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Personality[]

Jean-Paul is a closed-off, suspicious young man whose default assumption is that everyone is out for their own gain; though kindness sparks a powerful yearning in him, he simply cannot let himself trust it. As a result, he tends to get on better with straight-forward personalities than those offering a soft touch. Underneath all of that protective scar tissue, however, is a fiercely loyal soul who is nearly impossible to budge once he has decided a course of action is right. Despite his best efforts to keep it hidden, there is a well of empathy beneath the speedster's prickly mien, particularly where young kids are concerned. Though he learned very young that the only person he could really ever trust to give a damn about him was himself, it's not a lesson he particularly enjoys seeing those around him learn, especially those who should not have to be so self-reliant just yet. Though he's not terribly good at platitudes and unthinking reassurance, he has a tendency to try and protect those who need it, as he never was protected; he works hard to cover this tendency with a sneer and sharp word, to avoid looking as if he actually cares.

Jean-Paul thrives on attention, and honest admiration is one way to east past some of the barriers he tends to throw up on a day-to-day basis. He is also a perfectionist, which has lead to him having a rather low opinion of himself, despite a veneer of aloof arrogance. He determines his worth by setting impossibly high goals for himself, and then, should he fail to meet them, believes that the only conclusion to be drawn is that he's not pushing himself hard enough. If he should happen to succeed, it means that he has to set the bar higher for next time, because he could always do better. The end result is a cycle in which he is never truly satisfied with his accomplishments. This also leads to his having a general impatience -- if not outright scorn -- for those who don't meet the criteria he sets for himself. After all, if an unwanted street brat can do these things, anyone should be able to.

Jean-Paul has always been an outsider -- often by choice as he grew older -- so the confirmation that he was somewhat other than human didn't particularly faze him. He's somewhat more personable to Xavier School students/his fellow outcasts than he is to most other people and won't turn his full belligerence on them. (Unless they deserve it.) He's not blind to the fact that humanity isn't likely to great a sub-species more powerful than they are with open arms and he doesn't know if the school offers protection or if it will just make them a target once the world finds out its true purpose.

Powers[]

Jean-Paul is a mutant possessed of the ability to fly and move at superhuman speeds. Through an act of concentration, Jean-Paul can channel a portion of the kinetic energy of the atomic motion in his body's molecules in a single direction. This can accelerate his body to a velocity in direct proportion to the amount of kinetic energy he has tapped. To hover in midair, Jean-Paul applies thrust downward in a carefully controlled manner.

It is theoretically possible for him to reach 99% of the speed of light (186,272 miles per second in a vacuum), but practical reasons such as his inability to breathe at such speeds and the damage his body would suffer from wind and friction, prevent him from reaching anywhere near this speed. Even a fraction of such velocity of a solid object through Earth's atmosphere would wreak havoc on the atmosphere and on the land or sea below.

As a side effect of partially robbing his molecules of their atomic motion, the binding forces within and between the molecules increase. This enhances the sheer toughness of Jean-Paul's entire body. This effect gives his skin enough durability to withstand the ravages of wind, friction, and air turbulence of speeds up to at least Mach 10 without injury; it is theorized that Jean-Paul's resistance to cold is a side-effect stemming from this aspect of his mutation. When carrying other, unprotected people aloft, Jean-Paul does not move at a rate greater than 70 miles per hour in order that his passenger(s) are able to breathe easily and will not suffer harm from wind, friction, or air turbulence.

Jean-Paul can also move a portion of his body at superhuman speed at a time. Hence, he can overpower an opponent by hitting him repeatedly at superhuman speed with his fists. As a side-effect of his rapid metabolism, Jean-Paul also has a minor healing factor and recovers from injuries significantly faster than the human norm. For example, where it would take a normal human a month or more to heal a broken arm, Jean-Paul might have full use of the limb within two weeks. Soft tissue damage, such as cuts or bruises, vary in healing times according to severity. Severe damage, such as deep stab wounds, will not be enough affected by the healing factor to eliminate the need for immediate medical attention. Jean-Paul has the ability to generate a blinding surge of light by clasping hands with his twin sister, Jeanne-Marie. This light can reach an intensity of up to three million candela.

Though his powers provide him with a certain amount of protection from damage caused by high-velocity collisions (ie: he won't break his own neck if he runs into a wall at full tilt), Jean-Paul can knock himself out if he slams into objects at high speeds. Though this aspect of his mutation also gives him a certain amount of protection from blunt-force trauma, knives, claws, and other bladed weapons slice through his defenses easily. Northstar possesses the same vulnerabilities to the elements and injury as most humans, save for a resistance to cold -- he can remain comfortable without cold weather gear in temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit. This resistance does little to aid him against concentrated cold attacks -- he would not be able to simply shrug off an attack from Iceman, for example, though his resistance might help ward off some of the more unpleasant side-effects that would come later (frostbite, hypothermia, etc.).

Jean-Paul also has a subtle mental link with his long-lost sister, though neither twin is consciously aware of this and the bond only impacts the emotional state of either twin when one or the other is in severe pain or distress.

Jean-Paul's biggest limitation is his inexperience -- he's still learning how to negotiate a world that has suddenly become very fragile, and he's bound to give himself more than a few lumps and minor fractures while in the process of learning how and when to apply his brakes. In addition, his physical immaturity means that applying his speed in any but short bursts wears him down swiftly. He has yet to hit his potential full speed as of yet, being able to travel at "only" Mach one as a top speed and for just brief periods of time. Jean-Paul is as susceptible as any normal human to mental attacks most of the time, though his thoughts can become difficult to read when he's moving at speed; while this can make him harder for a psi to pin down, this also means he can't be reached by friendly telepathic contact either. His mutation also increases metabolism to something faster than the human norm, a condition exacerbated by his athletic activities. As a result, Northstar's body tends to burn through its fuel quickly; he needs to keep careful track of what he eats to be certain that he's getting both enough calories to function and proper nutrition. His faster metabolism also means that drugs and poisons hit him quicker and harder than they would a normal human. Finally, his link with his sister means that he exhibits an unpredictable degree of emotional instability when she is in distress.

Talents[]

Jean-Paul is an accomplished skier and snowboarder and still considering going for the Olympics someday, despite the issue of his powers. He's a decent cook, largely because he has to watch his nutrition. Jean-Paul's quick tempter and impulsiveness have gotten him into a lot brawls over the years; he's become very good in a street-scrap as a result.

Interests[]

His interests include winter sports, cooking, reading (mostly non-fiction), LGBTQ activism, Pierre Lapointe, an independent Quebec, athletics, and action movies.

History[]

The joy that Melisande and Jean-Baptiste Beaubier felt at the birth of their beautiful twin children, Jean-Paul and Jeanne-Marie, was extinguished tragically when the young couple's car was run off of the road by unknown parties, and crashed off of an embankment. Though fatally injured, Jean-Baptiste managed to crawl away from the twisted, burning wreck of the vehicle with his children in his arms before he perished.

Jean-Baptiste had no living relations, so the children were sent to live with one of their mother's cousins, Luis Martin and his wife, Mariette. The Martins could not afford to care for two children, and so Jeanne-Marie was given up for adoption to another family. Shortly after this, Luis Martin was required to relocate to Quebec due to job concerns. The families lost touch with each other, and Jean-Paul grew up never knowing that he had a twin sister.

Though Jean-Paul was not abused, the Martin household was a cool and distant one. Luis did not believe in coddling children, and Mariette (who would have preferred a little girl to raise in the first place) resented the duty of rearing a boy not even of her blood, particularly since Jean-Paul's presence meant that she and her husband could not afford to have children of their own. Jean-Paul, as a result, tended to form stronger bonds with his non-familial caregivers than with his adopted parents.

When Jean-Paul was six, the Martins were involved in an automobile accident and Jean-Paul was the only survivor. After he was released from the hospital, the young boy was given over to the state. Though he was adopted relatively swiftly, Jean-Paul was traumatized by the event and not at all a demonstrative or loving child; he was strong-willed, acted out constantly, and prone to scrapping at school. He was quickly given up from his first family, and passed on to others who were no more willing to deal with the troublesome child than they had been. Jean-Paul's behavior grew worse, progressing from noisy, negative-attention seeking behavior to cold distance to outright disrespect and rebellion against his foster parents and, at thirteen years old, he finally ran away from home after an argument with his foster-father turned physical. He spent almost two months after that scratching out a living in the streets of Montreal. His days were spent picking pockets and stealing from vendors to live, his night sleeping in the doorways of shops or in alleys or abandoned buildings, always looking over his shoulder and desperately lonely, though the boy would not have admitted to it under any circumstances. 

This bleak lifestyle came to an end when the boy tried to steal from a book vendor patronized by one Raymond Belmonde. The gentleman stopped the theft, taking a rather hard punch to the jaw from the thwarted boy when he grabbed Jean-Paul's wrist. The promise of hot food, however, took a lot of the fight out of the skinny, half-starved youth. Over the course of the meal, Belmonde coaxed Jean-Paul's story out of him and decided that the boy was not going back into the care of people that had failed him so utterly, and took on the task of civilizing the young urchin. Though Jean-Paul had little formal schooling from that point on, Raymond hired a tutor for him; once the boy's mind was stimulated, it turned out that Jean-Paul had a voracious intellectual appetite that went to work on every book in Raymond's possession. Raymond also introduced Jean-Paul to the pastime that would quickly become the young man's greatest passion: skiing. Once Jean-Paul was on the slopes, he could not get enough, spending every spare moment (including moments that should have been spent in school or working in Raymonde's restaurant) strapped into skis or, later, onto a snowboard. Jean-Paul had the natural talent to back up his new infatuation, and he was competing in extreme sports by the middle of his first winter on the slopes, and placing surprisingly high by the close of the season, even winning a handful of amateur competitions.

To Jean-Paul, the prize money earned by his own talents meant independence and the intoxicating prospect of finally having control of his own life. The off-season was split between obsessive training and just enough work to finance his gym time. Despite school being a distant third priority, keeping up his grades was a condition of Raymonde helping him pay for his dryland training, and so Jean-Paul's education did not go neglected.

Jean-Paul realized that there could be something more than just raw talent to his success when an incognito midnight jog through Montreal turned into a sprint took him through Ontario, and then one last surge of will and power than left him airborne. He made his way home and spent a restless night pinned between elation at this discovery and horror at what it could mean for his career. He kept his powers secret from everyone, including Raymonde.

When winter came around again, Jean-Paul rocketed from simply a promising newcomer to a force to be reckoned with on the slopes. Despite his inexperience, he was fearless, tossing himself into competitions against opponents with many more years experience and, though lacking their finesse, often winning outright or nipping at their heels for second place. He had a natural affinity for speed, and was practically untouchable in any downhill competition. The sports media ate it up, and, at fifteen, Jean-Paul found himself surrounded with fame, fans, and a comfortable pile of endorsement contracts by the end of his first full season of competition. His youth, talent, and frank admission of his homosexuality made him a favorite target for sports media and pundits -- admiring and otherwise. Jean-Paul basked in the attention, positive and not.

Raymonde noticed that the newfound celebrity was doing nothing to calm Jean-Paul’s impulsive tendencies. Jean-Paul also began making provocative statements, largely in private, about an independent Quebec. Seeking something to distract Jean-Paul from a PR trainwreck, Raymonde brought up the idea of looking into his family history. Jean-Paul was initially resistant, insisting he didn’t remember his parents well enough for it to matter. Eventually, however, curiosity caused him to give in.

His first shock was finding out that the Martins had not been his biological parents -- that the vague memories he had of a cold, distant home weren’t really family any more than the numerous foster homes had been. The second shock was the existence of a sister -- Jeanne-Marie Beaubier, who had never been adopted.

Jean-Paul didn’t bother wasting time going through the agencies; as soon as he was able to determine where she was being homed, he met her on her way back from class and introduced himself. The twins hit it off at once, finding in each other kindred free spirits. They would sneak out to meet each other and run wild around Montreal after dark. Almost from the first, Jean-Paul proposed that Raymonde should adopt Jeanne-Marie as well, and Jeanne-Marie was open to the idea.

Unfortunately, the private adoption agency overseeing her case was less than thrilled about the notion of an openly gay man adopting one of their wards, let alone one with special needs. Jean-Paul was incensed; he stopped by the agency just to curse them in person, and stormed out.

The twins were inconsolable, and actually ran away for several days, acting out in the city and only narrowly avoiding having their powers caught on camera. It was on the third night that a mental voice made contact with them both, offering an explanation for their powers and a chance to hone them.

Jean-Paul, ever wary and suspicious, was willing to dismiss it out of hand, but Jeanne-Marie saw it as an opportunity. If they went to this school, they could have what they’d been denied all their lives - the chance to live together as a family. And their powers even meant that Montreal was never very far away.

Jean-Paul was convinced; in a matter of days, he’d come out to Raymonde, packed, and was on his way to New York.

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