Character's full name: Thaddeus Blakeney IV
Aliases: Tad Blakeney (Television)
Played By: JP
Character Type: Immortal
Hair Color: Brown, dyed blonde
Eye Color: Ice Blue
True age: 32
Apparent age: 32
Nationality: Born in Ireland, Raised in America
Any Travel Companions or close friends: Currently, Pandora, Sean, Al, Jake and Brent.
Any other languages: Spanish
Distinguishing characteristics: Because of his status on television and his vanity, he worked out often and is therefore well build and rather strong.
Personality: Before the flu, Tad was bold, egotistical and unapologetic. He thought highly of himself and did not hide it. The flu, and how reporters were treated for the duration of it, left his perfect world shattered. Presently the once boastful man finds himself timid, almost withdrawn.
Any special skills: Being well breed and well educated, he’s charming and can usually talk his way in or out of certain situations.
History: Tad’s great grandfather, Thaddeus Blakeney I, was a sharp minded inventor who created a device that aided with the production of the assemble line in the early 1900s. This invention brought the family a lot of money and elevated the family name. The man invested wisely and upon his passing, left everything to his son who in turn left his wealth to his son, Thaddeus Blakeney III.
Thaddeus Blakeney III married young and had all that money could buy and yet, did not have the one thing he wanted – a child and an heir to the family fortune. He discovered that, for medical reasons, he was unable to reproduce. His wife encouraged him to find a donor father, but because he thought that might be considered ‘scandalous’, he looked into adoption instead. Three years later, Thaddeus Blakeney III and his wife, Veronica, adopted a 1 month old baby from Ireland. An adoption at so young an age so quickly was nearly unheard of, but the Blakeney name and money aided greatly. The baby was named after his great grandfather, grandfather and father: Thaddeus Blakeney IV, but was called ‘Tad’ for short.
Growing up in Massachusetts, Tad had the best of everything from birth. This included the best education. He excelled in school and received a scholarship to College. His father wanted him to be a doctor or lawyer, but Tad knew what he wanted to be and that was on television. In one form or another. He was obsessed with news figures and how they shaped the lives of so many and were often immortalized by being the first to report important news. He wanted to be important, like his great grandfather. He wanted to be well known and because Tad got whatever he wanted, his father let him go
He graduated from Princeton University with a Masters Degree in Journalism. He had no problem finding a job on the air as a local newsman and eventually made it on a broader, state wide, level. He enjoyed being well known and also enjoyed attending charitable events or social gatherings with the upper class. In 2001, he was offered a job on a network and took it in a heartbeat. He was not the head anchor, but he had his eye on the position and knew eventually, it would be his. Tad was used to getting what he wanted.
When the flu broke, several members of his team were sent out to various locations to report on location, including the head anchorman. Tad begged the network heads to send him as well, thinking this was quite an opportunity, but they believed he was too inexperienced (having only been a network reporter for one year) to field something of this level just yet. It was a good thing in the end. None of the network reporting team returned from their various locations. The network executives believed the army had incepted them. None of them had any idea that the army had actually executed most of their team.
By the time the network leaders decided to give Tad the opportunity to go from New York City, where they filmed, to Washington DC in an attempt to get more information from the White House, the story was already in New York City – on the streets. Every building was filled with dead. Clinics did not have enough beds and quickly, things were spiraling out of control. Instead of going out on the streets, Tad was told to report from the comfort of the studio. By this point, he wanted nothing more than to stay behind locked doors so he didn’t argue. Tad remained ever the professional and continued to report the news, as the new head anchor. He finally had the position he wanted, but he had never wanted it this way – he was almost all that was left of the reporting team.
Eventually, they were cut off of the air and told by armed men to disperse or face the consequences. Tad immediately hitched a ride with the news chopper from New York City to Massachusetts to find his parents. When he arrived, they were both in the hospital and his father was not long for this world. Because of his public status, people kept nagging Tad for information, of which he had none. He finally had achieved his goal of being head anchor and well known and he no longer wanted it. It was like a curse. Even when his father died, he was never left alone. His mother died a few days later and the civilization as a whole followed quickly behind.
The insane world grew still and soon, quiet. The power was gone and Tad found with each passing day it was harder and harder to find other people. Eventually it was impossible and yet, he did not get sick. He never even coughed. Retiring to his father’s mansion, he tried to figure out what to do… he didn’t know how to cook or clean, having always had a maid or butler, but those were just surface problems. The much bigger problem was he was alone and scared… for the first time in his life. And then the dreams started. One was of an elderly woman, who seemed inviting and told him to head to Colorado, and the other was of a man who was ice cold and was in Las Vegas. Tad attempted to ignore it, but each night he found it harder and harder and eventually, he went back out into the world.
It was a bad idea. The first person he came across was a man who seemed normal enough. At first. His name was Sean and he seemed quite amused, in an almost playful manner, at Tad’s complete lack of ability to do standard every day things. He recognized Tad from television and seemed as if he was kind enough to help him out. Sean did most of the work in any situation if it was cooking food, cleaning up a mess or moving cars – Sean did not even ask Tad knowing he’d be more in the way than a help. He kept talking about his ‘friends’ who they would meet up with in a few days, after Sean did what he was meant to do. Apparently, as Sean told it, he and a few others had met up after the flu but then had gone in different directions to cover more land while searching for other survivors before heading westward. Tad never asked to where, he just assumed Colorado. Who in their right mind would go to Las Vegas?
After a day, Sean and he met up with ‘the others’ who were rough looking men, keen on motorcycles, cigarettes and alcohol. Tad did not blend in, but then again, he had rarely blended in anywhere. It was not until he heard one of them discussing what he would do when he got to Vegas that he realized he was in a bad situation. Sean had a plan, apparently, and thought that by finding Tad, he had hit the jackpot. Sean wanted to walk into Las Vegas, meet this man from the nightmares and then talk to him about giving him and his ‘buddies’ a higher status than the ‘common folk’. The thing was neither Sean nor his new found ‘friends’ were particularly articulate and so, Sean had convinced the others that they would just use Tad, the well known reporter who Sean believed could talk this darkman into agreeing to this ‘plan’. When Tad openly refused, confessing to being terrified of the darkman, this group turned on him in a heartbeat. Suddenly, he was being verbally threatened that if he didn’t help them, they would tell this darkman from the nightmares that Tad had wanted to go to ‘Colorado’ and suggest they use him as a ‘hostage’ or ‘collateral’. Tad wasn’t even sure he believed in the darkman at this point and so, he still refused which is when the guns came out.
Literally, with a gun to his head, Tad was stuck with Sean and his merry band of misfits, Al, Jake and Brent, who are currently Las Vegas bound. They have told him that if they come across another survivor and he attempts to tell them what is going on, they will kill him and the newcomer without a second thought… and having seen what Sean was capable of over the past few days when one of his ‘buddies’, Brent, upset him, Tad believed every word. There seemed to be no way out and if there was a darkman, Tad’s only choices are to be handed over to this darkman as a spy or to attempt to talk him into letting Sean’s group have a better life style than the average person in Vegas. Either way, Tad was pretty sure he would end up dead… right now, his only hope is that the dark man doesn’t exist or that they stop for the night before reaching the city and he can attempt to get away as they sleep.
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