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Vahlok Drox Skatha

Devour to survive: so it is; so it's always been.

0 · 239 views · located in Paradise Colony

a character in “Paradise: 2778”, as played by Aracrexus


Unified Systems Protectorate
Official "Paradise" Colony Census Records
Individual Known as: Vahlok Drox Skatha

Core Profile

Crime: N/A (Native)

Species: Enforcer

Gender: N/A

Height: 7’4”

Age: 27

Skin Hue/Racial Morph: Medium taupe w/ white markings

Hair Color: Dark russet

Eye Color: Red-Orange

Physical Profile

Tall and sturdy, Vahlok is a fairly standard member of his species; perhaps a little leaner than those enforcers on other worlds, a build maintained by nearly three decades on Paradise. His figure is all sharp angles and hard lines, imposing features abetted by his customarily dour expression and myriad of old wounds. Bold markings zigzag across his entire body, heavily outlining his vermilion eyes in stark ivory and forming rings around his limbs and long, powerful tail; his hair is long, prolific, and untameable, a rich red-brown that has been gradually bleached out and that has a vexing propensity for trapping dust. Heavy scarring around the region of his upper jaw renders him more or less constantly snarling, an attribute that tends to give off the impression that he is constantly pissed.

His outfit is a patchwork of materials obtained from various sources, a custom-tailored monstrosity heavily MacGyvered to suit his proportions: heavy combat boots, moderately mutilated to better suit his digitigrade gait; his pants are varying shades and patterns cannibalized from other apparel, precariously sewn and dotted with pockets; he wears a sleeveless shirt that could, at one time, have been black (but is now dust-encrusted grey-brown) below his vest. The vest itself is probably the most eye-catching thing about the ensemble, covered in a panoply of different patches and insignias, most of them ripped posthumously from the garments of former opponents.

Slung across his back are a messenger bag — stuffed with spare clothes, some food and water, and assorted scavenged trinkets — and the holster for his particle beam rifle, a relatively old and power-hungry Ravager model taken some years back off a war tourist’s corpse. Its power charges are stored in a pouch at the hip for easy access; on the other side, tucked securely into a similar pocket, are the cartridges for his backup weapon, a metal-storm shotgun sheathed at the small of his back. In melee engagements, Vahlok is largely reliant on his natural defenses — something that has worked pretty well for him so far.

Psychological Profile

Vahlok is very candid, very assertive, and very testy — no different from most enforcers, really. He has little time for jokes, mind games, stupid questions, and other assorted bullshit; those who are familiar with him would probably describe him as having a very large stick up his ass. He puts up no false fronts about who he is, what he wants, how he’s feeling, and how much he likely hates his present company. He is not chatty: his dialogue is mostly monosyllabic, or otherwise very short and to the point; he has a tendency to either ignore the pesterings of people he sees as not worth his time, or to just tells them very flatly to shut up. Vahlok is not looking for friends; he sees social relationships as impermanent, worth maintaining only for as long as that person is of use.

Vahlok craves control: not just over himself, but often over the people around him. He is stubborn and domineering, and does not much appreciate being given orders, particularly by people who he could easily overpower in a physical altercation. As a result, he frequently butts heads with other strong personalities, and is not so easily talked down. ‘Compromise’ is not in Vahlok’s vocabulary. He sees most quandaries as black and white, figures that most people are either with him or against him, and in a group setting is either in charge or he isn’t. Fortunately, he has grown no less manipulable with the passage of time, and is easily appeased with appeals to his ego and assurances that, yes, he still has his agency.

This is not to suggest that Vahlok is stupid; socially, maybe — but years of living on Paradise have left him with a thorough understanding of survivalism and strategy in battle that ensures his preparedness in most every situation. Vahlok does not get nervous, or try to weasel his way out of an unfavorable scenario, or panic if things suddenly go wrong — he has become a surprisingly good improviser. He approaches every challenge with the focus of a predator; success, to him, is a binary: either he wins, or he dies. He seems almost to deliberately seek out conflict, longing for the adrenaline rush, the sense of fulfillment derived from crushing an opponent. Each encounter is a learning experience, and Vahlok wants to be the best at what he does.

Though he’s certainly less impulsive compared to many enforcers, and is a little more calculating when it comes to how he picks his battles, Vahlok is nevertheless hasty by the standards of most species. He lives squarely in the moment, his priorities fixated on what benefits him now, and has little in the way of a political affiliation or moral code... and no real desire to concern himself with either. He lives fast, thinks fast, and has no time to entertain anyone or anything that gets in his way.

Historical Profile

Vahlok is indigenous to Paradise, immersed in its merciless clime and cutthroat politics from the moment of his spawning. Devoid of a pack and an identity, his formative years were a perpetual struggle for survival against a savage, lawless populace. To grow up in a place so inimical to life made its mark on him early — impressing a dangerous acerbity into a psyche that was already destructive by birth; igniting a furious depravity that kept him afloat in Paradise’s dark and turbulent waters. Vahlok quickly learned how to fight well, to kill out of necessity, and to eschew altruism and mercy in order to keep living.

In the endless and capricious sea of cabals and allegiances, Vahlok eventually found a niche with a small and fairly innocuous tribe that had established a modest span of land in an unfortunately tenuous location. Encircled by a multitude of more hostile gangs, the group was subject to occasional raids on its fragile borders, despite its leader’s deliberate abstention from Paradise politics. Its defenses were meager at best, and its populace neither prolific nor armed enough to deter the incursions, yet it managed to linger regardless, a bastion of unity perched upon a delicate foundation.

Vahlok integrated himself with the rag-tag collective as best a socially maladjusted enforcer among strangers could, and was largely tasked with aiding in the colony’s defenses. It was, more or less, the perfect duty, playing into the overwhelming territorial instinct and serving as a sufficient outlet for his aggression, and Vahlok approached it with the single-minded dedication of a focused predator. Those peers who served alongside him noted his natural aptitude for commanding and adaptability in combat, traits that drew attention from quite a few figures within the group.

One such individual had been a former crime lord before her arrival on Paradise, a diminutive human female named Rika whose humble appearance masked vicious cunning and a lofty ambition. While the prevailing authority claimed the colony’s lack of growth as necessary to escape the full ire of the other locals; Rika said the opposite: that the stagnation was what would eventually kill them, and that imperialism was the only viable way forward. Rika saw Vahlok as her ideal second, someone to lead the advance and execute her strategies; Vahlok, being young, manipulable and bloodthirsty, naturally agreed to her proposition. With its former leader forcibly deposed, Rika directed the group to encroach on claimed lands, assimilating more forces into its populace — some through diplomacy, and some through coercion. Raiding ventures on war tourists and extortion rackets on other groups provided a sufficient supply of weaponry to take on bigger and bigger targets, and the colony began to gradually spread, choking out the surrounding organizations like a plague.

Now known colloquially as the Razors, Rika’s people had amassed enough land and influence over the past several years to be considered a sizable power in the political landscape, and Vahlok found himself in control of what was veritably a small army. He had earned a reputation among his opponents as a monster on the battlefield, a despoiler without equal; to those under his authority, he was generally regarded as a callous, but effective, leader. To Rika, he had become less of an asset and more of a partner. Their relationship had gradually evened to a state of mutual respect and understanding: Rika was the coordinator, Vahlok the executor, and their talents had come to mesh in such a way that they found themselves utterly dependent on each other. In Vahlok’s mind, Rika had very much become a part of his pack, and, by extension, a part of him: inexorably intertwined, linked by bonds stronger even than blood.

The Razors’ rise to supremacy had not gone without the acquisition of several enemies. Remnants of past rivals, clans thought to have been wiped out, still existed in small pockets throughout the region, quietly stewing in their enmity. Certain major warlords in close proximity viewed the Razors as a threat, intimidated by their rapid and relentless expansion. The fear of being attacked and subjugated, just like so many other tribes in the past, was one that propagated rapidly among the other gangs — the Razors had cultivated notoriety for their aggressive strategies, and their habit of attacking with little warning, making the threat near-constant. Among the opposition, it was widely agreed that Vahlok and Rika were powerful menaces — and that something had to be done about it. Temporary alliances were made; deals were worked out; warlords with extended histories of reciprocal hatred chose instead to affix their aim on a common target.

The resultant fighting drew on for much longer than either side expected; Rika had become overly arrogant, confident that the empire she’d built was impenetrable and her enemies too focused on hating each other to attack her; said enemies had severely underestimated just how tenacious Vahlok really was. The result was a prolonged stalemate that neither side, it seemed, was ever going to win — until Rika’s death sent that balance shifting dramatically askew. Some of Vahlok’s people had been bought out by the enemy, and these infiltrators had been given the singular task of destabilizing the Razors’ leadership. Rika had been chosen as the target for a fairly straightforward reason: her opponents knew that she was the one making most of the top-level decisions, and rationalized that without her guidance, her second would be more prone to error. Their orders were carried out swiftly and efficiently; Rika, in all her fondness for lightning warfare, found herself beaten at her own game.

Vahlok did indeed find himself suffering in Rika’s absence, on both a strategic and emotional level. The woman’s death had significantly demoralized the Razors, some of whom began to defect in anticipation of an eventual collapse; their adversaries took advantage of this, mounting concentrated pushes that decimated the remaining ranks. The tide had abruptly been turned, and Vahlok was now staring into the face of an embarrassing and catastrophic defeat.

Captured at last by his opponents and divested of his dignity, Vahlok was dragged before the enemy ringleader — who turned out to be, much to his surprise, another enforcer. That reality might well have been what saved Vahlok’s life: spurred by rage and steadfastly determined to at least regain some shred of his honor before death, he demanded to duel the orchestrator one on one, a challenge that the foe in question eagerly accepted. Without weapons or reinforcements, the two went at each other for nearly half an hour in a savage bout that left both damaged and panting, each waiting for the opposite to make that critical mistake — until Vahlok made a misstep and found himself pinned, unable to do anything but helplessly await the killing blow.

But it never came. Instead, Vahlok was given an ultimatum: either he could quietly submit to the will of the rival leader, serving as a veritable trophy, or he could die on the spot. Vahlok gave the premise a second’s deliberation, and then decided that he chose neither. In that moment, his enemy had been distracted; too absorbed in his self-congratulatory gloating to counter what came next. Fuelled by the last vestiges of his strength, Vahlok flipped the other enforcer over, bore his full weight down on top of him, and clamped his jaws firmly around his throat, savaging his jugular.

Vahlok had achieved his vindication, but Paradise was still Paradise, and he was once again alone. The fall of Rika and her Razors had stripped him of purpose; adrift, he turned nomadic, seeking impermanent refuge among fellow vagrants. Like scores of others before him, Vahlok, too, began to fantasize of an existence free of the dust and disillusionment that came with life on the prison planet, but he had long since learned the consequence of ambition. He was stuck here, likely for the rest of his short life, and so he'd just keep doing the only thing he really knew — roaming wild, mowing down his opposition, and staying alive.

Misc. Notes

Figuring out which pronoun to use for a genderless species is kinda difficult. I use ‘he’ — ‘they’ is awkward in some instances and ‘it’ is, uh… dehumanizing (ba-dum tss). YMMV, though; use whatever you want.

So begins...

Vahlok Drox Skatha's Story