VERSION: Ashford River. (I will still be playing the Ashkent Creek Reed).
NAME/NICKNAMES: Reed “Red” Hand
HOMETOWN: Like Ashkent Creek Reed, Ashford River’s Reed was also born in New York to immigrant parents. But rather than move to Chicago with his mother (then California then Maine), AR Reed lived in New York for the majority of his life before relocating to Ashford River.
TOWN STANDING/JOB: He continues to remain a forensic ballistics expert for the police department in this town. Unlike Ashkent Reed, however, he doesn’t also double as a police officer when needed by the team; he is ballistics full time, as he would prefer a complete separation from the uniform (really, he just doesn’t want to wear a holstered gun or ride alongside any in the patrol cars). His reputation amongst everyone else is perhaps not as sociable and a bit more aloof, he can be extremely reclusive and hole himself away in his corner of the police basement. This introversion is often brushed off as ‘being completely dedicated’ to his job but that’s not exactly the case; it correlates more to the amount of mental preparation it takes to ‘get out there’ and speak to strangers.
SUPERNATURAL INVOLVEMENT: Reed isn’t involved in the supernatural at all nor is he openly curious about it; he’s very much a skeptic and doubtful of its existence, verging more on a complete nonbeliever. While there are odd happenings in the town that are definitely extremely hard to ignore at times, Reed would rather insist on “logical and sound” reasoning than something as ludicrous as it being werewolves or bugbears running rampant throughout the town. To him, the supernatural doesn’t exist at all.
PERSONALITY: Since his three key traits are: friendly, anxious, open-minded (with others being intelligent, nosy, hard working and honest to a fault), these will present themselves in different ways. For instance, Ashkent’s Reed’s anxiety largely is a factor in his phobia of firearms, and while Ashford’s Reed’s anxiety will also lend itself to his phobia, it also applies to his interactions with people in general that he doesn’t know on a family or friendly basis — this goes hand-in-hand with his introversion or asocial behavior and shyness. He comes across as, and can be, close-minded to the supernatural. Friendliness is a mutually shared trait though AR Reed is somewhat more closed off and withdrawn to strangers and social settings, he’s polite to them and will hold a conversation if suddenly caught in one, but he’s not as embracive in an open arms kind of way as AC Reed is and would prefer to keep away from conversation. He is very much introverted. As such, his general feeling of loneliness is much more intense and heavy.
FAMILY: Reed has both his mother and father in his life. While he is on good terms with all of them and sends them a holiday card every once and a while, Reed doesn’t make conscious effort to reach out to them and sees himself as a bit detached from them considering their difference in opinion over his career and involvement; his family lives in New York still. Their names are still the same: Nari and Wook Han.
Born and raised in New York, Reed grew up being cultivated by two different cultures: from the one his parents took with them from South Korea, to the one he experienced in public school and anywhere outside of the small apartment. He is fluent in Korean and English. But, growing up in New York and being taught things such as nationalism and patriotic pride, Reed fell in love with the heroic ideal of becoming a police officer. For years, it was all he could talk about and he showed a vested interest in such a prospective career. He religiously kept up with crime shows, eagerly went to conventions and job fairs just so he could talk to officers; what was concerning to his parents was a sub-categorical interest being firearms, buying magazine catalogues and absorbing his information that way. His parents weren’t as supportive of his ambitions especially with the idea of violence and abuse of authority.
By eighteen, he attended a university still in the state but outside of the city, to get away from his parents’ strict, unbending views. Not too far into the fall semester, though, did all of their worries and insistence will itself to fruition. After that night, Reed immediately switched majors and pursued a life away from ever wearing a badge and utility belt. His fascination with firearms is suffocating at times, even personally damning for ever taking an interest in something as deadly as that. People became suffocating after that too, even with his family’s increased concern for his wellbeing during the completion of his education. It’s too much would accompany his thoughts before the move to Maine after graduation, wanting to get away but unable to bring himself to move across the entire country just to severe ties.
Two years go by before reconcile is made with his entire family, and in that span he also applied for a job in Ashford. He has been with the Ashford River police department since he was twenty-two.
- Really huge fan of the New York football team, the Giants. His phone seems to always have a background app running of their scores during the season, which he checks during his downtime. (Probably has also gotten a little too invested in fantasy football). With that, a lot of his accessories such as hats have the Giants logos or slogans embroidered onto them (whereas AC Reed is fond of wearing Los Angeles Dodgers merchandise).
- Doesn’t dress as casually or comfortably as Reed.1, preferring to wear suits and variations of such. Also doesn’t own a 1970 Dodge Challenger or anything else deemed ‘retro’ or ‘classic’ and is rather fond of modern inventions and ‘new age’ things, so catch him listening to the top pop hits station while driving to work. As such, his phone has twelve gigabytes worth of memory being used to store music (the pop kind, mostly). AC Reed doesn’t store (much) music on his phone but instead had a lot of photos since moving to Ashkent; AC Reed now owns AR Reed’s phone which has ample music and no photos in contrast. AR Reed owns a relatively new car (so no cassette tapes), and doesn’t really listen to classic rock nor owns any vinyl.
- Doesn’t own two dogs. Sees no need in owning pets since he spends an overwhelming majority of his time at the station anyway.
- The differences between Reed.1 and Reed.2 is subtle though the key separation would be the impact of the firearm trauma. For Reed.2, it happened later on — still the same way, at a convenience store — but because it still bears a fresher sting on his memory, there is a distrust (and hesitancy) towards people and firearms. I imagine this incident happened at age eighteen when he was new to college and was living in a dormitory, so he was on his own and was pursuing a path in forensics.
- Actively seeks counseling for his PTSD in relation to what happened with the aggravated robbery. Counseling makes it slightly easier to not be as dependent on people for help when it comes to using or handling guns during his job; he is aware of his fear and tries to control it or ground himself when feeling an anxiety attack coming on. Missing or being late for counseling can make him finicky and more nervous and hyperaware than normal, which can make him prone to over-reaction depending on the situation.
- Family wise: AR’s family isn’t as close to Reed nor are they as supportive of his profession; they are somewhat cut off from his life. Reed prefers it this way.
- Physical appearance wise: Ashford Reed tends to be clean-shaven while Ashkent Reed has grown out scruff. AR Reed doesn’t exercise and isn’t as athletic as AC Reed so he appears a bit more skinny rather than lean and muscular. (For visual purposes, look at Steven Yeun pre-the Walking Dead or during season one/two-ish, compared to how he looks presently in the later seasons (starting at two-ish through six) and post-The Walking Dead).
- Location wise: AR Reed lives in an apartment, finding the space of a house to be unnecessary. Additionally, AC Reed used to have neighbours on either side of his house but now there is a mini convenience store on one side of his house where a neighbour had been formerly.
- Hat Collection: Due to the two Reed’s liking two different teams, AC Reed’s hat collection is now an odd mixture of Dodgers and Giants baseball hats. His favourite of the bunch, with a frayed and worn bill, formerly had the L.A. initials but have now been replaced with N.Y. instead.
- AR Reed was best friends with AR-version of Deirdre. While Reed doesn’t go out much at all except from his home to his work, the few times he does get out, Deirdre usually accompanies him. “As a very excited and outgoing person, she was known to drag Reed out from his job for some fun. She’d often go out of her way to make sure Reed has a good time those few moments that he isn’t working.”
- Thoroughly enjoys barbecue chips.