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Discussion in 'Citizens' started by Javert, May 17, 2018.

  1. Javert

    Javert Les Miserables

    Lawful Neutral
    Le pardon pour la haine
    malfaiteur bienfaisant
    c’est ainsi qu’on gangrène
    l’État et ces agents

    Played by Levi

    Fandom: Les Misérables
    Age: 52
    Species: Human
    Gender: Male
    Canon Point: After he’s set free from the barricade
    NPC Companions: none


    If his career were judged success or failure by his encounters with one man then Javert would be unfairly seen as a blind fool and an incompetent. However, he is in fact very good at his job. He’s keenly intelligent, observant of detail, methodical, and dogged in pursuit whether his prey is bread thief or murderer. It’s only when ambiguity comes into play that he struggles— and prior to the point at which he’s been brought to Pandora, he never even admitted the possibility of such wiggle room.

    In terms of special skills he has a knowledge of Parisian street slang (very useful in Pandora, no doubt), savate (a form of kickboxing), excellent vision at night, and a deep familiarity with the ways of criminals. He is also an accurate shot insofar as that’s possible with nineteenth-century firearms, which he knows the basic workings of.


    Despite his competence and the dogged determination that goes with it, Javert is not without his weaknesses. He’s lived through five decades and his body shows the inescapable signs. He’s slower in reflexes and speed; he’ll still push through discomfort or pain to get done what has to be, but he’ll feel it significantly later on and will recover slower from any injuries. In addition he’s only human, susceptible to all the banes of humanity (poison, blades, etc.) and has no defense to offer against supernatural threats.


    “It was implacable duty; the police understood, as the Spartans understood Sparta, a pitiless lying in wait, a ferocious honesty, a marble informer, Brutus in Vidocq.”

    Javert’s character is built on a foundation of absolutes. Nothing about him makes allowance for compromise. There is black and white, outside the law and within it; nothing in between. Authority reigns, as is its right; religion and society’s norms complete the framework with which he structures his life. ‘Criminal’ is not a mutable status but indicative of character— a class, a race, a caste, once obtained never to be escaped. The kindness of a convict is as fantastical a concept as a unicorn.

    His own emotions, which he cannot avoid feeling, are irrelevant to his duty— and his duty is everything to him. He may leave, but work never leaves him. He is always the embodiment of the inviolable policeman, agent of the government, never bribed, rarely bested. He is proud of the work he does, seeing it as a necessary piece of the social order.

    As for himself, honesty makes up another piece. He holds others to exacting standards but he applies the same to himself. He has plenty of faults, including many that make him poor company, but hypocrisy is not among them, and nor is falsehood. In fact he takes the other extreme— confronted as a spy at the barricade, he could not lie. He was fully prepared to die instead.

    “The peasants of Asturias are convinced that in every litter of wolves there is one dog, which is killed by the mother because, otherwise, as he grew up, he would devour the other little ones. Give to this dog-son of a wolf a human face, and the result will be Javert.”

    His appearance contributes nearly as much as his personality to the animalistic impression he gives off. He looms well over six feet, relatively slender but broad in shoulders and chest. Keen silver-grey eyes peer out from beneath thick overhanging brows, between them a large crooked snout protrudes, and below that thin lips emerge from a forest of side whiskers. His hair, dark enough to be mistaken for black in certain lights, is held tightly in a queue by a silk ribbon, most often black.

    This is in keeping with the rest of his wardrobe, which is similarly immaculate and just as monochrome. When so much as a button is out of place, it is evident something is wrong. And to top off the ensemble, a top hat.

    The expression most often seen ranges from neutral observance to a suspicious scowl. His smile is a sight to be avoided— not only does it have a strange cast perhaps stemming from lack of use, it bodes ill for someone. That this someone is usually (though not always) up to no good does nothing to make it less terrifying.

    “Javert had been born in prison, of a fortune-teller, whose husband was in the galleys.”

    For some, such an introduction to life would have engendered empathy, an identification with the poor and downtrodden even were they fortunate enough to escape the gutters. It only furthered young Javert’s sense of isolation— he existed on the outskirts, wanting no part in the criminal world he had chanced into, yet that same identity kept most other paths beyond reach. The only way he could see before him lay with the police.

    He entered on the lowest rung, as a prison guard in the south. Among his assignments, by which time he had been promoted to adjutant, was the bagne of Toulon. There he witnessed the strength of a particular prisoner who would play an important role in his life. Neither had any inkling of this. To Jean Valjean he was just another faceless guard; to Javert the man was only another irredeemable clad in red.

    This was 1803. Just two years later Napoléon’s dreams of empire provided another opportunity for a man of low status; by Waterloo he had risen to the rank of sergeant and used this experience to re-enter civilian life where he had long wished to be. He gained the patronage of the prefect’s secretary and was given the position of inspector in a northern backwater. It was, as he reasoned to himself, a start.

    The start of what he could not have predicted. His appointment was due to the town’s previous mayor; his replacement, however, gave Javert an itch he couldn’t seem to scratch. Whereas he had always harbored the highest respect for authority, he was deeply suspicious of this man. It wasn’t until a feat of strength dredged up memory of a certain convict that he understood; even then he only acted in an expression of anger.

    He later came to see this as an error, and even later was vindicated in his suspicion. The man was in fact Jean Valjean. And being Jean Valjean, he managed to escape. Javert’s pursuit was unsuccessful, though not for lack of effort. Gradually the frustration faded into daily life as a police inspector in Paris. Notwithstanding this failure, Javert’s career overall was no wasteland. More often than not he got his man in the end, and he never compromised his integrity. (Or anything else.)

    The unrest simmering in France came to a boil in 1832 following the funeral of popular hero General Lamarque. The government was prepared. Javert was sent on a mission for the prefect of police himself to spy on the rebels. Perhaps the prefect was unfamiliar with the character of his chosen agent, because this man incapable of lies was immediately revealed and captured. In a tortuous sequence of coincidences Jean Valjean ended up at the barricade and contrived to set Javert free. Instead of gratitude, the inspector was beset with every other negative emotion. The worst of which for him was doubt.

    He dealt with this as he had always dealt with any complication— by ignoring it for as long as possible in hopes that it went away. It had worked well enough before. This time, however, choice was further dragged away from him by black cords snaking up from the cobblestones. Without warning he was confronted with a world the likes of which he had never dreamed, even in his worst nightmares.

    * * * * * * * * * *
    His gait retained a certain martial flavor, but its grip seemed to loosen infinitesimally with each step he took— each step away from the barricade, with newly freed limbs. He was a dead man walking, with all the contradiction that implied. In sparing his life Valjean had not done him a favor. Far from it. His world was upended, the world of a man who up to now had stood on the solidest of ground.

    Javert allowed himself no time to brood on this new state of affairs. After all, it might disappear without his having to do anything. He therefore returned to duty, reporting to the prefecture. In a subtle indication he had not discarded the evening’s events entirely, he omitted Valjean’s part in his escape, though he told himself it was for his own preservation. A police inspector could not accept help from a convict.

    Malcontent lurked beneath the limpid surface of Javert’s being. He did not know what to make of this, nor of his own response. He had lied, by omission but he had lied to the prefect of police. Before that, a convict had him within his power and instead let him go. It troubled him; he loathed the feeling. He should be immune to this.

    Fortunately another assignment came up to distract him from these thoughts. Rebellion (being, as it was, so closely related) had not stopped crime, and it had not stopped Javert. However, before he had even had the chance to change out of the disheveled clothes of the workman’s role he’d played as a spy, he felt something tug at his ankles. He was swift to investigate but still not quick enough to prevent what followed.

    Not that he had any notion how to resist. The ground beneath his feet had always been nearly as reliably constant as the stars in the sky. Now even that betrayed him. Seeing no other choice, Javert succumbed to his fate with stoicism and shut his eyes, awaiting his arrival in hell. It was, he reasoned, merely taking from him an extremely unpleasant choice.
    #1 Javert, May 17, 2018
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  2. Thalia

    Thalia Scratilicious
    Application Division

    Unseen academic
    your application is

    Welcome back, Levi! We missed you! What a beautiful, beautiful app! <3 So, you know what to do from here:just swing by the sign-ups and do the thing... And I'll just sob in the corner, because of your beautiful app <3