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"I don't know what the hell is going on! Ever since my life fell apart, I can't seem to remember anything! If I'm pissed enough, I black out and have no idea what I've done."
—James Draiman

James Draiman is an original character designed by LeeHatake93. He resides in the Notoriety universe.

James was the lead singer of the heavy metal band, Skullbreakers, until he ran short on funds. With no other choice in the matter, he borrowed cash from a notorious crime lord, disguised as a loan shark. After being unable to pay back his loan, his lender sought to teach him a lesson and afterward, took away a very important part of James' life. He fell into a life of crime solely to track down the man who wronged him, and end his life.

Biography

James was born on March 28th, 1978, in Stone Bay, Florida. He attended college at Shallow Grove University in California, where he met his bandmate, Elijah "Tank" Zayden and graduated with a music degree. After college, he and Zayden began recruiting bandmates and met Roger "Rod" Harrison in Hollywood, forming a band with no name or musical preference. After trying several genres, the trio discovered they had a knack for playing rock music. Several trials later, they were discovered experimenting with heavy metal and that became their style, taking on the name of "The Skullbreakers". Their musical career took off with a bang, and after several concerts, met with an aspiring singer named Lana. They assumed that she was just a fan of theirs, but after witnessing her vocal prowess, she became a lead singer alongside James for several years.

When the band went on tour in New York, James met a woman named Miranda Jones, an agent that took an interest in expanding their careers. Though James and Miranda often disagreed on how the band should be portrayed, they eventually came to respect each other, and that blossomed into a healthy relationship. Eventually, Lana decided to try her luck as a solo artist and left the Skullbreakers. Though they were still selling records, the Skullbreakers' popularity began to diminish and they performed at fewer concerts. Despite their waning fame, the Skullbreakers stuck together and James proposed to Miranda, later marrying her in his hometown of Stone Bay, Florida.

When the time eventually came for the Skullbreakers to perform their last concert, they gathered in Nevada as James and Miranda decided to move there. James didn't let his band's eventual disbandment tear him down as he and Miranda planned to start a family once they had settled in and sought new professions. However, after the Skullbreakers' final performance, James fell low on funds, having spent most of his last earnings on his house and a car. He decided he just needed enough to get him through the month, giving him time to apply for different jobs and to perform at parties, so he planned to visit either Zayden or Harrison and ask them for a loan. However, he was approached by a man calling himself "Alan Smith", claiming to be an agent who could give him a loan if he could fulfill a few performances. James agreed and took the money without questioning this "Smith" man.

After a month of performing in bars and working part-time in a factory, James earned enough money to pay back his loan, however, he spent most of his earnings fixing up his home and buying gifts for Miranda, unaware that he would be sending his life downhill. When "Smith" approached James for his debt, he could only afford to pay off a little bit. Though James admitted that he overspent his earnings, he apologized and said he could have the money the following month. However, "Smith's" former calm demeanor was soon replaced with a red expression filled with rage. He blatantly told James to pay him back today, though he had expected this. James was confused and offended, but this "Smith" guy soon said that it wasn't a problem, that he had other ways of getting his money back, before pulling out his phone and showing James a video of Miranda, bound and gagged in a dimly-lit room. James began to panic, pleading for this "Smith" guy not to hurt his wife. "Smith" threatened that if James could not repay the debt by the following Saturday, Miranda would be killed and everyone else James cared about would be next. With no choice in the matter, James agreed, even though he had no idea how he'd make that much money in so little time. "Smith" also claimed that James were to contact anyone, such as police, to attempt a rescue, he'd kill Miranda on the spot before she could be tracked.

Without any options left, James relayed the news to Zayden. Getting the idea from a movie, the two figured the only way to pay back the loan would be to stage a heist. A bank, mall, or even a mansion, perhaps? James didn't want to fall into a life of crime, especially since he was well-known, but he had no other choice. The heist is chosen by the player, but soon enough James had already planned out the details. He called up Harrison, who also knew a man who could help named Rodrigo Sanchez. Ignoring the fact that his bandmate was buddy-buddy with a thief, he needed all the help he could get, and the four of them eventually succeed in setting up everything and finally pulling off the heist on Friday night.

Wanting to ensure Miranda's safety, James convinced his partners to stay behind so he could meet with "Smith" alone. Though they tried to get him to reconsider, James had already made up his mind. "Smith" agreed to meet James at his own home, showing video evidence that Miranda was there, still tied up, but alive. When James arrived, he noticed that "Smith" stood over Miranda with two large goons standing on either side of him. Nervous, James took a breath and proceeded to pay off his debt. "Smith" and the two me walked over to confirm the amount and let one of his goons unbind Miranda, allowing her to see her husband's face. James was relieved, however, "Smith" stated that although he paid enough cash, he hadn't repaid his debt in full. His heart sunk as he witnessed "Smith" motion his hand, and the man standing by Miranda pulled out a knife, stabbed her, and threw her to the ground. James yelled and attempted to reach her, but the second man punched him in the stomach, knocking him to ground next to his wife. "Smith" claimed that the debt was now repaid, however, he may require James' skills again in the future. The men took their leave as James pulled himself over to Miranda, tears flooding from his eyes. She struggled to speak, but managed to utter the words "Da...me...in..Nick.." before fading away. James could only pull her closer and sob.

After a few days, James fell into a deep depression and spent his time in bars, drinking his sorrows away. He couldn't get Miranda's last words out his head, so he mentioned it to Zayden before delving into his binge. Months of drinking led James to be obnoxious and temperamental. When sober, he began hearing voices, echoes of Miranda, "Smith", himself, and even his former bandmates. Life at home was even worse, as he suffered from insomnia, and when he eventually fell into slumber, he was plagued with nightmares of Miranda's death, and people blaming him for her demise. This led him to contemplate means of ridding himself of this pain, but he was convinced by Zayden to visit a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with schizophrenia and prescribed some medication to keep him in balance. However, his nightmares continued to haunt his thoughts, and he would often black out, waking to stories of him performing actions he'd never do. He assumed it was a side effect of his medicine, and decided to stop taking it.

When Zayden got back to a disgruntled, yet somewhat sane James, he reported that he had news for him. Miranda's last words were the identity of her kidnapper. James' spirit was lifted for a moment at the thought of actually tracking down this man. He learned that the man's true name was Damian Nicholson, and he was wanted in several states. Finally, with a name to follow, James prepared to track him down. However, Zayden also said that he was hard to track, given the many false names he used throughout his life. Regardless, James now had a new purpose in life, and that would be to track down the bastard who killed Miranda, and deliver the same punishment. Woth Zayden, Harrison, and his new friend, Sanchez by his side, James was prepared for the worst as he had already lost everything. Unbeknownst to him, however, there was another side of James that would be even more thrilled at this opportunity...

Appearance

James is a tall, Caucasian man with a strong physique. He possesses brown eyes. routinely shaves his head. and wears an orange beanie. He sports a small goatee that runs from the center of his bottom lip to his chin. James often wears leather jackets and has a tattoo on his chest.

Personality

Prior to the events of Notoriety, James led a moderately satisfying life. He was often in a good mood, although his pride clouded his judgment. He took a loan from a criminal, and when he was unable to pay it back, he was forced to steal the money for the sake of his wife. Before he could pay off his debt, Miranda was killed, which threw James into a deep depression, leading into a heavy drinking binge.

James' new drinking habit caused him to develop a case of schizophrenia, leading into a split personality disorder. He became easily angered and his rage caused him to lose his common sense, bringing out a dark side of his persona.

Abilities

  • Musician: As a member of the Skullbreakers band, James is a skilled guitarist, singer, and even pianist.
  • Cunning: Despite his bad decisions, James has a cunning mind, and is able to stage a heist by covering everything from getaway vehicles to cover-up stories, even when under stress.
  • Schizophrenia: After a long period of depression and heavy drinking, James' psyche took a turn for the worse. He began hearing voices in his head and started talking to himself, often getting stares of concern from any passersby who came across him in this state. His schizophrenia later developed into an even worse disorder...
  • Split-Personality Disorder: James also developed a short temper and his outbursts would often cause his sensible mind to black out, replacing it with a ruthless, sadistic, and lewd persona. While his mind entered this state, James would lose any reasonable thoughts and steer his mind toward the violent and insatiable, willing to kill anyone who stood in his way and bed any woman who offered, in stark contrast to his loyalty to Miranda and only goal of killing her murderer.

Relationships

Family

  • Miranda Draiman (nee Jones): Wife, deceased

Allies

  • Tank Zayden: Bandmate, Drummer, College friend
  • Rod Harrison: Bandmate, Back-Up Vocals/Guitarist
  • Lana Baker: Former Bandmate, Vocals
  • Rodrigo Sanchez: Partner in crime

Enemies

  • Damian Nicholson: Mob leader, loan shark, Miranda's killer

Trivia

  • Although he resides in his own universe, James also makes cameos in the Vengeance series, Hero's Retribution.
  • James also has a doppelganger in Saints Row, as the male protagonist in LeeHatake93's take on the universe's storyline.
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LeeHatake93

For the user, see User:LeeHatake93.
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