|Alejandro Abaroa Espinosa|
Though he doesn't look it, Alejandro Abaroa Espinosa was born in 1991. His childhood wasn't as rough as it could have been, but still he joined the Southside Kings as a teenager, leading to his imprisonment for drug charges at age 17. He was to serve a nickel and that's, more or less, what he did. At least, it was five years on the outside.
Alejandro was taken by one of the Gentry, Minister Wormwood, from the prison. As Alejandro had worked in the prison's library in the mortal realm, Wormwood put him to work amongst his own stacks, arranging and re-inscribing the volumes of incomprehensible theologies. For years at a time, he was forgotten, left alone in the dust. Then, out of nowhere, Wormwood would remember Alejandro and set about to punish him for reading some book of heresy or secular humanism left around as temptation.
For many of the Lost, their change is physical. Their bodies twist and distort as a result of their torture. And, of course, emotional- all changelings bear those scars. But under the instruction of Wormwood, Alejandro's mind changed the most. His thoughts found new patterns to adopt, his manner of speech became more like his Keeper, and his understanding of the world become colored by Wormwood's views.
At least, that's probably what happened. To be fair, Alejandro is a little fuzzy on the details.
And when the montage ends: One day, after many years, the door to the library was open. Alejandro pushed back through the hedge and found that in the outside world only those five years of his mortal sentence had passed. Was it some sense of Fae humor at work or part of a larger trap whose jaws had yet to snap? Or had Alejandro really escaped, and the timing was merely ironic coincidence? Stranger things have happened in Arcadia.
He is old now. While he cannot know how long he was in Faerie, the wrinkles on his face suggest decades. They suggest the better part of a life, or the worse part, as the case may be. It felt like a lifetime, or longer. But perhaps that too is a simply trick played by his Keeper? The sore joints and the forgetfulness, just illusions. At least forgetfulness can be a blessing.
Since returning, Alejandro has kept his head down. He has a fake ID for "Alejandro Santos", born 1941, and a job as a library janitor. His Keeper didn't feel the need to create a fetch, and Alejandro's younger self remains wanted for escaping prison. It's not much of a problem, really. Alejandro doesn't match the description anymore.
He avoids his old life. When you're older than your own mother, family life is hard to readjust to. His old friends seem like children now. His siblings really are children. He sees his family sometimes- on the street, at a grocery store. Sometimes he goes out of his way to see them, but less often than he used to. He isn't who he used to be, after all. Anyway, he has books to read and, if he stays quiet enough, maybe his Keeper will forget to spring the trap before Alejandro finally dies of old age.
Among the elderly, there are some who simply radiate vitality, who defy their ages. They are paragons of lives well-lived, of loving families and goals fulfilled. And then there the ones like this: sad old men in thin white windbreakers. Sometimes they can be seen on park benches or on apartment stoops, staring into the sky, thinking about something lost. It's probably more polite to ignore him. He's not doddering, after all, not in need of help. It's just how his face is a mask of regret, and how his bent back seems to be carrying too much weight, and how, even without knowing a thing about him, he seems so alone and vulnerable. It might be impolite to acknowledge that such people exist, discarded by society.
Under his windbreaker is a plain white button-up shirt with reading glasses in the top pocket. He has black pants and dirty white sneakers and a cheap plastic watch on his wrist. His hair is snowy white and his eyes rarely open more than half-way. Altogether, he's not a man who stands out in a crowd, unless that crowd is young and cheerful.
Sometimes, at the back of a refrigerator, a carrot will become lost. It may stay there for months, hidden in the dark behind the pickles, curling back into itself and mummifying: the gravegoods of Maytag. There's not much to be done for the carrot that point. Light and water, once so essential to its nature, will now only accelerate the carrot's decay. The only thing to do now is discard it.
Some men aren't unlike such carrots. Perhaps they've been lost for a while, too. Their skin pales and grows thin, desiccated and starved of light. Wrinkles appear where the underlying flesh has been squeezed of its vitality. Their eyes become dull and sad, their hair a snowy white. And, just like carrots, they start wearing old white windbreakers when there's a nip in the air.
They can wear other things, too. A white button-up shirt, for instance. Black pants and dirty white sneakers. They can wear glasses when they're reading, or a plastic watch when they want to know what time it is. The thing about such people, though, the carrot people, is that they don't stand out. That's how they became what they were, after all, by making sure nobody cares about them.
- Books: He's naturally pretty good at research (though he doesn't have much of a formal education). He does have a pretty good grounding in Theology, if that's useful.
- Crime: Any Southside Kings or criminals in similar circles could have known the younger Alejandro before his disappearance.
- Father: Alejandro's father disappeared when he was a kid. Maybe something plotty happened?
- Home: Alejandro lives at the Winthrop in Pigeon Hill. Maybe he's a neighbor?
- Languages: Alejandro is fluent in Spanish and can read Latin fairy well, if you need someone who knows them.
- Law: Alejandro uses a low-quality fake ID and false information on his employment info. His younger self is wanted for escaping prison.
- Local: Old friends and family of various kinds would be around, and he probably looks like his grandfather did (or, of course, like an older version of himself). His mother and younger siblings are in town.
- Prison: Besides doing time (where ex-cons could know his younger self from), Alejandro sometimes volunteers at the nearest prison, helping with education programs and book donations.
- Smoker: As a member of the dying breed, Alejandro can often be found standing a legislated distance away from the entrance to whatever building he is supposed to be in, smoking a cigarette.
- Thief: Though he's careful not to get caught, Alejandro is a habitual book thief- from libraries, bookstores, or wherever.
- Work: Anyone who visits the public library could have seen him. Or seen him walking or riding the bus home at night.
- Escape: Alejandro's escape from Arcadia left a bad taste in his mouth, in that it felt like his Keeper wanted him to escape. Perhaps the Keeper still has plans for his librarian?
- Espionage: Alejandro seems to be doing his best to build up his own little Winter spy network (though he hasn't made much headway yet). Maybe you find out about it? And, then, you can be for it or against it. Or you can provide information to it.
- Fetch: Alejandro doesn't think he had a Fetch, but it could be that the Fetch just escaped prison right after Alejandro's disappearance. That'd be a surprise, huh?
- Helpful: Alejandro is usually happy to help other Lost, just as long as he doesn't have to poke his head out too far.
- Keeper: Any Changelings who were with Minister Wormwood could know him.
- Winter Court: While he isn't particularly active in the Freehold, he does try and at least keep up with events. His helpfulness is even more pronounced for other Winter Court members, as Alejandro assumes there's less risk in working with them.
- Academics 4 (Theology): He knows some things in books.
- Composure 4: Not easily flustered.
- Contacts 1 (Southside Kings Associate): He keeps an ear pointed at his old life.
- Contracts: He's got a decent understanding of the various Winter Contracts.
- Flaw, Addiction 1 (Smoking): He needs his cigs.
- Investigation 3 (Libraries): He knows card catalogs.
- Languages (Spanish)(Latin)(Mourning Cant): Sí, hablo español.
- Mantle 3 (Winter): He's pretty wintery.
- Presence 1: He's pretty unremarkable.
- Resources 1: He's pretty poor.
- Stealth 3 (Blending in a Crowd)(Tradecraft): He's really not worth noticing.
- Streetwise 2 (Gangs): He knows a little about the Kings.
- Wyrd 3: Weirdly average.
- Catriona: They both like books more than people. Alejandro worries that Catriona may know that he stole one of her's, but so far it hasn't come up.
- Grace: She seems to believe in a lot of nonsense that Alejandro doesn't, but if there's one thing he's experienced at, it's researching things he doesn't believe in. In any case, her belief in conspiracies seems useful when Alejandro wants to create one of his own.
- Mcgee: Of course the two biggest grumps in the Winter Court would grate on each other. Alejandro likes other curmudgeons right up to the point where he looks away from the mirror.
- Melissa: Sometimes she convinces Alejandro to visit the Court, instead of just staying in with his books. Sometimes she convinces him to stay away from Court, to stay with in his books and research something she needs. The second request is always easier.
- Nyx: Though the memories are a mess, they shared a Keeper in Arcadia. While Alejandro is happy that she escaped, he's uncomfortable with spending much time around someone else his Keeper might be looking for. Plus, she reminds him of his time in Arcadia, and that's not the sort of thing he likes reminders of.
- Zeroth: They understand the value of security and they seem to share Alejandro's goals, but Alejandro has a hard time trusting groups, even if that group shares a single body.
- Melody: She may be an Autumn, but she seems to see the same world that Alejandro does, and they both know the value of the information they find. He's not sure if he's the one using her for information or the other way around, but either way, it's likely the start of an excellent partnership.
- Roy: Sometimes information can be bought or sold. In such cases, Alejandro visits Roy.