Name: John Alexander.
Weight: 140 lbs.
Base of Operations: Camelot Offices, New York.
Excerpt from Camelot: An Unabridged, Unauthorized Biography of John Alexander
From the day he was born, people knew John Alexander was special. Born, as his mother claims, on the stroke of midnight on New Years, 1988-89, he taught himself to read at age two. His parents chose not to enroll him in preschool, after he passed every aptitude test placed before him with ease. Instead, they allowed him to teach himself, purchasing anything he requested for him. When it came time for formal schooling, the school offered his parents a chance to let their son skip a grade, but they opted not to let him, as they feared being younger than everyone else in the grade would present social issues. Their fears were likely unfounded, as Alexander was reportedly one of the most popular children in the school, while also excelling academically. He was a member of his school’s soccer team, for a while, before quitting, to pursue extracurricular activities.
His secondary school experience was much the same. However, having already mastered the material he was being tested on, Alexander began to study at a higher level, and is speculated to have been at a high-school level by the time he was done with the seventh grade. His exercise regimen became more demanding, as he’d spend dozens of hours a week at the gym, or elsewhere. During this time, he purchased a subscription to The Economist, using money saved from years worth of birthday presents, and taught himself how to code. However, where Alexander truly proved himself not merely precocious, but remarkable, was in high school.
In his first year of high school, Alexander tested out of the SAT, getting a perfect score, reportedly out of a desire to “get it out of the way.” He also dabbled briefly with dating, in ninth grade, before abruptly ceasing. The next year, in 2004, he surprised his parents by announcing he would be going to the Summer Olympics in Athens that year. He was one of the youngest members of the team, but still easily made the cut, and went to Athens. He participated in the Decathlon, and in an astounding upset, won gold. He signed a number of lucrative advertising deals, making a significant amount of money through investing, mostly by investing heavily into the then-new tech industry. He returned to school, having also secured a scholarship to an Ivy League university. The next few years of high school were relatively uneventful, with Alexander continuing his academic and athletic pursuits. He graduated valedictorian, before taking a gap year between school and university, supposedly for ‘self-discovery.’ However, in reality, he was spending his time practicing, and that winter, went to the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. He participated in the Biathlon and figure skating events, scoring silver and gold respectively.
John attended Columbia University, starting in 2007, on full scholarship. He majored in Business, and took a minor in Economics. Despite his athletic talent, he didn’t become a member of any of the school’s sports teams. In fact, the only competitive sports Alexander participated in during his time at university were the 2008 Beijing summer Olympics, and 2010 Vancouver winter games. His grades remained excellent, and he made friends with almost every ‘important’ person in his class, many future businessmen, politicians, and other wealthy-and-influential elites. One former classmate described Alexander as being ‘impossible to hate.’ However, unbeknownst at the time to everyone, John was leading a double life.
At the start of his first year of university, while Alexander was busy establishing himself as the resident polymath, a young man in a yellow and purple costume calling himself Paragon. He had no obvious powers, simply relying on strength, wit, and a few simple mechanical ‘gadgets’ in his outfit. However, unlike most other costumed vigilantes, he didn’t simply target the odd mugger or killer. Instead, he turned his considerable intellect towards systematically dismantling New York’s organized crime. While others had much of the same idea, many of them would try to intimidate confessions out of mobsters, or steal the necessary evidence and give it to the police. Time and again, these would be rendered inadmissible in court, and the criminals allowed to walk free, simply owing to the average ‘cape’ not knowing enough about the legal system. Paragon, however, would infiltrate a group’s hideout, locate something incriminating, and send an anonymous tip to the police. He’d help incapacitate the criminals as well, but he made sure not to do anything that would make the evidence illegitimate.
Paragon, wasn’t especially remarkable as a hero, other than having a higher rate of conviction than most, and operating somewhere other than Grim City. He developed something of an informal understanding with the police, which was no doubt helped by the fact that he frequently gave them credit for arrests made with his help. There are rumors that he was given a direct line to the Chief of Police, so his ‘anonymous tips’ would be given higher priority, but these remain unconfirmed. With the benefit of retrospect, one can trace his occasional absences from the public eye with Alexander’s trips to the Olympics, but no one at the time made the connection.
We will return to the story of Paragon in a moment, but for now, John Alexander is receiving his first doctorate, at age 22. The year is 2010, and he’s already a four-time gold medalist, and the youngest millionaire in the world. He made his fortune in a scant four years, turning advertising money from his fame as an Olympian into seed funding for an investment firm, Kismet, which would eventually balloon into a multinational conglomerate holding firm. He left university after completing the doctorate, as a P.h.D, through he would later acquire a number of others as well. At a press conference in the summer of 2012, just before the London Olympics, Alexander revealed to the world that he was Paragon. The timing happened to coincide with the Olympics, providing a lot of publicity for the athlete, who appeared for his events (gymnastics, this year) in his Paragon costume, sans mask. He was lauded for foiling a bombing plot at the opening ceremony, as well, receiving a key to the city from the mayor.
Currently, Alexander is 26, exceedingly wealthy, and continues to participate in the Olympic games. He’s also an advocate for scientific literacy, rationality, and ‘effective altruism.’ He makes use of his vast personal fortune to help eradicate diseases in third-world countries, and spread education to the impoverished. Alexander is also interested in ‘doomsday scenarios,’ and has funded many efforts to halt them, including things like climate change, supervolcanoes, and biological or technological existential risks.
In 2015, Alexander was taken hostage during a bank robbery, and single-handedly foiled the crime. There have also been rumors that he’s been involved in ‘covert operations’ on behalf of the government, which he’s denied with a laugh and a smile. He’s a self-described lover of music, and often makes donations to support the arts.
Alexander is a skilled athlete, competing at the international level in every sport he participates in. Among these are several martial arts, primarily judo, several different endurance sports, such as marathon running, biathlon (which also necessitated learning to use firearms, through Alexander prefers not to use them against other humans), decathlon, and other track-and-field events. These form the core of his crime-fighting style, allowing him to easily defeat almost any opponent in physical combat. He also participates in sports like speed skating and figure skating, which help him maintain his dexterity and fast reflexes. Another of Alexander’s past gold-medal sports is acrobatics, which translate well into combat, letting him leap and dance around his enemies, and navigate urban environments with ease. Though it’s not a competition sport, Alexander has also invested time in learning parkour, so as to better traverse the rooftops of New York City.
Through his physical prowess is undoubtedly amazing, perhaps more so is Alexander’s mastery of the intellectual. His eidetic memory allows him to remember anything he’s seen or read with perfect clarity, using a number of mental triggers and mnemonic phrases. As such, he knows how to disassemble almost any given weapon in seconds, operate almost all vehicles, and even perform medical procedures. He has three doctorates, in psychology, anthropology, and physics, and is currently pursuing two more, a doctoral degree and a law degree, in his ‘off-hours.’
Notable among the myriad parts of Paragon’s costume are the two golden bracers on his wrists. Through they’re not made of particularly dense metals, due to weight restrictions, the carbon-fiber materials means they could, hypothetically, be used to block small-caliber ammunition, if Alexander could position his arms correctly before a shot was fired, as no human could move faster than a bullet. Hidden in the bracers are two twin stiletto blades, which can be extended from the underside of Alexander’s wrists, as melee weapons, and launched projectiles.
The back portion of Alexander’s costume, half-cape and half-cloak, can also be discreetly removed, and used to blind or incapacitate an enemy. The entire costume itself was specially designed to allow the most freedom of movement possible. Hidden underneath the purple silk is a light kevlar bodysuit, only useful against small-arms fire, but a better defense than nothing at all.