D.I. Perish in Uniform: September 1967, London, England
A Rare Post-Retirement Snapshot: January 1984, Bar Vincenç, Betlem, Majorca
Prudence. Mr. Perish is careful. Very
careful. He is methodical, and precise, and plans ridiculously
far in advance. And when the right moment comes, he is ready.
Sloth. Mr. Perish slogs through life as if it's a foregone conclusion. He's not inactive
, by any means, or unproductive, but one gets the persistent impression that he's an undercover existentialist.
Eye Color: Pale, piercing blue
Hair Color: Used to be sandy brown, now white
Skin Tone/Complexion: Not fantastic. He's an old, naturally pale guy who's been out in the sun a lot.
Hair Notes: Mr. Perish keeps a neatly-trimmed fringe at the back, but is otherwise entirely bald.
Figure Notes: Jonathan is in good shape for a 91-year-old, which admittedly is not saying that much. He used to be lean and a few inches taller than average, with the healthy constitution and wiry strength of a farmboy-turned-beat-cop. He's still lean, and though age has taken a couple inches off him and dulled his muscles a good deal, he's still quite a hard-bitten fellow. Favors his right leg due to the aftereffects of a late-career injury -- he had to ram someone at a bad angle during a car chase -- and walks with a slight limp. Has a long, high-cheekboned face, a sharp chin, and somewhat bushy eyebrows, all of which lends itself very well to English curmudgeonliness.
Clothing Notes: Standard "O.A.P. on Holiday" getup: usually pressed khakis, a neutral-colored button-down shirt, a leather belt, and loafers or boat shoes. Add a slouch hat, worn outside, and maybe a cardigan when it's cool out, and there you have it. Despite favoring such an outfit -- and sensibly, given Majorca's climate -- it is Jonathan's eternal misfortune to look as if he *should* be dressed in knit sweaters and woolen overcoats, in order to go Rambling on the Moors.
Accessory Notes: Wallet; keys; nice, middle-class wristwatch that the department got him for his retirement. Reading glasses, kept in breast pocket when not in use. Hand-carved mahogany walking stick, simply designed but well-made. Pointed lack of anything resembling a cell phone.
Jonathan Sanford Perish was born in 1916, to a large family of sheep farmers on the North York Moors: twenty minutes or so outside the town of Stokesley by modern transport. His parents being modestly off -- with more than enough people to tend the herd -- Jonathan was sent to school. Good thing, too. Young Master Perish excelled across the board, showing particular aptitude for civics and history. This is because he "knew in advance" what a significant portion of his test answers were supposed to be. Without having to study.
After graduating, his high marks and robust health led him off the farm, with his parents' blessing, and into the North Yorkshire rural police. Also leading him: the fact that he "knew" he was going to be a police officer. He made an equally good impression on the force, posting a solid performance record and impressive attention to procedure -- though, strictly speaking, not an awful lot of crime
happens on the Moors, so it wasn't as if he was foiling dastardly Fifth Columnists or anything. …Until December of 1939, that is. The story goes that Perish was tapped by MI5 to be an undercover local point man on the bust of a homegrown Fascist cell, walled up in an armed compound out on the moors and radioing secrets to the Nazis. The operation was an astounding success. The real story is similar, only the Fascists were also a Pure werewolf pack; MI5 was MI18, the UK's supernatural-focused military intelligence division; and the MI18 agent assigned to the case had no idea who Jonathan was before the bust, having been clawed half to death and hogtied in the basement five minutes after walking onto the pack's property. After Mr. Perish drove up to the compound unexpectedly, broke the agent out, and helped him firebomb the place, the agent asked the young cop how he'd known to be there in the first place. Jonathan told him.
Mr. Perish was summarily promoted, transferred to London, given all manner of briefings, and assigned to take care of the Stepney Horror. In February of 1940, accompanied by D.I. Nathan Brinks of the London Police -- also of MI18, and not really named Nathan Brinks -- he did so. The next 30 years were ones of hard work and quiet success. Following his triumph at Stepney, Mr. Perish established a reputation as a determined, well-informed investigator with an above-average record -- marred only by the fact that he went through quite a lot of partners, and never quite managed to make D.C.I. Of course, his record was so good because he "knew" rather a lot about his cases in advance, funneling precognitive information to MI18 all the while; he hit the glass ceiling because MI18 wanted to keep him unobtrusive, and he went through a lot of partners because they
were all MI18, and the government was not keen on them sticking around long enough for Perish to "know" stuff about them, too. In 1944, he struck up an acquaintance with his upstairs neighbor, a secretary named Edith Mills; in 1945, mere weeks after V-E Day, they were married, settling down to a comfortable home life. They had no children.
Now, see, MI18 thought they were being really clever
with Edith Mills -- not her real name. This is because Jonathan had been studiously giving them the impression that his precognition was limited to details about incipient crimes -- not, for example, that it extended to prospective wives. In truth, Mr. Perish knew full well that "Edith" was a deep-cover agent meant to ensure that he kept in line, but as he "knew" it would be a good idea to marry her anyway, that's what he did. Besides, he liked her okay.
Perish's official career came to a tragic end in May of 1970. Seeking revenge for the imprisonment of one of their members at Jonathan's hands, an East End-based criminal organization abducted his wife, leaving her horribly mutilated body in Hoxton Square the following day. Perish tracked down the two killers with police sanction and "shot them while resisting arrest" -- but after this final act, the fire seemed to go out of his police work.
Of course, it isn't commonly reported that the gang members were Nosferatu, or that Perish "knew" full well that the murder was going to happen -- and, somewhat sadly, that it had to happen. That said, it did play into some of his long-term plans. "Edith," after all, had now been part of a crime, which meant that Jonathan's minders could now infer that he "knew" about her role. So he gave them a call telling them as much. No hard feelings. They shouldn't do anything rash. He'd even keep funneling them "information," to show his continued loyalty to the organization. The only thing was, he was getting a little tired of police work…
Several months later, a sympathetic department agreed to pension him off early, taking his years of exemplary service into account. In August of 1970, Jonathan Perish hopped a plane to Majorca, and largely dropped off the public radar. In the years since, both his family members and his former police colleagues have either died or stopped telephoning. Thus, as for what's happened to him in the past few decades…well, that's for Lauren to find out.
As with most of Jonathan's decisions, he retired to Majorca because he "knew" it would be a very good idea. First, it would get MI18 off his back -- as indeed it has. He's followed through on his promise to phone in "hunches" about national security every so often, but has deliberately ramped up the fake senility in his calls over the past decade or so: the agency still thinks he's precognitive, and still thinks he's trying to be helpful, but now also thinks that he's a useless crank. Certainly not worth assassinating -- good show for Perish, that.
Second, it would put him in the right place to make friends. A lot of people retire to Majorca. Some of them are ex-law enforcement. Some of them are powerful psychics. Exactly two, from 1970 through 2007, have been both -- aside from Perish himself, that is.
Now, Jonathan has an isolated beach house on the island's north coast, an hour's walk from the tiny seaside town of Betlem. Most afternoons, he can usually be found in Bar Vincenç, accompanied by René Villeneuve (89; French; thin; dapper; pencil mustache; ex-consulting detective; high-level telepath) and Heinrich Blau (88; German; short; stocky; "cop mustache"; ex-Stasi; high-level pyrokinetic), drinking, talking, and playing darts. Otherwise, he takes long walks, maintains a woodworking hobby, and prepares mentally and physically for the event he knows to be coming.
Jonathan Perish knows that something is coming. And he is going to be ready when it happens.
Largely for Lauren to discover for herself. Mr. Perish had a reputation for being quietly industrious and not much else, when he was in the public eye. Now? That's anyone's guess.
Put simply, Jonathan Perish has mental access to a several-hundred-thousand-page Choose Your Own Adventure autobiography of himself. That is to say, there are a dizzying number of branching pathways representing what he could
do at any given time, and he can't pay attention to more than a handful of them at a time, but he has a pretty good idea of what will happen next if he makes any
semi-significant decision. The rest of his personality flows naturally from there.
Jonathan isn't brilliant, but he always knows what he has to do. Jonathan isn't lucky, but he always knows where he has to be. Thus, for most of Jonathan's professional life, he had effectively been locked into his own optimal career path: decisions
happen too often to a policeman for him to have avoided getting hunches, and he always knew that acting contrary to them would be a bad idea. In a sense, he really had no choice in the matter. This made him very good at existing
, but very cynical, very detached, and oddly lazy about life in general -- after all, it was nothing more to him but going through the motions. MI18 peeping over his shoulder at all hours didn't help matters.
In contrast, Jonathan's stint on Majorca has been the best time of his life. Nothing happens
when you're retired. Jonathan's precognitive abilities aren't kicking in nearly as much, and so he finally has his life to himself -- not to mention two sincerely close friends to share it with. To the other islanders, and others who don't know his secret, he puts on a grumbly, close-mouthed front: he does naturally lean towards crotchetiness in his old age, and is understandably not keen on talking too much about himself. To René and Heinrich -- as well as anyone who his hunches say it would be a good idea to open up to -- his true personality shines through: a placid, almost Zen-like calm, paired with overt displays of knowledge and a more benevolent demeanor. Mr. Perish has come to peace with his abilities as of late -- and he really does have humanity's best interests at heart.
If MI18 were to stop in for a visit, Mr. Perish would of course play senile. But he would know if they were coming, and they haven't bothered yet.
A few notes about the "Event" Jonathan foresees. It's one of three "fixed points" in his life: events that he knows about, cannot avoid, and takes exhaustive measures to plan for. Roughly translated, the first was "You Will Encounter The Stepney Horror Firsthand On This Date;" knowing that the Horror was very likely to kill him or drive him mad, Jonathan prepared by becoming a police officer with the might of M7 backing him up. The second was "Your Wife Will Be Killed By Such-And-Such Vampires On This Date" -- Jonathan played the long game here by choosing the right wife, and by tying the event into his larger life strategy. The third fixed point, I will leave to the Storyteller to decide. Jonathan himself knows fewer specifics on this one -- among them, that retiring to Majorca and allying with René and Heinrich are among the best ways to deal with it.
Jonathan has a longstanding woodworking hobby; his carvings, many of them subtly prophetic, are often on display at his beach house. He likes darts, chiefly because it's way too easy for him to accidentally cheat at cards. And, being a Yorkshireman born and bred, he has an appropriate accent, which he speaks in an authoritative but somewhat creaky tenor. Reference here.