Life is change, adapt or die... These are the words Tim had spoken to Nils all those years ago, advice that has been imprinted on his very soul and echoes true every day. Allegiances shift, alliances break, comrades and enemies trade sides with the drop of the hat - why should Nils be any different? Joining the ranks of Avalanche in his never-ending goal to see the people of the plate freed from this war, Nils now hopes to utilize his once-upon-a-time enemies to deal the death-stroke to Shinra Electric Power Company.
Age is beginning to catch up to Nils, lines beginning to form prematurely on his face from fatherhood and his command seat. His blond hair is now flecked with gray and his once brilliant silver eyes are strangely darkened, his sclera black from the use of a particular drug. Chisseled, scarred, and inked from the collar down, Nils is unafraid to display the badges of his life lived hard.
The Old Horse - Revived: A fire has awoken once again in Nils' chest... A last ditch at saving the old flame that burns for the end of Shinra... He's worked within the electric power company before, now he brings his militant personality and dynamic ideals to Avalanche in hopes of seeing the climax of this bloody war with his own two eyes. Nils is not the type to bow his head to just anyone, and while he cooperates with rank and structure as is necessary, he retains a level of pride that nothing can shake. He's been there, he's done that, and he ate the bag of chips - and he's not afraid to let you know it.
History Prior to ShinRa:
Nils Gustavsson's story starts long before he was born. On an OOC note, Nils' existence was inspired by the backstory of two characters I'd played formerly in Midgar, and as I started working on fleshing Nils out, I ended up making an elaborate family history that extends back multiple generations and weaves into other characters I have played, and played with.
Albrecht Richter, father of Razeluxe Minowa (By Junko Minowa), Nils Gustavsson (By Junko Minowa, placed in an orphanage in Midgar), and Nathan Price (by Allison Price, outside of wedlock), was a ShinRa Scientist of mild renown, a diligent worker in mako-tech and a moonlight follower of a cult devoted to materia... While he had no significant impacts upon the company, he did interact with a few foreign powers, putting him under company scrutiny... Ultimately, Albrecht would flee after being fired from his job, having long started slipping into paranoia and suspecting that he was being marked by ShinRa. Fleeing to Wutai with one of his lovers after she became pregnant, Albrecht took refuge with Junko Minowa's father's clan, eventually fathering two boys to the young woman. Keeping one of the children, Albrecht would pay a group of travelers to take the other to Midgar, hoping in his madness that somehow the child would know to seek revenge against ShinRa for his termination. Upon discovering that their child was missing later that day, Junko panicked and begged Albrecht to reveal what he'd done with the child, but he'd only mutter an incoherent response, having slipped further into insanity.
It would be Junko's father who would finally end Albrecht's ravings... Poisoning the man slowly with a drug starting to circulate in Wutai due to increased eastern presence, Junko's father would introduce Albrecht slowly to increasing quantities of Makorin, until one day he was found dead in his room, withered away.
Raised for the first ten years in an orphanage in Midgar, the as-of-yet nameless blond boy who would grow up to be Nils lead a relatively unexceptional existence, trapped somewhere between too poor to afford shoes, and having just enough money to keep the orphanage from going bankrupt. Nils' saving grace would come in the form of the Gustavssons, Charles and Linda, a now infertile couple who adopted the young blond boy and named him Nils, after their first child who had died seven years prior. Lower-middle class and honest people, Charles and Linda cared for the boy while putting him in school, the child having shown remarkable intelligence for his age, having educated himself with the aid of a few of the older children from the orphanage. Some two years later, Charles would die of pneumonia, and Linda would show signs of deteriorating health, having bouts of madness from undiagnosed syphilis. Slipping into delirium in her disease and loneliness, Linda kept Nils on a short leash, threatening to take him out of school if he didn't obey her every word.
The next few years were maddening for Nils, having Linda rave from the time he got home until she passed out about religious nonsense, spouting garbage about the lifestream and the judgment that awaited them all... She disconnected her home from ShinRa's grid and kept everything going on wood and coal. And then one day, her ravings stopped... Nils came home to find her dead too, like everyone else in his existence to date. Quietly, without so much as a tear, Nils reported the death and buried his mother, and then subsequently filed to be recognized as an adult so he wasn't placed back into the orphanage, using what little money he'd inherited to finish out his schooling whilst doing odd jobs at night to survive. He'd whittle away the next few years until shortly after his eighteenth birthday, when he bumped into a giant of a man with a wild grin and long red hair.
Tim Tiberius, one of the members of the White Wyverns, a group of aspiring monster hunters, had come to Midgar in hopes of finding work... instead of finding work though, he found himself a boy who looked like he hadn't seen a meal in days, a pair of shoes in months, and a haircut in years... In Tim's golden eyes, Nils found a new purpose, a chance at freedom from the hell that was his life. With but a simple plea, Nils found himself swept up with the crew of monster hunters and carried far away from Midgar. Shane Flywright Senior would teach Nils what he knew as the group's de-facto medic, Benny Shamos would teach Nils what he knew about women and being a man, and Tim Tiberius would teach Nils all about how to hunt and kill, giving him his first tool of the trade: The hunting rifle.
Young, intelligent, enthusiastic, Nils absorbed everything that was put before him, constructing his new identity piece by piece... Who he was before all of this meant little to him, his life truly started with the White Wyverns. After a year on the trails, having traveled the world over, their group was ready to attack their first huge mission... They were to take out a nest of dragons in the mountains of Nibelheim. It would be their biggest endeavor yet, and it would introduce almost all of them to a grim fate.
Seven men climbed that mountain, Seven men faced a flying devil, five men died valiantly, one was injured and the remaining one spent most of the battle cowering. When all was said and done, Tim Tiberius lay impaled on a stalagmite, and Nils found himself weeping for the first time in a long time, mourning the deaths of his friends. Removing Tim from the spire, Nils would carry him down the mountains himself, dragging the giant of a man at times, shouldering him as much as he could... By way of some miracle perhaps, Tim would survive, but the two of them were changed from their ordeal. Faced with a terrible burden, they set out to inform the families of the fallen of the deaths of their loved ones, bearing the weight of their own survival where worthier men had died.
Nineteen, almost twenty by the time they'd delivered the final notice, Nils decided he'd head back to Midgar, time to face the shadows of his old life and try to start anew... Bidding Tim a tearful farewell, Nils made his way back home, only to find that in his absence the house had been demolished. Pushing his way to the plate, Nils spent the next few years working diligently, trying to make a living on odd-jobs alone once again. Soul-crushing labor piled over fond memories, a flame of passion snuffed slowly by monotony.
That's where his story in Midgar starts, at the age of 22, applying for the paramilitary.
Early life as an MP:
The decision to join ShinRa was a fairly impulsive one, though now he’d say he was merely answering a calling. Perhaps it was fate that brought him to the tower one day, putting in an application to join the Infantry. It didn’t take long for him to be called in, Being interviewed by Kaden Leroden and Illyana Rysios a few days after his application. He did remarkably well in the interview and in the subsequent days as a cadet, his forward thinking, initiative to learn and adapt, and adherence to the law made him stand out among his peers. He was looked upon fondly by his superiors and advanced in the ranks quickly for all his hard work.
Finding himself working closely with Illyana Rysios quite often, it didn’t take long for the two of them to begin talking when off duty, their remarkably dissimilar histories sparking quite a lot of conversation between the two of them, and the fact that they’d rescued one-another from near-fatal situations quite a few times bringing them very close. Illyana herself was seeing a SOLDIER 3rd Class at the time by the name of Cador Lionheart, though their relationship had yet to progress beyond a certain point, leaving her (naive as she was [she explained herself as this OOCLY, don’t shoot the messenger]) feeling unfulfilled… Nils at the time was a very passionate man and it didn’t take long for him and Illyana to become swept up with one another, the Red-eyed devil stealing the SOLDIER’s girlfriend.
Their intimacy, though only a one time thing, managed to get Illyana pregnant, adding a lot of confusion and excitement to their lives. Though it broke Cador’s heart and hurt Illyana to know that she betrayed his trust, Nils and Illyana did their best to continue their romance, hesitation gone from the picture when they knew she was with child. Only a couple weeks after the pregnancy, Nils ended up proposing to her with a ring that he had custom designed, spending most of his savings on the fancy engagement ring and wedding-band set so that he could get something worthy of her finger. He proposed over dinner in a restaurant on the plate, reciting a line he had practiced for days and days; She of course said yes.
Tragedy followed the good news though, only a few days later Nils somehow found himself on a bird bound for Wutai, the base he was to land at had been overrun and his plane was shot down by anti-aircraft guns. Waking up amidst a battlefield in a burning forest, Nils was wounded and in incredible pain. The next day and a half were hell, running from Wutaian pursuit and hiding when they could… The Squad leader they were with had cooked up a plan to take back a nearby base with the six people that consisted of their group of survivors; it was their only option to get an aircraft in the area, they intended to use the artillery on that base to destroy the anti-aircraft guns in the other base that was also overrun. That night they did their best to execute the plans, though most of the squad died, leaving Nils, his friend Robertson, and a member of the other squad named Divine the only survivors, along with three others that had joined them along the way. Their efforts were successful, though it cost the lives of many good men , and the group ended up having to spend a few days in a hospital in Junon before they could be shipped back to Midgar.
All was not well upon Nils’ return… Sometime during his unintentional deployment, Illyana had lost the child and fallen prey to a Cupidberry, a tonberry that only shows up during the month of February and is devoted to spreading “romance” no matter the damage, having married a demihuman MP during his absence. Pained and confused, Nils spiraled into a depression that effected his work, reshaping the once stellar MP into a miserable shell of his former self. His personal hell peaked over Valentine’s day, a cupidberry’s assault resulting in Illyana fawning over Captain Virgil Kelbourne right in front of Nils while Kelbourne made derogatory remarks about relationships between humans and demihumans. Snapping, Nils made his way towards the Captain, delivering a suckerpunch to the man’s face while he was rambling about being some manner of world martial arts champion. Kelbourne himself was obviously displeased, shouting that he’d terminate Nils’ career and saying a few crude words about the blond while Nils snapped at Illyana, calling her out on her unfaithfulness and Kelbourne’s miserable ideals. Handcuffed and dragged off, Nils spent the rest of the evening in jail, eventually released and sent home. This event resulted in his demotion from Corporal to Lance Corporal, where he spent the next couple months trying to regain his former status, plagued by nightmares of his time in Wutai and his memories of Illyana.
The Return of the Good MP:
What must have been months of hard-work and self-evaluation finally came to a head when Nils decided to go to tryouts, having promised to be there to support several friends and fellow MPs. He worked hard while he was there, giving it his all and encouraging those around him to keep at it, his group during a portion of the exams practicing teamwork to take down their opponents. Ultimately the results came back with him not making it, but the three people he predicted would make it did, and for that he was happy. He cheered on the ones who made it and made up his mind to do better next time. From that point on he was back on track, working alongside the new Acting Master Sergeant Kaito, his friend who had made it as a SOLDIER recruit, and Valerick Goodliffe, a newly promoted Lance Corporal who Nils had watched rank up. Valerick proved to be a close friend as well as Kaito, Nils cherishing their friendship and support as he drove on in his efforts to be all the MP he could be.
It was around this time that Nils had also acquired a second job, working nights in a bar on the plate known as “discreet”, catering to all types… He used his military expertise to secure a position as security, earning the trust of the bartender, John English, and flirting with the barwoman, Lily O’something. This provided him with an outlet where he could get away from the stresses of his day job and exercise a little of his training in a less hostile environment. During this time he assisted Valerick in creating a counter sniper group in response to the death of an MP named Harris and provided a lot of effort and material for the group, eventually receiving the rank of Sergeant for all of his hard work and the position as Assistant Drill-Instructor.
All good things come to an end of-course, the following month was filled with tragedy as Nils got wrapped up in an issue involving the potential treason of his close friend, Kaito, and the Kaito’s possible framing at the hands of his other friend, Valerick. Tensions were high within the companies as Lulucianne Rysios, Illyana’s adoptive daughter, was kidnapped and held for a day, having one of her hands cut off as a message to the Lieutenant. Not long after, Illyana herself found her fate at the receiving end of a bomb, being killed in the line of duty while Nils was away… The pain of losing her again was unimaginable, Nils retreated for a short time again, attempting to power through his grieving, but finding only hatred at the bottom of his heart for the person who caused this.
Direction came at the end of a patrol, Nils pondering a rash of incidents commited by a group known as “The Revenge Society”, a group dedicated to taking down Avalanche by any means necessary… He knew Avalanche was to blame for Illyana’s death, so he made the call to the number written on the wall, taking up the identity of Vengeance to embody his wrath. Taking to the slums, he participated in a series of snipings that wounded a couple Avalanche members and even left one paralyzed for several days from the waist down. His pleasure was cut short though when he found images online of one of his own MPs, being tortured by members of TRS. Disgusted, Nils separated himself for a time from the organization and focused on his duties as an MP, assisting the girl who was tortured in overcoming the abuse she’d suffered at the hands of TRS. He worked with Sakura at becoming a better MP, training her in marksmanship and behavior, coaching her on how to achieve her goals…
This too would not last, the girl was abducted a few days later once again while off duty, found a day later and almost killed by her rescuers… She had retreated into her depression and Nils didn’t see her at all for a while until finally one day she threw herself from the clocktower, committing suicide and leaving a few notes for her lover and her friends. The delivery of this information shook Nils once more, feeling as though he failed her as her Sergeant, and that he was partially responsible for her depression in the first place, having educated members of TRS in their skills. What was worse was that her lover had attempted to kill himself as well, though thankfully Nils and Valerick had shown up just in time to stop him, wrestling the gun from the man and bandaging wounds that had opened up during the confrontation. Nils did his best to comfort the man after their hospital trip, but he was of course going to need some time.
Things got really active for Nils for a while... Having become the VCC for Bravo and working hard for the paramilitary, the man found himself promoted time and time again. Things were advancing quickly for him due to his involvement, and he found himself caught up in his work most of the time. An old friend of his turned up around this time and he brought him into the paramilitary and other things. Friends came and friends went, some climbing the ladder into SOLDIER and others just retiring or even passing away... Nils remained though, and for a time he was happy with his work... Atleast until a souring of relations between him and The Revenge Society resulted in death-threats. Forced to resign from the paramilitary to avoid endangering any more MPs or his friends, the blond turned in his hat and locked himself away, faking his death...
In a matter of a month from his faked death, Nils impregnated a woman, got himself "killed" for real, and ended up in a several month coma which required even more time to fully recover from. Nils woke up a changed man, and found himself rapidly forced into fatherhood. Proposing to his wife-to-be under a new identity, Nils and Katrice would be married, becoming the Richters, a surname he adopted from his own birth parents.
His life having shifted significantly from it's previous break-neck pace to something far more slow and reserved, Nils cherished the break from his messy life and the family he'd gained. Spending the next several months mostly isolated to his home, Nils (now known as Anteus) would play house-husband and caretaker for two beautiful babies, as well as the daughter of a friend of the family. Old wounds softening, Nils would put his past life on a shelf somewhere, tucked away in an old shoebox and resigned to the annals of history. Occasionally Anteus would find himself coming to the aid of MPs, citing his old training and using his anonymity to move freely, but most times he avoided patrols, unable to attain an ID due to his own death and the fingerprinting required to get a new one. Focusing on family-making, Anteus was a devout husband and a protective father... When his wife was abducted by Avalanche, Anteus once again donned his armor and adopted the title "Red" in order to hunt down the ones who kidnapped his wife. There have been a few notable cases in his time as Anteus where he stepped away to play the "hero" like he used to, such as the battle between himself as "The Red Armored Man" and a terrifyingly powerful rebel known as Hikaru, but generally these were shortlived itches that were quickly scratched and forgotten.
Sector 3, Once more unto the breach:
Change often comes in bulk, and with the sudden evacuation of Sector 8 and the subsequent loss of life on all sides, Nils would come out of hiding to assist the Paramilitary with recovering from the blow. Nils' return was met with different opinions, some he knew before hailed it as a great thing and met him with open arms, others weren't sure whether to trust him or not. It bothered him not, there was work to be done. Tasked with the construction of yet another elite element in ShinRa, Nils found himself writing a handbook for a group to be known as the Rangers... His work was praised and he was stuffed into a new position, though he ended up gaining a counterpart in the form of the veteran officer Spectre. Now charged with ensuring that the Assault Squad turns into the elite force that's expected of it, Nils faces one of the biggest challenges that the Paramilitary has ever given him. What will he make of this?
Old Horses and New Pastures:
With the failure that was Sector 3 placed behind him and the shift to Sector 7, Nils found himself being shuffled around once again and placed into a command position within Charlie Company. Officership thrust upon his shoulders and the responsibility of restructuring the MPs set in his lap, Nils set upon fixing things he perceived his predecessors having failed in. The next year he spent being a paperwork knight while time slipped through his fingers and he found himself losing touch with both his troops and his family. Spreading oneself too thin finally caught up with him, and despite his regrets, Nils found himself with those old resignation papers in hand and looking more and more like the right path. It was surprisingly easy and simple to drop them, and once they were filed, it was all over... All the pain, all the frustration, all the regret. Years of darkness shed, Nils could finally leave it all behind.
For the next solid year, Nils spent his time tending to old wounds that hadn't healed properly. All of those field medical procedures, all of the strain he'd put on his body, all of the incredible stunts he'd pulled had cost him much beneath the skin. Bones that had broken had healed incorrectly, organs had been damaged permanently from all that he'd been through, he even had some lasting brain injury that he'd never fully recover from. Spending his time driving from the outskirts of Midgar to Kalm and Junon, Nils visited a good number of doctors in order to improve his condition. First he'd have all the pins and plates taken out of his body that had been used to keep bones in place while they healed... Then he'd have some of the improperly healed bones broken once again and re-set, encouraging them to grow back together in a proper medical environment. After all of that, there was a large battery of medical examinations he had to undergo to ensure that his organs were still functioning properly. Conveniently, he didn't need anything removed or anything transplanted, but his body still wasn't as healthy as a man his age should be. Somewhere around the physicality of a 50 year old, Nils required quite a bit of physical therapy in order to recover. In the meantime, he was strong discouraged from drinking and smoking, as his body probably wouldn't take too well to it.
In between medical procedures, Nils spent a lot of time at home with his kids. Lately he'd felt very distant from his family and he was trying harder to not be. He could afford to put his studies on hold for them, they were far more important than anything else in his world right now. Living the life of a father, Nils forgot all about Shinra and his sufferings for a while, enjoying peace while it lasted.
The Old Horse Returns:
With a recent prognosis from his doctor of less than thirty years on his plate remaining, Nils found himself facing a mid-life crisis fairly early. While he'd already come to terms with his mortality before and had even briefly crossed over once upon a time, Nils couldn't stand to think that he was wearing down so fast. Call it a relapse, but the more he looked back on his career in the paramilitary, the more his heart ached to return to something familiar like that, to recapture his spark and vigor. Doing a little bit of research and contacting old friends in the know, Nils found himself planning more and more to return, but he never could quite devote, realizing that a lot had changed in his absence and he didn't want to taint his view of the MPs any more than it already had been. Inevitably, however, he couldn't stay away.
Stepping back into the familiar tower lobby where he'd once turned in an application years ago, Nils found himself clutching a familiar sheet of paper, preparing to sign his life away once more.
Retirement: The Devil Keeps Grinning - Gary Jules 
Nils has held a great number of positions over the last four or five years: Combat Medic, Pilot, Co-Founder of the Counter Snipers, Founder of the Rangers, Lead Engineer for R&D, Nurse & Prosthetist, Mentor and Father. Though he's neglected a lot of his former skills, he still retains a lot of the knowledge and muscle memory required, his body just isn't in the shape it used to be in.
Ranged: Expert Level Skill. Skilled with Rifles and Pistols primarily.
Hand to Hand: Well trained. Practiced in Boxing, Jiujitsu, Grappling of various forms, and brutal animal-style fighting that his mentor favored.
Swordplay: Exceptionally well trained. Prefers a Side Sword.
First Aid: Exceptionally well trained. Former Nurse and Combat Medic. Unofficial/Unlicensed Prosthetist.
Vehicle Use: Trained to fly a Blackhawk, can drive any civilian vehicle.
Tech: Well trained. Was the Lead Engineer for a while with R&D.
Guerrilla Tactics: Exceptionally well trained. When you fight terrorists, you learn their tricks or you die real quick. Nils used a lot of his know-how and training to create the Rangers.
Materiology: Well Trained. Theory and application are two entirely different areas, but Nils has a good background in materia dabbling to supplement his lack of formal training. Having done a lot of research into Materia and the many theories behind its existence and how it works, Nils utilized a good bit of that info when creating the Rangers.
Language: Speaks common, Wutaian, and bits and pieces of a few others.
Physicality: Average/Below Average. Nils has had to undergo a lot of medical procedures in the last year and as such has suffered in this department.
Due to his use of the Sacrifice Materia, as well as his particular way of throwing himself into the forefront of a fight to protect others, Nils has acquired several scars.
Left Side/Long Laceration: A scar received from being cut up by materials from the downed aircraft he was on, was hastily stitched by Corporal Yu, a wutaian Marine who died overseas.
Center of the Chest/Bullet Wound: A scar gained from taking on damage from a wound that may have proven fatal to Illyana Rysios, a sniper had shot her through her armor.
All-Over Chest/Different wounds: Scars gained from taking damage on from Hakai after his suicide attempt, his wounds from previous fights had reopened.
Chest-wound/broad-scar: Scar gained from taking on damage from Constance Marren, her wounds from a fight with the SOLDIER 1st Class known as Grant had reopened after combat the following day.
All-over Chest/Slash wounds: Scars gained from his torture at the hands of TRS... Only himself and two other members would know it was arranged to establish some seperation between his personal identity, and his identity as Vengeance.
Chest-wound/Horizontal Line: Scar gained from being chopped nearly in two by Lucius Grant, lifted into the air on the blade of the sword, and then thrown from the weapon into a canyon wall. Survived by the graces of his MPs, the efforts of Lina Rosewater, and the sheer guts to... Keep his guts inside.
All-over Burns: Gained from enduring an explosion that nearly killed him and put him in a coma for three months, Nils is covered from head to toe in burn scars.
Who knows? He's living it.
"Everyone I know is crazy, and that's what keeps me sane." -Nils, on his family and friends.
Special note: Limits are for RP combat only, and only used when the other player is comfortable with them.
|Limit Level 1|
|Limit Level 2|
|Limit Level 3|
|Limit Level 4|
Rumors and Opinions:
If you find an encounter with Nils to have been noteworthy, feel free to place your character's opinion here.
Some people believe that Nils is a zombie, or perhaps a Time Lord.
Friends and Enemies
Skin: T&T Kue 1-1
Hair: SHAG: How Soon is Now?
Eyes: Internal Power: Black
Shape: My Own