ooc: App for capeandcowl
RETURNING: Yes, I play 4 currently. Quicksilver, Doctor Strange, Doctor Doom, and Jason Todd
CHARACTER NAME: Gil Pender
SERIES: Midnight in Paris (the 2011 Woody Allen film)
CHRONOLOGY: Just as he and Adriana walk into Maxim’s in the 1890s.
CLASS: Hero? He’s actually more just a dude.
Gil is a writer from modern-day Los Angeles. He has a lucrative career writing screenplays for various Hollywood blockbusters, but he always dreamed of doing something “more”. He considers his own work to be functional, but not artistically meaningful in any way (spoilers, it isn’t) and has thus been writing a novel in his free time for the past several months. Gil has a decent-sized manuscript done, but hasn’t let anybody read it out of some fear that it’s A) no good, and B) would prove that he really isn’t capable of being anything other than a “Hollywood hack”.
A few months into writing his novel, Gil and his fiancée, Inez, arrive in Paris on a pre-wedding/wedding-planning vacation with Inez’s parents. Inez keeps them booked up, traveling from one section of town to another seeing various sites and shopping around the city for things for their wedding and new home. Gil fantasizes (and suggests repeatedly) that they should drop their plans and “bum” around the city for a few hours, but Inez and her parents won’t have it. Eventually they run into Paul and Carol Bates, two of Inez’s friends from college, and begin traveling with them for a bit. Paul is a self-proclaimed intellectual who waxes poetic on basically every activity the two couples do together, and Inez is very much enthralled. After one particularly trying evening together at a wine tasting, Gil suggests that Paul, Carol, and Inez all continue the festivities together, while he walks off his slight drunk on the way back to the hotel where he can call it an early night. Inez reluctantly agrees and Gil makes his way back, promptly getting lost in the winding streets of Paris at night.
Around midnight, he gives up, and sits down to rest on the steps of a church. Just as the bell marks the hour, and old fashioned car pulls up and someone beckons him inside, laughing. Still a little drunk from the earlier wine tasting, Gil goes along with it, and promptly finds himself in a car with people who look like they’re headed to a 1920s themed costume party.
After arriving at the party itself, Gil notes the Cole Porter music is introduced to the lovely Zelda Fitzgerald who (along with her husband Scott), invites him to something of an after-party at a quiet café. There, Gil meets Ernest Hemmingway who tries to convince Gil to help him talk Scott out of his relationship with Zelda. Scott takes off to look for his wife (who left when she saw Hemmingway there, the two clash on multiple levels), leaving Gil and Hemmingway to talk about writing, women, and war (Hemmingway’s three favorite topics, apparently). It’s then that it really strikes Gil that he’s (at least in his head) really in the 1920s and really talking to Ernest Hemmingway, one of his literary idols.
Gil gushes, and asks Hemmingway to read over his manuscript, but Hemmingway declines stating that if it’s bad, he’ll hate it for being bad writing, and if it’s good, he’ll hate the book and Gil himself out of jealousy, but offers to take the manuscript (and Gil) to meet Gertrude Stein. Gushing even more, Gil rushes off to his hotel to find the manuscript, but gets sucked back into the present. When he returns to the where the café should be, he discovers a rundown washateria in its place.
Not to be dissuaded, though, Gil gathers his manuscript and goes back to the church steps the following night. Excited to show Inez what he’s discovered, he asks her to tag along, but she gets frustrated by the wait, and not really believing his fantastic tale, she leaves before the clock strikes 12am. Sure enough, though, just as she wanders off, the bell tolls and the car drives up again, this time carrying Hemmingway. Hemmingway takes Gil to meet Gertrude Stein who introduces him to Pablo Picasso and Adriana (his mistress) before agreeing to read his book. While Picasso fumes over Stein’s review of a recent piece, Gil and Adriana talk. Gil is quickly infatuated with her.
Gil spends the next several nights in the 20s, Adriana leaves Picasso to have a fling with Hemmingway, and Gil realizes he’s falling in love with her. Back in the present, Inez’s father becomes suspicious of Gil’s frequent wanderings and hires a private detective to follow him at night. (The detective ends up in his own ‘golden age’, Paris of the 1700s).
At the same café where he originally met Hemmingway, Gil encounters Salvadore Dali, Man Ray, and Louis Brunuel and confides his time-jumping problems to them. Unfortunately, as surrealists, they don’t see the issue. He suggests films, paintings and novels to them before leaving to return to the present again.
Meanwhile, in the day, Inez takes Gil and her parents shopping at some antique stands on the Seine. Gil meets Gabrielle, a young antique dealer who is playing Cole Porter. He talks about the music with her and eventually finds Adriana’s diary from the 1920s by chance. In the diary, Adriana talks about her affections for Picasso, Hemmingway, and also Gil, who she says she’s in love with. She recounts a dream in which he gave her earrings and they made love. Later that night, Gil fakes health problems to stay behind when Inez and her parents head out for some sight seeing. He steals a pair of Inez’s earrings to give to Adriana, but before he can leave, the party returns because Inez’s father actually did have health problems. Stumbling out just in time, he buys Adriana a pair of earrings before heading to the church steps and the 20s again.
Pleased with the gift, she kisses him and as they part, an antique carriage pulls up. They’re invited inside by an ornately dressed couple who take them back to the Belle Epoque, and Maxim’s restaurant.
It’s as they enter Maxim’s that Gil is taken to the City instead.
Gil Pender is a normal guy. He’s clever and articulate deep down, but it’s buried under several years of grinding out subpar work for a paycheck. He’s kept positive, however, and has a certain Californian easiness to him that makes him channel any annoyance he feels about his work into a slightly meandering notably goofy sense of humor. He’s very live and let live, in most cases, and is happy to go along for the ride and observe what everyone else is doing or finds interesting.
His most notable and defining personality trait is a tendency to find the romantic in absolutely everything. Most people just take this as an eccentricity of his career as a writer and Gil himself dismisses it as other people being pointlessly negative. Even his relationship with Inez he romanticizes, even though he later admits that they only really see eye to eye on certain types of food. (Even then, he clarifies some Indian food). Despite all this, he’s conflicted and loyal to her even when he finds himself falling head over heels for Adriana. And even when he makes the decision to pursue Adriana, it’s a sort of fumbling romantic haze that he lets himself fall into wholeheartedly with little concern for how their relationship might work out (split between two different time periods) or what it would eventually do to his impending marriage.
Superficially, Gil is affable, if maybe slightly aloof. When presented with people he doesn’t like or respect, he can get a little… Shall we say anti-social? And engage in petty games of oneupsmanship (IE – insisting on correcting Paul on various art discussions after meeting Picasso and Adriana). 9 times out of 10, though, Gil is pleasant and just happy to be there. His nature forces him to look for the best in any situation, even if it seems like an “insurmountable problem” as he put it to the surrealists.
Gil has no powers in canon. He is literally just a dude from California who writes movies.
For the game, I’d give him illusion powers. More specifically, the ability to take one person back to whatever they consider to be their “golden age”. He would travel along with them, and provide the basic illusion, but have no control over it whatsoever. This power would only work when Gil is walking outside and at Midnight. If he’s indoors, nothing happens and if he just takes a walk in the early evening, nothing will happen. Anybody who happens to be walking on his same… Square block, let’s say, can be taken, and the illusion will extend within fifteen blocks in any direction, at least to them.
COMMUNITY POST (VOICE) SAMPLE:
[The feed clicks on to a close-up of Gil’s chin. He backs up, looking awkwardly at the camera and tentatively pressing a few buttons around on the keyboard. He’s got sandy blond hair and a shaggy/disheveled, but not entirely unkempt look. It’s apparent that he’s outside, possibly in some kind of park, definitely in a public area. There’s some street sounds, but they’re a little more faint, probably from a block or two away. Behind him, there’s a field and people playing frisbee.]
Hello? Siri? Jeez, is this thing even on?
Siri, give me the maps feature. I didn’t realize central park was so big… It’s not like I haven’t been to New York before either, not that it really matters here. It’s less about the city and more about how weird this is. Okay, Gil, think. You were with Adriana and the others in the carriage and then you walked into the restaurant.
[He leans forward again, pressing another few buttons.] Does this model even have Siri? Is there a Siri for Android? Look, whatever, if this thing is on, I need to find a way to get back. My girlfriend—well, I don’t know if she’s my girlfriend—my friend is probably stuck in the 1890s and I have to meet Gertrude Stein in a few hours to go over my book, and then Hemmingway is gonna try and get me to fight him again if I don’t make it for drinks and he’ll hit me, I know he will…
Basically, it’s real important I get back.
[There’s another close-up of his chin, as Gil tries to change the settings. He’s muttering something (another come on, Siri) as the feed cuts out.]
LOGS POST (PROSE) SAMPLE:
If it could be said that Paris in any era was warm, glowing with the sun in the day (somehow, miraculously, Gil had noted, that the sun still shined even in his beloved rain) and the romantic, haunting golden hues of gas lamps at night, then New York was conversely inclined, the early March air leaving a distinct, and unfriendly feeling of cold. As he stepped out into that unflinching and unforgiving cold he was overtaken at once by its similarity and its grim, unsanitary difference to the lab he’d only moments ago departed. The greys and metallic incline of the buildings and structures remained unchanged, but their sterile and robotic quality was marred by the very notion that humans, thousands and thousands (although that was still probably an understatement) of humans walked these streets everyday. Further, they were presently attempting to do so, unaffected and indifferent to Gil’s yet apparent trauma. Would they have bothered to look, they would have noticed a perplexed and mildly horrified look on the face of the young Westerner.
After all, there was a certain lazy comfort to La Belle Epoque that New York of the present era was simply lacking, for all the reasons stated above and more.
Tremulously, cautiously, and not in a small way consciously he fumbled for the cellphone –Or rather communicator-- gifted to him shortly prior to his horrific realization. The cold contour of the device in his pocket stood to reassure him that this was, indeed, another jump, and not as Inez might suggest, a manifestation of neurosis, or symptom of some obscure cancer. Reassure that he was not, in fact, ill or suffering a hallucination, Gil stowed himself to bother some poor woman, probably rushing on her way to work. She in turn reassured him that he was in New York (though the statue at Columbus Circle had more or less convinced him of that), and continued on, seeming quite irritated that he’d made her re-situate her ear buds on her daily commute.
With a heavy, not entirely unfamiliar sigh, Gil wander. Wandering was, at this point, an activity with which he was increasingly familiar. The lack of a heavier jacket proved to make this particular wandering rather unpleasant, however; and he settled after a short time on a bench near the South West entrance to Central Park to mull over his life and his misfortune.
It was then that he noted a certain curiosity of this latest jump, so to speak, that bared noting at least once; It had been approximately 12:45am when he and Adriana had strolled into Maxim’s in Paris, and further, never before had his wanderings landed him anywhere during the day.
He’s carrying nothing notable (a wallet with a California driver’s license, some credit cards, and a few euros) and is in generally good health. There’s really nothing all that interesting about him.