Here it comes, brace for impact! I hope my description of their initial encounter is alright with you, Myobi!Name:
Dark Brown / Ice BlueHeight:
The Russian "Mammoth" certainly lives up to his namesake, standing at nearly seven feet and sporting enough meat and muscle on his bones to put most men to shame. Though his face is mostly untouched, barring a few minor scars, the rest of his body is a tapestry of old wounds. The man's thick hide has clearly saved him on more than one occasion, though it's certainly come out the worse for wear because of it. What must be hundreds of similar shallow knife wounds adorn nearly every inch of his chest, back, and abdomen, though curiously enough they come to a jarringly sudden stop just beneath his collarbone (as if the attacker couldn't quite reach any higher than that). Beneath them lie the occasional burn scar or telltale signs of shrapnel from far older days.Primary Skills:
*Sniping and Reconnaissance Secondary Skills:
Boxing, Judo, Karate, *Knife-Fighting, Sabotage (Explosives), Infiltration, Tactics, Survival, and a wide knowledge of weapons and vehicles. In so many words, all the basics of a Spetsnaz OperativeFavorite Weapon:
Barrett M107 Sniper RifleSecondary Rifle:
Barrett XM-109 25mm. Rifle (For blowing massive holes through just about anything)Close Combat Weapon:
Pavel is the very definition of the "strong silent type", wasting very few words and preferring to let his face or his actions do the talking for him. He isn't shy by any means, but has encountered far too many people in the past that could talk for hours and say absolutely nothing of consequence. As a sniper he is used to the silence, though he never lets his guard down for an instant. He knows full well that he makes for a conveniently large target, and has adopted a subtle manner of walking and maneuvering about spaces that makes it difficult for potential shooters to get a clear shot. Unless he happens to be at Era's side, in which case he will deliberately put himself between her and the likeliest locations of a sniper's nest. This is particularly noticeable whenever she goes anywhere near a window, which makes him visibly agitated.
His line of work requires him to be entirely detached, lest he lose his resolve in the middle of lining up a shot. But Pavel is not a cold man, and he has devoted to memory the faces of every single man, woman, or child that has wound up on the other end of his scope. He remembers every shot flawlessly, down to the physical sensation of the kill, suggesting that he has an extremely sensitive photographic memory. Speaking of the past seems to wear down upon him heavily, his voice exhausted and bitter. The present suits him more, and he prefers to focus on the moment rather than lose himself to the past.
For all the lives he has taken, at his heart he is a compassionate and moral human being. He does what he has to in order to survive, even if that means killing others, but he does not enjoy it in the slightest. Pavel does not torture or harm others indiscriminately unless absolutely necessary, and is constantly at odds with Era and David's cruel methods. But his loyalty to Evangeline is absolute, and though he does his best to reign in her violent tendencies, he will ultimately follow her into the very depths of hell.Bio:
Born to hardy Russian stock in 1976, Pavel's mother could not possibly have guessed the irony of his name (meaning Small
). His family was not well off, his father a factory worker with a violent cough and his mother far too sickly to perform any physically taxing work. The boy grew surprisingly quickly, but for all his hardiness he remained lost in his own little world; even when he joined his father's side he had an unfortunate habit of losing focus and making mistakes. His younger years were largely a blur, and though the world was in an age of tension and paranoia he did not concern himself with current events.
Only one person seemed capable of needling their way in through the iron bubble that Pavel had erected around himself, a young woman named Tania. She was remarkably stubborn, even bull-headed at times, and from the moment they met she refused to let him continue his solitary, introverted lifestyle. The girl often ambushed him immediately after a long day of work, dragging the exhausted lad through sun or snow to a hill where they could watch the sky and talk or stay silent as they pleased. As Pavel grew taller and more ungainly he became all the more dependent on his friend for company, who never seemed to notice his abnormal height and, on more than one occasion, pelted rocks at the other boys that treated him as some sort of freak.
As adolescence set in, it became increasingly apparent that he was far from a freak. He had matured quickly into a handsome and sturdy young teenager while the other boys had become pockmarked or fat, and more than a few girls began to pay him a great deal of attention at school. He seemed absolutely blind to them, as beautiful as some of them were. Tania had blossomed into a fine young lady herself, and it became increasingly difficult to hide his newfound affections for her. She had become all the more blunt over the years, strong and proud and with a wide grin that she used on the other girls whenever they came near to scare them off. Most men would look at such a girl, dressing like a man and acting as one as well, and dismiss her immediately. But Pavel was not most men.
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought with it a host of ethnic, religious, and political conflicts that would soon tear many of the newly formed nations apart at the seams. This event coincided with the death of Pavel's mother, who after nearly two decades of failing health finally succumbed to her illness. This tragedy consumed the boy with grief, though it had eaten away at him over the years to watch her wither away. All his muscle and strength seemed meaningless, for it had been unable to save her life.
But the world wouldn't wait for the death of a single old woman, and suddenly he was forced to confront the fact that he had become a stranger in his own homeland. Hostilities began to mount between Russia and Chechnya, Pavel's birthplace, finally reaching their peak in 1993 when the country declared its independence from Moscow and became the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. Non-Chechen's began to leave in droves as reports of violent discrimination became increasingly common, but Pavel's father was adamant in remaining exactly where he was. He refused to leave the place where his wife was buried and to abandon the factory at which he and his family had worked for generations. Unfortunately, it would soon become apparent that he would no longer have a choice in the matter. Less than a month after the declaration, Pavel's father was attacked killed on his way home from work. Among the murderers were the neighbors that his family had lived beside for decades. Distraught and maddened by the news, the man broke his way into their home that very night and viciously beat its occupants to death in a blind rage before gathering what he could from his family's coffers and fleeing.
Before leaving the country he met with Tania one last time, beneath familiar stars. He begged for her to come with him, only to have his heart sink into his stomach as he realized the futility of the gesture; she was a native Chechen herself, and traveling to Russia would only place her in greater danger. Their words became heated, and though the man was not prejudiced by any means, the loss of his father brought him to utter foul and hateful things. He struck her, and such was the look of pain betrayal in her eyes that he ran from the hilltop and never looked back.
Determined to put his body to good use and tired of feeling useless and disconnected from the world at large, Pavel enlisted in the Spetsnaz despite knowing full well that he would likely be sent to fight against his former country. His first-hand knowledge of the geography made him a valuable commodity, as did his obvious physical prowess. His determination was unmatched, and he excelled spectacularly. It was as though he had been sleeping all his life until that very moment, forced to awaken under the weight of tragedy and an intense desire to do something important with his own two hands.
When the war exploded things did not go according to plan. The Chechen air force was decimated, but the initial land-based assault quickly became a disaster. Hundreds of soldiers resigned or refused to take part in the invasion, and those that remained were completely unprepared and ignorant of why they were being sent in the first place. Pavel's ability to navigate the terrain was apparently a rare skill, and the forward ranks were rife with disorganization, self-sabotage, and dereliction of duty.
Grozny became a bloodbath, with over 50,000 men, women, and children slaughtered within the first few weeks. All of this Pavel saw first-hand, shaking him to his core and further disillusioning him. This war was completely unlike anything he or anyone else could have possibly predicted, an out and out butchery that would permanently stain the hands of all who participated. The fall of Grozny was only the beginning, as Russian forces spread out over the lowlands and mountains, ruthlessly capturing territory and massacring civilians without pause. Though most of the Republic was taken with little effort, the ensuing Guerilla campaign would show Palev the true depravity of war.
Desperation. This is what he witnessed during the months in the faces of the Chechen Separatists. Improvised explosives, booby traps; every weapon that human ingenuity could invent and bring to bear with limited resources found its way into their hands. Anything to win. Anything to survive. Anything for independence. He still remembers the first time his finger hesitated on the trigger. The forced expression of determination on the face of a child no older than eleven as he trained an assault rifle on Russian soldiers, the primal fear welling up in the boy's eyes. Hesitation...the report of his rifle...then nothing. For the remainder of the war he can only recall one other time that he felt such hesitation. Just one time. But of that, he tells no one.
He does not dwell on that war, though it defined the soldier and the man that he would become. Twenty-one years old by the end, it somehow felt as though it had lasted far longer than the 19 years of life he had lived before it. But he would not allow the experience to break him. He would not wither and die as his mother had. If he went to his grave it would be on his feet, standing tall before his enemies and piercing them with an unwavering gaze. Such was his resolve to continue his training. He had nothing left, and so devoted himself to the country that gave him some measure of self-worth, though he harbored a simmering disgust for Russia's handling of the conflict.
But fate would not allow him to escape the past, and in 1999 the second Chechyan War erupted. To him it was merely a continuation, the brief peace nothing more than a shallow breath before diving once more into the putrid mire of bloodshed. Destruction, civilian casualties, guerilla attacks, terrorism, bombardment, insurgents, suicide bombing; killing, killing, and more killing. It became preferable to view everything through a lens. Everything seemed farther away, though there was never a moment when his life wasn't in immediate danger. It was mindless and unending. Another four years passed, and though Chechya again came under Russian rule the fighting continued. The killing continued. But Pavel would not, and in 2002 he deserted both his unit and the country that seemed determined to keep him stationed in the land that had birthed him.
The next few years he spent as a hired assassin, putting his skills to good use killing clearly defined targets and building up a respectable income. It was still killing, but now he spent most of his time blowing off the heads of fancy looking men in crisp black suits that looked as though they deserved it, rather than grime-covered children with guns too big for their hands. It wasn't until a particularly fateful encounter with a singularly dangerous woman that he found a new purpose.
The target had aroused some skepticism at first; a woman barely over five feet that apparently had a trail of corpses behind her several miles long. Purportedly ruthless, skilled, and completely insane, she'd built up quite a few enemies in a very short amount of time. He wasn't the first assassin certain "concerned individuals" had hired, but they were in no condition to be making second attempts. The Mammoth, as he was now called, had fully expected a quick and easy job. Her residence was almost laughably vulnerable, for one with eyes as sharp as his, and if not for a sudden movement the infamous "Lady Demon" would have found herself a full head shorter. Hand on the trigger, exhale, and then.... Even now he can't describe what he saw. The expression on her face perhaps, the way her smile spread with such venom and vigor. Her stance, the supreme confidence and swagger, as if each step were laying claim to the very Earth and every flick of her wrist dismissed it as unworthy. He fumbled, for the first time since his days in the factory the sniper actually fumbled
, and the shell passed just inches before her face and blew a massive chunk through what must have been an extremely expensive wide screen television.
He'd clutched his chest in shock...and then his body acted mechanically, reducing the gun to components and packing up all his monitors and targeting devices as though possessed. It was not a shot he could make. Not again. But much to his shock and surprise he only made it down two floors of the building he'd holed up in, a construction site that had been conveniently cleared just for the occasion, before being confronted by the same extremely winded and extremely pissed off woman that had just a few minutes before been a full 2,500 meters away.
There were no words, of course. He was surprised, not stupid; you didn't try to talk
to someone whose head you nearly turned into pile of very finely ground meat. She came at him with knives, and he was all too happy to oblige her the dance. The woman was as skilled as he'd been led to believe, and he did not underestimate her despite the admittedly large difference in height. A hefty ballistic knife clashed with twin Sais, and for nearly an hour the two navigated the partially constructed floors of the building. Pavel parried the lethal blows as best he could, ignoring the slight glances the considerably faster woman managed to get through his expert defenses. He had no intent to kill her, hoping to simply wear her down and and disarm her. But for all his training the two seemed to remain on equal footing, and by the end of the hour they stared at one another and saw some measure of understanding.
Pavel kept his explanation brief, saying only that he had been paid for an assassination but that unexpected complications had arisen at the last moment that prevented him from doing so. Clearly the woman's suspicion could not be quelled so easily, and with the same confidence he'd noted through the lens she made an exceedingly tempting counter-offer; namely, to assassinate the man who'd given him the job in the first place. Besides being more lucrative, agreeing to such a betrayal would immediately sour his reputation as a hired killer. It was dangerous to hire someone who could be so easily swayed by a better offer. It was a test of loyalty, and one that he curiously accepted without hesitation.
Though their relationship began on uncertain terms, Pavel and Evangeline have been working together ever since, his considerable military experience and weapons training keeping her out of harms way in the early days of her criminal career. His dedication to her is completely unwavering, and he accepts any and all abuse from her without flinching or protest. If she were to declare war on the World itself, he would be at her side with rifle in hand.