Name: Nicholas "Nick" Reid
School: Bayview Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: Reading, writing, math, science, creative anachronism
Appearance: At 6' even and 145 lbs, Nick is fairly thin and lanky. Strong legs skew the distribution downwards a bit, leaving him with a skinny torso, wiry arms, and spiderlike hands. His participation in archery and mock swordplay has caused a slight unevenness in his build, and a direct comparison would show his dominant left side to be slightly more robust. A simple glance shows that it's obvious Nick cares little about his appearance; his black finger-length hair is horribly unkempt, he slouches, and his outfit is the same every day; dark jeans, black shoes, a faded and frayed MIT hoodie that might fit well if he was perhaps 60 lbs heavier, and a T-shirt with a bad math joke on it. On the day of the abduction, his shirt is bright orange with a crude brown line drawing of a monkey's head above the words "There's No Right Way to Eat a Rhesus."
Nick's face is dominated by a large, hooked nose. Under his powerful brow ridge and shapely eyebrows, his eyes are a dull color that is indistinguishably blue, green, or even grey. Much of the time, poor sleeping habits cause his eyes to take on a sunken appearance, and the sides of his face sport hollow cheeks and visible cheekbones. His lips are also prominent, and even after a couple weeks without shaving, his facial hair shows up only as a faint trace. The overall effect of his appearance is reminiscent of a large, sickly bird.
Biography: Nick knows firsthand that genius has its price. Though by all accounts a normal, if quiet, grade-schooler, he began in middle school to feel an increasingly sharp divide between him and his his peers. While their growth and development sent them off in wildly different directions, the introverted, sentimental Nick was left grasping at straws. The transition to Bayview was even worse, and Nick found his grades plummeting under the stress, leading him into a vicious cycle. As general malaise into full-blown depression, his behavior was too much to conceal and excuse, and his concerned parents brought him in for a consultation with the family doctor. Two years later, despite the diagnosis, he has made little headway. Trapped into displaying a falsely happy front, his illness retains a source of negativity on which to feed. He manages to function largely through sheer willpower, but is not free from episodes of sheer melancholy.
Nick is the guy who is always right and he knows it. This causes him to be somewhat abrasive at times. Disliking everyone in general but nobody in particular, he is perfectly friendly on a one-on-one basis, but holds great disdain for the hoi polloi. Despite his incredible mental prowess, his grades are better than average at best and horrible at worst, largely due to his depression. Additionally, he is cuttingly sarcastic and morbidly sardonic. If you ask him where someone is, he'll reply that they're dead, and if you want to know where something is, he'll respond "I ate it." He claims to be a realist, stating that the proverbial glass is merely the cube root of two times as large as it needs to be, but is in reality quite pessimistic and views things much differently than most people.
When he was still young, Nick had the opportunity at a Cub Scout day camp to try firing a bow. To his immense pleasure (and future displeasure, on having to recount his involvement in the Cub Scouts), he discovered himself to be a comparatively good shot. This sparked an interest in archery that has grown throughout the years. One thing lead to another, and some archery range contacts ended up introducing Nick to faux medieval combat. He eagerly joined first Dagorhir and Belegarth, and later the SCA, as a combat archer. He has since diversified, but still favors archery, as well as spear and greatsword. Despite the exercise, his naturally skinny frame hasn't bulked up much. He can draw a bow and swing a rattan weapon, but is far from what would be considered muscular.
From the first words he read, sometime during preschool, Nick has read everything in sight in a quest for knowledge. From the Magic Schoolbus series in his early years to his more recent perusal of the Feynman lectures, no text is safe from his prying eyes. Along the way, he's snowballed quite a collection of minutiae. Need to know that his large Adam's apple makes him "cock-throppled" or that opossums have 13 nipples? Even if you don't, he'll let you know anyways. After becoming a writer for the school newspaper, his tastes have branched out somewhat into fiction, especially the Cthulu Mythos and Discworld novels.
As an outgrowth of his interest in reading, Nick has developed a keen interest in math and science. Always mathematically gifted, he has managed to scrape passing grades in all of his math classes with little to no homework, and is eager to state his confidence of receiving a 4 or 5 on May's AP Calculus test. Even with his success in mathematics, though, his true passion is for science. His dream job would involve particle physics research at CERN, but he occupies himself for the time being reading into Carnot cycles and Pi Mesons and looking at the material world with an appraising eye.
All in all, Nick is a walking contradiction. A college-bound National Merit Scholar, he falls short of the honor roll; timid and intellectual, he harbors a bit of an impulsive streak and loves a good prank. Cool, collected, and eloquent in a prepared speech, he is a horrid conversationalist; brilliant and sharp-witted, he often lacks basic common sense. But above all is an obsessive veneration of his deeply flawed mind.
Advantages: Nick is in fairly good shape and skilled in melee combat and archery. He also has quick feet and a quick mind, with iron willpower to back it up.
Disadvantages: Depression has taken its toll on Nick's mind and body. Poor sleeping habits have sapped his strength and endurance somewhat, and his mental state sometimes causes him to think illogically. He is also horribly indecisive and lacks the social graces that are valuable for turning enemies into allies.
Designated Number: Male student no. 55
Designated Weapon: Molotov cocktails x6
Conclusion: "Huh, should I throw this molotov at that raging psychopath, or shouldn't I? Oh maybe I should just drop it at my own feet!" ... Mr. Reid better drop all that emotional baggage he's carrying as soon as possible, because he's going to have a hard enough time surviving as it is!
The above biography is as written by Rattlesnake. No edits or alterations to the author's original work have been made.
Handled by: Rattlesnake
Killed By: Maf Tuigamala
Nick's game began in the Inland Woods, where he awoke dazed and confused but with enough presence of mind to realize the reality of the situation. Hearing Andrea Raymer nearby, he moved towards the girl an engaged her in conversation. The conversation deteriorated rapidly, however, and the pair was soon joined by Alex White, tree branch in hand. A thoroughly irritated Nick launched a few verbal barbs at the newcomer before suddenly remembering his antidepressants. After downing a pill, he was offered another bottle by Andrea, but railed against the idea, discarding his own medication for good measure while moving up to threats with Alex. The tension shattered as Alex come at him swinging; Nick, prepared for the event, defended himself with a molotov in each hand. Unfortunately for him, the brittle glass was shattered by a particularly hard swing, slicing his right arm with shrapnel. He responded by charging Alex with the remaining shard, but was taken down with a throw by the larger boy. Coming to his senses, he seized his pack and fled the scene.
After picking his way through the woods, he arrived at a hill overlooking the gazebo, where a group of people, notably Maxwell Lombardi and Daniel Vaughan, was already gathered. Unable to see or hear the group due to his position behind the Gazebo, he decided to burn the it down to deprive the game of one location. He hurled a lit molotov, but missed the building entirely, instead hitting Daniel on the head. As the boy burned to death, Maxwell sprinted up to Nick, shouting and beating him brutally. Seizing a momentary hesitation from his conflicted attacker, Nick got up and sprinted off in the opposite direction.
He then made his way over to the tunnels, where he passed a fitful night in hiding. Shortly after the first announcement, he was approached in the dark by Jennifer Perez. Initially uneasy, they managed to put their trust in each other, and nick allowed Jennifer to tend to his wounds. This peace was soon interrupted by the arrival of Phillip Ward, and Tom Guthrie a moment later. The two newcomers began to fight, and Nick, seeing Tom's sword, edged closer, looking for an opportunity to seize it. As Tom stabbed Phil, Nick saw his chance and tackled him. Lost in the rush of the fight and imagining an army of wounded but revenge-seeking classmates, he proceeded to slam the boy's head against the cave wall repeatedly, killing him. As the adrenaline ebbed, however, he found himself scared, shamed, and disgusted by his actions. Implying verbally that he would kill himself but leaving a note suggesting that he would hunt down players instead, he left the tunnels for the south-eastern woods.
Walking through the shade, he resolved to kill himself using his newfound weapon. He sought out a large tree and prepared himself. Teetering briefly on the edge, he plunged the sword into his heart - only to wake up at the base of the tree. Disgusted at himself, he set off towards the boundary of the dangerzone in a philosophical mood. Coming across a sleeping Tabi Gweneth, Nick rationalized a plan to make off with her bag and increase his own supplies while destabilizing his classmates. He approached, unarmed, and used a false front to get the jump on her. Before anything could come of the situation, however, Ivan Kuznetsov arrived with Best Kill Award in hand. Enraged at seeing Tabi threatened, he knocked Nick to the ground with the butt of his shotgun, and Nick, sensing that he would be beaten to death, attempted to goad him into pulling the trigger instead. At the last moment, Tabi intervened, saving Nick's life. Finding himself confused but alive once again, Nick took the opportunity to beat a hasty retreat.
From there, he wandered north to rest and reassess his strategy. In his wanderings, he crossed paths with the duos of Nik Kronwall with Fiona Sparki and Orpheus Campbell accompanied by Rizzo Vitoria. Nik drew his gun and Nick his sword, but neither boy made any move to initiate a fight. After a few seconds, the standoff fizzled, and after a brief, unsuccessful bait on the second pair, he slipped back the way he came, intent on finding Jennifer again. Arriving at the tunnel where he'd seen her last, he called out in hopes that she might be tending to the survivor of the earlier altercation. Instead, he found one David Anderson, who admitted his ignorance of the situation. The other boy broke off the encounter, leaving Nick with nothing but a rising sense of paranoia before turning back around for a parting thought. Blinded by David's flashlight, Nick threw up his sword arm to shield his eyes. With that violent, misunderstood gesture, the tension shattered. Taking a parrying blow to the fingers and gripped with panic, Nick dropped his weapon and grabbed his opponent, forcing him backwards and slamming his forehead into David's nose. At that moment, Maf Tuigamala, who had been lurking unnoticed in the darkness stepped forward and slammed Nick's own head against the wall, demanding to know what he had to do with Jennifer. Nick's attempts at brute force fell flat, and a threatening tug on his collar gave him no recourse but to tell the truth. With Maf satisfied, Nick was able to slip away into the darkness.
Nick continued trekking through the blackness, hounded by the ghosts of his classmates and succumbing to his own overpowering paranoia. Flicking on his flashlight for reassurance, he was shocked instead to find William Sears already in close quarters, both boys having nearly missed each other in the darkness. Initial shock and panic spiraled out of control, and a short, brutal battle ensued. After managing to drive the crossguard of his sword into the other boy's eye, Nick completed his fourth kill with a powerful strike from the pommel of his weapon.
After exiting the tunnels, Nick wandered in search of Jennifer, hoping that her tending to the wounded Phil Ward would prevent her from straying far from the tunnel's exit. His practicality paid off, as he eventually discovered her, along with Samantha Ridley, sitting in the swamp. Marveling as his luck, he introduced himself to the pair, recapping his actions with some trepidation to Jennifer as the other girl slipped away. Unwilling to linger with the unseen threat of the armed girl lurking about, they decided to move out together. Their reunion was to be a short one, however - as they wandered over the logging road, they came across Melissa Li, a friend of Jennifer's from before the trip, while, a larger, potentially threatening group hid nearby. Moving in to investigate, Nick found himself staring down the barrel (and blade) of a sword-revolver wielded by Harun Kemal. Reluctant to engage in any violence and fearful of the possiblity of what might happen if he did, he decided instead to simply flee the scene, leaving Jennifer to deal with what he hoped to be a defused situation. Nick made his way south, recalling Jennifer's desire to visit the house of mirrors for whatever reason, but otherwise totally directionless. Picking his way through the fun fair, he came upon Anna Chase, crossbow in hand. Finding himself again unwilling to attack an innocent and concerned about his own safety if he chose to do so, he stepped aside to let her pass unharmed. At that point, the potential peace was destroyed by Marty Lovett spying the pair and taking Nick's ready position as an offensive one. The boy charged, and Nick spun around to face him. Without hesitation, he plunged his sword through his attacker's heart, killing him instantly. At this, Anna raised her weapon, shouting and threatening to shoot. Nick, split between encouraging and discouraging her, uncertainly called her bluff. She backed down, and he moved on to his intended destination.
At the house of mirrors, Nick discovered a note left by Jennifer and Melissa, stating that they were together and heading for either the mountain or the groundskeeper's hut. While deciding on his next course of action, Nick strolled through the hall, appraising the state in which its previous occupants had left it. A dangling wire caught his eye, and inspiration struck. Gathering a length of wire and a half-dozen spare flashlights, he set out towards the mountain in hopes of finding the pair and removing all of their collars.
Arriving at the mountain, he set out towards the peak in a blind search for the girls. As he neared the summit, a voice caught his ear, one which turned out to be none other than Jennifer Perez. Elated, Nick made his way over, determined to make up for all of his previous actions. As they discussed their day apart, he rooted through his bag, cobbling the contents together into a crude electromagnet. Convinced that his creation would safely disable their collars, he tried waving it over the collar of the volunteering Melissa. Her trust proved to be fatal, however, as the makeshift device caused her collar to detonate instead. As Nick stood in silent shock, a rustling in the trees announced the arrival of Maf Tuigamala, who was drawn to the noise of the explosion. Maf raised his gun and Nick came unglued, charging him with such haste and fury that he had no time to properly draw his sword. Bowling the larger boy over, he readied his weapon, but was tripped in return. Before he could recover, Maf ripped the sword from his hands. Drawing the dagger Marty had assaulted him with, Nick pressed the attack, stabbing his opponent in the gut but receiving a blow in return that destroyed his eye. Completely maddened, he flung himself at Maf, dodging into his strike to impale himself on the sword. Mortally wounded, he continued attacking for the sport of it until a reckless lunge sent the estoc up his arm, impaling him from wrist to elbow. He fell to the earth, cracking a smile as he bled to death.
This is what we like to see here at Survival of the Fittest. Murder, trust, betrayal, and one hell of a bloody death. You did us - and our viewer count - proud, B055.
"This sucks." - Nick's first words on the island, summing up the situation.
"These are the kinds of people we're dealing with. Thank you for thinking I don't deserve to die." - To Jennifer Perez, on social graces.
"But here's the thing, the really big thing I realized. You told me - well, not specifically, but that there's no room for apologies here. There are two ways to play this thing. You can play to live, or you can play to survive. I'd be putting myself on your conscience, and I couldn't do that. But now it's just narrow escape after narrow escape. I mean, I can't just say 'hold up everyone, sorry 'bout that. Sorry about Daniel and Tom and David and William." - To Jennifer, on philosophy.
"Look. You're signing a one-way ticket to Hell, and I don't even care if you're not religious, 'cause it starts the second you pull that trigger. Put that thing down, and neither of us have to die." - To Anna Chase, on murder.
- Nick is a self-insert of his handler, Rattlesnake.
- Nick's fight with Maf Tuigamala was the first sword fight - or at least fight with bladed weaponry - in SOTF history.
- Nick is privately considered by his handler to share his heterochromia, a brown streak through the right eye, as reflected in the facemaker artwork. The prevalence of the condition among v4 characters and subtlety of the feature itself lead to its exclusion from the biography.
Below is a list of threads that contain Nick, in chronological order.
dz/dt(Considered by the handler to be non-canon, due to a fundamental character rework for v4 proper)
- Waking Up is Hard to do
- The Right Thing for the Wrong Reasons
- They F**king Work Because Unpaired Electrons Spinning in the Same Direction Create Lines of Magnetic Domains
- Carpe Noctum
- All the Untested Virtue
- Leaving Me Lonely Still
- Keep On Smiling
- Later, Buddy
- Bait and Switch
- I Will Follow You into the Dark
Your Thoughts Edit
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Nick Reid. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- Nick's another character I've talked about a lot, in the context of explaining why he's one of my favorite SOTF characters. What really made Nick stand out from the other characters in V4 was how he managed to be highly flawed while also staying incredibly sympathetic. Most of V4's sympathetic villains started out immoral and then pulled themselves back out, or else thought they were doing the right things the whole time. Nick wasn't like that. He was conflicted, depressed, and fully aware of his actions. He wasn't a bad guy, just a guy prone to really awful and increasingly-violent errors of judgement and misunderstandings, and Nick's narrative never shied away from that. Nick's the rare evident-flagship who really was his handler's finest character far and away. It's hard to put into words, but Nick's one of the characters I most enjoyed and most highly recommend from V4. It's a shame he died so early, because I'd've enjoyed reading Nick for the long haul (as I have his also-excellent Second Chances incarnation). So, yeah, not much to say except give Nick a read. He's very definitely worth it. - MurderWeasel