Age: 24 years old
Power: Manipulation of Digital Data
Personality: Usually introverted and only ever purposefully engaging in social contact when he wants/needs information, Jace generally doesn't interact with others unless he wants something from them or they approach him first. On the occasion that he does get involved in social contact he usually tries to be polite, consciously attempting to observe formalities and trying not to accidentally anger anyone so as to avoid unnecessary stepping on toes. Despite this however, he does not think in formal terms, and his actual thoughts as well as their relative tone may slip out should he become surprised or emotional. Jace’s primary personality trait is his insatiable curiosity, answers to his questions often spawning even more questions. This is often reflected when in a drawn out conversation with others, as his interest in them will often grow the more he learns about them. Ironically, despite Jace’s keen interest in others, he is often reluctant to talk about himself and his background. The only real ways to get Jace to open up at all are to prompt discussion on whatever mathematical/engineering/computer-y project that he happens to be working on or simply to converse with him about something he finds interesting. However, even if one can establish common ground and if he finds them sufficiently interesting, he will still be evasive when one asks personal questions about his past. Jace fears that should he get too close to someone, he would become vulnerable, or worse that they would become a target of his enemies. For someone to truly get to know Jace Rose, they will have to earn his trust, something he actively tries to avoid giving.
Jace Rose was born in New York City to a rather conservative family during the early nineties, a decade where digital technology was being rapidly revolutionized. Even as a young boy, Jace had a very curious and inquisitive mind. This trait led him to question many things his very religious parents tried to teach him, and when he asked questions of their teachings that they didn’t know the answer to, they simply gave him the unsatisfactory answers of “because I said so” or “because that’s the way it’s always been”. However, this controlling attitude and censorship did nothing to hinder their son’s quest for knowledge, as he learned and adapted increasingly imaginative ways to circumvent his parents to get the information he desired. Eventually, as Jace grew older, his parents gradually gave up trying to control his thoughts and became content to have him at least observe their traditions; even if he constantly questioned their practicality.
However, this fragile peace would be broken once more in Jace’s early teens when he expressed a desire to posses a computer. Jace’s parents were horrified at this, believing that what he might find on the internet would spoil his character and permanently lead him astray from what they believed to be the only right path. Faced with yet another irritating wall blocking his lust for knowledge, Jace once again found a solution. Or rather, a solution came to him. As Jace walked the streets, idled in the library, and listened intently to the lectures in his class; he started noticing what seemed to be other thoughts, infringing on his own. Jace immediately abandoned his quest for a computer in preference of this new occurrence, having never heard of such a thing before. However this new found quest yielded no results, and so Jace returned to the goal of a computer, hoping the internet would yield answers.
Unfortunately a computer never came, and so Jace lived his middle school life with strange pattern like thoughts in his head that he frustratingly couldn’t understand. These thoughts grew more prominent as Jace proceeded with his life, moving through middle school and on to high school. Early in freshman year, however, something changed. As Jace was finally able to access a computer outside his parents’ sphere of influence, his constant tinkering with it led to the discovery of coding. As the ever curious Jace began to explore this new field of study, his expanding knowledge of mathematics combined with this new understanding of code gradually brought another mystery of his to light. One day while tinkering with a computer, playing around with it and messing with the code, Jace began finding lines of code that he didn’t remember typing ahead of what he was actually typing. Even more confusing was that this code fit perfectly with what he was trying to program and had far less bugs than his code usually did. Curious, as usual, Jace began experimenting with this “ghost code” and found that it seemed to write out the end of his functions before he even got there. Upon running the program to test for bugs, Jace came to a fascinating revelation. The thoughts that had been running through his mind suddenly took on a pattern that he easily recognized and even understood, a pattern that he himself had created. Jace was astonished, terrified, and intrigued all at the same time as he came to a sudden conclusion. To test this new idea, Jace decided to try something new, something absurd. He sat back in his chair, arms folded across his chest, and thought very intently about the rest of his program with the same focus that he would have used if he were typing it with his own hands. Jace’s eyes widened as his hypothesis became reality, as the code of his program wrote itself neatly before him without his ever touching the keys. It wasn’t perfect, a few bugs, a few skipped letters and integers; but it was a start to something infinitely fascinating to Jace.
Jace spent the rest of high school experimenting with this new found ability of his, constantly developing and improving his control of it. As he learned more and more of code and mathematics, he began to understand and gain greater control over his ability. Jace began to be able to read not only his own code, but that of others as well. He was able to observe what others did on their own computers and even pull unencrypted code right out of the air to view it. When junior year came around and Jace began learning pre-calculus, he gradually turned his attention to the one thing he couldn’t understand, security. Once he learned of matrices and began turning his code studies to hacking, however, he found that even this information was not beyond him. His understanding of network security was a gradual progression, some security systems were harder to read than others and took more work to bypass, but his understanding of security continued to expand along with his control over his ability. Once breaking security systems lost its charm, Jace then turned his attention to what lie behind that security. Most of the information that he found in the hard drives of random people and the messages he pulled out of the air wasn’t all that interesting, generally assortments of random files and spam, so he turned his attention to remote control. This entertained him for a while until he finally found something interesting behind a surprisingly complicated security system. Once he finally penetrated the system’s unusual defense, Jace found himself looking at something he had never seen before.
A strange database recorded entirely in japanese presented itself before him. As he scanned the code for its purpose, he discovered that it seemed to have been created for the purpose of logging entities known as “Youkai”. Intrigued, Jace initiated a translator program and began exploring the database, being very careful to avoid detection. As he worked his way through this strange system, he found himself reading several of the documents recorded within the database. These documents recorded different species of these “Youkai”, documenting their abilities and weaknesses, habitats and behaviors, even the history and lore behind them. Even as his curiosity drove him further into the database, Jace began to consider the implications of what it contained. It seemed that his ability, a closely guarded secret of his, was not the only special power existing in the world. Jace had never considered this before, and was so distracted by his thoughts about it that he almost failed to notice a security program sweeping the system. Jace quickly backed out and tried to erase his traces, deciding it’d be best not to go back there anytime soon.
Jace proceeded to continue through the rest of high school without too much trouble, and began attending MIT the next year to try to gather even more information to help with his understanding of his ability. As he progressed through college, Jace began to take up hacking as an actual profession, needing something to pay for his college fees. His already extensive knowledge of hacking combined with exploitation of his power allowed him to bypass most security systems and usually do whatever he wanted with the data that security was protecting. After getting in and getting what he wanted, he was then able to cover his traces and leave, his targets often unaware that they were targeted in the first place. This however, grew boring quickly, and Jace soon began looking for more enjoyable jobs with a high pay output. Taking an anonymous alias to protect his identity, Jace began looking for those willing to pay for a skilled hacker. After getting his first job and easily proving himself, Jace’s reputation began to climb as he got and completed jobs with a high level of efficiency. This side job of his quickly payed for his college tuition as he progressed through college itself. Eventually he started taking jobs for the fun of it, going after ones that involved stealing information, as they allowed him to quench his curiosity while being entertained and making money.
After graduating with his bachelors in engineering from MIT, Jace was approached by yet another client online. Thinking it was just another random corrupt organization looking for dirt on another random politician/ceo, he almost declined before noticing where the client had come from. Old memories from his high school years resurfaced as he recalled his adventures past a very strange security system, one he hadn’t seen since. A strange name was displayed within the job description, “Youkai.” The client revealed that Jace had accidently left his translation program within their database as he withdrew from their security, and that they had been tracking him ever since, interested in his ability. The description of the job was simply to hack into a database owned by a company that was suspected to be run and operated by a youkai that the client was interested in. As a motive the client offered information from their own database as payment. Jace briefly considered the proposal before accepting, and was almost immediately sent a location and time. Presuming this meant to meet the client, Jace grabbed a mask to protect his identity and headed to the location. Upon meeting his client, Jace was informed that this would be more than a mere hacking job like what he was used to. The client wanted him to infiltrate the company itself, as the database was on a closed network, requiring him to get close to it. He then went on to reveal that they wished to train Jace for this mission, and even hire him as a permanent agent, as they desired to use his ability to aid in many of their intelligence based agendas. Jace, more curious than anything, agreed to all of these things out of a desire to learn more about what exactly these youkai were and about the secret world they seemed to exist in.
After agreeing to his new contract with this client, Jace went on to spend most of the next year in their training program, learning what little they knew of youkai and the supernatural, honing his ability, learning the art of subterfuge, learning Japanese as that was the language of the target company, and receiving basic training in both hand-to-hand and firearm based combat. Jace’s natural curiosity aided him in his studies of Japanese as he found their culture to be fascinating. This led to him devoting more time than usual to learning it, his skill at recognizing patterns allowing him to become passably proficient in the language much faster than most. His other studies were not so easy. Although Jace had grown quite good at lying, he wasn’t the greatest actor. This led to some troubles with his training in subterfuge. However, as his training progressed, Jace began to take to the idea of pretending to be someone else. In live training missions, the goal being to exploit unsuspecting people so he could obtain something of value, he found it alarmingly easy to manipulate others into trusting him. Although his nature allowed him to quickly become proficient in a good portion of his training, one aspect of it proved very difficult for him. Jace wasn’t exactly the peak of physical condition when he began his training, so he had to go through an intense conditioning course prior to even the most basic combat training. Once he actually began his training it was found that, although he was a quick learner, he simply wasn’t able to develop the skills necessary to successfully engage in combat with those of similar training. What he did demonstrate, however, was an understanding of the concept and usage of tactics. In team training drills with other agents of the organization, Jace took to hanging to the back of the arena and advising his teammates of the situation. It seemed to observers almost as if his fellow team members had become his proxies, as if he was fighting through them.
After a year of training and anticipation, the date of Jace’s first operation was close at hand and he was rather curious about the information on the database he was being sent to hack. Jace was able to easily infiltrate the target and integrate seamlessly with the employees, he had no trouble writing himself into the company mainframe as a new worker. Jace went about the mission perfectly, garnering trust from the other employees, settling in as just another worker, and identifying the code leading to the target database. He set it all up just right, sabotaging the stock market, throwing communications into disarray, even uploading a virus to the mainframe to disrupt it. The theft was even set to occur during a press conference when the ceo would be away from their desk and a good portion of security away from their posts. But something went wrong, Jace had never seen a security system like this before and didn’t have enough time to figure it out. He had bought himself a little extra time with all the chaos he created, just enough to back off and erase his footsteps. But something stopped him, Jace wanted to know what was in that database, his curiosity wouldn’t let him leave. Jace pushed through the security, heedless of the alarms he set off, and was able to catch a glimpse of something before he was interrupted and forced to back off. “Yatsugatake Mountains” was all he could see before having to flee from a security team, flinging badly aimed bullets in his wake. After his escape, Jace attempted to mess up their system even more, but the virus he had used earlier made it difficult to do anything. It seemed they had retained a couple logs of his incursion into their database, proof of his presence. Jace knew that his client wouldn’t be happy to hear this news, so he merely sent them the tidbit of information he had recovered in consideration of their contract and attempted mop up his footprints in an attempt to prevent them from tracking him.
Unfortunately, he did not succeed in this. The company he had been hired to invade started trying to follow his digital footprint to his client, so in an effort to defend themselves, they tried to remove their connections to him completely. Jace’s former client decided to take it upon themselves to erase him and cover up their involvement with him to ensure their continued survival. Since they couldn’t find Jace himself, they decided to try to lure him out by making those he cared about “disappear.” Jace had to watch, from his birds eye view, as those he cared about were executed before his eyes. His friends, family, even his parents who had unintentionally fed the competitive and rebellious flame of his most prominent trait. He knew that he wouldn’t be able to save them, as any rescue attempt would surely get him killed. His former client inevitably failed in their mission to cut their ties with Jace as he obviously hadn’t “disappeared”. In fact, he even went to the trouble of helping the other company to his former client as a way of revenge. The other company, having quite a few youkai at its head, assaulted Jace’s former client and effectively crippled them. Seeing Jace as a threat and not knowing what kind of information he had gleaned from their database, they became his “antagonist” and began hunting him as well. With nothing much to lose and not many other choices, Jace decided that an actual disappearance from the world stage would be the best way to escape from the impending shadow of his “antagonist.” In the interest of orchestrating this, Jace began the creation of a virus that would effectively erase any instance of him from digital documentation, effectively removing his existence from the awareness of a world that relies heavily on digital technology. After releasing this virus to the internet, Jace stole aliases and names from other people to aid in his anonymity and tried to find a way to disappear for long enough that the “antagonist” would cease hunting him. More out of curiosity than anything, Jace decided to follow the lead he had found in the “antagonist’s” database, hoping he would find a place where his hunters would not look. Several months passed after Jace fled to the Yatsugatake Mountains, and without any factual reference of him in existence, people began to stop believing that he had ever existed at all. Jace, hiding in an area near to the location of a land of illusion, became an illusion himself as he drifted off to sleep; waking up in a world where the things that mankind has forgotten are found.
Jace Rose was born with an ability rather fitting for a human: the ability to perceive, understand, create, and control the digital information that courses through the outside world. Using this ability, he is able to interface his own consciousness with digital systems. Doing so enables him almost unfettered access to those systems, allowing him to view the information within and even gain control of the system itself. His only real limits in this are his knowledge of how code works (which is extensive), and the processing power he has access to (without the help of computers he can only spread himself so far using just his mind). The only real thing in his way when intruding upon a system is the security that system has, if it’s any good. But due to his ability, Jace can learn new forms of code very quickly and come up with a new way to bypass that security within a short time of encountering it. In addition to being able to manipulate the code that others create, Jace can also remotely write programs of his own to make his work easier. This allows him to create functions to simplify whatever he may be doing, A.I. to do some of his work for him as well as react to stimuli independent of his command, and even viruses to wreak havoc upon whatever system he wants to disrupt.
Jace is from the outside world, as such he has never even heard of the spellcard system.
Most everyone that Jace new or was close to is dead at this point, so there isn’t much to say in this area.
The organization that hired Jace is actually a human organization, formed out of fear of what the Youkai might be capable of and interest in researching them.
Jace names his notable programs in reference to his last name. Programs such as his signature security system, “Thornwall”; and the virus he used against the antagonist’s system, “Crimson Rose.”