Time undoes even the mightiest of creatures.
Male | Age: 48 | Species: Shifter (formerly: human)
Sexuality: Asexual, Grey Aromantic | Relationship Status: Engaged.
Nationality: American | Nickname: Moneybags | Height: 5'10"
Large bullet scar near his left hip. Six smaller bullet scars scattered across his chest from a lower caliber weapon.
Small tribal heart tattoo with the initials J.J. in the center, located on his right shoulder. Small clock tattoo beneath it.
Suffers from Chronon Syndrome.
Capricious | Domineering | Strident | Acrid | Severe
Paul was born in 1987 in Riverport, Massachusetts, a large city considered to be the Detroit of the east coast in terms of its malaise and decay. He was a studious and reserved child, later a stressed teenager, and eventually a moderate troublemaker, often aided in these endeavors by his best friend, Jack Joyce. Unlike his friend, however, Paul was success-oriented, and he went on to attend college, and later business school, graduating suma cum lade with a masters degree. He then established a few business ventures that brought him great success and wealth. Ambitious and driven, Paul quickly rose into the spotlight as a young, noteworthy businessman.
All at once talented, brash, and idealistic, Paul was determined to leave his mark on the world from the start. But this desire was to lead to ruin- of the man, of the secret project he came to lead, and potentially of the world itself.
He was appointed the head of Project Promenade, a massive physics research project at Riverport University. Unknown to the public and even the university itself, this was a study in time travel...and a successful one, too. However, upon being threatened with funding cuts, Paul enlisted the help of his lifelong friend Jack to set off the time machine illegally. The test was successful, but an incident that occurred between Jack and his older brother interrupted the test. William Joyce, the physicist whose work the entire project was based upon, showed up waving a gun and demanding it be put to a stop immediately. But it was too late- Paul was already in the machine, and Jack could not get him out. Serene was forced to go through the machine into the future, planning to come back once he arrived. The trip fired him forward...to the end of time itself in 2021. He fought for his survival against monsters called Shifters and developed incredible powers due to his exposure to chronon particles, the very things that keep time moving normally.
Chronon field disruption, an event in which these particles are thrown off of their normal paths and interrupted, causes immense changes within a person, and leads to an illness known as Chronon Syndrome. Its reach and depth is as of this point unknown, and there is no permanent solution or cure, only the ability to alleviate symptoms for a time before the illness stops responding to treatments entirely. The powers one develops come at a steep cost.
Serene managed to return to 1999, the first date a time machine was activated, and he began to build an empire, staying out of sight of everyone he had known, including his younger self, as he developed Monarch Solutions from the ground up. It was to be a corporation with the express purpose of ensuring the survival of the human race upon the stoppage of time. He had no real desire to stop the fracture. When he finally revealed himself to Jack, the result was violence. Bitter and wounded, he shut himself off and withdrew further into the hell of his own making.
After experiencing the horrors of 2021, Paul buckled down and became ruthless, driven, and incredibly powerful. He is willing to sacrifice anything and anyone to make sure there is no error in his plan to save humanity. His single-minded focus on the goal means that he has not taken care of himself in the process, and he has blinded himself to the dangerous people around him within his corporation and missed several traitors among the elite he has chosen. He considers his friends to be liabilities. He has aged an extra 17 years thanks to reliving a chunk of his life due to time travel.
Paul suffers from Chronon Syndrome, something he developed along with his powers due to exposure to Chronon particles in high dosages from the time machine and other research involving the technology. He receives breathing treatments to help himself maintain control, but they are growing less effective over time. When they cease to work at all, or should he stop taking them, he will revert to full Shifter state, a fractured and fragmented being composed of the many timelines and possibilities all at once with immense power. It is not yet known how to permanently kill a shifter, although several are in captivity at Paul's orders and due to his quick thinking and abilities. Chronon Syndrome makes him susceptible to fits of paranoia and rage. He struggles to maintain one form during these incidents.
Should Serene be killed, it is only one of him that dies. A true Schrödinger's man, death is not a permanent solution to the pain he feels or the horror that burns inside of him for what he has done.
Serene's sullenness has been broken by a re-connection with Jack Joyce. Mutual affection, though initially awkward, is warming him back up and reminding him it is okay to be human, even if just a little bit. He deeply loves Jack, although he often struggles to show it in conventional ways. He struggles to form other meaningful interpersonal connections, as it was never something he excelled at to begin with. But with Jack, it's always been different. This is no exception.
On the evening of October 26th, 2017, about one full year after the events of the fracture, Jack proposed to Paul inside of his penthouse.
He said yes.
All of Paul's powers are gifted to him by his exposure to Chronons. He has 17 years of practice using his abilities and is therefore an extremely proficient Shifter. Being that he freezes time to use his abilities, he is incredibly fast and operates outside of the rational limits constraints to other physical beings without these abilities.
All of Paul's powers have a recharge point. The length of his cooldown period is not universal. While fearsome on their own, Paul knows how to string together his abilities to turn them into fearsome weapons that give him the superhuman edge in a fight he might need to win, or just to survive.
Paul's strongest offensive ability, he is able to charge up and throw a huge collection of chronons that then explode in air like a grenade, fracturing anything and anyone within it to the core. This is fatal and can clear several enemies at once. Paul can use it once and then has to wait for a significant recharge of anywhere from two to five minutes depending on what other powers he is using during the time. This ability uses the same power source as his time stop, and takes longer to recharge if he uses those several times in a row.
Paul is able to manipulate the chronon field around objects and people to freeze them in time. The only way to avoid being frozen for this moment with no memory of what has occurred during it is by wearing anti-stutter technology or somehow possessing the innate ability to not be affected. This is exceedingly rare. Individuals must be exposed to Chronon pattern radiation to possess these abilities. The time stop is cast with the throw of a hand. A red bubble forms around the affected area, an effect of the Chronons being frozen in place. The field will last for ten to fifteen seconds before collapsing. When it does so, objects within the space face the possibility of being thrown off balance and falling. Paul is able to cast four time stops in a row before running out of energy and needing to recharge.
During a time stop, Paul can "stack bullets" by firing a weapon as many times as he is able to at his frozen target. When the time stop ends, the bullets, previously frozen in place at the edge of the disruption, will slam into their target at once. It is too quick to be avoided. The amount of bullets he can stack depends on the weapon he has on hand and how many rounds he has left.
Serene can cause a disruption in time to dash left, right, forward, or back to avoid a direct melee hit. Paul is able to do this three times before running out of energy and needing to recharge this ability. He cannot be hit while mid-dodge. He cannot fire a weapon while mid-dodge.
Serene can cause and sustain a disruption in time to run an extended length of time while everything else is frozen around him, allowing him to take cover and hide to confuse attackers or get behind them. He can also potentially grab their weapons. During this rush, he can also break out of his fracture to melee attack and disable an enemy's Chronon gear to render them unable to move in a stutter or knock them out. He does not have time to kill in this moment, but he can get in a strong hit before he loses control. Paul can time rush for 30 seconds straight or split up into chunks before he has to recharge, but nothing else moves around him during this time. This is the best way for him to escape fire and run for cover, as well as avoid falling obstacles and things in his way. If Paul uses this ability in short bursts, he is able to begin to recharge after using part but not all of his store of energy.
Serene is able to throw up a spherical shield around himself that is capable of deflecting bullets. The shield lasts for 30 seconds total if he maintains it. He can, however, drop the shield and throw it back up and use this time in increments instead. When the shield time has been depleted he must recharge it. It takes him approximately 3 minutes to be able to use the shield briefly again, and 5 before he is recharged fully. Paul is able to fire his weapon out of the shield to hit enemies, although they cannot do the opposite. If an enemy tries to breach the shield, they will be caught in the disrupted Chronon field and slow down, giving Paul time to shoot, run, or move.The shield does not move with Paul, an once he exits it, it falls.
Paul has visions of soon-to-occur events, seeing the actions being played out by the very people they will involve in broken, shifting images. It is always accurate, but he rarely, if ever, gets the full picture. During big decisions, time slows for Paul. He is able to consider two paths and get a taste of the outcomes, both far-reaching and immediate. He can then make his decision based off of what he has seen. Doing this wears him out. He needs to rest after doing so.
Paul is able to focus and tap into the surrounding Chronon field. Doing so highlights points of interests in yellow while dimming out everything else around him in a blueish-grey tint. When stuck and considering options, or when searching for cover or weapons in a fight, Paul can use this to give himself a more acute understanding of his surroundings. It allows him to tag enemies, even those behind obstacles and out of sight, and follow their movements from his position in cover. Paul has unlimited use of this ability, but as soon as he starts moving, it fades out. He can only use it while still. Everything he has tagged and seen with it during this time will no longer be visible unless it is in his direct line of sight.
Paul is able to rewind the Chronon field around specific objects, such as items that have fallen to block his way, locked doors, and even echoes of conversations to acquire a passcode for a door. Paul is able to use the brief moment the obstacle has been removed to pass by it using Dodge or Stop, or a combination of both, to give him clear passage. He can also follow the people's movement during such a conversation to make sure he hears it all. The limits of this ability are not known at this time.
Fractures in time are becoming more and more frequent. During them, everyone not wearing a harness or other gear to move during the event will be frozen in place and unaware of what is happening around them. This moment is called Zero State. The flow of Chronon particles becomes uneven, and the people and objects caught in them are stuck in loops of their last actions before it occurred. They are unstable and dangerous. Falling objects jerk around, making it dangerous to move even for those who are Chronon active like Paul or wearing the proper gear.
If a Chronon active person or someone wearing gear is killed in Zero State, they will become frozen right before their moment of death and will die when it ends.
Stutters can cause timelines to not be concurrent with each other, making older and newer ones overlap. They can be artificially created by releasing a flood of Chronon particles from storage. Those who are Chronon active can create a pocket stutter, known as a Time Stop, by depleting an area of Chronons.
Chronon active people, Shifters like Paul, and those with Chronon tech can move in stutters, but nobody else can. Magic does not help. Some people are born innately Chronon sensitive. Unlike CAs, CS people may have minor powers or none at all and likely will never realize they possess their abilities at all, playing them off as fast reflexes or good luck. CS people may potentially possess the ability to move in stutters, but will likely find it sluggish and slow. They will never possess the same reflexes as CAs.
Chronon harnesses, devices that create localized fields around their wearer, allow Serene's technicians, Strikers, and Juggernauts to move and fight in Zero State. There are prototypes of civilian harnesses that will allow non-combatants to move through Zero State as well. The military-grade harnesses are exposed on the back, a danger in combat. Civilian ones are smaller and can be hidden beneath clothing, but they do not grant their wearers the same kind of powers those who are Chronon active have. The bulky military gear allows the wearer to Time Dodge and Time Rush.
Chronon grenades have been created. Upon explosion, they deplete a CA person of all energy stores and force a total recharge. This renders a target vulnerable and much easier to kill. Some of the elite heavies in Monarch's forces wear portable field generators that protect the wearer from any Chronon attacks, as well as sapping the energy of a CA who enters the sizable field.
Chronon Dampeners, computer terminals attached to a tall rod, are able to send out a pulse that strips a CA person of all of their abilities within its range. Shutting them off may require cutting the power, and they are always heavily guarded. These can be used to imprison a CA person.
Paul knows he can't fix the fracture in time that is coming in 2021, and that he can't save everyone either. So, instead, he has dedicated his research to creating an underground bunker called the Lifeboat that can house up to 300 people. He has also stutterproofed his Monarch HQ building, meaning that anyone in the facility can survive. He has stockpiled and prepared for the end. To get on the guest list for the Lifeboat or even the building itself is incredibly difficult and one must be truly important to him or the operations of the facility to stand a chance.
Riverport University Employee Highlight
Paul Serene- Project Director
With a track record of extremely profitable business ventures behind him, Paul Serene joined Riverport University in 2010 to head one of the most significant physics research projects the university has ever seen. He is the youngest project director in the history of our university, and by far the most successful to date. His involvement has encouraged a flood of high profile investments that resulted in the extremely ambitious, yet-unrevealed quantum physics project referred to as Project Promenade.
In his own words:
"I'm not a scientist myself, and thus it may come as a surprise to many that I fought to obtain the position as project director here at the university. For me it's a dream come true. Growing up my best friend was the brother of renowned quantum physicist William Joyce. I've always been fascinated by William's work, and his publications from 1997 to 1999 were groundbreaking for the scientific community. As a businessman I've been able to help shape a path to create practical applications for William's work by building on the foundation that he created with a group of immensely talented physicists. That was the basis for Project Promenade, and the results have been absolutely revolutionary."
Paul Serene's favorite sports team is the Riverport Rexes. You can see him front row at every game.