Character Personality & History: Edison Nelson was the kind of kid that got in the way of dreams. His mother was a singer in Atlantic City and his father was a mook security guard who pushed people around when they lingered too long or talked too loud. They met a few times at bars and casinos before having the not-so happy accident that was Eddie. His mother loved him, but his father saw Edison as nothing but a burden, a rope to pull him down into a domesticated life he was never meant for. They packed all their dreams away for good when he was born and named him Edison in hopes he’d do something great for them.
There was a lot of pressure to be great, to be smart, to be the best and Edison did everything in his power to succeed. His parents were happy to find that their son did indeed have an incredibly high IQ and was proficient at math and history well beyond his grade level. To his parents, this meant he should always have high grades no matter what. A failed test meant being grounded or beaten, so he decided early on that failure wasn’t an option. He decided that merely studying or trying to do things the right way wasn’t good enough. He’d have to cheat. Edison taught himself how to break into classrooms, desks, cars, homes. He spent his allowance on lockpicks bought downtown at a Chinese antique store. He even started to make money off selling tests and stealing permanent records.
Everything was going good until he was caught at age eight. By that point his mother had died of cancer in her lung and his father (who still resented him) was a sad, loathsome drunk. His father was so outraged and ashamed by his son’s cheating habit that he beat Edison practically every night. He called him stupid over and over again until it made Edison hateful and determined to prove his old man wrong. Edison never stopped cheating, stealing and lying. He just got way, way better at it. He found ways to spend as little time at home as possible. And he was happy to see his father slowly deteriorate into a drunk, sad sack of crap.
By the time he was a teenager, Eddie had turned his attention towards computer science. He found that he could easily make money repairing computers for cash and after saving up enough he simply ran away. The school did its best to look for him at first, but gave up when his father didn’t seem to care if he lived or died. Too many kids went missing in the bad parts of New Jersey and there wasn’t enough compassion for little Eddie Nelson. He changed his last name to Needles (because it was super cool) and online he became known as The Wizard. His hacking ability launched him into a life of crime that involved everything from heists to bank robberies to smearing information about terrible human beings online. He was a grey hat who stole from people he thought deserved it and helped those who really needed it.
It didn’t take long for him to be noticed by the Russians and he happily became their top information broker. He had earned infamy and respect, one thing his parents never, ever gave him. Right when things seemed steady, that was the time his life took a strange turn. He met a young, brash vigilante who made him feel worthy of love and encouraged him to do the right thing. Eddie had never been cared for in that way, he always saw himself as something almost inhuman. But, she saw things differently. He quickly fell in love and as a result began helping the vigilantes whether they liked it or not. They were lacking in the intel department and he could get things done that none of them could. So, they accepted him like bitter tasting medicine. All of them reluctant, except their leader, Bruce.
Bruce believed Eddie could change and over the years they became close as brothers. Eddie knew he’d never be part of the vigilante family, but he didn’t care. He had Bruce and he had his soon-to-be wife and that was enough to justify trying to be a man he simply was not. Of course, good things don’t last long for people like Eddie and everything gradually fell apart. The woman he loved developed crippling PTSD. She began breaking down constantly while refusing help, she frequently made him feel like he wasn’t anything special and demanded so much from him that he couldn’t give. Eddie began to resent her and instead of following a pattern that his father set for him, Eddie broke off the marriage.
Not long after, the mobs started strengthening their hold on New Jersey and Eddie felt like just another cog in the machine. The vigilantes became more violent and less understanding of those with roguish colors. The hope he had that he could change things for the better started to fade and Eddie counted himself lucky that he could simply survive. It was then that he found companionship in an old friend, Muerte who was more of a ghost than a woman sometimes. Their friendship was easy and flirtations natural, which caused problems while he was with the young vigilante. But now he was a free man and he wanted his time to be spent with Muerte. He easily fell in love with her and one night after a very victorious night of karaoke, tried to kiss her. As it turned out, kissing a woman he called Muerte drained him of his energy, of his life and left him bedridden for an entire week. But, goddamnit he loved her anyway.
Just when he thought that maybe there was a chance of happiness for him in New Jersey, his best friend Bruce died. That changed everything and this time he couldn't change with it. Edison couldn’t live in that city anymore. Not with a woman he couldn’t touch and a friend who was dead and buried. He asked Muerte to come with him, but that wasn’t going to happen. They both knew that. So, he sold everything, bought himself a trailer and drove across the country in search of something that could make him feel better.
Repose was supposed to be just a place to rest and and check out the local oddities. Instead, Eddie found a carnival had opened up on the outskirts of town and he was more than eager to be part of it. He spent months doing magic tricks, fixing things and generally being useful. He could build beautiful animatronics like a tiger-sized Sphinx that told riddles or howling ghouls that could make a whole tent scream. But, the carnival owner’s bad health (shivering in the middle of August) didn’t go without Eddie’s notice. He offered to buy the whole damned carnival from the old man and even gave him his airstream so he could move out to Arizona and never have to work another day in his life again. The old man knew nothing except the carnie life, but the warmth of Arizona and a leisurely retirement was too tempting to pass up.
Eddie bought the carnival, moved into a little abandoned cabin nearby and found happiness in an uncomplicated life. Which, of course, meant it wasn’t going to last long.
Carnies: Vagrants, lost toys, artists, performers, conmen. Eddie does his best to take care of his people. New Jersey: People he knew in New Jersey. He’s trying to run away from most of them. Nerdy: People who like anything from comic books to engineering. Inquiring Minds: A reporter or maybe just a busybody who is convinced the Carnival is more than it seems. Edison is more than happy to lead them down a terribly winding road as far away from truth as possible. Santa Muerte: [Filled] Maybe falling in love with a saint was a bad idea.