Name: Gabriel Munez
School: Davison Secondary School
Hobbies and Interests: first aid, cars, rap, hip-hop, biology, human anatomy, volunteering.
Appearance: Gabriel has light brown skin, amber eyes, and black hair styled into a widow's peak. He has a rounded, overweight frame at 5'8" and 179 lbs. He has a snub nose, thick, black eyebrows, and a full-lipped mouth. His left ear is pierced with an ebony stud inlaid with yellow topaz. He has a round stomach and a dark, 3-inch scar on his left side. His arms and legs are slightly flabby.
On Casting Day Gabriel was wearing a green, Hawaiian-style shirt covered in coconut trees, loose beige cargo pants, and light brown loafers.
Biography: Gabriel is the only child of Anna and Carlos Munez. He was born in late 2003, roughly 8 months after the couple was married, and 2 months after Carlos's deployment into Iraq. Gabriel and Anna stayed in Albuquerque, NM, where Anna found work as an office secretary for Comet Solutions, a local software corporation. They lived with with Carlos's brother and sister-in-law, Frank and Maria Munez, for the sake of convenience and so they wouldn't be alone while Carlos was away on deployment. Gabriel's extended family was always comparing him to his father, praising his growth, and encouraging him towards idolizing military life from a young age. When possible, Carlos would contact them using video chat services. The distance was stressful, but the relative safety of Carlos's role as a military construction equipment repairer eased his family's worries despite his volatile environment, and during his infrequent visits home Gabriel became very attached to his father.
On August 19th, 2008, Anna was greeted by two somber officers in military dress at her front door. They delivered the news that Carlos had been killed in transit to a construction site by a roadside IED. Aside from the painful loss of his father, this news caused two distinct changes in Gabriel's life; firstly, Anna moved them out of his uncle's home into an apartment of their own. The insurance from Carlos's death, as well as Anna's full-time salary, allowed them to live modestly by their own means. Secondly, reference to Gabriel being just like his father slowed, and then ceased altogether after a few months. His family no longer wanted to encourage him towards the military lifestyle, for fear that he would end up like his father, but at his young age Gabriel couldn't grasp the subtleties of this approach. He only understood that his hero was gone, and that he no longer seemed good enough to be like him. Attempts to bring up his father to his mother and uncle only brought sadness and suggestions that he should go play with his toys for awhile.
As Gabriel grew, so did his feelings of inferiority. He became aggressive with nearly everyone except his mother. In contrast, he became more and more protective and gentle with her as she became more fragile. She struggled to cope with Carlos's death, and began to deal with spikes of depression and an increasing dependence on alcohol as the years passed. Her episodes were infrequent, but by the time he was 13 she had become a functional alcoholic, with only Gabriel knowing the full extent of her issues. This forced him to become very self-reliant, often preparing meals and taking care of house-work in his free time after school. This, and Gabriel's fervent dedication to his schoolwork as a means of achieving self-worth, contributed to him having virtually no social life through middle school, and what few interactions he did have were uniformly negative. His conversations with classmates were short and restrained, and while he was an appealing target for bullying, he responded with escalating levels of aggression and wasn't afraid to fight, even though he lost far more than he won. This behavior drew the attention of the school counselor, but little progress was made opening him up. All questions earned repeated statements that he never threw the first punch, and that he had nothing to talk about, he simply wanted to be left alone. Due to his strong academic record, the school did not take further action against him.
Police records indicate that at the age of 14, Gabriel's aggression escalated to a dangerous level. He was walking home alone late at night, after buying groceries during a particularly stressful depressive episode for his mother. Paramedics were called to the scene after Gabriel made a frantic 911 call saying that he'd been stabbed in the stomach. Hospital records show that it was only a superficial, three inch cut with a moderate amount of bleeding and no threat of internal damage, but the panic of the moment shook Gabriel deeply. In later interviews with the police, he described the following scene: An assailant identified as a middle-aged, balding, dangerously thin white male with an unkempt brown beard pulled him into the alley and waved a knife in his face, demanding his wallet and his phone. He responded by spitting in his face and kneeing him in the groin. His attacker lost his grip on both his shirt and the knife and hunched over, and Gabriel dove for the knife. They struggled with each other briefly, and during the tussle the assailant slash him along the stomach. Upon seeing the blood, he panicked and fled the scene, leaving the knife behind. Fearing for his life, Gabriel immediately called 911.
Due to the condition of the knife, Gabriel was treated and kept under observation for infection within the wound. During this time, he was offered counseling for the incident, which he hesitantly accepted. In private he confessed how terrified the attack had left him, both that he could have died or could have seriously injured or killed his assailant because of his anger. The sessions continued for several months, during which Gabriel learned to control and subvert his aggression and some of his feelings of inferiority, though he never went so far as to address his strong feelings of failure toward his father and his legacy, or his mother's delicate condition. He felt that these were uniquely his responsibilities, and no one else could bear them.
At the prompting of his therapist, Gabriel began to seek more positive social interactions. He became involved the a local volunteer group for assisting with disaster and emergency aid, and began taking extracurricular first aid certification courses in hopes of becoming an EMT, and later a paramedic, after the emergency personnel who kept him calm and safe after his assault. He also began to seek out online music communities, such as the subreddit HipHopHeads, to both expand his tastes and discuss the finer points of artists he appreciates. He tends to focus on rap and hip hop communities and artists, though he occasionally branches out in to jazz and swing.
He also reconciled with his uncle Frank, and to a lesser degree the rest of his extended family on his father's side, whom he had maintained only minimal contact with after moving out with his mother. He no longer blames them for his feelings of failure and inferiority, and occasionally likes to spend free days shadowing his uncle at mechanic's where he and his father worked together for years. He has developed a modest interest in cars, and infrequently asks his uncle to help him prepare for the driving portion of the EMT training he hopes to undertake after high school.
Gabriel splits the rest of his time between his continued devotion to his schoolwork and a moderate amount of physical training to prepare for the EMT lifestyle. He has maintained a solid 4.0 GPA through his years at Davison Secondary School, excelling particularly well in the fields of biology and human anatomy due to his fascination with medical research. A few of his teachers have commented that he may have the aptitude to become a doctor, but he views this as an unrealistic goal due to his feelings of inferiority. He dislikes most art and social studies related classes, but attempts to put as much effort into them as he does his favored courses. He is physically strong and adequately fit to perform his duties and assist when called by his fellow volunteers, though he remains overweight due to an inconsistent diet.
Despite these positive changes, Gabriel's home life and personal skills remain far from perfect. He still struggles with his self-image and esteem, as evidenced by his dismissal of the idea of high-level medical training. He is still short and gruff with strangers, and he is not eager to make friends outside of what he considers safe, controlled spaces like his volunteer group or his online communities. His mother continues to suffer from depression and alcoholism, and refuses to seek help outside of his support. While she maintains a functional life-style with work and a few close friends, Gabriel has begun to fear for her health, and is hesitant to look far from home for medical training due to his protective feelings towards her. In some ways, he has begun to take after her. When her fears and doubts become too strong and she passes out from drinking too much, he finds himself drinking what is left of her wine to numb the feelings of helplessness he experiences watching her. He has considered re-entering therapy, and bringing her with him, but so far he has not found the courage to suggest it to her.
Gabriel is a casual fan of Survival of the Fittest. While he does not watch it regularly, he will find a queue of episodes online and watch them in a row if he has chunk of free time with no studies to see to. He considers it a challenge to watch the show and take notes on how he would go about treating the various injuries the competitors incur. He is uncomfortable following specific competitors or winners on a personal level, however, due to the unsettling idea that he is watching real people with desires and fears die for amusement.
Advantages: Gabriel's medical training is his strongest advantage. It makes him an asset to his team, and to anyone who might come across him. He may be able to convince a would-be killer to let him live in exchange for assisting them with their injuries. While he hasn't had any formal training in hand-to-hand combat, his potential tenacity and determination, as well as his recent physical conditioning, may give him an edge against similarly unskilled opponents. His knowledge of human anatomy may be useful in incapacitating assailants or victims quickly and efficiently. He is sharp-witted and may be able to puzzle his way through the competition by staying one step ahead of his opponents mentally.
Disadvantages: Gabriel's emotional instability and unpredictability are marked factors against his success. He may not readily form alliances with individuals he does not know well, and he could prove very skilled at making enemies due to his gruff personality. While his aggression and tenacity can prove useful against unskilled opponents, it may also cause him to over-extend himself and take more injuries than necessary if he is forced into a physical struggle. Gabriel's connection to his mother and his fear for her safety when alone may also cause him to become very distracted throughout the game, which could lead him to make vital errors or rash decisions.
Designated Number: Ebony Whales 1 (EW1).
Designated Weapon: Cebra Ruby Pistol
Mentor Comment: "Oh, this one certainly has an edge to him, and I think he can be inspired to go far. I don't think he'll turn into a real killer, but that won't be necessary."
Handled By: DocBalance
Kills: Lucy Williams
Killed By: Exhaustion and wounds
Collected Weapons: Cebra Ruby Pistol (designated weapon), Szabla (from Lucy Williams)
Gabe was the first student in TV2 to die with a kill to their name.
Below is a list of threads that contain Gabriel, in chronological order
- The Kind Of Smile You Only See In A Casino
- See It In My Handwriting
- Risk Of Rain
- Choices (And The Hardships They Apply)
- Feelin' Saxy(Maybe Not)
- Bitch Please
- Forgive Me For My Synapses
- I Like My Ladies Like My Coffee
- Never In A Fight
- Bitter Dream
Your Thoughts Edit
Whether you were a fellow handler in SOTF or just an avid reader of the site, we'd like to know what you thought about Gabriel. What did you like, or dislike, about the character? Let us know here!
- Gabriel is my favorite character that I've written. I think it could very easily be argued that he's the best character I've written. He's certainly the one I've gotten the most negative feedback about carding off. I'm told often that people wanted to see more of Gabe, that he had potential and depth beyond Vahka, that his story needed to continue.
That's exactly why he needed to die.
There is a poem by Taylor Mali entitled Entire Act of Of Sorrow, on the subject of his first wife's suicide. He remarks on the hopelessness and feelings of guilt of watching a loved one trapped in depression and despair, and feeling with undeniable certainty that they will die tragically one way or another yet denying this horrible, malicious truth within your own mind because it is not a reality that you can accept or dwell in, nor is it one you can change. I listen to that poem often, and think about it even more frequently. It's something of a muse in Gabriel's creation. It can apply to his relationship with his mother quite readily, but it also applies to my relationship with him. I always knew that Gabriel was going to die, and die quickly, explosively, because of his own actions. The challenge was to make someone compelling and perhaps even endearing despite his clear self-destructive tendencies, to implant a few glimmers of hope and escape in a narrative of inexorable failure.
I always knew that Gabriel was going to die, and deep down I think everyone who reads his pre-game can see it too, even if the moments of charity and comedy make it so, so tempting to desire his survival, to see him live and continue to straighten his life out and rise above his circumstances. The fact that so many people tell me I made a mistake in killing him confirms to me that it was anything but. I wanted Gabriel to go further, in my heart. But that wasn't his story, and his story, no matter how bleak and disappointing, deserves to be told exactly as he wanted it. It's the most I could do for him, as an author to her creation. --Doc Balance
- I liked Gabriel overall. He managed to be sympathetic, while also incredibly flawed. This is helped by a few things, one is that Gabe’s impulsive violent behavior catches up with him quickly. The other is that he gets a good setup from his sandbox for a good chunk of the people he interacts with during the version, as well as the details of his home life setting up the cut to home in his death very well. -bacon
- I liked Gabriel quite a lot. One of the things that stood out about him positively in Sandbox was that, for all he was a usually-grumpy guy, he displayed a lot more nuance than angry characters tend to. We're given a look into Gabriel's extremely troubled home life, which sets up the idea that his irritation is often aimed at targets besides the true source of his distress, thus establishing a really solid rationale for him to be upset in unreasonable situations. At the same time, Gabriel isn't one note at all. I often suggest that handlers show a moment or two when a character breaks out of their norm to explore their depth, and Gabriel's a perfect example of this, as he befriends Sebastien and finds common ground with Isabel despite starting out angry with her. All of this leaves him sympathetic even when he is overreacting to something.
In-game, Gabriel's voice and character continue to shine through, now exacerbated by the crazy and stressful situation he finds himself in. While there's a slight moment of disconnect, as I alluded to in an earlier comment, when it comes to the degree of violence in his fight with Davis, Gabriel at least has a real history of projection and unhealthy coping mechanisms and attention is quickly paid to the anticipated reader questions and answers of a sort provided (though I do think this is an area with perhaps a bit more room for elaboration; it's one of the few parts of Gabriel's story that doesn't neatly come together). While I don't think the landing is entirely stuck, the initially-jarring effect seems intentional (or, if not, the recovery slick enough to pass muster).
Gabriel's death is cool for a few reasons. First off, I'm a sucker for a character slowly succumbing to injuries, because realistically it's how many characters would likely perish. From a narrative perspective, it can be hard to naturally work into a decent scene, doubly so as an actual result of accrued injuries from before the character was slated to die, but Gabriel manages it extremely nicely. His death also features the dreaded cut-to-home, but takes what is so often overblown or cliche and imparts it with real emotion and tragedy, in no small part because it brings his story full circle to that opening one-shot. In short, Gabriel is a darn good character and very much worth a read. - MurderWeasel