PLAYER: Robert Dorf

="david.jpg" width="250" height="321" alt="David Hark" />

Background/History: Excerpt from the Sim-Vid Reality Game Show "Hate Arena":

Simulated News Personality Cai Jing Jing: "Thank you gentle persons, and welcome. I hope you all enjoyed that magnificent display of skill and daring! Now let's speak to the last surviving member of relay team Lucky Stars, Mister Hark Sing Shi!"

Hark Sing Shi: *cough* *cough* "Hello."

SNPCJJ: "Mister Hark, welcome back from the Hate Arena! I'm sure that many of our viewers were very surprised to see you escape certain death! Congratulations!"

Hark: "Thank you."

SNPCJJ: "How do you feel right now, Mister Hark?"

Hark: "I can't feel my legs. I think it's the neural block."

SNPCJJ: *laughter* "No, Mister Hark! You've won on Hate Arena! You and you alone survived the attacks of champion hunter Team Fei Hung, the Path of Challenges, and the special bonus Maze of Unlikely Peril! How do you feel?"

Hark: "Hurt. I feel badly hurt."

SNPCJJ: *laughter* "What a joker our Mister Hark is! And what a prize he has won! For surviving on Hate Arena, Hark Sing Shi will receive full release from his indentured service contract to this network, ten thousand Hong Kong Dollars, and a one year supply of tasty Hong Kong Buns from Tasty Buns, the buns we like to bite! Mister Hark, is there anything you'd like to say to our audience?"

Hark: "Thank you all for watching. To the families of my team mates and those hunters who lost their lives today, my deep and sincere condolences. To any agents who may be watching this program, upon my release from hospital I will once again be available for acting or stunt positions. To any young people, I beg of you, do not attempt to live your life as an entertainer."

SNPCJJ: *laughter* "That was Hate Arena! Next up..."

Note: After fees for medical treatment were deducted from his winnings, Hark Sing Shi never received his $10,000 Hong Kong Dollars. He was, however, able to live for most of the year on tasty Hong Kong Buns, despite the accompanying gastrointestinal problems.

"David" Hark was born in Hong Kong. He lived with his mother in the whore house that employed her until he was eight years old, getting what education his mother could arrange from the VR immersion boxes used to keep the whores entertained and docile. Fearing that David would soon be used as a plaything by the brothel's clients, his mother arranged for David to be indentured to a Peking Opera revival troop.

The training was brutal, even with the limited learning-drugs and VR simulations the always barely profitable troop could afford, but David had a natural talent for the work. By his early teens, David was one of their stars. That's when his Esper traits first forcefully showed themselves. During a performance, David seriously injured two of his "Older Brothers", and caused considerable damage to the theatre. Terrified, David fled. Now 23 years old, David has earned living as, among other things, a minor thug, a street performer, a porter, a gambler, a tout, and a personal body guard. His unusual combination of martial arts training and Esper powers has assisted him in each of these roles.

David would like to find a way to become respectable, become a successful entertainer, maybe open up his own restaurant. He has seen enough of the criminal life, but he doesn't know how to get out. For now, he relies on his skills and his Esper powers to make money where he can, always coming close to the big score but never quite getting there.

Several criminal organizations and Megacorps have employed David in recent years, and have become very curious as to the potential of David's rare Esper abilities. One Megacorp in particular has records of a very powerful male telepath who disappeared in Hong Kong just about a year before David was born.

David has depended for most of his life on getting along with others. As a child in the whore house, being funny spared him the worst of the brutality the whores passed down to those lower on the totem pole and brought him the attention he craved. In the Peking Opera troop, performance and popularity had a direct payoff in the amount and quality of food he received.

As an adult, David is a pleaser, but one with principles and a good mind. He has lived most of his life as a virtual slave, and violently resists and resents attempts to bully or control him. His main refuge has always been tales of brave and kindly Wuxia heroes, men who protected the weak and lived up to the highest standards. David can't live such a life, but he tries. He will often go out of his way to help others, especially women, and while he is aware that this is a weakness he finds it difficult to stop.

David understands that his Esper abilities are not the legendary Chi powers of a Wuxia character, and yet he can't help conceptualizing them in that way. He has found hints that his father may have been an Esper of great power, and would pursue any clues that might lead him to that man.

Quote: "Please don't kill me!"

POWERS/TACTICS: David was trained as an actor, singer and entertainer. He has also spent his life on the dark side of Hong Kong. This has left him with a broad range of skills, allowing him to function as a competent performer and a competent petty criminal. His martial arts style is perhaps better suited to the stage than to the streets, but he has used it in life and death situations more than once, and it is serviceable. David is relatively strong, fit and fast, though not at the level of some of the serious killing machines that rule the Hong Kong night.

David's Esper powers are surprisingly broad. While his telekinesis is not exceptional, he can leap farther and faster than most Espers, and he has perfected a Tai Chi based "reflection" technique that can make him more dangerous than some foes might expect. David has also learned to channel his psychokinetic power into his own body for the purpose of briefly increasing his strength by several orders of magnitude. Finally, David has a rare telepathic talent. David considers his telepathy to be of very limited usefulness, as he lacks the power to mask his presence in another's mind. Thus, when using telepathy, David risks severe repercussions.

David is not a competent enough fighter to take on gangs armed with heavy weapons, dedicated Street Samurai, or highly trained Esper Weapons. He is however exceptionally good at running away. David will not kill if he can possibly avoid it, and dislikes even seriously harming others if there is a way out. He sincerely believes that such actions have consequences. However, he is not a coward, and will use violence if he has to.

Campaign Use:
David has been employed in the past by criminal gangs, corporations, and even the Hong Kong police. He is an adequate detective, effective Esper back up for relatively nonviolent crimes, a competent body guard, and a very durable stunt man. Any operation that promised development of his Esper powers or a way out of the Hong Kong street life without enslaving himself again would be of interest to David. His greatest desire is to be a loved entertainer, and so adventures around the Hong Kong entertainment industry could easily draw him in.

APPEARANCE: A relatively handsome and athletic young Chinese man in simple, moderately fashionable clothing. David favors outfits that will give as little offense as possible.

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