Name: Ambrose Parker. Known by surname only.
Hometown: New York, NY.
Age/Birthday: 43, August 9, 1966.
Archetype: The Journalist.
History: New York wasn't good at all. Leaving the city was something like leaving an abusive spouse or quitting a bad habit. Uphill struggle that should've made him happy, once it was over and he was out. But it just left him with one less place to go and an empty feeling inside.
The reason why New York wasn't any good for Parker was because of the drugs. It was like, in his neighborhood, it was impossible not to get hooked on the stuff. And of course it was the eighties and everyone and their mother was snorting cocaine. Especially that city. Sometimes he swore you could get high just walking down certain streets. The parts per billion of coke in the air had to be pretty high. And Ambrose got into it, hard and fast and undignified. By the time it was over, he'd burgled his own sister to get dope money. Robbed tons of other people. Hell, he'd even tried to pawn his mother's engagement ring. Wasn't worth anything, though. Good ol' dad had given her a cubic zirconium. Cheap bastard.
So the thing that finally got him to leave New York was the engagement ring thing. After that, he realized that he'd sunk as low as he was even remotely comfortable with. Any lower, and he'd be irreversibly scum. He left New York, spent about two months in rehab, and then found himself a good gig in Boston, with the Herald. He worked there, dutifully and uneventfully, for about ten years. After about seven, the itch started to set in. He was bored, sick of the same shit day in and day out. Maybe if he just started having more entertaining weekends, the work week wouldn't seem so bad. The cocaine came back, and with it came all sorts of problems. He met a girl, Crystal. Stripper, but only doing it to pay for school, so that was all right. Crystal knew this guy, this dealer, who got some pretty decent shit for a pretty good price. What Parker didn't know was that Crystal was sleeping with the guy; he should've known, looking back on it. Why else would they get coke that cheap?
But he didn't know, and Crystal fucked around on him for a few months. Parker started spending more time high - "weekends" became 'Thursday night 'til Tuesday morning' and then most of his weeks were a blur, too. His writing started to suffer a little, and that's when the big thing happened. One weekend, he going up to Crystal's dealer's place, on his way to pick up enough to get him through a couple of days, and all of a sudden there's some shooting and blood and a lot of shouting, and all Parker can see from where he's ducking down in a ditch is the fucking mayor - the fucking mayor - driving off. Crystal's dead, the dealer's dead, a bunch of people he doesn't know are definitely dead, and Parker's pretty sure the fucking mayor of Boston just took off out of there.
So he went in to get some coke and he left. What? It's not like they were going to use it. The cops were just going to destroy it. Or take it themselves, the bastards. No harm in taking some with him. It's what Crystal would've wanted. And yeah, it fucked him up to go in and see them like that. He erased his name from her phone and the dealer's phone, and took off quick before the cops came.
Before he had time to think about what he was going to do, there was a knock at the door. Long story short, someone was giving him an awful lot of money - not to mention a nice job at the Las Vegas Sun - to get out of town and forget all about the night before. It was an easy way out, one that Parker was looking for, and he took it. Boston wasn't any good for him, anyway. He was on a plane the next day, thankfully not getting caught with a pound of cocaine in his luggage.
It's been ten years since the thing in Boston with the stripper and the coke (as he's started calling it, in his head) but it still haunts him a little. After that pound was gone (oh, it took him a while - he was set for a long time) he didn't do anymore. He checked himself into rehab (again) and when he got out, he went back to work at the Sun and earned himself a reputation for digging at a story, for not letting go of a thing until he got to the bottom of it. All because of that one that got away from him, the time he let himself be bought.
Personality: If he's got any humor at all, it's so dark and sarcastic it's barely even distinguishable from crankiness. He rarely smiles, especially at his own jokes, and to hear him laugh is a rarity. He smokes like a chimney, and has a cigarette hanging from his mouth at basically every turn. He's somewhat indecisive, and sometimes consults a Magic Eight Ball. He doesn't believe in it or anything, it's more a decision-making thing. Better than flipping a coin.
He has a weak spot for damsels in distress, and an even weaker one for people who can make him laugh. If you earn his trust, you've got a friend for life - but that's not as easy as it seems.
Parker tends to waver back and forth between 'user' and 'non-user' when it comes to drugs. He tries to be careful, but it never ends well and he knows that. Still, he's bad when it comes to temptation; he has a bad habit of giving in.