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Jens Larson is a supporting character in the Ruby Saga and antagonist in The Apex State.


Background


Jens Larson grew up in the same neighborhood as Ruby Harrison. His parents were rarely around, often leaving him completely alone. Ruby's parents allowed him to stay with them whenever he needed, and as a result Jens became close to the Harrison family. However, his self-esteem was not helped by the affections of another child's parents, and his childhood was largely withdrawn and sullen.


Jens had become close friends with Ruby over the years, and started to crush on her as he entered adolescence. He kept his feelings to himself, with Ruby none the wiser. His feelings for Ruby came out following the suicide of her mother, and they started an unhealthy relationship in the midst of their grief. Meanwhile, Jens' own life started to fall apart, as he stopped going to school and started getting into fights with other boys.


Jens eventually dropped out of high school and decided to live a bohemian lifestyle in Berkeley, CA. Ruby refused to come with him, due to her upcoming academic commitment at Stanford. Jens left in a huff, killing their relationship.


For a few days, Jens drove around the state in a funk. He caught the news of Ruby's transformation during his travels, and drove back to San Medio with a strong sense of guilt. He tagged alongside Ruby during her travels and eventual exile from the country, eventually earning her forgiveness. He even formed an awkward friendship with Jiro Sasaki, despite the fact that both boys were interested in the same girl.

Despite his best attempts, Jens wasn't able to offer much for Ruby and her friends. He was nearly killed during Pierre Buzarde's attack on San Torre Island. Blasted with an explosive salvo while saving a stray cat the group had rescued earlier, Jens lost his left leg just below the hip, and has had to make do with a prosthetic and a cane.


Ruby Nation


Other than a scene in The Girl In The Tube, Jens has largely stayed in the background of Ruby Nation, helping out with on-base maintenance and communications. This is largely justified, as an unaltered human being with only one leg wouldn't be of much use in post-human battles. He maintains a sarcastic attitude, often playing the gadfly. His most notable moment was when he confronted his old rival Jiro, who had emotionally shut himself down due to finding out about his child with Ruby. Jens smacked Jiro with his cane, prompting him to pull himself together.


The Apex State


The night after Kaluga's death, Beagle Labs released a swarm of nanomachines upon the entire human population, merging their consciousnesses into the Apex State hive-mind. Jens was swept into the Apex State with everyone else, causing a radical personality transformation. Like everyone else in the hive-mind, the new Jens spoke with a cheery narcissism associated with a fanatical devotion to the new world order. He escorted Ruby to a secret Beagle Labs facility, where she and her unborn child would receive a thorough medical examination.

The evening after she left her friends behind for this examination, Jens checked in on Ruby once more. The Apex State had transformed his body even further, boosting his physical strength and even regrowing his lost leg. He claimed to Ruby that he was superior in every way to his former self, who he described as a pathetic, jealous wretch. Ruby spoke in defense of her old friend, telling the new Jens that the bravery of his former self's actions was worth far more than any negative feelings he felt. Jens retorted by reminding Ruby that she was in Apex State custody, and the welfare of her and her unborn child was based on her compliance. Ruby was intrigued by this development, seeing it as a sign that the human insecurities the Apex State claimed to have suppressed were still present.

Jens was among the Apex State soldiers who confronted Jiro and his team at the Kampala Space Port, wearing an XAG. The Apex State hoped to use his face to unnerve and disorient the Ruby Nation team, along with using Alexis as a hostage. Even after Jiro's team surrendered, The Apex State had Jens murder Alexis, using the exoskeleton's strength to easily snap her neck. Even through the controls of the hive-mind, Jens' guilt over the death of his friend was so profound that he actually shed tears and begged Elise to finish him off. However, Elise was unable to do it, so Jens survived, and was kept sedated until his friends could rescue Ruby and bring down The Apex State.

Though Jens regained control of himself following The Doctor's death, he lost the regrown leg, which melted away when the nanomachines from which it was composed were deactivated. Jens wasn't bothered by the loss of the limb, since it was a product of the imperious regime that made him murder Alexis. He took solace in the fact that the entire world would now know of Ruby's heroic deeds the way he did.

Trivia


Height: 5' 6"

Weight: 160 lbs.

Age: 18

Education: Never finished high school

Post-Human Abilities: None

Other Skills: Can beat Street Fighter Alpha 3 on Difficulty Level 7 with Dan Hibiki