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The Fool
Personal Information
Real Name Andruw Nisse
Code Name Feste
Race Cyborg
Gender Male
Creator/s Per and Else Nisse
Birth Date Nov. 9th, 2188
Email feste@freemail.com
Faction Unified Army
Function Tinker, Tailor, Lawyer, Spy
Assignment Seconded to TASC
Technical Specifications
Primary Specialty Criminal Law, Mediation, PR
Secondary Specialty Indiscriminate Justice
Weapons Hammer, Axe, Subpoena
Primary Hammer of Indiscriminate Justice
Type Physical
Secondary Axe of Guiding Light
Type Blade
Buster Colors Royal Blue and White
OOC Information
Game Original Character
Voice Actor Paul Bettany
Theme Song Misfit Love - Queens of the Stone Age https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MuU5d3MZcrY


Character Data

"If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction."

Profile

Andruw Nisse has led an improbably complicated life. Once a notoriously absurd character actor called 'Feste', styled after Shakespeare's Fool, he capered across the world, entertaining as many people as he scandalized, and dallied with nearly every faction that ever existed on the way. The Norwegian took a turn for the serious after the collapse of Epsilon's 'peaceful' Irregulars, when he changed his name and joined the Hunters as a lawyer. Andruw is a whip-smart man with incredible charisma and strong altruistic instincts, as well as the most bizarre sense of humor, which he indulges whenever possible. Andruw manages a life as a single father and perennial tabloid magnet with the freewheeling grace of a tightrope walker, and has been known to dabble in intelligence gathering like it was a party game. His vast experience and fearlessness in and out of the courtroom have since earned him steady employment with the English government, though he remains tight-lipped about what exactly he does as a detailee to TASC.

Skills

Savoir-Faire, or: Somebody Has To Know Which Fork To Use When You Get Caught Sneaking Onto The King's Estate And We Have To Get You Back, Seven Evil Exes, Knowledge: Theatre, Knowledge: Law, Knowledge: Making Stuff Up, Give Me Five Hours And A Bottle Of Akvavit And I'll Figure Out How This Is Legal, Weltzschmerz, Creative Mathematics, Interior Decorating, Snappy Dresser, Catfighting, Shockingly Responsible Parent, This One Time, When I Worked For Interpol, Dr. Feste, JD, PhD, And The Wheel Turns Again


Background

Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them. - Malvolio, Twelfth Night

Andruw's story really starts to pick up momentum when he was a young man of sixteen. Until that point, he had lived an easy life. He looks back on it now as a halcyon time, when he was very close to his large extended family, times were simpler, and he was safe and free to play in the vast tapestry of his heritage and homeland of Norway. When he was sixteen, the threat of Maverick occupation became too serious for his family to ignore, and nearly the entire Nisse clan pulled up their roots and sought asylum in the nearby United Kingdom, like many other Europeans.

It was hard to start over. Language wasn't a problem, but they were faced with the challenges that face every refugee family. They had to find new jobs and make new friends. Leaving Norway behind had bankrupted the extended clan. Making ends meet was a challenge, and everyone had to pitch in, including Andruw, who worked every day after school in a variety of odd jobs to supplement his family's income.

Though they lived in a refugee enclave so far west of London it was really Cardiff, their new home was worlds ahead of the small town in Norway he'd grown up in in sophistication. Urbania brought with it many unknown delights, and Andruw came to feel like where he really belonged was London, the big city, whose bright lights and motorways dominated the skyline. Every chance he got, he took the train into town, and dreamed of moving there, some day, some day.

It seemed an impossible dream, but Andruw had an unlikely ally: Shakespeare. His ardent love for the Bard turned him into an excellent student and eventually earned him a scholarship to study literature at Oxford. Studying at Oxford marked a turning point in his life. The scholarship was a godsend. It meant he wasn't doomed to be a fisherman.

Oxford proved everything he dreamed it would be. He dove into academic life like he was born for it. He excelled in his studies, made friends, fell in love with a girl he thought he would marry, bought a motorcycle, joined a rock band, acted in the Oxford troupe, and got a job modeling that let him earn rent money without missing too much class. He drank, ate, and made tons of merry, and felt more alive than ever before.

Of course, the rock band was shit, the girl eventually cheated on him, and the motorcycle almost got him killed when he became a casualty of a Maverick attack on Great Britain. In another era, he might have died, but Andruw survived with the help of cybernetics. In those times, they were clunky and obvious, but Andruw saw the bright side and didn't let the accident stop him. At 19 he was still full of energy and convinced he had the Devil's own luck. Something had changed, but youthful exuberance helped him overcome any difficulties. He chose not to waste his luck and finished his undergraduate studies.

For a while, out of school, he screwed around with the idea of being a professional musician, and played in club or two with his band, but it was never as fulfilling as the time he spent studying the Bard, and he longed to return. As soon as he was able to and they let him, he applied to Oxford's PhD program, and went back to university, where he enthusiastically overloaded himself with tasks.

It was not long before a second mishap put him down a fateful path. The mood of England had changed as the Mavericks had continued their rampage across Europe. The Luddite movement grew in popularity and began to lash out against anything viewed as unnatural or inhuman. Andruw would come to be a victim of this hatred late one evening at Oxford, when he was set upon by a group of thugs and nearly beaten to death. In spite of it all, he cheated death again and survived the encounter.

But this was not like last time. The world was different - harsher and less forgiving. His life was vastly more complicated than the first time he'd nearly died, and it was weighing heavily upon him. He had tried to play Atlas and now he was being crushed beneath the sphere. In the hospital, Andruw had a nervous breakdown.

Here Is My Coxcomb

The Wise-mans folly is anathomiz'd

Even by the squandring glances of the fool.

Invest me in my motley: Give me leave

To speak my mind, and I will through and through

Cleanse the foul body of th infected world,

If they will patiently receive my medicine.

-Jaques, As You Like It

Maybe it was the head trauma; maybe it was week after week of fever dreams, Shakespeare running through his mind. Maybe it was the emotional trauma of realizing that the world was not, and would never be, the place he once believed it to be, or of experiencing the absolute worst of humanity. Maybe the drugs they gave him warped his brain.

At the core of his fevered conclusions was a simple premise: this world no longer accepted him. It would not allow him, Andruw Nisse, to go on. It would just keep trying to kill him, to hurt him, and to ruin him. If he wanted to survive in this mad, mad, mad world, he needed to make himself someone who was not Andruw Nisse. His studies had always revolved around the character of the Fool in Shakespeare's plays. The Fool had many guises but one extremely important attribute: he was untouchable, incorruptible, allowed to strike out as he may out of respect for the critically important role he played in society. Fools never wept, never bled, and never had regrets. Nobody could hurt them, for Fools were well-loved and well-protected. A Fool could never be insulted or maimed, for he was already the basest thing alive - and thus the most powerful. In every scene, the Fool always had the upper hand, dancing through dialogue with fleet wit and expert words, so aloof as to be removed and immortal in any play. Every play needs a Fool, to cut to the quick of things, and though his barbs may not find welcome ground, there's always a place for him. Always. If Andruw took up that motley mantle, there'd always be a place for him.

He recovered and withdrew from his PhD program and went AWOL. Pooling what money he had left, he had his cybernetics overhauled, installing in himself a somewhat less than legal sensor and interception suite, and replaced the clunky old cybernetics he'd had for years with newer, sleeker ones. Holed up in his apartment, he drilled himself until he had learned how to use them, and he watched the news and plotted. If someone had found him then, and gotten him into some therapy, maybe none of this ever would have happened. Perhaps Fate truly was conspiring against him.

When next Andruw stepped out into the world, it would be as Feste the Fool. As Feste, he had one immediate objective: find a patron. He would busk and act for a living - indeed, his strange turn made him only more popular as a "method" actor - but these were stopgap measures. In the time that Shakespeare wrote about in his plays, the best of Fools were kept on retainer by powerful people. To Andruw, it seemed the perfect relationship. Having a patron would give him purpose in life and the protection he wanted, and maybe the patron would even benefit from the relationship. He set out to find one working from a short list of the world's most influential people. That his first stop, the United Nations' Seoul headquarters, rapidly paid off, only proved to him that this was a viable strategy. Feste quickly won the approval of Interpol operatives like Gabriel by providing them with actionable intelligence interweaved through his Shakespearean rambling. They would encourage him to use his access as a wandering madman to acquire more intelligence on dangerous targets like the Yakuza and the emerging Neo Arcadia, at which Feste proved adept.

It was not long before Feste appealed directly to then-Director of Interpol Abernathy to be his patron. Abernathy accepted, and in twenty-third century terms, became Feste's handler at Interpol. As Feste took this as an invitation to follow Abernathy around mocking his enemies and personally entertain him as much as collect intelligence for him, their relationship was unconventional, to say the least. The two men were inexplicably drawn to each other, and soon fell in love, though they had difficulty admitting it to one another. Meanwhile, Feste acquired a reputation for being an incomprehensible but charming madman, and was often seen flitting about the social scenes of the Robot Wars, particularly with political notables, and others who would go on to become controversial figures, like Javelin Whitetail, Daryn, and Kalinka.

When Abernathy was murdered while attempting to arrest James Houseman IV, Andruw was crushed. It fell to him to raise Melissa Nisse, Abernathy's young ward, who was orphaned by the ordeal. That a coup was going on at the same time, eviscerating Interpol, was only salt in this wound, and Andruw would be depressed to the point of limited functionality for many years afterward. His and Melissa's needs were looked after by Dr. Pavel Cossack, who served as her co-guardian, but Andruw was nevertheless listless and angry.

During this time, Andruw fell under the sway of Glyde Loath, who coveted Feste like a prize horse. Glyde took advantage of Andruw's vulnerability, promising to be his new patron and to take care of him, but demanding that Andruw become his bodyguard and assistant in exchange, and eventually requiring him to join the Yakuza. Glyde outfitted Andruw with the Yakuza's top of the line tattoo cybernetics and gave him a job at GL Enterprises, wearing down his reservations until Andruw was convinced to be an earnest member of the criminal group. Glyde tasked Andruw with becoming a lawyer in order to be his in-house counsel, or in more archaic terms, his consigliere.

Andruw graduated from the Oxford School of Law and began working for GL Enterprises more formally as counsel, and less formally in helping Glyde, the newly-appointed second in command of the Yakuza, wrangle his less sophisticated criminal underlings. Eventually, though, Andruw became disillusioned with the brutal life of organized crime and began to worry about the effect it might have on his young daughter. Seeking redemption and a way out, Andruw betrayed Glyde and returned to Interpol with a fat intelligence package that gave them all they needed to dismantle a huge number of Yakuza operations. The Yakuza figured it out before too long and put a significant bounty on Andruw's head.

Now needing protection from yet another patron, Andruw put his fool's cap back on and sought asylum with Epsilon, who readily accepted him into the Irregulars. Andruw mostly resumed the life of an artist, but also used his law degree to assist the more process-minded Irregulars with legal initiatives toward protecting the rights of Reploids and others in Gaia City. In his darker moments, though, he continued the kind of risky behavior that made him a good intelligence source (and not a great person) by consorting with all manner of devils, even once dating a then-Robot Master-controlled Meddy for the opportunity to learn more about Robot Master plans. Ultimately, though, Feste would be left with no choice but to leave the Irregulars when Epsilon announced his intent to return to a campaign of violence, taking in the remainders of the Mavericks.

Of Newfound Stature

If any man doubt I am a gentleman, let him put me to trial. I have trod a Measure, I have flattered a Lady, I have been politic with my friend, smooth with mine Enemy, I have undone three Tailors, I have had four Quarrels, and like to have fought one. -Touchstone, As You Like It

Prior to the destruction of Eurasia, his longtime home, during Ragnarok, Andruw took Melissa and threw himself on the mercy of Pavel Cossack once more. Cossack brought Andruw and Melissa under the protection of the Hunters, sheltering them in a Hunter base. While safe, Andruw soon grew bored. Given time to reflect on the disturbing betrayal of the Irregulars, Andruw decided it was time to go legit. He used his copious free time to ingratiate himself with the Hunters and engineer job interviews with Hunter leadership. He offered them his services, and they eventually accepted, taking him on as a retainer in their public affairs and legal services office.

Andruw took on a sea change, going by his real name and proclaiming himself a serious person with serious, world-changing goals. He took to the work quickly, proving himself an adept spokesman and lawyer (although admittedly it's not hard to be more charismatic than Isaac). While initially combative, he came to love the Hunters for all their faults.

Andruw primarily occupied himself with his work, having learned through trial and tribulation that you do not need to be a Shakespeare character to get by in the world. He had mostly reconciled his inner turmoil, and healed significantly from the death of his beloved Adrian. He had found peace and satisfaction in learning how to be a good father to his little girl, who saved his life even as he saved hers. He found a purpose in trying to make the Hunters a little kindler and gentler, while using his position to attempt diplomatic solutions to problems that, for all of his life until now, were only settled with violence. He made friends among the Hunters, from the secretarial pool to the Light family. He entertained himself in much less dangerous fashions, and even enjoyed a brief but ill-fated romance with Aino Neitola.

Andruw later took advantage of this stability and comfortableness to take some time off to attend to his family and to finish his PhD in English - something he'd put off for over five years. He finally finished his dissertation and defended it, earning himself the coveted title of 'Doctor'. His dissertation, featuring the dubious claim that the last five years he'd spent playing the Fool were in fact a scientific experiment to test Shakespearean archetypes, was met with amused acclaim. They could disagree with his conclusions, but they couldn't discount his experiences.

After the Hunters dissolved, Andruw found himself out of a job, and for once in his life, feeling at peace with that fact. He'd worked hard, and he'd made good. His daughter was doing well in school, and the two of them had lived without fear of privation or annihilation for some years. So Andruw took his time, and thought long and hard about what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He felt he'd made good progress, and wanted to keep it up.

He applied to the Crown Prosecutorial Service, and to his great shock, was accepted, though the agency was skeptical of his criminal past and made him work from the bottom up to prove he wasn't off on another lark. Andruw accepted this challenge and kept his nose to the grindstone. For a good two years, he kept his head down, worked hard, and made his way upward through the ranks. It was oddly refreshing to have a dose of normality suddenly injected into his life. He went to work at eight, and came home at five, ate dinner with his daughter, lived peacefully, and cultivated friends for no reason other than that he enjoyed their company. He never had to fight off a Robot Master or even an out of control robotoaster.

Eventually, his hard work caught the attention of other parts of the British government. When out drinking one night with the boys, a colleague encouraged him to go general counsel for the Secret Intelligence Service. After all, they joked, he had plenty of intelligence experience. And Andruw laughed, but he wondered what it would be like. Working for the Hunters couldn't be so different… so he threw in his resume for fun.

Little did he know that they liked what they saw. They needed a lawyer who clearly knew his stuff, but was also adaptable to ever-changing circumstances. They needed someone who wasn't afraid to stand his ground against a buster or a judge. They needed someone who could go toe to toe with some of the world's strongest personalities. They needed someone who won't immediately get killed in a cross-fire to go be in-house counsel for TASC.

Trivia/Facts

  • Andruw has a daughter named Melissa Nisse.
  • Though best known for being a second-generation tattoo cyborg, Andruw is also a regular cyborg, about 30% conversion. His entire right arm and shoulder is cybernetic.

Cut Scenes Featuring Feste

Logs Featuring Feste