paxton masri ❞ "antimony"
jack took away his family, his name, his identity, and his flesh. antimony can never get his fingers back, but he can reclaim his name, revitalize his personhood, and try to salvage what remains of his family. those are the things that matter most.
occupation: for just over a decade, antimony busted his ass at the tomb, a nightclub that became the heart of the empire zone — otherwise known as jack harvey's domain. the zone spans the very southern tip of new york state, encapsulating new york city, long island, and stretching lower into other states. the tomb is, in effect, jack's palace; a huge warehouse that spans several blocks, it offers housing and employment for a lucky selection of the population. or not-so-lucky, perhaps, considering what it's like to work for jack, a snide british crack addict who styles himself as "the pharaoh."
patrons flock to the tomb for its abundance of electricity, shelter, and potable water. drugs and alcohol also trade hands swiftly among its safehouses, and the tomb is a den of vice as much as it provides relief efforts for those suffering in the empire zone.
for just over a decade, antimony dabbled in just about everything the tomb had to offer. he trafficked drugs; he smuggled resources; he led scouting parties to reap the ruins amid and outside the zone; he was a bodyguard, a bartender, an entertainer, a face that everyone knew. he took a "stage name" for jack; he beat people to pulp for jack; he killed for jack — because working for jack meant protection for himself, and for his family in buffalo. as he worked his way toward becoming jack's right hand, antimony made jack a proud, secure, wealthy tycoon.
and then he betrayed him.
backstory: antimony is a third generation child of the apocalypse, and a second generation slave to the tomb. his father worked at the tomb alongside jack's father. eventually, several years after his father's death, antimony's mother found a new partner and had twins— antimony's half brothers. when antimony was about twenty, he left his home zone (tearfully, brokenly) to accept a proposal: work in the empire zone, and his home zone and family would benefit. an olive branch extended to the son of a useful man.
family: antimony loved his father, loves his mother, and loves his brothers dearly, but his step-father was a piece of shit. though he resents the man himself (a man who resented him and made it clear with his words, his hands, his belt) and was quietly pleased to learn of his accidental death, he doesn't resent his mother or his brothers; he respects his mother and knows that the man's foulness blindsided her as much as it did him, and he's glad that such a drip could sire such sweet kids. they're no less family to him than if they had been his own father's sons.
antimony hasn't had much time to get to know his little brothers, a pair of nearly-identical twins code-named "thulium" and "thallium" at the tomb. he had to leave them before they were ten and rarely had the opportunity to see his family after relocating, but if he can survive past albany, antimony will do anything to reach buffalo and see his family safe and sound.
he only hopes jack won't have reached them first.
(but his mother is smart; she's tough. he hopes, distantly, painfully that maybe she'll have already taken the boys and moved on.)
* » eschaton character
elijah*: "pax dei." 100% antimonys fuCKIHNG CONFIRMED HUSBAND. but. before that happens: elijah is just a placid, compassionate dude who antimony ends up fascinated with and comfortable around, and that's already so huge for him. they connect intuitively and genuinely, and elijah becomes an enormous source of strength, comfort, and tenderness for antimony. he loves him and he accepts him fully — every scar, every prayer, every drop of black blood.
mary*: mary is such a good kid, such a smart kid, such a light in his life. she's close to his brothers' age and he feels protective of her, but he also knows that she can handle herself. and she can handle elijah, as the person who knows him better than anyone else. antimony is so glad that the lowry-sinclair siblings have each other — and so glad that he has them, too.
avery*: without avery, antimony would probably have died at some point. just bitten the fucking dust. blame avery's habit of picking up quasi-corpses off the side of the road. but also blame her potential for kindness — cautious, discerning kindness, but antimony thinks her kind nonetheless. he trusts her and respects her as one might an older sister.
hadley: antimony owes hadley his life, and his grief over what happened to him will never really soften. hadley's death will always be a knife in his gut, and antimony will always remember the time they shared together — furtive and fearful, on the run, but there was some tenderness there, some essential comfort and ease amid the desperation to survive. hadley loved him, and saved him, and antimony regrets that he couldn't return the favor.
likes & dislikes
+ music! music is such an important facet of his life; he can almost always be caught humming some tune. he takes a lot of comfort and strength in music. it makes him feel grounded, less alone. it makes him feel real.
+ he likes alcohol a little too much. a lot. way too much. he's a bonafide alcoholic who has to go through withdrawal alone in the woods during the sickly transition from winter to spring, and it's almost worse than having his face sliced up and his fingers cut off.
+ companionship. having spent so much time desolate and alone, he values any kindness or camaraderie, no matter how small or brief.
- knives. after what jack did to him, any kind of blade turns antimony's stomach; he doesn't even feel comfortable around broken glass (which is unfortunate, because he tends to wake up from benders surrounded by it). hedgeclippers especially — the tool used to mangle his hand — make him sick enough to vomit, sending him into a cold sweat that he can barely pull himself out of.
- being Grifted and Owned
- jokers and clowns
(i'm tired lol it's 4 am but rest assured he dislikes plenty of things. less than you'd think though. mostly just comfort shit like starving to death. he's not a big fan)
physical description: what people immediately notice about antimony is that his fucking face is fucking fucked up real bad. after being assaulted and banished by jack, he is thrown into the desolation beyond the empire zone with several severe, open, festering wounds that never heal quite correctly.
as a result, he's missing two fingers on his right hand (ring and pinky), and his face has visibly taken a beating. he has a buckled, broken nose, a lopsided smile, and one brow is slightly heavier than the other, possibly affected by some amount of nerve damage. his face and neck are littered with old scars, but the Big One — the result of his torture — runs across his face diagonally, almost from temple to jaw, cutting deep notches into his nose and cheek. it's ragged and gnarled, but strangely precise, as if the person who inflicted it on him meant to terrorize him by only narrowly avoiding his eyes. but despite everything, he still has a genuine, meaningful smile, and a very emotive face.
despite being haggard as hell, antimony is a hulking figure, standing at a muscular, broad-shouldered 6'4". he wears very basic clothing and is always covered in perma-stubble — he spends all his time outrunning people hunting him for sport, so. he usually wears just jeans and a ragged, tattered t-shirt beneath some thin, nondescript jacket, also tattered to hell.
jack: this fucking guy. jack is "the pharaoh," but he's actually just some white british twerp who inherited the tomb from his father and decided to take the "egyptian" aesthetic up like, ten notches. antimony resents this, but tries to ignore it. questioning jack never ends well, and that's a lesson he learned even before jack decided to teach him a lesson. antimony picked his battles with jack for ten years until they multiplied quietly into a war. but he still knows jack better than anyone — and in some sick, twisted way, jack claims to love him. "like a brother," he said. "we could have been great," he said. it makes antimony want to puke.
sterling: antimony's best friend and closest ally at the tomb. they shared the same distaste for jack — for his cruelty, for his crudeness, and for his snide sneering fucking face. named for the element silver, sterling is a cunning, clever force, invaluable to the tomb: she is a prodigious driver and a quick thinker, and always proves to be one of the tomb's greatest assets when it comes to supply runs. for a while, it was rumored that sterling and antimony were an item, but the idea makes them both desperately uncomfortable. their friendship is enduring, and although sterling fears becoming the next target of jack's wrath due to their friendship, her cleverness still reigns. she keeps herself out of trouble, and sometimes still finds ways to ease antimony's struggles as well.
grant*: antimony doesn't pretend to understand it fully, but he likes it, and he feels some kind of similarity to it, perhaps due to a mutual platform of trauma, survival, and determination. he's always happy to spend some time with grant, whether silently chilling or showing it some of the survival skills he's picked up since he last saw it.
strengths & weaknesses
+ honestly the dude is just big and strong. even emaciated and covered in festering wounds, if he were to pile drive a dude with all his might, that dude would probably die super hard.
+ boundary-conscious; he doesn't like to push people's limits or overstep emotional bounds if he doesn't have to.
+ personable and charming as hell. he has charisma in spades. even after being booted from the empire zone, he manages to meet other survivors out in the world and find some relief in their midst if he's lucky. (if he's not lucky, he misjudges people and meets the wrong sorts of fuckers, has to go back into hiding and camping haphazardly in the ruined, uninhabited parts of his route.) people come and go, and so does he, but he does his best to make it easy on everyone. he isn't hostile when he doesn't feel that he has to be.
- antimony can't drive. like, he can. he can make the car go. but he doesn't really think about things like shifting gears, signaling, or using anything beyond the pedals, the wheel, and the doors. apocalypse getaway driving at its finest here, folks.
- back to the alcoholism. it's genuinely a huge handicap for him, but one that he ultimately overcomes. the route to that success is a painful, difficult one, but with a lot of effort and a few desperate relapses, he comes out on top.
- his anger gets the better of him more than it should, and he can be extremely frightening and brutal when he feels attacked or otherwise threatened. trauma has melded him into a person whose anger is exaggerated and easily-stirred, and this scares even him. but, in the situation he's in, he also considers it an asset. he has to be able to fight. he has to be able to defend what's left of his life. only when he feels safe can he worry about curbing his fight or flight instinct.
The Tomb is a dystopian narrative that originated about 8 years ago. At this point, it will probably never be "written." It remains important to me conceptually, primarily as an homage to the state of New York, where I was born and raised, and as a reflection of my growth as a writer over the last decade. It is what it is.
Its narrative is linked to J.James' Eschaton; they exist in the same post-apocalyptic universe and time period, and their characters influence one another's stories.
Antimony is a lustrous gray metalloid and a chemical element which appears as atomic number 51 on the periodic table; its symbol is Sb, derived from the Latin stibium. Antinomy is a paradoxical state describing the "mutual incompatibility, real or apparent," of two laws.
Masri is a surname denoting Egyptian descent.