Name/Handle: Angel Are you 18 or over?: As always and forever.
Alter’s source work, author and character:Skyfall (general Bond-ness), Ian Fleming (though we’re going with movie-verse), Q Character Journal name:inpajamas Character Name: Jean-Michel (Mike) Delacroix Martin Character Age: 20 Character Played By: Eddie Redmayne Alter Played By: Ben Whishaw
Character History and Personality:
Once upon a time, in the space between his youth and his adulthood, a young man traveled to Europe. It was the romantic thing to do, and while his parents rolled their eyes at him, they allowed it. What else were they to do? The young man was set on it, and spent weeks on his own, exploring new-old spaces. And then he arrived in Paris. And fell, ever so thoroughly, in love. She was Parisian, didn’t mind that he was from across the ocean, and when he returned to Montreal, their love continued to grow through letters and too-expensive phonecalls. And then she crossed the ocean as well, and they married, and they had children, and they continued to be thoroughly in love.
Their children (first a girl, then another girl, then a little boy) grew up well-loved, in a house that spoke both English and French like overlapping streams. Some days the children were more like puppies in how they ran around and how they loved, and the family was happy. The girls were sent (first one, then another) to different classes, looking for things they loved to do, until they quite firmly settled on gymnastics. Twisting and tumbling, they brought it back to the house and when they practiced, their little brother (too small yet for the classes) practiced with them.
His name is Jean-Michel, and if it wasn’t quite clear, this is actually his story.
Jean-Michel was named by his mother, given her maiden name as one of his own, and his father’s name as well. That is an awful lot of name for one little boy, though, so most everyone just called him Mikey. And after a few years had passed and he felt too big for that, Mike. And as Mike grew, loved by his parents and his sisters, he started to go to his own gymnastics classes. It didn’t take long for his teachers to notice him, to throw him onto any apparatus they could, to watch how he was able to master just about anything, his young body flexible enough to learn easily. And with that ease and mastery, he earned more attention, being placed out front at meets, being singled out by coaches. Being pushed, gently but insistently, toward the sort of training that would make an Olympian out of a boy.
And so, in a delicate balance with school and friends and family, Mike trained. He trained and competed and by the time he was in his teens, he was getting close to gyms and teams that would lead to national and international competitions. And when he was tumbling, when he was in the air, on rings, on a bar, flying, he was happy. The thrill and rush of the movement and performance was his refuge. But everything else began to take its toll. Some people have the tenacity and pure stubbornness to excel in high-stress competition. But Mike did not. The stress ate at him, and he found within only a few months that he was losing weight, getting sick, dreading the thing he had always loved.
It was under doctor’s orders that he dropped out of competition, but that wasn’t a true fix, either. The lack of it in his life began sending him into a creeping depression that even returning to his old coaches and old gym couldn’t immediately chase away. One coach in particular saw what was happening, the way the Mike was fading fast, and on a hunch called up one of his old friends. A friend that happened to have her own connections. And within the city of Montreal, those sorts of connections happened to be with Cirque du Soleil. Mike was invited to a meeting that was more audition than anything else, unprepared for being dragged into a gym and told to go through a routine. And people stopped to watch the boy that had stripped down to dress pants and an undershirt, watched as he tumbled and stretched, and after direction from a trainer, bent his body back into one of the loosely impossible, double-jointed positions that had had no place in official competition. But performance was another story entirely.
Mike’s training took a different turn at that point. He went back to his old gym until he graduated highschool, when he was welcomed into the Cirque family with warm, open (yet demanding) arms. The training was just as difficult (if not moreso) than what he had done before, but it lacked the flavor of competition that had derailed him in the past. He easily fit into the family there, fellow performers warmer than fellow competitors, and for the first time he was able to really fit friends alongside training. And perhaps some more-than-friends, since the boys that are a part of that family were all so lovely. No one stuck, though. Training simply took too much time.
He took up first contortionism and then aerial work, until he was deemed fit enough to join one of the Montreal-based shows. He’s filled in here and there - twisting himself in silks, stories above the floor - until he was asked to move to Las Vegas, to take on a roll in one of the shows there. And though it was farther from home than he’d been before, he agreed. But Vegas is loud, and bright, and loud, and maybe he’s been hiding (when not onstage) in his small apartment since he arrived. The audiences are different than they were in Montreal, everything is different than it was in Montreal. Least of which being the tablet that’s suddenly shown up in his mail. Though at least being in the air is still the same, right?
Alter: Well, everything had gone right to hell, hadn’t it? He’d gone and cocked up quite a few things, allowing Silva direct access (with engraved invitation) directly into the deepest corners of MI6’s computer systems. And then M had died. Not strictly his fault, of course, though perhaps there is a bit of guilt to be had there. (Nothing to rival what he suspects is running its way through Bond’s brain. And not that he would admit his own guilt in the matter to anyone. A lack of visible remorse will likely get him another psych eval one of these days. To poke at the boy who carries more digital information in his mind than actual feelings.) And in the shift and shuffle, Q had been convinced that his newfound position would swiftly be transferred to someone else and that he would be somehow disposed of. Hadn’t the last Quartermaster been pushed aside for something far less?
But whether due to departmental oversight or through Mallory’s intervention (New M? Q’s not quite certain how the naming protocols should go yet), Q found himself still in possession of his own initialed position. Rather by surprise. Not that he is going to complain at all, because even with the stress and crisis of his first under the gun assignments, he rather enjoyed it. He would have preferred to nix the tragedy of it all, but he is deeply aware that tragedy happens, especially in their line of work, and that everyone simply needs to move on. For Queen and country, as it were. And, in his case, to chase away the boredom. (Again, an opinion better kept under strict lock and key.)
Because that is what, nominally, had drawn Q into a position at MI6. Oh, there’s rumors and talk of the real reasons - reasons that would have seen him (too young and too backwards) in prison or at the wrong end of hits from governments whose secrets had been revealed to the highest bidder. Or both. Cyber terrorism is nasty business, after all. But those are all simply rumors, of course, and not to be found in any personnel file on the servers. Whether due to their lack of veracity or due to a certain someone’s fine-fingered meddling in his own records. But the truth is, Q is Q. That is who he is and what he is, and what and who he was has been wiped clean away with his current employment. There is no record of his history (name, childhood, education and upbringing). Which is why, to be completely frank, Q is glad that he is still Q. He thinks that sometimes he is more shadow than any of the agents he helps to outfit and oversee. And he likes it that way - just a voice in the system.
Mike is far more physical than Q will ever be, but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t appreciate the exactitude of it. It’s quite like hacking into a system, twisting it according to stubborn will. Only the system in question happens to be one’s own body. He’s able to watch and feel, and if words don’t necessarily suit the two of them, Q is quite alright with that. Words were always too complicated anyway.
Journal/Key: The journal could hardly be something of paper and ink, not in Q’s world. It is, in fact, a tablet - high tech to begin with but with some specific hacks that make it truly Q’s own. The security on it is intense, requiring fingerprint recognition in order to access it. For all that it’s a hacker’s dream (or nightmare), it’s easy enough to use, once you’re allowed inside. On Q’s side of the door, it can easily plug directly into the MI6 mainframe and Q’s own personal systems. The key is barely a key at all, but a QR code engraved onto the back of the tablet, combined with a proximity chip that will cross reference at the point of entry in order to open the door.
Open: Family! Mike is the youngest of three, with two older sisters. French-Canadian, bilingual, happy upbringing. Into gymnastics when younger, everything else is open to interpretation. Open: Coworkers! Cirque hires any number of performers (or crew!), each with their own talents. Mike’s new to the Vegas show, but he’s been part of Cirque for a few years now. Open: The Hacked: Past come home to roost, aka. people Q has hacked in a past life. Open: The 007: Separated by years and methodology, but there’s a similarity enough to forge a connection.
Note: I’m aware that Vegas has a number of Cirque shows in residence. I’m going to hand-wave which one he’s actually in, so as to avoid needing to be too specific about anything in particular. If it becomes an issue, I will revisit it and figure something out.