The Strange : Operatives of Estate
Con Artist with a heart of gold... well, silver...
Focus/Description: Appealing Spinner Who Works The System
Appearance: [see main picture] 6’0" tall, medium length black hair, hazel/green eyes, lithe (fit, but not too muscular) build, almost always well dressed
Focus/Description: Appealing Spinner Who Shepherds The Dead
Appearance: 6’0" tall, short white hair, pale white/blue eyes, very pale skin (albino), wears a long black leather duster (with a hood) upon which runic patterns glow when he uses his powers, wields a staff (with various arcane patterns along its length and a gemmed eye at the top nestled within a pair of black metallic wings).
Focus/Description: Appealing Spinner Who Crafts Illusions
Appearance: 6’0" tall, long curly black hair, brown eyes, wears a fine suit (no tie) with a long overcoat.
Focus/Description: Appealing Spinner Who Projects Energy
Appearance: 5’11" (tall girl), long white hair, dark skin (looks exactly like Storm from Ultimate X-men) – wearing the clothes in the picture, but instead of an X-men badge there is a badge denoting her color (currently green/blue swirls, turning more turquoise in the center of the circle).
The retirement party of John Jameson, the undisputed (and uncaught) King of the Long Con, was a fairly large affair. It was of course held in a mansion he didn’t own, staffed by people somebody else was paying, and catered by a premier chef who thought he was going to impress an incredibly reclusive gourmand who just happened to be attending this party. His children (except for his one disappointingly honest son, Nathaniel) had really gone all out for this one.
Robin was particularly proud of his gift, what he considered to be the icing on the cake, a fireworks display originally intended to impress one of King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz’s spoilt sons (sent to the U.S. to attend college). His older sister, Marianne, had provided the other entertainment – a series of acts, including dancers, acrobats, and singers. Some of the best were actually A-list celebrities – and she wouldn’t say how she had convinced them to attend… as good as Robin was at the game, his sister was better.
He liked to think it was because he had morals. He loved his sister—six years his senior, she had taught him a lot—but beyond fierce loyalty and affection to her family (and few real friends), she didn’t really let anything get in the way of building up a gigantic pile of lucre; that was why grandfather John said she was the best at the business he had ever seen (including himself).
Maybe there was just a strain of honesty in the Jameson genes, or maybe he’d just been ‘corrupted’ by his time spend around normal kids at university, but he just couldn’t bring himself to be that cold-hearted; he loved the game, and he certainly loved having a fat stack of bills to hand, but he had to choose his targets even more carefully than your average elite con artist – not only did the target have to pose a challenge (because otherwise what’s the point?), not only did there have to be a comfortably large payoff (although this was actually secondary to the challenge), but there was also the moral dimension to consider.
Luckily, only his sister had fully realized this failing in his character, and she cared for him more than anyone else. She poked fun at him, as only a big sister can, but never revealed a thing to anyone else – and even helped divert conversations or suggestions (about jobs) that began to stray too close to his secret. He’d told Marianne all about this Kincaid fellow, and about his odd suggestion to ‘enter the big leagues’ (he was a Jameson, after all, even if he had his father’s surname) and try to con this science grant, and it had been her suggestion to follow it up. She was entirely uncurious (too much of a danger on the job), but she knew his weaknesses all too well…
So he’d done his research, inserted his name, and gone to investigate what the hell was going on. His original plan had been to make his way to the final, impress the shit out of everyone, and—depending on what he thought of the company in the end—steal some, all, or maybe even none of the money… then he saw that CJ was part of it. At that stage, the plan became to make sure that he won. He was smart and canny enough to do it on his own, but a little quiet help never hurt. Then Kincaid appeared on stage, and the plan changed again; his official presence put a whole new spin on things, especially when put together with the occasional odd choice of scholar like Nash, and so the plan went into hibernation until more information presented itself.
This was dangerous, and completely against protocol: you always stay as many steps ahead of the mark as possible, and never leave yourself with only one out (let alone no outs). He just couldn’t help him himself… just like the time in Bhutan, with the queen’s sister, and that weird holographic display of the dragon in the vault. He’d barely gotten out of that one without being married and/or shot, and he still remembered that dragon. It had looked at him as if it knew he was there, and he swore to this day that he’s been able to feel the heat of its breath, and the stench of heavy sulphur.
Still, how bad could this be? It was probably just going to be some stupid video intended to recruit him into some boring government job (the whole thing was probably just a front for the NSA or some other acronymed agency). He’d refuse. He’d have to sign some NDAs, have his life vaguely threatened, and then he’d be on his merry way, with an interesting story to share with Marianne…