s Spearmint chewing gum, a Leatherman multi-tool and a half-eaten bag of sour apple rings.
Main Weapon:

  • Name: Fire Axe
  • Type: Fire Axe (the type with a pick on the back side of the head)
  • Made of: Exactly what it sounds like it would be. Stained hickory handle, steel head painted red except at the edge.
  • Length: 36 in., give or take
  • Weight: 23 lbs.
  • Description/Info: It’s a fucking fire axe, what do you expect? A miracle-working weapon of infinite power and destruction? It’s an axe. You use it to break down walls and clear debris inside a burning building. No need for it to be anything delicate or fancy or ornate. It’s simple, no frills and dedicated to a single task, just like Duane.

Skills: (at least two)

  • Intimidating Stature: One who doesn’t know what kind of actual physical condition Duane is in could actually be scared off by the fact that he’s the size and build of the average Cape Buffalo, although wiser, more observant, or bigger enemies will be able to see through that much.
  • Bar Brawler: Just because Duane is an honest and up-front guy doesn’t mean he won’t fight dirty. Years and years of practice in a formidable number of bars all across the plains of Texas has taught Duane that in order to survive certain brawls you need to get a little dishonest when you’re having a punch-out with some folks. He isn’t above eye-gouging or groin attacks and will exploit any weakness if he sees fit.
  • Shuts Out Fear: When he was alive, Duane’s job was to walk into the most dangerous environments on God’s green earth wearing little more than a couple layers of canvas and drag any living person out to safety before he caught fire himself. It’s practically in the job description that when Duane is afraid, he has the ability to push that fear to the back of his mind and maintain rational thought until he is out of harm’s way.
  • Driven: Duane has a family to go back to supporting when he survives this encounter (“if” is not an option), and he will stop at nothing if it means getting to see them again.

Weaknesses: (at least two)

  • Pain Threshold: The neurological damage that ravaged Duane has significantly dropped his pain tolerance to the point where even someone tracing their fingers down his arm too quickly feels like taking steel wool to his flesh, which is why he keeps most of his skin covered.
  • Speed: Duane’s size and nerve damage have slowed him down considerably since his youth, and although the Ever may or may not alleviate this over time, it will take a while either way, and this is still a problem with his performance.
  • Flashbacks: See History.

Powers: Fire-Walking: Duane can move through fire. Not in the sense that he can walk through fire; anyone could do that. If Duane were to encounter two separate fires of sufficient size and output (read: a bonfire, campfire, any fire approximately the width of his shoulders throwing off a large amount of heat), Duane can step into the first fire and appear through the second, using it as a form of teleportation as well as an offensive power (Duane displaces the fire upon emerging from the other end, creating a shockwave or explosion of sorts, that grows in radius and lethality as time goes on). The problem is that he can't remain in the fire for long; as he is only human, Duane will eventually catch fire and burn to death if he stands in either the entrance or exit blaze for too long. If a fire at either end is extinguished while he is still caught between the two fires, he will be pushed out of the remaining fire. If both fires are extinguished, he will be trapped in the space-between-spaces until a fire is started again in close vicinity. As his skills progress, the following will happen:

1) He will become more resistant to fire (both used in attacks and when he's Fire Walking),
2) he will be able to use smaller fires to teleport (capped at a match-fire),
3) he will be able to Fire Walk in coordination with any pyromancers the group may have, i.e Pyro lights a fire, Duane starts a fire, jumps into it, leaps out of the fireball to attack an enemy mid-flight.
4) The shockwave created when emerging from the fire will grow in size and intensity.

Martial Status: Happily married 26 years
Family: Cordelia (Wife, 52), John (Son, 20), Lessa (Daughter, 19), Clinton (Son, 14), Quincy (Brother, 46), Max (Brother, 41), Mary-Alice (Sister, 37)
History: Duane was born and raised in El Paso, Texas, the son of an auto-body worker father and secretary mother. He attended elementary school and played pee-wee football, excelling at defensive tackle (although his grades were nothing exceptional and he never really did anything of merit). He went on to high school, where he spent three years as the star linebacker before dropping out of school to get a job and help support his financially-unstable family consisting now of him, two brothers and a sister.

At first he went out to the Llano, hitting the plains of Texas and drifting from place to place, learning many valuable skills such as auto repair, farming, hunting, shooting and brawling before he eventually settled down in the small town called Torofuerte, where he worked at several jobs, including (but not limited to) school football coach, bartender, bar bouncer, car mechanic, gas station attendant, and finally fireman.

For twenty years he served as one of the town’s paid firemen, voluntarily going where no sane man would go, wading ankle-deep into burning buildings and brush fires to prevent the town from burning to the ground. He saved a total of sixteen people and prevented the town from burning down at least three times before a final call brought him low.

Duane and the fire team were called to a five-story apartment fire several towns away which threatened to spread to every other building on the block, and the Torofuerte Fire Department was one of at least eighteen fire departments dispatched to control the blaze, tasked with helping the rescue mission. Duane entered the building at 10:48 PM, June 21st, 1998, with three other members of the Torofuerte Fire Department, destined for the third floor where a grandmother and a wheelchair-bound child were trapped (in a horribly cliché case of fire rescue, of course) despite the building now going under severe structural warping and showing signs of imminent collapse. Duane and team rescued the grandmother without challenge, but the fire was now growing much more intense. Duane decided that the fire was too risky for the full team and then went in by himself to get the child. This rescue too, was flawless, but as he returned to the building to sweep the remaining floors for survivors, two beams from the ceiling collapsed on top of him and pinned him to the ground, as the fire flared up around him, ripping his coveralls and giving him second- and third-degree burns over most of his body.

Duane spent the next several months in the intensive care ward of Houston’s various hospitals, being treated for burns across most of his body and (later) extensive neurological damage. Early on the former fireman also suffered from severe psychological damage, experiencing intense visual hallucinations of the night he was trapped.

Cut forward many years. Duane moved back to Torofuerte and took to tending bar, having long since retired, settled with a loving wife and many kids, finally comfortable with his past.
Where/How Griff Approached You: Duane was closing the bar the night that he was killed. A drifter in greaser’s garb came in (despite the fact that the door was locked, there were no signs of forced entry) and began spinning a yarn after requesting a beer, which Duane seemed compelled to oblige. They sat and talked for a spell before Griff gave his speech and then promptly sent him on to the Ever.
Opinions on the Mission: Duane can’t complain. Ever since retiring, he has felt useless (although he would never vocalize this to anyone) and is now just happy to be doing something again.
Relations: The closest relation he has on the team is Griff, and it's safe to say that their relations are... A little tense.

Theme Song: "To the town of Agua Fria rode a stranger one fine day. Hardly spoke to folks around him; didn't have too much to say. No one dared to ask his business no one dared to make a slip, for the stranger there among them had a big iron on his hip." (Particularly Johnny Cash because, well... Because he's Johnny mother-FUCKING Cash.)


So begins...

Duane Cooper's Story