Physical description: About six-foot-two or -three, with a slim, narrow-shouldered build, muscular but not bulky. Likely in his early forties. Black hair starting to grey at the temples, trimmed above the ears. Narrow-set greenish-blue eyes set in a slightly lantern-jawed face; naturally tanned skin, sometimes seen with a hint of a stubble mustache. Speaks with a soft-spoken baritone voice, often with a hint of slightly snarky lilt (It's said in fandom that it will be a *very* dark day when Reese raises his voice). Usually seen wearing a black suit jacket worn open over an open-collared white or grey silk shirt, black dress slacks and rubber-soled black ankle boots, often topped with a open, loose-fitting black topcoat.
Personality: He's been described as an introverted extrovert, very guarded around people, keeping them more or less at arm's length till he can size them up. But with someone he's protecting, it's not unusual that he'll let them get close enough that they feel at ease with him, without giving himself away. He tends to be harder on himself emotionally than he is on others: he's aware that his job of hunting monsters has made him into a monster and he's atoning for this as best he can. But if he knows someone has wronged another person, particularly a woman, a child, or someone who's otherwise powerless, he will go Papa Wolf on them. Even in a fight, he's very precise, avoiding wasted shots or blows and needless killing (to quote him in the pilot episode, "I don't particularly *like* killing people, but I'm good at it..."), but he's also known to knee-cap a target before moving in for the kill: it's not clear if this is done out of mercy or to make them twist a little; he can be a bit sadistic (using by messing with people's heads rather than by physical cruelty), but only when the situation calls for a little precision strike nastiness. He's a deadpan snarker most of the time, and he also has a bit of a twisted sense of humor (case in point a moment where he squicks someone out by lovingly describing ...an advanced version of dealing with an attacker by poking them in the eyes).
Underneath this, he is really a very loving, even kind and gentle man, but one has to get past all his defenses. He really wants to be a conventional, "normal" person with a less exciting life, but he considers himself too damaged for this to work, and his past is too full of enemies for this to be possible. His trust is very tricky to earn, though, but if someone can succeed, it will be worth the trouble.
Short biography: As of now, little is known in detail about his life before his military tours of duty and his years in the CIA, except that he was born in Washington state sometime in the late 1960s or early 1970s. Typist suspects he was born into a working class family, possibly the oldest of several kids (typist's guess is he had several younger siblings, mostly sisters and one little brother) and that his childhood and adolescence were somewhat rough and tumble and not always stable (one gets the feeling he may have learned to protect his younger siblings from abusive situations, either at the hands of family members, neighborhood kids or unpleasant significant others).
In 1993, he joined the Army, eventually attaining the rank of sergeant and joining the Army Rangers. It seems he was involved in some black ops even then, earning a Purple Heart (possibly during a tour in South East Asia or in the Middle East).
Early in 2001, he met and fell in love with one Jessica Arndt, a lovely and loving woman who helped him to "connect with the world". He decided to resign from the military in order to settle down with her, but the events of 9-11 and the ensuing war in Iraq called him back to active duty. Sometime before 2006, he formally resigned from the Army and joined the CIA; in the meantime, he and Jessica had drifted apart, and, to Reese's dismay, Jessica had begun dating another man. By 2010, Reese was deep into the CIA, running missions of questionable legality on U.S. soil and Jessica had married her new man. However, her husband proved to be abusive and she contacted Reese, while he was on a mission in China, begging him to help her get out. Because of this, Reese's superiors considered his security to be compromised and his partner, Kara Stanton, was ordered to take him out. He turned on Stanton and went AWOL, heading back to the States, intending to rescue Jessica.
By the time he caught up with Jessica, her husband had accidentally killed her during an argument that had turned into a fight, then tried to make it look like Jessica had died in a car accident. Reese tracked down her husband and made him pay for Jessica's death: with his life...
Falling into a deep depression, Reese became self-destructive, nearly drinking himself to death and ending up homeless on the streets of New York City. He might have ended up dying in a gutter, if a "concerned third party" hadn't tracked him down and offered him a second chance. That "concerned third party" was a mysterious billionaire software engineer, known only as "Harold Finch" (among several other aliases); following 9-11, Finch had designed an artificial intelligence known only as "the Machine", which was trained to detect potential crime by looking for patterns of aggression directed toward individuals, through scanning millions of hours of surveillance footage, tapping landline and cellphone conversations, and scanning emails and social networking sites. The government intended to use it to detect potential acts of terror, but prior to disappearing from the system by faking his own death, Finch had designed a backdoor into the Machine that would allow him to track potential crimes that would harm individual people. But given his timid nature, his physical infirmities, and his lack of skills, he needed someone to do the legwork of tracking down and neutralizing the threats: he'd marked Reese as a potential ally and had been tracking him for some months. Reese at first wasn't entirely keen on the notion, but eventually, he came around.
Over the winter of 2011 and into the spring of 2012, the pair succeeded in foiling dozens of violent crimes involving civilians, some innocent, some not so innocent (but not as bad as the people who wanted them dead). The police and the FBI started to close in on them, but the two managed to stay under the radar, even getting a homicide detective with high principles to turn from their hunter to their ally. All the while, Reese was doing a bit of surveillance himself, trying to figure out the strange, professorish little man who'd hired him.
However, another threat was watching the watchers, a hacker who wanted the Machine for her own ends, someone clever enough to insinuate herself past even Reese's canny defenses, allowing her to move in and kidnap Finch.
Now he has another purpose: finding his employer before something worse happens to him, and before the Machine becomes corrupted and ceases to be an ally...
Physical Abilities: He's a highly skilled fighter, both as a gunman and in unarmed hand-to-hand combat and is also very creative in improvising weapons from what he can find on hand (eg. setting off ceiling sprinklers to act as a diversion, among other things). Clever at surveillance and tracking down everything he can about people.
Superhuman Abilities: None to speak of.
Unusual or Magical Possessions: Will be arriving with a canvas duffel bag containing a few changes of clothes, an analogue camera with a long lens, two hand guns, a few clips for the above, and a couple flash-bang grenades.