SAO Handle: Oxand
Name: Phillip "Phil" Langley
Height: 5' 9"
Oxand, or Phillip Langley, as he's known outside of Sword Art Online, is a man in his early thirties hailing from the American South. He has a gaunt, pale face with dark circles, and green eyes that often carry a blank and empty stare. Dirty-blonde hair drapes in waves past his shoulder blades. His accent is fairly neutral, possessing the odd bit of Southern vernacular with a splicing of some New England pronunciations.
A quick learner from a young age, Oxand picked up a keyboard almost as soon as he was able to speak, and as the internet exploded into prevalence, so did his passion for gaming and knowledge. Unfortunately, the ease with which this information and talent was acquired acted as a double-edge for him, developing a terribly lazy and aloof attitude towards most productive work outside of his own interests. As a result, Oxand never did well in school, constantly shirking his responsibilities to play games and explore topics that held his attention more readily. He passed each grade, but only ever by the skin of some high test scores, and avoided college, harboring heavy mistrust for modern education and a deepening desire to learn how the 'real world' worked.
Though his family constantly chided him for, "Such a bright child throwing his future away," Oxand stubbornly upheld that there were other things in life he needed to accomplish first. Like many other young loners, Oxand was often bullied and teased, awkwardly handled tense social situations, and didn't make friends easily. Unlike many loners, however, he saw this as a minor shortcoming within himself, one that could be changed if he put his mind to it. Rarely doing anything for a single reason, Phil got a job at the busiest restaurant he could find in town and moved out on his own. It was a tough adjustment, but as weeks melted into months, and months into years, he slowly found that the practice with tables eased him into small talk. Stressful nights coordinating a kitchen, by necessity, purged awkwardness and anxiety in favor of diplomacy and confidence. His wide knowledge fed a quick wit that he began to share with others. He made friends, had intimate relationships, and though he wasn't always happy or 'successful', as some would put it, Oxand never regrets his decision to step out of his comfort zone and come of age on his own.
Despite his outward change in lifestyle, gaming remained Oxand's one true love. He has experience in most genres and rapidly absorbs information on new games to become competitive. Though he appreciates role playing games, does well with them, and has played more than several over the years, Oxand takes most pride in his skill with fast-twitch shooters. Ironically enough, Oxand's initial level of interest for SAO was minimal, as he had, at this point in his career, developed a taste for games with a little more permanence in their death mechanics.
Oxand was invited to SAO by his longtime friend Sean, or Teech, by his handle. To call the two best friends would be to far undershoot the description; they had met in high school, but had quickly grown to consider themselves brothers, and while a shared, critical view of the world and similar chemical 'vices' were always points of bonding, nothing drew Teech and Oxand together like the games they played. Sometimes, the turmoil of life found ways to get in the middle of them, each would end up chasing girls, or taking the extra job on occasion, but the pair always found time to play together.
One such turmoil often came in the form of Teech's thirteen-year-old cousin Mia, whom Teech had taken guardianship of four years prior to Aincrad's unconventional debut. Mia's mother passed from the complications of a blood clot shortly before, her father was completely unknown. The story made for a sad one, but Oxand always thought the girl's mother to be one thoroughly unpleasant, unkind, and selfish person beyond the normal call of duty, and though Mia had been a sweet girl once, he often found her preteen portrait was that of a bratty, tiny version of her mother. Still, Teech loved her like a little sister, and Oxand was determined to support his friend's honor in the matter. Though the effort was slow to bear fruit, Teech was constantly trying to find ways to bond with his cousin in an honest attempt to give the child at least half of a decent role model.
It was one of these very bonding exercises that brought the three together on that fateful launch day...
Thick Skin: Oxand is nearly immune to emotional attack or manipulation. If an insult doesn't carry logically based criticism, he will completely disregard or deflect it. No stranger to the bad part of town, both online and off, he's been called worse and hurled back enough to flush a sailor. Like pops always said, "Never let 'em see you sweat."
Competent: Failure is inevitable, senseless failure is intolerable. Oxand expects at least self-sufficiency of both himself and others. In contrast to his laziness, he will always attempt to contribute his best to the success of the group, or to uphold his end of a contract.
Pensive: Oxand is very curious about the world around him. He greatly enjoys exploration, theory crafting, and chasing new, creative solutions to complex problems. He's among the first to discover a flaw in reasoning and fairly quickly deducts deception.
Lazy: Oxand despises repetitive, boring work. He never does anything until he's convinced himself it's worth it, and procrastinates constantly. A situation where effort is expended to accomplish nothing, or even exacerbate a situation, is a worst case scenario to be avoided at all costs.
Oblivious: Oxand is perceptive when he focuses, but is prone to spend bouts of time withdrawn into his own head. Being the source of some of his greatest strengths, he finds himself compensating for this intermittent lack of awareness in other ways. Oxand generally outfits himself to take a hit and swing back in equal force to turn the tides. He can be tough to outright deceive, but is fairly easy to ambush and surprise.
Ageist: Though still fairly young himself, Oxand has nonetheless invested more hours in gaming than many players in SAO have had awake. He tries to curb this bias in support of diplomacy; the ageism of others always angered him in his teen years, but regardless finds it difficult to dismiss the flaws of his past self that he finds in younger players. This slight hypocrisy can seep into his interactions with them and cause unintended agitation.