Ross Archer - The Messenger
- Name: Ross Archer (fake name given to him by C)
- Alias: The Messenger (it's more his occupation and he's called like that by others rather than accepting it himself)
- Sex: Male
- Age: 15
- Race: Human
- Sexuality: Heterosexual
- Occupation: Traveler, Merchant of Wishes
- Alignment: Heroic
Impulsive, cruel, cold, arrogant, ignorant and cynical. All those are words that do not describe Archer in even the slightest way. In a sense he's a pretty normal thirteen year old boy, though most likely more caring, understanding and mature than most other. Perhaps the thing that makes him appear strange and unnatural is the fact that he himself rarely jokes around. He can laugh, but telling jokes or pointing out something funny by himself is not something seen very often. Archer finds it incredibly hard to look away from human suffering, it nearly seems like there's something that draws him to it without him realizing it. He cannot endure it, no mater how little he knows about the person that is suffering, he has an absolute need to help them no matter what. Even if it means that he is going to do something stupid, unreasonable or get his own life in danger, he'll still do it. That makes him also a very flexible merchant. Though he doesn't think that it would be a smart idea to go around distributing Boxes to everyone, he is ready to given them to anyone who truly needs them and who's life can be changed for the better. But in that case the Boxes are supposed to be the initiators of change, people are supposed to develop and stand on their own legs, rather than just relying on the Boxes Archer gives them. Because he gets all the Boxes for free and only has to get on with his duties in turn, he can freely decide the prices. Of course he could sell extraordinary items like Boxes to the rich and aristocrats for millions and then simply enjoy life, he refuses to do so. Only those in need have access to his services. The only times when he really does charge money for the Box that is being sold is when he actually has no money on him and happens to be hungry at the same time. In the end it's not a must to sell normal Boxes, it's just a way of making a living while helping people while doing so. Precisely because of that he enjoys it to great lengths. Even so he's still aware of the dangers that handing out powerful and mysterious artifacts like Boxes to strangers, drags with itself. But usually Archer is not the type of person to mistrust others without any proof or reason to do so.
On the exact opposite of the spectrum is his actual occupation, that is when he is selling Soul Boxes. Unlike normal Boxes, these are no given out to him for his sake, but rather for the sake of his Master. They are the true personification of wishes given out to those in peril, for a price of course. The prices is usually reduced to nothing but a simple contract which the buyer signs. Though Archer has read through the contract countless times and analyzed it just as many times, without finding anything outright sinister in it, he never managed to lose the feeling of sickness when he watches someone signing the contract. In fact a few times he even tried to subtly make the affected party give up on the Box, without much success. The reason for that dislike might come from the strange feeling Archer has every time he faces the one who creates the Boxes, who also happens to be Archer's employer and master. Despite the fact that it was that man who indirectly saved Archer's life, there is something about him that makes Archer feel unwelcome in his presence. He cannot exactly place his finger on it, most likely because he never was in a situation which allowed him to experience a feeling like that and as such even now it's a mystery to him. If he had a choice he would never meet that man again nor would he ever meddle with those who need a Soul Box, but sadly that is not possible for him.
Even when not travelling and selling Boxes Archer's approach to life does not change. He tries to enjoy it as much as he can while helping others. His kindhearted nature makes it very easy for him to make friends and that's something he gladly does. Another thing that helps is the fact that he's very curious about the lives of others, he's a good listener and is always ready to give advice and help those with problems. What does pain him a lot is the fact that his family has no memories of him and even he himself seems to hold only fragments of memory about them as well. Playing with children, taking care of animals and helping the elder, he enjoys doing all of that, not because himself, but because of the feelings and reactions it causes in others. A natural born tinker, not so much in the sense of inventing things but rather combining already existing ones to make them more effective or suitable for a certain situation. Archer greatly dislikes conflict, if he comes across anything alike he will do his best to end it without causing harm to any of the parties involved if possible. Of course this applies more to local and persona conflicts than large scale wars, after all what could a thirteen year old boy do in a situation like that. Archer himself also avoids using violence on others, in fact it nearly borders on pacifism. Despite the fact that he often finds himself in situations where violence seems like the only option, he restrains himself. Only in the most extreme of all cases and self-defense where there is no other way out will he use any kinds of offense himself. He prefers to deal with things by talking and solving the problem at it's roots, rather than just taking the short way and eliminating a life. But it would be a mistake to assume that Archer will just give up in a situation like that. Determination is one of his big traits and living on is his main goal and as such he is ready to go well beyond his limits if that's what's needed to survive.
Even though his current life is rather enjoyable, Archer's main goal remains getting rid of the contract that binds him to his job and return to his normal life as soon as possible.
Archer is fairly short, a not surprising fact as he's only thirteen and has not yet gone through a growth boost. His body structure is painfully average. He has no real muscles, but he's not a complete weakling either. The best expression to describe his body build would be "mild-athletic" and he's rather happy with that. But the whole deal with his body is somewhat pointless to begin with as most of the time his figure is obscured by the layers of clothes he is wearing. The only thing that really does stand out and sometimes makes Archer feel embarrassed are his rather feminine hips, accompanied by a slim waist. The fact that most don't notice that feature of his because of his cloths is not a coincidence of any kind. Archer does so on purpose, as he'd rather avoid any strange comments from the various people he meets every day. Archer has a face that makes it so that he is easily overlooked in most crowds.
It's a rather flat face without too many features. His nose is very small and his mouth and lips are just as hard to notice. Furthermore his mouth is usually closed shut and nearly frozen in stoic like position. Even his slightly bigger eyes have a dull and dim green color to them. Archer's clothing is mostly practical. He prefers a white shirt under a green jacket. Pants of the same color and boots that allow to cross all kinds of terrain. On this belt are several pouches that he uses for both the storing of Boxes and ammunition for his weapon, next to them is a leather holster, used mostly for Archer's black revolver which also happens to be his weapon of choice. He also has a green ushanka with a pair of goggles on it. They come to use mostly when he is on his motorcycle and is travelling great distances.
His entire outfit is usually completed with a brown long-coat.
Powers and Abilities
Overall Archer's powers and abilities aren't all that numerous. His body is that of a human, and as such his strength, speed and durability are below those of an average adult. It's possible to argue that his willpower and determination give him slightly abnormal endurance, but even then he is still bound by the limitations of his body. That is, while he can bring himself to ignore the pain of a broken leg and even attempt to walk with it, the resulting action will not be effective and even if he manages to willingly resist any amount of pain assaulting him, his body will still give up on it's own and he will pass out from the pain. His other powers not related to the Boxes he posses are few. Because he has found himself in many dangerous situations he developed unnatural reactions to threats, which is one of the things other than his Soul Box that has allowed him to survive on his journeys. But in the end, Archer's most precious and extraordinary trait remains the fact that despite only being thirteen years old he seems to posses the knowledge and logic of an adult, a very smart adult on top of that. He can warp his head around things faster than others can and he is good at figuring the logical connection between things. And even though it's not even close to supernatural levels, Archer is a rather good marksman though he has to struggle with recoil especially since his weapon of choice is a high caliber revolver. He also has decent motorbike riding skills since his main way of transportation is his trusty motorcycle.
Boxes are devices that act as a form of different reality, they are simply put pocket dimension. While they are inside the universe, they are a closed system of their own which means that they have their own rules, rather than the rules that apply to the universe. The size of Boxes varies and can be modified, from small ice cube sized Boxes to those that are bigger than the biggest man made thing on the planet. The first and foremost rule for Boxes is that one most willingly enter into one. That rule only counts for the usual entering into a Box, that is being inside of it, but there are of course exceptions as well as other ways of getting people into a Box without actually forcing them inside. Archer as someone who sells Boxes possesses many Boxes, but only a few are actually his own and not meant to be sold. Even though Boxes differ from one another and are even divided into categories they all have one thing in common. They were all created by the same person. He is simply called "C". He is the one who makes all Boxes and distributes them to Messengers like Archer to then sell in his place.
All Boxes are placed in one of three possible categories. Hobby Boxes, Violence Boxes and Soul Boxes.
Hobby Boxes are the most basic and mundane Boxes. As the name implies they are meant for casual activities and relaxation. They do not have any kind of combat application. They can range from simple houses and rooms to entire islands and beaches for one's recreation or even absurd ones like a giant mansion with maids included which call your "Lord" or a land made of nothing but candy. Despite the fact that theses Boxes are used for fun mostly, the term "Hobby Box" applies to every non-combat oriented Box or Soul Box. That means a Portable Hospital Box, despite being something that will most likely be used to help people, do work or even make a living is still called a "Hobby Box". Hobby Boxes are the most numerous and cheapest ones and in a sense they are the most useful ones. After all Violence Boxes are the most destructive and the ones with the most negative effects while Soul Boxes are usually twisted and mostly benefit only ones person. Only Hobby Boxes can be beneficial for a whole community, for an instance a Box that holds an endless amount of water could supply a village in the desert. On top of that Hobby Boxes can be used by any number of people, they cannot recognize an "owner" and as such anyone who has access to the Box can use it freely. In a sense these are the Boxes Archer likes the most and he also sells the most of them, usually giving them out for free to people who truly need them. They are also the ones that make him a target of many attacks. Which war-loving maniac wouldn't love to have an object which can fit in your pocket, but can carry an absurd number of soldiers, weapons ammunition and even food. If theses Boxes were ever to become mass-produced and were integrated into our everyday lives they would certainly change the face of the world and revolutionize the way of living.
The second type of Boxes, Violence Boxes, are quiet different. As their names already implies they are use for acts of violence, mostly combat oriented. The thing that sets them apart from Hobby Boxes the most is the content of them. While Hobby Boxes usually contain nothing more than objects, places or in rare cases people, Violence Boxes are different. Besides all of that they also contain concepts, that is, they can give powers to the users while they are inside the Box. Violence Boxes can range from simple rooms filled with guns all the way to abstract plans of existence where the users can bend the laws of physics to their own will. Unlike Hobby Boxes these can only inflict harm, they have no mundane application or use in everyday life which is most likely the reason why Archer dislikes them so much. They seem only capable of causing pain and destroying things. Archer has complained about their existence to C himself, but he asserted multiple times that those Boxes are as necessary as the Hobby and Soul Boxes. Despite that Archer still refuses to sell them even though he does carry a few of them around. He has them just for the case of someone truly needing one. Of course someone would first have to provide an extensive explanation and proof that they actually need it and that Archer can trust them with it before they can see a Violence Box, let alone buy one from him. Because of that the number of Violence Boxes in use in the world is considerably lower than that of Hobby Boxes, a fact Archer is very happy about.
The last kind of Boxes is called Soul Boxes. Theses are the most unique, twisted but perhaps also most powerful Boxes out there. Unlike the Hobby and Violence Boxes which are mass-produced by C with no intention behind them whatsoever, Soul Boxes are produced with a very specific thing in mind, or rather a very specific person in mind. Soul Boxes are the personification of one's wish. Those Boxes directly grant the wish of those who buy them, and continue granting it from that point onward. Unlike the other two theses can only have one user and will not allow themselves to be used by anyone else. It's also usually a rule that one can only have one Soul Box as it is impossible to sign one and the same contract twice as a form of payment. Theses Boxes are those that are directly connected to Archer's occupation and his contract with C. While Archer sells Hobby Boxes and (rarely) Violence Boxes for himself so that he has money to live, he must sell Soul Boxes not because he wants but because of C, so the payment does not go to Archer but to C, not that Archer would be interested in what C charges anyway. Archer always carries only one Soul Box with him (other than his own) and he sells it in the time period of 24 hours. Of course out of the three Boxes the Soul Boxes have the widest application of all. They can quiet literally do whatever the user wishes, but naturally one Box can only grant them one wish. At the moment the contract is made the Box can become anything the user wish it to be. That makes them both powerful but also very dangerous. Needless to say, getting a Soul Box isn't exactly the simple process of wanting to buy it, there is more to it. Archer is informed by C, usually a whole month before the contract will even happen, when and where he has to be and who will request a Soul Box. A person is only allowed to buy a Soul Box in a moment of passionate and mad attachment to a wish to the point where they'd believe anything, including the existence of boxes that grant wishes. At that point Archer appears and offers them exactly that. If they truly accept the offer they have to sign a contract before they get their Box and with it their wish granted. The contract is extremely simple, a white sheet of paper with a single line on it.
"I hereby acknowledge that every being has a right to pursuer a wish in their life."
With the accepting that simple line they are granted and Box and it is shaped in accordance to their wish. They don't even have to tell their wish to Archer, all they have to do is sign the contract and Archer himself often doesn't even get to see what their wish was. Archer has no choice when it comes to selling theses kinds of Boxes, it is one of his duties towards C which he must do no matter what. That is also where his title of a "Messenger" comes from as he is someone who comes and informs one that they certainly have a wish and that it can be granted. The above is the usual contract which most people get to see, but there's a second one, a bit more complicated. This contract is offered only to those who make their wish while dying or any other situation where abnormal fear for one's life exists. C himself appears before them, offering them a wish. Their contract is the contract with which they promise that they will serve him as Messengers. They are then granted a Soul Box that makes their wish come true and usually also saves their life. Of course given his current position it is clear that Archer also made his wish in a situation like this.
Soul Boxes are the rarest ones and very few of them actually exist.
Archer's skills as a Messenger can be called exceptional. Manipulating a Box comes with time and experience, and while Messengers are given the knowledge to do it they still use various tools simply because it's easier and faster. But Archer uses nothing but his hands and is still more than capable to doing everything other Messengers can do with the same speed and efficiency. That includes manipulating the physical size of a Box as well as the most important ability of all, Projecting. Projecting is the act of forcing the inside of the Box onto the world outside of it. Using this ability one can use a Box to defend themselves from enemies without having to follow them rule of not forcing anyone to enter. Archer Projects his Boxes by crushing them with his hand.
While he carries many Boxes with himself, Archer truly only possesses a few of them. They are as follows:
- Bedroom Box: A Box which is exactly what the name implies, a simple bedroom with two beds a working table and a closet. It was a gift by C to help Archer on his travels, though he was offered a house at first Archer refused. He didn't think that he alone would need an entire house and a warm place to sleep would already be enough for him.
- Garage Box: Another Box that reveals it's purpose in the name. It's a simple garage with various tools and machines. Archer mainly uses it for his motorcycle. He spends a lot of time in this Box as he's rather attached to his bike and he likes to take good care of it.
- The Armory: The only Violence Box Archer has. Like the other two it was given to him by C. Though Archer found it repulsive at first to own a Box like that he got used to it especially since it has helped him out many times on his travels. It is a Box that act as an endless storage room, filled with nothing but guns, rifles, bombs, mines and other weapons. When one enters it he quickly gets the feeling that he's in the Matrix as the weapons just slid in from all sides usually exactly those weapons that the user needs at the time. Archer uses the Box for various things, but mostly when having to arm many people usually villagers in an act of self defense.
- Rejecting Classroom: Archer's very own Soul Box that granted his one wish. It appears as nothing more than a simple classroom with no students of course. At first it seems as if it has no power but that is quickly disproved if Archer is damage or in great danger. The Classroom takes it's effect from Archer's wish when the Box was given to him. "I want to live." was the only input the Box got. As such any wound or damage inflicted upon will be "rejected" by the Classroom and disappear. Even death is reversible inside of it and Archer can use it to force those that wish to do him harm out of it. While the Box cannot be used to inflict damage in any way it is the ultimate survival Box and it has saved Archer many times.
Life Before the Vice
From the little fragment he can remember, Archer believes that he had a rather nice life and childhood. His family was an average one, though he isn't sure he believes that he had siblings. And while everything seems extremely vague, if he could actually remember he would know that he had rather normal everyday life. He lived in a small town with his parents and an older sister and brother. They were a middle-class family and his father had a job in a small company of no importance. Archer was a decent student at school and he got along with everyone pretty well. He was especially liked for his readiness to help others, whether it be helping them with homework, cheating on a test or cleaning up the gym after some event, nearly everyone in school knew that if you had some tedious problem pestering you and it was annoying enough that no one would bother helping you with it, Archer was the guy you should turn to. He was pretty much famous for his inability to say no when a request came up. Whether he noticed or not he was also popular with the girls, sadly for him by the time he came to the age where he could even start getting interested into things like that his life had already changed beyond any chance of experience mundane things like school or having a normal girlfriend. His everyday life was filled with joking around with his friends and teasing each other about possible love interests, shortly put the life of a normal boy. The interaction with his siblings was also nothing out of the ordinary. They'd fight all the time, tease each other but they also really cared for each other. It was less than three months after he became fourteen years old that terrible tragedy would change his life forever.
It was morning and he was on his way to school. The night before it had rained and even now a fine mist was embracing the city. As Archer was crossing the usual crossroad a truck emerged from the mist. The driver seemingly lost control. Though Archer noticed an tried to react, but it was already too late. He merely managed to avoid being completely crushed by the massive vehicle, but even the partial impact was enough to send him flying against a nearby. Though he was still awake it was clear that it would change soon. He had most his bones broken and suffered internal bleeding. In those last moments of his he didn't think about what awaited him in death, but rather what he had left behind in life. All those everyday things which he couldn't experience ever again. At that moment a single though came to his mind.
"I want to live."
Just as he was about to close his eyes for the last time ever everything became dark. He thought that he had already passed away. But then, a spotlight appeared. In the middle of it a person, slowly approaching Archer. Though person was the wrong word for it. Formless entity described it much better, in fact it's unclear how Archer could even tell the thing was alive but somehow he just knew it. As it came close to him gained more and more form, finally arriving to him with the appearance of a young man with green hair in a Michael Jackson like outfit. The man bowed down to the dying Archer and said, "If you want to live, give me your name." before Archer even realized what was going on he had a contract in front of his eyes. It was a single, simple line on a big sheet of paper, as well as one extra line and the very bottom.
"I hereby acknowledge that every being has a right to pursuer a wish in their life."
"I also acknowledge my new position as a Messenger."
Archer didn't even want to think about it. He looked around for a moment but then noticed that he was already holding a pen in his hand. Then he wrote a name, a name he can no longer remember. As the contract was formed a small black box appeared in front of him. It expanded turning the darkness into his classroom, an empty one. His wounds and the pain disappeared as if they were never there to begin with. Before Archer had even realized it the scenery changed once more. He found himself in a room which looked like an office. Overfilled with books and papers. At the end in front of a giant window was a table with the man from before sitting at it and reading a paper. Hearing him approach the man rises his head and faces him. Seeing his confused look the man welcomed the boy. Without wasting any time he explained that the boy had made a contract and in exchange for his services he was given a box. Archer checked his pocket and truly there was a small black box inside of it. The man who introduced himself as C continued his explanation, clarifying that Archer would not do what C just did, that is he would be selling Boxes for contracts. He also assigned him a new name "Ross Archer" saying that his old one no longer existed. Though Archer had quiet a few questions on his mind C quickly brushed them off saying that they would answer themselves as he worked. He tossed Archer a pouch with Boxes and sent him away.
Before Archer started his new life as a Messenger C said one more thing.
"You're quiet interesting."