Aren Steele is the main character of the online written series Pax, and he was created by CCogStudios. He is a 20 year old Nigerian male with a missing hand, who initially worked at the ABC Supermarket before coming across the Cosmotrix and using it to anonymously help out the citizens of Whitecross City under the alias 'Pax'.
Being Nigerian on his dad's side of the family, Aren has dark brown skin, with brown eyes and short brown hair to match too. He is quite athletic as well, mostly in his upper body though. His left arm ends at the wrist, as his hand is missing although there is little scarring. His shirt is plain black (but he sometimes wears light pink), but he wears a grey padded jacket over it that has gold stripes across the chest and arms. He also wears blue jeans mostly, and wears the Cosmotrix over the left hand.
Having lived his life knowing what it's like to be ridiculed and untrusted for no reason, Aren is a kind and caring person who cares for his friends and family and tries to empathize with the as much as possible so that he can continue being a supportive and good friend. Aren is also very smart, doing his best to think outside the box in situations and using logic to try and resolve issues and problems before things get out of hand.
Despite his usual level-headedness and forward thinking, Aren has been known to act impulsively especially when angry or in fear of something. This causes him to often act irrationally and cause further harm to people around him even when the situation is unnecessary.
Powers & Abilities
Being a human, Aren possesses no powers of any kind but he is still a trained fighter thanks to self-defence training he's taken from his dad and currently from Aiko. He excels at hand-to-hand combat despite his disability, and possesses upper body strength which is greater than that of a regular person.
Aren is also very intelligent, often combatting others with a mixture of brains and brawn as opposed to simply brute force due to his forward thinking and use of logic. This does not mean that he is always one step ahead of his foes however, as he can still easily be overpowered.
Aren is the wielder of the Cosmotrix, a watch-like alien device that can be used to transform the wearer into any available alien life form by modifying his own genetic code, and thus possesses the power to transform into alien creatures and use their powers, skills, features, appearance, voice instincts and abilities to make himself more of a threat than normal. Transforming via the Cosmotrix also grants Aren a bionic prosthetic arm to aid him in combat although it is rare for hand-based powers to fully function in certain forms.
Despite his combat capabilities and use of logic and problem-solving, Aren is still at a disadvantage when combatting certain threats that are much stronger, faster, tougher, or smarter than him. This vulnerability is made worse due to the Cosmotrix only having a 10 minute timer during alien form so if he's not careful, Aren could find himself transformed back into a human in the middle of a fight.
When Aren transforms into an alien, he has to be aware that he doesn't just gain that creature's powers and abilities but also their instincts, behavioural traits which can cause him to act out of character, and also gains their weaknesses. On top of that, his aliens will also experience any illness that Aren himself is suffering from, and vice versa.
Aren's lack of a left hand puts him at a disadvantage if he tries to participate in combat in his human form due to a decrease in dexterity. In addition to this issue, while most transformations grant Aren a prosthetic hand to aid him, those aliens will not be able to use any hand-based abilities to their full extent due to the prosthetic not being able to produce anything although it still does grant him to pass certain abilities through it, and it also means Aren has to be careful to not damage the hand. Certain alien transformations such as Bloomburst or Haywire do not provide Aren with any sort of prosthetic due to the nature of the transformation, putting Aren at a disadvantage if he decides to use them in close combat.
Aren is an only child, and lived with his mum and dad in Nigeria before they left for Australia. It is unknown at this point in time what Aren's family situation is like, but he does mention that his father had taught him several self-defence skills such as how to avoid getting mugged and kidnapped as well as how to do more traditional things like play an armpit drum (one which belonged to his dad)
Aren is very good friends with Aiko, often talking and confiding in her about his emotions and they bond especially when his identity as Pax is revealed. Aren trusts Aiko, and he often sees her as sort of a sister to him as well as a mentor as she teaches him the ins and outs of the city as well as some martial arts skills. She is also the one who does the clothes washing and cooking for him as he hasn't developed those skills, and she often playfully taunts him about it although she is still furious with him about changing an entire set of white clothes pink
Aiden is Aren's workmate at the ABC Supermarket, and the two get on very well despite Aiden's obsession with alien conspiracy theories which Aren doesn't seem to mind indulging in. Aiden coaxes Aren to visit the crash site of the Cosmotrix, and when he discovers Aren can transform into aliens and use their powers he decides to act as a sort of superhero and superpower mentor towards him, thus bringing them closer
Aren does not have any love interests at the moment, although he has stated that he still often thinks about this one girl from his old village
Aren is on good terms with Mr. Beckwith, his employer, although their acquaintanceship is strained after Aren gets the Cosmotrix and begins skipping out on work
Aren Stelle has appeared in every episode, from I Am Pax to One Last Stand, in Pax.
- This is the author's first attempt at writing a non-white protagonist in any project he's done.
- Aren loves to cook, despite being absolutely bad at it, but always tries to create (or get Aiko to create) traditional Nigerian dishes such as jollof rice, pepper soup, or efo riro.