- "You may condemn me and my actions, decry me as nothing but a swindler ruining lives, but I say that is you who are wrong. I admit I take people into bondage, and yes I do give them free Jet, but the consequences of my work speak for themselves. So a few tribals are in chains, the people of Forest Heights never have to worry about food and can focus on their art. Do you have any idea of the hedons that brings? "
- ―Reginald defending his actions
|Date of birth:||2231|
|Status:||working for the most possible happiness|
A slaver and former member of the Crystal Truth movement, Reginald is something of an oddity in the flesh trade. He claims to do it to bring the about the most happiness, a distinction his merchandise doesn't seem to appreciate.
Born to bricklayers and laborers on the Western Slants, Reginald was the third of five children. Growing up he was often ignored by his parents and siblings, both of whom were usually tending to the meager garden that family partially depended on for survival. When he was six, his parents took him with them and his older brothers. He would carry the mortar bucket between his mom who mixed it, and his dad and brothers who laid the bricks. After two days of carrying the bucket his arms ached, and he told his dad he didn't want to work like that anymore.
His father, a laborer for most of his life, told him that he better go find something in the ruins, because you to work to eat in that house. He then waved his son into a street behind where they were working, and told him to look. He would then return to work for several minutes, and when he turned back, Reginald was gone. He called out twice, but the boy didn't respond. Intending simply to scare the boy, Reginald's father never thought his six years old would venture into the ruins. He wouldn't get far in his panic, however, as Reginald soon returned, carrying a ham radio set.
Unaware of his father's concern, he placed the device at his feet. True to his word, Reginald no longer had to carry the bucket, though his scavenging had to be within shouting range. He would find several other valuable items but mostly returned with junk from his trips, though his parents still congratulated him anyway. These trips also allowed his mind to wander and dream about exploring the ruins he saw off in the distance. His brothers would grow to resent Reginald for these trips, having to work hard while he played in the debris and ruins.
When a daughter was born to the family in 2245, Reginald's parents told him he would either have to work like the rest of them, or leave home so there would be enough for everyone. Egged on by his brothers, Reginald chose the latter and headed out with little more than the clothes on his back. He would make it the edge of the Seattle ruins before night and made camp in a small house, his stomach growling as he struggled to sleep. His fortune would change dramatically the next day as he encountered a pair of missionaries the next morning who told him of their religion.
Their talking points intrigued him, and he would be given a crude map of the ruins with their church circled. Reginald managed to navigate the debris and raiders and arrived at The Church of The Crystal Truth. It used to be a pizzeria but gutted by the movement to accommodate a small gathering, the humbleness of it lending it an air of gravitas. He would be so dazzled by the Crystal Whispers that he heard and the Resonator's promises of a "beautiful crystal truth" for the seeing. Reginald would beg the Resonator to see the truth after the latter was done speaking.
The holy man would interview Reginald for a short while before directing him to the group's headquarters, a small mansion on the western side of the ruins. After receiving a small blessing from the Resonator Reginald set off across the cityscape towards the coast. After two days of traversing, he arrived at the compound and was even more impressed than he expected to be. The house had clearly been damaged in the War, but it was upheld by an impressive array of repairs, patches, and buttresses. The interior was much sparser, consisting of a simple kitchen with wooden stove, and ice box, and several wooden chairs. He would be interrupted in his exploring by a voice behind him. He turned around to see Quentin Lowe, The founder of the Crystal Truth.
He would usher Reginald into a world of faith and introspection, as well as gave him his own crystal, which Quentin said would resonate with him as long as he kept it near. The next two years for some of the most formative and Reginald would often look back upon them with fondness. It was during this time that he would come across John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, which he found surprisingly similar to the Crystal Path. Lowe would praise his curiosity when he found Reginald reading it, and told him that he based the Crystal Truth partly off of the book. In between his chores and missionary work Reginald would pour over the work, taking some questions to Lowe when he could see him.
The older man would answer Reginald with his own philosophy on some issues, mostly regarding the sale of crystals and calculation of hedons. Reginald would hold onto these thoughts for the next few months as he began his outdoor missionary phase. He would even give away several crystals for free, drawing reproach from those further along The Path. Reginald would return to his home on a mission in 2249, finding only his oldest brother and youngest sister still there, with the others having died from raiders. He embraced them and handed them each a focusing crystal for their healing. They would reject the gift and ask for something useful instead.
Offended, Reginald tried to list the intangible benefits the crystals provided, but his siblings simply tossed them aside and turned back to their work. Thus rejected, Reginald returned to the Movement's compound in order to focus himself. He would never see any family member again. Diving into his work, he would move quickly through the Movement's hierarchy until he reached about halfway along the path. His ascension was blocked by Lowe himself, as he thought Reginald couldn't handle the real truth. They wouldn't find out however as Reginald, frustrated at the lack of proselytizing the Movement attempted, stole two pouches of crystals and snuck out of the compound in the dead of night, heading east towards The Slants two weeks later.
Hoping to help the small townships spiritually, he wouldn't make it out of the ruins before a slaver band had him in chains.
Reginald was captured by a small outfit along with three tribals and another waster from the ruins. The slavers would march them for three days back to their camp in the woods, the entire time of which Reginald was trying to connect with his fellow prisoners. The waster seemed like a decent person, a family man and scaver from Chinatown, but the tribals were ignorant, debased savages in Reginald's opinion. They had no concept of hospitality or mercy and were cannibals, talking longingly of the travelers who they'd used to eat that stumbled upon their camp. They also prayed regularly to the spirit totems that they carried around their necks, which looked to be scrap figurines.
Reginald would stay close to the scaver and guards, figuring they would save him in case the tribals snapped as it would be the most profitable option. When they arrived at the slaver camp, they were separated, with Reginald being put in a large crate with one of the tribals, Turm. Turm would prove to be surprisingly conversational, telling Reginald of his tribe and their practices. He also proved popular with the other prisoners held there, and would try to lead escape attempts several times while captured. After his latest beating for the attempts, it was decided it would be easier to simply kill the tribal than try to break him. Overhearing the plan, Reginald tried to convince them not too, as the other slaves were already riled up and Turm was very popular.
They replied by throwing Reginald into a tin shack and locked the door while they took Turm to the center of the base. Killing the tribal in full view of the slaves in an attempt to cow them, the Slavers would cause a revolt, with the slaves charging their guards and pens. Reginald was spared the violence of the event locked in the shed, and after the slavers eventually beat their prisoners back he was let out. He was asked why he tried to help them instead of trying to escape with the other slaves, to which he replied that there would be more happiness if some tribals were killed and others sold than if an angry warband was set loose.
Amused, the slavers offered Reginald a spot in their crew, which the young traveler accepted. It was an uneasy transition at first, with the slaves viewing him as a traitor and the slavers nothing like his former family in the Movement, but Reginald persevered until his chief called a drive to Forrest Heights. Tasked with carrying the supplies Reginald contemplated leaving, but was fairly sure he would be shot before he got too far. He would also observe the "cattle" on the two-day trip, and conclude that is was probably better to keep seven cannibalistic tribals in chains, though he did feel bad about the two seemingly decent city dwellers also to be sold.
He would be pleasantly surprised when he first viewed Forrest Heights as they came down a hill in the ruins. As they drew closer, his impression of the town was one of progress and relative stability, as it boasted a palisade wall, clinic, and was very clean. He realized the reason behind the cleanliness and the wall was the various men and women in collars around the settlement. His opinion of slavery would change in that moment, as he never considered the possible end effects. This was reinforced by the slave auction, where the slaves were bought and collared, then given nearly free roam of the settlement.
Two of the more vicious ones had to be shipped off to Vince and his Legion, but overall the event was a success, and the slavers would be treated to a banquet in the Dining Club that night. Reginald would meet several of the most influential houses that night, and would be told the reason for the town's wealth. They grew several species of plants that created the dye, which they sold throughout the region. Having been told of the great need of color and dyes in such a drab world, Reginald would become more enthusiastic in his duties, and tried harder to connect to his comrades. Over the next decade, he would learn the trade as well as teach several of his fellows about philosophy and utilitarianism, becoming the new chief after the death of the previous one in 2260.
He would undertake several substantial changes, moving the group closer to both Forrest Heights and The Block, their primary buyers. He would also restrict his slavers to capture only tribals, as much to "uplift" them as for their relative weakness politically. Some voiced objections to these plans, to which he explained the purpose behind them and then offered the men their pay and the chance to walk out. Despite some trouble adjusting to the move, Reginald and his band would do well at their new camp, able to prey on more peaceful tribes as well as sell them easier. Reginald would celebrate this new prosperity by buying a share in Forrest Heights, as well as three slaves to build and expand the wall to surround his home.
He would rarely stay here during this time, building it mostly as a status symbol and to ensure good ties with Forrest Heights. He would have a brush with death in 2265 however unknowingly as Lowe, and the leadership of the Movement considered him a threat to their operation. They dispatched a pair of bounty hunters to kill him, but both were picked up brought to the slave camp in chains. Passing themselves off as sick travelers, Reginald was convinced by their ruse and let go, along with a crystal from his original bag. The would-be assassins returned to Lowe and told of their encounter, who interpreted it well before having the pair killed.
Any lingering doubts Reginald may have had about his work were laid to rest in the fall of 2270, when a Smallpox epidemic reached the Western Slants, infecting hundreds. Word would come and go about dozen dying, sometimes whole towns at a time, and the tribals were especially hard hit. Siding in favor of humanitarian intervention, Reginald leads a thirty strong expedition to the Slants, each inoculated in the Forrest Heights clinic. On the way there they would come across two sick tribals, left to die by their people. The women would tell of the squalid conditions of the village, and the sickness of many of the residents.
Needing little more reason, the slavers set off and came upon the village, taking the few healthy tribals and killing the rest, ending their suffering as well as giving the prisoners nothing to distract them from their new life. Sending some men back with the captures, Reginald proceeded further and would meet a hunting band of the Goat Hooves, one of the few non-ill tribes near the ruins. The two groups would parley shortly, and the tribals then lead the slavers to a camp of a rival tribe, which was totally unable to defend itself from the sudden attack.
This would begin a lucrative partnership with the Hooves, as well as fill the coffers of the group. Reginald was satisfied on a personal level, as he believed that he had helped those tribals escape death by illness. This is also around the time he made the acquaintance of Eustace Reddings, a chemist fleeing raiders in the ruins. Having been brought before him in chains, Eustace would impress Reginald enough with his logic and promises to make Jet, he would walk the camp as a free man. Reddings would make good on his promises, making several vials of Jet after being brought a Brahmin.
Thinking initially to give the chems to the slaves to calm them, Reginald would realize the potential they had when capturing slaves, and so set out to test this idea with a small handful of men. The chems would make their captives unpredictable, so Reginald counted it as a failure, but he would be surprised in several days when those slaves begged for more of the substance. Now understanding the proper usage of the chem, Reginald would dispatch several of his men to give free Jet to the surrounding tribes, sowing addiction. The ploy would work, and soon dozens of Tribals were addicted to Jet, many of whom were willing to sell their few possessions for more. The slavers would accept them at first until the tribal had no more, and then convince them to sell themselves. At that point the slave is given a dose of Fixer and collared, doomed to a life of servitude.
Since then, Reginald has taken to spending more time in the Forrest Heights Dining Club and his own well-restored home in the settlement, leaving the day-to-day operations to his underlings. He is concerned about the recent Badlanders incursions but doesn't think much of it.
Born with fair hair and looks, he has aged surprisingly well for a man in his trade; his hair full and healthy despite the white that permeates it; his face has few wrinkles and gives off a jovial warmth and his brown eyes seem to be smiling; he usually dresses in khaki, though he will put on brahmin-skin clothes on cooler or rainy days.
Reginald is an Act Utilitarian doing whatever he can to bring about the greatest amount of hedons in a situation. His interest in morals and ethics began in his teens when he a member of the Crystal Truth, but felt the group didn't bring about enough happiness in their actions. He is not a true Utilitarian as some of his beliefs were inspired by the movement's founder, such as the calculation of future hedons from 'what ifs'. He views slavery as filling a specific need that is often acceptable, but will pass up potential bodies if he feels that it would create more pain to take them into bondage. This of course often works to the detriment of most tribals, as he often views them of imminent peril, stacking the scale in favor of bondage before they ever meet. The life of a Forrest Heights slave has a certain appeal to his mind, and he believes it provides around 200 hedons after the initial adjustment.
Reginald tries to project and maintain an air of approachability and warmth that his appearance suggests, always willing to lend an ear as needed. He actively tries to live his life to bring about the most happiness as he knows how, though this also causes him to murder others in cold-blood, if he can rationalize a scenario where doing so brings about greater happiness than not killing them. When relaxing or in good company Reginald is a natural conversationalist, able to discuss most topics that wastelanders concern themselves with, though he tends to shy away from discussing childhoods. While well-liked by his men and business partners, he has no real friends, and will often discuss things by himself or talk at one of his slaves.