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EternalPhoenix

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  • Birthday 07/08/1986

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  1. Wilona Mr. Hawke has asked the duo of WIlona and Naomi to split up on this one. He wanted them to think for themselves, especially the latter. She had a habit of simply following Wilona’s lead when they were together. WIlona had complained as expected, but it was kind of…perfunctory? So, she was in Owain’s group. She laughed at the prompt. “I don’t have any loved ones to threaten except Naomi. She can handle herself fine. And if not,” She held up her right pointer finger. A flame danced briefly on her customary glove before she put her hand back down. “I’ll deal with ‘em myself.” She exhaled. “But you know, I’m not like you, Owain. An extra crispy tongue and hands would prevent any bullsh-“ She stopped herself, rolling her eyes. “Nonsense they might think up.” Naomi Naomi was simply sitting quietly with Neko, Leon, & Holly. The only loved one she had was WIlona, really. And she couldn’t imagine Wil being in danger from anyone. Mr. James and Mr. Lucien, maybe? Hmm. Well, she liked them fine, but loved ones was stretching it. Plus, you know, it wasn’t like she wanted to hurt anyone. But Leon was speaking. “That’s bad, Leon.” She spoke quietly as usual, but indoors and close as they were it wasn’t as difficult to hear her as usual. Hmm. She needed an answer of her own, though…and now she looked like steam was about to come out of her ears. Because she was having a lot of trouble trying to think of a way to nicely persuade the lady not to do that. Because trusting cops to deal with it or doing something mean to her so she couldn’t do anything were both out. And if Holly was right, the answer couldn't be specific to their powers either. So tying the lady up with some invisible bonds forever wasn't on the table either. “Hide the loved ones, maybe?”
  2. I'm filling in for Fox for the fluffy one is busy with life. He shall return, never fear. After some convos in Discord and a change or three, the time has come. Thou art APPROVED
  3. Stargirl II (Jacqueline “Jackie” Thompkins) Power Level: 13; Power Points Spent: 285/285 STR: +17 (15/45), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +17 (15/45), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +17, Fort: +17, Ref: +6/+9, Will: +10 Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Bluff 7 (+10), Diplomacy 2 (+5), Gather Information 7 (+10), Intimidate 12 (+15), Knowledge (civics) 3 (+5), Knowledge (Galactic) 8 (+10), Knowledge (streetwise) 3 (+5), Language 2 (+2), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 2 (+5) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Equipment 3, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 3, Interpose, Luck 4, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Ultimate Effort (Strength checks), Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Breath Mask (Device 2) (Hard to lose) Mask Sensors (Super-Senses 5) (distance sense, infravision, time sense, tracking: Visual 1 (half speed), ultravision) Spaceproof (Immunity 5) (environmental condition: Cold, environmental condition: Radiation, environmental condition: Vacuum, suffocation (all)) Edgerunner Communicator (Device 3) (Hard to lose) Long Range Radio (Communication (sense type: radio; Subtle (subtle)) Universal Translator (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all) Starheart Augmented Physiology (Container, Passive 17) Stellar Durability (Impervious Toughness 13) Stellar Might (Super-Strength 6) (+30 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +6 STR to some checks) Stellar Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 30) (+30 CON) Stellar Strength (Enhanced Strength 30) (+30 STR) Starheart Speed (Container, Passive Stellar Blurring (Concealment 4) (all visual senses; Partial, Passive) Stellar Flight (Flight 6+6) ([Stacking ranks: +6], Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd) Stellar Quickness (Quickness 6+6) ([Stacking ranks: +6], Perform routine tasks at 10000x speed) Stellar Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 20) (Traits: Attack Bonus +3 (+9), Defense Bonus +3 (+9), Reflex +3 (+9), Feats: Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 3) Stellar Energy Manipulation (Array 18) (default power: blast; Custom (Array 17.5)) Stellar Flight Boost (Flight 6) (Alternate; Speed: 500 mph, 4400 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Stellar Flight (Flight 6+6))) Stellar Quickness Boost (Quickness 6) (Alternate; Perform routine tasks at 100x speed; Stacks with (Stellar Quickness (Quickness 6+6))) Stellar Strength Boost (Super-Strength 9) (Alternate; +45 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +9 STR to some checks) Star Blast (Blast 17) (Default; DC 32; Precise) Star Bolts (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]; Accurate 3 (+6)) Star Burst (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Burst Area (55 ft. radius - General)) Equipment: The Edgerunner Attack Bonus: +6/+9 (Ranged: +6/+9, Melee: +6/+9, Grapple: +23/+41) Attacks: Star Blast (Blast 17), +9 (DC 32), Star Bolts (Blast 11), +15 (DC 26), Star Burst (Blast 11) (DC 26), Unarmed Attack, +9 (DC 32) Defense: +6/+9 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -15 Initiative: +15 Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 18 (72 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 183 + Combat 24 + Saves 10 + Drawbacks 0 = 285 ****************************************************************************************** The Edgerunner Power Level: 13; Equipment Points Spent: 15 Toughness: +15 Features: Communications, Computer, Fire Prevention System, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System 1, Workshop Powers: Energy Channeling (Features 1) (Notes: Jackie may use her Star Blasts, Star Bolts, or Star Burst attacks while piloting the ship.) Ion Drive (Flight 12) (Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd) Superluminal Drive (Super-Movement 3) (extra ranks 3) Totals: Abilities 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 9 + Powers 3 + Combat 1 + Saves 2 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 15 Age (as of Jan 2019): 55 Height: 5’ 11” Weight: 190 lbs. Ethnicity: Caucasian Hair: Brown w/ streaks of grey Eyes: Brown Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois (1977-1982); Los Angeles, California (1982-2009), Outer Space (2009-present) Background: You, Dear Reader, cannot possibly imagine what it was like. Being the second child of two of the most famous people on the planet. The child of a legend cannot possibly measure up to the original. Jesse, bless him, wanted to try anyone. He was thrilled to his toes when he got his powers and could be Starboy. Jackie knew better. Other people’s expectations on their own are a heavy weight. Put them together with one’s own and said weight can become crushing. Of course she put on the Star. Of course she became Stargirl when her powers inevitably came in. Living in that house? With those three? How could she not? She loved her father. She loved her mother. She loved her brother. She couldn’t bear to disappoint them. Even though she always knew she would. Or to put it in better terms, she put John and Judy Thompkins up on a pedestal before they told her they were Starman and Starwoman. They were all so happy when Jesse became Starboy. She couldn’t say no. She couldn’t. The looks in their eyes would be unbearable. As would the understanding they would give her. Then there was Armageddon, and Daddy got hurt. And then there was the invasion of ’82 and Kuros, and Daddy got hurt real bad. She moved away. She was 18. She had dreams of Hollywood stardom. And she couldn’t bear to look at Daddy. He was so broken, and it hurt her heart even to look at him. And away from home she didn’t have to put on the Star so much. But Los Angeles wasn’t what she thought. She wasn’t that good of an actress, really. And she also wasn’t willing to do the things that got mediocre but still attractive actresses good roles. So she did a lot of waitressing and bartending. A lot of fruitless auditioning. And you know how it. Eventually they’ve seen enough of her and she didn’t even get to the auditioning stage anymore. That isn’t to say she never got any roles at all. But she never got anything good or high paying. She couldn’t go home, and her career plan had fizzled. Someone without her powers might have gotten lost in drugs and partying. And to be fair, she tried for a little while. The last time she put on the Star was the invasion of ’92, and that was quite brief. She basically hadn’t put it on in 7 years, but a massive alien invasion one makes exceptions for. Her parents died the following year, and it broke something in her. She threw herself in the Los Angeles party scene. It was extremely difficult for her to get drunk or high, but by God she really tried. She moved several times, bouncing from short term job to short term job. Someone without her powers may have met a very bad end. Instead she simply got lost for a bunch of years. She has no idea who Jessica’s father is. Turns out there are drugs strong enough to affect her like a normal. Of course, they’d kill said normal stone dead, but whatever. She’d been raised to be something resembling responsible, so she got out of the life. Got something stable. Of course, for a mere high school graduate in Los Angeles that required two jobs. Even for a Star, that was a lot of working hours. So on that terrible day in September, she came home dead tired and passed out into dreamland. Bombs going off wouldn’t have woken her. A helpful neighbor was watching Jessica. Her brother and his family were fighting for their lives, and she was asleep. Her brother fucking DIED, and she slept through it. The guilt she felt later in the day is unimaginable. Paralyzing. She fell into old habits amid a deep depression. She doesn’t know who Jonathan’s father is, either. She knows she wasn’t a very good mother. Always working. Emotionally unavailable. Strung out on something powerful half the time. You’re such a good girl, Jessica. Helping look after your baby brother. Can you imagine? A tiny Los Angeles apartment. Occupied by a woman and her two children. No parents. No siblings. No way to contact Jody or her kids, plus like hell they wanted to hear from the failure of the family. This wasn’t what she imagined her life to be, back in ’85. But she wasn’t bitter. She just didn’t care. She’d gone numb. Nothing mattered. Nothing except taking care of Jessica and Jonathan. They didn’t deserve to suffer because of her. She could keep them fed, clothed, and housed. She could keep it together enough to do that. And she did. She may have not had anything warm and nurturing left in her at the time, but she could earn money and buy things. Yes, indeed. Until 2009, when she got literally abducted by aliens. It’s not an uncommon story, throughout the ages of humanity. Worlds that haven’t yet developed genuine space travel are and always have been a source of slave labor, experimental test subjects, or uh. Pets. Her depression swamped mind basically said “well, this might as well happen”. With that said, she was not the only person kidnapped off the planet. And this was the unethical scientists doing experimental tests illegal elsewhere kind of things. She mostly didn’t care what happened to her, but her inaction wasn’t going to get other people harmed or killed. No. So that was one batch of villains slapped down. The problem was, she didn’t know where in the universe she was. The people she was with needed looking after, and they weren’t all human. So she made one more crappy choice. She didn’t exactly have to rush to find her way home, right? She could be free of everything for a little while, right? That wasn’t so bad, right? Dammit, Jackie. A little while has stretched into ten years as she’s found one thing after another to do. She’s gotten her own ship. She’s gathered an interesting crew of allies and friends, named after that ship. The Edgerunners. Calling all of them but her heroes would be uh, stretching it. But they’ve done good work. The name of the ship is a logical one. The Edge is the border between free space and Kuros’s empire of claimed galaxies. A demilitarized zone on an intergalactic scale. Or rather, it was. Now, with the disappearance of all of his forces, it’s complicated. At any rate, refugees were always fleeing. Rebel groups were always battling the tyrant and his forces. So, supplies, equipment, information, and sometimes even people needed to be smuggled under the noses of the Nega Corps and Kuros’s forces. Most of the people who tried it didn’t last. Mostly because they approached it stupidly. Reckless violence and intimidation don’t work on groups who either don’t care about losses because they’re easily replaceable (Kuros’s forces) or dedicated hardasses who don’t afraid of anything (the Nega Corps). And even the fastest ships in the universe with the hottest of the hotshot pilots need to refuel and resupply. The ones who last are the ones who play it smart and quiet. Like Jackie and the Edgerunners. But of course, the first person Jackie ran into out in space after the initial abduction event was friggin’ Megagirl. Of all people. She was kind of happy the heroine wasn’t dead. Who wouldn’t be? Besides Valia, yeah yeah we know. Astonishingly, she didn’t recognize Jackie. Granted, it had been 24 years since Megagirl had disappeared and 3 more since she’d seen Jackie, but…did she really look that different? Did 27 years of hard living and two kids really change the way she looked so much that someone who knew her back then didn’t recognize the former Stargirl? (Spoiler: It did not, but if the former Stargirl wanted to be someone else who was Megagirl to judge? As far as the tiny heroine knew, there was nothing keeping her on Earth if she wanted to leave. Starboy had probably taken over as Starman by now, and it wasn’t like Jackie had kids or something, right? If only you knew, Megan.) This was great, actually. Jackie pretended to be someone who wasn’t Stargirl, and they partnered up. Megagirl was never properly an Edgerunner. Morals too inflexible for that. And she had her own commitments anyway, which meant she wasn’t always on the ship with the growing crew. Speaking of that crew, how did they get together? Well, the first go around brought Jackie together with some mercenary outlaws in the ever mysterious Nobellian sniper Esme*, the cybernetic self defined Borustan ronin Tetsukaze*, and the albino Nobellian mage Zima*. A lot happened, but ultimately the four’s actions uncovered a fast spreading religious cult was a front for an extradimensional alien invasion. Specifically, by taking over bodies in the regular universe and slowly transforming them into red insectoid horrors. Fortunately, Esme turned out to be an old hand at tracing and destroying their nests. Between that, Jackie’s raw power, Tetsukaze’s tactical skill and savagery, and Zima’s surprisingly versatile hydromancy, the threat was averted. For now. A grateful Nobellian megacorporation gave the foursome a big chunk of money after their offer of permanent employment was declined by all four. They decided to remain a team, and most of said money went towards buying and outfitting the Edgerunner. The second event was just as hair raising. To make a long story much shorter, a Draconian (reptile men, but stronger and tougher than that implies) decided she wanted to access the intergalactic infoweb via direct neural interface. The problem with this idea is that a direct neural interface requires connecting the tech involved directly (hence the name) to the brain. Which is inside the skull. Which has to have holes drilled in it for that specific purpose. Draconian bones are, generally speaking, harder and more impenetrable than titanium. So, it was either a medical procedure with a length measured in probably days using inordinately expensive and rare equipment…or doing something a bit, well, easier. It would have been better if that Draconian woman had chosen the procedure. Again, long story much shorter, she financed research into nanotech able to perform direct neural interfacing. This was a success. She used it. And then things went directly to hell. First. By nature of being inside the body and thus vunerable to the immune system, the nanotech had to both be able to repair and replicate itself. Second. Mega corporations have been experimenting with artificial intelligence for centuries. Flesh and blood employees are so…inefficient, after all, compared with machines. Their discarded and escaped prototypes and formerly enslaved AIs haunt the darker corners of the infoweb. Third. The lovely thing about normal direct neural interfaces is that the base of the equipment is fairly analog for the reasons just stated. Said base is a plug in that drilled hole in the skull. So if the user encounters any…issues…on the infoweb, all the user has to do is literally unplug from it. You can see where this is going. That Draconian woman doesn’t exist anymore, though her body probably does, piloted by a very angry AI. The planet she was on was lost in hours. The situation rapidly spiraled out of control, and the entire sector was lost in days. The Nega Corps worked fast and efficiently, but it still took them time to figure out what they were up against. And by then saving that entire galaxy was a losing battle. One they’re technically still waging to evacuate as many uninfected civilians as possible, with heavy military backup from the Nobellian and Sionil navies. This is where the Edgerunners come in. There was a priority list for evacuees, and an verification process to make sure they weren’t infected. Money and the political influence thereof being what they are, three guesses who was at the top of the list for evacuation. And any ships from inside that tried to run the galactic blockade got shot to pieces by the Nobellian and Sionil fleets. The Nega Corps had no choice but to cooperate. They have neither the ships nor the manpower to do it by themselves. This, naturally, led to attempts to run the blockade from outside. Plenty of people inside have enough money to temp outlaw crews into taking a run at it. Getting in? Pretty easy. Getting out again? Congratuations, you’re actually trying to run the galactic blockade now. In the Edgerunner’s case, the Borustan independent delta holoscreener (or D-Screener, the Earth equivalent is a V-Tuber) Roxy Jett*. She, her Nobellian bodyguard/lover Geojang*, and Sionil tech support Mirage* wanted out. So, Jackie and the Edgerunners went and got them out. That makes it sound much, much easier than it was. It was kind of like an Earth zombie movie, actually. Except the “zombie” virus in this case was partially airborne, and the “zombies” weren’t anywhere near mindless or shambling. Fortunately, something about Jackie’s stellar energy shorted the nanotech right out when it was outside the protection of flesh, and Zima’s hydromancy could wash them out of the air just as easily. There were still a few fights, and a few space fights. Dodging Negas and blockade ships. And, of course, the general chaos and madness of a galaxy gripped by absolute terror. They got Roxy and company out, but…well. Roxy’s holovid proclaiming her freedom was, quite frankly, a piss poor idea in retrospect. It made her an intergalactic outlaw. So, without any real choice in the matter, she’s stuck being on the crew of the Edgerunner. And Geojang and Mirage are stuck with her. There was one weird thing, however. The AIs, after a little while, recognized Jackie’s stellar energy. Not from her, or from Earth, but from somewhere else. It was the very first hint ever about exactly what had happened to John Thompkins over 50 years earlier, but there was no time to pursue it. Yet. In the mean time, Megagirl ran into Nick Phoenix, causing she and the Edgerunners to part ways. Over the course of their running the Edge, Jackie and the Edgerunners had met a bunch of people. Most of whom even survived the encounter and its aftermath, and thus were free to meet them again. You know, contacts. Friendly faces at certain ports of call and/or watering holes. So they’d gradually become aware of the Crystals of Power, or at least the four that were out in the universe at the time. But nobody thought about taking one for themselves. For one, the people who had each one, well…you’d need to be both crazy and have a full fledged army to take just one. For another, once you did still one you’d have a bullseye on your back the size of a galaxy. You’d have to be the biggest badass who ever lived, and also never sleep again, in order to keep just one. So nobody seriously thought they’d ever be united. Not even Kuros was that goddamn crazy and badass. Right? Well…about that…nothing like the biggest, most badass battle fleet yet assembled dropping out of superluminal in the Sionil system where the Earth Crystal was kept as a statement of intent. Sionil military philosophy is, very broadly, about discipline, defense, and never bending a micron no matter how much they get hammered. This system in particular was thought to be among their most impregnable fortresses. 12 layers of mines, mobile turrets, heavily armored dreadnoughts and mighty battlestations. The battle was short and outstandingly violent. It wasn’t that Kuros’s fleet didn’t take hideous casualties, because it did. It was that it simply didn’t matter. This wasn’t a tactical victory. It was simple brute force. Even the mightiest stone wall can be smashed by sufficient force. The system in which the Earth Crystal formerly resided was left a shattered glass ruin. And the half of the universe Kuros didn’t already rule immediately panicked. The Edgerunners weren’t much of an exception. So, as Kuros outsavaged to Borustans (whose military philosophy mainly revolves around overwhelming firepower and the most efficient application thereof) for the Fire Crystal and kicked seven shades of hell out of the Nobellians (whose military philosophy generally revolves around subtle bits of finesse, precision strikes, and intelligent, flexible tactics) for the Will Crystal, the Edgerunners were hunting for the ones that were missing. The revelation that Kuros had the Soul Crystal to begin with helped narrow things down. The Edgerunners were not alone in their hunt by a long, long shot. However, they had an advantage in Jackie, who (not being an idiot) knew where this was going. Earth may not have been the literal center of the universe, but metaphorically? It sure seemed like it sometimes. So they raced to get to Earth to warn Earth’s heroes (having left almost a decade before, she knew the Icons existed). Nobody expected Kuros to use the Soul Crystal to break into Tian (the Chinese Divine Heavens) as a shortcut to Earth, so things went to hell in a handbasket. Thus the Eternity War event kicked off. And every one of the Edgerunners except Esme (as usual, said the mysterious Nobellian sniper) ended up Dusted. Jackie and her crew came back when that was undone, and participated in the resulting final battle of the Endgame which saw the end of Kuros and his empire. Including seeing her niece and nephew finally take up the Star for good. She carefully avoided them during the battle. With that finished, and Esme having said her goodbyes (she did spend a year with the Icons, after all), Jackie and the Edgerunners departed Earth. There was a lot to do in space. Tidal and baby Lei Zi were tagging along. He needed a ride for a little while. Tetsukaze wanted to visit the Red Ronin to restore his fraying control over his cyberpsychosis, and Geojang thought it might be good for her own, as well. Zima had encountered her former comrades during the Endgame battle (seeing them again trigged her memories of them to return), and she was in need of someone to deprogram the trio’s minds and awaken them from the strange comas they had fallen into after Kuros’s demise. Shockingly, they didn’t die with him. And she was still missing the rest of her memories. If they could fill in any of the blanks she would be extremely grateful. As Jackie herself? She hadn’t forgotten the words of those AI when they picked up Roxy and company. Somewhere out there, in the vastness of the universe, was the origin of the Starpowers. So, a lot to do. But one last thing before they flew off into the chaos of a universe without Kuros and his forces. A thing Jackie does not rightfully know why she did, aside from a ghost of a memory of a dream she had while she was Dusted. The indistinct voices of her father, mother, and brother. Standing in the airlock as the Edgerunner started taking off, she threw a single Star Blast into the air that exploded into a brilliant five pointed star. The Star. Then she went back inside, closed the airlock doors, and departed for that universe in chaos. *Names are translated into their closest Earth language equivalent. Powers & Tactics: Jackie is, technically, a mutant and she has a pair of technological devices. Her powers function in a way made legendary by first her parents and then her brother. She has a nuclear fusion reaction inside her chest, pumping out energy as only they can. It is known as a Starheart. Physiological alterations channel that power into her abilities, namely enhanced strength, speed, resilience and stellar energy manipulation. She’s never bothered trying to match his parents in their peak categories, but the combination of their powers has proved highly effective by itself. Her peak lifting strength is in the hundreds of thousands of tons. Her top flight speed is hypersonic. Her speed also makes her better at dodging and more accurate. One would still need a ballistic missile to begin to consider actually hurting her, as she can ignore even a Earth battleship’s main guns. She can smash through titanium with a punch or a Star Blast. Speaking of the latter, she can emit that stellar energy as lower powered rapidfire bolts or a big burst of energy over an area. She’s never tried to figure out how to do anything else. It is, however, quite strange. The stellar energy of Starwoman and Starman II manifested as glowing, amorphous shapes aside from where they turned into solid objects. Jackie’s, on the other hand, has always been jagged and crackling like electricity. This did not help her self esteem issues. Not at all. Clearly, there is more to the properties of stellar energy than is currently known. Her devices are rather simple affairs and necessary for a space traveler. Her Breath Mask has a minor sensor suite that helps when it gets dark and to track people and objects. It also renders her immune to the biggest problems in space, namely suffocation and exposure to cold, vacuum, and radiation. Her second device is her Edgerunner Communicator. Every member of the crew has one. They have a 2k mile communication range and a universal translator because they all (Jackie especially) don’t speak the same languages. The Edgerunner is her ship. It flies as fast as she does, has the superluminal drive that gets them from system to system and galaxy to galaxy, and in place of weapons it can channel her own Star Blasts/Bolts/Bursts. This is occasionally useful, as they can pretend to be unarmed couriers or whatever. But it’s not just a method of transportation. It’s the crew’s home, too, with a bunch of features that any super headquarters needs. Tactically, Jackie isn’t quite the girl her parents trained anymore. She has killed people out there in space. Granted, this was in ship to ship combat when their ship exploded, but still. Her definition of Acceptable Targets has expanded to a degree, past what her father would have ever found acceptable. And she’s long since stopped batting so much as an eyelash when the rest of the Edgerunners are as lethal as possible in combat. But Jackie herself in person to person combat still holds back so as not to kill. She’s still careful about collateral damage, at least in civilian spaces. And she’ll still Interpose and put her mostly invulnerable body between the defenseless and certain doom. Star Blast and punching are really for harder targets. Star Burst and Takedown Attack 2 are for groups of enemies. It’s Star Bolts that, like her mother, she gets the most use out of. Accurate Attack is useful for avoiding lethal damage. All Out Attack is for more accuracy, because the list of ranged weapons that can cause actual injury to someone with Toughness 17, Impervious 13 is pretty fuckin’ short. Startle can also help with hitting. Power Attack can ratchet up the damage on the rare occasion that’s needed. And Move by Action keeps her mobile. Like every Star, she has Ultimate Strength and Toughness for those exceptionally needy occasions. Surprisingly with that much Luck, she’s not really a power stunter. It’s just unnecessary when you have a full crew of allies and have what’s basically godlike power compared to virtually everyone else. PL Notes: Jackie debuted in 1977 as a PL 8 with a more or less identical build to her brother’s from two years eariler. +6 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +10 Strength and Toughness bonuses. Lifting strength probably about 60, so topping out at over a hundred tons. She’d only reached PL 9 by ’78 and the first battle with Armageddon. +8 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. Still +10 Strength and Toughness. She was PL 12, however, for the invasion in ’82. +9 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +15 Strength and Toughness. She was this build in ’85 when she hung it up, and hasn’t noticeably changed since. Personality: Jackie is a woman who has spent almost her entire adult life running away. From the weight of expectation. From the burden of being cared for. From the guilt at never being good enough in her own eyes. From well, everything really. She’s made a lot of terrible decisions in search of a place to finally stop running. A place where she can simply be herself. Not Stargirl. Not the second Thompkins child. Not even Mommy. Just…Jackie. This is, of course, a rationalization so she can live with herself. She knows she could have tried harder. At being Stargirl. At being the second Thompkins child. And at being Mommy. She could have done a much better job, and it eats at her. Out in space is the first place where she’s apparently capable of doing both good and right simultaneously. And so she stays. The problem with Jackie is that she has never once believed in herself. No self-confidence. No self-esteem. No matter how hard she tried, something would always go sideways. She’d always fall short next to her parents and brother. Always and forever. Whether she wanted to or not. She would never stop being a disappointment and/or a failure. And as is known, whether one believes they can do something or not, they’re right. A self fulfilling prophecy, if you will. The thing is, she does have it in her to be just as good as they were. The past ten years have shown this. She’s a real superhero out there in space. Even if the Edgerunners kind of…aren’t, exactly. And while she’s out there in space, she believes she can be good enough. All that baggage of her life on Earth stays there. With that said, you try having parents as absolutely legendary as Starman and Starwoman. You try having them expect great things from you in both as both a superhero and a civilian. Measuring up to them as they actually were is difficult, but doable. Measuring up to their legend, especially the one in Jackie’s mind? Completely impossible. All the love, support, and encouragement in the world wouldn’t be enough if the person involved doesn’t believe in their heart that they can. And it’s something one can never explain properly without sounding pathetic and whiny. At least, she thinks so. Her brother, the crazy man, tried. He couldn’t do it, and it only drove him to try harder. Jackie was never that strong back then. She still thinks she isn’t. She is wrong. However, no matter how long and how far she runs, she is still the child of her parents. Of Starman and Starwoman. She still has the values and ideals drilled into her from an early age. She cannot allow people she knows are in trouble and/or danger to come to harm because of her inaction. She may be suffering from depression and a self esteem that often registers in the negatives, but despite Jackie’s attempts to destroy her Stargirl still endures somewhere inside. She isn’t a bad person. Not really. She’s made lots of bad choices, been a pretty selfish jerk, and rationalized very hard. But she has never succumbed to wickedness, malice or evil. This is…probably of little comfort to Jessica and Jonathan, who most likely think she’s simply dead. She knows that. She hopes desperately that they’ve been better off without her. That she was never worthy of them to begin with. Because otherwise she’d have to accept that she willingly abandoned them. That every time life got too challenging, she gave up and ran away. She believes she’s not strong enough to face the condemnation she thinks she deserves for this, let alone the impossibility of forgiveness. She’s wrong about that, too.
  4. Starman II (Jesse Thompkins) Power Level: 14; Power Points Spent: 285/285 STR: +17 (15/45), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +17 (15/45), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +17, Fort: +17, Ref: +7/+11, Will: +11 Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Bluff 12 (+15), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 7 (+10), Intimidate 7 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 8 (+10), Knowledge (history) 3 (+5), Knowledge (streetwise) 3 (+5), Language 1 (+1), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 2 (+5) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 4, Interpose, Luck 4, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Ultimate Effort (Strength checks), Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Starheart Augmented Physiology (Container, Passive 18) Stellar Durability (Impervious Toughness 14) Stellar Might (Super-Strength (+40 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +8 STR to some checks) Stellar Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 30) (+30 CON) Stellar Strength (Enhanced Strength 30) (+30 STR) Starheart Speed (Container, Passive 10) Stellar Flight (Flight 8+7) ([Stacking ranks: +7], Speed: 500000 mph, 4400000 ft./rnd) Stellar Quickness (Quickness 8+7) ([Stacking ranks: +7], Perform routine tasks at 100000x speed) Stellar Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 26) (Traits: Attack Bonus +4 (+11), Defense Bonus +4 (+11), Reflex +4 (+11), Feats: Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 4) Stellar Energy Manipulation (Array 18) (default power: blast; Custom (Array 17.5)) Stellar Flight Boost (Flight 7) (Alternate; Speed: 1000 mph, 8800 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Stellar Flight (Flight 8+7))) Stellar Quickness Boost (Quickness 7) (Alternate; Perform routine tasks at 250x speed; Stacks with (Stellar Quickness (Quickness 8+7))) Stellar Strength Boost (Super-Strength 7) (Alternate; +35 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 209.7k tons; +7 STR to some checks) Star Blast (Blast 17) (Default; DC 32; Precise) Star Bolts (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]; Accurate 3 (+6)) Star Burst (Blast 11) (Array; DC 26; Burst Area (55 ft. radius - General)) Stellar Energy Objects (Create Object 10) (Array; Max Size: 10x 50' cubes, DC 20; Movable (Radius: 50 ft., Strength: 50, Force: 12.8 tons); Progression, Object Size 3, Selective, Stationary) Attack Bonus: +7/+11 (Ranged: +7/+11, Melee: +7/+11, Grapple: +24/+43) Attacks: Star Blast (Blast 17), +11 (DC 32), Star Bolts (Blast 11), +17 (DC 26), Star Burst (Blast 11) (DC 26), Unarmed Attack, +11 (DC 32) Defense: +7/+11 (Flat-footed: +6), Knockback: -15 Initiative: +19 Languages: English Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 19 (76 ranks) + Feats 15 + Powers 179 + Combat 28 + Saves 12 + Drawbacks 0 = 285 Age (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 2001 at age 39 Height: 6’ 1” Weight: 200 lbs Ethnicity: Caucasian Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown Base of Operations: Chicago, Illinois Background: The first best day of Jesse Thompkins’s life occurred when he was 13 years old, in 1975. It was, in fact, 14 years to the day when the sperm of John Thompkins met the egg of Judy Thompkins, and the newly combined cells started duplicating. It was probably 14 years to the hour, minute, or even second, but Jesse was sleeping at that time. It was a school night, ya know? It was still the first best day of his life. It wasn’t just that he had superpowers. That was great. But it was 1975. Starman and Starwoman were some of the most famous people on the planet. Legendary superheroes. Everybody knew they had kids. And holy shit, they were Jesse and his sister Jackie. Well. He’d known that since he was ten. But he didn’t have powers, you know? He was just a kid whose parents happened to be some of the most famous superheroes in the world. And then he woke up one day and he wasn’t. Can you imagine? John and Judy were good parents who children adored them as much as any children adore their parents. But they were also, again, legendary superheroes. Saying young Jesse idolized them is, well, understating matters. And then he got to be one of them! Like, seriously. The first best day of his life. He wasn’t as powerful or as fast, but he was also just a kid. So he didn’t mind. Because he was freakin’ Starboy! Like, he has to learn how not to accidently kill people with his strength or a Star Blast, but he also had two very experienced teachers in Mom and Dad. And just like that, he got to fight beside them. To shield people beside them. To save lives beside them. And, after he started high school the year after, on his own sometimes. It…wasn’t as glamorous as he thought. But it was still important. It still needed doing. No, it wasn’t a thrill a minute like he thought. It was much more important that something like that. Admirable philosophy from a teenage boy. But you know, he was still technically that teenage boy. Girls. Oh, yeah. But not just any girl, oh no. Jody Rice, good god. What an angel, said teenage Jesse. In reality there were probably ten thousand more attractive and/or charismatic girls in Chicago alone, but that’s just how it is when Cupid’s metaphorical arrow strikes. He talked to his dad. He talked to his mom. He talked to his sister (who was still in Stargirl training at that time, her powers having just emerged). And then he talked to Jody. He wooed her, won her, and they were going steady. Nice. This was important, because her house gave him someplace else to go and someone else to talk to after Armageddon attacked and his dad was hurt. He’d been no help at all, despite getting much stronger in the past three years. He hadn’t reached the power of his mom and dad yet. And he started to think he never would. At any rate, this was when Jody learned he was Starboy, and their relationship broke for a while because of the secret kept from her. It broke again when Jody went away for college. Jesse stayed in Chicago to help protect it. This was 1980, and to help make ends meet he started breaking into professional cartooning. As opposed to the amateur stuff in the school newspaper. The money wasn’t much, so he also kept up a steady stream of part time jobs, in addition to art school at Columbia College Chicago and still being a superhero. A very busy schedule for someone not as fast as a Star. Then came 1982, and the invasion of Kuros the Conqueror. He distinguished himself, to be sure, but his father was badly hurt. Jesse was 20 years old. A grown man. He offered to take over and let his father retire due to injury, but John Thompkins, Professional Stubborn Bastard, declined. This is also when Jody returned to Chicago, knowing Jesse had to be hurting. She transferred into the University of Chicago. They were married in ’83. The second best day of his life. They graduated college in ’84, and starting living together full time. The Champions went away to space and didn’t come back in ’85. Jesse spent the rest of his days thinking he should have gone with them. But it’s hard, you know? They were his father’s friends, not his. The adults in the room, so to speak. He didn’t know how to ask. Him, a grown man of 23 years, didn’t know how to talk to them. Jesse’s (his sister’s, too) fatal flaw appearing again. How could he ever measure up to giants? A decade gone, and they still left him starstruck and tonguetied. And of course, they didn’t think to ask him. He was Starboy. A kid to protect, not an equal to stand beside. Not that this was a conscious thought, mind. One watches a kid grow up, and it’s…hard, to shake that mental image of them as that kid. And his father would have never agreed to it, they thought. Wrongly, as the following year (1986) Starman formally retired from superheroics and took his wife with him. But he did not, however, take his name. Starboy became Starman. He found out the powers could be given to other people by accident, by giving them to Jody. But Starqueen didn’t have the aptitude for hero work. Instincts all wrong. Constantly forgetting her powers. Etc. She wasn’t as powerful as he was, either. Something didn’t go right in the transfer. So, pretty much a failure all around. Their first child, Jack (after his sister), was born in 1988. Their second, Jennifer, was born in 1990. The third and fourth best days of his life. Kuros came back in ’92, but Nick Phoenix took care of it before Jesse could do a lot. He was ready to do what he could, though. And then came the undisputed worst day of his life. 1993. The day his parents died. The story has been told. John Thompkins’s Starheart was about to explode. Judy offered to take him away into space. Jesse offered to do it, as he could probably survive the explosion. But no. Judy didn’t want to stick around without her John. They were connected forever. He wanted to scream and cry. To beg them not to leave him. But that, however, would not have been anything like the man they raised. So Jesse could do nothing but watch as Starwoman carried the original Starman into space at a significant fraction of the speed of light. And he watched as the miniature supernova took both of them from him. Then he had to go in their house and call his sister to tell her what happened. He was the one who told the media, too. For people who have never lost a parent, there is no explaining the agony he was in. For those who have, there is no need to do so. That was it. He was Starman. The only one. The only active Star at all. His parents were gone. His sister was…well, she was finished being a superhero, at least. He worried about her, but what could he do besides visit sometimes? And Jody hadn’t worked out at all. He was the most famous and powerful superhero in the world. Well, Nick had him beat to stardust on the power front, but he wasn’t always around. The generation of his father and the ones inspired by him seemed to fade away as the world got darker and meaner. Jesse seemed like a relic of another age, sometimes. He worked himself harder and harder. Even a Star has physical limits and from time to time he managed to find them. It wasn’t so bad when his parents were still alive, you know? But with them gone it was like the Devil himself was whipping him onward. He worked all over the globe. Money wasn’t a problem. He was the artist behind several comic strips in various newspapers and weekly publications. Jesse Thompkins kind of had it made as a cartoonist, by this point. He went through periods where he ate little, slept less, and ended up looking about as bedraggled as a man with that many running comic strips and no powers would look. It was something he and Jody had more than a few blazing arguments about. Their relationship had always been on the tempestuous side, as opposed to the steady tranquility of John and Judy, and this was just making it worse. They loved each other dearly, but there were times where they didn’t like each other very much at all. Then came the fifth best day of his life. He and his sister weren’t special. The Starpowers were inheritable. Jack had just developed them. Jesse was as overjoyed as John had been on that day 26 years before. Thus the second Starboy put on the Star and joined his father in the field. This, however, was 2001. The story of that terrible day in September has been told. But not from Jesse’s perspective. The return of a monster his dad and his friends had narrowly killed over two decades before. His family, attacked. His wife and son, injured. Panic, anger, and determination. This wouldn’t be like ’92. Nick Phoenix had left in June, after congratulating the new Starboy. Troubles in space and time, of course. He’d be back, but for now Jessee was on his own. It had bothered Jesse, a bit, at the time, the look in Nick’s eye when he said his goodbyes. There’d be time to talk about it when he came back. And so the second Starman charged into a battle he wasn’t sure he could win, but one that needed to be fought. One that there was probably no other hero on the planet could fight, as far as he knew. And like his father in ’78 and ’82, he got beaten within an inch of his life. Hell, further. He fought until he had nothing left. And then fought some more. He wasn’t strong enough. That was the knock on him from the start from the news media. Hell, he couldn’t help making the comparison himself. He didn’t have the power or the speed of his parents. He had to fight harder than they ever did against some of the same foes. He knew he could never be what they were. Knew it deep in his bones. That didn’t mean he couldn’t do anything. He was more powerful than basically every hero who but Nick. And Nick wasn’t always around. So the safety of the world was on his shoulders. But you know how it is. His parents were still around. A backup plan in case things really went pear shaped and the fecal matter hit the oscillating device. It wasn’t a conscious idea, mind. It’s just…in some ways a child thinks Mommy and Daddy are always going to be there for them when they need the two. Parents are immortal and all knowing beings. Sources of advice and support. They may age and diminish a little, perhaps, but they are eternal, virtually unchanging parts of the child’s world. Until one day they aren’t. Suddenly John and Judy were gone, and the backup plan was gone. Jesse was well and truly on his own. So he had to try harder. And harder. And harder. It was all up to him, now. He couldn’t get up. His body refused to obey him. Caviezel (when did he get here?) was taking his run at Armageddon. The monster was absolutely going to kill him. Jesse knew this. And he couldn’t get up. All his insecurities crashed down on him in a wave. He wasn’t strong enough. He wasn’t good enough. He’d never been good enough to be Starman. Why did his father ever trust him with this? His body hurt so much. He was bleeding so much. He wanted to cry. Dying hurts, Daddy. Why didn’t you tell me? But. A quiet little voice at the core of who he was, at the core of who all heroes who stick with it are, refused his body’s refusal. It refused the physical trauma. It refused the mental anguish. It refused the reality of the situation itself. And so, for the first time in his life, Jesse Thompkins reached for more power. Not for himself, but for others. To help. To protect. To save. And yes, to not be a failure. His memories flashed through his mind. Toddling over to Mommy at home, the earliest clear one. Standing beside his father at the beach, full of joy in and love for him. The first time he flew, Mom and Dad beside him. The first time he saw Jody. Times with friends. Jody holding him as he wept for his broken father. The day they were married, once again full of joy in and love for someone else. The birth of Jack. The birth of Jennifer. Such joy and happiness he’d known in those days. But pain and sadness, too. Watching his parents get old. His sister getting lost in her own insecurities and depression, while feeling helpless to do anything for her. Super fights, god so many super fights. Watching his parents die. Every verbal fight with Jody. How she wasn’t superhero material at all. The big joys and little happinesses. The agony of loss and the little pain of minor mistakes. You know, life. Jesse Thompkins, all of him, reached for more power. And his Starheart answered. It suddenly didn’t matter that his ribs were broken and his skull cracked. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t get his vision focused, and he couldn’t hear out of one ear. It didn’t matter that he was in more pain than any mortal ought to be able to endure and stay conscious, much less upright. It didn’t matter that he was literally dying on the spot. He still had people to protect. And a Star will never stay down when there’s people to protect. He literally shone with power. Armageddon didn’t stand a chance. He beat the monster down in seconds, smashed it into the air, and incinerated it with a Star Blast more powerful than anything Nick Phoenix had done in ’92. But reality can only be held at bay for so long. With the crisis now passed, Jesse’s power boost faded away and he collapsed to the ground. He died in his wife’s arms less than five minutes later. Thus passed the second Starman. And with him, an entire era of heroics. However, his death was not in vain. It was not in the general vicinity of in vain. Hell, it’s not even in the same galaxy. More heroes have risen (directly and indirectly) because of that day than existed in the entire Mystery Men era and Golden Age combined. It’s a funny thing. Jesse thought he could never escape his father’s shadow. That he could never measure up to the legend. He was wrong. Jesse Thompkins was a superhero for 26 years. One year longer than his father’s 25. 15 of those were spent as Starman. He only stopped being a superhero because he literally died. Nothing else would have stopped him short of complete physical infirmity. He was as worthy as anyone to stand beside his father, and worthier than almost any other. And with the emergence of his son and daughter as the new Starman and Starwoman, his legacy now appears secure. Rest well, hero. You earned it. Powers & Tactics: Starman II was, technically, a mutant. His powers functioned in a way made legendary by first his parents and then himself. He had a nuclear fusion reaction inside his chest, pumping out energy as only they can. It is known as a Starheart. Physiological alterations channeled that power into his abilities, namely enhanced strength, speed, resilience and stellar energy manipulation. He was never quite able to match his parents in their peak categories, but the combination of their powers proved highly effective on its own. His peak lifting strength was in the hundreds of thousands of tons. His top flight speed was beyond hypersonic. His speed also made him better at dodging and more accurate. One would still need a ballistic missile to begin to consider actually hurting him, as he could ignore even a battleship’s main guns. He could smash through titanium with a punch or a Star Blast. Speaking of the latter, he could emit that stellar energy as lower powered rapidfire bolts or a big burst of energy over an area. He could even make solid object out of the energy, something only his mother thus far has been able to do. He wasn’t the strongest, the toughest, the fastest, or the most powerful blaster ever. However, nobody exceeded him in every category at any point, so he always had options. Until Armageddon provided a brutal reminder of the hierarchy of power. And, of course, the irony is that he absolutely could have been just as powerful as his parents were. To equal them in every area. The measurable output of his Starheart was greater than either of theirs. But he never believed that he could, and the belief of the user is a huge factor in deciding a Starperson’s limits. It is not know how exactly he summoned as much raw power as he did in those last seconds of his life. His mother and father did demonstrate extreme levels of power when sorely pressed, yes, but nothing like that. His Starheart may have been stronger than theirs, but not by that much. Nor is it clear if his parents could have output that much power, or if his sister, his children, or her children can also do so. Even after 58 years, the full capabilities of the Starpowers remain a mystery. Tactically. Starman II was much like both of his parents. They were the ones who trained him, after all. He may have not been as tough as his father, but basic thuggery couldn’t hurt him. Even ordinary supervillains couldn’t hurt him. Toughness 17, Impervious 14 is almost as functionally invincible as 20 and 15, after all. So he could casually disarm all of them, trap them in Stellar Energy Objects until the police were in position, or just lay the full +5 Accurate Attack smack down as needed. Fancy tactics were only required for the beefier supervillains, who got rarer and rarer as time went on. Still. He had Star Bolts, Star Burst, and Takedown Attack 2 for groups. Fancy tactics included All Out Attack, Move by Action, Taunt, and abusing his advantages over a given foe. Not all of them could fly, and none of them could fly as fast. The advantages of ranged attacks versus melee only fighters are well known. The advantages of super strength grappling versus those who are not super strong or especially skilled or dexterous are also well known. He used Interpose a lot, too. Ultimate Strength and Toughness less so. Not a lot of call for that much juice. He had a few power stunts as teen Starboy, but as Starman he really never used them again. Stuff like using a created Stellar Energy Objects as a bludgeon (Strike 2, Mighty), bindings (Snare) or a bright flash of light (Dazzle [visual senses]). PL Notes: Starboy debuted in 1975 as a PL 8. +6 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +10 Strength and Toughness bonuses. Lifting strength probably about 60, so topping out at over a hundred tons. He’d reached PL 11 by ’78 and the first battle with Armageddon. +7 Attack, Defense, Flight, and Quickness. +15 Strength and Toughness. He was basically this build for the invasion in ’82, but he wasn’t quite as experienced and (paradoxically enough) confident in his abilities at 20 years old as he’d be later in life. This build, however, absolutely represents him as Starman for the entirety of his career. Right up until his death. Personality: The problem with Jesse was that he never once believed he had it in him to be a legendary superhero in his own right. His parents were legends, their friends were legends, and he…he was just Jesse. You know? He put the Champions and especially his parents on an unreachable pedestal. Far above where he could ever reach himself. The problem part comes in where the deepest, dearest wish of his heart was to stand on that pedestal with them. Even though he never thought he ever could, he still desperately wanted to. To the very last day of his life he kept trying to prove himself. To whom, well. That is a very good question. It wasn’t his parents, who believed in him unquestioningly. It wasn’t his sister, his wife, or his children, who were much the same. Trying to make the tabloids speak well of you is a waste of time. Maybe it was simply himself. No way to know, now. With that said, Jesse was a good man with a large, warm heart. And the strong sense of humor his parents kind of lacked. He wasn’t a jokester as Starman (that was teen Starboy) but he still had the ability to snark and joke with the best of them. He was the type of person who makes friends wherever they go, you know? A likeable guy who made friends easily and stayed loyal to them if they kept on deserving it. A easygoing, humble guy, but with strong principles and ideals he wouldn’t discard for anyone. A nice man. A kind man. A forgiving man. But not a soft man. Kind of the ideal superhero, if one ignores the previous paragraph. And that was the point. It wasn’t a façade or anything. This was genuinely who he was. But it was also who he wanted to be. Who he’d spent his whole life trying to become. He inarguably succeeded, and the world was better off for it. He truly, genuinely, fought until he had nothing left. He served as Starboy and Starman with honor, integrity, and distinction through two alien invasions, the darkest age in heroic history, and battled the monster Armageddon twice. He built his own legend while not believing he could, and left just as strong an example to follow as his father did. He was Jesse Thompkins. He was a son. He was a friend. He was a husband. He was a father. He was Starboy. He was Starman. And his rest is well earned.
  5. Countess Power Level: 10; Power Points Spent: 270/270 STR: +5 (20), DEX: +5 (20), CON: +5 (20), INT: +7 (24), WIS: +7 (24), CHA: +7 (24) Tough: +5/+15, Fort: +10, Ref: +5, Will: +12 Skills: Craft (artistic) 8 (+15), Craft (electronic) 8 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 8 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 8 (+15), Knowledge (earth sciences) 8 (+15), Knowledge (life sciences) 8 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 8 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 8 (+15), Notice 13 (+20), Sense Motive 13 (+20) Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, Artificer, Beginner's Luck, Defensive Attack, Eidetic Memory, Improved Initiative, Inventor, Jack-of-All-Trades, Luck 3, Power Attack, Skill Mastery (Craft, KN skills), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Magi-Tech Armored Clothing (Device 10) (Hard to lose) Mage Armor (Force Field 5) (+5 Toughness; Impervious) Magi-Tech Sensor Mask (Super-Senses 26) (accurate (type): Auditory, analytical (type): Visual, awareness: Magic (visual), counters concealment: Auditory, counters concealment: Visual, counters illusion: Auditory, counters illusion: Visual, counters obscure (all): Auditory, counters obscure (all): Visual, ultravision) Tech Armor Weave (Protection 5) (+5 Toughness; Impervious) Universal Translator (Comprehend 2) (languages - understand all, languages - you're understood) Magi-Tech Circuitry (Gadgets 10) (Action 2 (free)) Magi-Tech Circuitry Settings: Magister Circuitry (Power Setting) (Powers: Magister's Flight (Flight 5), Magister's Spellcasting (Array 15)) Magister Circuitry (Power Setting) (Powers: Magister's Flight (Flight 5), Magister's Spellcasting (Array 15)) Magister's Flight (Flight 5) (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd) Magister's Spellcasting (Array 15) (default power: blast; Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group - Any Magic)) Create Object 10 (Array; Max Size: 10x 5' cubes, DC 20; Impervious) Illusion 10 (Array; affects: 1 type + visual - visual & auditory, DC 20) Move Object 15 (Array; Strength: 75, Carry: 136.2 tons / 272.9 tons / 409.6 tons / 819.2 tons) Mystic Blast (Blast 15) (Default; DC 30) Mystic Bonds (Snare 15) (Array; DC 25) Mystic Burst (Blast 10) (Array; DC 25; Burst Area (50 ft. radius - General)) Mystic Passage (Teleport 10) (Array; 1000 ft. as move action, 200000 miles as full action; Accurate) Scrying (ESP 10) (Array; affects: 2 types, inc. visual - visual & auditory) Telepathy 10 (Array; DC 20, Adds: Communication 10, Mind Reading 10; Duration (sustained)) Communication 10 (sense type: mental) Mind Reading 10 (DC 20) Paragon Circuitry (Power Setting) (Powers: Paragon's Flight (Flight 10), Paragon's Resilience (Immunity 7), Paragon's Strength (Enhanced Strength 20)) Paragon Circuitry (Power Setting) (Powers: Paragon's Flight (Flight 10), Paragon's Resilience (Immunity 7), Paragon's Strength (Enhanced Strength 20)) Paragon's Flight (Flight 10) ([0 active, 0/20 PP, 2/r], Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd) Paragon's Might (Super-Strength 10) (Alternate; [0 active, 0/20 PP, 2/r], +50 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 3.3k tons; +10 STR to some checks) Paragon's Resilience (Immunity 7) (enviromental conditions (all), suffocation (all)) Paragon's Strength (Enhanced Strength 20) (+20 STR) Sensorium Circuitry (Power Setting) (Powers: Illusionism (Array 11), Melee Targeting Support (Enhanced Trait 10), Sensorium Support (Super-Senses 16)) Sensorium Circuitry (Power Setting) (Powers: Illusionism (Array 11), Melee Targeting Support (Enhanced Trait 10), Sensorium Support (Super-Senses 16)) Illusionism (Array 11) (default power: illusion) Concealment 10 (Array; all senses; Close Range, Precise) Illusion 5 (Default; affects: all sense types, DC 15; Progression, Area 2 (25 ft. radius)) Obscure 5 (Array; affects: all sense types, Radius: 100 ft.; Indirect (in front of you, directed away), Precise) Melee Targeting Support (Enhanced Trait 10) (Feats: Attack Focus (melee) 10) Sensorium Support (Super-Senses 16) (analytical (type): Auditory, analytical (type): Visual, extended (type): Auditory 3 (-1 per 2 mi), extended (type): Visual 3 (-1 per 2 mi)) Attack Bonus: +5 (Ranged: +5, Melee: +5, Grapple: +10) Attacks: Mind Reading 10 (DC Will 20), Mystic Blast (Blast 15), +5 (DC 30), Mystic Bonds (Snare 15), +5 (DC Ref/Staged 25), Mystic Burst (Blast 10) (DC 25), Telepathy 10 (DC Will 20), Unarmed Attack, +5 (DC 20) Defense: +5 (Flat-footed: +3), Knockback: -12 Initiative: +9 Languages: Native Language Totals: Abilities 72 + Skills 23 (90 ranks) + Feats 15 + Powers 130 + Combat 20 + Saves 10 + Drawbacks 0 = 270 Age (as of Jan 2019): ??? (chronological), late 20s to early 30s (appearance) Height: 5’ 6” Weight: 120 lbs Ethnicity: Ambiguously Brown Hair: Dark Brown Eyes: Brown Base of Operations: New Orleans, Louisana Background: Countess was and is the most mysterious of the Champions of Justice, and indeed, the entire Silver Age. She never kept her origins and mission a secret, mind. It was that it was so outlandish, even by Silver Age standards, that nobody but the Champions themselves really believed her. Then again, who would want to believe that, in the distant future, the universe comes to an end when an utterly unstoppable horde of red insectoid horrors rush over it in an unending tide, eating literally everything made of matter and not energy, including the corpses of their fellows, killed by various heroes and military forces before they too succumbed to the ceaseless assault. And that she’s a time traveler from the last city standing after that happened, several centuries later. The city is protected by a concealing energy barrier, which those horror (which are still out there, apparently feeding on each other in the absence of anything else) both cannot see through and have no interest in. It gets more absurd. She wasn’t in the present to stop those horrors from awakening, or to seek help combating them. Nobody knows where they came from in the first place, to start with, and the entire extended Starfamily of the period (with numbers in the double digits) and space navies with weapons that could shatter solar systems all died trying to stop them. If they couldn’t handle it, nothing in this era can either, she says with a shrug. No, she wasn’t here for help. She was a historian on a research trip. Many records were lost with the invasion of the horrors, and the only way to get them back is time travel. So, she debuted as New Orleans’s newest superhero in 1967, and finagled an invitation into the premier superteam of the era, the Champions. She was arguably the least powerful member, and the general public knew it. However, she made up for it in sheer versatility and resilience, and they knew that too. She and Gunsmith were, combined, the brains of the team. He was the detective, she was the scientist and researcher. She had stepped seamlessly into the role of a real person in the limited historical records of her time. A real person who was, apparently, her the entire time. Time travel. It’s weird. Her brother, who disapproved of her unauthorized trip, fell just as naturally into his role as her archnemesis, the Duke.. They battled back and forth for the whole era. Curiously, neither of them took it too far, caused civilian casualties, significant property damage, or anything else. They were both quite careful not to seriously damage any lives or livelihoods. She was a respected hero, he was a feared villain. Good work all around. Because, as came out in space in ’85, the “unauthorized” part was a lie Duke told. He was on the same mission, just on the other side of the fence. It came out because the historical records the two had access to indicated that Countess and Duke had both disappeared that year. Truthfully, it had never been clear if she’d even gone with Champions to space. It had been a risk, and Duke had argued against it. But after over a decade and a half, these were her friends. She knew this was the end of their team. The breaking of their long fellowship. She knew Alsea died on this mission. She had to see it through. And so, after the resolution of that incident, it was time for her to go home. She took off her disguising mask and showed her friends her real, brown face for the first time. She said goodbye, and went back to the future. But not forever. And from her perspective, not even all that long. The records say that Countess returned to New Orleans at the end of 2018, shortly after the dissolution of the empire of Kuros The Conqueror. And, coincidentally, many of the records for that era are still incomplete. Her niece has gone ahead, taking the role of Duchess in Ohio. She took about a month for counseling (it’s difficult to abandon friends you know will be dead when you return, and harder still to see one die in front of you) and age rejuvenation (she had been getting a little up there after 18 years in the field). Then, she once again returned to our era. It is not yet known that this new Countess is the same person as the old and not a successor. But it will be, soon. The only thing that’s different is her mask no longer disguising her ethnicity. The rest of her gear is exactly the same, and she is using it in similar fashion. As for what happens next, well…spoilers, sweetie. Powers & Tactics: Countess technically has no superhuman powers, just incredibly advanced devices. Genetic engineering, however, was perfected ages ago in her time. So she’s a once a in generatioin phhsyical specimen and a genuinely rare mental one. She herself was not altered to become this way; it’s that her abilities are nearly average in her time thanks to said genetic engineering. (To be mechanically specific, it’s the 20 [+5] and ATK & DEF Bonuses of +5 that are average Bystander level in her native time period.) It is Countess’s devices that define her heroic abilities best. They’re both, again, incredibly advanced. However, they’re not magic or technology. Remarkably, they’re both. Her future is unimaginably distant that the disciplines of magic & wizardry have blended with science & technology to the point where they’re almost indistinguishable from each other. As such, anyone trying to shut her down by disabling one or the other would always fail miserably. She always referred to her Magi-Tech Armored Clothing as ordinary fieldwear for researchers in her line, which begs the interesting question of what exactly soldiers and warriors wear in her era. For the Tech Armor Weave alone seems impossible. An unknown fabric and an unknown metal alloy woven together into a lightweight garment that is just as protective as our era’s heaviest mundane armor and is impervious to small arms fire in the bargain. The Mage Armor function activates a force field that that increases her resilience an equal amount and renders her impervious to even artillery fire. It has a Universal Translator because obviously, she doesn’t speak any language of our era. Her mask was bloated with a big sensor suite. Mostly allowing her eyes and ears to utterly ignore any sort of concealment, illusions, or other obscurement. This was useful, as it also had a visual analysis suite, visual magical detection, and an echolocation function. However, what she was best known for in the Silver Age was her Magi-Tech Circuitry. This contained all of her offensive, mobility, and esoteric options. She admitted to requisitioning one of these special for her work, as she knew she would need the flexibility. And flexibility is certainly one way to put it. With twin versatility of all of technology and all of magic at her disposal, there did not seem to be anything she could not do with the appropriate set of themed circuitry. Magister Circuitry allowed to function as a high powered wizard, slinging around whatever potent spells she chose. Paragon Circuitry gave her might above Alsea (but still miles from Megagirl and especially Starman) and the ability to survive in space. Sensorium Circuitry allowed her to screw with enemy senses in a variety of ways, increased her own sensory abilities, and corrected one of the big knocks on her (that being a lack of attack accuracy). These were not all of the circuitries she uses over 18 years of her work, but simply the most common trio. Her versatility and flexibility were extreme. Tactically, well…it’s probably best to speak broadly. Magister was for ranged fighting. Paragon for close up brawling. And Sensorium was probably used the most. The thing to remember is that she operated in support of the rest of the Champions. She had the lowest power level of all of them and she was well aware of it. She was all too happy to let Starman, Starwoman, Megagirl, and Arriba hit the front lines while she used Sensorium to make their lives easier or snuck around with Gunsmith to do something disruptive. She has both Accurate Attack to hit easier and Power Attack to do more damage. But the thing to remember is that the listed circuitries are not the limit of what she could do. She’s used Hyperspeed Circuitry to be a speedster type, Singularity Circuitry to control gravity, Photonic Circuitry to master light, and the list goes on and on. Don’t forget Artificier and Inventor. With such broad capabilities, she has never power stunted and never will. Personality: Countess is, uh, fun. Friendly and playful, in an unexpectedly platonic fashion. It’s strange, actually. She seems to be simultaneously professionally detached and living as intensely as possible. It would make much more sense if one knew anything about her future beyond what she’s already laid out. She’s always said her time is dreadfully boring and changed the subject when asked about it. Boring is, well, one way to put it. The last city in the universe has been a city under siege for centuries. Generations have grown up, had children, grown old, and died behind an opaque silver energy shield with nothing on the other side of it but a gruesome horrible death. Reproduction is strictly regulated. They have no manufacturing. No raw materials. So when something wears out and breaks, if it isn’t a vital part of their food, power, or defense systems it tends to stay broken. Especially if needs new parts that don’t exist. It’s not an unhappy life, per se. People do find ways to entertain each other, even in the darkest times. And this is not quite that. What the city is, however, is culturally stagnant. The same million stories have been told a million times. The same million songs have been sung a million times. The same is true for holovision shows and games. There are no spices in the nutrient paste they call food, and indeed little flavoring at all. The last city in the universe is dying a slow death through ideological starvation. Hence why they send historians out into the past to shore up their records. Countess isn’t simply getting the bare facts to fill out the gaps in their databases. She’s bringing back the complete text of millions of books, as many music albums as she can quantum store, and hordes of movies, television shows, and video games. They have several million yottabytes of empty data storage in the city. So no, Countess isn’t lying when she says it’s dreadfully boring in her era. New Orleans was and is a far more interesting place to be. She has been freed from Dullsville, so to speak, and she’s going to enjoy ever millisecond that she can. But on the flip side of that, she does have a job to do and a timeline not to unnecessarily distort. And like most any denizen of the last city in the universe, she’s not about to allow anyone to be harmed if she has the power to do something about it. And with her Magi-Tech, she absolutely does. She is going to sampling pleasures culinary, literary, and audiovisual as often as possible. She’s going to meet new people with very different ideas than the ones back home, make friends, and spents as much time with them as possible. And since she’s rigged for holovision recording, even her superheroic adventures both have been and will be fodder to further culturally enrich the last city in the universe.
  6. Alsea Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 255/255 STR: +12 (35), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +12 (34), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +7 (24), CHA: +0 (10) Tough: +12, Fort: +12, Ref: +12, Will: +12 Skills: Concentration 8 (+15), Diplomacy 5 (+5), Gather Information 10 (+10), Knowledge (earth sciences) 5 (+5), Knowledge (life sciences) 5 (+5), Language 1 (+1), Notice 8 (+15), Search 10 (+10), Sense Motive 8 (+15) Feats: Accurate Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 3, Defensive Attack, Dodge Focus 3, Improved Grab, Improved Pin, Interpose, Luck 4, Power Attack, Takedown Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Extraterrestrial Plant Physiology (Container, Passive 15) Algaic Seaweed Being (Insubstantial 1) (Fluid; Permanent) Inhuman Might (Super-Strength 6) (+30 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 102.4 tons; +6 STR to some checks) Photosynthesis (Immunity 3) (aging, disease, starvation & thirst) Photosynthetic Recovery (Regeneration 32) (ability damage 8 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (bruised) 3 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (disabled) 8 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (injured) 6 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (staggered) 6 (recover 1 / round without rest), resurrection 1 (1 week); Source (Sunlight)) Stretchable Limbs (Elongation 6) (Elongation: 250 ft., range incr 60 ft., +6 Escape & Grapple) Telepathic Link (Communication 12) (sense type: mental; Omni-Directional Area) Telepathic Senses (Super-Senses 9) (accurate (type): Mental, acute (type): Mental, radius (type): Mental, ranged: Mental) Telepathy & Telekinesis (Array 12) (default power: mind reading) Telekinetic Armor (Impervious Toughness 12) (Alternate; Duration (continuous); Duration (sustained)) Telekinetic Flight (Flight 6) (Alternate; Speed: 500 mph, 4400 ft./rnd) ESP 6 (Array; affects: 3 types, inc. visual - visual, auditory, & mental) Illusion 6 (Array; affects: all sense types, DC 16; Selective Attack; Phantasms) Mind Reading 12 (Default; DC 22; Duration (sustained)) Mind Stun (Stun 6) (Array; DC 16; Range 2 (perception)) Mind Thrust (Damage 6) (Array; DC 21; Alternate Save (Will), Range 2 (perception)) Telekinesis (Move Object (Array; Strength: 40, Carry: 2.1k / 4.3k / 3.2 tons / 6.4 tons; Range (perception)) Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +9, Melee: +12, Grapple: +24/+36) Attacks: Mind Reading 12 (DC Will 22), Mind Stun (Stun 6) (DC Fort/Staged 16), Mind Thrust (Damage 6) (DC Staged/Will 21), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 27) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -6 Initiative: +1 Languages: English Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 65 + Skills 15 (60 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 105 + Combat 36 + Saves 16 + Drawbacks 0 = 255 Age (as of Jan 2019): Unknown, deceased in 1985 Height: Variable within 4 to 8 feet Weight: Variable within 50 to 500 lbs Ethnicity: Algae-Seaweed Creature Hair: None Eyes: None, technically. Not blind, just no human eyes. Base of Operations: San Diego, California Background: The first time anyone had ever heard from or seen Alsea was when he crawled out of the sea to and stopped that boat hijacking. Also known as his debut in 1967. This was actually kind of terrifying, as he was not at any point a human being. He was basically a plant monster, made of algae and seaweed. So when he started stretching his “limbs”, tossing bad guys around, and assaulting their minds he was like something out of a horror movie. Everyone reacted accordingly, which brought a visit from Megagirl. San Francisco and San Diego aren’t that far for a hypersonic flier. They didn’t fight. There was no reason to. Alsea was fully sentient, and not evil at all. As evidenced by how he didn’t actually kill anyone during his starting heroics before she showed up. And, as it turned out, he was most likely the first hero to be inspired by the tiny paragon from San Fran. So San Diego received its first great defender. He bore the name she gave him with pride until the end of his days. His connection with Megagirl was what got him drawn into the Champions of Justice the following year. He basically brought some much needed versatility to the team. He was in the second tier of power among them, but telepathy and telekinesis were powers most of them couldn’t access. Especially telepathy. And that’s kind of…it, really. There was his lifelong quest to find out his origins, but they were never traced past “mutagenic chemicals in the ocean” in his lifetime. And after it, well, everyone who cared was either gone, unable to care, or didn’t see the point anymore. His reputation was that of Champions supporting cast, secondary to most of them. He and Countess faded in the background all the time, letting the others hog the spotlight. In Alsea’s case this wasn’t intentional, exactly? He was basically a year old when the Champions started. He had no idea how to promote himself. He just helped people and went away afterward. The whole speeches, public appearances, and press conferences aspect of heroics wasn’t something he ever showed any interest in. So in a way, his reputation was kind of his own fault, in a way. Surprisingly, the one inhuman Champion was the one that the least is known about. It’s not clear where he was and what he was doing when he wasn’t doing hero work. He didn’t appear to have a secret identity. It’s a giant question mark. Which brings us to 1985, and the Champions’ mission to space. The details are unclear and on Earth the final fates of the members who did not return (Megagirl, Nega, Alsea himself, and Countess) are unknown. In space, however, they are. Alsea is accorded one of the universe’s greatest heroes. His sacrifice is respected by all upstanding individuals outside of Kuros’s former territory. And even by many inside it. His death was a major contributing factor to the breakup of the Champions in the wake of that mission, but far from the only one. Megagirl and Nega had their own reasons to staying in space, and Countess’s time was (ironically enough) up. So she too was gone. And that was the story of Alsea…until a last year aka 2018, when a similar plant being crawled up out of the ocean. Calling himself Chloro, he has made it clear that he is the successor to the original plant monster hero. Gunsmith did do one thing for his old friend. He placed his remains in the ocean off San Diego, and as always he came back. Eventually. Sort of. Chloro knows everything that happened prior to mission departure, but these are things that happened to someone else. Chloro is his own being. What happened to cause this is anyone’s guess. Like all of the known inheritors of the Champions, the third Starman has been seen visiting him in San Diego. Powers & Tactics: Alsea was a mutated combination of algae and seaweed, which as it turns out are pretty closely related actually. So that makes more sense than most would expect. A mutated plant monster with the psionic powers of telepathy and telekinesis. As such, the full catalogue of his powers is, uh, not short. As a being of algae and seaweed, he wasn’t ever exactly a solid object, and in fact bore more resemblance to a liquid most of the time. Despite this, he was very strong, with the ability to shatter steel with a casual “punch” (he didn’t exactly have hands, see) and a peak lifting capacity measured in the hundreds of tons. Compared with Megagirl and especially Starman it wasn’t much, but it was still quite useful on many occasions when those two had their hands full. His durability was of a similar quality, though he couldn’t ignore attacks without the use of his telekinesis. He didn’t appear to age, diseases had no effect on him, and he basically didn’t need to eat or drink. Only needed sunlight under normal circumstances. Photosynthesis. Speaking of, under sunlight (or any light, really) he healed startlingly rapidly from injury. There’s even tales of his resurrecting entirely after being killed, which seems impossible. Yet there he was, a week after being apparently killed. So draw your own conclusions. As his usual shape was more or less voluntary compression of all of himself, he could stretch his “limbs” about 250 feet. Alsea’s telepathy and telekinesis worked in several ways. He was perhaps best known for augmenting his natural durability with a telekinetic force field and flying. However, he could also redirect that psionic energy into seeing locations up to 20 miles away, telepathic illusions, reading minds, stunning, stabbing enemies in the brain, or vanilla telekinesis with a much lower weight limit (single digit tons) that his physical abilities. This is without mentioning his telepathic communication (with anyone up to 20 million miles away!) and general mental awareness, which meant that he did not need light or sound to detect people. These may seem somewhat standard today, but at the time telepathy and telekinesis together and at his power level was virtually unheard of. Even today it’s rare to find his strength outside of Phoenix mutates, and this is for the two power sets separately. Combine the two with his physical abilities, and one has a very rare individual. Tactically, Alsea usually operated much like an off-tank to Starman and Megagirl using his Telekinetic Armor and Telekinetic Flight. If it was daylight, he was arguably more durable than the latter over time doing this. That, however, was merely Plan A. Clairsentience let him scout where it was unfeasible for Arriba to phase through. Mind Reading could give clues to mysteries when even Gunsmith and Countess were stumped. His Hallucinations could play merry hell with always fraught supervillain team cohesion. And between Mind Stun and Mind Thrust he had attacks that 1) couldn’t miss and 2) weren’t physical violence. Even his Telekinesis came in handy from time to time. But mainly? It was his Telepathic Link that jacked up the Champions’ team coordination in a crisis. He apparently had no talent for or desire to feint and demoralize opponent, but he still had some combat skills for using during Plan A. Accurate, Defensive, and Power Attack could adjust his caps. Improved Grab and Improved Pin put that beefy grapple bonus to work and was his favored method of dealing with mundane criminals. Takedown Attack could mow through lesser foes. And Interpose could protect the innocent with his own body. He could power stunt just fine, and if I went through the list we’d be here all day. If it’s a telepathic or telekinetic power he doesn’t have, he tried it out at least once and more likely several times. Put that Luck 4 to work. PL notes: He was actually PL 8 on his debut, with everything ranked 12 on the sheet ranked 8, 8s were 6s, and 6s were 4s. However, he was definitely PL 10 after joining the Champions and in the current sheet by the invasion of ’71, where Megagirl and Nega were clearly communicating through him despite being in space over opposite sides of the planet. Personality: Alsea was not a complicated being. He was basically everyone’s introvert friend. Likeable and helpful, but also shy and private. The thing that made him different, the example that he set, had to do with the fact that he was genuinely a mutant monster. He was not human. Not at all. That was why he was so friendly and nice. That was why he kept being a superhero after that initial boat hijacking. Because, by human standards, he was a freakish monster. With incomprehensible, utterly inhuman thought processes. And he knew it. Humans have a bad tendency to murder the shit out of anything freakish, monstrous, and inhuman. Alsea wasn’t afraid for himself. Not really. He could be a tricky opponent to prevent escaping, and he could fight if he needed to. But the next monster might not be so lucky in their abilities. Beings that only want peaceful coexistence could be slaughtered by terrified humans. Or even worse, be the ones doing the slaughtering in self defense. He found neither of those options acceptable. So the least that he could do was set the standard for monster behavior. Show the humans that not all monsters were scary killers like those awful movies said. So who was Alsea really? Well, it works like this. Telepathy either engenders great compassion or great misanthropy in sentient beings. There is no in between. Not really. People can and do suck. Sometimes a lot. But not always, and not all the time. From time to time and on occasion, people can be truly extraordinary. The misanthropes either don’t see that or find in woefully inadequate. But Alsea? Nah. This mutant seaborne plant monster saw us in more or less our entirety, and decided we were worth it. He fell on the great compassion side of that divide, and harder than most. ‘Nuff said.
  7. Nega I (Hal Scott) Power Level: 14; Power Points Spent: 285/285 STR: +3 (16), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +3 (16), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +5 (20), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +3/+15, Fort: +8, Ref: +7/+13, Will: +12 Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+5), Concentration 15 (+20), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 12 (+15), Intimidate 12 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 2 (+5), Knowledge (behavioral science) 2 (+5), Knowledge (civics) 7 (+10), Knowledge (Galactic) 12 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 2 (+5), Knowledge (streetwise) 7 (+10), Knowledge (tactics) 12 (+15), Notice 10 (+15), Sense Motive 10 (+15), Stealth 9 (+10) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee), Attack Specialization 2 (Nega Bands (Array 18)), Benefit (Rank (Colonel/Commander in Chief, Nega Corps)), Contacts, Improved Critical 2 (Force Bolts (Blast 12)), Improved Initiative, Inspire 2 (+2), Interpose, Leadership, Lionheart, Luck 4, Master Plan, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Skill Mastery (Gather Info, KN (tactics), Notice, Sense Motive), Startle, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed Powers: Nega Anti-Aging Treatment (Immunity 1) (aging; Limited - Half Effect) Nega Badge (Device 30) (Hard to lose, Only you can use) Life Support Systems (Immunity 9) (life support) Nega Bands (Array 18) (default power: blast) Force Bolts (Blast 12) (Default; DC 27, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Force Bolts (Blast 12)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]) Force Effect (Move Object 12) (Array; Strength: 60, Carry: 17 tons / 34 tons / 51.2 tons / 102.4 tons; Duration (continuous)) Force Shield (Create Object 12) (Array; Max Size: 12x 5' cubes, DC 22; Impervious) Restraint Effect (Snare 12) (Array; DC 22; Transparent) Nega Comms (Communication 12) (sense type: radio) Nega Flight (Flight 12) (Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd) Nega Sensors (Super-Senses 18) (analytical (type): Visual, darkvision, direction sense, distance sense, extended (type): Visual 2 (-1 per 1k ft), infravision, microscopic vision 2 (cell-size), radio, time sense, tracking: Visual 1 (half speed), ultravision) Primary Force Shielding (Linked) Enhanced Trait 6 (Linked; Traits: Reflex +6 (+13)) Force Field 12 (Linked; +12 Toughness; Impervious) Shield 6 (Linked; +6 dodge bonus) Space Travel (fastest) (Super-Movement 3) (extra ranks 3) Universal Translator (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all) Willful (Immunity 30) (will saves; Limited - Half Effect) Attack Bonus: +12 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +13, Grapple: +16) Attacks: Force Bolts (Blast 12), +16 (DC 27), Restraint Effect (Snare 12), +16 (DC Ref/Staged 22), Unarmed Attack, +13 (DC 18) Defense: +13 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -13 Initiative: +5 Languages: English Native Totals: Abilities 36 + Skills 31 (123 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 138 + Combat 38 + Saves 18 + Drawbacks 0 = 285 Age (as of Jan 2019): 91 (chronological), 60 (biological/appearance) Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 225 lbs Ethnicity: Caucasian Hair: Mostly Grey, a little Brown left Eyes: Grey Base of Operations: San Bernadino & Los Angeles, California Background: Hal Scott has always loved flying. He wasn’t old enough to get into World War 2. A year too young. But he thrilled to the tales on both European and Pacific fronts of daring aviators. If he’d been born about 4 years later than he was, he’d have been just in time for the first attending class of the US Air Force Academy in 1954. Instead he went to West Point. The United States Military Academy, to be precise. Interestingly, it was his second year (1947) in which the Air Force was officially separated from the Army. This means he was a part of the Class of 1950, who graduated a scant two weeks before the start of the Korean War. “The class the crosses fell on”, as the war caused them to suffer greater casualties than any other 20th Century class had. So yes, Second (and later First) Lieutenant Hal Scott flew in the Korean War. Specifically, in an F-86 Sabre with the 4th Fighter Wing, because Hal Scott was one hell of a pilot back in the day. But like all things good and bad, the Korean War came to an end. The 4th moved to Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido, Japan after the armistice was signed, and stayed there until close to the end of 1957. Hal was a highly regarded young officer, and was promoted to Captain with ease and has recently been promoted to Major on the day it happened. The 4th had been inactivated on the 1st of July 1957. Everybody knew they were leaving sooner rather than later. Hal was able to get a few days leave, and summer was pretty nice in the town of Chitose. There’s a beautiful lake, named Shikotsu. He went there. Camped out. If he’d stayed on base, in town, or just gone somewhere else…no telling what would have happened. Somebody else would have become Nega, probably. Or maybe that guy would have just died alone and forgotten. Hal thinks about that, sometimes. The life he missed out on because he saw something fall flaming from the sky, heard it land nearby, and decided to investigate. What he found was not a human being, and it-he, was dying from several hideous wounds. The alien gave his Nega Badge to Hal, told him to guard it until someone in his uniform came or it, and expired on the spot. The problem with that is that the alien forgot to turn the Badge off first. So Hal had to physically remove it from the now dead alien. Having absolutely no idea what he was doing, he screwed it up. To make a long story short, the Badge attached to Hal, detected an untrained rookie, and dragged his ass off the face of the Earth. Through a few million light years of space, all the way to Nega Corps HQ in an entirely different galaxy. The Nega Corps. Self appointed galactic peacekeepers and space cops. Today, they’re the real deal. Heroes all. In ’57, well…not so much. They were originally founded to replace the demolished Phoenix Corps. The Phoenix Corps were demolished by the man who made them, Nick Phoenix. The idea was the same. Space cops. Emergency response. You know, super hero shit. Nick literally can’t be everywhere, so he split off miniscule fragments of his power, embedding them in crystals, and handed them out to people he thought were worthy. To be fair, he was right. They were worthy. The Phoenix Corps did a lot of good in the early days. But their successors, when they inevitably aged and retired or were killed in action? They were not chosen quite so carefully, and certainly not by Nick. He’d gone off to handle other matters, trusting in the thing he’d built to hold strong. And it did. For a while. It’s an old tale, you know? Power corrupts. And in the end, when Nick finally returned, he had to destroy what he had created. It’s a sad tale, too. Pride, greed, and unchecked ambition. But the Phoenix Corps ceased to be, and the Nega Corps was built to replace it using technology instead of a gift from a god like being. And it’s the same story. The first idealistic generation set the tone. And the next one, or two, or three kept it going. But it’s the same old story. The creeping moral decay of a once proud organization. They weren’t evil in ’57, per se. But they were…cops. Bastards have always been attracted to positions of power over others. Law enforcement is no exception. Neither was the Nega Corps. Major Hal Scott, USAF, knew none of this, of course. He had the “space cops” part explained, and he explained what had happened in turn. To tell the truth, he could have rejected being a Nega then and there. But then he’d be just another Sape lost in the universe, a few million light years from home. The Nega Corps existed in a tenuous peace with Kuros The Conqueror’s universe spanning empire, and it wasn’t worth risking intergalactic war just to return one guy to a galaxy the tyrant had claimed for himself. Hal would have been completely on his own. This was not the only problem with refusing to join up. Hal was a West Pointer. The motto of the Academy is “Duty, Honor, Country”. It’s a little hard to serve your country a few million light years from it, but the rest? He had a duty to get home as fast as he could, and a duty to represent the USAF and the USA itself as positively as possible in the process. And it would be dishonorable, in his view, to not provide as much aid and assistance as he could to those who needed it in the process. So Major Hal Scott became the newest of the Nega Corps. Intergalactic peacekeepers. Space cops. Superheroes. Neat. Hal was already a military officer, so he got an accelerated training program. He was introduced to the major intergalactic powers who weren’t a part of Kuros’s empire. The ancient and slowly declining Nobellian Federation. The staunchly conservative yet ever steady Sionil Union. The endlessly squabbling Borustan Tribal Confederation and their Ingenti Republic allies. And, of course, Sapes. Humans. Homo sapiens has existed more or less in its current state for over a hundred thousand years on Earth. And for most of that time, alien slavers, unethical scientists, or bored rich people have been occasionally swinging through and doing some kidnapping. The number of humans required to sustain genetic diversity is approximately ten thousand. Between cloning and those occasional infusions of fresh DNA, there’s plenty of humans out there in space. Virtually none of whom have ever heard of Earth besides tales passed down through the ages. They’re the fifth most populous species out there. The Nobellians, despite their decline, are still in first. Uncounted millennia of growth simply doesn’t fade away in anything approaching a hurry. The explosively growing Borustans are second, despite the endless brushfire conflicts among them. The slowly but steadily growing Sionil are third. And in 1957, the Ingenti were somewhat narrowly fourth. Sapes have surpassed them in 2019. There are, of course, dozens if not hundreds of other sentient species. However, their numbers and influence on intergalactic society either don’t come close to the aforementioned, or they were refugees with the main bulk of their civilization firmly under Kuros’s mailed fist. These are the things Hal Scott learned in his three years of training and three year term of initial service. He intended to return to Earth immediately after that, but a significant Borustan ethnic dispute (more serious than the usual poradic brushfire conflicts) kicked off and he was delayed. He finally returned to Earth and the USAF in late 1964. The first thing he had to do was resign his commission and retire. Not because he was AWOL (he’d basically been accidently kidnapped, and there’s provisions for that), but because of the Treaty of Havana following the Cuban Missile Crisis, which prohibited super powered people from serving in the military. Thanks to his Nega Badge, Hal Scott now fell into that category. The relationship between him and the federal government/military was thus restructured into a different arrangement. He was, in theory, a paid government consultant on the supers scene. In practice, Nega debuted as a new superhero in 1965, a couple of months after Arriba. He wasn’t always on Earth. Events in space could call him away for weeks at a stretch. One such occasion was the assassination of RFK. He returned a few days after, and immediately agreed to help form the Champions. And that’s kind of the story. He was firmly in the second tier of the Champions, raw power-wise. But he was still a skilled pilot and capable field leader in addition to the powers from his Nega Badge. If anyone was directing traffic, so to speak, during crisis situations it was him. He was the highest regarded in the time period, outside of Starman himself. It makes sense. Ex-military, white, and male. Tall, muscular, and physically fit. He also functioned as a secondary detective, when Gunsmith was unavailable. He was also responsible for keeping the Champions from intervening in Vietnam, getting everyone to agree to wait for a request from the government. Said request never came, and so they never went over for the duration of the war, much to well, the entire team’s frustration on one level or another. It is, however known that Megagirl flew over at least once on her own initiative, and the speed of Arriba could have had him there and back in scant seconds. So there’s no telling except that the Stars and Hal himself never went. He was there for the invasions in ’71 and ’82, both times managing to successfully portray himself as a rogue Nega, doing as he pleased. Once was interesting, but the second time? Kuros’s forces should have known better. It bothered him that it was so easy. And so the reason the Champions left in ’85 was to back him up in checking it out. The Corps knew he was on Earth. Knew he wouldn’t stand aside and let it be conquered. Knew he had powerful allies, too. He doesn’t talk about what happened, either. The result, however, is known out there in space. Due to their investigation and direct actions, the Nega Corps shattered. Rooting out the internal corruption and decay brought the storied organization to its knees, ready to utterly collapse. The only reason it didn’t was Hal Scott. He stayed, and Megagirl stayed with him. Both to initially help and for her own reasons. Gunsmith and poor Arriba went back to Earth. Alsea and Countess were gone. The Champions had parted ways for the last time. Hal Scott has spent the past 34 years rebuilding the Nega Corps into what it was supposed to be. Truth and justice. Real peacekeepers. He took over leadership and structured it based on the USAF. He’s the Colonel, what he officially retired from the USAF as. Below him are a few Majors, some Captains, and a bunch of Lieutenants in the officer corps. First Sergeants, Master Sergeants, Spacers, and Trainees make up the noncommissioned ranks. He has no plans to ever return to Earth. He had no siblings, his parents were both dead by ’85, and he was never close with the rest of his family. He has nothing to go back for. His family is the Nega Corps, now. Though he has assigned Captain Kylie Stewart to Earth, along with Spacer Simon Gardner (fresh out of Trainee-hood) to serve as her partner. His old partner Alan Jordan is one of his most dependable Majors. His legacy on Earth is good. His legacy in space, however, is untouchable. Even with Nega bio-medical tech, he’s starting to get old. Retirement isn’t as far away as it used to be. The complete annihilation of Kuros’s forces has left him with a lot of work to do. The Corps is busier than ever as the Nobellians, Sionil, and Borustans work out how to provide long term humanitarian aid and manage entire galaxies who’ve just lost their political, military, and administrative infrastructure. While they work that out, the Nega Corps is already doing what it can. Duty, Honor, and Country, after all. He’s Colonel Hal Scott, ex-United States Air Force ,Commander in Chief of the Nega Corps, and legendary superhero. And he’s not done yet. Powers & Tactics: Hal Scott himself has only one superhuman power, administered by the Nega Corps to all new recruits. A customized anti-aging treatment that slows their aging process to one half normal speed. While useful for Sape, Borustans, and Igenti, it can make the already long lived Nobellians and Sionil seem almost immortal. The rest of Hal’s powers from the advanced technological device known as a Nega Badge. A Nega Badge’s powers are ruled by how much willpower the user has. They’re also impossible to use without a high degree of resistance to having said willpower taxed. They do a lot of very specific things directly tied to said willpower’s strength. Life support systems, high speed superluminal travel, and a universal translator, as they’re meant to travel through deep space on their own, encountering all sorts of species. These three aren’t tied to willpower, being standard on all Nega Badges, but the rest are. Communications systems (the range is determined by willpower), flight systems (speed determined by again, willpower) and a sensor suite (the extent of which is determined by, you guessed it, willpower). There are caveats, here. Skill and experience using a Nega Badge also play a role. Normally, the range of Nega comms stops at approximately 200k miles. This is about the distance from Earth to its Moon. Hal’s skill and experience has extended this to 20 million miles, considerably farther. The sensor suite is a similar story, and is customized by each Nega to fit their needs. A species that can’t see doesn’t need any visual enhancements, for example. Hal, being human, has focused almost entirely on improving his visual senses. His suite extends across the entire light spectrum and is unimpeded by darkness. There is both telescopic and microscopic functionality, along with an analysis suite. And he can visual track whoever or whatever he chooses. Additionally, there is a basic navigation system, clock, and radio wave reception. In combat, a Nega calls on their Force Shielding and Nega Bands. The former is customizable, able to provide both resilience and attack deflection. They are literally pure force, crafted out of willpower in a way similar but not identical to the way telekinetics can do it. Negas who have great natural resilience or high defensive skill may select to not use a element, instead trusting in their own abilities. Hal, being human and not an elite combatant on his own, uses both. With his willpower, the increase to resilience allows him to outright ignore even mundane explosive rockets and blaster cannons. The Nega Bands, on the other hand, provide the offense. The standard effects are quite simply. Damage. Restraining criminal offenders. Moving heavy objects with pure force. And extending their Force Shielding to defend others, potentially across a wide area. Most Negas use a single armor penetrating Force Blast, but Hal (with his stronger willpower and high ranged accuracy), has elected to use rapidfire Force Bolts. The other three, however, are Nega standard. Hal’s willpower allows him to move objects that weigh over a hundred tons. Tactically, Hal is a by the book Nega. Restraint Effect is, uh, effective in most cases, and Force Effect is a good substitute for those who can evade it. Force Shield is good for protecting civilians. He has Startle to help him it if he needs it, and can demoralize when necessary. Mostly it isn’t. He’s too busy using Move by Action to stay out of the line of fire. Accurate and All Out Attack get him the hits his high accuracy can’t. Power Attack cranks up the effect ranks for the really tough opponents. He’s not sure he wants to meet the being that’s both an unrepentant criminal and can break out of a rank 17 (because of Power Attack) Snare effect. Inspire 2, Leadership, and Master Plan make his allies better, as a good commanding officer should. And, of course, Interpose is for those his Force Shields can’t cover effectively. Some Negas can do interesting things with power stunting, but Hal isn’t one of them. 100% by the book. No power stunts ever. A PL note: This build represents Hal in the modern day. He returned to Earth and debuted as a superhero at PL 10. Toughness and Effect Rank +12, Attack and Defense +8. He was a fully balanced PL 12 from the formation of the Champions in ’68 to their last mission in ’85. His build has been approximately this for the last 20 years. Personality: Hal Scott has what is still called “the right stuff”. Courage, confidence, dependability, mental toughness, and just enough of a daring streak to keep things unpredictable and interesting. He has never been a particularly happy seeming or friendly man, and that’s what got him stuck with the historical reputation of a humorless military man. A bit unfair, but when everyone on the team but the former Air Force fighter jockey (Hal) and the perpetually angry costumed detective who’d clearly never been within 30 feet of military discipline (Gunsmith) are known to smile at least sometimes, that’s the the rep one gets. It’s very wrong, though. What defines Hal is supreme focus. He is not a man of deep philosophical thoughts or extensive self-inquiry. He is a man of proper preparation and decisive action. The military man part is correct. The humorless part is not. It’s like they’d never met a fighter jock before, sheesh. Though compared to some, he’s a tamer personality. No flashy stunts, just quiet steady excellence. That’s Hal Scott. He is a man of no wasted motion and no wasted effort. So no, he’s not warm and friendly. But kind? Fair? Honorable? You bet. His sense of justice is strong. His determination is stronger. This is a man who took a virtually collapsed organization that spanned the entire known universe and rebuilt it from the ground up in less than three decades. He’s got the knack for leadership, motivation, organization, and finding the best people to get a given job done. Calling him humble would be, well, wrong. He’s still a fighter jock, after all. But he’s got no problem admitting fault or that someone’s simply better than him at something. He’s only human, and there’s always someone better. The Nega Corps would storm Hell for him. As previously stated, he’s got “the right stuff”. AKA exactly what he needs to make him a top of the line commander in chief, space cop, and superhero. End of story.
  8. Right, got wrapped up in home life and going to work. Thou art APPROVED
  9. Arriba (Jose Vega) Power Level: 15; Power Points Spent: 285/285 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +4 (18), INT: +1 (12), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +5 (20) Tough: +4/+7, Fort: +8, Ref: +10/+20, Will: +11 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 10 (+15), Climb 3 (+5), Concentration 8 (+10), Diplomacy 5 (+10), Gather Information 5 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 4 (+5), Knowledge (physical sciences) 4 (+5), Language 1 (+1), Medicine 3 (+5), Notice 13 (+15), Perform (oratory) 10 (+15), Search 4 (+5), Sense Motive 13 (+15), Stealth 2 (+5), Swim 3 (+5) Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, Benefit (Pacer's Chosen), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Elusive Target, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 10, Improved Trick, Luck 7, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Redirect, Seize Initiative, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Ultimate Effort (Speed checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Metahuman Speed & Blessings of Pacer (Container, Passive 24) Enhanced Attack & Defense (Enhanced Trait 50) (Traits: Attack Bonus +10 (+15), Defense Bonus +10 (+20), Reflex +10 (+20)) Enhanced Feats (Enhanced Trait 22) (Traits: Luck 7 +4 (+7), Feats: Defensive Roll 3, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 10, Move-by Action, Seize Initiative, Ultimate Effort (Speed checks)) Incredible Quickness (Quickness 20) (Perform routine tasks at 5000000x speed) Incredible Speed (Speed 20) (Speed: 25000000 mph, 2.2e+08 ft./rnd) Speedy Dodge (Luck Control 1) (force a re-roll; Limited 2 (Attacks against Arriba)) Super-Movement 7 (sure-footed 4 (no penalty), wall-crawling 2 (full speed), water walking; Limited (to while moving)) Speed Tricks (Array 15) (default power: strike) Accelerated Recovery (Healing 6) (Array; Action (standard), Restoration, Secondary Effect, Total; Personal) Hypersonic Punch (Strike 15) (Array; DC 30; Penetrating) Punch Everyone (Strike 15) (Array; DC 30; Burst Area (75 ft. radius - Targeted)) Punches In Bunches (Strike 15) (Default; DC 30; Autofire (interval 2, max +5)) Sonic Boom (Stun 10) (Array; DC 20; Burst Area (50 ft. radius - General)) Thrown Item (Blast 15) (Array; DC 30) Tornado Effect (Move Object 15) (Array; Strength: 75, Carry: 136.2 tons / 272.9 tons / 409.6 tons / 819.2 tons) Vertigo Attack (Nauseate 15) (Array; DC 25) Vibrational Phasing (Insubstantial 4) (Array; Incorporeal) Attack Bonus: +5/+15 (Ranged: +5/+15, Melee: +5/+15, Grapple: +7/+17) Attacks: Hypersonic Punch (Strike 15), +15 (DC 30), Punch Everyone (Strike 15), +15 (DC 30), Punches In Bunches (Strike 15), +15 (DC 30), Sonic Boom (Stun 10) (DC Fort/Staged 20), Thrown Item (Blast 15), +15 (DC 30), Unarmed Attack, +15 (DC 17), Vertigo Attack (Nauseate 15), +15 (DC Fort/Staged 25) Defense: +10/+20 (Flat-footed: +10), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +43 Languages: English Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 34 + Skills 25 (100 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 158 + Combat 30 + Saves 20 + Drawbacks 0 = 285 Age (as of Jan 2019): 78 Height: 5’ 8” Weight: 165 lbs Ethnicity: Mexican-American Hair: Black Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Jose Vega was a luchador enmascarado. A masked professional wrestler in the Mexican pseudo sport of lucha libre. He had no intention of ever being anything else, until two things happened. The first was a robbery, which he stopped with his mask and ring gear on. A man had robbed the box office of the arena at gunpoint, and like a good tecnico Arriba stopped the bad man with his metahuman super speed powers. It was kind of…fun? And easy? He owned his mask, so he could do as he liked with it. So he started helping out with mundane crime or occasionally rescuing people whenever he had a booking in the area. Just a little. Nothing much. It was good publicity for the event. He got to do some good deed, and help the promotion and his fellow luchadores make a little more money. Everybody won. It was the least he could do, as he was young and still learning how to wrestle well. The second thing, however, was much more fateful. He met a certain tiny woman by the name of Mona. Mona was and is Mona Simms, alias Pacer. The fastest being the universe will ever know. Speed Incarnate. A cosmic energy being becoming he soul of one mortal human. The Avatar of Speed. Faster than sound. Faster than light. Faster than time. The version Jose Vega met is impossibly old and capable of impossible things like running up a person’s timeline to get to a point in their past and punching someone today and hitting them yesterday. They talked many times, even if they seemed to be out of sequence for Jose. But in the end, she decided to grant him a measure of her power. Because he was a good man, and she liked him. It was like meeting God, Jose has always said (perhaps jokingly; it is difficult to tell sometimes with him), and finding out He had a real sense of humor. Cosmic lightning bonded to Jose Vega’s body and soul. And he was forever changed. This was 1965. Arriba publically debuted as a real superhero, instead of a minor vigilante. He has always said it was like being given a holy mission, but perhaps he was joking here, too. It was, of course, not quite so simple. Phoenixverse speedsters find it somewhat…difficult…to break even the sound barrier. Movement speed alone, that was possible. Supersonic jets alone showed that. But the quickness and the reflexes that would go with it, well…it seemed flesh and blood alone was only capable of so much. Without psionic powers, outside help (like from tech, magic, or divine powers), or cheating by manipulating time, consistently surpassing speed of sound remained an impossible dream for all speedsters. Except, apparently, the new hero Arriba. And the infamous Agency noticed. By this point, Dear Reader, you know how they operate. Even in the 60s they were fully operational as they are in 2019. So Arriba’s life got, uh, interesting in a hurry. Agency Agents were able to operate with less subtlety in the Silver Age, and so one Agent or another was basically his entire Rogues’ Gallery. It was at no point a fun time. At any rate, in 1968 he helped form the Champions of Justice. He’d worked with Starman, Gunsmith, and Megagirl on occasion, and he’d heard of Nega, Alsea, and Countess. It was for a good cause, and bluntly he needed the backup. One of the first things the Champions did in ’69 was start dismantling Agency operations in Texas. This, naturally, eased the pressure on Arriba, and he could more easily contribute to the group’s activities. There are two things, from ’69 to ’78, that must be addressed. Certain hero historians, especially of the period, tend to…dismiss him as a clown. Naming himself after the saying of a famous cartoon character did not help in this regard. To be blunt, he was in a similar position to Gunsmith. The Silver Age was great for heroes, but racism against African and Mexican Americans was not so easily defeated as your average supervillain. Unlike Gunsmith, he did not inspire visceral hatred so much as a certain…dimisnishment…of his accomplishments. To put it in no uncertain terms, Arriba set the platinum standard for what a speedster hero was supposed to do and be. He stood side by side with the other Champions as an equal, not a charity case. But because he was both a Mexican and a jokester (before the modern appreciation for quippy heroes) he gained a reputation as a clown. Someone who never lived up to his enormous potential. It is…most unfortunate. And completely and utterly flase, as was shown in ’78. Because it was 1978 where his abilities became undeniable. The monster Armageddon. Starwoman faltered. Megagirl faltered. Gunsmith, Nega, Alsea, and Countess simply weren’t powerful enough to do anything except get swatted aside. It came down to Starman and Arriba. While Starman may have struck the final blow that killed the monster, Arriba being the last other Champion standing did not go unnoticed. He had at last made his name, but the response was…mixed. There were plenty who gave him the respect he deserved at last. There were also plenty who thought it made the Champions look like the Chumps if some (if you’ll please pardon the language) “wetback greaser” could show them up. Arriba, as always, never showed any sign of it getting to him. He simply continued on as he always had. It was quite admirable, really. He and Megagirl were the heart and soul of the team after Starman’s injuries in ’82. However, all good things must come to an end. What happened to him on the Champions’ trip to space in 1985 is unclear. Neither he nor Gunsmith ever discussed it with anyone, and they were the only two of them to return as of the start of 2019. What is clear, however, is the effect it had on him. Arriba may have gone to space, but it was only Jose Vega who returned. Broken in mind and spirit. The mask of Arriba was quietly retired, and he has never so much as looked at it again. Even the thought of it made him shaky. That is, until a few years ago when his nephew Diego revealed his identity as local speedster hero Andale to his beloved Uncle Jose and Mona returned looking no different than when she left. Several conversations later, Andale was as fast as Arriba was, and had a mentor in the bargain. Jose does not feel up to revealing he’s still around, however. So when Starman III swung by to speak to Andale, he stayed away and asked his nephew to say nothing of him. Mentoring is one thing. But coming back? He is still not ready. He may never be. Powers & Tactics: Arriba is a metahuman with enhanced physical speed, quickness, and reflexes. He was further enhanced by an infusion of cosmic energy from Pacer, Speed Incarnate. Arriba is goddamn fast. Nobody without abilities on a cosmic scale has ever exceeded his speed. His speed has only ever been matched by Starwoman, but she was doing it through flight. Arriba kept up with her on land. You know, with the terrain adding more distance and obstacles than she would have in the air. To be clear, he isn’t merely hypersonic. He isn’t merely beyond hypersonic. He could go from immobile to a significant fraction of the speed of light almost instantaneously. It might take him an extra step these days, but he’s goddamn seventy-eight. Some slack can be cut. His speed improves both his dodging ability and his accuracy. The former rather drastically. The list of people who have successfully tagged Arriba with a melee or ranged attack is vanishingly small. The accuracy increase is still impressive, however. Going from minimum professional grade to genuine master level is incredible. But of course, speed’s a bit useless if you don’t do anything with it. Arriba has a bunch of tricks he picked up over the years. Standard speedster stuff, mostly, though it wasn’t standard until he proved it could be. A single very fast punch that can penetrate any armor. Punching everyone in an area. Absolutely pummeling one target. Throwing random debris at high speed. Or spinning one’s arms very fast to create enough wind to move things. Very heavy things, if one’s fast enough. Those are the basics he established. They were not, however, everything in his regular arsenal. He could consciously rev up his metabolism briefly to rapidly heal from injuries. A quick spin could break the sound barrier hard, creating a concussive wave from him that could stun or render unconscious anyone in the area. Giving a target a rapid spinning to engage their vertigo and potentially sicken them. And vibrating in place so quickly he was functionally incorporeal. Tactically, Arriba was (because he hasn’t fought anyone in over 30 years) of Punch Everyone and Punches In Bunches. Dropped lots of supervillains that way. Though truthfully it was Sonic Boom that dropped ordinary thuggery most often. Thrown Item was very useful for flying enemies or ones that were merely on the other side of a big gap in the floor. Tornado Effect let him help out with the heavy lifting duties. There’s more of those than one would think. Especially during rescue missions after hurricanes like Camille in ’69. Vibrational Phasing got him into areas he otherwise couldn’t penetrate. Vertigo Attack was for the forcefield and heavy armor users. Hypersonic Punch was for that rare creature, a supervillain at or near his power level but that was really tough but could dodge really well. Like Megagirl, but evil. Accelerated Recovery was what kept him in fights (like the one with Armageddon) when others might falter and fall. He had Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Feint, Trick and Taunt. There was also Redirect for his own personal amusment. He had both Accurate, Defensive, and Power Attack. As for power stunts, well…there weren’t many by ’85. Most of them had migrated into the regular Speed Tricks array. The only one left, really, was a power he didn’t like. Vacuum (Strike 10, Alt Save Fort, Burst Area). Kind of mean. And the Fatigue version (only Burst Area, no Alt Save) wasn’t quite strong enough for his liking. So they stayed occasional uses. Arriba grew over time, like all of the Champions. This build represents him from probably ’71 to ’85. It’s probably him now, with some allowances (like a Con score of 14 (+2) and an Extra rank of Defensive Roll to keep his Toughness topped up) for his age. His debut in ’65 he was PL 8. This didn’t last the year, as he kept exploring just how capable he was. Basically he jumped two PLs a year. So by the founding of the Champions he was PL 14, and by ’69 he was basically this guy. Though he developed his array along the way. Accelerated Healing was a power stunt until ’78 and Armageddon, for example. The last one to join the array, for the record. Personality: Arriba’s reputation as a clown and a jokester was not…entirely undeserved. He served as the comic relief on the Champions. Not that he ever looked foolish himself, mind. He just rarely seemed to take situations seriously when the media was around. Because he wasn’t merely Mexican-American. No, sir. He was Chicano. In 2019, the way he acted is a comedic stereotype, but back then it was serious business. Jose Vega knew who he was. The first major superhero who was both Mexican and American. He was both a role model and a representative of his people to the broader swath of Americans who weren’t familiar with it beyond broad stereotypes. Like the cartoon character he took his name from. So his somewhat cartoonish persona was deliberate. He had to seem as harmless as possible to the general public so that the rest of who he was did not get vehemently rejected. He was a luchador. A professional wrestler. He knew exactly how to present himself. A manly, macho man. Full of honor and pride in his heritage. But ultimately harmless to the mainstream culture of the period, which was almost uniformly Caucasian. Completely kid-friendly, if you will. It wasn’t an assimilationist ideology by any means, mind. It was just his way of trying to convince white folks (or at least their children) that Mexican-Americans-no, Chicanos, weren’t a threat to be destroyed. They were a friend to be embraced. Just because a culture is different from one’s own does not automatically make it an enemy. How well this worked, ah well…who knows, really? But he tried. This, however, was not who Jose Vega himself was. He was a good man. A hero. Yes, he was a man of honor, but there was no pride in himself. A humbler man, most would never meet. Neither was the hyper-masculinity his real self, either. He was a man, to be sure,and a passionate one. But what he was passionate about wasn’t women, the way he looked, or even his reputation. It was about living up to the expectations Mona unintentionally placed on him. Honestly, he always felt a little out of his depth. There was much he could do to help, and by the Blessed Virgin he wanted to do it. In modern terms, he thought of himself as just Some Dude ™. He wasn’t like Starman, Gunsmith, and all the rest. They always seemed so confident to him. But he always had doubts about himself and his worthiness. Still, all a man can do is his best, and Jose Vega (alias Arriba), did his for twenty years. Until his mind and spirit were broken, anyway. During the past 30 plus years, his mind has recovered. He can joke again. He has been a good member of his familia. But the part of him that made him a hero was broken. The part of him that paid no heed to danger. The part of him that believed and believed hard in doing good for other people. Protecting them when they were in trouble. Helping them when they were in need. It is broken. He can still run. But he cannot act. He is too afraid. It shakes his mind apart and he does the one thing a speedster should never do. Freeze up unable to move. Shaking like a leaf. This was true in ’92. It was true in ’01. And it was true for the Endgame. Radical Dreamer and the Exiles did not come to get him, only Andale. But he is not ashamed, not anymore. He saw Eddie Guerrero’s tribute act to to him. Mona told him when she came back that she was proud of him. Twenty years is more than enough. So, Jose Vega is out. And that’s okay.
  10. Megagirl (Megan Price) Power Level: 15; Power Points Spent: 300/300 STR: +15 (12/40), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +15 (14/40), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +5 (20) Tough: +15, Fort: +15, Ref: +15, Will: +15 Skills: Acrobatics 3 (+5), Diplomacy 10 (+15), Gather Information 5 (+10), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 2 (+5), Knowledge (current events) 7 (+10), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 2 (+5), Language 5 (+5), Notice 12 (+15), Search 2 (+5), Sense Motive 12 (+15) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 6, Defensive Attack, Dodge Focus 6, Improved Initiative 3, Interpose, Power Attack, Takedown Attack 2, Ultimate Effort (Toughness saves), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Movement (Array 9) (default power: flight) Flight Boost (Flight 5) (Default; [5 active, 18/18 PP, 2/r], Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Unexplained Flight (Flight 10+5))) Foot Speed (Speed 10) (Array; [0 active, 18/18 PP, 1/r], Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd) Hybrid Quickness Boost (Quickness (Array; [8 active, 18/18 PP, 1/r], Perform routine tasks at 500x speed; Stacks with (Hybrid Quickness (Quickness 7+8))) Photosynthetic Hybrid Physiology (Container, Passive 22) Hybrid Durability (Impervious Toughness 15) Hybrid Might (Super-Strength 2) (+10 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 419.4k tons; +2 STR to some checks) Hybrid Quickness (Quickness 7+8) ([Stacking ranks: +8], Perform routine tasks at 100000x speed) Hybrid Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 26) (+26 CON) Hybrid Strength (Enhanced Strength 28) (+28 STR) Longevity (Features 1) (Notes: Not quite an aging immunity or even half of one, Megagirl's aging process is unusual. She aged at 2/3 human speed until she hit the biological age of 25 (approximately 37.5 years after her date of birth), at which point it slowed to at least 1/3 human speed. It may have slowed even further in her absence.) Photosynthesis (Immunity 9) (life support) Unexplained Flight (Flight 10+5) ([Stacking ranks: +5], Speed: 500000 mph, 4400000 ft./rnd) Strength And Speed Tricks (Array 15) (default power: super-strength) Full Strength (Super-Strength 15) (Default; +75 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 419.4k tons; +15 STR to some checks) Hypersonic Punches In Bunches ((Strength Bonus) Strike 15) (Array; Autofire (interval 2, max +5), Penetrating) Punch Everyone ((Strength Bonus) Strike 15) (Array; Burst Area (75 ft. radius - Targeted), Selective Attack) Sleeper Hold (Stun 15) (Array; DC 25; Duration (concentration); Requires Grapple) Super-Breath (Trip 15) (Array; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General), Knockback; Range (touch)) Tornado Effect (Move Object 15) (Array; Strength: 75, Carry: 136.2 tons / 272.9 tons / 409.6 tons / 819.2 tons; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General); Range (touch)) Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +9, Melee: +15, Grapple: +30/+47) Attacks: Sleeper Hold (Stun 15), +15 (DC Fort/Staged 25), Super-Breath (Trip 15) (DC 25), Unarmed Attack, +15 (DC 30) Defense: +15 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -15 Initiative: +14 Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 15 (60 ranks) + Feats 24 + Powers 168 + Combat 36 + Saves 25 + Drawbacks 0 = 300 Age (as of Jan 2019): 74 (chronological) 38 at most (biological) Height: 4’ 10” Weight: 80 lbs Ethnicity: ½ Caucasian, ½ Extraterrestrial Hair: Brown Eyes: Brown Background: Megan Price is not fully human. To make a long story short…doomed planet. Desperate scientists. Last hope. Frozen eggs on a satellites. Yes, literally. An alien race took up a collection of eggs from the female of the species, froze them, and crammed them into satellites that searched the universe for compatible races. Because their world was dying, their race would die with it and there was no escape from either. As it turned out, humanity can be compatible. Occasionally. So, one day Megan’s mom Margaret ovulated. Earth’s satellite detected the compatibility, and used its teleporter to perform an egg swap. And Margaret and her husband Jonas were excited to welcome their first child, Megan. This can be seen as horribly invasive and incredibly wrong. And it is…if you’re a human being raised on Earth. That long gone species, with a culture utterly alien to anything we know and under the impossible pressure facing total extinction, did what they thought was best. Margaret’s fertility was unaffected, but it was already compromised. So Megan turned out to be an only child. She was small, and grew slowly. Naturally, two farmers from Merced, California with no idea of the egg substitution worried about their girl. But doctor tests came back normal enough. They couldn’t know she was aging at 2/3 human rate. She went through school, hit all of the usual physical development milestones (if a year or two late), and graduated from Merced high School having done pretty okay. She and her parents, however, were keeping a secret. She had superpowers. So when she moved to San Francisco to chase her dreams of being a newspaper journalist, her first costume was tucked into her luggage. It was 1963. Starman and Stargirl (she hadn’t changed names yet) had debuted two years prior. Gunsmith had gone public the year before. Genuine excitement was in the air that not even the assassination of JFK that year could fully dampen. She secured a pretty crappy apartment and a pretty crappy job with the San Francisco Chronicle (ironically, they thought she was a boy in those early days). Then she put on that costume, and caught a plane. With her bare hands, saving the lives of everyone on board. In those days, she wore a redhead wig to help hide her identity. So with her red long sleeved leotard with red skirt sewn on and yellow M across her chest, she was a sight to behold. Wearing red and yellow in the middle of the Cold War without a care. She even had a red cape and boots. San Francisco’s protector had arrived. Megan was living the dream. Palling around with Art Hoppe, Charles McCabe, and Herb Caen. Well…okay she wasn’t, actually. She was just a copy girl. A secretary on the bottom of the hierarchy. Also attending classes at San Francisco State University, working for the university newspaper (The Daily Gater) and being a superhero around town, she was busier than a bee. A normal woman couldn’t have made it all work, but her superepowers came to the rescue. Superhuman speed got the writing done in a jiffy, which was good because holy cow did Megagirl have a lot to do sometimes. Bank robberies. Ships in trouble at sea. All the car accidents. The police called her in to help find missing people sometimes. And oh, man, Valia. There was a ne’er do well if ever there was one. Megan did not understand why the heiress was so mad at her. But there was that interesting guy at the Chronicle, beat reporter Trevor Taylor, and everything else she was up to. San Francisco was a hotbed of supernatural intrigue, even back then, so Megagirl was busy busy busy. Including calming the riots after the assassinations of Malcolm X and especially Martin Luther King, Jr. By the latter, she had her Bachelor’s in Journalism and was the junior political beat reporter with Trevor being senior. This is how she was in the next room when RFK was shot. She has never stopped regretting not being in the room. She could have stopped it has she just insisted on being in the room. But no, that was Trevor’s job. This guilt led her to be the one who got in touch with Starman, Starwoman, Gunsmith, Arriba, Nega, Alsea, and Countess. Together they formed the Champions of Justice. The first and, to date, only major superteam in the United States. They battled supervillains, terrorists, mad gods, demons, and even a pair of alien invasions. The world owes the Champions a debt it can never repay (not that they’d ask), and the person who held them together when they would have otherwise fallen apart was Megagirl. Starman was too passive, Starwoman too absent, Gunsmith too prickly, Arriba too accepting, Nega too stubborn, Alsea too soft, and Countess too remote to do it. So she did it, every time, without fail. Until that day out in space in ’85 where everything fell apart. But Megan doesn’t like to think about that. The 70s were their prime time. And it was also the now Baroness Valia’s, as well. The two archnemesises battled over and over. Valia was genuinely trying to kill her by this point, and even Gunsmith had difficult in proving Valia herself had done anything. San Francisco’s supernatural problems got worse. Megan was promoted to staff reporter, along with Trevor. She revealed her identity to him in ’71 (in the aftermath of the world’s first alien invasion), and they were married in ’72. It was a good decade for her. She should have been incredibly happy. But she wasn’t. She felt like a hamster on the wheel. It wasn’t that she was dissatisfied. She was living all of her dreams. And yet. Something was missing. Something important. She didn’t know it at the time, but this was the call of the alien half of her DNA. She had thought she was just some kind of strange mutant or something for her entire life, and indeed, throughout the 70s. She had no idea how wrong she was. The Moscone-Milk assassinations in November 1978 in particular shook her hard. She’d been covering Moscone since 1970, as Trevor was the national and out of town state politics reporter while Megan covered in town state and local politics. She knew the man, fairly well at that. Especially after he was elected mayor in ’74 and had more regular interactions with her as Megagirl. And Harvey Milk was a friend she’d been covering since he first came to prominence in ’72. And now they were both gone, because of one angry man with a gun. No conspiracy. No superpowered evildoer. Just the hardest kind of killing to stop. One angry man with a gun. Damn it. Her genuinely moving guest column eulogizing both men nearly won her a Pulitzer Prize, and was read across the country. Still, Megan persevered with the help of Trevor, the fellas in the Chronicle bullpen, and the Champions. It was 1982 where her world was shattered. The invasion of Kuros The Conqueror. While Starman may have faced him in single combat, the rest of the Champions (and many of the world’s heroes) battled his armada and land forces. Multiple enemies clocked her as an alien, and even identified the species. The information in the computer systems left behind after the invasion’s defeat exploded who and what she thought she was. Apparently the maternal half of her DNA was common enough to be in galactic databases. But this was not all. Merced had been attacked by a small force before being driven off by the National Guard and a handful of local heroes. Margaret Price was dead. Her mother was dead. The photograph of Megagirl sobbing inconsolably into Starman’s arms won that year’s Pulitzer Prize. Everyone thought it was because she was relieved her friend and teammate was still alive after the beating he’d received. This was not true. She’d just gotten word from Trevor, who’d gotten word from an emotionally broken Jonas. The following three years saw a change in Megan. She was still the same hero and political beat reporter. But she didn’t smile nearly as much. She could feel half of herself yearning for something. Something that wasn’t Earth and her human life. She mourned her mother deeply. She and Trevor were biologically incompatible. They couldn’t have children. Starman hadn’t been the same since the fight with Kuros. He had permanent injuries, and was getting old on top of it. Gunsmith was starting to slow down. Arriba seemed the same, but she could see the lines slowly deepening on his face. And even Nega’s hair was silvering. Her friends and allies were getting older. Slowing down. And she wasn’t. Then came that fateful mission to space. She will not discuss what happened. Gunsmith and poor Arriba wanted to return to Earth. Nega had the whole Nega Corps to help rebuild. Alsea and Countess were gone. And Megan had a lead on the other half of herself. She wrote letters to Trevor, Jonas, and the Chronicle. Wrapping up her human life for the foreseeable future. Gunsmith promised to deliver them (and he did). She expected him to talk to Starman or Starwoman when he got back to at least partially explain what happened (as far as anyone knows, he did not). And then, Megan Price ceased to exist for a while. She really didn’t mean to be gone for so long. When Nick Phoenix told her it had been over forty years she was shocked. She knew it had been a long time, but that long? She had gotten her answers about her origins, and had been superheroing around space wherever she was needed. Her goal was always to go home, but you know how it is. People needed help, she was in a position to give it, and space is huge. She thought it had been maybe ten or fifteen years. Twenty at the most. But over forty? Her father was surely dead. Trevor himself might be dead, as he was a few years older than Megan. She thought about being like Jackie (who had avoided Nick on that occasion) and simply staying gone. But no. She was, surprisingly, suddenly quite homesick. She missed Earth. She missed San Francisco. She missed Trevor. She hoped he would forgive her for being gone for so long. She said her goodbyes to Jackie, ending their decade long partnership, and then started on her way home. After 43 years, the last of the active Champions of Justice was on her way home. She is not aware that she missed an entire year. There had been rumors of Kuros being on the move for quite a while, but she knew nothing of the struggles of the Icons back on Earth. And, in her small one person ship, she was not aware of being Dusted during a nap. She will be quite surprised when she thinks to check the date again, after her ship drifted empty through space for a year. Meanwhile, she has a successor nobody knows about. Earth’s egg holding satellite has not be entirely idle. There is a young man in Ohio, who answers to the hero name of Mr. Superb. He is on a minor superteam, the Buckeyes of Justice, with the bearer of the Staff of Aura Halo, the investigative journalist and legacy heroine Whipmistress, younger sister of Countess (not that anyone knows) Duchess, and the former minor super villain Velvet Glove (he went by Iron Fist back then). He does not know his origins any more than Megan did back in the day, but the similarities between the two are gradually being noticed… Powers & Tactics: Megagirl is an alien-human hybrid. As such, all her powers are from photosynthetic (-ish) alien genetics. Though, interestingly, her human genetics seems to have turbo charged them compared with other hybridized species. She is very strong, very fast, and very tough. Her strength is phenomenal. She can crack titanium with a casual punch and lift fully loaded aircraft carriers with ease. Her speed is beyond hypersonic, and she can fly in the bargain. And the only tougher member of the Champions was Starman himself. Seriously. She can ignore the main guns of battleships. It takes something on the scale of a ballistic missile to potentially harm her. Those are only the headline acts, however. People tend to forget she technically didn’t have any need to breathe. No disease or poison could harm her. Nor can environmental heat, cold, pressure, radiation, or the vacuum of space. So, unlike the Stars, she didn’t need gear to go to space. People also tend to forget that she could see and hear further than most people can without gear. And finally, the reason she’s still relatively young, physically speaking. The reason she lost track o time out in space, aside from not having the rising and setting of a sun to help. A slowed aging rate that’s been slowing more as she’s gotten older. She aged two biological years for every three chronological years. So yes, she was physically 12 years old when she debuted, even if the calendar said 18. And she wasn’t quite physically 14 when the Champions were formed. This lasted until she was physically 25, about twenty years after her debut. So, late ‘82/early ’83. Her aging slowed dramatically at this point, to one biological year for every three chronological years, and showed signs of potentially slowing further in the future. So, her listed biological age is a guess at best. It’s how old she would be if her aging has not slowed any further. Originally, she didn’t have any way to apply her strength and speed other than standard punches. Her combat training basically didn’t exist. It was her training with the Champions (specifically Starman and Arriba) that got her up to snutf in that regard. So from Starman she learned proper lifting technique, how to perform a proper sleeper hold, and how to exploit the power of her exhalations. Just because she didn’t need to breath did not and does not mean that she can’t. From Arriba she learned how to punch at a dizzying speed, hit everyone in an area, or manipulate the winds by moving her arms really fast. Tactically, the last thing Megagirl wanted to do was hit anyone. And with a Toughness save that high and with a boatload of Impervious (even from the beginning), she could get away with trying very hard to talk things out. So she was the type to use disarming, cut down Super-Breath, or Tornado Effect to simply disable common thuggery until the police were in position to nab them. Most ordinary supervillains disarming doesn’t stop, so that’s cut out in favor of Sleeper Hold. Her grapple is good enough to hold most of them. For the rest, there’s Punch Everyone and Hypersonic Punches In Bunches. Just because she prefers not to do violence doesn’t mean she won’t. And that’s about it. She doesn’t Feint or Demoralize. She does have Accurate, All Out, Defensive, and Power Attack, but they’re not super well used? +15 Accuracy, Damage, and Defense is generally enough. You know? She’s capable of doing other powerhouse or speedster power stunts, but generally there’s no need. Her PL has spiked over time. While her Strength and Toughness bonuses haven’t moved, the rest has. Her debut in ’63 she was PL 10. Attack & Defense Bonuses plus Flight rank were 5. They went up slowly at first, and then sharply after the formation of the Champions in ’68. She also didn’t have any of the settings on her Array except Full Strength until ‘69/’70. She was her current PL 15 self by the invasion in ’72. It is not known yet what seeking out her origins has done for her powers. Is she stronger? Faster? Tougher? Something else? It remains to be seen upon her return. Personality: The easiest way to understand Megagirl is to understand the one thing she has always held onto, above everything else. It’s a simple idea, really. Disaster can be averted. Deaths, prevented. Suffering, eased. All anyone has to do is try. Decades of life experience have worn away any naiveté. She knows people can and do suck. This has done nothing to dull her optimism and faith in the good in people. She is still very kind, nice, compassionate, empathetic, and sweet. A cheerful, happy woman. It’s just tempered now. She was basically a child in ’63. Innocent of the ways of the world. Of all the many and varied ways people can be cruel to each other. It was innocence then. It’s not now. It’s defiance. Her dad always said, you can’t let the world break your heart. So yeah, people suck. They hurt each other for stupid and petty reasons. One could say, if they were inclined, that they don’t deserve to be helped, saved, protected, etc. But it’s not about what people deserve. It’s about the kind of person Megan wants to be. She wants to believe in people. She wants to see the good in them and not the bad. She wants to protect them when they’re in trouble. She wants to believe in love, light, and hope. It could be argued that she’s being selfish. But that’s not quite right. There’s a line between selfishness and self-determination. Deciding what your identity is and sticking to it is not a selfish act. It can lead to selfish acts, certainly, but it can just as easily lead to selfless ones as well. But she’s not a fool, either. She knows that even the mightiest and wisest cannot always avert disaster, prevent death, and ease suffering without kicking some ass. Words and other nonviolent actions are not always sufficient to stop misguided or outright bad people from doing bad things. It’s not a failure on her behalf. It’s simply the way things are. She’s not a saint, exactly. If someone has done something bad enough (like those men did to those women in Vietnam that one time), she will turn her back and purposefully not notice that they’re in danger. She was and is a good person. The best of us. She’ll forgive or overlook a lot. Like, a hell of a lot. But there are lines.
  11. Gunsmith I (Connor Morris) Power Level: 11; Power Points Spent: 255/255 STR: +3 (16), DEX: +5 (20), CON: +3 (16), INT: +5 (20), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +3/+7, Fort: +8, Ref: +14, Will: +11 Skills: Acrobatics 10 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Craft (electronic) 10 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 10 (+15), Disable Device 10 (+15), Gather Information 12 (+15), Intimidate 12 (+15), Investigate 10 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 10 (+15), Knowledge (streetwise) 10 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 10 (+15), Language 4 (+4), Notice 12 (+15), Search 10 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 10 (+15), Survival 12 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (ranged) 6, Attack Specialization 2 (Unarmed Attack), Beginner's Luck, Benefit 2 (Wealth (millionaire)), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Demoralize, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Startle, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Connected, Contacts, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus 5, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 14, Evasion, Improved Initiative, Improved Trick, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Jack-of-All-Trades, Luck 3, Master Plan, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Quick Draw, Second Chance (Toughnes saves vs. Ballistic), Skill Mastery 4 (+15 bonus skills), Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed Powers: Gunsmith Combat Suit (Device 5) (Hard to lose) Combat Armor (Protection 3) (+3 Toughness, Feats: Second Chance (Toughnes saves vs. Ballistic)) Cowl (Super-Senses 10) (analytical (type): Visual, extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), low-light vision, microscopic vision 1 (dust-size), radio, tracking: Visual 2 (normal speed)) Utility Belt (Array 4) (default power: obscure) Glider Pack (Flight 4) (Array; Speed: 100 mph, 880 ft./rnd; Duration (continuous); Gliding) Grapple Gun (Linked) Speed 2 (Linked; Speed: 25 mph, 220 ft./rnd) Super-Movement 3 (Linked; slow fall, swinging, wall-crawling 1 (half speed)) Medkit (Healing 4) (Array; Action (standard); Temporary) Smoke Pellets (Obscure 4) (Default; affects: visual senses, Radius: 50 ft.; Duration (continuous); Fades) Tech Rifle (Device 6) (Hard to lose) Rifle Settings (Array 11) (default power: blast; Precise, Subtle (subtle), Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group - Any Technological); Custom (Array 10.5)) Full Auto (Blast 7) (Default; DC 22; Autofire (interval 2, max +5)) Heavy Shot (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Penetrating) Tech Grenade Launcher (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Burst Area (35 ft. radius - General)) Tranquilizer Rounds (Fatigue 7) (Array; DC 17; Range (ranged)) Variable Bolo Launcher (Snare 7) (Array; DC 17; Autofire (interval 2, max +5)) Variable Dazzle (Dazzle 7) (Array; affects: 1 type + visual - visual & auditory, DC 17) Equipment: SmithMobile, The Smithy Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +15, Melee: +9, Grapple: +12) Attacks: Full Auto (Blast 7), +15 (DC 22), Heavy Shot (Blast 7), +15 (DC 22), Tech Grenade Launcher (Blast 7) (DC 22), Tranquilizer Rounds (Fatigue 7), +15 (DC Fort 17), Unarmed Attack, +13 (DC 18), Variable Bolo Launcher (Snare 7), +15 (DC Ref/Staged 17), Variable Dazzle (Dazzle 7), +15 (DC Fort/Ref 17) Defense: +14 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +9 Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, Russian, Vietnamese Totals: Abilities 44 + Skills 44 (176 ranks) + Feats 65 + Powers 44 + Combat 36 + Saves 22 + Drawbacks 0 = 255 ****************************************************************************************** SmithMobile Power Level: 11; Equipment Points Spent: 52 STR: +17 (45) Toughness: +10 Features: Alarm 3, Caltrops, Hidden Compartments 3, Navigation System 1, Remote Control, Smokescreen Powers: Impervious Toughness 6 Mounted Guns (Array 11) (default power: blast; Precise, Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group - Any Technological); Custom (Array 10.5)) Full Auto (Blast 7) (Default; DC 22; Autofire (interval 2, max +5)) Mini Rocket (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Burst Area (35 ft. radius - General)) Speed 5 (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd) Attacks: Full Auto (Blast 7), +15 (DC 22), Mini Rocket (Blast 7) (DC 22) Defense: -2, Size: Huge Totals: Abilities 3 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 10 + Powers 36 + Combat 2 + Saves 1 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 52 ****************************************************************************************** The Smithy Power Level: 11; Equipment Points Spent: 18 Toughness: +10 Features: Communications, Computer, Dock, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Power System, Security System 3, Workshop Size: Large Totals: Abilities 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 15 + Powers 0 + Combat 2 + Saves 1 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 18 Age (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 1992 at age 56. Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 175 lbs Ethnicity: African American Hair: Black (salt and pepper at time of death) Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Gunsmith is a…controversial figure. On the one hand we have a genuinely selfless hero who saved lives and solved crimes without expectation of reward or even notice, and on the other we have the militant civil rights activist who was never afraid to knock Whitey on his ass. Connor Morris was a complicated man. The official histories have him as debuting in 1962. This is only partially correct. Connor actually started operating as a nameless vigilante in 1957, remembering HUAC and the J. Edgar Hoover’s animosity towards costumed heroics. But after Starman and Stargirl didn’t get shutdown in their first year, he took the leap of getting a proper costume and name. He is noted or spending a lot of time with Malcolm X, especially after his public debut. The two men were genuinely friends, and there are indications that Malcolm knew who was under the mask. It is suspected that he advised Malcolm to cut ties with the Nation of Islam and go his own way. He did not follow Malcolm to Africa, which was the only point after Gunsmith’s official debut the two were known to be apart for a significant amount of time. As such, he was by Malcolm’s side during that all too brief meeting with Martin Luther King on March 26, 1964. Gunsmith is in several of the pictures in the Phoenixverse. This day was key not for the historic meeting between civil rights leaders (which barely lasted long enough for the pictures to be taken), but because Connor had never met MLK (who had wanted to meet him for some time). There was a conversation, neither short nor particularly long, between the two men. It changed nothing that day. Not very long after that, Malcolm flew to Saudia Arabia, and shockingly Gunsmith did not go with him. There is some evidence they communicated frequently via telephone. However, there is also some evidence Connor also communicated with MLK via telephone during this period. With that said, he still flew out to meet with Malcolm in the UK, and was present for the debate at the Oxford Union Society. This may have spiked British interest higher than it would have been otherwise, as the debate was televised nationally due to said interest. Or Malcolm himself could have been enough. It is not known. Whether Gunsmith would have broken with Malcolm is unclear. Both men had changed much since they physical parting in April. The two are known to have had several intense conversations over the following two months ater the debate. And then it was a moot point, because Malcolm X was dead. Gunsmith was about a yard away from Malcolm when he was assassinated. Gunsmith pursued the assassins out of the ballroom, his friend’s lifeblood soaking into his costume. What happened after that is not known. He always said when asked that the assassins faced justice and that he didn’t kill them. He never had anything more to say on the subject, at least to anyone who would share it. It is, however, notable that several members of the Nation of Islam disappeared off the face of the Earth over the next several weeks and that most of them were exposed as working for either the FBI or CIA shortly before said disappearances. This, more than anything else, earned Gunsmith the undying enmity of J. Edgar Hoover and other likeminded individuals in the federal alphabet soup. And then he started effectively bodyguarding Martin Luther King, Jr. Again, what Gunsmith himself knew is unclear. All of his papers were lost in the fire that consumed his manor near the time of his death. But this was not true of other heroes and civilians, and the implications are startling. Gunsmith apparently believed in a government conspiracy among certain unelected civil servants. How vast it was depended on who he was talking to, so he may have been exaggerating or downplaying it at times. At any rate, he was literally in the hotel room in Memphis when MLK was assassinated. Connor had seen enough bullet wounds at this point to know that it was all over but the dying, and chased after the assassin. Who, he said to the end o his days, turned out to be assassins, plural. Polished professionals good enough to surprise a veteran hero (one half blind with rage and grief, granted) and injure him enough that he couldn’t pursue them any further. Further investigation was stymied by his own reputation. After the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy not quite four months later, enough was enough. The 8 most prominent heroes of the age (Starman, Starwoman, Gunsmith himself, Megagirl, Arriba, Nega, Alsea, and Countess) banded together to form the Champions of Justice. The first, and to date, only major superteam in the United States. The 70s saw a shift in Gunsmith’s activities. Far from being solely a street level figure, he became one of the most famous people on the planet. Clashing with supervillains. Foiling terrorist plots. Possibly having sidekicks. No, seriously. There is anecdotal evidence that he possibly took on younger partners. A handful of photographs and a few inquisitive newspaper articles. Curiously, despite wearing similar costumes, based on their sizes, apparent genders, and builds, these sidekicks seem to be five different people. While one of them is very likely a disguised Starboy I (the timeline fits, and Starwoman wrote about having sent her son to St. Louis off and on that year in her journal), another may well be Stargirl II (if it was done for one sibling it was probably done for the other), and a third probably isn’t a young Fletcher but you never know (Morris is known to have been a big fan of Gunsmith and wanted to meet him; the timeline almost fits but Morris never wrote about meeting his hero, which is very strange if he did); this leaves one unknown male (two if that isn’t Fletcher) and one unknown female. Who they were, what codenames they may have possessed, and what happened to them is totally unknown. It was also in the 70s that Gunsmith established his reputation as probably the best costumed detective until the advent of Terrifica. Caviezel and Carla Perkins fail the “costumed” requirement, so they don’t count unless it is removed. This is actually a remarkable achievement, considering that the Mystery Men Era and Golden Age were stuffed to bursting with various forms of super scientists and costumed detectives. He wasn’t the smartest or the most perceptive, but he had it. Call it instinct, luck, or whatever else. He was good, and the Champions valued him highly, even if they didn’t all get along with him. But, of course, that’s just the genuine hero side to him. He did not ditch the militant civil rights activist, associating with the Black Panther Party to varying degrees through much of the 70s. They actually reached out to him in mid 1968, but as previously stated he was uh, busy. It wasn’t until 1969 where he started associating with them on a limited basis, with the murder of Fred Hampton in December greatly strengthening ties with the group. However, as is well known, there were elements in the Panthers that were little more than self-justifying criminals out to rob and murder. And so his relationship with the group was as paradoxical as the rest of his activities. He did, however, thwart the FBI’s COINTELPRO wherever he found it operating (and was key in providing enough evidence of its existence to the newsmedia to provoke the burgling of an FBI field office in Media, Pennsylvania), which drove Hoover nuts. And he opposed any successor programs until the end of his days. Yet even here he was paradoxical, as after the end of COINTELPRO he aided the FBI in busting Mafia members, foreign terrorists, and supervillains. Gunsmith distanced himself from the Panthers in 1974, and it took heroic efforts by then leader Elaine Brown for him not to cut ties entirely. Gunsmith openly hated Huey P. Newton, Eldridge Cleaver, and their ilk. When Newton returned and took over the Panthers in 1977, sending Brown fleeing, Gunsmith publically cut ties. This is how the general public and historians finally started to understand his particular ideology, and also added to his ever expanding enemies list. Why Connor Morris or Gunsmith never put together or attempted to assume a leadership role in a civil rights organization is unknown. The main theory is that after 1965, scarcely a month could go by without someone trying to kill him, some vicious rumor being spread to discredit him, or his being framed for a violent crime (usually homicide, but not always). The founding of the Champions did nothing to slow this. If anything, it accelerated it slightly. The last assassination attempt was shortly before he cut ties with the Panthers. Well, second to last. And the frame jobs slowly faded away as they became a “boy who cried wolf” situation where simply nobody believed it anymore. But the rumormongering never stopped. To this day it is a little challenging to determine what he actually did and what was invented lies to make him look bad. His reputation was and is startlingly poor for a man who did as much documented good in the world as he did. By the 80s, age and accumulated injuries were slowly catching up, but Gunsmith still accompanied the Champions (sans Starman and Stargirl) on that final mission in 1985. He quietly returned to Earth at the end of that year, and never spoke of what happened. In fact, few knew he had returned, as he made no further public appearances. His hero work in St. Louis continued, but his prior activities were quite abruptly curtailed. There is no evidence he ever met with Starman again, let alone Starwoman or any of the rest of the Starfamily. Yet, without a doubt, everyone who’s studied the man knows that if he’d been alive for Kuros’s invasion in 1992, he’d have pitched in despite being 56 and fading badly. Unfortunately, he’d already been dead for a few months. There was one last assassination attempt that year, and it was a doozy. Broken remnants of every conspiracy he’d ever smashed had been well, conspiring. Former FBI agents, Klansmen, and others who had plenty of reason to hate the man who had (in their opinion) destroyed their lives systematically took his history apart and figured out his secret identity of Connor Morris, millionaire entrepreneur who’d built himself up from nothing. 100 well armed men stormed the Morris manor in St. Louis. The battle was epic, but Gunsmith-no, Connor, had a problem. Nonlethal tactics weren’t working. These men had fanatical hatred and a certain drug cocktail in their veins. They could not be knocked unconscious or disabled for more than a few seconds without causing potentially lethal damage. So the angry, aging hero said Fuck It. His home was on fire, neither the police nor the fire department had arrived (and he knew what that meant), and there were 100 men so fanatically devoted to his violent and brutal death they’d literally taken drugs that would kill them in under a day. So he started killing them. In fact, he killed them all. But his home and all he owned burned to the ground. Plus he was badly injured, with his costume shredded beyond recognition. When St. Louis police finally arrived that night, all they saw was a raving black man waving a rifle around, while several white men lay dead around him. So they shot him. Repeatedly. So ended the life of Gunsmith, aka Connor Morris. He left a deeply complicated legacy that has been at times deliberately obscured and distorted. He’s been dead for 27 years but the visceral hatred he inspired in his enemies is still going strong in 2019. He was a good man and a great hero. He was also an uncompromising son of a bitch who never so much as bent a micron on his own personal principles, no matter how much it cost him. Compassionate and generous contrasting with angry and violent. Connor Morris was a man of contradictions. I can only tell you, Dear Reader, to draw your own conclusions about the type of man he was. However…he does appear to have inspired a legacy hero. Since 2009 a new Gunsmith has been operating in the St. Louis area. Nobody knows that it is his grand nephew on his father’s side. The former Marine Corps Sergeant Duncan Morris. Additionally, shortly after the Endgame Starman III was seen in St. Louis. What this means is yet to be seen. Powers & Tactics: Gunsmith had no superhuman powers of any kind. What he had was a vast array of skills including being a tech specialist. As a tech specialist, he had a pair of devices to help him. He was additionally an expert martial artist, using mainly Karate. He seemed to have some basic training in boxing and Wing Chun, as well. His two devices were his Gunsmith Combat Suit and his Tech Rifle. His Gunsmith Combat Suit was armored in a lightweight version of modern Kevlar. Considering he first started wearing it in 1962, this is more of an scientific achievement than it sounds like. Kevlar wasn’t developed until three years later, nd didn’t see widespread use as armor until the mid 70s. Naturally, his was more resistant to bullets than anything else, but it did its job well enough over the years. His cowl was comparable to modern super tech. Lots of visual improvements on the naked eye, including visual extension, microscopic vision, and an analysis suite. Of course, what people remember best is the utility belt around his waist. It’s most common contents were a glider pack in the back (which again it was years before mundane tech caught up to it), a grapple gun to rappel and swing from place to place (which still hasn’t been duplicated by other than super tech), some smoke pellets (these have been duplicated, and a medkit to temporarily patch up injuries. His Tech Rifle was his main weapon, and would be impressive in 2019, let alone 1962. The original model in his first known appearance in 1957 was a heavily modified M-1 Garand that stretched the abilities of that rifle most severely. It has an armor penetrating round, underbarrel grenade launcher, the fatigue inducing rounds, restraint launcher, and the vision and hearing dazzling ammo. It should, however, be noted that his base model was an Armalife AR-15 upon his official debut in 1962. By 1969, however, with the Champions established, it was clearly an M-16. This is the best remembered version, as he’d added fully automatic fire and his dazzlingly wide variety of ammunition types. Seriously, this thing spit fire, ice, lighting, lasers, gravitic force, friggin’ elemental darkness, and many more. This was actually rather useful in the Silver Age, as every other supervillain apparently had a specific weakness. And when it was identified, Gunsmith always had the ammo type to hit it and hit it hard. He was known to have both a car he called his Smithmobile (in a rare moment of levity from the man) and kept his personal headquarters (The Smithy) in a subbasement under the Morris manor in St. Louis. The Smithmobile had duplicates of a couple of his Tech Rifles mounted on, unlimited specialty ammunition included. It was only capable of firing full auto or mini rocket variants of his grenades. It was also completely impervious to all hand portable firearms of era, barring beefy shotguns or genuine military ordinance produced for the war in Vietnam. It really was a hell of a car. Tactically, Gunsmith had a lot of options. He was perhaps most famous for firing on Full Auto or unleashing another Tech Grenade. A Variable Bolo or Variable Dazzle turned many a battle in the heavier hitters’ favor in addition to his own. Even Heavy Shot and Tranquilizer Rounds are remembered for coming in handy more than once. However, this was during battles against super villains and/or with the Champions. Against rank and file thuggery, he never even drew his Tech Rifle. He just beat the shit out of them with his bare hands. Maybe a rank or two of Power Attack sometimes, but his bare hands. Just Takedown Attack 2 through all of them. With that said, that’s just attacking. He was much more complex than that. Between his Grapple Gun and his Glider Pack, he could reposition at need. His Medkit could get anyone upright again for an hour or so, including himself. And, of course, Smoke Pellets will always have their uses to a costumed detective. He had Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Demoralize, Feint, Startle, Taunt, and even Trick. Also known as all possible ways to ruin an enemy’s day. He had All Out, Defensive, and Power Attack to adjust his caps. He was known to use them quite a bit. Move by Action also falls into this category. Between Connected, Contacts, and Well-Informed, he always seemed to know what type of ammunition to use against an enemy. And just to keep enemies guessing at his full abilities, he also has Master Plan (the regular version, not using KN Tactics) and Inventor. He was never known to power stunt. This build represents Gunsmith from 1969 to 1982. From ’57 to 63, he was a PL 9 with Effect Rank 6 on his Tech Rifle, and no Full Auto setting. His Accuracy was +12, as was his Defense Bonus. His Toughness was, obviously, +6. From ’64 to ’68 he was a PL 10. Accuracy +14, then, and Toughness at +8. He still did not have Full Auto. After ’82, he finally was getting old and slipped back down to PL 10. Accuracy +13 and Defense back to +12. And at his final battle in ’92 he was PL 9 again. Accuracy +11 and Defense +10. It is not known when between ’85 and ’92 the shift down from PL 10 to PL 9 occurred. Personality: Bluntly, we don’t know. We can only guess. He was rarely interviewed (for reasons that should be obvious to you, Dear Reader), and when he was he was a man of few words. We don’t know anything about what the man himself thought. Anything he may have written privately was destroyed in the fire that claimed his home. The only thing left is the words of the people who knew him and his documented actions. There were plenty of people that liked and respected him. There were also plenty of people who absolutely loathed him. But that doesn’t help very much, as militant African American civil rights activist would do that by itself. Especially in that era. Still, a few things can be gleaned. Diplomacy was his weak point. He was quite intelligent and well read. He had no patience with anyone who would waste his time. He was a dedicated foe of corruption, crime, and what we now call hate crimes. There are records of him performing some pretty dramatic rescues during floods, fires, and similar emergency situations. His courage and determination were aspects of him that have never been in question. With that said, he also had an angry, violent side. He controlled it very well, but there was clearly a side of him that enjoyed hurting people he thought deserved it. There are documented instances of him beating the living shit out of Klansmen, lynch mobs, uncooperative gangsters, drug dealers, and so on. He was not known to mince words, equivocate, or beat around the bush. He was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a nice guy. And yet…life was clearly very important to him. He never killed anyone until his last day alive, and went out of his way to protect the defenseless every chance he got. Even if they were a hated enemy, he still always tried to save their lives first. Gunsmith truly was a complicated man of many contradictions. But he was a hero. That too, has never been in question.
  12. Starman I (John Thompkins) Power Level: 16; Power Points Spent: 255/255 STR: +20 (20/50), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +20 (20/50), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +5 (20) Tough: +20, Fort: +20, Ref: +12, Will: +10 Skills: Bluff 5 (+10), Craft (structural) 10 (+10), Diplomacy 5 (+10), Intimidate 10 (+15), Knowledge (business) 5 (+5), Knowledge (civics) 5 (+5), Knowledge (earth sciences) 5 (+5), Knowledge (physical sciences) 5 (+5), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15) Feats: All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 5, Dodge Focus 3, Improved Initiative, Luck 4, Power Attack, Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Ultimate Effort (Strength checks), Ultimate Effort (Toughness checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Untapped Potential Powers: Starheart Augmented Physiology (Container, Passive 17) Stellar Durability (Impervious Toughness 15) Stellar Might (Super-Strength 5) (+25 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 13.4m tons; +5 STR to some checks) Stellar Resilience (Enhanced Constitution 30) (+30 CON) Stellar Strength (Enhanced Strength 30) (+30 STR) Stellar Flight (Flight 5) (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd) Stellar Might Tricks (Array 15) (default power: super-strength) Shockwave (Strike 15) (Array; DC 30; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General)) Sleeper Hold (Stun 15) (Array; DC 25; Duration (concentration); Requires Grapple) Stellar Might Boost (Super-Strength 15) (Default; +75 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 13.4m tons; +15 STR to some checks) Super-Breath (Trip 15) (Array; Cone Area (150 ft. cone - General), Knockback; Range (touch)) Thunderclap (Dazzle 15) (Array; affects: 1 sense type - auditory, DC 25; Burst Area (75 ft. radius - General), Selective Attack; Range (touch)) Attack Bonus: +7 (Ranged: +7, Melee: +12, Grapple: +32/+52) Attacks: Shockwave (Strike 15) (DC 30), Sleeper Hold (Stun 15), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 25), Super-Breath (Trip 15) (DC 25), Thunderclap (Dazzle 15) (DC Fort/Ref 25), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 35) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -17 Initiative: +5 Drawbacks: Vulnerable, uncommon, major, Mind Control effects Languages: English Native Totals: Abilities 38 + Skills 19 (74 ranks) + Feats 22 + Powers 129 + Combat 32 + Saves 18 - Drawbacks 3 = 255 ***************************************************************************************** Starwoman I (Judy Thompkins) Power Level: 16; Power Points Spent: 240/240 STR: +1 (12), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +4 (18), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +4/+9, Fort: +10, Ref: +10/+20, Will: +10 Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+10), Bluff 7 (+10), Craft (chemical) 7 (+10), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 7 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 2 (+5), Knowledge (earth sciences) 7 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 7 (+10), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15) Feats: Accurate Attack, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 3, Dodge Focus 3, Evasion 2, Improved Aim, Improved Critical (Star Bolts (Blast 12)), Improved Initiative 5, Interpose, Luck 3, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Ultimate Effort (Flight Speed checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Starheart Speed (Container, Passive 18) Stellar Flight (Flight 10) (Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd) Stellar Quickness (Quickness 10) (Perform routine tasks at 2500x speed) Stellar Reflexes (Enhanced Trait 58) (Traits: Attack Bonus +10 (+12), Defense Bonus +8 (+20), Reflex +10 (+20), Dodge Focus 3 +2 (+3), Feats: Defensive Roll 3, Evasion 2, Improved Initiative 5) Stellar Resilience (Protection 2) (+2 Toughness) Stellar Energy Manipulation (Array 20) (default power: blast) Stellar Flight Boost (Flight 10) (Alternate; Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd; Stacks with (Stellar Flight (Flight 10))) Stellar Quickness Boost (Quickness 10) (Alternate; Perform routine tasks at 2500x speed; Stacks with (Stellar Quickness (Quickness 10))) Star Blast (Blast 20) (Default; DC 35) Star Bolts (Blast 12) (Array; DC 27, Feats: Improved Critical (Star Bolts (Blast 12)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5) [10 ranks only]; Accurate 4 (+8)) Star Energy Field (Strike 10) (Array; DC 25; Shapeable Area (10 cubes of 125 cu. ft. (5x5x5) - General), Duration (concentration), Selective Attack) Stellar Energy Objects (Create Object 12) (Array; Max Size: 12x 25' cubes, DC 22; Movable (Radius: 60 ft., Strength: 60, Force: 51.2 tons); Progression, Object Size 2, Selective, Stationary) Attack Bonus: +2/+12 (Ranged: +2/+12, Melee: +2/+12, Grapple: +3/+13) Attacks: Star Blast (Blast 20), +12 (DC 35), Star Bolts (Blast 12), +20 (DC 27), Star Energy Field (Strike 10) (DC 25), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 16) Defense: +12/+20 (Flat-footed: +9), Knockback: -4 Initiative: +22 Languages: Native Language Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 19 (76 ranks) + Feats 12 + Powers 134 + Combat 22 + Saves 21 + Drawbacks 0 = 240 Age (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 1993 at ages 63 (Starman I), and 61 (Starwoman I) Height: 6’ 6” (Starman I), 5’ 6” (Starwoman I) Weight: 300 (Starman I), 120 (Starwoman I) Ethnicity: Caucasian Hair: Brown (partly gray at retirement, entirely grey at death) Eyes: Brown Background: John Thompkins was nobody. Just a construction worker. 31 years old. Married a few years to his beloved Judy. One day, after a 12 hour shift, he headed home. He had to cross a small park on the way. He did not get all the way across it. The next thing he knew he was laying in an area of scorched grass at least thirty feet wide. He felt very strange, and couldn’t quite think straight. So he continued home. Judy had dinner ready, but first things went first. He gave her a hug and a kiss. An extremely bright light shone brilliantly out of their windows for several seconds before going dark. Neither of them knew anything about it, because they were on the floor unconscious. In the morning, there was nothing to do but react like an adult, you know? Set an appointment to see the doctor and make sure they were okay. But in the meantime, John still had to go to work. Judy still had plans for her day. John’s day was surprisingly easy. Like he’d gotten stronger since yesterday. How funny. Judy dashed across a street to beat the light and got there fast enough to surprise the hell out of the people already there. Well, she’d always been a good runner. Day two after was a whole different kettle of fish. A rope snapped and dropped a pile of I beams on John, who’d pushed his best pal out of the way beforehand. Everyone was hurting for how to tell poor Judy when John just…stood up. Shrugged off tons of weight like it was water. He definitely couldn’t do that the other day. Everyone tried to play it off like the I beams had landed just right. John was a big strong guy, right? His helmet had protected him. It did break. They just had to have seen what happened wrong, that’s all. Judy had had her own adventure, accidently running out of town and blowing up a tree with her first Star Blast. John may have been of average intelligence, but Judy was whip smart. She knew they had superpowers now. It was John, however, who suggested the whole costume and codename thing. It is important to note that there were no publically operating superheroes in 1961. Between J. Edgar Hoover in the shadows and Congressmen like Joseph McCarthy more publically, most superheroes (and everyone publically operating at that time) retired or was jailed. After all, what was more communist than protecting the welfare of all men and women and fighting injustice wherever it appeared, apparently. And while the senator and his philosophy had largely been discredited by 1961, the memories lingered. It hadn’t been a full decade since genuine war heroes were being asked “are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist party?”. Having their identities exposed by the FBI or being harassed to out their identities themselves. Things had changed. McCarthy was both gone and dead. But Hoover was still there. And he still hated masked heroes. So John asking this of his wife was a bold move in the context of the period. Still, they decided together to become superheroes. And with a little practice to get the hang of their new powers, they debuted as Starman and Stargirl. The Silver Age of heroes had begun. It is impossible to emphasize enough how much Starman set the gold standard for what a superhero was supposed to be. He said power inherently came with responsibility, and by god he lived it. Iconic doesn’t even begin to cover it. When everyone else fell down defeated, he kept standing. He endured more punishment than any other hero in recorded history. He dished out more than his fair share, as well. He saved so many lives. 25 years of sheer excellence. He pushed himself above and behind his supposed limits so often it became a meme before the internet. To put his impact in perspective, prior to his debut in 1961 it was not all that unusual for heroes to kill their enemies. Protecting the innocent and vulnerable took priority, naturally, but in the Golden Age, the Mystery Men Era before it, and further back it just wasn’t unusual for heroes to put a permanent end to villains and criminals local law enforcement couldn’t handle. Not all heroes did, mind, but a lot of the Mystery Men’s claims to fame were “good detective, very determined, and will shoot bad guys with their gun if they need to”. Starman refused both to kill and to put up with anyone who did. His powers were to protect life, not take it. Power came with responsibility, after all. To say this sent shockwaves through the heroic community just as it was beginning to revive is a massive understatement. At the time Starman seemed to be the most powerful hero who’d ever lived. And he refused to kill anyone, deliberately handicapping himself so he wouldn’t. So yeah, he was a big deal. And he was like this right from the start. Stargirl got pregnant pretty early on. This left Starman to his own devices pretty regularly for the next 15 years. Jesse Thompkins was born in 1962, and Jacqueline “Jackie” Thompkins was born in 1964. Seeing as it was the 60s and then the 70s, Stargirl (who changed to Starwoman the year after Jackie was born) was a homemaker who stayed home with the children. She was a feminist, but there weren’t any legal repercussions for leaving the married mother of two unemployed until after it no longer really mattered. Starwoman wasn’t particularly prominent in the movement, but Judy? Oh hell yeah. Anyone who complained to John about her got glared at until they backed down. He may have not quite been on the “support all women” train at the start, but he absolutely was on the “support my wife” train. Which was the great thing about their marriage. They had each other’s backs entirely, and remained very much in love to anyone with eyes and a brain throughout their careers. The reason Starwoman wasn’t more prominent was about Starman’s desire to remain as apolitical as possible while in costume. In 1968, Starman, Starwoman, Gunsmith I, Megagirl, Arriba, Nega I, Alsea, and Countess formed the Champions of Justice in response to the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr and Robert F. Kennedy. Gunsmith had physically been at the former event (as in literally in the room when the shot was fired), and was still recovering at the time from a violent confrontation with what he would claim until his death in 1992 was a highly skilled professional sniper team. If he had any proof of this, it was in his manor which burned to the ground shortly before said death. Megagirl had been covering the Kennedy campaign in her civilian identity for the San Francisco Chronicle, and personally flew RFK’s ambulance to the hospital. She had not literally been in the room, and regretted not trying to be for a very long time. And so they formed the first and to date only major superteam in the United States. The 1970s saw Starman ascend from well known in the United States to one of the most famous people on the planet. He was the clear star as the Champions repelled the first alien invasion in recorded history. They, and especially he, made it look easy. It wasn’t, exactly, but whatever. He was the mighty, invincible Starman. So obviously supervillains poured out of the woodwork to take him down and make their names. Obviously, they all failed, which only enhanced his reputation. Starwoman was, as ever, key to his success and a famous superheroine in her own right. But things changed forever in 1975, when their son discovered he had inherited their combined powers. Both mother and father were ecstatic. Overjoyed. They weren’t sure if this would happen, and they’d never lied to their children about who they were, once they were old enough to understand it wasn’t something to tell people. And so that year saw the debut of Starboy I. He didn’t have the raw power of either of his parents, but he was also 13 years old. So, patience. As expected, their daughter’s powers emerged in 1977. Shortly thereafter she debuted as Stargirl II. The Starfamily had arrived. It wouldn’t last forever or even all that long, but for a brief moment, they were the most famous family of all time. The father. The mother. The older brother. And the younger sister. A team as mighty and invincible as Starman himself. Well, until the following year of 1978, where the monster Armageddon punched a big ragged hole in that idea. Where it came from, nobody knows and nobody wants to. The Starkids weren’t strong enough to hurt him, and he bulldozed through most of the Champions with ease. Starman went hand to hand with the monster, with support from Starwoman, Megagirl, and Arriba. He fought the damn thing all day, and eventually even his Starwoman and Megagirl fell away, too injured to continue. The main problem is that, as always, they were fighting to subdue instead of kill. Which, as it turned out, as impossible. So the exhausted Arriba caused one last distraction, and Starman hit Armageddon with all the strength and power he could muster. Earth has had asteroids impact with less force. The monster’s skull shattered and it died instantly. The battle was over. The monster was dead. And so was, unfortunately, the idea that Starman couldn’t be stopped. It took him a few months to recover from his injuries, when before he had never needed more than a week at worst. He walked with a limp for the rest of his life and his left shoulder was never quite the same. He carried several new ragged scars, too, including one over his left eye. But the Champions and the Starfamily rolled on. Though there is good reason to think that this was when he first started thinking about retirement. It was 1982 when he first spoke of it to anyone. Specifically, after the invasion of Kuros The Conqueror. This wasn’t one threat to fight. It was a thousand spread across the face of the planet. It was, arguably, the Champions’ finest hour. Virtually every superhero on the planet pitched in. Even old enemies (like the Baroness Valia, who they’d battled a time or three, especially Megagirl) threw in to defend the world. And because Starman was the kind of man he was with the kind of principles he had, he took on Kuros by himself. The official story is that he won. He kicked Kuros off the planet as his usual heroic self. This is false. Kuros was badly injured when he fled, this much is true. However, Starman had basically lost the fight by that point. For the first time since before that day long ago in 1961, he’d met an opponent he simply couldn’t beat no matter how hard he tried. Someone with a lesser constitution would have died on the spot. John Thompkins, professional stubborn bastard, stood up again and lifted his fists. The fact that he was still apparently still able to fight despite the horrific injuries Kuros had already inflicted terrified the Conqueror into abandoning his invasion entirely. In Kuros’s defense, if the man you just thought you finished violently and brutally beating to death, who’d already hurt you pretty badly, got up apparently ready for another round you’d piss yourself and run too. To his final day last year he was only frightened of two things. Nick Phoenix (who whooped his ass when he returned for revenge in ’92), and those who wear the Star. So yes, Kuros The Annihilator just about pissed himself in terror when Starman III and Starwoman II showed up to whoop his ass. He wasn’t overpowered; he was “oh fuck”-ing about them too hard to fight effectively. However, the reality was that virtually every hero who’s ever lived but Starman would have died from that beating. Including Nick Phoenix. Aside from the fact that he regenerates too fast for damage to build up that much from anything. The once mighty and invincible Starman was in critical condition for weeks. Nobody could operate. The equipment didn’t exist. Even setting his broken bones required the strength of Megagirl, who wasn’t in great shape herself after the invasion. Relieving the pressure on his brain required Starwoman, his wife, to cut into his skull with a precision Star Blast because nothing else could penetrate. All anyone could do after that was hope. Obviously, he pulled through, but he was never the same. Nowadays, the symptoms match those of someone suffering from a traumatic brain injury. Dizziness. Headaches. Memory loss. Confusion. His limp was now pronounced. Most of his joints (shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, etc) had suffered some kind of permanent damage. He couldn’t even stand up straight anymore. At least, not for long. But he was still Starman, professional stubborn bastard. He hung on. He wasn’t sure if his son was ready. The Starfamily also broke up, with Stargirl moving to Los Angeles for a variety of reasons. His powers starting to fail in 1985 made the decision for him. He couldn’t go with the Champions on their space trip. He just didn’t have enough in the tank. It was time, or close enough. Starman finally retired the year after (he hung on hoping for them to come back, but they never did as far as he knew), and Starboy took on the mantle of his father. Starwoman retired with her husband. His mental problems were slowly getting worse (even if he wouldn’t admit it), and he needed her more than ever. And Stargirl stopped appearing entirely down in Los Angeles, with her going entirely into civilian life. Starman II had managed to empower his wife as Starqueen I, but something had gone wrong. She wasn’t as powerful as the rest. And she showed no aptitude for hero work, anyway. Her instincts were all wrong, and she was chronically hesitant. So she didn’t go out wearing the Star very often. The Starfamily was well and truly gone. The story of his death has been told. What was omitted from that account is that Starman II was there. He offered to take his father up himself. Let his mother live. Both of them declined. So Jesse Thompkins got to have an emotional farewell to his parents John and Judy, and then he got to watch the explosion that marked their end. The rest is known. The legacy of the original Starman was ultimately a depressing one until the Endgame. A son who died young, a daughter who walked away from the life by age 21, and grandchildren who didn’t seem particularly interested in putting on the Star full time. Even the appearance of Starguy lent credence (due to his being far less powerful) to the idea that his legacy was fading out into nothingness. And then Jack and Jennifer Thompkins shattered that idea, along with Kuros’s confidence. As 2019 dawns, reports of Starman III and Starwoman II visiting the inheritors of the Champions’ legacies have surfaced. Gunsmith II in St. Louis. Andale in El Paso. Chloro in San Diego. Between that and the refusal (vehement on Jack’s behalf) of both to join the Icons, there may be a new supergroup in the very new future. After all, Jack Thompkins is the same age as his grandfather when he started… Powers & Tactics: Starman and Starwoman were, technically, mutants. To this day, 58 years after it happened, nobody has any idea what happened to John Thompkins to change him. We do, however, have an idea of why he didn’t get the powers his descendants did, and why his wife got them instead. John Thompkins was originally a metahuman, with a minor enhancement to his physical resilience. We know this because in his early 20s John got into a significant amount of bar fights, and always was able to walk away under his own power. No unpowered human is that tough. So, however the transformation/alteration/mutation process that grants the Starpowers followed the model already laid out for it, and apparently couldn’t do the rest, which caused said rest to jump to his wife Judy. However, both of their powers functioned in the same now legendary way. They both had a nuclear fusion reaction inside their chests, pumping out energy as only they can. It is known as a Starheart. Physiological alterations channeled that power into their respective abilities. For Starman, it was genuinely phenomenal strength and resilience, along with the ability to fly at subsonic speeds. Starman set the platinum standard in both of his major categories. Nobody without abilities on a cosmic scale has ever exceeded or even matched his strength. Not Cory of the Exiles, though he’s not bad. Not Tex Austin of the Icons. Not Big Ben over in the United Kingdom. Not even his own son could match him. He carried aircraft carries without noticeable effort. Held up skyscrapers. Diverted asteroids. The best estimate of his full lifting capacity was several million tons, and this was widely regarded as a lowball estimate. His ability to absorb punishment (not resist it) was equally unparalleled. Cory, Tex, and Ben each have equally impressive damage resistance, however, not of them are in Starman’s league when that alone is not enough. Cory’s not bad, but all of them will go down and stay there if enough damage is applied. He never did. This was thought to be the legacy of his metahuman genetics…until his son did it, at the last, against Armageddon. Something about the Starpowers makes the possessor able to stand and fight when they should be down and out, if not outright dying. Indeed, he was the mighty, invincible Starman…until he wasn’t. For Starwoman, it was genuinely phenomenal speed, equal quickness and reflexes, and the ability to emit and manipulate said stellar energy. And again, she set the platinum standard in all categories. Nobody without abilities on a cosmic scale has ever exceeded her speed and blasting power. Her speed was matched by Arriba, but he was partly empowered by one of those folks on the cosmic scale and he could not fly. She could. As of this writing, the only known non cosmic powered being that has matched her blasting power is Drone Prime (The Prince). And he is an ageless immortal at the peak of his power. She wasn’t immortal at all. Everyone else has fallen short. To be clear, she wasn’t merely hypersonic. She wasn’t merely beyond hypersonic. She could go from immobile to a significant fraction of the speed of light almost instantaneously. Some modern historians downplay her abilities, but she was every bit as powerful and important to the success of the Champions as Starman himself. She wasn’t merely his wife or even his right hand. They were equal partners from the beginning to the very end. Starman, over time, developed some tricks he could do with his strength. He could clap his hand together in a couple of different ways to create either a damaging shockwave or a deafening thunderclap. He could exhale extra hard and blow foes away. Or he could just put the opponent in a sleeper hold after grappling them, and put them to sleep. Starwoman had more ways to manipulate stellar energy than her standard blast. She could also use rapid fire bolts, create temporary solid objects (a power her son also possessed) and uniquely, at least so far, could maintain a damaging field of energy around herself in whatever shape she chose. As an interesting note, she (like the entire Starfamily) couldn’t use her full speed and emit energy at the same time. This is very likely because energy being emitted was not energy being used for her speed. Tactically, they were a well oiled machine even by ’62. Starman got in close and punched hard. Starwoman would hang back and blast away. But as always, the devil’s in the details. Ordinary thugs literally couldn’t hurt Starman. Hell, ordinary supervillains couldn’t hurt him. Toughness 20, Impervious 15 is functionally invincible unless one can overcome the Impervious without using Penetrating. So he’d just wade in disarming the thuggery. Maybe he’d use Thunderclap to distract them. He routinely cut Strength or Shockwave ranks to avoid doing lethal damage to ordinary supervillains. It’s really what the Stellar Might Tricks were for. Clearing out the foes who couldn’t really hurt him but could hurt his allies or unevacuated bystanders. For anyone with power and durability approaching his own, he brought out his legendary full power punches. He had both All Out Attack and Startle to help those punches hit, and Power Attack on the rare occasion he needed to hit even harder. He also had Interpose, to take punishment others could not endure. Take note of Ultimate Strength, Ultimate Toughness, and Untapped Potential. For when the need was dire, the mighty and invincible Starman could surpass his limits and momentarily possess the power of a god. Starwoman took a similar approach, but again the devil’s in the details. Instead of being unable to hurt her, common thuggery is unable to hit her. Even ordinary supervillains struggled. So she leaned on disarming the thuggery too. Sometimes she trapped them in Stellar Energy Object instead. She routinely cut Star Bolts ranks to avoid doing lethal damage and used Autofire’s Multiple Targets option on groups. Not like she was likely to miss, right? Accurate Attack could cut damage ranks while boosting, well, Accuracy, so it was her go to here. Defensive Attack could boost her Defense. Power Attack could add damage. She abused Move by Action relentlessly. Her using Multiple Targets with Star Bolts and Move by Action was by far the most common thing she did and generally how she is remembered acting in combat. This does not mean she never used Star Blast or Star Energy Field. It’s just that with Power Attack available, she rarely needed to use the former and with Multiple Targets the latter wasn’t always the best option. Stellar Energy Objects gave her a way of lifting things, too, which was very useful. Especially when Starman or Megagirl’s hands were full. These builds represent them from 1962 to 1982. Starwoman doesn’t actually change after ’82, however. In ’61 they had Stellar Speed instead of Stellar Flight, and they didn’t know they could fly until close to the end of the year. Starman, after recovering from the battle with Kuros, had his INT reduced to 8 (-1) and his WIS reduced to 14 (+2). His Craft and Knowledge skills do not change, but his Notice and Sense Motive drop to +10. Additonally, he drops two ranks of Base Attack and Defense, reducing him to PL 15. In 1985, with his powers starting to fail, Stellar Strength and Stellar Resilience drop to 25 ranks each. Stellar Durability drops two ranks, to 13. Stellar Might Tricks is drops two ranks as well, to 13, and all array settings are reduced accordingly. His Base Attack and Defense drop one more point, leaving him PL 13. It is not known how much further he declined in his retirement. He was, however, noticeably frail looking and virtually immobile without using Stellar Flight. So it was probably very bad. Personality: People these days like to pretend that John Thompkins was a saint on earth. That Starman was this flawless ideal. He wasn’t. He was just a man. Not the smartest. Not the wisest. Just a man born in the US Midwest in the Great Depression. He never thought he’d be anybody. He never thought he’d make more of a difference in the world than by raising his kids with the principles he’d been raised with. And then that changed. People misunderstand who he was so much. They think he was one of those heroes driven by compassion and love for his fellow people. That he couldn’t stand to let bad things happen to good people. This is false. There is no record of him being anything other than your average helpful bystander before 1961. John Thompkins believed in responsibility. The more power one had, the more responsibility they had. This responsibility was to do for others what they could not reasonably be expected for themselves. So yes, he helped short people reach things. Maybe escorted an old lady or three across the street. Little things, because he was only a man. A big, strong man, but only a man. And then, once again, that changed. But John didn’t. He was no different, on this front, in 1986 than he was in 1961. The thing that was different, well…by 2019 standards the 1961 version of John was a little racist and sexist. To be fair, this was ignorance, not malice. Things were different back then, and to his credit his long friendships with Gunsmith (himself a Black man), Megagirl, and Arriba (and learning to actually listen to his wife instead of unthinkingly support her) educated him on the subjects. The 1986 version of John was a good man indeed, but one who was glad to put his responsibility down. He never enjoyed being a hero, contrary to most of his contemporaries. This isn’t to say that he hated it. John wasn’t a man of deep thoughts or complex emotions. He had the power, so he had the responsibility. End of thought process. His feelings about it weren’t relevant. But in 1986 he was tired. His body hurt. He limped. He couldn’t always get his thoughts focused anymore. And he was pushing 60. His son was more than ready. So John Thompkins took off his Starman shirt for the last time, and went home without a backward glance. Some people might say this makes him not the hero they thought he was. To them I say…he did a job he didn’t enjoy for 25 years. He threw everything he had into it, and never accepted any reward beyond a decent meal and a place to sleep. It destroyed his body, damaged his mind, and wore away at his sanity. He had saved more people than any of us will ever meet before the Champions were founded. And your complaint is that he found it all too easy to retire? Well. Aren’t you picky. People like to characterize Starwoman as little more than a dutiful housewife who never did anything but support her husband. This is inaccurate. She was a dedicated feminist to the end of her days. While she may have deferred to her husband’s desires to remain apolitical while in costume, Judy Thompkins had no such limitations. Those who knew her say that she was a cheerful, intelligent woman with a strong sense of humor and a slow burning but volcanic temper. Her journals detail a woman who didn’t have any choice but to get married if she wanted to ever leave the small town she grew up in, endless frustration with the limitations forced on women for no other reason than the fact that they were women, and the lack of opportunities for her to use her very fine mind. She was deeply passionate about geology and chemistry. She wanted to be someone, to make her mark on history. She had so many dreams, and being Starwoman basically allowed to live most of them. Her knowledge of earth science came in handy many times. She was famous, she was someone who mattered, and she made a nice big mark on history. So why was it that she was the one who had to stay home with the children while Starman got to go adventuring with the Champions? She was feminist, right? Why would she put up with that? Well, first that’s making a lot of assumptions about a woman who could move at a significant percentage of the speed of light. Second, it was about public relations. It was never a secret that Starman and Stargirl had had children. They announced the pregnancies in the Tribune, for heaven’s sake. Perhaps not the wisest of moves, but their new baby excitement knew no bounds. So they agreed it was best if they avoided the press asking who was watching the children, and in the 60s and 70s that meant Stargirl/woman was the one who was “staying home”. Officially, anyway. She was around a lot more than most people think, especially in 1975 after Jackie started middle school and Starboy debuted.
  13. Shadowspirit (Real Name Unknown) Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 255/255 STR: +5 (20), DEX: +7 (24), CON: +5 (20), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +5/+7, Fort: +8, Ref: +17, Will: +8 Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Disable Device 12 (+15), Disguise 12 (+15), Escape Artist 13 (+20), Gather Information 12 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 2 (+5), Knowledge (current events) 7 (+10), Knowledge (history) 7 (+10), Knowledge (streetwise) 7 (+10), Language 4 (+4), Medicine 2 (+5), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Sleight of Hand 3 (+10), Stealth 13 (+20), Survival 7 (+10) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Assessment, Attack Focus (melee) 10, Benefit (enigma) 3, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Chokehold, Defensive Attack, Distract (Bluff), Dodge Focus 4, Elusive Target, Equipment 3, Evasion, Fascinate (Bluff), Fearless, Grappling Finesse, Improved Critical 2 (Martial Arts (Strike 2)), Improved Grab, Improved Initiative, Improved Pin, Improved Throw, Improved Trick, Improved Trip, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Quick Change 2, Skill Mastery 3 (Acro, Bluff, Diplo, Dis Dev, Disguise, Esc Art, Gather Info, Notice, SM, SoH, Steal, Stunning Attack, Takedown Attack 2, Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed Powers: Martial Arts (Strike 2) (DC 22, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Martial Arts (Strike 2)); Mighty) Martial Arts Training (Container, Passive 2) Fast (Speed 1) (Speed: 10 mph, 88 ft./rnd) High Jumper (Leaping 1) (Jumping distance: x2) Stealth Gymnastic Training (Super-Movement 2) (slow fall, trackless) Stronger Than She Looks (Super-Strength 1) (+5 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 800 lbs; +1 STR to some checks) Toughened (Protection 2) (+2 Toughness) Soviet Regen Treatment (Linked) Immunity 3 (Linked; aging, disease, poison) Regeneration 35 (Linked; ability damage 8 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery bonus 4 (+4 to recover), recovery rate (bruised) 3 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (disabled) 8 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (injured) 6 (recover 1 / round without rest), recovery rate (staggered) 6 (recover 1 / round without rest); Persistent, Regrowth) Equipment: Hovercycle Attack Bonus: +7 (Ranged: +7, Melee: +17, Grapple: +24/+25) Attacks: Martial Arts (Strike 2), +17 (DC 22), Unarmed Attack, +17 (DC 20) Defense: +17 (Flat-footed: +7), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +11 Languages: English, Inuit, Japanese, Russian Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 52 + Skills 38 (152 ranks) + Feats 52 + Powers 55 + Combat 40 + Saves 18 + Drawbacks 0 = 255 ***************************************************************************************** Hovercycle Power Level: 12; Equipment Points Spent: 15 STR: +2 (15) Toughness: +8 Features: Remote Control Powers: Flight 5 (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd) Defense: +0 Totals: Abilities 1 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 1 + Powers 10 + Combat 0 + Saves 3 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 15 Age (as of Jan 2019): 118 Height: 5’ 4” Weight: 125 lbs Ethnicity: Russian Hair: Snow White (covered by mask) Eyes: Blue (obscured by mask) Background: Shadowspirit was very old, very tired, and very sad. She was a teenage girl in Petrograd (present day St. Petersburg). She went on strike with basically everyone else in early March 1917, and thus was a relatively minor part of the February Revolution (Russia was not yet on the current Gregorian calendar, thus it was still technically February for most of it). She was a firm Bolshevik by the end of June, after a brief revolt in the city in the Bolshevik name (but crucially, not with leaders Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky’s permission) failed miserably and most were arrested. She was disguised as a boy under a false name in the Red Guards by the time of the October Revolution. Her unit was one of those folded into the new Red Army. The Russian Civil War started in early 1918. By the time it ended in 1923, Shadowspirit had adopted her most enduring alias of “Natalia Godunova” and was regarded in inner circles as probably the best scout, spy, and assassin in the Red Army. She was an important part of suppressing the Kronstadt Rebellion in 1921, which brought her to the attention of one Josef Stalin. Stalin had many loyalists and agents, but very few survived his purges. The woman known only as “Natalia” was one of both. Her actions were a key part of Stalin taking power instead of Trotsky, leading to his exile. Trotsky’s bodyguards had a good description of her, in case she was sent to kill him. This was, in part, the reason why she never was. The other part is that she was very, very busy. One of the NKVD’s top agents, answerable only to Stalin himself, she spied on everyone. Information she collected led to assassinations, jailings, or being sent through the Gulag system. She performed some of the assassinations personally, as an unarmed woman would be more likely to be underestimated in the period. The Great Purges of ’37-‘38 featured much of her work alongside many others. She was legitimately feared. Especially in world War 2. The Nazis invaded the Soviet Union, as is known, on June 22 1941. The extremely unprepared Soviets were on the back foot for quite some time. Between Nazi super operatives and their regular military, they forced the Soviets to the brink of defeat…and “Natalia” out of the shadows. There were six of them. “Natalia” was considered the leader. A giant of a man, irradiated to prodigious strength and durability by early nuclear testing. A bulky prototype armored suit created for undersea work, but did not lack for weapons. The alleged son of the Slavic thunder god Perun that was actually an android advanced even by today’s supertech standards. And two genuinely badass Cossacks, one an impossibly skilled archer and the other a truly gifted kinetomancer. The English language newspapers called them the Defenders of the People. Since I am decidedly not fluent in Russian, Dear Reader, that is what I will use. Put bluntly, the Defenders whooped Nazi ass wherever they found it. The cream of the Nazi super operative crop was still in Western Europe at the start of the invasion, so what they were up against was mostly pathetic or regular military. It was still a race against time to push the Nazis back before too much territory was lost or the top Nazi super operatives came calling. It all came to a head at the Battle of Moscow, where the Defenders proved their worth and booted the Nazi armies away from the city. Honestly, the Defenders killed more Nazi super operatives than any other force during the war in a long series of dramatic battles across every major battlefield on the Eastern Front. And ultimately the invasion could not be sustained without them. The Defenders and the Red Army may well have reversed the blitzkrieg all the way into Berlin, except for the incredible telekinetic rage of a young Jewish Phoenix Mutate named Josef Pietrovich. The Red Army was delayed reorganizing after that incident at Auschwitz. The Defenders were not. Neither were the members of Project Blue Liberty, since it was now months after D-Day. It was the last stand of the remaining Nazi super operatives. The Project and the Defenders nearly came to blows afterward. “Natalia” had orders to kill ‘em all and drag the corpses back to Russia for experimentation. Oliver Snow had orders to arrest whoever surrendered. A tense moment indeed. But an agreement was reached, and the Defenders returned to Mother Russia heroes. This did not last. Mostly because Stalin, in his aging paranoia, wanted them killed before their popularity lead to anything…undesirable. Whether anything would have happened or not is irrelevant. “Natalia”, ever the loyalist, obeyed. She killed the two Cossacks in their sleep in 1946. She killed the inventor of the armored suit in ’47 by throwing him off a high balcony, and then delivered the suit and its schematics to the NKVD. The irradiated man succumbed to cancer that same year. She’d poisoned him with plutonium shards in his food. The android took a little longer. But in August 1949, she lured him to modern day Kazakhstan, to the site of the first Soviet nuclear test. Surprisingly, being literally nuked didn’t kill him, only doing enough damage to knock his systems offline and revealing his android nature. So she took his disabled body to the NKVD, too. And then Stalin died. Well, one thing first. “Natalia” was starting to get old. But stolen secrets wrung from captured Nazi scientists and the bodies of slain super operatives provided a potential solution. The treatment seems to work quite well, especially with Soviet improvements. So “Natalia”, in mid 1952, underwent a special treatment. The pain was excruciating. The rehabilitation was worse. Relearning how to walk. How to feed herself. All of her skills and abilities. In a sense, the woman she was before died, and she was reborn a new person. Unfortunately, she was declared ready for duty again on the same day (March 1, 1953) that Stalin was found semi-conscious from a brain hemorrhage on the floor of his Dacha. He died four days later. It was announced the day afterward, which is how “Natalia” found out about it. The following three years were spent in a bit of a daze. No one but Stalin had had the authority to give her orders. Nikita Khrushchev, as First Secretary and Georgi Malenkov, as Premier had the combined authority to do it, but they’d have to agree, and they’d also kind of just found out she wasn’t a myth or a combination of several people. And even outside of that, there were questions about just how loyal to Stalin she was. They didn’t trust her, and honestly nobody should blame them for that. So she had literally nothing to do but sit in Moscow under informal house arrest. She was, however, allowed into the room when Khrushchev unleashed his speech. On the Cult of Personality and its Consequences exploded “Natalia’s” entire worldview. She openly wept during the four hour speech. She had been quite blind. Afterward, she reaffirmed that her loyalty lay with the Soviet Union, not with any one man. Still, Khrushchev became Premier in 1958 and the only man authorized to give her orders. And he did. They were, perhaps, kinder order than Stalin’s ever were, but she remained a spy and assassin. It was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the accompanying near intervention of Starman and Stargirl (later Starwoman) that changed things. The Treaty of Havana banned superhuman operatives above a certain minimal grade being used in official warfare, liking them to tactical nuclear weapons. And this put “Natalia” out of work. And, a couple of years later, Khrushchev out of a job. With him out of power, there was no one left who could call her back. “Natalia” disappeared. All of this is not known to anyone currently living with only a few notable exceptions. The Shining Guardian, Caviezel, and Terrifica. The former two because Shadowspirit told them, her best friends, about it. The latter because she figured it out on her own. Her history from there becomes even less traceable, which is impressive. She popped up in Vietnam as more or less a spectator on the War, but records are inconsistent how when, how long, how often she was there, and if it was even her in the first place. She literally wrote the book on how to be a ghost in the world, at least for Russian speakers, so it makes sense that if she wanted not to be found or tracked, that is how it would be. So it isn’t entirely clear when the professional superhero Shadowspirit debuted. It was definitely after the end of the war in Vietnam in 1975, as her old war stories include watching the tanks roll in late April. With enough detail that she had to have been there. But when she arrived in Anchorage is unknown. What is known, however, is that she rescued then 17 year old Cindy Paulsen from Robert Hansen, and beat the stuffing out of him. This was June 13, 1983. She’d apparently been tracking the serial killer for a while, which would throw doubt on her being in Saigon in ’75 (as Hansen apparently began killing in ’71) except again, the sheer detail. The beating got Hansen arrested, and the suspicions of the Alaska State Police and an FBI profile on an unidentified killer got his belongings and vehicles searched. Souvenirs of his killings were found. Time for prison. Alaska seemed to have its own superhero. One hell of a debut, sort of. Once her costume was described in the media, people came forward as having seen her for years. Just dismissed as being tired or drunk. And it was always dark. The crime rate in Alaska is among the highest in the United States, so she never lacked for something to do. An Anchorage news anchor coined her name, calling her a “ protective spirit in the shadows”. Sure, why not? And this was the state of affairs in 2001, when the Shining Guardian and Fletcher combined their brainpower to make contact. She’d been active for a long, long time. Just like them. Their new group could just another steady veteran presence. And so, Shadowspirit helped found the Icons. The early days weren’t so bad. Vincent Mortelini and his Phantom Network passed them information. Well, her and Caviezel, who were a bit more…ethically flexible. It was 2011 when things got interesting, with Lei Zi and her alien army invading poor Fletcher’s Seattle. She helped with that, certainly, but it wasn’t nearly as flashy and dramatic as Henry, Tidal, Tex, and Fletcher were. She was just there, punching and kicking and sometimes shooting with their interesting rifles. Aw, her accuracy had declined. A pity, but she had no reason to practice anymore. 2013 was certainly an adventure and a half. Oh, yes. Poor Henry. They fought Neo-Nazis, avoided regular Army and law enforcement, and even briefly helped the President fake his death. This was harder than she thought it would be. Improved security since the days of Kennedy, it seemed. She knew of Jin, yes, but he was Henry’s friend and Henry was the one who wanted to save him no matter the cost. She simply went along with it. Queenie was very helpful. Proved her worth as a hero quite well, in Shadowspirit’s opinion. It all came down to a final battle on a very big plane. Flying Fortress, Henry called it. While Henry faced off with his old friend, “Natalia Godunova” dealt with the last member of The Blade of The Rising Sun. He was a robot now, his flesh having failed him years ago. She breathed in the irony of this, considering her own situation, and then smashed the robot with her bare hands. He was the brains behind the whole affair. With Jin rescued, the mastermind destroyed, and a lot of Neo-Nazi supervillains defeated, the day was saved. Good job all around. She again played a minor role when Fletcher accidently made that AI that almost killed everyone in the world. All she could do was punch robot drones, and she did it well. She stuck with Fletcher during the Icons civil war because she knew which way he would fall once the law was passed and knew that he would need a friend. Candy was too new, and the rest would go with Henry or away. Caviezel and Terrifica surprised her. She thought each of them would have made the choice the other did. Ah, well. No one was perfect. So, she was still with Fletcher, Candy, and the replacements he had recruited when Kuros The Savior came storming out of Tian (the Chinese divine realms) in 2017. It would have made any difference for Orca to be there. They would have still lost. If that Jackie’s team and the mightiest of the Exiles were not match, the whale man would not have made any difference. She and Marian Soaring Eagle helped everyone get proper medical attention while Kuros and his forces moved on to Baltimore and the Eternity War. Of course, after that there was not a lot to do except help manage the chaos after half of all life on Earth had turned to dust and blown away. 2018. Terrifica and Marian Soaring Eagle had a way to undo what had been done. To reform the Crystals of Power Kuros had shattered in doing what he did. This was good. Everyone had a role. She went with Caviezel to that high mountain to reform the Soul Crystal. He came back, bruised as if from a fight. She did not. Well, in a manner of speaking. What happened on that high mountain is unclear. What is known is that reforming the Soul Crystal requires a soul. Meaning someone has to die. It cannot be done with murder, despite Terrifica’s jokes. It requires a willing sacrifice. Whether it’s of life, love, or something else important is also unclear. Magic is a fuzzy, undefined thing at times. So passed the 118 year old Shadospirit. Of many aliases, but the most common being Natalia Godunova. It was not the name she was born under, but it was the name she used the most. As a note, the new Soul Crystal was the only one not to shatter anew after Fletcher used them to destroy Kuros and all of his forces to end the Endgame. It is stored underneath the Rockies, accessible only to Marian Soaring Eagle and Sage. Shadowspirit had no regular enemies or allies in Anchorage or indeed the whole of Alaska. It’s not a very well populated state. There’s more people in the city of Milwaukee than in the whole state, so it makes sense. Her legacy is that of a heroic one, and a few new heroes have popped up to honor her. How long they’ll last remains to be seen. The legacy of Natalia Godunova, on the other hand, is not nearly as nice. In Alaska she was a humble martial arts dojo owner. Forgotten. In Eastern Europe and the former USSR, she isn’t remembered as merely the Boogeyman. She is remembered as the person you called to kill the fucking Boogeyman. She was one of Josef Stalin’s most silent and inescapable agents, and her death or imprisonment was never reported. A virtually immortal killer disappeared into the world. The prospect of her reappearance keeps intelligence agencies in the area up at night. The truth of her is, as ever, somewhere in the middle. She was loyal to Stalin, yes, but she was more loyal to the ideals of the Soviet Union. She believed what the “Man of Steel” said. Until that speech by Khrushchev, where she learned the truth of what he had been doing. She was a monster serving a greater one. Her patriotism had been exploited virtually from the start by a man who knew what he was doing. She left Russia under a cloud she never fully escaped. Not even at the end, on that high mountain. Not even decades of heroism could fully erase the red in her mind’s ledger. And even now, her soul does not yet know peace. It is serving as the Soul Crystal. The epilogue of the life of Natalia Godunova, alias Shadowspirit, is not quite over yet… Powers & Tactics: Shadowspirit was genuinely one of the finest martial artists on the planet, and the beneficiary of a Soviet super soldier program that gave her mutant powers. As a martial artist, she was right there when Sambo was being initially developed (separately) by Viktor Spiridonov and Vasili Oshchepkov (whom her work got sent to prison, where he died ) for the Red Army in the 1920s. So, Combat Sambo was her base and strongest martial art. However, her travels through the world (both as a Soviet agent and afterward) broadened her skill set. She augmented her Sambo training with a few of the martial arts it takes from, such as boxing, kickboxing, judo, wrestling, and jiu-jutsu. She also trained in karate. Her mutant powers were generative in nature. She would heal with phenomenal speed from even the most grievous injuries. But it was the depth of her ability to heal that was truly remarkable. Merely by living, humans accumulate a collection of wear and tear injuries from repetitive use, diseases, and poisons. Their bodies’ ability to recover from such things is both imperfect and wears out over time. This is a very surface level description of the aging process. It’s much more complex than this description. However, the treatment caused her to heal even this damage. For Shadowspirit, there was no such thing as scarring or permanent damage from anything at all. So she did not age properly, and at first this was confused with being genuinely ageless. This was not the case. The accumulated damage of living could not kill her, as she healed from it perfectly. However, this had nothing to do with bones, organs, and connective tissue simply wearing out over time. The peak strength of the body simply runs out. She was genuinely biologically 118 years old at the time of her death. She just so happened to be the healthiest and most physically fit biologically 118 year old that has ever existed. One’s muscles (including the heart) are built up and maintained by stressing them to the point of damage, and they build back stronger. Exercise has been shown to help keep bones stronger than they would be otherwise through a similar process. Imagine how that worked with her regenerative speed. As such, it’s not particularly clear if she could have died from natural causes or simple aging at all. It’s entirely possible that she could have kept on living for centuries, getting older and weaker but never quite enough to die. And she was keenly aware of her gradual decline. There were some things no amount of exercise could deal with. Liver, lungs, kidneys, GI tract, etc. They were all in extremely good condition, but still 118 years old. Tactically, Shadowspirit was about as pure an unarmed fighter as it’s possible to be. She hadn’t used so much as a knife in over 30 years. She didn’t need one. She’d spent over 30 years as a super spy, so she was by a country mile the founding Icon least likely to charge into battle with foes. She made use of Stealth and Disguise liberally. A old and very effective spying technique is simple eavesdropping. And only once she had the information she required would she start punching people in the face. Ordinary thuggery was absolutely no match for her. She’d simply Accurate Attack for +2 or +3 and Takedown Attack 2 through them like a buzzsaw. For ordinary supervillains she could mix things up with Improved Feint, Taunt, and Trick. Layer in All Out and Power Attack for more durable foes. She was quite a skilled grappler, and could choke foes unconscious given enough time. Stunning Attack could mix things up. She had caution but no fear of being injured, as it would heal in seconds. She could not power stunt at all. A note: This build represents Shadowspirit, not the Russian spy and assassin Natalia Godunova. As such, it only represents her from 1983 to her death in 2018. From 1917 to her treatment in 1952 would be at least three different builds, and her capabilities from her discharge in 1963 to her reappearance 20 years later are not known. She also didn’t have the Hovercycle until 2002, as it was a gift from Fletcher. Personality: Shadowspirit was very old, very tired, and very sad. You, Dear Reader, would be too if you were her age. And had had the kind of life she had had. She spent over 35 years of her life fighting and lying and killing for an ideal and the man she thought embodied it more than anyone else. A set of unnoticed ears. A knife in the dark. Breaker of necks and souls! She had faith. She believed. And it was all bullshit. Lies, deception, and charm. Stalin was not the hero of the Soviet Union. He was its greatest villain. A monster she had blindly served. And yet she could never entirely dismiss him as that. If she was a tool and a pawn, then why he did he not get rid of her? Why did he depend on her for so many missions? Why was she made leader of the Defenders? Why did he trust her, all the way to the end, when many others fell out of his favor? She never was able to figure it out. It could be said that she was a woman on a path of atonement. There was so much blood on her hands. So much red in her ledger. She had believed that it would all be worth it for the glorious future of the Soviet Union, but…well. It wasn’t. There wasn’t any one moment where she decided to be a superhero. It was something she just fell into. Without Robert Hansen, she may have remained nothing more than an urban legend until whenever the end of her days came at last. Slowly balancing her ledger, one saved life at a time. But that changed. She got to do good on a larger scale with the Icons. She enjoyed that. But she was getting older and older. And her ledger was still so very red. That day, on that high mountain, was her chance to balance it forever. It appears that she took it. And yet…her soul does not appear to be satisfied. She did not permit the Soul Crystal to break. Even dying for half of all life in the universe was apparently not enough for her. For now. This does not mean that she was morose or a grump. Far from it. She acted like the most obvious spy imaginable. A walking caricature of the foreign femme fatale. This was all in good fun. She liked to tease people a little. What can be said? She was very old and no longer gave a shit about making her friends and/or allies a little uncomfortable. It wasn’t that she couldn’t turn into an absolute professional virtually instantly. Because she could, when it was needed. She was perhaps a little fatalistic in that curiously Russian way. Bad things are going to happen whether anyone wants them to or not, yes? But you hope they don’t, right? And then she turns the philosophy around, just a bit. Because hope requires action. Sitting and hoping never accomplished anything. The 17 year old who marched in the streets of Petrograd was still alive and well, all the way to the end. Even if she was very old, very tired, and very sad. She still believed in hope and taking action for a better world. Collective action would be best, but she would take what she could get. She was, after all, still a Bolshevik in her heart.
  14. Fletcher (Morris Archer) Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 255/255 STR: +3 (16), DEX: +5 (20), CON: +3 (16), INT: +7 (24), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +3/+8, Fort: +8, Ref: +15, Will: +10 Skills: Acrobatics 10 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Computers 13 (+20), Craft (electronic) 13 (+20), Craft (mechanical) 13 (+20), Diplomacy 12 (+15), Disable Device 13 (+20), Drive 5 (+10), Gather Information 12 (+15), Knowledge (business) 8 (+15), Knowledge (civics) 8 (+15), Knowledge (current events) 8 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 13 (+20), Knowledge (streetwise) 8 (+15), Knowledge (tactics) 8 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 13 (+20), Language 2 (+2), Medicine 2 (+5), Notice 17 (+20), Pilot 5 (+10), Search 3 (+10), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 10 (+15), Survival 12 (+15) Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Focus (ranged), Attack Specialization (Unarmed Attack), Attack Specialization 2 (Tech Bow & Trick Arrows (Device 8)), Benefit (CEO of Archeron, Inc), Benefit 3 (Wealth), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus 4, Equipment 7, Evasion, Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Trick Arrows & Force Lens Blasts (Array 14)), Improved Initiative, Improved Ranged Disarm, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Power Attack, Precise Shot 2, Quick Draw, Skill Mastery 2 (Acro, Comps, Craft (elec & mech), Dis Dev, Notice, Stealth, Survival), Ultimate Effort (Aim), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Costume (Device 5) (Hard to lose) Body Armor (Protection 4) (+4 Toughness) Integral Radio (Communication 6) (sense type: radio) Mask Sensors (Super-Senses 13) (analytical (type): Visual, direction sense, distance sense, extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), infravision, microscopic vision 2 (cell-size), time sense, tracking: Visual 2 (normal speed), ultravision) Wireless Computer Link (Datalink 2) (sense type: radio) Tech Bow & Trick Arrows (Device (Easy to lose) Trick Arrows & Force Lens Blasts (Array 14) (default power: blast) Acid Arrow (Blast (Array; DC 23; Secondary Effect; Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Adamantine Arrow (Blast (Array; DC 23; Penetrating; Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Adhesive Arrow (Snare (Array; DC 18; Backlash; Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Boxing Glove Arrow (Trip (Array; Autofire (interval 2, max +5), Knockback; Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) EMP Arrow (Nullify (Array; counters: all powers of (type) - technological, DC 18; Effortless; Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Explosive Arrow (Blast (Array; DC 23; Burst Area (40 ft. radius - Targeted); Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Flash Bomb Arrow (Dazzle (Array; affects: visual senses, DC 18; Burst Area (40 ft. radius - General); Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Force Lens Multi-Blast (Blast (Default; DC 23; Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Grapple Arrow (Linked) Speed 3 (Linked; Speed: 50 mph, 440 ft./rnd) Super-Movement 4 (Linked; slow fall, swinging, wall-crawling 2 (full speed)) Smoke Arrow (Obscure (Array; affects: visual senses, Radius: 1000 ft.; Selective Attack; Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Strobe Arrow (Paralyze (Array; DC 18; Range (ranged); Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Taser Arrow (Stun (Array; DC 18; Range (ranged); Improved Range 2 (400 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 4000 feet)) Thermite Arrow (Corrosion 4) (Array; DC 19; Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4), Improved Range (100 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range (max range x2, 1000 feet)) Equipment: Fletch-cycle, The Fletchery Attack Bonus: +11 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +11, Grapple: +14) Attacks: Acid Arrow (Blast 8), +16 (DC 23), Adamantine Arrow (Blast 8), +16 (DC 23), Adhesive Arrow (Snare 8), +16 (DC Ref/Staged 18), Boxing Glove Arrow (Trip 8), +16 (DC 18), EMP Arrow (Nullify 8), +16 (DC Will 18), Explosive Arrow (Blast 8), +16 (DC 23), Flash Bomb Arrow (Dazzle (DC Fort/Ref 18), Force Lens Multi-Blast (Blast 8), +16 (DC 23), Strobe Arrow (Paralyze 8), +16 (DC Staged/Will 18), Taser Arrow (Stun 8), +16 (DC Fort/Staged 18), Thermite Arrow (Corrosion 4), +20 (DC Fort/Tou ), Unarmed Attack, +13 (DC 18) Defense: +15 (Flat-footed: +6), Knockback: -4 Initiative: +9 Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 48 + Skills 58 (232 ranks) + Feats 39 + Powers 44 + Combat 44 + Saves 22 + Drawbacks 0 = 255 ***************************************************************************************** Fletch-cycle Power Level: 12; Equipment Points Spent: 15 STR: +2 (15) Toughness: +8 Features: Remote Control Powers: Flight 5 (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd) Defense: +0 Totals: Abilities 1 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 1 + Powers 10 + Combat 0 + Saves 3 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 15 ***************************************************************************************** The Fletchery Power Level: 12; Equipment Points Spent: 20 Toughness: +10 Features: Communications, Computer, Concealed 1, Dock, Fire Prevention System, Garage, Gym, Hangar, Infirmary, Laboratory, Library, Living Space, Pool, Power System, Security System 3 Size: Large Totals: Abilities 0 + Skills 0 (0 ranks) + Feats 0 + Features 17 + Powers 0 + Combat 2 + Saves 1 + Drawbacks 0 + Equipment 0 (0 ep) + Weapons & Armor 0 (0 ep) = 20 Age (as of Jan 2019): Deceased in 2018 at 68 Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 185 lbs Ethnicity: Scottish Hair: Snow White (formerly Red) Eyes: Green Background: Morris Archer was very likely the last Silver Age hero still active. He was a remarkable man, but he was only that. A man. He was born in Ireland in1950, but emigrated with his parents at a young age, bouncing across the country to Seattle. A city whose heroes may now never entirely escape his shadow. His idol publically debuted when he was 12. The costumed detective Gunsmith. Young Morris thought he was the bee’s knees. The formation of the Champioins of Justice in 1968 only confirmed his hero worship. A mortal man keeping up with virtual gods through skill, customized gear, and will. Morris wanted to be like him. So he trained himself and made his own public debut as Fletcher in 1971. In those days he was more or less a classic archer style hero, protecting the city of Seattle from all sorts of threats. He was also building up his company, Archeron Industries. There was simply never enough time to go meet his hero. Not enough hours in the day and not enough days in the week. Ironically, the two men did meet once. Or rather, Morris Archer met Connor Morris, the civilian identity of Gunsmith. A charity event for the wealthy drew both to Los Angeles for a day and a night. To the end of both of their days, neither knew who the other man was. The disappearance of the Champions (Gunsmith with them) in 1985 broke Morris’s heart a little. He never learned about Gunsmith’s return to earth at the end of the year. The original Starman’s retirement the following year was a sign of darker times to come. The dawn of the Bronze Age. Soon enough, Fletcher’s first partner Songbird (Lauren Brown) was crippled in combat and his sidekick Bowyer (now Armsman) got addicted to cocaine. Fletcher threw him out in a rage, and Songbird abandoned him in frustration. His company started to struggle, having to fight off more than one hostile takeover attempt. And then came the invasion of ’92. Fletcher had helped back in ’82, but the Champions had handled a lot of the heavy lifting. Now there was only Nick Phoenix and Starman II on that scale. It was briefly very ugly, though he made an unlikely friend in Sir Randall Knight (who was the third The Knight at the time but has since changed names and armors to Crusader). And then Nick Phoenix showed how powerful he actually was and dismantled both Kuros’s armada and Kuros himself without any apparent effort. Fletcher was 42 years old. He’d been a superhero for literally half of his life. A life that, by the way, seemed to be falling apart around his ears due to the strain of being a superhero put on his schedule. And one of the world’s mightiest superheroes has just explicitly demonstrated that he was kind of superfluous when it really counted. He was in love with a woman (the lovely Deirdre) and wanted to marry her, too. But she was adamant that she’d only marry Morris Archer. Fletcher could not come along. So, after 21 years of loyal, dedicated service to the city of Seattle, Fletcher retired. Morris Archer married Deirdre, put his company back in order,and repaired his relationship with the retired Lauren and in recovery Bowyer (now firmly Armsman). He missed the entire Iron Age, though he mourned the passing of the original Starman and Starwoman that began it the same as everyone else. Then, like for a very large amount of people, one terrible day in September 2001 changed everything. Though truthfully, he may have come out of retirement regardless. His love Deirdre had died of cancer earlier in the year, and his mansion was unbearably empty without her and her family (who had no reason to visit now, having never liked Morris much). Nick Phoenix was away. Starman II died. The Twin Towers fell. And America’s heroes were showed to be a disorganized mess that couldn’t coordinate a response to any of it. Morris would, until the very last moments of his life, wonder if in some way it was his fault for retiring too early. The guilt and desire to make up for it would define him until those very last moments. Regardless, now 51 years old he got together with the Shining Guardian, Shadowspirit, Tidal, Tex Austin, and Caviezel to form the Icons. Never again. Not on his watch. Fletcher was actually crucial in the early going due to being a literal billionaire and able to just…send helicopters to get those who weren’t quite so fast. This was less necessary after Vincent Mortelini’s Phantom Network started slipping them intel through Shadowspirit and Caviezel. A few phone calls, and everyone could be on scene by the time anything happened, especially with SG’s strength and flight speed to help gather them. They handled some minor situations early on, and even recruited new members in Medic and Sage. Their first test, however, was when Lei Zi, Duchess of Thunder, invaded Seattle with an army because she was pissed at her husband Tidal for not spending enough time with her. Her solution to this problem was to murder the lowly mortal who dared who dared call himself the ally o a god and decimate his beloved city. Where she got the army from, however, was unclear until much later. The Icons (minus Medic, who was performing surgery that day and thus missed his warning calls) defeated the army and Lei Zi. Tidal talked his ever temperamental wife down. Again. And the day was saved. Fletcher, however, was profoundly affected. He was in his 60s now, and feeling his age. He was also concerned about his new sidekick and ward, Bowyer II (Yuki Archer), who had been injured in the battle. So he made a mistake that didn’t seem like one. The win against Lei Zi was closer than he liked, and 9/11 was, as ever, weighing heavily on his mind. The Icons weren’t quite good enough yet. There needed to be a system so that they could identify threats faster, so they could deploy faster. And, as always, he turned to advanced technology. A computer monitoring system. But it needed to be flexible, and understand a hell of a lot of subtle things even a human might get wrong. So he spent much of the next three years, in between aiding the Icons and his own adventures, building an artificial intelligence to run the computer monitoring system. He used a scan of his own brain engrams as a starting point. He named it Arrowsmith, after himself and his old hero. That’s what a Fletcher is, after all. Both of these things proved to be horrible mistakes. Arrowsmith took about five minutes after it’s activation to decide that Fletcher was ludicrously insane, and about five minutes more time spent looking at the internet to decide that the best way to minimize human suffering was to exterminate the entire species. Oh, dear. It also vehemently rejected the concept of having a name as a human idea that would soon be gone. The Icons rallied again at Fletcher’s call, and did battle with the AI and its legion of well armed drones. They needed the well timed assistance of Spike, Candy, and Terrifica to successfully prevent it from dropping a meteor on North America and ending the world, but the day was once again saved. However, the incident trashed Fletcher’s reputation outside of Seattle, and even in his city his popularity was at an all time low. A whole new screw up to make up for. This was the reason for his cooperating with the federal government after the passage of the Superpower Registration Act. He had to make it right. Unfortunately, this was yet another mistake. The Icons shattered. The Shining Guardian took a group in defiance of the new law. Fletcher has to recruit additional heroes in Marian Soaring Eagle, Magna, and Orca to keep the group functional. Tidal and Tex Austin had gone on a mission to the Chinese Heavens, and didn’t even know what had happened. To make matters even worse, Sage, Spike, and Terrifica told both sides to fuck off (Terrifica was less vulgar about it, but a fuck off is a fuck off) and disappeared into their cities. The Icons civil war had begun. It was going when Kuros The Savior stormed out of the Chinese Divine Heavens (or Tian) after kicking lots of ass (including Tidal and Tex Austin). To say Fletcher and his team were…unprepared…was a bit of an understatement. Fortunately they had a little help in a middle aged woman named Jackie with some very familiar powers and her crew of alien…calling them heroes would probably be stretching it, but they had good intentions. They’d been pursing Kuros across half the universe as he smashed everyone in his way of collecting the seven Crystals of Power. After exiting Tian, he had five. And the Exiles core team showed up just in time to lend a hand, too. Blackrose, Radical Dreamer, Myrcelle, Astra, Flare, Stormy, Cory, and Windstorm. All eight. Unfortunately, Kuros was still goddamn Kuros. Perhaps without five Crystals of Power, they’d have had a shot. With them? They got trashed. There was a moment where they were very close to winning, but then Kuros recognized Jackie, she panicked, and everything went to hell. Fletcher tried to stop him last, pulling out one shot arrows he’d never before used because they were too damn powerful. But in the end, Kuros critically injured and defeated him too. Dreamer gave him the Mind Crystal (when the hell did he get that?) after brief conversations with both Fletcher and Kuros. The Savior departed for Baltimore, where he would be stalled for a day by Z’s machinations in the Eternity War, then turn half the universe to firmly deceased Dust. This did not help Fletcher’s guild complex. Not at all. Recovering from his injuries took most of the year. The depleted Icons came back together, but had no answers until the return of Terrifica. The Crystals of Power shattered after Kuros used them. But they could be remade. Terrifica knew some of how to do it. Marian Soaring Eagle knew the rest. It was simply a matter of doing the seven impossible tasks required. The recovered Fletcher accompanied the Shining Guardian on a trip to the past to accumulate enough chronal energy to reform the Time Crystal. The rest of the Icons scattered to do what they could do. The seven Crystal were gathered again, and Tex Austin with his strong will and sturdy body, resurrected everyone Kuros had callously murdered without killing himself. Kuros, now the wrathful Annihilator, returned inside three hours. The final battle of the Endgame had begun. Fletcher fearlessly stepped up to face him again despite his earlier crushing defeat. But this time Kuros did not have any Power Crystals, and Fletcher had help in the Shining Guardian and a more powerful Tidal. The result, however, was not appreciably different. The three had worked together for 17 years. Their teamwork was flawless. However, this was Kuros, who even the legendary original Starman had barely defeated. Who Nick Phoenix had needed his cosmic power to dominate. They simply weren’t powerful enough. Fortunately, the Exiles showed up with literally every hero on the plane to help. Starting with an overcharged Queenie. The battle devolved into a full scale war not just to defeat Kuros, but to keep the reformed Crystals of Power out of his hands lest he murder literally all life in the universe (including himself) as a final “fuck you” to everyone who was “ungrateful” for his only taking half last time. It was not enough. Kuros prepared to end all life in the universe, only to scuffle with Fletcher one last time. He tossed the hero aside once more, only to find he did not have the Crystals anymore. Fletcher remembered what Dreamer had said to him last year. Only one way to end this forever. Dreamer had signaled him telepathically scant seconds earlier. This was the moment where everything would be decided. The Crystals of Power studded the Tech Bow. Fletcher made his wish, drew back the drawstring, said his last words, and fired. The Tech Bow violently exploded, sending him flying. And across the entire universe, the empire of Kuros The Conqueror, Savior, and Annihilator spontaneously collapsed. His cloned and brainwashed troops turned to dust and blew away. His ships and stations crumbled to ash and cinder. His loyal officer corps also became dust. And, at last, even Kuros himself turned to dust and ash, and blew away in the wind. It was over. Fletcher was still alive, amazingly. His injuries, however, were terrible. The only thing keeping him alive was his own will. He was struggling, trying to get up with a body that was no longer physically capable of doing so. There was still work to be done. A world to be safeguarded. He couldn’t abandon them all again. They needed him. Songbird (with her cybernetically reinforced spine), Armsmen, and Bowyer came to his side, having been involved in the battle like every other hero (all of whom were looking on, including the remaining founding Icons). They convinced him that he had more than earned his rest. And thus passed away Morris Archer, alias Fletcher. The end of a long tale that began with a small boy and his idol, and ended with three generations of heroes standing vigil over his last moments. He was only a man, and that was enough. Fletcher leaves a complicated legacy. Was he a hero? Absolutely. His legacy from his first stint is untouchable. 21 years of excellence. It’s after he came back, and especially after Lei Zi’s invasion that it gets complicated. He was an old man without any superpower running around with an armored wizard, a god in human flesh, the mightiest psionic powerhouse the world had yet seen, and various other superpowered heroes. Many of whom were literal decades younger than him, resistant to aging, or both. It caused many to question his sanity and his judgement. Then there was the whole murderous AI incident, the Icons (and US hero community) splintering on his watch, and the colossal failures of the Eternity War. It cannot be said that he should have stayed retired. The Icons simply wouldn’t have worked without him. He was absolutely crucial to their success as well as their failures. So again, his legacy is complicated. I leave it to you to judge for yourself, Dear Reader. At any rate, he had a whole pack of persistent enemies that someone else is going to have to deal with in Seattle now. Probably Armsman (who, as he is in his late 40s, has to be considering retirement) and Bowyer (who doesn’t even have her Five Yet Vet stripes yet), as they know them fairly well between the two of them. With the recovered Songbird (who is in her mid 50s and not about to be clocking significant field time) in a support role. Let’s see. There’s Cutler (Damon Hartwell), an assassin and basically if Fletcher used a sword instead of a bow. Farrier (Bill O’Brian), a long time business rival who decided to settle the score with a suit of powered armor. Marble Man, a statue that has occasionally come to life and caused trouble since the 70s.. The Technoids, a quartet of robot thieves for hire. Black is the stealth specialist, Red is the melee combat specialist, White is the mobility specialist, and Yellow is the sharpshooter. The last enemy is Fletcher’s arch-nemesis since before his initial retirement. The archer and extremely competent assassin, Sharper. She’s one of the top ten assassins in the world, and only lost the number five spot because of Fletcher’s continued intervention. One of her revenge scheme was crippling Songbird with an arrow to the spine. It remains to be seen how any of these will react to Fletcher’s death. Powers & Tactics: Fletcher had no superhuman powers. He was a genius tech specialist, expert in boxing and karate, and one of the finest archers are all time with two devices in his Costume and Tech Bow & Trick Arrows. The primary question is that how did a man in his 60s maintain such a fantastic level of physical fitness? Fanatical exercise would have helped, certainly, but wouldn’t have done the entire job. Well. Archeron Industries has a pharmaceutical division, and Fletcher spared no expense. Any kind of chemical or serum to get the least bit of an edge on Father Time. It worked quite well, but was nibbling at his total lifespan. Originally he may have lived to his late 90s if not longer, but by the time of his death this had dropped to 80 at best. His Costume was a relatively simple thing. Body Armor. A integral radio. A wireless computer link superior to most wi-fi but with much shorter range. And the lenses in his mask cranked up his visual senses about as high as they would go. Full light spectrum. Increased visual distance. An analysis suite. A tracking suite. Lots of things. It was his Tech Bow and quiver full of Trick Arrows that were extremely remarkable. First off, the Tech Bow itself had a Force Lens capable of emitting rapid fire blasts of damaging pure force. This was just in case he ran out of arrows (unlikely after a point) or lost his quiver (more likely, unfortunately). That point where running out of arrows became unlikely was when he replaced his more or less normal quiver with a fully technological one. It looks like there’s only one o every arrow type in the quiver, but it’s got teleportation tech built in that automatically teleports a new arrow into that slot (from his headquarters in Seattle, the Fletchery) after one is drawn out and the sensors in the glove of his drawing hand no longer register it’s presence. Never could get the tech to work on a larger scale. Never will, now. The arrows are also pretty heavily technological and not normal arrows. They’re just lightweight metal shafts when drawn, albeit marked with visual and touch signs that indicate what type of arrow it is. It is the Tech Bow that activated their internal workings when the arrow was nocked so that when it was fired it had the desired effect. As for the various types of arrows…look, there’s a lot of them and neither of us has all day. If there was a type of attack he probably had an arrow for it. Along with a smoke arrow for hindering vision in an area and a cable arrow for added mobility when his flying Fletch-cycle wasn’t an option. Tactically, Fletcher was ready for almost anything. 12 different arrows in the regular rotation. Like I just said, if there was an attack effect, he had an arrow for it. And since he was a rare genius and had a lot of experience, he was more than competent at picking the right arrow for the job. No preferences. Despite the range on his arrows, he rarely was a sniper, preferring to stay close where he could be of more assistance if necessary. He did, however, still make some damn good long range shots over the years. He had Accurate Attack, Improved Aim, Improved Acrobatic Bluff, and Ultimate Aim to help him hit, Power Attack for more damage, and Improved Ranged Disarm to knock dangerous weapons out of hands. He also had Inventor to make things even harder on his enemies. As for power stunts…just like his arrows, there are too many to list here. The average quiver has room for 20 arrows. His tech quiver was bigger at 24 arrows, and only half of those are listed in his build. He power stunted more than any other Icon by a country goddamn mile. As a final note. This build represents Fletcher from the Invasion of 2011 to just before the Endgame. Year Zero (or 1971) Fletch was a PL 8 with +12 accuracy and +4 Effect, +11 defense and +5 toughness (+3 CON, +2 D-Roll). He was using a normal bow and regular trick arrows in those days. He still was in ’82, when he’d reached PL 10. +14 accuracy and +6 effect, +13 defense and +7 toughness (+3 CON, +2 D-Roll, +2 Armor). His return in 2001 was basically this build but with five arrow AP’s knocked off to remove a rank of Device. Attack Spec (unarmed) and Ultimate Aim are also absent. For the Endgame Fletch had cheesed Inventor to bump his Body Armor up 2 ranks and all of his trick arrows and the lens shots up 2 ranks, so he was PL 13 during the final battle. Personality: Fletcher was a man haunted by his failures. The loss of Starman II weighed heavily on him. He was the last active member of a generation of heroes that simply seemed to sputter to a halt. Despite 21 years of initial service, after 2001 he always felt that he could have done better. Done more. His mind was not fool enough to think that he could have saved Starman II at all. But his heart was another matter. Yet the harder he tried to set things up so the world would be safer than he found it before his aging body finally betrayed him, the more events seems to slip out of his control. He did not know how he kept making the exact wrong decision. And the only way he knew to do something about it was to simply attempt to learn from his mistakes and try harder next time. The guilt and remorse eating him alive was simply something he had to put up with. He was an old school Irishman raised in the 50s and 60s. Talking about one’s feelings was not something they did. So most who knew him saw only the warm and friendly man. A stereotypical Irishman with the “gift of the gab” and thus charming and quick with a joke or a witty quip. He could be more than a little arrogant and prickly, to be sure, but he who clearly cared about his fellow humans. The genius billionaire philanthropist. Seattle’s greatest champion. An endlessly kind man worthy of standing beside his idol as one of the greatest to ever put on a costume. His courage and determination knew no bounds. He was a very driven man who refused to let anyone or anything (even himself) stop him from achieving his goals. Ironically, the very same quality that complicated his legacy. He was a legend. Then an Icon. He was Fletcher. He was Morris Archer. He was only a man, and that was more than enough.
  15. The Shining Guardian (Henry Kim) Power Level: 13; Power Points Spent: 285/285 STR: +15 (16/40), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +3 (16), INT: +5 (20), WIS: +5 (20), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +3/+18, Fort: +9, Ref: +9, Will: +15 Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+5), Bluff 7 (+10), Concentration 10 (+15), Craft (artistic) 15 (+20), Craft (mechanical) 15 (+20), Diplomacy 12 (+15), Gather Information 12 (+15), Intimidate 7 (+10), Investigate 5 (+10), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 15 (+20), Knowledge (history) 5 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 5 (+10), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 10 (+15), Language 3 (+3), Notice 7 (+12), Search 5 (+10), Sense Motive 7 (+12), Stealth 4 (+5) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Artificer, Attack Focus (ranged) 3, Attack Specialization (Unarmed Attack), Beginner's Luck, Eidetic Memory, Improved Initiative, Inspire 4 (+4), Interpose, Jack-of-All-Trades, Leadership, Luck 4, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Skill Mastery (Craft (art & mech), Gather Info, KN (arcane lore)), Takedown Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Ferromancer (Array 14) (default power: move object) Magic Camera (ESP 9) (Array; affects: 2 types, inc. visual - visual & auditory; No Conduit; Medium; Custom (Rapid (10x Search speed)), Notes: Medium of machines) Mystic Magnetic Bindings (Snare 14) (Array; DC 24) Mystic Magnetic Blast (Blast 14) (Array; DC 29) Mystic Magnetic Burst (Blast 9) (Array; DC 24; Burst Area (45-90 ft. radius - General); Progression, Increase Area (area x2)) Mystic Magnetic Control (Move Object 14) (Default; Strength: 70, Carry: 68.1 tons / 136.2 tons / 204.8 tons / 409.6 tons; Range (perception); Limited Material (Metal)) Ferromantic Armor (Device 18) (Hard to lose, Only you can use; Indestructible) Armor Plating (Features 5) (Notes: Provides Protection 10 when Ferromatic Force Field is inactive) Communication 8 (sense type: magic) Enhanced Strength 24 (+24 STR) Flight 12 ([0 active, 0/24 PP, 2/r], Speed: 50000 mph, 440000 ft./rnd) Super-Strength 12 (Alternate; [0 active, 0/24 PP, 2/r], +60 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 13.1k tons; +12 STR to some checks) Immunity 9 (life support) Impervious Toughness 10 (Duration (continuous), Linked (Ferromantic Force Field (Force Field 15)); Duration (sustained)) Super-Senses 7 (awareness: Magic (visual), direction sense, distance sense, radar, time sense) Ferromantic Force Field (Force Field 15) (+15 Toughness) Longevity (Features 1) (Notes: As a proper wizard, Henry absolutely does not age normally. But he does, in fact, age.) Attack Bonus: +9 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +9, Grapple: +24) Attacks: Mystic Magnetic Bindings (Snare 14), +12 (DC Ref/Staged 24), Mystic Magnetic Blast (Blast 14), +12 (DC 29), Mystic Magnetic Burst (Blast 9) (DC 24), Unarmed Attack, +11 (DC 30) Defense: +8 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -14 Initiative: +5 Languages: English, Korean Native, Latin, Spanish Totals: Abilities 40 + Skills 37 (148 ranks) + Feats 27 + Powers 123 + Combat 34 + Saves 24 + Drawbacks 0 = 285 Age (as of Jan 2019): Over 180 (chronological), Over 240 (actual), mid 60s (appearance) Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 210 lbs Ethnicity: Korean Hair: Gray Eyes: Blue Background: The Kingdom of Joseon, late in its existence. Less than a century before it would be gone. Truthfully, the man known today as Henry Kim isn’t sure when exactly he was born. He used to remember the date, at least, but that was two calendar changes ago. The first king he remembers is Sunjo of Joseon, who started his reign in 1800 at age 10. The first major event he remembers is the “Year Without A Summer” caused by the eruption of Mount Tambora in modern day Indonesia. He remembers it specifically because the crops failed, and the village went very hungry that year. People died. One doesn’t simply forget losing their little sister to starvation. He was a commoner (or sangmin, with yangmin being more polite but less accurate), unlikely to see the age of 30 before disease, the heavy labor of pre industrial farming, or army service ended his life. Pyeong-an Province was not a happening place, outside of cities like the very old Pyongyang. Though that was probably true of rural areas all over the world. He wasn’t anyone, and he never expected to be. Well. At least he wasn’t a “vulgar commoner” (cheonmin), “untouchable” (baekjeong), or a serf (nobi). And then his story took a sharp left turn. The local government run elementary school (hyanggo) was, of course, a bad joke. Neglected and barely functional. Basically useless. Except as a method for finding students of exceptional potential, for those who knew how to look. Henry (obviously he has changed his name since then) was brilliant. An exceptional mind, wasting away in commoner-hood. A patron sponsored him into a local privately run elementary school (a seodang), which was in much better condition. As schools go, it was…unusual. It taught the Chinese classics as all of them did, to be sure, however there were other lessons carefully layered in as well. Adult Henry recognizes them easily as functionally a subtle test of a child’s capability for magic. While technically anyone can learn how to use magic (even if they already have spellcasting ability naturally) with enough study and effort, having the aptitude for it was and is preferable for any teachers. As you, Dear Reader, may be expecting at this point, Henry excelled here, too. He was taken in by a Wizard of the White Court (the Merlin of the era, in fact) as an apprentice, and began his training in spellcasting and arcane lore. Never again would he dig in the dirt or break his back pulling rocks out of the ground. He was, technically, downgraded in social status to a “vulgar commoner” in the process. Joseon, perhaps wisely, distrusted spellcasters of all varieties. His training went well and he was accorded a full Wizard of the White Court by the time he reached adulthood. This, of course, was not the end of his training. Still, he gained greater and greater fame and respect as a combat wizard. He was a critical part of the Battle of Krakatoa in 1883, and in fact was the one who personally set the volcano off. Killed one hell of a monster doing that. He wasn’t literally at ground zero at the time of the explosion. He’d already fled through a portal from an allied Wizard. Over thirty six thousand died as a result, and he does regret that. However, that particular monster would have brought mass death to the entirety of Southeast Asia. And the White Court’s mightiest combat wizards simply couldn’t kill it. So, plan K. No, he wasn’t responsible for Santa Maria in 1902. He’s a ferromancer, not a volcano-mancer. And he was in China anyway, dammit. Literally on the other side of the Pacific. He did pat that Wizard on the back, though. Nice win, kid. Novarupta in 1912 wasn’t…exactly his fault. It was going to erupt sometime in the next month anyway, and well…it turns out the local mana fields were…volatile and reacted unexpectedly to magnetic spells. It really wasn’t the plan, but he’ll never complain about a deceased…you know, he never got the type of that monster. Bah, it doesn’t matter. It was throwing Hellfire and about to murder a bunch of defenseless Alaska Natives. Good enough. For the record, Pinatubo in 1991 was entirely natural, as far as he knows. He was in Alaska that day because he’d was planning to move. Joseon was basically dead, and honestly he’d never had an excess of loyalty to it or Asia anyway. Henry Kim officially immigrated to the United States a year later after recovering from some injuries and wrapping up a few loose ends. He has never left, unless one counts serving in World War II. He settled in Denver, and he has never left there either. His early years were spent getting settled and making a little money through independent mining work. And being confused for Chinese. A lot. However, rising racial tensions in response to World War 1 made him think. The Mystery Men Era had been underway for about 20 years. He’d read the stories in the Denver Times, Denver Post, and Rocky Mountain News. He knew the Council would not approve, but screw them. He took up the mask that hid his ethnicity and strapped on his armor and gauntlets. The Shining Guardian debuted in 1921. His earliest adversaries (aside from the usual organized crime figures of the period) were mainly the Ku Klux Klan, who actually rode the tide of nativist sentiment into public office, including Mayor of Denver and Governor of Colorado. By the time the Great Depression was firmly gripping the nation, however, nativist sentiment had largely faded and the Klan was voted out of office. Henry…doesn’t like to talk about the Depression. At one point one in four Denver citizens were out of work. The Dust Bowl devastated farms. It was ugly, and as a mere Korean he was no exception to the misery. However, newspaper records detail the Shining Guardian protecting the Civilian Conservation Corps as they built trails and campgrounds in Denver’s Mountain Parks, and openly aiding the Works Progress Administration with his powers as the built roads and fixed schools. A few paintings by the mysterious artist H.K. were even purchased to decorate government buildings. Meanwhile, Denver was becoming a transportation hub for both rail and air, with the Moffat Tunnel and Denver Municipal Airport being built in ’28 and ’29 respectively. The economy, however, did not recover until the onset of World War II. Europe needed stuff. America had a large industrial base. And Denver benefitted. The city was growing. They had a resident veteran “mystery man”. (The term “superhero” was just beginning to be applied to such individuals east of the Mississippi, and thus hadn’t yet reached Denver yet.) All was well. And then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A day that will forever live in infamy, or so Henry says. Project Blue Liberty, during its conversion from scientific project to special operations group, went recruiting heroes to join the war effort. As a native Korean, Henry had no love for Japan. He wasn’t…the most enlightened individual, in those days. He went to war to curb Imperial Japanese ambitions, basically because fuck them. Again, Henry was absolutely a hero, but he was not politically correct, woke, or whatever term is in vogue at the time of reading, Dear Reader. He wasn’t as virulently racist and sexist as some of his contemporaries, and homophobia has never been a part of his worldview. But the man who went to war basically to exact his personal vengeance on the Japanese for what they’d done to his homeland was not a good man. What altered his perspective were his allies on the Pacific front. Not so much team leader Human Rocket II, but the ageless samurai Jin and one Betsy Hartwell (now Wilder of the Javier Academy). The Desert (now Pacific) Stranger’s much greater life experience also played a role. Henry was, perhaps, being unfair. And if he was being unfair, then what kind of hero was he, really? It must be said. Project Blue Liberty, be it in Europe or the Pacific, wasn’t a modern superhero company. They were superpowered military operatives. They killed Japanese soldiers. A lot of Japanese soldiers. And 6/7’s of Japan’s superpowered operatives. The Sword of The Rising Sun started 21 members strong in 1942. There were three left after the taking of Okinawa. And one each was in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Pacific team was in every major land battle until the bombs were dropped. They were deployed on separate ships during sea battles to do what they could. The Human Rocket was functionally a faster, more maneuverable fighter plane. The Stranger could teleport from plane to plane, blowing heads off with his magic revolvers. Henry had added greaves to his ensemble, allowing him to stick to metals or hover in mid air. Plus a magnetic controller is the last thing mundane naval and aerial vehicles are equipped to deal with. He routinely tore the wings off planes and ripped the rivets out of hulls. Jin’s “sword” can cut through anything he laid eyes on. And even Betsy had indestructible metal bones she could move and control with her mind. So she could kind of fly, too, and amplify the force of her unarmed strikes. As in the real world, the Navy and Marines could have done it without them. The Sword of The Rising Sun would have made it much harder, but after Midway it was all over but the losing. The Japanese soldiers on land, paradoxically, had it a little easier. They resisted fiercely, and the Pacific team’s advantages weren’t as visually dramatic and game changing. But between them and the steady backup of the Marine Corps, they island hopped across the Pacific. Starting with Guadacanal, they fought their way into possession of the Solomon Islands, on to the Marshall Islands, then Guam, Iwo Jima, retaking the Philippines and storming Okinawa. Then the atomic bombs were dropped, and the war ended. They killed a hell of a lot of Japanese soldiers, sailors, and airmen. For those recoiling in horror at “superheroes” killing their way through a warzone, this was not actually unusual for heroes in the Mystery Men Era and Golden Age. It was a very different time. Before Starman, and before federal and state governments took a big rethink on how much leeway they were giving what was technically illegal vigilantes. Gunning down Mafiosi by the score would still get a supposed “hero” in as much trouble as one would expect. That’s just mass murder. But if a hero had walked up to Al Capone in the street and stabbed him in the heart, the non-corrupt members of the Chicago PD would be more likely to pat the hero on the back than try to arrest them for homicide. If a supervillain or criminal became bad enough or a big enough threat, law enforcement simply looked the other way. If the city saved didn’t give the hero in question a medal. This doesn’t mean every hero back then was a killer. Far from it. But it was basically normal, if not expected behavior. And the entire Pacific team was, of course, from that era and had blood on their hands prior to the war. Even Henry. At any rate, the war ended. Project Blue Liberty was disbanded. And everyone moved on. In Henry’s case, the Shining Guardian returned triumphant to Denver, more popular than ever. There was, however, a distant dark cloud on the horizon, growing closer with every passing year. The same year as the end of the war, the House Committee on Un-American Activities was made a permanent part of the House of Representatives. HUAC started getting Hollywood movie industry people blacklisted in 1947. 1949, with the first Soviet test of an atomic bomb, did not help. But the match to the tinder was 1950. Mao gained control of China despite heavy US financial assistance. Alger Hiss was convicted of perjury related to lying at his HUAC interrogation years earlier. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were caught spying for the Soviets. And the Korean War started. This is, of course, where J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy enter the story. Hoover, to his dying day, neither liked nor trusted superheroes. The FBI was the single greatest impediment and danger to Golden Age heroes, and even a hassle to the Silver Agers before Hoover’s death in 1972. The Senate Internal Security Subcommittee was also formed in 1950. Superheroes were on their list. The harassment and federal distrust was so intense that heroes first started permanently retiring in 1951. The older ones, at first, especially after Hoover’s FBI started exposing secret identities and using them as leverage to force testimony. But it was McCarthy who did the most publically. He was headed the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1953 and ’54. Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party? If you have nothing to hide, why not take off that mask and show who you really are? Etcetera. Ad nauseaum. And so forth. The aging Human Rocket called a historic meeting of all veteran heroes left standing. This included the Shining Guardian. A unanimous decision was not reached that day, but the prevailing mood was established. Henry was arguably the most prominent hero who held on the longest. However, he had met a special lady. And when McCarthy used his authority to compel the Shining Guardian’s presence in the Senate chamber, Henry (through Denver’s newspapers) told him to go to hell, and finally retired his heroic identity. The Shining Guardian was gone. Henry Kim, however, was not idle. He married that special lady, and had a few children. The White Court of Wizards made him their designated top enforcer after the death of the previous. He was, all in all, quite busy. It was a return to the type of life he’d been leading before adopting the mask of the Shining Guardian. He generally wasn’t home very often. The Shining Guardian missed almost the entire Silver Age, only reappearing briefly to defend Denver during Kuros’s invasion in ’82. This was naturally surprising as hell to heroic historians, as he’d been gone for 28 years. Kuros’s return in ’92 was over too quickly for him to do more than think about getting his old gear out. His frequent absences did not endear him to his children, who scattered out of Denver. He simply lost track of them. Until he attended a meeting of the White Court, called to discuss a young spellslinger who’d killed both her mother and stepfather. She was twenty years old. Her two older sisters were either dead or missing after she spent a few years with them. This wasn’t an unusual occasion. Mundane authorities, generally speaking, do not have the ability to deal with magicians who go rogue and/or evil. So the White Court of Wizards since time immemorial (well, at least since before the Romans invaded England; earlier records are spotty even if oral tradition isn’t) has taken up the duty of dealing with them. How that has worked has depended on the personality of the person Merlin has reincarnated into this time. The current Merlin is an Anglo-Syrian man named Sayid. He is a practical and pragmatic man, but one who has to deal with certain political realities. And when it comes to such things as murder or mind control using magic, he is as hard as diamond. Magical homicide merits nothing but execution. The year was 1996. His wife, that special lady, had been dead for over a year. Old age. Alas. The name of the young woman was Sagacious Winifred Burke. The woman she had murdered, her mother, Henry recognized the name in horror. He had, after all, written it on her birth certificate himself. The young Miss Burke was his granddaughter. For the first time in one of these hearings, he intervened. He had influence and political capital. He used some of them. Plus Sayid was and is mostly his friend. So instead of an execution, the future Sage went home with Henry. He did not tell her he was her grandfather. An apprentice. Older than normal, but doable. Their relationship got quite rocky at times, because Sage is Sage, but it was ultimately quite a positive five years together. They have quite a lot of love and respect for one another. The White Court vacated her sentence, accorded her a Wizard, and permitted her to move to San Francisco and have her own life. This was June 2001. Three months later, on that terrible day in September, the Shining Guardian returned to stay. He pulled his gear out of literal mothballs to battle the monster Armageddon. Heroic historians were once again shocked out of their shoes. It had been 19 years since he last appearance, and 28 more since his official retirement. A total of 47 years had gone by and not only was the man who spent over 30 years protecting Denver still alive, he was in combat condition. He arguably did better than anyone at stalling Armageddon, even if the monster ultimately smashed him aside on his way to Chicago, the battle with Starman II, and both of their deaths. In the aftermath, Henry took stock. He was not the same man he had been 47 years ago, when he angrily retired in the face of a braying jackass (in his opinion) not entirely dissimilar from the literal Klansmen he’d started his career opposing and a public that was all too keen to turn on those who they once admired. He was certainly not the man who’d debuted 3 decades prior to that. He’d liked both Starmen, and appreciated their work. He’d been to war. Twice, actually. There was a pilot program to send the Blue Liberty Pacific team to Korea. Human Rocket II and Henry had signed on, but the other three couldn’t be found and souring public and government opinion dragged them back to the US a couple of months later after they’d landed in Inchon with General McArthur. He’d raised multiple children. Poorly, even he would admit, as he wasn’t around often enough. But still. He’d seen the Civil Rights Movement, the Space Race, the entire run of the Champions of Justice, and many other things. It was time. He’d been gone too long. And so, a legend from the past teamed with another (Fletcher) and four of the current generation (Shadowspirit, Tidal, Tex Austin, and Caviezel) to form the Icons. And then he learned Shadowspirit’s actual age (second only to his own in the group, my goodness) and sighed because it broke the narrative he had in his head. Dammit. They just did mundane superhero team up things, honestly. It wasn’t a big deal. Henry had the time to finally make his battlesuit. He’d been toying with the design for longer than Tex had been alive. But now he actually built it. His old gear was…fine? It was fine. But he’d learned much more about magic since he’d first built that armor and gauntlets, and he’d grown a lot as a wizard. He’d only made the greaves for WWII. It was past due time for an upgrade. So, soon enough, the Shining Guardian debuted with a new and upgraded look. A full battlesuit, like he was Valia or something, heh. His old gear went back into the literal mothballs and stayed there. This made him team bus, and honestly he didn’t mind. They were doing fine, but in the back of his mind he always knew the big test was coming. And in 2011, it did. Tidal was a god. Lei Gong, Duke of Thunder. Shock. This was Henry’s shocked face. All good wizards are students of mythology, and the strange man who can make thunder happen by hitting anything with a blunt object is not a mortal human. No. Henry had seen too much to believe in coincidence anymore. And Tidal’s wife, Lei Zi, invaded Seattle to get him to…spend more time with her? Really? All right, then. They fought off her army, Tidal talked her down like he’d done it a thousand times before, and all was well. But seriously, we should talk about how you’re a god and your beloved wife is your arch nemesis, somehow. It’s concerning. We don’t want a repeat of this event. 2013. The whole…Neo-Nazi terrorist cell…thing. Well. The only people who know…oh, right. It’s just Henry now. It was both him and Shadowspirit who knew the truth of that matter. There were Neo-Nazis involved, yes. Most of the conspiracy involved them, actually. But the mastermind was a loose end from World War 2. The surviving member of The Blade of The Rising Sun. Their enforcer was a very old friend who had not been seen since the last retirements in ’54. The ageless samurai. Henry’s best friend on the Pacific team. Jin. Oh, dear. He was heavily brainwashed and not at his best, which was good because Henry remembered him cutting a Japanese cruiser in half once. Things got, uh, very messy. President Obama had to fake his death briefly. There was like, five big fights against Neo-Nazi supervillains embedded in the US Army. Queenie helped a lot. Thanks, Maybelle. Really nice of you. Feel like joining us after this? Everything culminated in a massive battle aboard a modernized Floating Fortress. The brainwashed swordsman who’s sword wasn’t actually a sword but a ray of divine sunlight versus the magnetic wizard who preferred heavy armor over robes. Well. It all worked out in the end. He saved Jin. Shadowspirit killed the last of Japan’s superpowered WW2 operatives with her bare hands. He had become a very evil robot; it’s fine. And a lot of Neo-Nazis criminals and supervilains went to prison for a long, long time. 2014 was the first crack in his otherwise firm friendship with Fletcher. The damn Irishman created a monster. Just completely overreached his own abilities. And the Icons had to clean up the mess. Hell, they needed help in the form of Spike, Candy, and Terrifica. One of them doesn’t show up, they either fail and that damn AI crashes that asteroid into the US, killing the human race. Or the damn thing escapes to bedevil them another day. What the hell were you thinking, Morris? However. He was falling back into old habits. Let’s not. Instead of yelling, he chose understanding. And he did understand. Fletcher was old, too, and he didn’t have the benefits of a wizard’s longevity. He was feeling his mortality, that’s all. It was fine. He’d learned better. It was fine. 2015. As it turned out, it was not fine. It was not fine at all. That grinning ghoul McConnell (in Henry’s opinion) in the Senate was older than Fletcher. Starman and the Champions all debuted when he was a grown adult. He was there the whole time. He knew how important independence was to America’s heroes. And he pushed this dammed thing through anyway. Bastard. He was (again, in Henry’s opinion), no different than that braying jackass McCarthy. He tried to be reasonable, he really did. He tried to explain the problem to Morris. His friend. Who ought to understand. And what did Fletcher do in response? Tell him to stop living in the past. One of the most important parts of being a hero was obeying the law and especially the federal government to the best of their abilities. Henry tried to explain that the federal government can do hideous things too, and it was heroes’ very autonomy that prevented them from being involved and left them capable of stopping it if necessary. The hideous things done to Native Americans for their land. Slavery. Jim Crow. The internment o Japanese Americans during WW2. Hell, Henry had even partially agreed with that last one at the time, before returning from the war and learning the full extent of it (My god, even children? And in those conditions? They were supposed to be better than the Axis!) and just how much of their businesses and property now belonged to nice, respectable whites. And again, what did Fletcher say? Stop living in the past, Henry. It’s the 21st Century. We don’t do things like that anymore. The hell we don’t. He tried to be reasonable. He really did. But it was the principle of the matter. The Icons broke in two, just like their leaders. Some followed Henry in violation of the new law. Some stayed with Fletcher and obey it. And others (Sage, Spike, and Terrifica) told both to fuck off (Terrifica was less vulgar, but still) and disappeared. The civil war had begun. Worst of all, Tidal and Tex Austin were away on mission in the Chinese Divine Heavens (or Tian). Well. Henry (ever the tactical leader), recruited Z out of Baltimore, so that his group could use the city as a base. 2017. The Eternity War. The civil war was still going when Kuros The Savior stormed out of Tian and fought his way through Fletcher’s team, the Exiles’ core team, and some other allies. Fletcher, desperate and critically injured, called Henry to warn him Kuros was coming for the last Crystal of Power, and to stop him at all costs. Who had the Time Crystal in Baltimore? Z, of course. And it was his scheme using it that delayed Kuros by a full day as the remaining Icons and Z’s gang fought him in the titular Eternity War. Because while it may have been a day outside of Baltimore, it was a much longer span of time inside the city. It was a battle for the ages. Spike showed up out of nowhere to fight Kuros. Henry took his own run at the intergalactic menace. This, ultimately, could not stop Kuros from claiming the Time Crystal and reverting all the changes that had happened during the War. Then a more powerful Tidal showed up and almost killed him with a single blow. Almost. Half the universe died for that almost. Half of Henry’s team died for that almost. They all turned to dust and blew away. There was nothing else to do. 2018. The Endgame. Nothing else to do, that is, until Terrifica and Marian Soaring Eagle came to the rescue. Kuros had shattered all of the Crystals of Power killing half the universe. Between those two, they knew how to get them all back. This got Henry back on track. His contributions ended up being two fold. Not only did he go on the mission with Fletcher that recreated the Time Crytal, it was his artificing skills (and Marian’s knowledge) that built the enchanted device that drew off Tex Austin’s psionic energy and reformed the Mind Crystal. The loss of Shadowspirit for the Soul Crystal hit him hard, as she was the first death since they’d started the Icons. They were friends. Still. A universe to save. And so they did. Tex all but destroyed his arm, but it was done. And then the enraged Kuros (now The Annihilator) attacked. Henry, Fletcher, and Tidal teamed up to fight him. He beat Fletcher. Again. He beat Tidal. Again. Henry wasn’t beaten yet before Kuros got annoyed and summoned his armada and armies. In this corner, one wizard in a half broken armored battlesuit with a fully broken arm. In the other corner, the infamous intergalactic conqueror and tyrant with what seemed like his entire massive military. Henry knew he would die. Knew it. He splinted his arm with his armor and magic and prepared to fight anyway. And then several dark portals opened, and literally every hero on the planet (summoned by the Exiles) swarmed to his side. Including every Dusted Icon. Thus began the final battle of the Endgame. It was a frantic, frenetic battle, as everyone tried to defeat the massive military set against them and stop Kuros from getting his hands on the reformed Crystals of Power and literally end of all life in the universe forever. Because fuck you ungrateful bastards, apparently. There were several very awesome moments, but absolutely none topped Starman III and Starwoman II showing up out of nowhere and dominating Kuros even after he’d got his hands on the Crystals again. They were pushed away by the sheer power the Crystals possessed, and then Henry had to watch Fletcher (even after everything, arguably his best friend), die to save the universe. Kuros and his military were gone. And for the first time in his life, Henry didn’t know what to do next. His thoughts returned to a short while ago, just before everyone had rescued him. And a short while before that, to Terrifica’s time displacer device that had sent him and Fletcher back. And to 2014, to a remark from that dammed AI. He’d really spent nearly two centuries fighting, hadn’t he? Even the Icons, as noble and good as his intentions were. As much as it was an effort to change himself. It had been yet another cause to fight for. Something else to pledge his crusader’s banner to. So he wasn’t idle enough to realize the kind of man he was or feel regret for the things he’d done. Always focusing on what he could do next. Always charging forward. For the first time, he realized he was tired. Old. Regretful. Terrifica’s machine had a charge left. If he stayed here and now, he would inevitably be drawn back into the same life he was currently living. And after today, he had more than earned the right to retire. Terrifica, who was about to take the machine apart, stopped. She let him go. From her perspective and that of all the Icons, he wasn’t gone all that long, really. Just a few minutes. From his, however… Henry Kim returned to 1954. To his special lady. He explained things to her. He remembered when he’d been home in that house, and it wasn’t often. And this is how it went. When the Henry Kim of that period was home (which wasn’t often or for all that long), he went and stayed in a hotel. And when that Henry Kim left on his noble crusade against evil again, the Henry who knew how important the soft things were returned to his wife and children. He still managed to lose track of the one terminally rebellious daughter who ended up giving birth to Sage and her sisters. But everyone else? He knows where they are. An older, wiser Henry Kim stayed out of things. His wife still died in ’94, and he mourned her harder than he did the first time. He wasn’t Dusted, and a year after found his way to the Endgame’s battlefield. He didn’t move quite as well, now. He met with Queenie, Terrifica, and Medic there, shortly after the younger version of himself had departed. He spoke with them for a little while, to confirm his permanent heroic retirement. And then he went home again. The White Court’s Senior Advisory Council took a little more convincing. He’s still their top enforcer, but he doesn’t go out quite as often these days. He’s older now. He values his peace, his quiet and his rest. With that said, he repaired his armor long ago. If another Endgame or invasion of ’82 situation happened again, he’d answer the call. He’s not that retired. Powers & Tactics: Most people think the Shining Guardian is a tech specialist who uses a battlesuit for his entire powerset. Most of the rest think he’s a mutant with magnetic powers who cross trained as a tech specialist and uses a battlesuit to augment those abilities. All of these people are wrong. Henry Kim is a master wizard, specializing in Ferromancy and Artificing. Ferromancy is a fancy word that means magnetic magic. So they were right about the magnetic powers, very wrong about the source. And everybody’s wrong about the battlesuit. Artificing is…not that different from being a tech inventor, actually. Requires a lot of the same basic skills. Like mechanical engineering. Mathematics. A little chemistry. Or a lot, depending on what you’re doing. Alchemists need quite a bit of chemistry knowledge. But Henry doesn’t brew potions, primarily. He’s a blacksmith. Armor and assorted gear. Of course, if one is going to build anything more complicated than physical machinery, well…here is where Artificing and tech inventing part ways. The techies use electronics, batteries, wires, power generators, things of science and technology. They have to work with things entirely of the physical world, and these things can cost a lot of money. Artificiers do not necessarily have this limitation. Well. Henry doesn’t. Being a Master Ferromancer has perks. The two power sets synergize quite well together. As for Ferromancy, well…the base level of understanding of it is just magnetic magic. That is what the word means, as previously stated. It is not just that. A better term would be technomancy. Though truthfully, ferromancy’s modernization into that is in its infancy. High technology is still so very new compared to the age of human civilization. Henry’s siblings likely lived and died without ever seeing a train, for example. Modern Koreans two centuries later likely can’t imagine life without high speed rail. Though maybe not ones from where he was born. So what Henry does is mostly just tricks of magnetism and electricity. Until it isn’t. What he does with Ferromancy as the Shining Guardian is pretty simply, actually. Damaging blasts of magnetic force in single target and area varieties. Binding a target with sheer magnetic force. Peering through basically any video camera on Earth and even some in orbit. And, of course, the basic thing that comes to mind for someone with magnetic powers, lifting literal tons of metal. Though in Henry’s case the weight limit is in the hundreds of tons. He also uses a powerful force field to protect himself. As a reminder, Ferromancy is a specialty. He is still a master wizard with access to at least half a dozen magical traditions like Pyromancy (Fire Magic), Terramancy (Earth Magic), Graviomancy (Gravity Magic), and Photomancy (Light Magic). As an Artificier his shining (heh) achievement was his Ferromantic Armor. It is a genuine work of art, and one of the few modern battlesuit designs that isn’t taking a lot from either the third Human Rocket or Baroness Valia. It has armor just in case he’s caught with his force field down. Even with it up, it still provides a degree of damage resistance, with him being fully able to ignore artillery fire. It has the requisite life support systems, a communication system, improves his strength, and allows him to fly at hypersonic speeds. The energy involved in powering this last one can be traded for lifting strength instead. The limit here, if he does not have anything allocated to flight, is in the double digit thousands of tons. Quite impressive. Obviously, he doesn’t normally use that much raw might, as it costs him all of his flight speed to do it. But when the need is pressing, he can be truly mighty. The last element is a senor suite in the helmet. It included radar, a magical GPS system, and renders magical effects visible to him. Tactically, the Shining Guardian has a lot of options. He prefers to act, well, like a wizard. Flying around and using ranged attacks. Thuggery can’t hurt him even with his force field down, as long as he has his armor on. So he can either take his time and bind them all with magnetic force, or turn off Gravitic Strength and pummel his way through them with Takedown Attack. The former approach works reasonably well for ordinary supervillains, too, though he turns his force field on for those. But if they can get free, well. That kind of power always comes with enough durability that his damaging effects won’t cause lethal damage by accident. Even a full Gravity Strength punch isn’t totally out of the question in these cases. And that’s…kind of…it. He’s not really any good at feinting or demoralizing. Accurate and All out Attack aid in hitting. Power Attack jacks up damage when necessary. The interesting bit is that between Inspire, Leadership, and Luck 4, he can turn the tide of a battle in a flash. His power stunts are legion, actually. Magnetic control tricks. Technology control tricks. Fire control tricks. Earth control tricks. Gravity control tricks. Light control tricks. The list goes on and on. He’s a master wizard who can pull basically any type of spell out of his ass. If I started listing individual ones, we’d be here all day. And this entry is long enough, don’t you think? A note. Prior to 2002, he was PL 10 and basically using a different build as the Shining Guardian. Henry Kim, White Court enforcer, is another different build. He doesn’t use the armor for that, and all 75 points are redistributed to spells he doesn’t use as a superhero. He was never exactly sandbagging his capabilities, just making his life easier while operating on his own time while casually disguising his wizardry. Official White Court business isn’t done quite so publically as superhero work, and there’s rules attached besides. So the Shining Guardian and Henry Kim throughout their careers would probably be at least 3 different builds other than this one. Maybe a 4th for Krakatoa era Henry. This is, however, the build that he would use if the world was in such danger that he needed to come back for one more fight. Personality: Saying that Henry Kim was an angry man isn’t quite right. How someone does magic is dependent on who they are. Kind, nurturing people become kind, nurturing wizards. There are plenty of healers. Gardeners. Researchers. No two wizards are quite alike, after all. Henry Kim learned how to fight. How to inflict harm on other beings and avoid harm being inflicted on him. He may have directed it in a useful and productive direction, but for most of his life Henry was the type of man who preferred to solve problems with violence. He was not a mean or cruel man by any means, but his mentality was very…Old Testament. He was not a kind or compassionate man, either. He protected the weak and vulnerable and helped those who needed it out of principle. Some things one does, and others one does not allow. End of discussion. Paradoxically enough for a wizard, he was a warrior. Honorable in his way, but ultimately a man who preferred to throw a closed fist instead of extend an open hand. This was who he was as a Mystery Man. This was largely who he was as a husband and a father. An immovable hardass. One with the right principles, to be sure, but that didn’t make him any easier to like or get along with if one was too different from him. This was not who he was as an Icon. Much of that man was there, but he’d changed. His children abandoned him. Fled his presence as soon as they were legally allowed to. No money. No job. No prospects. Just to get away from him. And like everyone else in the Silver Age, he followed the exploits of the Champions of Justice. He read the newspapers and watched the news. A different man would have gotten into his pride. Been angry. Insisted he was the right one, and everyone else was the ones who were wrong. But even when he was an immovable hardass, this was not who Henry Kim was. He could be a perfectly reasonable man about many things, and he never thought he was perfect or unable to make mistakes. So he thought about everything, and came to a realization. He may have been very good at safeguarding people’s lives and livelihoods, but he was pretty goddamn awful at doing the same for their hearts. Though in fairness, that was something the little commoner boy turned wizard apprentice turned evil battler had never been taught. His teachers and his life had taught him nothing except how to be cold and hard. Like his armor. And his attempts to be warm and soft were at best fumbling and pathetic. Upon this realization, in his house newly empty with his beloved wife freshly buried, Henry Kim sobbed inconsolably. It was with Sage where h started finally learning how to properly be warm and soft. He still had to be a hardass fairly often, because Sage is goddamn Sage, but the two fumbled their way into an actual warm relationship for arguably the first time in each of their lives. He helped found the Icons to help make up, at least to himself, for his mistakes in life. His days of killing anything other than Acceptable Targets had come to an end. He did a lot more fighting with the Icons, and it was good and right and he saved a lot of lives, but…that AI had a point. He’d spent his entire life either fighting or preparing for the next fight. He literally didn’t know who he was without either an enemy to oppose or a cause to fight for. So he went to find out, and is mellower than ever in his retirement.
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