This app contains references to trauma, child abuse and possible incest. It also deals with mental health, albeit of a more cinematic or theatrical nature than a realistic representation.
Fandom: Midnight Ride (1990).
Played by Dharke
don’t you EVER run from me!
don’t you EVER run from me!
Played by Dharke
Age: Twenty-eight years old. "I'm looking for a blonde woman, about thirty, […] travelling with a younger man."
Canon Point: About 30 - 45 minutes into the film. After killing a police officer and putting on their uniform.
NPC Companions: None.
SKILLS & ABILITIES
They say a madman’s got the strength of ten, which appears true of Justin, who was shown throughout Midnight Ride to overpower people with varying effort, including cops. Of course I’m sure he’ll find it a different story with all of the super powered people in Pandora!
Stick him behind the wheel of a car or bus and he’ll drive like a pro, fearlessly crashing into police or the pumps at a gas station. He would’ve made a great stunt car driver had his childhood not been so shit. Also, he knows about basic car maintenance (such as changing a tire).
His trademark weapon is a flick knife with a nice long blade that pops out as smooth as silk. Mmm. Justin carries around a stolen police revolver and a glass eye that is attached to a frayed piece of string, the latter from a dead woman's skull. He likes to put the (unwashed) glass eye in his mouth.
That madman quote applies here as well, because he appears to possess a small resistance to things that should kill him, such as being electrocuted repeatedly and not suffering any ill effects. WTF!? I suppose he built up a resistance to it after his electroconvulsive therapy!? But at the end of the day, he’s still a squishy mortal. A bullet to the skull would take him out of action quickly and efficiently
Justin McCay is crazy. But don’t tell him that to his face or he’ll get angry and upset and claim that YOU’RE the one who’s crazy. It’s YOU! YOU! YOU’RE CRAZY! YOU SCARE PEOPLE! It's insinuated that he suffers from schizophrenia (due to the references to "super-temporal abnormality" and hearing voices in his head), but is never explicitly stated in the film.
It isn’t obvious at first that he’s fucking nuts, drawing people in with a sweet smile and his clean shaven boyish looks. He makes good conversation and often engages in small acts of chivalry. You may notice that he’s a bit quirky, but certainly not CRAZY. He’s a terrible fidget and loves to take people’s pictures with the clunky, old-fashioned Polaroid camera that hangs around his neck.
Justin also loves to take pictures of fiery explosions, the people he’s just brutally killed and adorable fluffy kittens. He enjoys spending time going through his collection of Polaroids, which help to a certain extent block out the images of his sister’s murder that play over and OVER AND OVER AGAIN in his head. He also enjoys showing other people his Polaroids and gets upset when they don’t seem interested in them. WILL YOU LOOK AT MY PICTURES?
The pictures also indulge his sadistic streak. Justin takes great pleasure in making people that he dislikes (NO, NO, NO, people who dislike HIM) suffer in some way, cackling like the Joker at their pain. He doesn’t run around tormenting or murdering people without a reason, although these reasons are small and many. His temper is easily triggered when he doesn’t get what he wants from somebody or if they physically harm him. People who remind him of his mother in some small or large way also provoke his hostility, whereas he'll attempt to protect those who are more like his sister (until they do something to upset him).
His mother had strabismus and as a result, he obsesses over people’s eyes and is unnerved or fascinated if there’s something unusual about them, whether it’s the color or if one's pointing in the wrong direction. Even glasses pique his curiosity. Having lived in fear of his mother’s long, sharp talons, he is fixated with keeping his fingernails short, often thinking they’ve grown when he’s only cut them five minutes ago. In moments of agitation, he tends to chew them down until his fingers are bloody.
When at his worst, it’s possible to calm him down or rationalise with him by saying you like him, or you’re his friend… Just as long as you don’t have odd eyes or long fingernails.
Key: Bold text is head canon.
• His birth certificate reads "Justin Luuke McCay." His parents didn't care enough to get that typo in his middle name fixed at the hospital.
• Justin and his little sister were raised by negligent parents, their father regularly going on BUSINESS TRIPS that lasted many days... Sometimes even months. Their mother often got drunk, becoming verbally and physically abusive towards her children. She also used to bring back strange men, who looked at Justin's sister funny.
• His sister died on the night of a terrible storm. She was crying from the freezing cold, so Justin put her to bed, getting under the covers with her “just to hold her and make her feel warm, that’s all”. Their “maw” came in and misconstrued it as something dirty (although maybe it was given some insinuations throughout the film), which caused her to go berserk. Justin ran and hid behind the couch, while his sister tried to flee out into the storm. “Don’t you EVER run from me!” Their maw grabbed the first thing that came to hand… Not a dishrag… Not a spoon… A head of lettuce... But a BUTCHER knife that she put into his sister “like a hairbrush”.
• The police blamed the murder of Justin's sister on one of the men that their maw had slept with in the past.
• Justin began to experience "bad thoughts" and hear voices in his head, which told him to "hurt people". One being his maw, who he murdered on what would've been his sister's birthday, taking a picture of her corpse and adding it to his collection of "special photographs". Unlike his maw, he did not get away with murder.
• He ended up in the care of a psychiatrist, Dr Hardy, who described him as “profoundly anti-social” and “profoundly sociopathic”. "One of the worst cases [he'd] ever dealt with." Justin was given electroconvulsive therapy, which helped to quiet the voices and bad thoughts. He developed a good relationship with Dr Hardy.
• Justin was transferred to another hospital, where he no longer had Dr Hardy's help. He managed to break out one night.
• "I-I- I don't think I can make it alone." He decided to go to Hendersonville to see his “best friend” Dr Hardy. Unable to rent a car without a credit card, he hitchhiked a lift from Russian immigrant, Lara Markman, who had left her cop husband, Lawson, that night. Lawson pursued them, but they gave him the slip.
• Lara stopped at a hotel to make a phone call, while Justin took offence to the hotel clerk’s glass eye and killed her out of view. Back on their journey, Justin made Lara a present, being the glass eye on a bit of string. She realised then that she was in serious shit. After Justin got out of the car to “help” a young woman named Joan, Lara was able to also give him the slip.
• By some absurd twist of luck, he ended up hitchhiking a lift off her husband. Lawson didn’t recognize him, until he was holding his flick knife to his neck. Justin knocked him unconscious and tied him to the front of his car like some kind of oversized hood ornament, cackling away as he rammed it into the back of a truck. After the car ran out of fuel, he shoved it down a hill, where it struck another and erupted into a bright, beautiful fireball.
• A police officer turned up to investigate the incident, who Justin killed to acquire his vehicle and uniform. It was at this point that he was brought to Pandora.
“Officer! Officer!” screamed a woman with red, rubbery lips that mildly perturbed him. “Come quick! There’s been a terrible accident!”
Justin followed her up the quiet street, brushing bristly vines off his new police uniform, loaned to him by that man who hadn’t liked him. He didn’t want the vines to burrow into his ears like thorny green worms, wriggling through the folds of his brain and dirtying his thoughts, so he let them float to the asphalt.
The woman was small and chubby, her floral skirt swishing around her purple sandals, but he didn’t care about those kinds of extraneous details. It was her lips. Those red, rubbery lips. They mildly perturbed him. He wanted to cut the lips off her flat face with his switchblade and hide them beneath the soil. He’d have to bury them at least six feet, so he wouldn’t hear their screams. Was six feet enough to silence her lips? Maybe he should bury them twelve feet?
“Better safe than sorry!” he tittered at the woman, who only stared blankly back at him.
He didn’t like the shape it made of her lips. Those red, rubbery lips. He would’ve lunged at her then, sinking his knife into doughy skin, had the passive aggressive crackle of fire and the acrid stench of burning chemicals not caught his attention.
Two crumpled cars were burning together in the middle of the road, the magnificent reds of the flames stealing away his breath. A dense crowd of people were gathering at the fringes of the street, gawping at the spectacular accident. Justin bet none of them liked him. He would like to throw them all on the fire and watch what it did to the reds. He’d throw the lips he didn’t like on there as well. That would silence them.
“Are you going to call in the rest of the City Watch?” the woman with the lips pressed him. He didn’t appreciate the bossy way they moved to form those bossy words. The woman mustn’t have liked him. The lips didn’t like him.
It was his turn to stare at her blankly, before he stepped as close as he could to the fire without entering that haze of magnificent red. Hot air scorched the bare skin of his face and hands, rippling his borrowed police uniform.
Squinting against the livid light, he raised his Polaroid camera and snapped a photo.
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