Kevin Ford

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Kevin Ford
Wither Card.jpeg
Portrayed by Zac Efron
Codename: Wither
Affiliations: Xavier Institute, Elpis
Birthdate: July 17, 1989
Journal: Transparent Horizons
Player: available for application

This character is currently unplayed, but is open for applications. If you are interested in applying for this character, you can contact the mods at x_moderators @ googlegroups . com and you can find the application form here.


Kevin Ford is an amateur artist, specifically focusing on abstract sculpture made largely from discarded pieces of metal, and a former doom cloud toting fellow.



Details

Character Journal: x_wither

Real Name: Kevin Ford

Codename: Wither

Aliases: None

First Appearance: June 2, 2006

Date of Birth: July 17, 1989

Place of Birth: Atlanta, GA

Citizenship: US

Relatives: Tyler Ford (Father, deceased), Charlotte Ford (Mother, deceased)

Education: High School Graduate

Relationship Status: In a relationship with Laura Kinney as of August 2011.

Occupation: Amateur sculptor, occasional student

Team Affiliation: None

Biography

Roots

Kevin was born to Tyler and Charlotte Ford in Atlanta, Georgia where he spent nearly all of his life. His mother died when he was four years old, killed by a drunk driver while she was walking across the street. He'd been quite attached to her, as most children of that age are, and he wept for days once he truly understood she'd never come back. His father assured Kevin he'd always be there for his son and it assuaged his sorrow some. As he grew older, Kevin still missed his mother, but he was grateful even more so for his father whom he'd grown quite close to. Tyler worked hard in the Ford Automotive factory down near the Atlanta airport. He managed a lower-middle class living for himself and Kevin and they got on alright, all things considered. Kevin never wanted for the things he needed (meals, heat, clothing, braces).

Kevin was all over average as a child. He got B's and C's in school. He wasn't particularly bright, lazy, stupid or bored. He had a small group of friends, though like all kids there were those who liked to bully him every so often. Mostly he didn't notice. Kevin never really found much of a niche academically. It was all stuff he had to learn because the school system told him that he had to. The average teenager deal came crashing to a close when Kevin was sixteen.

One morning Kevin woke for school just as he had countless days before. He dressed for school, and then his clothing was melting. The cloth disintegrated off of him as if acid burned through it. His brain started to race and he thought of plants, flowers and patches of grass that had withered into lifeless brown things when he'd come in contact with them over the past week. It'd happened faster after a couple days. And now his clothes? His pulse jumped into his throat and he did the first thing he could think of, yelled for his father. Seeing his son so distraught, Tyler tried to comfort and calm Kevin. The skin contact took its effect quickly, though. The decaying was almost instantaneous. Kevin held on, trying to help, prolonging the contact and ultimately reduced his father to nothing more than dust due to his own attempts to help.

Absolutely horrified, Kevin took off. He found clothing that, for some reason, did not disintegrate, and took up residence in a junkyard. The guard dogs of the yard posed little problem. Kevin simply grabbed on and did not let go until there was only ash left. Life on his own was not something he was prepared for, but he adjusted. At first he used what money he had, then he sold his metal constructions. Life in the junkyard was hardly stimulating and Kevin had taken to creating sculptures of the spare metal around the yard. He found he had quite a talent for it and managed to make money by selling his art to buy things like food. He couldn't figure out why he could eat food without it decaying, but if he held it in his bare hand it would. None of it made any sense to him.

Meanwhile, the death of Tyler Ford was ruled as a homicide. The cops set out to not only locate the deceased's son, but also his killer. Kevin was unaware of both facts, as well as a third, the police suspected him as the killer but had no proof to substantiate such a theory. Rumor did manage to circulate about a boy with a "death touch." It came to the attention of members of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsterswho set out to find him. Kevin agreed to attend the school provided he could learn to better control his abilities.

School for the "Gifted"

Once at the school Kevin took the time to explore art in ways he had been previously limited. He made a few acquaintances during the few months he was at the school, but nothing particularly close. That was, of course, until he accidentally touched Jonothon Starsmore while the older boy was playing soccer and nearly completely reverted him to an energy-based state. Kevin, being reminded of his father's death once more, agreed to go with Jono to the Muir Island Research Facility in hopes they could help him gain better control of his abilities, and hopefully tell him there was an off switch to his powers.

Kevin stayed at Muir for nearly a year. Finally he simply grew too frustrated. They poked and prodded. They took blood samples, urine samples, tissue samples, DNA samples. They ran tests, MRIs, and radiographs. All they came up with was a big "So, you decay things at a molecular level if they're organic." Well, thanks to all those brilliant minds for coming up with something he already knew from his time at Xavier's! So he ditched out. They asked him not to but all the doctors and scientists and researchers at Muir had were untested hypotheses, theorem, and conjecture. A whole lot of guessing which had yielded no answer beyond "Damn, not that one," so far.

Home, Sweet Home

Returning to the States, Kevin's flight landed in New York City. Unsure of where he wanted to go, Kevin resorted to old habits. He knew he didn't want to return to Atlanta and the ghosts there and he wasn't really sure he wanted to take up residence at Xavier's again either. After life at Muir he wanted to figure out something that would pass for normal. While he figured it out he collected small scraps of metal, made art out of them and sold them for food and hopefully somewhere to sleep most days.

Kevin's destination was chosen for him after a run in with a stoned, hippie girl calling herself Chakra. Chakra came over to Kevin in Central Park, asking him about the art he was making. After deciding he needed a hug she laid a hand on his cheek. She pulled away in time to save her life but not her arm which was mummified from the elbow down.

After a night of reliving the moment in agonizing detail Kevin finally accepted his fate. He had to return to Xavier's. Doing so found him assigned to share a suite with Jay Guthrie who had also returned to the school only hours before on that day. Their first meeting did not exactly go well. Afterward he took to avoiding his roommate, which seemed to go well enough. Until he was arrested.

Georgia Ghosts

Garrison Kane, realizing there was an outstanding warrant for Kevin's arrest, took him into the FBI field office in connection with his father's murder. After some plea bargaining done by Nathan Dayspring as Kevin's lawyer, the final verdict was as follows: Kevin pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He received a suspended three year sentence. The Muir representative at Xavier's is officially in charge of Kevin's genetic counseling, which is mandatory until his powers are under control. Powers training at the school is also mandatory. Leaving school grounds is permitted for up to three days at a time without permission needing to be granted as he is of legal age, however any lengthy trips in distance or time must be granted permission by both Kevin's genetic counselor and one of the headmasters of the school.

Much of Kevin's time at the school after his conviction was spent in as much isolation as possible. Forge gave him the keys to the mostly unused metal shop off the garage after finding out Kevin did metal sculpture. The shop became his daily refuge from the many people in the mansion and it was where he spent nearly all his time. Somehow that wasn't enough for him to avoid his roommate who had taken to pressing as many of Kevin's buttons as possible, which sometimes led to panic attacks. While hiding out with others of the evacuated sect at Angel's dad's house during Thirteen Days Jay managed to press the final button he seemed to be after: he kissed Kevin. The two started to date after the encounter.

Playing Hero

Kevin found himself in Whistler with a group of others from the mansion when an avalanche hit. Since he was there he became absorbed in the efforts to help those who were trapped. He over used his powers, which up until then he hadn't willingly more than a few times since his junkyard days, which caused him to black out for several hours afterward. It was then that Kevin decided he really did not like playing hero. As a result of his blacking out Kevin had to finally concede to powers training, which he had been avoiding despite court orders until now. It was Haller who suggested to Kevin using his powers to sculpt wood when Kevin voiced disgruntled complaint over the uselessness of his training.

Despite his aversion to hero antics, or perhaps because of them, he signed on for the Red X Mission: Reconstruction. He was elated to be of some use for a change, to be able to build and create instead of destroy. It was his experience here which prompted Kevin to go to Nathan and ask for a job at Elpis. He wanted to help people, he just didn't want to sign up to play hero. This was a point hammered home for him once again when he ended up in Havana a few weeks later and found himself being shot at because Jay wanted to help people when a priest requested aid of them.

Neutered

Over the course of his powers training by attempting to use his decomposition to sculpt wood Kevin became a much happier, even playful person. He didn't associate one with the other but the improved disposition urged him on with both his art and his powers training. Eventually, however, his attempts turned against him. Kevin began to grow addicted to his powers. It was subtle at first, just an urge to touch things. It got to the point where his powers training had less to do with training his powers and more to do with just using them to decompose blocks of wood.

Control over himself to not use his powers was lost over time. Things escalated to the point where he nearly used his powers willingly on Jay Guthrie, who was by then his ex-boyfriend just to get him to leave Kevin alone. That night he decided he had to go. After talking to Nathan who was very much against Kevin leaving the mansion to return to Muir he took off for three days, the maximum allowed to him by the courts without both school and FBI permission.

Jean Grey put Kevin on a medication, one which could not be used long term but one which would stop the production of sebum in his body. This, and not his skin, was where Muir had once discovered Kevin's mutation really was. He spent the next few months dealing with his body's detoxing from the addiction of his powers and trying to figure out what he was going to do when they came back. Kevin chose not to live life to the fullest, thinking he would rather not know what he was missing than to have the experience to carry with him.

It was during this time that Kevin finally began to give therapy with Dr. Samson a try. Leo quickly took what Kevin was at last giving up of himself and found a way to work with Kevin in a way that seemed to work for the troubled teenager.

Californication

In December of 2008, nearly a month after Jay had gone missing, presumed dead, Kevin decided to leave the mansion. Nathan took care of the legal aspect of things to get him the OK to move to Fallbrook, CA where Xavier's West Coast Annex stood as a training facility. Despite the ups and downs of his relationship with Jay the lack of him was enough to make Kevin want to escape.

While out in California Kevin kept in continuing, if not always frequent, contact with Yvette and Nathan but few others. His time was split between powers training, sculpture and therapy. Kevin liked the psychologist Leo had referred him to and his three areas of focus began to overlap as Kevin gained better grasp of his control in order to use it in wood sculpture.

Returning to the Mansion

The events that transpired during Face The Blood saw Kevin returning to the mansion for an open-ended amount of time. He wasn't willing to leave the side of the one person he considered family while she recovered from surgery. And he wasn't going to let Yvette come to terms with having her normalcy restored only to have her mutation come back scant weeks later alone. Ongoing concern for her despite Yvette's usual soldiering on saw Kevin staying later and later into the summer. Yvette, Nathan and even Jane had all tried nudging him into staying in their own ways. Ultimately it was Jane and a trip to investigate some art classes at Westchester Community College that won him over, though if he were honest Kevin wasn't putting up nearly as much fight as he could have been.

He started taking some art classes at the community college, but Kevin mostly focused on blacksmithing classes so he could learn new ways of shaping the metals he used in his sculptures. His return to the area also saw his return to the ELPIS offices, though he continued to keep his involvement part-time so he could give most of his attention to his art. It was easy for the Southerner to fall back into his life there, though interactions with Jay remained strained at best until the Guthrie left the mansion in February of 2010.

By the end of April Kevin had entered a relationship with Jean-Paul Beaubier. The relationship developed suddenly out of the companionable friendship the pair had founded. In many ways Kevin didn't know what he was landing in until he'd already jumped off the cliff, so to speak. But despite each of them laying out the many reasons why they were too dangerous to be involved with or unsavory choices of partner they both decided it was worth the risk, much to the dismay of Yvette who had a crush on Kevin.

The Ways in Which 'Normal' Lets You Down

On the last Saturday of June Kevin dragged Cammie to a street fair with him in District X so he could check out the arts and crafts of locals in the heavily mutant populated neighborhood. The next day, however, his mutation seemed to be wonky. In fact, it didn't seem like it was there. Strangely panicked, Kevin rushed down to the medlab to talk to Dr. McCoy. It turned out he wasn't the only one whose mutation was on the fritz and he spent the night down there with Cammie, Yvette and Jared, all of whom had been at the fair the previous day. Test results showed that Kevin and the others no longer had mutations. Their X-Genes were gone.

Kevin told Jean-Paul about the development with his mutation but no one else. He was reluctant to believe that it was true, that the mutation he had viewed as a punishment from God had actually been taken away from him. The fact that it was a woman who had supposedly relieved him of it and not God was a bit bittersweet for Kevin as he wasn't sure he'd really earned his way out of the cursed powers. Word came back that the change was permanent, though, and there was nothing to do but learn to accept it. Everything was fine until Jean-Paul's concussive blast threw Kevin into a wall.

With multiple fractured ribs, internal bleeding and a world of bruising, Kevin ended up in the medlab again. Unfortunately the guilt-ridden Jean-Paul was nowhere to be seen when Kevin woke up, heavily sedated as he was. He kept asking for the other man day after day until Jean told him Jean-Paul did not intend to return given the injury he'd caused the Southerner. A week and a half later Jean-Paul did return and the two discussed their situation. Because Jean-Paul couldn't truthfully say he wouldn't run if Kevin was hurt by him again Kevin said they couldn't be together.

Two weeks to do the day that Kevin was hospitalized for his rib injuries he took his mutation back from Derek, the unfortunate recipient of all four mansion-dwellers' mutations. The explosion that went off under Kevin's right hand caused extensive damage and he had to go to a burn center in New York City for treatment. His hand may never recover fully and it's going to be a long road to recovery. The day after, though, Jean-Paul learned of Kevin's new injury and came to both check on him and cook for him to ensure he was properly fed. Two days later the pair reconciled and got back together.

It took approximately six weeks for Kevin's fractured ribs to heal. His hand needed a skin graft in order to heal properly and it did so by the time his ribs had as well. Kevin still gets a little weird when he thinks about his thigh being on his hand. After his injuries healed it was back to business as usual for Kevin.

In late October he began working on trying to win his freedom back from the courts with the help of Angel's mom. Because he didn't want to jeopardize what he felt was his first chance to win back his autonomy Kevin hid the fact that his mutation hadn't been acting the same since he'd taken it back. He hoped he wouldn't need to give any sort of practical demonstration over the control he'd gained over his mutation in court. His level of control could be well attested to by people credible enough to not have their honesty questioned. Only Jean-Paul knew that contact didn't seem to always and immediately engage his decaying ability as it had before.

Clean Slates

Mid-January saw Kevin and Jean-Paul breaking up in their own particular way. The split was more understood than stated and carried a feeling with it that had no real finality. In fact, their break up involved the first time either of them had said "I love you," and Kevin had said it in French. The pair had drifted apart since Kevin's injuries from Jean-Paul in the summer and both had gotten busy with their individual lives. Their break up had nothing to do with not wanting to be together or not wanting one another anymore. Rather, it was much more about allowing one another the space to be who they are, do what they're doing and develop indivually without worrying about it negatively impacting their relationship.

January also saw Kevin finally winning his freedom from the courts with the help of Elizabeth Cross, Angel's mother. No longer required to live at the mansion, go to therapy, undergo powers training or be limited in his travel, the first thing Kevin did was take off for a week to Alaska. When he returned he finally told Dr. McCoy about the strange state his powers had been in ever since the fall, or possibly the summer. After a battery of tests over a few weeks McCoy hypothesized that Kevin's mutation was being turned on by specific catecholamines as part of his body's alarm, fight or flight response, to put it simply. Obviously he could only do so much testing and so Kevin has accepted this as a likely explanation of what has been going on, though he has not taken advantage of the default off position of his mutation since McCoy's hypothesis is unproven and if correct there are still too many things that could turn his mutation on without him having time to account for it. Only Jean-Paul and the doctors at the mansion know the state of his mutation as Kevin hasn't shared the information with anyone else.

February saw Kevin becoming involved with Laura Kinney casually and March 1st marked Kevin's very first art opening with several sculptures being shown in a gallery in NYC. All but one of those sculptures would eventually be sold during the four months they were there.

He spent much of the winter and spring months privately trying to figure out his way around the change in how his mutation works. Spring semester didn't see him taking any classes at Westchester Community College due to a combination of his legal case and a lack of interested in offered courses for the term.

Road Less Traveled

Kevin spent the vast majority of 2011 focused on two things: Art and Laura. Over time some of the intensity between him and Jean-Paul ebbed and with the two concentrating on their own responsibilities and goals Kevin found himself spending less and less time with the Quebecois and the more time with Laura. After Laura went undercover in a brothel the dynamic changed between the pair, but Kevin was determined to stay by her side for as long as she'd let him. He was unwilling to leave her because things were now harder and more complicated in light of his belief that Jay left him for that reason.

For the 4th of July weekend Kevin planned a trip up to Niagara Falls simply because he could. He invited Laura along, remember her saying she would have liked to go to Alaska with him when he had run off at the end of January. That trip managed to save both of them from being pulled into nightmares in the mansion on the first of that month. Only two weeks later the two left town again, this time with Laurie, Angel, Jean-Phillipe and Kyle. The group went down to New Orleans for a couple weeks where tales of Kool-Aid pickles and Kyle tormenting people with crawfish heads made their way onto the journals.

When Kevin came back from New Orleans, however, he went back to work at ELPIS and immediately handed in his two week notice to Angelo so he could focus on his art and attempt to make that a viable career path given the success he had with the gallery showing. His trip to New Orleans also made Kevin decide to finally face his past fully. It was the first time he had been anywhere in the South since being picked up in the junkyard by Scott years ago. After his final two weeks were up with ELPIS he would head back down to Georgia to find out what had happened to his childhood home, revisit Atlanta and maybe find out what happened to his grandparents and his father's grave. Oddly enough, when he told Laura about his plans to head back south about a week before he left the two finally took the final step and made their relationship official. Kevin also revealed to her that he could touch her without gloves, making Laura the second person outside of the doctors at the mansion to know about the change in his mutation.

In the middle of August Kevin hit the road with his kitten, Leah. He hopped an Amtrak train down to Atlanta to finally confront his past and the events of his manifestation head on. His intent was to find out what had happened to his childhood home, see what happened in terms of a grave or memorial for his dad and visit his mother's grave for the first time since he left Georgia. Afterward his plan was to buy a truck with some of the money he made from selling most of his sculptures from a gallery showing and travel around the country at random, exploring the states, drawing everything he saw and finding inspiration. And flying his girlfriend out to visit him once she found her missing boss, of course.

Physical Characteristics

Height: 5' 10 1/2"

Weight: 145

Eyes: blue

Hair: brown

Other Features: none

Powers

Kevin's power is that of Organic Decay

While it appears that his mutation enacts itself through his skin and his hair it is not actually either of those which make him a danger to organic material. It is the sebum his sebaceous glands secrete which acts as a catalyst in the decomposition process. It first injures the membrane of the lysosomes which then release the digestive enzymes which cause the first state of decomposition, autolysis, to occur. The sebum also carries the bacteria in it which cause putrefication, the second stage of decomposition. His touch sustains the outward secretion of the sebum which is produced at a high and unceasing rate when Kevin has contact with an organic material and it will spread as far as it can reach, essentially moving over sebum already there to find the next exposed area on the material. His sebum literally triggers and catalyzes the organic matter's natural decomposition. As long as he's touching the organic matter the affect will spread to consume the entirety of the object/animal/person until it is broken down to nothing more than ash. Even if he is only touching ash the original shape will be retained until he is no longer in physical contact with the organic material at which time the ashes will fall to the ground.

There are no sebaceous glands found in the lips, making that the only part of his outside anatomy that can be touched without effect from his mutation. His mutation, however, causes Kevin to have sebaceous glands on his hands and the bottom of his feet where they are not usually found.

After losing and then taking back his mutation it worked differently. Kevin gained an off switch, something he had been assured time and again did not exist for him. The on/off switch is triggered by specific levels of epinephrine and norepinephrine in relation to the alarm, fight or flight response in his body. When his mutation is effective on Kevin can control the direction of the decay but he as of yet has no control over the speed with which the decay spreads. He currently has little to no control switching his mutation on or off.

Full disintegration time depends on the size and the density of the object, but it can happen in less time if his temper is particularly hot. Something small and of relatively little density would be turned to ashes in mere moments, such as a flower or a feather. A person would take up to ten minutes if he was calm, but only need five to be consumed if he was angry. A full-grown pine tree would take him closer to an hour to consume entirely.

Kevin's touch does not actually hurt. There is never any trigger to the nerves to register a pain reaction. The nerves themselves are destroyed, making the decomposition he spreads actually having a numbing feeling rather than inflicting the pain many would assume would be associated with the act of decomposing. It is panic, instead, which has led to the few people who have been on the receiving end of his powers to scream.

Using his powers actually feels good to Kevin. Kevin's powers do have an addictive quality, of which he is well aware. The more he uses them the more their "hunger" grows, however with training he is learning to cope with that. It is, however, a constant struggle for him and the primary reason he uses his powers as little as possible and often only does any sort of training with them when he is alone (and remains alone for hours afterward as a precaution).

Equipment

Kevin has no special equipment. He does, however, wear only clothing made of inorganic cloth, including gloves and long sleeves all year 'round.

Trivia

• Kevin's voice is naturally very, very soft. Louder inflections of his voice when he speaks quickly or rushes to explain something he's worried will be/was taken the wrong way still doesn't raise his volume even to the level of most people's normal tone.
• Kevin has recurring nightmares about the day his mutation manifested and he accidentally killed his father.
• Anxiety spikes whenever people he doesn't know and trust get too close to him, especially if they have a lot of exposed skin.
• Kevin wears at least three layers of clothing on his upper body at all times which consist of full-fingered, elbow-length gloves; a long sleeved shirt; a short sleeved shirt. He wears a full-length jacket outside unless it's actually hot out. He tries to always have a hood on some layer of clothing he's wearing.
• Kevin's skin is very sensitive to touch because of the fact that he's always covered in so many layers and that dulls a lot of sensation of contact.
• He's actually a decent cook, but it's all comfort food and meat 'n potatoes type stuff he makes. He gets pretty Southern about cooking at times, though.
• He craves biscuits and gravy for breakfast seemingly non-stop but he won't eat them unless he makes them as he doesn't trust Northerners to make them correctly.
• People doing just about anything nice for him tends to leave Kevin utterly speechless.
Nathan Dayspring gave Kevin a fiddler crab Kevin named Eddie as a pet after he was released from FBI custody. Eddie died in early 2010.
Wade Wilson gave Kevin a white kitten he dyed purple with Kool-Aid as a condition of Kevin's minionhood. Kevin hadn't actually expected Wade to do it, but he's kept the kitten and named her Leah after his favorite female sculptor.
• Dr. McCoy, Dr. Grey-Summers, Jean-Paul and Laura were the only people who were ever made aware that Kevin's mutation had shifted from being on all the time to being off by default unless triggered.

His Accent

• Kevin's accent is a result of how much time he spent in Brooks, GA growing up as it's where his grandparents all lived.
• He consciously lightens his accent and enunciates more fully with those who don't speak English well so they can understand him.
• When he's very tired, upset or angry his accent gets thicker and he starts running words together so six syllables winds up condensed down to about two or three, making him nigh unintelligible to anyone who isn't Southern or who hasn't learned to decode his muttering.

Plots

2006

The Enemy Within

2008

Red X Mission: Whistler

Red X Mission: Reconstruction

Prayer on the 26th of July

Red X Mission: Rising Waters

Xbalanque

2009

Face The Blood

2010

Lakshmibai Raj

Butterflies and Hurricanes

2011

Meta

Player:

E-mail:

AIM:

Player Icon Base: Zac Efron

Meta Trivia

Formerly played by Margaret. Nichole picked up Kevin in September 2007 and played him until August 2011, when she let him go so he could go out and live life for a while outside of the protective bubble of the mansion.

Inorganic cloth does not actually exist in the real world but since Marvel makes its own rules we pretend it can be found in game so that Kevin doesn't have to be a nudist, as that would be impolite.

JPs-Gold-Star.png - Kevin gets a Gold Star from Cai for being the only character IG (as of January 2011) that Jean-Paul Beaubier has actually had a romantic relationship with. Congratulations, Kevin!