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[personal profile] stronglikebear
The Player
Name/nickname: Kathryn the Perpetually Delayed
Age: born 1987
Pronouns: female
Contact: see player contact list
Currently played characters: Peter Vincent, Luke Smith, Handy the Wonder Clone Andrew Noble

The Character
DW account: [personal profile] stronglikebear
Name: Yuri Romanovich Kostoglodov
Alias: "Yuri"; or sometimes "AAAH A BEAR!!"
Age/Birthdate: Twenty-two years old (born April 1, 1990)
Species: Human/werebear
Canon: original
Canon point: n/a
Played By: Liam Hemsworth


Yuri is a werebear. He involuntarily (and painfully) transforms into a large grizzly bear one night per month, on the night when the moon is at its fullest. When in bear form, he retains his basic personality and his memories, but becomes considerably less rational than normal, acting mainly on his desires to run in the moonlight, break things, and eat whatever he can get his paws on. In the days immediately before the transformation, Yuri's thought processes tend to become more simplistic and animalistic, and his senses are sharpened. In the days following, he is usually tired and weak, though this is partly due to the injuries he often causes himself as a bear when he attempts to break free of the cell he helped build for himself.

Like all werecreatures of his world, Yuri has a debilitating aversion to silver, the touch of which burns him and saps his strength. He can sense whether an object contains silver without touching it, and will instinctively avoid coming near it. Contrary to some folklore, he can be injured (or killed, though it obviously hasn't come to that so far) without coming in contact with silver, though he's generally of a tougher constitution than the average human his age.

Anyone who is bitten by bear!Yuri and survives the encounter will be infected and become a werebear.

As a human, Yuri is a broad-shouldered, athletic young man with sun-bleached brown hair. He carries himself confidently, dresses fairly neatly (though never expensively), and is polite to most of the people he meets. On the days following the full moon he typically exhibits cuts and bruises; he has a few scars from the worst of the injuries he's caused himself as a bear, mostly on his arms and torso, though for the most part he's blessed with skin that heals without noticeable marks. He has a fairly horrendous set of scars on his left calf where he was bitten by the werebear who infected him; as a result, he avoids wearing short pants.

As a bear, Yuri is quite large, with shaggy, dark brown fur and impressive teeth.

At heart, Yuri is driven by the desire to be helpful. He's empathetic with others, not needing to personally experience a problem in order to understand its importance to others or to be willing to take up a cause. If anything, he's over-inclined to throw himself into others' causes, without always pausing to give critical thought to the question of whether he should do so. He can be gullible, being generally disinclined to question the motives of people he sees as being in need. While Yuri has good manners and does his best to exercise them, he's both impatient and impetuous, not infrequently ready to act on his feelings even before he knows what he needs to do. Being forced to debate a point or justify his position on an intellectual level rather than an emotional one frustrates him, and he often gets whiny irritable when things don't go his way. The bear in him makes him prone to moodiness, particularly around the full moon, and he resents any action his unconscious mind registers as an intrusion on his territory.

Yuri's general quest in life to fight injustice does not, for the most part, apply to discrimination against himself. He has taken up the fight for rifty rights in large part because he can see how Romac's over-regulation and shady dealings have hurt the people he knows. When it comes to discrimination against were-creatures, however, Yuri has internalized the dominant narrative of his world. He accepts that as a bear, he's an unreasoning brute and deserves whatever measures are necessary to keep him in check. While he's been frustrated for years by the limitations placed on him due to his transformations, he has always blamed the bear rather than the people around him, and done his best to distance his identity from his bear-self.

Yuri was born into a world much like our own, with one major difference: in Yuri's world, werewolves were real. So were werebears, wererats, werepigeons, and a host of other werecreatures. The affliction knew no borders and no class barriers; all humans on that Earth had a chance of being affected. The were-curse could be spread much the same way as noted in the folklore of other, similar Earths: via bites that broke the skin and allowed the creature's saliva to mix with its victim's blood. It could also, however, be inherited. As a recessive gene, the curse could hide for generations before appearing unexpectedly in an infant, so that even families without a werecreature anywhere in their known family history would observe the tradition of a covered crib for a new child's first full moon. For centuries, werecreatures were heavily stigmatized, sometimes portrayed as taking on the traits of their animal to an absurd degree even as humans. Methods for restraining a werecreature during the full moon were in many cases callous and cruel, as most reasoned that once a person transformed, the animal that remained was no longer the same being and anything done to it would not be an injury to the real person.

In the modern era, change began to slowly dawn in many places. By the late twentieth century, the vast majority of people accepted the need to abolish overtly cruel practices like the use of silver collars and piercings. By the time Yuri was born in 1990, the campaign for were rights had followed in the footsteps of the disabilities rights movement, with mixed results. While more resources became available to families with were-children and employers in some countries (including the United States) were legally forbidden to discriminate against job applicants over their were status, the battle for accommodations like a monthly day of leave following the full moon or an employer- or school-provided cage for workers or students who were required to be away from home over that part of the month was an uphill fight. Werepeople with smaller animal forms fared better in general in terms of services and accommodations available to them. Often this was a matter of logistics (or at least was passed off as one). For instance, a university allowing a wererabbit student to live in the dorms and use a school-provided cage was much less risky -- and much less costly -- than providing the same option for a werewolf.

Yuri was born, as has been mentioned, in the year 1990. He was the first child of Roman and Lyudmila Kostoglodov, a pair of computer scientists living and working in Moscow. Less than a year later, the Soviet Union fell and Russia went into massive economic decline. The relatively comfortable lifestyle enjoyed by the Kostoglodov family was strained as the government failed to compensate Yuri's parents for their work, and by 1992 the pair had begun to search for employment outside the country. In 1993, the family emigrated to the United States, where both Lyudmila and Roman went to work for the same company in Denver, Colorado. They rented a small apartment in Glendale, where they found a community populated in no small part by fellow Russian-Americans. Though they eventually upgraded their living space, this was where Yuri spent much of his childhood.

No one in Yuri's immediate family was affected by the were-gene, but several of his childhood friends were either weres or had weres in their families. The children talked about the matter amongst themselves, as children do with taboo subjects, but adults tended not to be willing to hear, let alone answer, questions about what was considered a very private and perpetually inappropriate topic. The first round of were-ed came along in school a few years before sex-ed, which was when Yuri first learned how easily the disease could spread, and how dangerous a were could be. Before then, all he had known was what his friends knew, and that once per month, sleepovers were forbidden as a matter of course. In general, everyone stayed at home on the night of the full moon who could; while werecreatures were required by law to lock themselves up (or turn themselves in to be locked up by the police if they didn't have cages of their own), there were frequently stories on the news about broken cages or deranged weres who'd deliberately let themselves run loose.

In 1996, the Kostoglodovs had a second child, whom they named Erik. Yuri was not especially fond of the new arrival at first, as he took up too much of their parents' time and made a lot of noise. As the boys grew, though, Yuri took on the role of the protective older brother more and more, despite the fact that he himself would still tease Erik and boss him around. Erik being so much younger than Yuri meant that they didn't attend the same school at the same time or do many organized activities together, but Yuri kept an eye out for his little brother, even when Erik hit the start of his moody teen years while Yuri was still at the end of his own.

Education was important to Yuri's parents, and both boys were pushed to perform academically. Yuri did not inherent his parents' aptitude for science and mathematics, and took as few such classes as he was allowed during middle and high school. He didn't excel at any particular subject, but he enjoyed history and sociology, and proved to be an adequate (though not exceptional) writer. He played a few sports well enough to be considered a jock, but not well enough to rely on athletics for a college scholarship.

Yuri had come to doubt the stories about werecreatures by the time he was in junior year of high school. All the stuff people used to think about weres being vicious or stupid people was untrue, after all, and he wasn't alone in his generation in thinking that they might not really be that way as animals, either. He'd seen videos online of people interacting with transformed weres and not being attacked, and wanted to believe it could be that way for everyone if people would only give weres a chance.

Partly, this was because of Natalie. Natalie was a year older than Yuri, and he had known she was a were since they'd met in middle school. Of course, he'd thought she was a werecat, just like everyone else outside her family -- so it was a surprise to him when she eventually confided to him that she had been a werebear since birth. They talked about what it was like -- Yuri didn't know anything about were transformations personally, of course, but he was fascinated by what he heard from Natalie. She'd been transforming since she could remember; for her, being a bear was just part of her everyday, ordinary life. As they discussed it, Yuri became more and more convinced that Natalie was right, and that she was just as in control of herself during the full moon as she was as a human.

Proving it was, however, difficult. No sane parent would let their son out on the night of a full moon, and no sane parent would have a boy over on the night in which their daughter was to transform into a bear. Months went by before the pair hatched a plan that would allow Yuri to sneak in and be with her. He sat with her through the night, staying far enough from the bars to be out of reach but speaking softly to her for as long as he could keep awake. Natalie was restless, pacing her cage and grumbling to herself, but other than a brief outburst at the start (which Yuri felt was understandable, with how she'd describe the way it hurt to change) she was calmer than he'd been led to believe a werebear could ever possibly be.

He came back several times more after that, though that first night was the only time he was ever there right after her transformation. He had to sneak out in the middle of the night in order to avoid being missed, but the way Natalie lit up when she talked about how much it helped her to have someone friendly with her was worth it. Yuri grew bolder -- as she got more used to seeing him when she was a bear, he felt less and less worried about how she'd react if he made any noise or sudden movements. The third time he came to visit, he came up to the bars and stood there for a few minutes, watching her watching him. The fourth time, he actually sat down next to the cage, holding his breath at his own daring when Natalie came and laid down on the other side of the bars, her black fur scratchy against his bare arm.

The fifth time, she bit him.

It was stupid, really. With Natalie already laying beside him, Yuri shifted to get more comfortable and banged his leg against the bars near her head, startling her. Before either of them realized what she was doing, she'd sunk her teeth into his calf, and Yuri's life as he'd known it was over.

There'd been no way to hide what had happened. Natalie's parents heard him screaming, for one thing, and he didn't have the presence of mind to run before they came and found him mid-transformation. It was a mercy was that in his panic, Yuri ran away rather than attacking Natalie's family. He was brought down perhaps an hour later by the police while tearing apart his fifth mailbox, having been frustrated by the lack of people out on the streets and the unreasonable quickness of the stray cat he'd flushed out of a bush but failed to catch earlier. Sedated and caged, Yuri knew nothing more until he awoke the next morning to find his mother crying over him.

Life after the were attack was difficult. He'd been on the news, though only as a bear -- they at least had the decency not to reveal his or Natalie's names. Still, when he was absent from school for days after the full moon and came back looking bruised and haunted, it didn't take much for his classmates to figure out what must have happened. There were rumors that he was the bear on the news, but rumors were all they ever were. No one know what Natalie's were form was, so even if they guessed that Yuri was the bear, no one made the connection and figured out who had made him that way. Things were strained between him and Natalie after that, not least because both of them found themselves under very close watch by their parents. No charges were pressed on either side, though both Yuri and Natalie had broken the law; after she graduated, Yuri hardly saw Natalie at all.

Yuri hadn't really known what he wanted to do with his life after high school, but being a werebear shortened his list of options. Jobs involving extensive travel were out -- travel would be difficult, period, if not impossible thanks to strict regulations imposed on visitors by many countries. Though he'd told his classmates he was a wererat, he was forced to disclose his full condition to colleges when he began sending applications the next year, and he became used to getting form letters in reply informing him that the schools "simply couldn't" accommodate such a large were.

Eventually, Yuri settled for a community college so that he could stay with his parents, who had had a cage built in their home as soon as possible in order to keep Yuri out of the public-use cages and afford him some privacy. He studied journalism, knowing it would allow him at least some flexibility to work remotely and keep odd hours. Though he couldn't help but feel bitter at being stuck at home while many of his friends moved out or went to university, Yuri was determined to make the best of it. He had the support of his parents, though at times he almost wished he didn't due to the way they would fuss over full moon preparations when he just wanted to forget about it outside the actual nights when he had to be locked up. Their relationship was somewhat strained, too, by the trust Yuri's parents lost in his ability to make good decisions on his own. They did their best to still treat him the same as they had before, but at the age of nineteen, when Yuri felt he should have been striking out on his own, he was stuck on the receiving end of a flood of unwanted guidance.

Erik didn't handle the change well. Their therapist said it was because he was afraid for his older brother's sake, but his mood swings in regards to how he felt about Yuri made it difficult for Yuri to have the patience to help him deal with it, particularly when he had more than enough of his own problems. As time went on the wounds on both sides became less raw and the brothers began to approach something like their old relationship again, but Yuri continuing to live at home -- and the reason for it -- was embarrassing for Erik.

In 2010, both boys were pulled through a rift in time and space, which spat them out in the Manhattan of an alternate universe. They were fortunate enough to be picked up by the rebels soon after their arrival. Both of them were shocked to learn that werecreatures were unknown in this new universe except from fairy tales and recent arrivals through the rifts; it took quite a bit of convincing before they could accept that the reactions Yuri had gotten to his confession that he was a werebear were anything other than a joke in very poor taste. Fortunately, the rebels believed him and provided a cage, which he would later augment himself.

Adjusting to the new world was extremely difficult for both Erik and Yuri. While the rebels furnished them with the identification they needed to get by and helped enroll Erik in public school, there wasn't any money for sending Yuri back to college. He struggled to find work, hampered by both his lack of experience and his need to conceal his monthly absences and injuries. He made a little money as a freelance writer, but took up helping around the rebel base and looking after new arrivals to fill the majority of his time. He resented the climate of prejudice that forced him and Erik to hide who they were and where they had come from lest they be snatched up by Romac, and was eager to side with the rebels' version of the history of the rift and its people.

Erik had a great deal of difficulty at his new school both socially and academically. While there were other rifties his age, he didn't seem to have much more in common with them than he did with natives (indeed, in many cases they were from places so outlandish that he could hardly relate at all). Yuri's little brother started acting out; where back home he'd been a promising student with his parents' gift for computers and a general aptitude for academia, now Erik brought 'home' nothing but failing grades, bruises, and detention notices. Yuri did his best to help him, but the distance between them only grew seemingly regardless of what he tried.

No one realized Erik had gained a power from the rift until the next school year. A group of boys with whom he'd had altercations cornered him after school one afternoon and roughed him up. As he later told Yuri, Erik hadn't even known how he did it when he rendered the first one unconscious -- but by the end of it, all of them were left apparently comatose. At Yuri's urging, the rebels did their best to keep it under wraps and hide Erik's connection to the mystery of the hospitalized teens. When the first of the boys awoke, however, he was a changed person. Every one of the boys, in fact, displayed what could only be described as symptoms of PTSD, and every one of them described having witnessed incredible horrors. Erik swore up and down that he hadn't even touched them when he did whatever he'd done, but it wasn't long before the rebel leaders began reconsidering their position on the issue of what was to be done with Yuri's brother.

Erik might still have gotten away with it and stayed with Yuri and the rebels, though he was pulled out of school soon after the incident. Less than a month later, however, he was confronted in the subway by a friend of one of the boys he'd hurt, who (along with many other kids from that school) blamed him for what had happened despite the lack of concrete evidence. This time, Erik knocked out not only the other kid, but another dozen people who had happened to be in the same car, as well as several people who tried to stop him from getting off at the next station. This time, too, there were witnesses and security footage; while Erik had benefitted before from his victims' scrambled memories upon awakening, now there was no doubt as to the identity of the culprit.

And then…Erik disappeared. It wasn't unknown for rifties to suddenly go missing, particularly ones who had fought openly against Romac…or who had displayed dangerous powers in public. Erik never made it home that night; Romac's response was quick and merciless. It was explained to Yuri by the rebels that while Erik was probably still alive, he was very unlikely to ever see his brother again. For months, Yuri tried to rally help in tracking Erik down and rescuing him, but he was unable to find any significant support in the face of what Erik had done and what it would take to even find him, let alone get him back. For a time, Yuri even considered getting 'disappeared' himself -- setting himself loose during the full moon just so he'd get caught and maybe, just maybe, get taken to wherever Erik had been taken. He couldn't bring himself to do it, though, knowing innocent people could be hurt or killed, and knowing that the rebels were being more careful with his monthly routine than ever before during this time of trouble.

As it became more and more clear that he would never receive assistance in finding his brother, Yuri tried for a while to learn the location of Romac's prisons on his own. He immersed himself in helping others when he wasn't attempting (and failing) to conduct meaningful research into the matter, taking solace in solving others' problems when he couldn't solve his own brother's. Years passed with no sign or word of Erik. Yuri continued his work with the rebels and as a freelance writer right up through the start of 2013, which marks his entrance into the game.

Writing Sample:
Haha, an NPC, suuure.

Anything else?


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