Jackie liked to take his sweet time. It's the oldest story in his repertoire: 13 hours in labor before he finally came crawling out at 3:16 in the morning, winking at the nurse and looking back at his mother who'd finally fallen asleep. The true story is a little worse for the wear, really, the storm giving his mother a tremble of fear each time the lightning struck and the thunder roared. By the time the doctors decided that it was better to go in and operate she was already long gone from wanting anything natural; the cesarean went well enough, complications all avoided, but it makes for a boring story so the family at large avoids it at dinner parties.
Early life is a series of pieces put together by the family. There are videos, pictures, little diaries and notes kept together so he would know what was happening. Which is probably for the best because Jackie was never really someone prone to remembering all that well — his earliest childhood memory is driving around in a little battery operated car and that was when he was seven years old. Anything before that seems like someone else's life; he isn't sure if it has to do with the trauma to his mind or the notion that it was a life belonging to another boy, a boy whose father was around, he isn't sure. All that matters is that he was born, he lived, and his father died. There wasn't a lot of money once the funeral and bills were paid off but there were mementos. Music, instruments, a baseball card collection. Things for Jackie and Vickie both, things they didn't know much to do with as children.
Life in Montgomery as the mixed stranger with no father wasn't easy. Sure, they had decent enough lives and the home never got forclosed on, but that only seemed to make the children all the worse around school. Jackie learned from an early age how to make peace and appease strangers. He was a showman, as a child, learning magic tricks and stupid jokes just so those bullies turned around and took him on just fine as one of their own. And those that didn't, well... he had no problem taking swings, too, coming home with busted lips and bloody noses all too often before suddenly making friends with those same kids. It was neither here nor there as long as he was making it through; Jackie wasn't the kind of boy designed to become something life changing, he just wanted to have a chance to have a life properly. Which became a little easier when his mother met Esai, somehow.
Normal wasn't exactly as Jackie had imagined it. A firm fist around the house meant guidelines. The first time Jackie came home fresh from a fist fight at school he expected the same sympathy and worry as he'd been used to; Esai was home, though, and he berated Jackie for not being man enough to just walk away from that kind of thing. It became like that — life changed by a man who wasn't his father. In his bedroom, Jackie found some comfort in the lingers of a man he didn't know. The guitar came first, trying to play along to the songs of Otis Redding and Bill Withers that were in his father's collection. The first time the strings started to sound like something real, Jackie found himself hooked; he was addicted in a way that took the place of anything else and it was a secret thing. A little treasure locked in his bedroom, just for him, while he let the flash of his charm keep everyone occupied elsewhere.
He joined the Youth Football League (go, Ducks!). He joined the dance team at school. The little things, a little soldier marching through whatever seemed cool and right, coming right home to play his guitar in secret, or so he thought. It was Esai who heard him and came into his room, the only person who actually managed to do so. Scared he'd been making too much noise, Jackie tried to apologize, only to be interrupted by Esai handing him a flyer for a concert of local performers coming up. If Jackie really liked the guitar, he had to learn what music was doing. They went, together, and Jackie loved the show; it was alive, full of these sounds on the albums he'd had but they were new now, they were things he could see and touch and feel. So, Esai got him lessons, let the boy learn himself where he had to. It wasn't a month into learning that Jackie's teacher, Mister Larsen, that Jackie was performing at early evening shows with the guy's band then: The Kid & The Big Bang.
At eleven years of age, playing gigs was a weird thing. Barefoot, with a guitar too big to have been comfortable, Jackie performed though. He played and sang and it was great, greater than great; it was living. Someone busted out the word and before Jackie's twelfth birthday he was getting calls from Disney and Nick, wanting him to come out and make a name for kid prodegies. But it wasn't exactly where his heart went; one performance on the Disney channel proved that. But that lead to a call from a studio — The Jonas Brothers having heard of him and wanting to get him to play with them on a song. It didn't amount to much after that, just the studio session, but Jackie was hooked. With a few tears and fights, Jackie got to go out to a big label with an attempt at making real music.
Being a child prodigy, though, didn't quite work out. While trying to get through recording his first album, the label started having doubts. His voice could change, they said, and become something strange. Just because a kid could try to sound older didn't mean his chords would hold out forever. It was one man who saved his career then, a senior hitmaker on the label who saw Jackie tugging his dad's old guitar around the building. Jingall was the one who asked Jackie into a studio to see him play. Jingall was who got him his first writing credit and featured — from there, things spiraled. Jackie tested out of his education, took his lessons as home schooling and finished what needed doing without a care in the world. He focused instead on performing, harnessing himself, learning from Jingall and helping him write on some of the biggest hits in the world. A dream come true, for anyone alive.
His first few challenges alone came from Disney, again: he wasn't going to sign as an artist but he was good with music, and made friends easily. So he got to write for a few soundtracks, helping the actors learn to sing the songs the way they should have been. It was a safer venture alone than trying to write real pop hits by himself; at his age it wasn't as if he might have really been able to handle the room without his mentor there. And that way, all the writing, all the composing together, Jackie was able to keep performing. The attempt to build himself into an artist culminated in two things: Jackie's debut blues album as the young prodigy and his Requite. They had nothing to do with one another and yet, everything, all the same.
So far as debuts go, Lie To Me was a massive success. It took a while, lots of touring and performing and a sophomore effort, but eventually the album even actually sold some: it went platinum in early 2013. Later that year, the 5th of September, 2013 to be exact, at the Ellnora Guitar Festival Jackie was performing barefoot, as he liked to do. The rain was falling but the stage was meant to be safe. And it was, the wires well protected, instruments and sound protected best as it could be. He insisted on going on, finishing the show as the storm grew wilder. It was a mistake, though, as lightning struck down and the charge rushed through the stage through his bare feet. Eight hours later he jolted up in bed at the hospital, feeling warm but not dead, a shock to everyone around.
Training started almost instantly. Jackie couldn't touch material without shifting for the first few weeks. All music went into pause, all touring stopped; he hated it, wanted so badly just to continue onward, but he couldn't manage it. Some days, he couldn't even remember what he'd had for breakfast. A side effect, they said. The scar on his foot was nothing compared to the eternal cycle of short term memory loss he'd have. Some things would stick easier than others, they said. Some things would be easy. But the rest, he'd have to work at. The more control he'd earn over the elements the more he'd be able to remember instantly as it happened. So, he worked at it; three months straight of training every single day. His family moved to New York with him for it, gave up everything, and Jackie gave back everything he had to learn to master whatever had gotten into him. His trouble, he figured, his trick to master.
It took a few years for Jackie to be worth the collateral again, but he didn't let it stop him. He moved his mother and step-father out to California, asked for legal adoption from Esai as thanks for giving up everything as well, and he worked his ass off everywhere else. For five years that was all he had — training and music making and turning an industry of everything but what he loved into a music making machine for himself. It worked in his favor, too, because how many people by the age of twenty get to own their own dream even in the smallest capacity? Sure, he had to still do gigs like dinner shows at small clubs in the country but he got to do big, amazing shows with heroes and icons, too; for years, he has let that satisfy him, let it be enough. And while he's had his trouble with heartache, with partying, with being a little looser than maybe anyone should have been, he found a pace that suited him and it works.
A pace with Bogart that he hoped would mean forever.
Tragedy is a break in all things. The death of a friend, a brother, at his own hands would have tipped Jackie over the edge too far to crawl back from. But thanks to the habits of youth, interfering everywhere they ought not to be, Jackie found himself trapped in a game of the oddest kinds of fortune. The truth was odder than any bible or song had ever prepared him for and faced with it, there was no choice but to do as Jackie Morales had ever done. Roll with the punches, run with the tide.
|Fire||Hell Brood||Hand of God||Burning Cures|
|Wind||Gale Snakes||Storm Bolts||Malefic Turns|
|Wood||The Caretaker||Dahlia Bloom||Bark and Bite|
|Water||Tundra Runners||Serpent Spear||Knowledge Drops|
|Earth||Flint Guards||Osmium Flats||Dust to Dust|
|Metal||Heavy Nights||Edge Break||King Midas|
|Atlantes||Tonn Fírinne||Suaimhneas Croí||Tintreach|
Elemental Mimicry: As Jackie is not capable of controlling the elements by will properly yet, he has to tune himself into the element he wishes to control. In this manner, he can absorb and mimic any property that he comes into physical contact with; however, currently, he has only trained with broad aspects of six elements found in nature.
Elemental Creatures: When attuned into an element, Jackie's control is lifted to astronomical levels. This allows him the ability to create and conjure semi-sentient creatures of each element, however he can only currently manifest the elements into singular shapes, though he has been able to make multiples of the same creature.
Elemental Weapons: Each element allows Jackie a chance to fight for it, which gives him the ability to harness and conjure a weapon that is finely harmonized to the element he currently mimics. He can only conjure the Edge Break when not in an elemental form.
Elemental Connection: Because Jackie's gift is an eventual control over all elements he is currently imbued with an essence of connection toward them. He cannot necessarily feel what the elements feel, but he can ask them for help; in this manner, he can ask metal to wrap around him so he mimics its form and grows stronger, allowing a kind of telekinesis to carry things from line of sight to him.
Manipulations: While Jackie has been able to unlock secrets of certain elements by attuning himself into them, his gift means that through a connection to certain pieces he's been able to harness his control over the elements without changing forms. This means he can choose to control, generate, absorb and manipulate these elements at will: and because of it, he can use the materials familiar to him to help generate unique guards and traits in his natural physical form.
Elemental Guard: At his pinnacle, Jackie will be in total control of all elements, from the manipulation of soil to the influence over chi, void, and even the four natural forces of the universe. It is the strongest point of his gift and the most deeply buried beneath his slow process of learning. THanks to the nature of energies absorbed, Jackie is a divine entity that manifests and taps into the primordial energies of all creation, meaning his elements are the base all other elements draw from.
Elemental Control: His peak is in such fine tuned control that the elements do not exist as seperate to Jackie: he can trace any element minutely in any creation and expand upon it. Like a god, he can make lightning under water, conjure ice in a dessert and turn the sun into a comfortable spa. Every fiber of energy is his to command and control, leading to the true nature of his gift, unbriddled by the curse of his guardian angel's death.
Creation & Crafts: The totality of his control over all elements, fundemental, theoretical, transcendent or otherwise elevates Jackie's gift into the realm of being a Conceptual Creator; that is, he can conjure, weld, craft and manipulate something out of the very fabric and essence of even nothing. He cannot, however, emulate life he has not have the essence to understand — no making a person whole and structurally sound from nothing, he can only replicate the idea of a person and a soul. This makes Jackie's ultimate essence an elemental creator of life and liberation: his finest form is that of a diaphanous unnatural silver primordial god, creating and destroying at will.