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    Billie

    Character » Billie appears in 6 issues.

    A prostitute from Paris who is key in helping Inspector LeBrock solve the crimes that happen there.

    Short summary describing this character.

    Billie last edited by Abra_Kapocus on 12/05/23 12:33PM View full history

    Origin

    Billie's life was rough from the start. As a child in Paris, her home was the target of anarchist bombing, which immediately killed both of her parents. Little did Billie know was that the bomber was a man who she would encounter later in her life: Edouard Mastock.

    A mere five years old with no family close enough to take her in, Billie was sent straight to the orphanage, where she stayed until she was thirteen. Not wanting to live the life at the orphanage, young Billie ran away and lived life as a beggar and a pickpocket.

    One day, a carnival fortune-teller discovered Billie taking refuge near her caravan. Taking the young badger in, the fortune-teller became something of a mother to Billie, and even took her on as an assistant in her sideshow.

    As time went by, Billie took on more high-profile jobs at the carnival. She learned to be an acrobat, a knife-thrower, a fire-eater, a trick-shooter, a juggler and even a stunt-rider. Life was finally good for Billie, until a new strongman joined the circus. The strongman took an unsavory liking to the sixteen year old Billie, who put up with the man. The last straw came when the strongman forcibly advanced on Billie, who nearly killed her attacker and ran away from the circus to live life once more as a beggar and pickpocket.

    Some years after, she found her way to a reputable brothel of Paris, known as Riverhorse's. From there, she worked as a prostitute for years. One night, her life changed entirely when she met Detective Inspector Archie Lebrock of Scotland Yard.

    Creation

    The female lead of Grandville, and love interest of the lead character.

    Like how much of the world of Grandville was inspired by the Rupert comics, Billie was inspired by Rupert’s best friend, a badger named Bill. However, her initial depiction in the earliest drafts of Grandville: Mon Amour had her as a very different character.

    The character of Billie was originally conceived as a male character. Instead of what she eventually became, Billie was meant to be a male police officer who would assist Inspector LeBrock during his investigations in Paris. It was decided that her character would change in order to fit the many allusions to the murders committed by Jack the Ripper, and so she was made into a female prostitute.

    Character Evolution

    Personality

    A tough life has made a tough girl out of Billie. Her nerves are as hardened as cast iron and her constitution is practically unshakable. It’s also left her with a terrible cynicism and without much of a sense of humor. For her, there is only her business. Work is work is work, and anything that she has to do outside of that comes at a price. She also has issues with developing a trusting bond with others, which is partly due to her work as a prostitute.

    Though Billie takes pride in her work, she knows that it is an occupation of ill-repute, and that the unsavory reputation of her work affects how people perceive her. She believes that she is an indecent, immodest, unvirtuous, unclean, reprehensible specimen of a woman, and continues to believe so despite how others in her life tell her otherwise. In her own mind, she’s damaged goods that is beyond redemption.

    It's only by the end of the series that Billie’s opinions of herself and the world around her begin to soften. She begins to see the lighter side of things and displays a fondness for the campy displays at local attractions. But she always remains the stout-hearted badger who shows no fear in the face of danger.

    Appearance

    Like most of the main cast in Grandville, Billie is an anthropomorphic animal. Specifically, she is a badger. Like one would expect a badger to look, she has primarily greyish white fur covering her body, and her face has black and white markings on it. And that’s about where her similarities to any real world badgers end.

    Due to her nature as an anthropomorphic character, she stands with an upright posture on two legs. Her eyes are a stunning green color instead of the uniform brown of real badgers, and her black hair is almost always seen worn in a stylish bouffant. For clothing, her wardrobe varies often depending upon the situation she finds herself in, ranging from streetwear, formal evening wear, provocative clothing and simple casual dresses. However, she has a tendency to accentuate her clothes with accessories such as elaborately ornamented hats or long, shoulder-length gloves.

    Major Story Arcs

    Mon Amour

    In her debut appearance, Billie was working as a prostitute at Madame Riverhorse’s brothel in Paris. One night as she was entertaining the gentlemen who had come to call, she crossed paths with Detective Inspector Archibald LeBrock of Scotland Yard. The initial encounter with LeBrock proved frightening, and she fled out into the streets to try and escape him. When she found herself cornered, she realized that LeBrock wasn’t as crazy as she had initially thought and accepted his offer for a drink. Over drinks at a local pub, Billie conveyed how weeks before LeBrock and his partner had arrived in Paris, her friends who had been murdered had a client die on them. After sharing some information that the detectives had not yet collected, she sent them on their way with a new lead.

    A later visit by LeBrock to Riverhorse’s establishment found Billie in the middle of her work. Having come to a dead end, LeBrock asked Billie for more details of the night the client had died in the brothel. Though she wasn’t present for the tragedy, Billie managed to recall a few minor details about him when she saw him enter. Details that LeBrock at first didn’t find helpful. Seeing the earnest fervor that LeBrock was putting toward the case made Billie decide that she would like to spend the night with him.

    During their night together, Billie shared with LeBrock her traumatic childhood of how her family was killed by one of Edouard Mastock’s bombs during the war. During that night, she learned of the suffering that was endured by the British during that conflict. Sharing her pain with LeBrock softened her heart to the point where she began to develop genuine feelings for the British detective.

    Later on when she was in her apartment, she too was targeted by Mastock. It seemed that he had learned of her relation to Lebrock and began using her as leverage for what LeBrock had discovered during his excursion to Paris that time. Billie was to be exchanged for a valuable item in LeBrock’s possession, but everyone involved in the transaction knew that Mastock didn’t intend to let either badger live. In the end, it was Billie who killed Mastock, avenging her family, her friends, and the life that she may have had in an act of deep catharsis.

    The last time that Billie is seen in this story is when she is nursing LeBrock back to health in her apartment. To her dismay, LeBrock’s unconscious mind is still dwelling on his previous paramour. Though she is frustrated by the turn of events, she still expresses her wish to see LeBrock again.

    Bête Noire

    Between her shifts at the brothel, Billie is seen to model for anatomy lessons at the local art school. It was during one of these modeling sessions that she once again finds herself meeting up with Archie LeBrock once again. Ever since the last time that she saw him, things had taken a downward turn for her work life. The brothel she works at has been taken over by a ruthless gang, and she has had her salary diminished considerably as a result.

    As they spend their time together, Billie fills in LeBrock about all of the recent changes that have been happening around Paris, such as a vast upsurge in automaton technology and a sudden interest in abstract art displayed in public. And as it so happened, Billie was in possession of invitations to an art show. Their encounter ends on a slightly bitter note when LeBrock suggests that Billie give up her job as a prostitute in order to live a decent life. Billie, on the other hand, believes herself to be beyond decency.

    It’s later that evening that Billie is escorted to the art exhibit, and she is introduced to the nuances of humor by LeBrock. While there, she learns of his previous affair with Sarah Blairow, as well as his previous marriage with his wife, Florence. A misunderstanding about LeBrock’s marriage has Billie leave in a huff.

    Later as Billie is in the middle of work with a client, LeBrock interjects in order to explain himself and sort out any misunderstandings there may have been with her. Though she resists even letting him be in the same room with her at first, she allows him to speak if only to humor him, and realizes then the mistake that she had made. It’s only shortly after forgiving LeBrock that disaster strikes.

    A coup d’état has been enacted, and Billie volunteers herself to help stave off the invasion. The way to the first line of defense at City Hall isn’t easy for her, however. Gangs have already begun looting the local businesses and instating themselves on the streets to extort any hapless passersby. Billie, being far from hapless, finds a way past the gang as it closes in on her and speeds her way to City Hall once more. Once there, she joins the fight to defend the leaders of the city.

    Through the combined efforts of everyone present, the coup is averted. Billie happily reunites with LeBrock. Once the two of them are alone together, she resumes the conversation they were in the middle of back at the brothel. Instead of anything that she was hoping to hear, LeBrock instead veers into an explanation of his family situation. Deciding that this is as good as it gets, Billie accepts his offer to stay the night with him, and suggests that they go out for wine after things settle down.

    Noël

    Life has gone on for Billie in Paris, and she’s notice some changes around the city. Particularly, she’s noticed the rise of a rather peculiar religious sect who call themselves ‘The Silver Path.’ However, around Christmastime she is delighted by the arrival of LeBrock, and accepts his offer to stay the night with him. During her stay, LeBrock divulges his reason for being in Paris and requests for her to help him rescue a girl who has been kidnapped. Billie agrees when payment is offered, but she is in for another surprise. LeBrock offers for her to come to his place for Christmas, and Billie is so happy with the offer that she gives him an early Christmas present.

    The next day, Billie begins her work at infiltrating The Silver Path’s compound. She does her best to convince the people who receive her to let her walk around freely, but the zealots adhere to the orders that they have been given and quickly guide her to have an audience with their leader, Apollo. While she waits with the other girls who are to be a part of Apollo’s harem, Billie finds the girl who LeBrock had been searching for in order to extricate her. While she is in the middle of trying convince the girl to leave with her, Billie is suddenly faced with Apollo, and becomes enraptured by his presence.

    After her meeting with the glorious Apollo, Billie is then taken to be groomed as a member of The Silver Path, along with all of the other initiates. What none of them expect is that Billie has a more solid sense of self than anyone who had simply wandered into their compound of their own free will. After regrouping with LeBrock and his entourage, Billie assists in the rescue of the missing girl and escapes the compound with the others. Once they are safely out of danger, Billie takes a hansom cab home.

    By the time that everything has been resolved, Billie is picked up by LeBrock and escorted to the home of his partner, Roderick Ratzi, in London. Shortly upon arriving, Billie is warmly welcomed by Ratzi’s family, as well as LeBrock’s mother and two children. Once she and LeBrock are alone, Billie confesses to him something that she had been keeping from him since he arrived at Paris the day before. Just as she and LeBrock begin to discuss more serious topics, LeBrock’s children arrive and reveal that Billie has told them about her disreputable profession. Billie reveals how serious she is about being in LeBrock’s life by telling him how she intends to be honest with his family right from the start. Soon after, she accepts his marriage proposal.

    Force Majeur

    Time has passed. Billie’s life has taken an upward turn for the first time since she was a little girl, and is now living with LeBrock in his home in London. During one of their happy mornings together, their bliss is interrupted by the arrival of LeBrock’s landlady who informs him that there has been a crime committed that requires his attention. Billie understands the nature of his work and doesn’t argue with him as he goes, especially as she knows that the assignment is somewhat personal to him. But not before making plans to meet with him on his lunch break.

    During the lunchtime excursion, Billie learns about LeBrock’s childhood and about how he joined the police force. Partway through their date, Billie suggests a trip to the nearby wax museum and begins to show LeBrock a side of her that he hadn’t seen before. One where she almost seems like a young girl again. It’s in the ‘Gallery of Crime’ that she learns the details of LeBrock’s very first case as a rookie cop.

    Later, Billie reciprocates by sharing her own history with LeBrock. She divulges her childhood after her home was bombed during the war and how she lived as a pickpocket and a beggar before being employed at a circus, where she developed many of the skills that she displays throughout the comics. Her story ends with how she ended up working in Riverhorse’s brothel and her eventual meeting with LeBrock. Once her story is done, she insists on collecting her belongings from her apartment in Paris. Something that LeBrock objects to, knowing the danger that she would be in from the gangs that seek revenge against them both.

    Despite the protests of LeBrock, Billie goes to Paris anyway and is immediately met by a police escort that had been arranged without her knowing about it. Though agitated, she begrudgingly accepts the services of the officers. It seems that LeBrock was right to worry, as Billie is quickly targeted by a squad of abductors who have been sent by one of the most feared gang bosses in Paris, Tiberius Koenig. Though she holds her own against the thugs, she is eventually caught and taken to Koenig’s stronghold.

    It is there that Billie finally meets with Koenig, the man who had taken over the brothel she worked at and had made it so that she could no longer make a living wage, and treated her as little more than property. Now that he has her back in his clutches, Koenig intends to keep her working for him. But not before she tells him where she had been since Christmas Eve, and the name of the badger who she was last seen with. Without even saying a word, and completely unintentionally, Billie reveals vital information to Koenig. A secret that he would use to continue to dismantle LeBrock’s life.

    Sometime later, Billie’s death is ordered by Koenig, but a last minute rescue spares her life, and she is taken to safety. Once she and LeBrock have been reunited, she tells him about the terrible things that she had to endure and the things that Koenig had done to destroy his life. Infuriated, LeBrock swears vengeance. Billie resolves to go with him, as she has just as much reason to hate Koenig. However, a contingency plan by LeBrock has her out of the game for her own safety.

    Upon finding LeBrock once more, she is naturally annoyed with him. However, there is a much bigger problem to take on. One that exists back in London. She is present as LeBrock reveals everything that has happened up to that point and assists in the arrest of the last few members of Koenig’s gang. Once she is able to get a moment alone with LeBrock, she discusses their new plans for a wedding arrangement. One that she helps to arrange to be even more grand than their first plan.

    Skills & Abilities

    Because of her rough upbringing as a circus performer and later as a prostitute, Billie is equipped with a surprising set of skills that allow her to survive hostile situations, and make herself into a valuable asset in the fight against crime.

    Stunt Driving

    During her days in the circus, Billie was one of the foremost stunt drivers on a motorcycle. She is able to ride along walls, improvise ways to jump over obstacles, can stop on a dime, turn nearly at ninety degrees and squeeze through the narrowest of openings.

    Marksmanship

    Having had to use guns several times as a trick shooter, Billie is a surprisingly good shot. Especially with smaller firearms.

    Knife Throwing

    Billie is able to thrown blades with incredible accuracy to incapacitate or even kill targets. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a blade, as she is seen throwing bricks and champagne bottles at fleeing targets as well.

    Acrobatics

    Her time in the circus had her performing acrobatic stunts for the crowds. These skills have granted her agility and escape abilities not possessed by a normal person.

    Unarmed Combat

    Even though she has no formal training, Billie is able to fight off most opponents, usually if they have had no training either.

    Pickpocket

    How Billie made a living between honest work. And she’s gotten good at it after so long. People don’t even notice when she slips her hand into their pocket, before it’s too late.

    Acting

    At times, Billie is called upon to be a mole. Having had to roleplay at times during her job has made her into an adept actress, and convincingly pass as though she belongs in a place she shouldn’t be. In time, she may become a fly on the wall to most.

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