So I was in a queue today, brain all mushy from working a long shift, when I choose Vi and my adc goes Jinx. I just had a game as Vi vs a Jinx, and was amused by the little buff tracker that said I did whatever to Jinx 7 times. My brain was wondering what the buff for an allied Jinx and Vi is (mush brain, remember) and it took me a bit to remember there **isn't** one like there is for Cait and Vi. Which got me to thinking. We should have a partner for Jinx the way Cait has Vi.
Jinx jumped from the hood of the hovercar to the roof, Powpow ratcheting into fire mode. Below her another group of policebots neared, hands transforming to stun batons to apprehend the dangerous criminal. Adrenaline spiked through her blood as she felt for the trigger; she was starting to get excited.
Several hundred feet above her in one of towering skyscrapers facing the mayhem a man slowed his breathing and adjusted his grip for the final time. He'd set this little distraction weeks in advance in hopes of taking the dangerous psychopath out and proving his worth to the sheriff, but the unthinkable had happened: she'd been caught. He'd moped around the station for days, dreading when he'd be called into the office to explain why he'd changed the patrol routines of this group and having to explain it was to capture a criminal they'd already apprehended. And then something wonderful! She'd escaped! No one could figure out how, of course, but that wasn't his department. No, he was a sniper, his class taught by someone taught by the sheriff herself. And now he'd show her just how well he'd learned and put a slug right through the sociopath's head. He almost smiled, but stopped himself in time. A stray movement would shift his aim, and having to take a second shot would be embarrassing.
The crosshair settled on the maniac's face almost of its own accord, the image in his goggles focusing. From this angle her demented smile almost seemed to split her face in two, the light from her minigun reflecting in her eyes and turning them to hellfire orbs, her twin braids streaming behind her amid flying brass. The sheer joy she experienced in destruction disgusted him to his core.
"She's beautiful, isn't she?" the man next to him asked softly. "Shh, shh, don't ruin the moment. Just watch. You see the joy in her? The sheer happiness? Sometimes when I watch her I see how we should really be. All this technology blinds us to our very nature, you know. We are animals, red of tooth and claw, but we try to cover it up with grease and oil and steam, obscure how we were meant to be." The man stood up, pulling his knife out of the sniper's side as he did, his eyes never leaving the figure several stories below. He couldn't actually see her from up here, but he knew every inch of that wicked face and exactly how she'd be glowing with vitality. Much as he hated to leave her side, sometimes it was needed.
Beside him the sniper slumped to the side, rifle askew and goggles hiding the glassy stare. Harlex turned and left the room, wiping his knife off on his pants. He'd known there would be a sniper up here. He'd known because he'd gone through the same training, done the same work, walked the same beat as the blind sheep now trying to bind his beautiful phoenix down. At least, until he discovered his own inner beauty. "Unnecessary aggression," "violent tendencies," "nearly inhuman rage," these were the phrases they used to strip him of his badge and stick him in a prison. Yes, he was a guard, but in name only. He saw how the other guards eyed him, kept their distance, hands always near stun batons. The inmates recognized him for what he was and were always meek and orderly when he entered a room. Until the day they brought her in. His muse, his phoenix, his **truth**. She would not be cowed by what she saw in him.
When they brought her in, strapped to a steel slab with hextech netting covering every inch of her, guards nervously aiming weapons at her, Officer Vi in the next room issuing curt orders on how to transport her, inmates cheering and jeering all around behind their light bar cells- amid all the chaos Harlex found himself caught by a single pink eye peeking out of the netting at him. It winked, and he found himself smiling back.
Over the past months he'd done his duty as a guard perfectly, always toeing the line, never doing anything that could actually be put in a report. Still, his superiors knew something wasn't right. Other guards said he went into riots almost eagerly, "forgetting" his stun baton as he went, quelling fights with nothing but what was at hand, sometimes not even that. His treatment of fractious inmates never crossed a line into brutality, but almost always resulted in a trip to the infirmary for the inmate. His superiors considered dismissing him, but couldn't actually find any legal way to do it, hands tied by bureaucratic red tape. Here, though, an opportunity. Set this beast as Jinx's jailer. No one would complain if she were treated a little roughly; one official joked he might give Harlex a medal if Jinx ended up a little banged up.
What they didn't know was she was the key to his freedom. Freedom from technology, freedom from restraint, freedom from so-called society. But first he had to free her from her mundane prison. Every day as they talked through the light bars of her cell he felt his conviction grow; he would free her, and then she would free him.
Now, days after the jailbreak, he joined her on the bridge as the last bot stopped twitching. Jinx panted, skin glistening with shards of metal, hunched over in physical exhaustion, but eyes still alight with manic energy. Harlex stepped on some glass on purpose to draw her attention.
"Harlex!" she cried in delight. "Where ya been! You missed it! I took all of them out!" She swept an arm out behind her over the wreckage of the bridge. Her rocket launcher popped over her shoulder. "I helped," she pantomimed.
"Well done, Fishbones," Harlex said. "Way to keep our puddems safe."
"Sooooo where _were_ you, Harlex?" Jinx kept the rocket launcher on her shoulder, aimed just slightly to the right of the lean, scarred man.
Harlex spun his knife around his fingers a few times before sheathing it behind him under his vest. "I went for a walk, darling. I found some more friends who wanted to play, but they couldn't even keep me entertained! You'd have been bored. But, hey listen, I had an idea for our next big prank."
"Yeah?" the rocket launcher dropped back onto her back as Jinx dusted herself off. She looked around, not really listening, thinking about what she wanted to go eat. She started walking off, idly swinging a braid.
Harlex was used to this; she was his muse, it didn't surprise him that he didn't interest her as much as vice versa. Yet. He'd change that, in time. He turned to follow. "Listen, you know that big orb in Connor's Corner Square? Most people don't know this, but inside is-"
"Harrrlex, shut uuuup," Jinx drawled as she walked away, kicking a droid head out of her way. Harlex stopped and looked on as she kept walking. She kept walking until she realized he'd stopped. She spun around and put fists to hips. "Harlex! I'm hungry! Come buy me some food, and then I'll tell you what we're doing next." He jogged to catch up with her. She put her arm through his and dragged him down the street. "Ok, so after the food, you're going to have to see one-eyed Tinnie, that weird little yordle who's missing a hand- why's he called one-eye anyway if he's missing a hand and has his eyes? Whatever, buy some hexsplosives from him. Loooots of hexsplosives." She looked up and caught the expression on his face. "Fiiiine, you can tell me about your orb thingy while we eat. It better be interesting though, I don't like boring men."
"Oh, I think you'll love it," Harlex said softly as they walked arm in arm. He was very sure his muse would like to know about the energy nexus hidden inside the orb that provided power to a full quarter of the city, including the water sanitation system located in that quarter. It would make a beautiful explosion for her, and he would take personal satisfaction showing them how fragile the society that tried to cage them was.
Here's my thought process behind Harlex.
1. Cait is a ranged character, Vi is a melee character. Jinx is a ranged character, Harlex should be a melee character.
2. What's a melee weapon we haven't seen anyone really fighting with so far? Knives. Yes, we have Shaco, but his abilities aren't focused on the knife so much as they're focused on backstabbing/deception.
3. Why would Harlex be important to Jinx (or think he is, anyway)? Jinx doesn't really care about anyone or anything except causing mayhem, so what would someone have to do to earn their place next to her? Then it hit me. Like a certain other character that starts with a J, Jinx obviously must get out of jail or the asylum or whatever it is somehow. What better way than to have someone who works there fall in love with her and help her escape before joining her on her next rampage?
4. Why does he use a knife? Because he thinks technology is holding people back from their real potential.
5. Why would Harlex want to be in cahoots with her? Because he's a gifted killer trapped in a technological society that has no real use for his gifts, and he sees Jinx's rampages as her fighting back against that society.
I think him being a former police officer turned criminal is an interesting reflection of Vi's allegiance changes. I also think him being on Caitlin's level of intelligence would make them a balanced set. Genius shooter, impetuous brawler; impetuous shooter, genius brawler. Harlex is devoted to Jinx and wants her to reciprocate it, but Jinx is only interested in her own adventures. But Harlex is useful and sometimes entertaining, so she doesn't ditch him.
As far as kit goes I don't really have all that much to go on. The story reads like he's an assassin, but I'd like him to be able to go toe-to-toe with Vi as a brawler. I'd like his intelligence to factor in somehow, like he can get intel on the enemy somehow but I can't really figure out how that would work without either voiding wards or utilizing technology, and his whole point is supposed to be that he stands on his own without using technology.
Side note, he'd be a perfect match for the resistance skin line. "Technology is bad! I told you this all along!" as they fight off another wave of robots.
If you reached this far, thanks for reading my great American novel. I hope you like the idea, I hope someone at Riot reads it and it turns into some sort of idea eventually, I hope this hurricane doesn't blow my house away (dealing with Dorian as I type this). ggwp