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Paul Serene

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When time ends, my plan doesn't.
~ Serene to Jack
Paul Serene is the main antagonist of the 2016 video game, Quantum Break.

He is portrayed by Aidan Gillen, who also portrays Petyr Baelish, Janson, Nelson Rathbone and Miles Jackson.

Overview

He escaped from Monarch and became what he escaped from
~ Jack sums up Serene
Paul invited his best friend, Jack Joyce, at Riverport University to demonstrate his time traveling experiment. The experiment malfunctions, causing Serene to travel seventeen years to the past after being attacked mid-way by a mysterious woman and witnessing the end of time. From the past, he begins secretly building the corporation of Monarch Solutions in preparation of the time-fracturing experiment he knows will occur in the future, specifically preparing a plan of building a specialized bunker, called lifeboat, in which Monarch Solution scientists would hide themselves away from the time fracture and prepare a way to restart time.

Biography

Act 1

On October 9, 2016, Serene invited his best friend Jack Joyce to Riverport University to demonstrate him something "world-changing". Paul called Jack, directing him to the Physics building. Once Jack arrived, the two friends embraced and Paul led Jack to the research lab. Paul had prepared a presentation (which can be watched if the player decides) in which he explained his project, called Project Promenade. Paul explained that Promenade experimented with time itself.

Once having led Jack into the lab, Serene explained to Jack that he had a problem: Jack's brother Will. Will had been working with Serene on Project Promenade but lost faith, believing it to be completely miscalculated. Paul claimed that to not lose funding, he had to prove that his project was a success and thus planned to test it with Jack, the only one Serene could trust, witnessing. Jack agreed to help Paul. During the experiment, Jack realized that what Paul had built was essentially a time machine and grew anxious what Paul told him that he would use it. Paul walked inside the machine but before he could enter, a future version of Serene walked out of the corridor. Although Jack was horrified, the two Pauls assured him that this meant that the project was a success and that the other Paul was from two minutes of the future. The future Paul told Serene to enter the machine to complete the cycle. Serene did so and Jack remained with Future Paul. Paul convinced Jack that they needed to check whether the machine worked the other way round and ordered Jack to set the timer five minutes into the future. Jack did so and Paul entered the machine but before Jack could activate it, he was approached by Will who held a gun. Will told him that they needed to shut the machine down immediately.

SereneExperiment

Serene and Jack start the experiment

Despite Paul's pleads, William rushed to the machine to deactivate it. Before he could do so, the core exploded, knocking out both Serene and Jack. When the two awakened, they found themselves in a fracture in time. Paul and Jack realized that they broke time itself, much to the horror of both. After ensuring that his brother was alive, Jack rushed back to the machine in which Paul was still stuck. The lab was then stormed by Monarch Renegade soldiers who opened fire at the machine and at Jack. Seeing no other way out, Paul went into the time canal, leaving William and Jack who fled from the Monarch mercenaries.

While fleeing from the mercenaries, Jack discovers that he obtained various powers allowing him to manipulate time. While the brothers flee through the campus library, they are stopped when they hear a familiar voice. Jack turns to see an older Paul Serene approach him, accompanied by two Monarch soldiers. Serene, revealing that he has powers as well, uses them to cover the ground between him and the brothers in the blink of an eye. He then easily overpowers Jack while freezing Will. He blasts Jack through a door and then turns to Will whom he tells that he is only doing what is necessary. He tells Will that Will cannot succeed with his plan to change the 'path'. He reveals that he has seen past as well as future and offers Will the chance to drop his plan and come with him. Will is not convinced, claiming that he has built a device to repair the fracture. When Will claims that he will never stop trying to fix it, Serene executes him by blowing up the library on top of him. Jack, who has regained consciousness and witnessed it, is knocked out by a Monarch mercenary and Serene leaves the scene.

PaulDefeatedJack

Paul towers over Jack, having just killed his brother

Paul returns to the a Monarch base where he is welcomed by Martin Hatch. Hatch tells him that the transport supposed to bring Jack in is overdue and that he believes that there is a traitor inside Monarch. He also reminds Serene of the captured eye witnesses from the university, asking whether they should be executed, possibly leading to the public asking questions, or whether Hatch should broadcast a PR strategy instead, leaving them with the loose ends. (A Quantum ripple can be triggered at that moment.) While at the base, Serene thinks to himself that the death was not the one William deserved, but that his knowledge posed too much a threat.

Serene is then told by Hatch to talk to Monarch mercenary Liam Burke, who brings him to one of the eye witnesses from the university. Paul has to choose between the two options Hatch gave him moments ago. In the end, it is up to the player whether the witnesses are executed, protecting Monarch's secrets but turning the city against the organization - potentially gaining Jack new allies-, or whether a PR campaign is launched, allowing them to pass the blame on Jack and causing a manhunt for him but leaving the eyewitnesses out for Jack to find.

Later that day, Hatch returns to Serene to inform him about the status. Being unhappy that Serene is not taking the threat of a traitor inside Monarch seriously, Hatch pesters Serene long enough for Serene to sharply remind him that while Hatch is the public face of Monarch, Serene is still the one sailing the ship. Hatch agrees, claiming that he only does not want for Paul to sink with it.

Act 2

When Jack searches the dockyards for Paul, he is called by him. Paul tries to explain that Will forced his hand but Jack doesn't want to hear it. Paul invites Jack to the Monarch gala the same night, to the shock of Jack who cannot believe that Paul is celebrating as time is ending. Serene explains to Jack that when time ends, his plan doesn't. Jack asks him to what Paul's goals are but Serene hangs up.

SereneHatch

Serene with Hatch

Moments later, Jack sees Paul flying off in a Monarch helicopter. Jack shoots at the helicopter and Paul's men are ready to open fire but Paul stops them, instead using his powers to destroy a cable holding a salvaged ship and crashing the entire dock.

Despite the urge of Beth Wilder, Jack indeed heads to the gala and surrenders to Serene's men. Hatch later briefs Serene about Jack's claim to have found the time machine of his brother. Serene decides to talk to Jack, despite Hatch's claim that Jack will hardly help him. Hatch offers to handle Jack so that Serene can focus on whats important. It is up to the player whether Serene or Hatch is the one to face Jack. If Serene talks to Jack, he misses an important speech which discredits Monarch.

Act 3

During the monarch gala, Beth Wilder lures Serene into the tunnels, claiming to have seen Jack there. While Serene is away, Jack sneaks into the mansion and kidnaps Dr. Amaral.

After Jack and Beth Wilder have kidnapped Dr. Amaral from the gala, Serene laments the loss as Amaral was the only one who could keep the Chronon Syndrome at bay - the sickness he got during his journey through time. Angry, he grabs the arriving Martin Hatch, furiously demanding how Jack could have kidnapped the doctor from the secure Monarch gala. Hatch manages to calm down Seren and tells him that the people opposing him, even from inside monarch, are a far bigger concern.

SereneAttacksHatch

A furious Serene attacks Hatch

Serene realizes that someone close to him must be a traitor and has to decide whether to trust Dr. Amaral or Hatch. Hatch was with Serene from the beginning, but Amaral's research had saved Serene's life over and over. Should Serene trust Sofia, Hatch offers to bring her laptop to the science department for analysis but Serene rebukes him. He then tells a Monarch guard to put Hatch under surveillance and is afterwards told by the same man that the Monarch guard that lured him down to the tunnels was Beth Wilder. Looking at the photo of Beth, he recognizes her and is shocked to see that the traitor was with them from the early beginnings.

Back at the Monarch headquarters, Serene is talking to some of his scientists who reveal to him that time could collapse in less than eight hours. During the discussion time stops temporarily. Hatch eventually meets Serene again, telling him that Amaral's lab was blown up by Beth and Jack (not telling that Hatch was the one to blow it up). He also claims that it was Dr. Amaral who led them inside and merely faked her abduction. Serene is devastated as the lab contained the cure that stopped his sickness from spreading. The dialogue depends on whether Serene chose to trust Hatch or Amaral. Serene then leads Hatch to the CFR, unaware that this was exactly what Hatch wanted. Serene then launches the life boat sequence and subsequently, Monarch mercenaries set out to escort the people that are on the list for the life boat. After Hatch has gone, Serene's powers allow him to see that Hatch was the one to blow up the lab. This is confirmed seconds later when Paul is called by one of his men. Serene orders the guard to have Hatch apprehended immediately.

Act 4

After Beth Wilder has been sent to the end of time by Dr. Amaral, she tries to return to her time by use of Will's time machine. However, she encounters the Paul Serene that has gone to the future during the failed experiment. Beth attacked Serene and a gunfight between the two ensued. During the gunfight, Serene accidentally shot Will into the shoulder. Eventually, Serene used the time machine to flee to 1999 where he built Monarch by money he earned through stock market transactions (knowing what shares to buy to get wealthy). Beth followed him to 1999 waiting for Jack to come for her. However, he didn't find her until 2010 where he obtained the countermeasure from Will's lab. As the lab was watched by Monarch, Jack was forced to fight the mercenaries. Serene was informed that someone was killing his men and headed to the place himself.

SereneBeth

Serene confronts Beth

While Jack is busy with Serene's men, Serene enters the lab and demands the countermeasure from Beth whom he recognizes as his opponent from the future. Beth shoots at Serene, who dodges the bullet and in turn shoots at Beth. Beth drops the countermeasure which falls to the ground and erupts into a giant burst of energy and thus creating Ground Zero. The beam also brought Jack back to 2016. After Jack had left, Serene got back on his feet and shot Beth. Jack witnessed this through his powers. Serene then took the countermeasure, later using it to power the lifeboat.

Meanwhile back in 2016, Serene is in the CFR (which is the countermeasure) chamber ready to seal it in order for it to power the lifeboat. After securing it, he returns to his office, plagued by fits of his disease on his way there. He contemplates about his past deeds as well as Hatch's betrayal. In his office, a Monarch Trooper waits for him and reveals that Amaral's lab was searched and that one dose of his treatment was found in the ruins. However, Serene is not convinced as the sole treatment could as well be a trap. The player must decide whether Serene takes the cure in a last effort to see through his mission (Choice A), or whether he loses faith and stops fighting the Chronon Syndrome, using his remaining time to hunt down those who have wronged him (Choice B).

Choice A

After taking the cure, Serene clams down. He meets with Dr. Amaral, who has returned to Monarch after sending Beth to the future. She immediately realizes that Paul has not been receiving his treatments but he assures her that everything is alright. He sends Amaral down to the lifeboat and then orders a Monarch Trooper to ready his helicopter. Before he can leave for Will's lab at the former swimming pool, Serene is informed that former Monarch employee Liam Burke is trying to break into the facility.

Burke indeed manages to storm the facility, killing loads of Serene's security guards, but is eventually confronted by Serene himself. Serene claims that he knows what Burke wants - protecting what is his. He replies that he is also protecting what it is and claims that he needs Burke's help. He tells Burke that he has a team that will fix the fracture but cannot do so if the CFR goes missing. Burke asks what the CFR is and Serene explains that the CFR powers the 'lifeboat'. He asks Burke to help protect the CFR, thus ensuring the survival of the people in the lifeboat. Serene offers to take Burke's wife with him into the lifeboat, allowing her to survive. Burke accepts Serene's offer and heads to the top of Monarch Corp to the CFR.

Meanwhile, Serene enters an elevator with Burke's wife. He tells her that Burke is doing a noble deed, but she seems not so sure. Arriving in the lifeboat, Serene gives a rallying speech to the waiting people that Monarch is powerful enough to set things straight again and that they will change history. He tells them that he cannot join them but that he knows that they will succeed. He then leaves the people who are concerned by his announcement.   

Choice B

Having grown paranoid due to his constant betrayal, Serene murders the guard with his powers. He then attempts to sabotage the lifeboat but fails due to a fail-safe built by Dr. Amaral. Being unable to stop the sequence he meets with Dr. Amaral, who has returned to Monarch after sending Beth to the future, and murders her by smashing her head in with an iron Monarch paperweight.

While Monarch hacker Charlie enters the CFR chamber to bring the CFR to Jack, the people in the lifeboat are addressed by Serene through monitors. Serene tells them that while some of his enemies have shown their faces, others are still out there. After delivering a hateful speech, Serene cuts the transmission, leaving the people in the bunker baffled.

Act 5

When storming the Monarch headquarter, Jack is informed by an ally that Serene is no longer inside the building. However, once Jack enters Paul's office Serene is alerted and calls Jack. He ambiguously tells Jack that everything will play out as it has to play out, revealing that they will meet soon.

JackSereneShowdown

Jack attacks Serene

When Jack uses the time machine at Monarch, he travels back through time to the incident at the university. He heads to the place where Serene is about to kill Will and is able to save his brother from being crushed (which also happened before, Jack only thought that Will had died). The two return to 2016 and land right in front of Serene, who has taken the remainder of his troopers to the swimming pool. Serene demands the CFR back but is then briefly overwhelmed by his disease. He then has his men attack Jack while he recovers from the fit. After all his men are defeated, he fights Jack himself, creating vast chronon explosions throughout the building to harm him. However, Jack manages to shoot him off his vantage point, causing Serene to fall into the empty pool below. Jack then uses his powers to blast back Serene who's skull breaks upon impact to the floor.

Once the brothers use the countermeasure to restore time, Serene's body is gone.

Trivia

  • Paul is similar to Grings Kodai; they are businessmen who have the ability to see into the future and use that ability to ensure their success and secure their future. They also plan to manipulate time and will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals.

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