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Bloat
Bloat01
Biographical Information
Real NameTheodor Honorlaw
AliasesBloat
GenderMale
ClassJoker-ace
Wild Card TraitsMatter conjuration, telepathy, teleportation
Social Information
CitizenshipCitizen of the United States
OccupationSeparatist leader
Event ParticipantRox War
Base of OperationsNew York City
AffiliationsThe Rox
AlliesDr. Tachyon, Kafka, Peanut, Molly Bolt, Mustelina, Andiron, "Loophole" Latham
Origin
First AppearanceOne-Eyed Jacks
CreatorStephen Leigh

Bloat is a joker-ace featured in Volumes VIII (One-Eye Jacks), IX (Jokertown Shuffle) and XI (Dealer's Choice) of the series, which comprise the Jumper Trilogy. Bloat is one of the most powerful wild card talents ever known, rivalling even the mighty Fortunato.

History Edit

In the late 1980s Bloat was the local authority on Ellis Island (renamed the Rox), styled with the title of "Governor" by his subjects, and doing his best to handle the demands and pressures of both jokers and jumpers stationed there. Those duties brought him into conflict with both Blaise Jeannot Andrieux and outside authorities, who were bent on containing the danger posed by the jumpers, as well as afraid of Bloat's psychic wall and the joker uprising that it protected. Introduced as a mysterious joker leader in One-Eyed Jacks, Bloat came to play a greater role in Jokertown Shuffle, both his powers and his importance expanding along with his physical form. Much of Dealer's Choice revolves around the efforts of the government to recruit agents to invade the former Ellis Island, and of Bloat to defend it.

Infatuated with the nat girl and jumper wannabe Kelly Ann Jenkins, Bloat was shocked out of his idle fantasies and deeply outraged by Blaise employing the jumper power to trap Bloat's hero, Dr. Tachyon, in Kelly's body and vice versa. Some combination of Bloat's obsession with Kelly and some remnant of Tachyon's telepathy forged a mindlink between the joker and Blaise's captive, making Bloat an impotent witness to Blaise's sexual abuse of Tachyon in Kelly's female form. Bloat demanded Tachyon's release, but Blaise continued his torment of Tachyon until "she" became pregnant with his child.

Seeking some avenue to arrange Tachyon's escape, Bloat used his powers to contact the captive alien through dreams. These dreams were usually in the context of fantasy adventure games Bloat had been fond of when still human. Bloat appeared as the Outcast, a handsome, black clad warrior, and Tachyon/Kelly was, to Tachyon's irritation, cast into the role of a captive princess and the Outcast's paramour. A platonic romance bloomed between the two, though it is uncertain how much of Tachyon's feelings for Bloat were due to the joker's power to warp dreams to suit his own unconscious desires.

Eventually, after one abortive escape attempt, Bloat managed to successfully arrange for a heavily pregnant Tachyon to flee the Rox with the help of the ace Black Shadow. This was shortly before the second failed attack on the Rox by National Guard soldiers. During the battle, a painted triptych which Bloat was fixated upon got destroyed by machine gun fire. This provided the necessary emotional trauma to fully activate the joker's reality warping ability. Summoning forth dream warriors inspired by the destroyed artwork, Bloat gleefully commanded his new minions to massacre the nat soldiers.

Tachyon soon returned to the Rox with the Turtle's help and requested Bloat turn Blaise over to her, but Tachyon's grandson had already escaped. Bloat could only offer an image snatched from Blaise's mind during the attack as the only clue to his next move. Tachyon left to pursue Blaise and Bloat never saw her again. Soon he had bigger problems of his own to contend with. The government's next move was to amass a small army of aces for a third and final assault on the island.

Wild Card Traits Edit

Bloat is a powerful receiving telepath and is protected by a passive psychic "wall," which wards away threats by generating a panic response in those not focused enough to break through. The wall increases in radius the larger Bloat gets. An unfortunate side effect of this mental shield is that Bloat is one of the few wild carders immune to the jumper power, meaning he is permanently trapped in his disgusting body. Some aspect of Bloat's telepathy also allows him to communicate with certain individuals through their dreams.

Finally, the massive joker is gifted with some sort of energy to matter transference power, creating objects and creatures just by willing them into being. One aspect of this power allows Bloat to project his consciousness into an avatar called the Outcast. The Outcast is an idealized version of Bloat's own self-image; handsome, muscular, heroic, and dressed like a fantasy adventure protagonist. In reality, his nearly huge joker body is completely immobile and always excreting waste, which he calls "bloatblack".

Appearance Edit

Bloat is cursed with a relatively normal torso atop a huge slug-like body that keeps growing with no end in sight, to the point that he can no longer leave the building where he lives on Ellis Island (renamed the Rox). Bloat has a pudgy face, dark hair and eyes, and stick thin arms. Many pipes puncture Bloat's distended lower half, directly feeding raw sewage into his body to sustain its massive energy requirements. Bloat constantly exudes fetid waste and can no longer move. His current size surpasses that of an adult Blue Whale.

Personality Edit

Wc09

Bloat as depicted on the cover of Jokertown Shuffle

Bloat is a good person at heart, but has various difficult relationships, including an uncomfortable non-interference with the Oddity (as shown in One-Eyed Jacks), his conflicted unrequited love for Tachyon/Kelly (as shown in Jokertown Shuffle) and open hostility to Gregg Hartmann, who he understands all too well thanks to his telepathy (as shown in Dealer's Choice). Perhaps signifying a lack of self-awareness, Bloat cannot read the minds of the living beings he calls forth from his dreams.

Bloat matures a great deal over the course of the three novels in which he appears, going from an immature joker with useful powers to an actual force in the world. He is deeply concerned with the plight of the jokers on the Rox and throughout the world.

Bloat has the irritating habit of letting loose with a shrill, high-pitched giggle when amused or, more often, nervous.

Trivia Edit

  • Bloat is the inspiration for two grafitti slogans in Jokertown, "Bloat Floats" and "Jump the Rich."

Selected Reading Edit

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