A river of words flowed between us.
Aech (pronounced as the letter 'H') is a major character in Ernest Cline's Ready Player One.
Aech has been Wade's best friend for years, although the two didn't meet in-person until much later. Wade claims that they've always shared a great connection. In the beginning, it is clear that Wade and Aech shared many interests — movies, music, video games, and the hunt for Halliday's egg.
Their shared quest for Halliday's egg brought about friendly competition. Aech and Wade would spend their time together discussing pop culture, Almanac findings, the hunt, and girls.
He also attended OASIS public school, at OPS #1172.
In the real world, Aech is a heavy-set African-American named Helen Harris. Helen uses a Caucasian male appearance and voice for her OASIS avatar in order to be more easily respected by her peers.
Within the OASIS, Aech is a PvP (player versus player), a competitor. In the movie, Aech is also a builder and a repair guy who people pay a ton of money. Wade notes that his friend is one of the highest ranked members in both the Deathmatch league and the Capture the Flag league, making a "quite a bit of dough" in the process. This partially explains how Aech is able to afford the large chatroom, the Basement.
It is also mentioned, at the beginning of the novel, that Aech is more famous than Art3mis.
In the book, Aech's avatar is a tall, broad-shouldered Caucasian male with dark hair and brown eyes. Wade once asked Aech if this avatar represented a real-life appearance; Aech responded by saying: "Yes. But in real life, I'm even more handsome."
In the film, Aech's avatar is a cyborg orc that wields Mater Chief's gun.
Helen, or Aech, is an intellectual, dedicated individual. This can be observed by their highly competitive ranking within the OASIS, their "elite" knowledge of video games that rival Wade's, and their long-term hunt for Halliday's egg. They also appear to be quick-witted and humorous. This is demonstrated by their exchanges with I-r0k and Wade in the Basement.
Outside of the OASIS, Aech is a "heavy-set, African-American girl." She has short, kinky hair and dark skin. When Aech and Wade meet in-person, Wade notices that the Cheshire grin on her avatar's face is identical to her grin in real life. Her real name is Helen Harris, and she is about 18-years-old. Helen identifies as lesbian, as during their first real-life meeting, she tells Wade that her mother kicked her out of the house over her sexuality. Wade recalls that, during their time together in the OASIS, Aech was always willing to talk about girls with him, and concludes that this must be due to her sexuality, and not that she was lying about being interested in girls.
- While recording Lena Waithe's voice as Aech. It was initially suggested that she lower her voice herself and pretend she was a man, however, it was quickly decided that her voice lost a lot of her personality when she did that so Waithe was allowed to speak her lines naturally and sound editing later dropped her voice by 25% to make her sound male while speaking as Aech.