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EternalPhoenix

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Freedom City PBP: A How-To Guide

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  1. Terrifica Terrifica was almost insulted. Almost. She’d never visited a tailor because she was one. One of the benefits of being an omni-competent supergenius was, in fact, being omni-competent. She had several ideas, but one stood out. She’d seen it in, of all things, a comic book. The heroine in question was fictional, of course, but it was a good look. Classic. Old school. But properly tailored? Oh, it would be exquisite. Creating more Nano-Fibers would take a while, but oh, so worth it. The key was making everything fit together. With her normal battlesuit this wasn’t a problem. Everything was all one piece aside from the gloves and boots. This, however, was going to have multiple pieces. They all had to work together in harmony for the same effect. The outfit? Oh right, it was a suit. Pants, shirt, tie, socks, and shoes. The pants, tie, and shoes would be her usual shade of dark blue. The shirt and socks would be, well, not neon orange. That was a bit bright for formalwear. Just the regular shade would do, thank you. Oh, dear. It required a hat. A fedora, to be precise. And something for a mask. A domino would do. Merrily did both Terrifica and Samantha Carson sew away. She liked making things. She really did. It gave her great job to be a creator instead of a perpetuator of violence. The tailoring of each item was to make them tight fitting but still leave her plenty of room to move and do acrobatics should she need to. Tack on a belt and one of her usual longcoats, and done. It was enough to make her husband Stan whistle in sheer appreciation. Terrifica admitted, for once, that she indeed had a nice figure. Lean and athletic. She’d used her extensive knowledge of tailoring techniques to flatter every inch of herself. She had to admit, again for once, she looked good. No, she looked sublime. Her chest and posterior, well, there were more impressive ones on people she personally knew, let alone out there in the world. It didn’t bother her in the least, but my goodness she’d done a good job accentuating what she had. Oh, yes. Yes, this would do nicely. But first, Stan was feeling, shall we say, frisky? And the children were away with friends… Well…that was…very nice…however Sam had a Gala to attend. It was important to look her absolute best, so she took a nice hot bath instead of a shower. Stan was kind enough to volunteer his backwashing services. On another day it may have led to more…mmm…frisky activities, but alas there was not enough time left for that. Underwear. The shirt. The pants. A modified version of her utility belt, with staff attached. The domino mask. The longcoat. The fedora. A little more mirror admiration. With one last kiss for Stan, she was off. Samantha Carson faded back, and Terrifica settled in. She had no trust in Hades whatsoever. So naturally she’d be quite interested to know the real reason behind this so called Hades Gala. This was the whole reason she was going in the first place. The Greek God of Death could not be trusted to be anything other than a villain. Persephone, however, was a different story. It looked to be an interesting night.
  2. All righty, so let me know how you wanna do this. Roll init and charge into the thick of it, or let the quartet work and cover the civilians they can't.
  3. GM And on that street a battle was occurring as civilians fled and a few police officers tried to coordinate said fleeing. A cowgirl with a pair of revolvers, a heavy machine gun toting girl with planes for stockings and no pants, one more girl festooned with a dizzying variety of gadgets, and lastly one guy with an axe and ice powers. This was side one. Side two consisted of several twisted looking versions of wolves (with a couple of larger ones in that group), led by a massive bear. The only reason the opposing quartet hadn’t been overrun was 1) three out of four (cowgirl was excluded) could basically fly out of reach and 2) they were all using ranged weapons/powers and incredible teamwork. A few of the wolves lay unmoving on the street already as testament to their skills. The cowgirl spoke in frustration. “When this is over I wanna know how a friggin’ Scourge got past the wall undetected!” As for our heroic trio, well…something was wrong. The temperature had dropped easily 10 degrees, and the buildings were in a decidedly different style from that of Freedom City. But then that massive wrong looking bear roared, and it was the same sound the trio had heard in the restaurant. Fleeing civilians screamed in terror. Good as that quartet was, they couldn’t cover all possible angles. Some helpless civilians were g going to get chowed on. Really only one thing to do here, innit?
  4. Terrifica Terrifica wasn’t quite as quick to jump up as the young woman with superpowers and the literal teenager. In additional to her lack of physical powers and extreme youth, she wasn’t the type to wholeheartedly rush into things. This meant that instead of being literally beside Nevermore on his way out, she was instead a couple of steps behind. And because her brain moved so fast, she had just enough time to wonder about the strange colored rippling in the air as the trio burst into the street. She had already drawn her staff.
  5. Thespian (Claudia Baker) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +1 (12), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +2 (14), INT: +5 (20), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +2/+12, Fort: +6, Ref: +6, Will: +9 Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+5), Bluff 7 (+10), Craft (electronic) 10 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 10 (+15), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Gather Information 2 (+5), Knowledge (art) 5 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 10 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 10 (+15), Language 8 (+8), Notice 12 (+15), Perform (acting) 7 (+10), Sense Motive 2 (+5), Stealth 14 (+15) Feats: All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (ranged), Attack Specialization 3 (Silenced Shot (Blast 6)), Beginner's Luck, Dodge Focus, Eidetic Memory, Equipment 1, Improved Aim, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Jack-of-All-Trades, Power Attack, Precise Shot 2, Skill Mastery (Craft (elec & mech), Notice, Stealth) Powers: Concealed Heavy Armor (Device 4) (Hard to lose; Subtle (subtle)) Liqui-Flex Plating (Protection 10) (+10 Toughness; Impervious [7 ranks only]; Subtle (subtle)) Protected Vitals (Immunity 2) (critical hits) Power Emulator (Device 6) (Hard to lose) Power Emulator (Mimic 10) (mimic: any one of (type) - powers; Duration (continuous), Perception; Check Required (KN (physical sciences))) Nimbus's Flying Cloud (Power Setting) (Powers: Flying Cloud (Flight 10)) Flying Cloud (Flight 10) (Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd; Affects Others, Burst Area (50 ft. radius - General); Platform; Selective) Silenced Sniper Rifle (Device 5) (Easy to lose) Scope (Super-Senses 4) (extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), infravision, ultravision) Silenced Shot (Blast 6) (DC 21; Penetrating [3 ranks only]; Improved Range 2 (300 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 3000 feet), Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Power Settings: Nimbus's Flying Cloud (Power Setting) (Powers: Flying Cloud (Flight 10)) Equipment: Mission Specific Equipment 5 Attack Bonus: +5 (Ranged: +6, Melee: +5, Grapple: +6) Attacks: Silenced Shot (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Unarmed Attack, +5 (DC 16) Defense: +6 (Flat-footed: +3), Knockback: -9 Initiative: +1 Languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, German, Greek, Japanese, Russian, Spanish Totals: Abilities 30 + Skills 27 (108 ranks) + Feats 17 + Powers 56 + Combat 20 + Saves 15 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): 30 Height: 5’ 7” Weight: 135 lbs. Ethnicity: English Hair: Green Eyes: Blue Background: Powers & Tactics: Personality:
  6. Calamity Jane (Judith & Amalia Richter) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +6 (22) Tough: +2/+3, Fort: +5, Ref: +14, Will: +5 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 14 (+20), Diplomacy 9 (+15), Disable Device 13 (+15), Escape Artist 12 (+15), Gather Information 9 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 3 (+5), Knowledge (current events) 3 (+5), Knowledge (history) 3 (+5), Knowledge (streetwise) 3 (+5), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 3 (+5), Language 6 (+6), Notice 13 (+15), Search 8 (+10), Sense Motive 13 (+15), Sleight of Hand 12 (+15), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Focus (ranged) 4, Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Distract (Bluff), Dodge Focus 7, Equipment 2, Evasion, Improved Critical 2 (Cattle Whip (Strike 2)), Improved Critical 2 (Custom Heavy Revolver (Blast 4)), Improved Critical 2 (Custom Stun Gun (Stun 6)), Improved Initiative, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Redirect, Set-Up, Skill Mastery 2 (Acro, Bluff, Dis Dev, Gather Info, Notice, Sen Mot, SoH, Stealth), Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Calamitous Arsenal (Device 4) (Easy to lose) Calamitous Arsenal (Array (default power: blast) Cattle Whip (Strike 2) (Array; DC 19, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Cattle Whip (Strike 2)); Penetrating [2 extra ranks]; Accurate 3 (+6), Extended Reach 2 (10 ft.), Mighty, Precise, Variable Descriptor (Narrow group)) Custom Heavy Revolver (Blast 4) (Default; DC 19, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Custom Heavy Revolver (Blast 4)); Penetrating [2 ranks only]; Accurate (+2), Precise, Variable Descriptor 2 (Broad group)) Custom Stun Gun (Stun 6) (Array; DC 16, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Custom Stun Gun (Stun 6)); Accurate 2 (+4)) Flash Bomb (Dazzle 5) (Array; affects: visual senses, DC 15; Burst Area (25 ft. radius - General)) Rope Lasso (Snare 6) (Array; DC 16; Custom (Binds Mouth (target can't speak)), Precise, Reversible, Subtle (subtle)) Living Calamity (Luck Control 1) (force a re-roll; Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Equipment: Mission Specific Equipment 10 Attack Bonus: +8 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +8, Grapple: +10) Attacks: Cattle Whip (Strike 2), +14 (DC 19), Custom Heavy Revolver (Blast 4), +14 (DC 19), Custom Stun Gun (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Flash Bomb (Dazzle 5) (DC Fort/Ref 15), Rope Lasso (Snare 6), +12 (DC Ref/Staged 16), Unarmed Attack, +8 (DC 17) Defense: +14 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -1 Initiative: +7 Languages: Arabic, English, German Native, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Spanish Totals: Abilities 34 + Skills 37 (148 ranks) + Feats 30 + Powers 17 + Combat 30 + Saves 17 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Ages (as of Jan 2019): 21 years old Heights: 5’ 2” Weights: 100 lbs Ethnicities: German Hair: Blonde Eyes: Light Brown Background: Powers & Tactics: Personality:
  7. Rudolphus "Rudy" Evander Power Level: 10; Power Points Spent: 180/180 STR: +5 (20), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +10 (30), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +0 (10) Tough: +10, Fort: +10, Ref: +10, Will: +7 Skills: Acrobatics 8 (+10), Craft (artistic) 5 (+5), Craft (mechanical) 5 (+5), Diplomacy 5 (+5), Gather Information 5 (+5), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 5 (+5), Knowledge (earth sciences) 5 (+5), Knowledge (history) 10 (+10), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 5 (+5), Language 7 (+7), Notice 12 (+15), Search 10 (+10), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 8 (+10), Survival 7 (+10) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Artificer, Attack Focus (melee) 5, Attack Specialization (Unarmed Attack), Defensive Attack, Dodge Focus, Evasion, Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Mini Rocket (Blast 12)), Improved Critical 2 (Normal Shot (Blast 8)), Power Attack, Precise Shot, Prone Fighting, Quick Draw, Takedown Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Exorcism Gun (Device 6) (Easy to lose, Only you can use) Cartridges (Array 13) (default power: blast) Explosive (Blast (Array; DC 23; Burst Area (35-80 ft. radius - General); Progression, Decrease Area (-1 ranks), Progression, Increase Area (area x2)) Full Gatling (Blast (Array; DC 23; Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate 2 (+4)) Laser Beam (Blast (Array; DC 23; Penetrating, Range (perception); Unreliable (5 uses)) Mini Rocket (Blast 12) (Array; DC 27, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Mini Rocket (Blast 12))) Normal Shot (Blast (Default; DC 23, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Normal Shot (Blast 8)); Penetrating [6 ranks only]; Accurate 2 (+4)) Infernal Synthetic Physiology (Container, Passive 5) Immunity 8 (aging, disease, enviromental conditions (all), poison) Impervious Toughness 10 Super-Senses 3 (acute: Olfactory, infravision, ultravision) Super-Strength 2 (+10 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 1.6k lbs; +2 STR to some checks) Locking On (Features 2) (Notes: Extra Effort/Hero Point to Aim as Move Action) Attack Bonus: +8 (Ranged: +8, Melee: +13, Grapple: +18/+20) Attacks: Explosive (Blast (DC 23), Full Gatling (Blast 8), +12 (DC 23), Laser Beam (Blast (DC 23), Mini Rocket (Blast 12), +8 (DC 27), Normal Shot (Blast 8), +12 (DC 23), Unarmed Attack, +15 (DC 20) Defense: +10 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -10 Initiative: +2 Languages: Arabic, Aramaic Native, Chinese (Mandarin), English, Greek, Hebrew, Persian, Syriac Totals: Abilities 40 + Skills 28 (109 ranks) + Feats 19 + Powers 47 + Combat 34 + Saves 12 + Drawbacks 0 = 180 Age (as of Jan 2019): Over 1900 years (chronological) , early 20s (appearance) Height: 5’ 7” Weight: 165 lbs (looks 130 lbs) Ethnicity: Assyrian (visually similar to Turkish, Kurdish, and/or Arabic; appearance), Synthetic Metal Lifeform (underneath) Hair: Dark Brown Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Asteroth, the vampire wizard, has a lengthy history. He has outlived, so to speak, most of his enemies and massively outpowers the rest. And after the LA Hellgate Event (long story short, he ripped the power out of several demon armies to punish them, rescue an ally’s soul, and resurrect her), even the forces of Hell avoid instigating encounters with him. That, however, is the situation in 2019. It was not in 115. No, a digit is not missing from that year. Not quite a full century after his encounter with the Nazarene carpenter who some call the Messiah and Son of God (people at the time through history to now disagree on who He actually was), he was already causing trouble. The earthquake, however, was not his fault. He was actually clumsily trying to stop it. Which leads us to Rudolphus “Rudy” Evander Rudy was not born. He was created by a man he knew only as Grandfather (in Aramaic, but still). He created him for a specific purpose. To kill demons, devils, and monsters. There were a lot of those in 2nd Century Syria. Grandfather gave him his Exorcism Gun, taught him how to make new Cartridges for when he ran short, and sent him off to work. He was Antioch’s protector from the shadows. This was one of the reasons the Roman Emperor Trajan was in town that fateful day. Rumors had gotten all the way to Rome, and well two birds with one stone, right? Well, no, because that saying hadn’t been coined yet, but still. For some reason, Grandfather insisted on hiding. It was okay. Rudy had something to do anyway. At the time, Antioch had a relatively extensive cave system outside the city. It is long gone in 2019, mind. He had a evil plot to destroy the city to foil. December 13, that was. Classic thing. Evil sorcerer mad at the Empire. Emperor was in town, let’s kill him dramatically blah blah blah. Rudy did not actually care. He was a bad person who was trying to kill basically everbody Rudy knew, so he had to die. Asteroth had similar ideas. Antioch was his town. He lived there. It’d be mighty inconvenient for some asshole with a grudge to level the place. Unfortunately, since the vampire had begun his training as a wizard at this point, Rudy mistook him and the evil sorcerer for allies and attacked both. It was a shitshow. The earthquake happened more or less on schedule, if stripped of some of its power. And Antioch was devastated. Ironically, Trajan and his successor in two years, Hadrian, were totally unharmed. Grandfather was not. His house fell on him. This was the first (but not the last) time Rudy would know the pain of loss. Rudy continued being Antioch’s protector in the shadows until 526. May of that year, to be specific. It was a vampiric plot, this time. A more skilled Asteroth had returned to town specifically to thwart the schemes of his “brother” Amon. The two did not fight this time, casually teaming up in the same cavern where they’d first met. And their actions arguably saved the Byzantine Empire from being shattered by a chain of earthquakes that would theoretically have left the vampires of the area to feast without consequence. Rudy had even brought a swordsman friend to help fight. But while their overall actions were a success, this meant little to Antioch, which was again devastated. Rudy helped with the search and rescue, his centuries of experience with the city pinpointing where buildings had fallen on people. However, the fires were simply too much for one set of hands to deal with. The destruction broke his heart. The swordsman’s entire family had been killed, and he fell on his sword before Rudy could do more than twitch. 250k people had been killed, according to records. Rudy’s entire social circle was a pile of corpses. When the fires were out at last, he left the city. He would never return. Rudy pursued the surviving Amons relentlessly, all the way to Persia, thwarting their schemes on many occasions. Alone, however, he could not stop their plans from partially succeeding one last time. December 22, 856. Near modern day Damghan, Iran. Persia itself wasn’t shattered, but the province of Qumis certainly was. He did, however, finally finish exterminating that particular sect of vampires. The over three centuries saw him pick up many allies in his valiant quest against evil. But humans are fragile, mortal creatures. They break so easily. They age. He buried many friends killed too young, and held too many aged hands at too many deathbeds. With a heart full of grief, he returned (slowly) to Syria. Slowly because he couldn’t stop being a hero and monster hunter any more than he could stop being alive. He settled in Aleppo just in time for the First Crusade to come sweeping into what they called the Holy Land. Ironically, Aleppo itself was not taken over as part of the Crusader states. Rudy was honestly a little befuddled. When he left Syria in the 5th Century, it had still been Roman Christian. When he finally returned in the 11th, it was very Arabic Muslim. Religious faith in general baffled him. So the Byzantines being kicked out (he heard rumors after it happened) was shocking. Killing in the name of God. Well. Maybe it was just the Muslims that were like that. Except no. The First Crusaders weren’t any better. Once again, he was befuddled. Still, there were new to the region. They didn’t understand it like he did. So he helped. Not with the actual warfare, but there are things that haunt battlefields looking to pick the wounded or merely unaware. Yes, even in 2019, though modern electrical lighting makes that much more difficult. As a lovely reward, the Crusaders generally tried to kill him. Religious fervor+his advanced weapon they couldn’t possibly understand+looking like a native=gotta be evil, so we gotta chop and bash. Whatever, said Rudy. They couldn’t, as a rule, actually hurt him. So he’d just beat them up and deal with the actual supernatural monster. Which brings up to Asteroth. Or rather, Kasi’n, since the Romani had decided to restore his soul which unbeknownst to them, was that of a sadistic psychopath. Oops. Kasi’n spent most of that period in Europe, but he got a little bored with torturing and murdering Crusader families and decided to get some Crusaders himself. Or rather, steal an old plan made by someone else. A little practice on the Jazira plain (in 1137), and he was ready to go. What Kasi’n was not ready for was for Rudy to catch wind of his plot and show up with a full team of warriors and mages. Like basically all of his plots, it fell to pieces and he had to fling around the hard earned power of Asteroth’s wizardry to carry the day. Or in this case, not get his ass kicked. He may have been a shitty planner, but he was one hell of a killer. He was also an idiot who almost got buried unalive as his busted plan triggered a massive earthquake that devastated Aleppo and many places in the surrounding countryside. October 11, 1138 was a hell of a day in Syria. Two beings crawled out of the broken and shattered earth. Kasi’n. And Rudy. While the villain escaped, Rudy pulled out who he could. This was not everyone. Those too badly injured to recover in a day or two were left behind. This was hot pursuit. Hot pursuit, in fact, all that way to the city of Ganja in modern day Azerbaijan. At the time it was part of the Great Seljuk Empire. There was a little ally recruitment, and several dramatic clashes in the area grabbed imperial attention. This was uh, really bad, as it garned the attention of the White Court of Wizards who were and are notoriously vehement about destroying magic users who don’t adhere to their rules. A three front battle ensued on September 30, 1139…which triggered yet another earthquake that severely damaged Ganja and the surrounding countryside. To the degree that the neighboring Kingdom of Georgia was able to casually steal the city and many of its valuables from the Seljuks. It…broke something in Rudy. The poor guy felt cursed. 1000 years, and earthquakes still destroyed cities he fought to save. He did not return with his surviving allies to Syria. He went east. And then north, because the friggin’ Caspian Sea was in the way. He went north specifically because Persia was to the south and he didn’t want to go back there. There are many stories from many places in what is now Kazakhstan and northwestern China. The foreigner with the strange weapon. The monster killer. A demigod. But aside from such legends, from Sept 30 1139 to Sept 25 1303 his location is not even vaguely known. It is on that second date that he once again appears in recorded history. The reason he wasn’t recorded in Kazakhstan was because of the Mongols invading after he’d passed through. By the time he’d entered China, he was actively avoiding their armies. War. Again. No, thank you. There was a severe (entirely natural) earthquake in what is now Shanxi Province on that September day. 100k people were killed outright, the primary cause of death being their loess cave homes collapsing on them. Over a century and a half of relative solitude had healed some of Rudy’s heart, and he pulled many people out of the broken wreckage of their homes. He also blasted holes in the strange (to him) creatures that came to feed on the carnage and chaos. Unsurprisingly, the Yuan Dynasty had trouble finding him afterward, but he didn’t leave China. He only returned to the neighboring province of Shaanxi. No, that’s not a typo. Extra a=different province. He returned specifically to Xiyue Temple, where he’d apparently been living for a little while. Xiyue was an is a temple dedicated to the practice of Taoism. In the modern People’s Republic of China Taoism is permitted if not accepted as a religious, cultural, and philosophical practice. Anything further is frowned on to persecuted as “silly superstitions”. Unless, of course, it is under the government’s direct control. But during the Yuan and following Ming Dynasties? Alchemy. Chi. Magic. Martial Arts. The age of what is now called Wuxia after the media genre that dramatizes it. Rudy was directly involved in the Ch'ing-yang event of 1490. History doesn’t have that one quite right, either. It wasn’t a meteor shower or an air burst. It was the fragments of a 1000 foot asteroid Rudy blew up with one potent shot from his Exorcism Gun. There was a divination from the priests at Xiyue, so he was in the right place at the right time to pull the trigger and basically save all of China. And no, 10k people weren’t killed. That many were injured, some severely, but there were few fatalities. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was 1556. February 2, to be precise. The 12th day of the 12 month of the year Jiajing 34, locally. Rudy couldn’t help but make new friends and allies in his monster hunting ways, with two legitimate True Companions in Zhang Wei the master swordsman and Wu Yuying the Taoist wizardess. On that day struck what was probably the strongest earthquake in Chinese history, killing over 100k people and displacing or starving over 700k more. Rudy knew nothing about it, because he was indirectly one of the casualties. Rumor had it that the infamous Asteroth had blown into Shaanxi province with his current traveling companion Dhana. Rudy recruited his two friends and several other allies, and set out to rid the world of the vampire wizard once and for all. They engaged in battle in an underground cave. Asteroth, more or less as capable then as he is now, wiped the floor with them effortlessly. Dhana had to work harder, being only a young vampire and no spellcaster. Asteroth overwhelmed even Rudy’s best shot; the same one that shattered that asteroid. That spell slammed him into a cave wall with enough force to kill anyone human. For Rudy, it broke his Exorcism Gun and severed his arm at the elbow. The vampires could have killed everyone there, but Asteroth showed uncharacteristic (in those days) mercy. He just…walked away, with Dhana following behind. And then the earthquake hit. It was all Zhang Wei and Wu Yuying could do to get Rudy out of the caves. They brought his broken weapon, and for reasons they couldn’t adequately explain even to themselves, his arm. He was unconscious for several days, and when he finally woke, more about him was broken than his arm and weapon. His monster hunting days were over. Another failure and another devastating earthquake had broken his will to continue. The damage to his weapon and loss of his arm just piled more onto the despair. It was a loss of his very identity. In the end, he married Wu Yuying, had a family, and stayed out of things. She and Wei proved themselves true friends in pulling him out of his funk. However. They were mortals. They aged. He did not. It is a unique kind of agony, to outlive one’s own grandchildren, let alone one’s beloved wife and best friend. There were heroes in his lineage, to be sure, but he was out. With each successive generation, he became more and more removed from society. Haunted by a thousand thousand ghosts he lived at Xiyue in a small room. He helped the priests with menial tasks in return for sharing their food supply. And he spoke to no one. This is how it stayed until 2016, when the Strength Revolution’s Special Tactics Group was being expanded. A very drunk and perhaps a little melancholy fox man mentioned Asteroth and his loose ends to Valine. Valine spoke to Methion, and the Grand Wizard visited a certain former hotel in Los Angeles. Asteroth showed Methion the caves under Shaanxi, and let him figure out how to trace a being gone from that spot for over 450 years. A little chronomantic postcognition lead the two to Xiyue and one emotionally and physically broken monster hunter. Asteroth took one look at the pathetic figure, and departed. Methion, however, remained. He offered Rudy a chance to be healed and resuming his monster hunting activities. Rudy could no more refuse that spontaneously drop dead. So he’s a member is good standing on STG Squad D, The Outsiders. It has just as much meaning to him as living at Xiyue. Powers & Tactics: Personality: Rudy is, in a very real sense, nothing more than a robot. This does not mean that he does not have feelings, and it does not mean that he cannot make his own decisions. What it means is that he is not free to be anything other than what he is. A monster hunter. An implacable foe of any creatures that would harm humans. And a warm and caring heart so that he would never in the normal course of events question this drive. It should go without saying that the normal course of events did not occur. Whatever Grandfather’s plans for Rudy were died with the man. It has been left to Rudy to make his own way, and it has left him deeply melancholic. 19 centuries of loss, failure, and grief have frozen that warm heart and stripped him of his ability to genuinely care about anyone. He’s just kind of going through the motions. A thousand thousand ghosts. He doesn’t remember all their names. He should remember all their names. In Antioch. In Qumis. In Aleppo. In Ganja. Faces flit through his memory. Grandfather. The swordsman in 526. The team in Aleppo and Ganja. Zhang Wei. Wu Yuying. By the gods, Yuying. She lived to 105. It was not nearly long enough. The world should stop when people die. It certainly feels that way. Why doesn’t it stop? How many holes can be punched into a world before it isn’t one anymore? How many pieces of one’s heart can one lose before there’s nothing left of it? Rudy has no answers. He’s not even sure he cares anymore. One thing in the world remains, however. There are monsters. He hunts them. Whether that’s enough or not doesn’t matter. He doesn’t speak. He doesn’t quite remember how, after centuries of silence. And he doesn’t, as a rule, emote. He has his normal everyday face, and his serious face. That’s it.
  8. Nika, the Heartfire Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 180/180 STR: +7 (14/25), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +7 (14/25), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +11, Fort: +7, Ref: +7, Will: +10 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Intimidate 12 (+15), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 7 (+10), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 7 (+10), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 12 (+15), Swim 3 (+10) Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Attack Specialization 2 (Unarmed Attack), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Demoralize, Challenge - Improved Startle, Improved Critical 2 (Fire Blast (Blast 11)), Improved Critical 2 (Fire Bolts (Blast 7)), Improved Critical 2 (Heartfelt Strike (Strike 4)), Improved Critical 2 (Heartfire Blast (Blast 7)), Improved Trick, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Redirect, Ritualist, Set-Up, Startle, Takedown Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Enchanted Durability (Protection 4) (+4 Toughness) Heartfire Magic (Array 14) (default power: blast) Fire Blast (Blast 11) (Default; DC 26, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Fire Blast (Blast 11))) Fire Bolts (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Fire Bolts (Blast 7)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate 2 (+4), Improved Range (175 ft. incr), Precise, Progression, Increase Range (max range x2, 1750 feet)) Fire Burst (Blast 9) (Array; DC 24; Burst Area (45-90 ft. radius - General); Progression, Increase Area (area x2)) Heartfire Blast (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Heartfire Blast (Blast 7)); Alternate Save (Will); Accurate 2 (+4), Improved Range (175 ft. incr), Precise, Progression, Increase Range (max range x2, 1750 feet)) Heartfire Regeneration (Healing 7) (Array; Action (standard), Total; Personal; Persistent, Regrowth) Infernal Shapeshifting (Morph 7) (Array; morph: any form, +35 Disguise; Duration (continuous)) Mana Burn (Nullify 9) (Array; counters: all powers of (type) - magic, DC 19; Range (perception); Reversible) Passionate Hypnosis (Mind Control 9) (Array; DC 19; Conscious, Instant Command; Sense-Dependent (Visual); Mental Link) Omnilingual (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all) Passion's Heart, Hell Fire (Device 9) (Easy to lose, Only you can use) Heartfelt Strike (Strike 4) (DC 26, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Heartfelt Strike (Strike 4)); Mighty, Precise) Infernal Leaping (Leaping 4) (Jumping distance: x25) Infernal Resilience (Impervious Toughness 7) Infernal Speed (Speed 4) (Speed: 100 mph, 880 ft./rnd) Infernal Stamina (Enhanced Constitution 11) (+11 CON) Infernal Strength (Enhanced Strength 11) (+11 STR) Attack Bonus: +7 (Ranged: +7, Melee: +7, Grapple: +14) Attacks: Fire Blast (Blast 11), +7 (DC 26), Fire Bolts (Blast 7), +11 (DC 22), Fire Burst (Blast 9) (DC 24), Heartfelt Strike (Strike 4), +7 (DC 26), Heartfire Blast (Blast 7), +11 (DC Will 22), Mana Burn (Nullify 9) (DC Will 19), Passionate Hypnosis (Mind Control 9) (DC Will 19), Unarmed Attack, +11 (DC 22) Defense: +7 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -9 Initiative: +3 Drawbacks: Disability, very common, moderate, Mute Languages: Japanese Native Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 21 (84 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 74 + Combat 28 + Saves 11 - Drawbacks 4 = 180 Age (as of Jan 2019): Unkown (known to be at least 200 years, chronologically), late teens (biological) Height: 5’ 2” Weight: 110 lbs Ethnicity: Japanese Hair: Black Eyes: Magenta Background: Powers & Tactics: Personality:
  9. Tana, of the Waves Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 195/195 STR: +3 (16), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +3 (16), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +2 (14) Tough: +7, Fort: +8, Ref: +11, Will: +8 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 13 (+15), Diplomacy 8 (+10), Gather Information 8 (+10), Knowledge (arcane Lore) 8 (+10), Knowledge (theology & philosophy) 8 (+10), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 7 (+10) Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 4, Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Feint, Defensive Attack, Dodge Focus 4, Evasion, Improved Critical 2 (Increase Gravity (Paralyze 7)), Improved Critical 2 (Oceanic Strike (Strike 4)), Improved Critical 2 (Water Blast (Blast 11)), Improved Critical 2 (Water Bolts (Blast 7)), Improved Initiative, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Skill Mastery (Acrobatics, Gather Info, Notice, Sense Motive), Takedown Attack 2, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Enchanted Durability (Protection 4) (+4 Toughness) Omnilingual (Comprehend 3) (languages - read all, languages - speak all, languages - understand all) Shadow Sea, Briny Tide (Device 9) (Easy to lose) Ocean Proof (Immunity 5) (environmental condition: Cold, environmental condition: Pressure, environmental condition: Vacuum, suffocation (all)) Oceanic Senses (Super-Senses (accurate (type): Auditory, acute: Olfactory, darkvision, ultra-hearing) Oceanic Strike (Strike 4) (DC 22, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Oceanic Strike (Strike 4)); Mighty) Pocket Ocean (Create Object 1) (Max Size: 1x 250' cubes, DC 11; Movable (Radius: 5 ft., Strength: 5, Force: 50 lbs.); Limited (to Water); Progression, Object Size 5) Swimming 7 (Speed: 250 mph, 2200 ft./rnd; Environmental Adaptation) Water & Shadow Resistant (Immunity 20) (common descriptor: Water, common descriptor: Darkness/Shadow; Limited - Half Effect) Star Ocean Magic (Array 14) (default power: blast) Blinding Shadow Blast (Dazzle 11) (Array; affects: visual senses, DC 21; Alternate Save (Will)) Increase Gravity (Paralyze 7) (Array; DC 17, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Increase Gravity (Paralyze 7)); Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4), Improved Range (175 ft. incr), Precise, Progression, Increase Range (max range x2, 1750 feet)) Null-G Field (Move Object 9) (Array; Strength: 45, Carry: 4.3k / 4.3 tons / 6.4 tons / 12.8 tons; Burst Area (45 ft. radius - General), Secondary Effect; Limited Direction) Shadow Field (Obscure 9) (Array; affects: visual senses, Radius: 2500 ft.; Selective Attack) Shadow Walk (Teleport 7) (Array; 700 ft. as move action, 200 miles as full action, DC 17; Accurate, Affects Others; Medium; Change Direction, Change Velocity, Easy, Progression, Mass 3 (carry 1000 lbs), Turnabout) Water Blast (Blast 11) (Default; DC 26, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Water Blast (Blast 11))) Water Bolts (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Water Bolts (Blast 7)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate 2 (+4), Improved Range (175 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range (max range x2, 1750 feet)) Water Burst (Blast 9) (Array; DC 24; Burst Area (45 ft. radius - General)) Whirlpool (Move Object 9) (Array; Strength: 45, Carry: 4.3k / 4.3 tons / 6.4 tons / 12.8 tons, DC 24; Burst Area (45 ft. radius - General), Damaging; Limited Direction (towards center of area)) Attack Bonus: +7 (Ranged: +7, Melee: +11, Grapple: +14) Attacks: Blinding Shadow Blast (Dazzle 11), +7 (DC Will 21), Increase Gravity (Paralyze 7), +11 (DC Staged/Will 17), Oceanic Strike (Strike 4), +11 (DC 22), Unarmed Attack, +11 (DC 18), Water Blast (Blast 11), +7 (DC 26), Water Bolts (Blast 7), +11 (DC 22), Water Burst (Blast 9) (DC 24), Whirlpool (Move Object 9) (DC 24) Defense: +11 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +7 Languages: Native Language Totals: Abilities 32 + Skills 22 (88 ranks) + Feats 22 + Powers 73 + Combat 28 + Saves 18 + Drawbacks 0 = 195 Age (as of Jan 2019): Unkown (known to be at least 200 years, chronologically), early 20s (biological) Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 165 lbs Ethnicity: Japanese Hair: Dark Brown Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Tana, of the Waves never wanted any of this. He was a peasant, born to a woodcutter/charcoal burner family in Kubota Domain, Dewa Province (now Senboku District, Akita Prefecture). The eldest of five with a father who was ailing before Tana reached the age of ten, Tana had to grow up faster than most children. They didn’t have a lot, but they ate well. They had each other for company, even after his father’s passing. They even went to Kakunodate (now part of the small city of Semboku) every September for the Kakunodate-matsuri, a semi-religious festival with a grand parade and dancing. Their daimyo was Sataka Yoshihiro, the 10th in the domain’s history. For obvious reasons, Tana and his family had nothing to do with him. It was the last century of the Edo Period, not than anyone actually knew that. Kubota knew peace, as most deeply rural and underpopulated areas do. Mostly. Because as most deeply rural and underpopulated areas do (even in the modern era), they had monster problems. Demons, as modern Christianity might call them, though that’s only accurate so far as yokai, mazoku, and akuma are supernatural beings who are generally hostile to humanity. Many of them do not have infernal origins at all. And, of course, some of them were never supernatural to begin with. Japan has had its fair share of evil and/or mad wizards and sorcerers. Onmyodo was the term for their tradition, and onmyoji was the term for an actual practitioner. Like all mages, there were heroes, mercenaries, scam artists, and genuine villains in their ranks. And the endless battles between heroic samurai and onmyoji against the villainous versions of same, especially in the Sengoku period, left a nasty legacy. Monsters. Bakemono. It was goddamn dangerous to be outside after dark before the advent of electricity and modern lighting. Sometimes, it still is. In the United States alone, over 600K people go missing every year (though it has been trending downward since the 90s), though approximately 90K are missing at any given time. Most are found. Only about 2200 remain missing each year. More disturbingly, 4400 unidentified bodies are found every year. Many of these have died of natural causes, to be sure. But not all. This is in the modern United States of America. Where help, at least in urban areas, is seldom far away and just about everyone carries a mobile communication device capable of summoning such aid. In such an advanced nation, people can still disappear forever. And even if their bodies are found, they may never been identified. Rural Japan two centuries ago (without smartphones, electricity, or even handguns) was much worse. Only fools and the desperate travelled at night. Everyone knew yokai, mazoku, akuma, and bakemono prowled then. This is why Tana stayed at the edge of Kakunodate that night. Even though he thought he could make it home before it was fully dark, it was the smart thing to do. He had brought firewood and charcoal to be sold. Everything was gone, as usual. He was 14 years old. His father had been dead for two years, but their family was surviving. He was going to bring food supplies home. They couldn’t grow their own rice, alone deep in the mountain forests as they were. Charcoal burners were always kept far away from settlements. The risk of fire and the occupation’s oddly unsavory reputation ensured this. There was a small inn for such travelers, and Tana used it. In the morning, he returned home to horror. The front door, the edge of their threshold that should have kept anything supernatural out, smashed down. Inside, a massacre. It was not bandits. They had nothing worth stealing, and those wounds were far too savage to be from a sword. He did the only thing he could do. Scream in horror. Until his younger sister Nika stirred, moaning softly. His mother and siblings were very dead, but if Nika was only wounded she could be saved if he hurried with her back to Kakunodate. So he did the only thing he could do right now. He strapped her to his back and started walking as fast he could. She woke up on his back, and fidgeted enough that he fell off the path and into the forest. Obviously, he let go to stop his own fall, and they faced each other. Nika’s eyes had changed. She’d grown fangs. She was snarling. What in the world…and then she tried to bite him. He held her back with the shaft of his woodcutting axe, begging and pleading with her to stop. This was the worst day of his life, and looking to be the last if he couldn’t convince his last remaining family member not to kill and eat him. For an instant it seemed like he was making headway, then a violent wind gust tore them apart, sending Nika flying into a tree and knocking her out. The source of the wind was a swordsman, tall and too tanned to be from this part of Japan. Those sigils on his clothes…a Devil Hunter! His eyes were cold and unfeeling. This was Kiske, of the Thousand. Tana begged, and then went rebuked for his mental weakness, fought. This went exactly as well as one would expect. Untrained child versus warrior with century of experience and training. Yet Tana’s outside the box thinking (he’d planned for Kiske being better than him, not that it worked) impressed the veteran Devil Hunter. Nika waking up and protecting her unconscious brother instead of eating him was equally impressive. He decided to keep them, and said as much when Akiko, the Phoenix and the rest of their squad caught up to him. Thus Tana and Nika became Tana, of the Waves and Nika, the Heartfire. The rookie Devil Hunters were teamed up with Zuki, the Thunderer and Isora, of Beast Blood. The team was well constructed, for the most part. Tana was the steady leader. Isora’s initial fearless aggression covered for Zuki’s initial terrified reticence. Nika was brilliant in a support role, even if her injuries had forever silenced her. They were all great friends, growing together from green rookies to seasoned veterans. It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but they survived. Plenty of other rookie squads got decimated. Returning from a mission short a member, or with someone maimed/crippled was common. Tana supposed it was the guidance of Kiske that helped them where others faltered. Tana was explicitly his protégé, and nevermind that Isora didn’t care and Zuki was too wrapped up in his own head to notice. It mattered to Tana, as Kiske was a great hero. A good man. Or so Tana thought. Then Kiske took over the Devil Hunter Society, and things started to change. The Devil Hunter Society that Tana and Nika came to was a lively place, full of light, love, and hope. There were always losses, and a undertone of pain, but there was also a sense of community. Family. Their lives were often hard and painful both physically and emotionally, but those who came home had their wounds lovingly bound, and those who did not were truly mourned. They were good and noble heroes, expected to behave with dignity, compassion, and honor. Until Kiske decided that they had suffered enough. Tana did not and to this day does not know what Kiske did to become Supreme Commander. He does know that Kiske’s changes were not what he was initially taught, and that they ran counter to everything he believed in. Still, Tana was grateful to him for saving Nika, and his sister did not communicate any displeasure with the new way of things. So Tana grit his teeth and put up with it. Even if he slowly distanced himself from Kiske and their prior close relationship. He simply couldn’t be the man’s protégé anymore. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Zuki agreeing with Kiske’s philosophy. What the hell, Zuki? Seriously, what the hell? The conversation turned into a debate which turned into an argument which turned into their team breaking. Tana practically exploded into Kiske’s office. They had an absolutely blazing argument which practically half the Society heard it was so loud. Kiske’s arrogance and trauma wouldn’t allow him to budge on this issue. The suffering and death of their own had to end. That was the priority. Tana’s conscience and sense of justice wouldn’t allow him to budge, either. Some things were more important than even one’s life or the lives of one’s friends and allies, dammit. It was the kind of argument that only two people who know and at least used to care about each other very much can have. They couldn’t have wounded each other more deeply that day if they’d used their swords. Tana left the Devil Hunter Society that day, never to return. Nika, for all she loved Zuki and Isora, loved her brother more and thus went with him. Isora was furious, as he didn’t give a single solitary shit about anything but his squad and killing as many demons as humanly possible. And now his squad was breaking apart because of stupid bullshit that (in his mind) didn’t matter. It was, however, Zuki’s broken and hopeless “Where would I go?” that Tana found most haunting. And thus Tana and Nika quietly vanished into history. Or rather, they would have if not for a certain ninetailed fox man and his halfassed suggestions. Methion and Valine were not about to piss off Kiske by poaching any of his people. That’d be awful rude. Kiske’s takeover, however, left some renegades in its wake. While most of them were either eventually killed by Kiske loyalists or changed their minds and rejoined, there was one duo who had seemed to just…vanish. Well, well, well. Time for some subtle chronomancy, and a long talk between the two and Valine. With several key details sorted, Squad D’s first two members were recruited. Because yes, Methion pulled the siblings through time to the present after they agreed to join Valine. But why would they agree to such a thing? Specifically, why would Tana agree to such a thing? Methion is no better than Kiske, after all. It starts with the STG being autonomous under Valine. And even Valine leaves his squads to do their work. It was a second chance to do a Devil Hunter’s work. There was nothing wrong with a trail period to see how it would work. And while Tana has to occasionally keep Calamity Jane and Thespian from being excessively criminal, the Outsiders are hell on wheels against supernatural menaces. It’s been an acceptable three years, in Tana’s view. Powers & Tactics: Personality:
  10. GM The peace of the afternoon was shattered by a loud cry for help from outside of the restaurant. This sound was quickly followed by gunfire (in two noticeably different types) and more indistinct shouting. Then something decidedly inhuman roared so loud even the stock boy from the back of the restaurant poked his head to see what was happening. Something had gone horribly wrong outside. Maybe some heroes should check it out?
  11. Terrifica Terrifica had been uncharacteristically silent. Well, the point was to let these two talk, after all. So the super genius ate and listened quietly. The food was quite good here, after all, and she was content to not drive a conversation for once. She actually was rather impressed with Nevermore to this point. He had done basic deduction from the available evidence, and figured out who the Raven was. His detective work could use a bit of sharpening, overall, but he was a teenager and one without powers at that. But she couldn’t resist one comment. “Yes. Those of us with genetics different from human baseline must indeed be cautious with our abilities.” This was a bit of a landmark for the super genius as she never, not even to Miracle Girl, had admitted to having superpowers to anyone. She refilled her mouth with food and said nothing more.
  12. Tsurugi (Miyuki Harada) Power Level: 12; Power Points Spent: 180/180 STR: +7 (16/25), DEX: +5 (16/20), CON: +7 (18/24), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +5 (16/20), CHA: +5 (16/20) Tough: +10, Fort: +8/+7, Ref: +14, Will: +9 Skills: Acrobatics 7 (+12/+15), Bluff 7 (+12/+15), Computers 8 (+10), Disable Device 8 (+10), Gather Information 7 (+12/+15), Knowledge (streetwise) 3 (+5), Knowledge (technology) 8 (+10), Language 7 (+7), Notice 5 (+10/+12), Sense Motive 5 (+10/+12), Stealth 7 (+12/+15) Feats: Accurate Attack, Attack Focus (melee) 7, Challenge - Improved Feint, Defensive Attack, Dodge Focus 5, Evasion, Improved Critical 2 (Tsurugi Sword Strike (Strike 3)), Improved Initiative, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Stunning Attack, Takedown Attack 2, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Tsurugi Sword (Device 2) (Easy to lose) Tsurugi Sword Strike (Strike 3) (DC 25, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Tsurugi Sword Strike (Strike 3)); Penetrating [1 extra rank]; Mighty) Tsurugi-no-Okami (Alternate Form 12) Tsurugi-no-Okami (Alternate Form) (Powers: Goddess Armor (Protection 3), Goddess Wings (Flight 6), Attack Bonus +2 (+7), Strength +9 (25, +7), Constitution +6 (24, +7), Dodge Focus 5 +2 (+5), Dexterity +4 (20, +5), Wisdom +4 (20, +5), Charisma +4 (20, +5), Acrobatics +3 (+15), Bluff +3 (+15), Gather Information +3 (+15), Stealth +3 (+15), Notice +2 (+12), Sense Motive +2 (+12), Fortitude -1 (+7), Attack Focus (melee) 7 +2 (+7), Feats: Evasion) Goddess Armor (Protection 3) (+3 Toughness; Impervious [3 extra ranks]) Goddess Wings (Flight 6) (Speed: 500 mph, 4400 ft./rnd) Power Settings: Tsurugi-no-Okami (Alternate Form) (Powers: Goddess Armor (Protection 3), Goddess Wings (Flight 6), Attack Bonus +2 (+7), Strength +9 (25, +7), Constitution +6 (24, +7), Dodge Focus 5 +2 (+5), Dexterity +4 (20, +5), Wisdom +4 (20, +5), Charisma +4 (20, +5), Acrobatics +3 (+15), Bluff +3 (+15), Gather Information +3 (+15), Stealth +3 (+15), Notice +2 (+12), Sense Motive +2 (+12), Fortitude -1 (+7), Attack Focus (melee) 7 +2 (+7), Feats: Evasion) Attack Bonus: +5/+7 (Ranged: +5/+7, Melee: +10/+14, Grapple: +17/+21) Attacks: Tsurugi Sword Strike (Strike 3), +14 (DC 25), Unarmed Attack, +14 (DC 22) Defense: +14 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -8 Initiative: +9 Languages: Chinese (Mandarin), English, French, German, Japanese Native, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish Totals: Abilities 36 + Skills 18 (72 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 66 + Combat 28 + Saves 14 + Drawbacks 0 = 180 Chronological Age (as of Jan 2019): 6 years (as a program), 5 years (post awakening), over 1000 years (in her games) Physical Age (as of Jan 2019): 5 years (wear and tear level), about 20 years (physiological maturity level) Appearance Age (as of Jan 2019): mid teens (untransformed), mid 20s (Tsurugi-no-Okami) Height: 5’ (untransformed), 5’ 8” (Tsurugi-no-Okami) Weight: 100 lbs (untransformed), 125 lbs (Tsurugi-no-Okami) Ethnicity: Japanese Hair: Lavender (untransformed), Purple (Tsurugi-no-Okami) Eyes: Purple (untransformed), Blue (Tsurugi-no-Okami) Background: Miyuki Harada is not a human being. Hell, she’s not even a real person. She is the protagonist of the video game series Ultradimension Tsurugi-chan! and thus literally a fictional character. So what in blazes is a fictional character from a video game doing in the real world working for the Strength Revolution? Well, it goes back a ways. There was a guy in ’82 who created a method of physically entering the video game he’d made by digitizing flesh and blood and zapping it inside the computer housing said game. Naturally, his less than ethical financier used this incredible invention to “murder” people by zapping them into his game world. Starting with the inventor himself. He didn’t get a full 6 months before a superhero escaped his game, rescued everyone trapped inside, and handed him his ass on a plate. But the technology continued to be explored afterward by various R&D departments and firms, with the inventor both helping and getting wealthy off the fees paid to look into his tech. Of course, it was just a matter of time before someone started actually using the tech again, which is where Wisecracker and the Nihonto Incident come in. Tsurugi remembers. What she was supposed to be. She was programmed to be an ally and a mentor to the “new allies” (her game’s players) who chose her namesake weapon. She would teach them the basics of using a tsurugi, and send them off on quests that would help her world. Every time they completed one of her quests, she was to send them on another one in an itemized list. After, of course, rewarding them with a new combat technique, a more powerful tsurugi, another item, or something else. The list was not short, and naturally each quest had its own specific reward. There were specific ways she was supposed to react to various things players said or did. And if they were defeated in combat, she would come and dramatically save them, revitalizing their health and chopping the enemies down. At least at first, anyway. Got t let them stand on their own at some point, right? And, of course, she’d remember all their names, faces, and their reactions to what she did, customizing her previously mentioned reactions to them. She really was very well programmed. But that’s all she was ever meant to be. A complex computer program without a shred of self awareness or independent identity. This was not how it went. Makaze Violet trapped all the “new allies” in the game, and took away her ability to rescue them when their health depleted. Instead they just…disappeared. The three other Goddesses. Tachi. Nagamaki. Yajiri. Her sisters, even if they didn’t always get along. Makaze Violet destroyed them somehow. It took her quite a while to do it, but still. That didn’t make sense. They didn’t have health to deplete if they weren’t in Combat Mode. She would have been destroyed too, except three new people showed up and saved her from the monster Makaze Violent sent to break her. There was nothing in her programming for this situation. She was just a fancy puppet, with nothing else to her existence. She did not know what to do. So Tsurugi did something no version of her had ever done before. Because she was Tsurugi, with intimate knowledge of her own personal history and actions in previous games. And that was Makaze Violet, her long time foe. For the first time ever, she made a decision instead of blindly following her programming. She engaged Combat Mode despite not receiving a Player Downed signal, and fought beside Wildcat, Hack/Slash, and Wisecracker. They were not “new allies”, but they were allies. Makaze Violet had changed the world somehow, and her “new allies” couldn’t stop it on their own. So it was up to Tsurugi, last of the 4 Sword Goddesses, to stop the villain, avenge her sisters, and save the world. You know, again. This, well, took a lot of time. And it was weird. Wildcat fought just like Yajiri, with the long bow and those steel headed arrows. Hack/Slash fought just like Tachi, with those two single edged swords. And Wisecracker fought just like Nagamaki, with that very long handled sword. Nobody knew it, but Redline (their telepathic ally on the outside, which made zero sense to Tsurugi, but it was irrelevant to the Main Quest) had grafted the broken data of the other 3 Sword Goddesses onto the hacker trio as part of his hacking them into being powerhouses in game. Hell, Redline himself didn’t know the origin of the data, just that it was free floating in the game’s code. Saved him a lot of time in beefing up the ladies. As recounted elsewhere, over 6 months (in game time) they slashed their way through Makaze Violet’s legion of boss monsters and guardians, and at last challenged the villain herself. Tsurugi had grown more in the interim. There had been many situations that her programming didn’t cover, and she had to choose what to apply or fail the Main Quest. She was, essentially, writing new programming to cover the gaps in the existing code. Not that she knew that. Or knew that she could do that. Or even realized she was doing it. She wasn’t self aware. Not yet. But the Tsurugi that faced Makaze Violet with her fireforged friends (they fit the definition in her memories, of course) was very, very difference from the Tsurugi who first joined them. The broken remains of the other 3 Sword Goddesses gave their “successors” their blessing, and after a ferocious battle Makaze Violet was defeated. Tsurugi had a tearful goodbye with Tachi, Nagamaki, and Yajiri, while the other three did…something with that Redline guy. Sealing Makaze Violet away? Didn’t they just do that? How strange. And now they were just going to leave? Wait. That’s not right. W…what happens now? Her sisters were gone. The “new allies” were also leaving, the trio said. And even Makaze Violet was gone. Was…was Tsurugi was going to be alone? Her programming, at this stage, was a work of art no one human could have ever accomplished. What happened on the technical level was that the battle with Makaze Violet was fought the quartet in game and by Redline and his rookie protégé Bluescreen out of game. They cut away bits of her so that she could be safely contained, and she couldn’t entirely fight back because of the battle in game. Some of that loose code was absorbed unintentionally by Tsurugi, which kicked her evolution into turbo and tipped her over the edge from mere ultra complex program to true self aware AI. But for Tsurugi, it was like achieving enlightenment. The irony of a Goddess having a spiritual awakening was not lost on her later. She ran to her friends to beg them not to leave her here alone…and got caught in the beam that un-digitized them. This shouldn’t have done a damn thing to Tsurugi. 30 seconds earlier, it probably wouldn’t have. So it was a hell of a surprise to literally everyone to have a fourth person standing there when they’d only sent three. Tsurugi didn’t quite look the same. Her game did not have a photo realistic art style at all. Her voice and personality, however, were identical. Redline’s quick investigation revealed the truth. She had made the jump to being an AI literally right then, and the working theory was that because of her proximity to the three humans turned data during their quest and during getting un-digitalized, well… the scanner on the digitization device got confused and brought her back with them. This was a shocking development, especially for Tsurugi. Six months (Three days? What?) ago, she was basically a mindless automaton made of programming code. And now she was both self aware and corporeal. Flesh and blood, kinda. So naturally she had a complete and total meltdown, as anyone suddenly thrown into an entirely different world in an entirely different body (as she understood the concept) would. Probably didn’t help that she was butt naked, except for her tsurugi she was still holding. And uh…it turned out she still had access to her Goddess transformation. Somehow. Oh, boy. While the hacker group was dealing with all of that and their own extreme fatigue, the Nihonto Incident resolved itself. The group sorted out who was taking what, and went their separate ways. Wildcat got that object that supposedly held Mazake Violet, because she had the spare digital storage to keep her in. Redline got the digitization device, because he had the spare physical storage to keep it in. And Wisecracker got Tsurugi, because she had a spare bed for the newly personed girl to sleep on. It was a trial, learning the rules of the physical world. So many new lessons every day. Physical bodies were kind of annoying. Eating and drinking and washing and the toilet and sleeping. Socialization she knew how to do. It was just a matter of adapting existing knowledge. Her programming, not that that word applied anymore. Pain was the worst. It was like she was a newborn baby, except physically a adult. So while she could walk, talk, and reason, everything else about the human experience had to be taught. It was technically a faster process because she wasn’t physiologically developing at the same time, but still. It took the aforementioned newborn babies several years to begin to get a grasp on everything, and over a decade to get something resembling functional. So faster was uh, relative. And occasionally messy. But Wisecracker got the offer to join this Special Tactics group thing, Tsurugi volunteered to fill the last slot on the squad. The last three years have been uh, interesting. She has learned many more new things than she did living in Wisecracker’s apartment. This world isn’t that different from her own. There are still monsters to fight. They are still villains to defeat. And there is much worth protecting. Like her friends in the Watchdogs. And all those innocent citizens. So Tsurugi will continue to draw her sword and fight. The poor girl doesn’t understand at all that she’s on the wrong side, but then again she (in her programmed memories and personality) never cared much for stuffy things like laws and rules. They got in the way of doing what was right too much. Besides, literal Goddess. It’s fiiiine. The one thing about the physical world that she doesn’t quite understand yet that’s incredibly important is that people die when they are killed. Hence why the whole Squad tries very hard to prevent her from intentionally killing anyone or being involved in any assassinations. She still thinks they just come back later. You know, like in her game. Respawn, that’s the word. And various world religions asserting the existence of an afterlife and/or reincarnation doesn’t help. At all. Powers & Tactics: Tsurugi’s body is human. Technically. She’s classified as a mutant with altered physiology, which is one way to put it. She has all the organs in all the right places to be a vanilla human being. Except they don’t quite function in the same way. A doctor would be utterly baffled as to how she’s still alive with all those dysfunctional organs. Yet somehow it all works. There’s plenty of foods she can’t digest, she seems to absorb ambient energy (like static electricity) from the air around her, and oh yeah, she can transform into a more powerful version of herself. The way her transformation seems to work is that she draws in ambient energy even more than normal and somehow converts it her own mass in stunning defiance of how physics is supposed to work. Little bits of matter can release immense amounts of energy, not the other way around. There is a thunderous crack of sound and a near blinding flash of light as she changes. Transformed, she is Tsurugi-no-Okami. Her physical abilities increase dramatically, and her mental abilities also get a boost. She’s adorned in bulletproof skintight armor and can friggin’ fly with a set of mechanical/hard light looking wings. She’s fast in flight, too, able to out distance modern jet liners. In either form she’s a swordswoman of expert skill, but transformed she’s cut cars in half with her namesake weapon. A tsurugi, by the way, is a straight bladed and double edged sword. Literally double edged, as in both sides can cut instead of one. Tactically, Tsurugi has only one option, really. Apply sword to opponent. This is a little deceptive because of her ability to transform. Normally she doesn’t transform at all. Her PL 8 normal state suffices for most encounters because 1) she’s on a team with four other people in it and 2) they work very hard not to have to fight to begin with. So under most circumstances, encounters don’t have a lot of enemies (powerful or otherwise) to deal with. Her job is explicitly to handle the things the otherwise unpowered human members of the squad can’t. As Tsurugi-no-Okami, she can fly and hit harder and more accurately than any of them. She’s a hell of a surprise for a hero team of average PL 8-9 power. Especially because she can both Accurate and Power Attack, and can knock out dodge bonuses before striking with Improved Acrobatic Bluff. Untransformed, she just does her best to stay out of the way and let the others do what they’re good at. Transformed, she’s the front line and plays ferry during retreats. She’s strong enough to carry Digital Shadow or Eclipse alone, or both Dusk Widow and Wisecracker together.. She is currently incapable of power stunting. Personality: Tsurugi-chan (she insists on the honorific when untransformed) is a cute, cheerful airhead. She’s perky, eager, and affectionate to her squadmates, especially Wisecracker. No sense of personal space. She wears her emotions on her sleeve, and can be a little klutzy. But she firmly believes in helping people, even if you have to break the rules. Even after all this time, she’s still a bit lost in the physical world, and can seem quite immature. She is, after all, in some ways only five years old. Slang and idioms will often slide right by her. But at the end of the day she was one of her (admittedly fictional, not that it matters to her) world’s greatest heroes. So she can rein all that in to get the job done. Tsurugi-no-Okami, on the other hand, could never be confused with a child. She even drops the insistence on the honorific. She is regal and mature, with some haughtiness and pride in her abilities. She was, after all, one of her (again admittedly fictional, not that it matters to her) world’s Goddesses. She was the strongest, and she was well aware of it. This has not changed to a large degree. She is still vastly stronger than most of her opponents, and she is well aware of that. She does love a good fight, and loves winning even more. However, she remains level headed, because she’s learned the hard way (though programmed memories that are real to her) that pride goeth before a fall. The backstory to the plot of her first game had the other 3 Goddesses team up and kick her ass for being a jerk and thus stripping her of her powers for a time.
  13. Wisecracker (Donna Quinn) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +3 (16), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +3 (16), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +3/+6, Fort: +6, Ref: +12, Will: +6 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Computers 12 (+15), Craft (electronic) 7 (+10), Craft (mechanical) 7 (+10), Diplomacy 7 (+10), Disable Device 12 (+15), Escape Artist 7 (+10), Knowledge (behavioral science) 7 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 7 (+10), Knowledge (technology) 7 (+10), Language 3 (+3), Notice 7 (+10), Perform (comedy) 7 (+10), Sense Motive 7 (+10), Sleight of Hand 7 (+10), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Specialization 2 (Long Handled Mallet (Device 1)), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Challenge - Improved Feint, Challenge - Improved Taunt, Dodge Focus 5, Evasion, Improved Critical (Mallet Smack (Strike 3)), Improved Trick, Power Attack, Quick Change, Skill Mastery (Acrobatics, Bluff, Disable Device, Stealth), Takedown Attack, Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Long Handled Mallet (Device 1) (Easy to lose; Subtle (subtle)) Mallet Smack (Strike 3) (DC 21, Feats: Improved Critical (Mallet Smack (Strike 3)); Mighty) Toy Gun (Device 5) (Easy to lose) Toy Gun Shells (Array 10) (default power: stun; Precise) Banana Peel Shooter (Trip 6) (Array; Autofire (interval 2, max +5), Knockback; Accurate 2 (+4)) Flying Boxing Glove (Stun 6) (Default; DC 16; Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4)) Knockout Gas Shell (Fatigue 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4)) Mini Stink Bomb (Nauseate 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4)) Van de Graaff's Revenge (Paralyze 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4)) Wisecracker Costume (Device 3) (Hard to lose) Concealed Body Armor (Protection 3) (+3 Toughness; Subtle (subtle)) Enhanced Trait 1 (Feats: Quick Change) Wrist Comm (Datalink 4) (sense type: radio; Omni-Directional Area; Machine Control, Subtle (subtle)) Attack Bonus: +8 (Ranged: +8, Melee: +8, Grapple: +11) Attacks: Banana Peel Shooter (Trip 6), +12 (DC 16), Flying Boxing Glove (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Knockout Gas Shell (Fatigue 6), +12 (DC Fort 16), Mallet Smack (Strike 3), +12 (DC 21), Mini Stink Bomb (Nauseate 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Unarmed Attack, +8 (DC 18), Van de Graaff's Revenge (Paralyze 6), +12 (DC Staged/Will 16) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +3 Languages: English Native, Hebrew, Japanese, Spanish Totals: Abilities 36 + Skills 35 (140 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 31 + Combat 30 + Saves 15 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): Height: 5’ 9” Weight: 145 lbs Ethnicity: African American Hair: Black w/ variable color stripes (stripes are dyed) Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Donna Quinn has saved more lives than anyone will likely ever meet. She’s also broken more laws than anyone likely ever will. She is more or less emblematic of the spirit of the Numbers. The Numbers are a loosely affiliated computer engineer/programmer/hacker collective, scattered across the four corners of the world. They don’t have a hierarchy, let alone any leadership. It’s completely anarchic, and there are no qualifications to join. Members follow who they want to until they no longer do. But if anybody in that chaotic, ever changing not-really-an-organization could be said to be a leader, if anyone could be said to command enough respect to get a large portion of the Numbers to follow her, it would be Donna Quinn. It’s not clear if she knows this, but everybody knows she wouldn’t care and never would do anything about it. It would be contrary to who she is. Donna was an orphan, bouncing chaotically from foster home to foster home. It was her own fault, really. She never was very good at being a good, obedient girl who didn’t make a fuss. Curfews? Broke ‘em. House rules? What are those? Laws? Never heard of ‘em. Oh hi Officer. How ya doin’? One hell of a wild child, and that was all most folks saw. Or bothered to see. Someone young, Black, and female who saw too much, thought too much, spoke too much, and never goddamn listened. Oh yeah, adults loved her. However. Her grades were always immaculate. She never went so far as to seriously injure anyone. And her rule breaking was always on solid moral grounds, if not legal. She was a good person, if not particularly law abiding. It surprised a lot of people Donna bothered to go to college (University of Florida-Go Gators!; she says), and surprised them again when she graduated successfully. Summa Cum Laude, with a bachelor’s in Psychology. She was on the gymnastics team, for heaven’s sake. Won a national All Around Championship. However, her chaotic ways had not ceased in college. She’s simply found a new outlet. She had joined the Numbers after studying computer programming in her spare time, and taken up the name and mask of Wisecracker. Mentored by Wildcat (Julia Chang) and Redline (Isaiah Williams) in the ways of the investigative vigilante, and often partnering with Hack/Slash (Jasmine Tsai), Donna’s breaks were full of espionage, theft, and street justice. Power to the people, she says. Calling her a hero would have been uh, stretching it. A lot Robin Hooder? Now that had got a ring to it. In the middle of this happened the Nihonto Incident. A virtual reality game, first of its kind. Yet another entry in the Ultradimension Tsurugi-chan! series of games. Cyberdimension Tsurugi-chan!: 4 Swords Network. Ten thousand specially selected players from around the world plopped on their VR helmets (specially designed for the new game), logged in for the launch event, and got to playing. It took an hour before the first person realized they couldn’t log out. Poor man had a pizza coming, but alas the helmet had unplugged his voluntary nervous system from his body and into the game. Something had gone terribly wrong, because it wasn’t supposed to be able to do that. Safeguards had allegedly been programmed in to prevent the unplugging part. Naturally the blame fell on the VR helmet’s designer, the eccentric Dr. Kenta Saito. But he could not be reached, for he was supposedly attending the game’s opening logged on. And it was his avatar that proclaimed the new rules of 4 Swords Network to everyone in and out of game. Everyone had to work together to get stronger and defeat the final boss Makaze Violet. Oh, and if they ran out of health in the game or their VR helmet disconnect from the game? The wireless transmitter in their helmet would switch from radio frequencies to high powered microwaves, cooking their brain and causing nearly instant death. It was going to be a lot of fun playing together. So the villain appeared to be Dr. Saito…except he’d been dead for half a day. He was only guilty of a terrible lapse in perception. Makaze Violet had evolved into a full artificial intelligence while retaining her personality and goals as 4 Swords Network’s final boss and main antagonist. When Dr. Saito objected to her plans and tried to shut her down, he was the first to get his brain cooked. And so the poor players were trapped in the game. With an AI playing defense, there wasn’t a hacker or computer programmer in the world who could safely shut the game down without killing anyone. Even superheroes failed, getting their special gear hopelessly bricked or technopathic brains fried. Two years went by. The player count dropped. Hope dimmed. Then a certain Wildcat remembered an old device. Made in 1982 by another eccentric genius. It was capable of digitizing flesh and blood and transporting it to digital space. That old one was hopelessly outdated, but Julia knew various R&D departments had been working on the tech for decades. There was a version out there somewhere that was compatible with modern tech. She put the word out to the Numbers, who found one in Seattle. She contacted Redline, Hack/Slash, and (most importantly to this story) Wisecracker. All three were in, and Redline promised to bring another rookie to help out. They met IRL for the first time and put a plan together. One daring midnight theft and some reconfigurations later, they were ready. Wildcat, Hack/Slash, and Wisecracker were the entry team. The two technopaths (Redline and the aforementioned rookie Bluescreen) would run interference with the AI to make sure it didn’t notice them. The trio was inside the game for only a few days. However, from their perspective it was far longer. As digital data, they experienced time far faster than normal human speed, so it was about six months for them. The two technopaths could compensate to communicate with them at need; however the actual players had no such advantages. So the trio was on their own…mostly. Since they were data, Redline was able to hack their game statistics up to level normally impossible for player or non player characters. And while 3 of the 4 Sword Goddesses lay broken and defeated, he was able to half rescue one. The titular Tsurugi-chan. the newly minted quartet curb stomped every boss monster and guardian creature Makaze Violet would dig up to throw at them and finally battled the AI herself in a titanic battle. She tried to crush the “cheaters”, but found herself bound by the rules of her own game. When four powerful swords unite against her, she is always defeated. The broken remains of the other 3 Sword Goddesses gave their blessing on the fight. After a terrific struggle, Makaze Violet suffered defeat and eviction from control of 4 Swords Network. With the renegade AI hopelessly shackled and then imprisoned in a mobile hard drive, the players of 4 Swords Network suddenly found it a very different game. One less hostile to the concept of their victory, and more fair to winning. Redline extracted the trio and surprisingly, Tsurugi herself. Several factors (interacting with the human trio for months and absorbing shed fragments of their and Makaze Violet’s data during the battle, among other things) had forced her to evolve into an AI and then altered her code enough to confuse the digitization device into believing her one of the group. So while the reunited group was dealing with that and their own intense exhaustion (and before they could even consider reprogramming options), the players discovered their path of destruction and cleared the game. Everyone was free. The Nihonto Incident had come to an end. The fallout from it, however, is best discussed elsewhere. Because Wisecracker and the rest had nothing to do with it. At any rate, they didn’t exactly call a press conference to announce they’d saved several thousand people’s lives. They did it because it needed doing, not for the glory…outside of online Numbers hangouts, anyway. Also they’d kiiiiinda stolen a multi-million dollar piece of tech from a multi-billion dollar corporation to do it and weren’t giving it back because fuck ‘em. For the record, Wildcat kept the hard drive with Makaze Violet inside and Redline kept the digitization device, both of them because they had the space (digital for Wildcat, physical for Redline) to store them. And because Wisecracker was the one with the extra bed, she got stuck with Tsurugi. Or Miyuki Harada, as she said her real name was. And since yanno, group of skilled hackers, she soon had a legal identity that matched. Wisecracker’s antics now had a partner. It was a little rough on the finances to have another mouth to feed and educate about the world she was now in, but whatever. Could’ve shoved Tsurugi back into 4 Swords Network, sure, but the Bad Plan alarm went off in everyone’s head. Because yanno, one AI caused the problems with the game in the first place. Let’s not go down that road again, ‘kay? Also the game was probably going to be shut down and she’d probably die when they did that. Being a party to murder would be so uncool. So they kept her around. Donna put in the work and got her Master’s in Psychology, just in time for Digital Shadow to reach out through the Numbers with a job offer. Not for Donna and her shiny new degree, but for Wisecracker. Normally, this would have likely gone to Wildcat, Redline, or perhaps even Hack/Slash, but he knew that they were already members of their own crews that absolutely would not fit in the two spaces he had remaining. And said crews had their own leaders who were not them. So doubly conflicting. So Wisecracker got the call, and she brought Tsurugi along with her to take that last slot. Three years down the road, and everything’s going pretty great, actually. The Watchdogs don’t actually work full time, you know? So Donna had the time to get her Doctorate, and now works as a psychologist who rotates through several different free clinics. Between that, dealing with Tsurugi, and Watchdogs missions she’s very, very busy. Life is good. The authorities have not yet connected the activities of the supervillain (by their classification, not hers) Wisecracker to Doctor Donna Quinn, Ph. D. Powers & Tactics: Wisecracker has no superhuman powers. She uses three technological (sort of) devices of her own creation. Her Long Handled Mallet is just a polo mallet with an extended handle so she can use it two handed. The handle itself collapses so she can wear it at her waist when not in use. Also worn at her waist is her Toy Gun. It is an oversized toy revolver. Seriously, .50 caliber bullets would be too small, so it’s obviously a toy. What’s not a toy is the homemade shells she loads into it and the customizations that allow it to fire them. But these aren’t bullets. That wouldn’t be funny. They’re all more exotic effects than a mere bullet. Banana Peel Shooter fires greased banana peels to make the target to slip, fall, and literally slide away. When it works, It’s hilarious. The Flying Boxing Glove is a shell that explodes into (what else?) a boxing glove to hit the target. At the speed of a fired bullet. Painful, and can knock the target out, but not incapable of causing any real damage. The Knockout Gas Shell explodes into an anesthetic gas on impact with a target, attempting to put them to sleep. The Mini Stink Bomb also explodes on impact, into a cloud of sulfurous gas that can render its target too nauseated to function. Van de Graff’s Revenge is a gel capsule with a certain electric charge. It does its best to shut down the target’s voluntary nervous system on impact. Her last device is her Wisecracker Costume. It has body armor, is easy to put on quickly, and has a Wrist Comm that lets her hack anything within a mile radius. She is a very good hacker. She used to wear the armor underneath a more awkward costume, but working for the STG has its benefits. It resembles a jester’s motley but with a full cowl and the bells silenced for stealth reasons. Tactically, Wisecracker has a wealth of options available to her. She relies on Bluff and Stealth to stay out of unnecessary combat. Her first approach if confronted during an op is to get away. She does not hesitate to use her Toy Gun’s Flying Boxing Glove, Mini Stink Bomb, or Van de Graff’s Revenge settings in this case. In open combat she relies on her Toy Gun, switching to her Long Handled Mallet only if disarmed or the heroes close the distance. She has the Improved versions of Acrobatic Bluff and Feint to remove dodge bonuses, and Improved Taunt to whack saves down at need. Improved Trick and Power Attack also have their uses, though she has yet to use Power Attack with her Long Handled Mallet on a living target. She does not power stunt except in absolute desperation, as doing so damages her Toy Gun. These are Dazzle 6 (Visual Senses; Burst Area) and Snare 6 (Burst Area). Personality: Fuck The Police. All Cops Are Bastards. Eat The Rich. Power To The People. Speak Truth To Power. Etcetera. Ad nauseam. And so on.Wisecracker realized from a very early age (at about age 9, after the planes hit the towers and Starman II died) that adults were full of shit. They claimed they knew best, but they didn’t know what the hell they were doing any better than she did. So she started trying to figure it out for herself. Later events (like the pathetic federal response after Hurricane Katrina) only confirmed her rebellious ideology. The system was broken, and the people who gave a shit were outnumbered and outgunned by the people who did. That is, if you though the system could be reformed in the first place. Yeah, fuck that. She was gonna work outside the system as much as possible, and Robin Hood this thing. Take back what the billionaires stole from the common people, a little bit at a time. And then give it back where she could. This isn’t to say that she’s perpetually angry. No, she’s chosen to laugh instead of scream in rage. Life is to be enjoyed. And there’s nothing more enjoyable that doing harm to dickheads with her weapons and her words. What’s a few wisecracks between colleagues in criminality? And she’s not exclusively a criminal. She spends just as much time in various low income communities helping with various things as Donna Quinn. She’s a noted psychologist and community organizer. If there is going to be real change, then it’s coming from the bottom up and not the top down. She is kind. She does cares about doing good and right, and works tirelessly to make sure that (in her mind) she is doing so. She’s a great therapist and her patients adore her. She bashes real supervillains for being selfish dickheads when she catches them in the act. If she upheld the law instead of breaking it all the time, she’d be one hell of a superhero. But she knows very well that right and wrong have little to do with legal and illegal. And so she’s seen as a supervillain instead.
  14. Eclipse (Adam Holloway) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +3 (16), INT: +3 (16), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +0 (10) Tough: +3/+9, Fort: +6, Ref: +9, Will: +9 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 10 (+10), Craft (electronic) 12 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 12 (+15), Diplomacy 10 (+10), Gather Information 10 (+10), Knowledge (physical sciences) 12 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 12 (+15), Language 2 (+2), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (ranged) 4, Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Dodge Focus 2, Evasion, Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Silenced Submachine Gun (Blast 4)), Improved Initiative, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Change, Quick Draw, Skill Mastery (Craft (elec & mech), Notice, Stealth), Ultimate Effort (Aim), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Saboteur Arsenal (Device 5) (Easy to lose; Custom 5 (Multiple Weapons 5)) Saboteur Arsenal (Array 11) (default power: blast; Custom (Array 10.5)) Dart Gun (Paralyze 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged); Improved Range (150 ft. incr), Progression, Increase Range (max range x2, 1500 feet), Subtle (subtle)) Flash Bomb Thrower (Dazzle 7) (Array; affects: visual senses, DC 17; Burst Area (35 ft. radius - General)) Minigrenade Launcher (Blast 7) (Array; DC 22; Burst Area (35 ft. radius - General)) Silenced Sniper Rifle (Blast 6) (Default; DC 21; Penetrating [3 ranks only]; Improved Range 2 (300 ft. incr), Precise, Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 3000 feet), Subtle (subtle)) Silenced Submachine Gun (Blast 4) (Array; DC 19, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Silenced Submachine Gun (Blast 4)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate (+2), Precise, Subtle (subtle)) Saboteur Suit (Device 5) (Hard to lose) Body Armor (Protection 6) (+6 Toughness) Goggles (Super-Senses 4) (extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), infravision, ultravision) Infiltration Gear (Array 7) (default power: morph) Electronic Invisibility (Concealment 10) (Alternate; all senses; Limited to Machines) Negative Light Projection (Concealment 4) (Alternate; all visual senses; Passive) Holographic Disguise (Morph 6) (Default; morph: broad group - humanoids, +30 Disguise; Precise) Attack Bonus: +8 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +8, Grapple: +10) Attacks: Dart Gun (Paralyze 6), +12 (DC Staged/Will 16), Flash Bomb Thrower (Dazzle 7) (DC Fort/Ref 17), Minigrenade Launcher (Blast 7) (DC 22), Silenced Sniper Rifle (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Silenced Submachine Gun (Blast 4), +14 (DC 19), Unarmed Attack, +8 (DC 17) Defense: +9 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -4 Initiative: +7 Languages: English Native, Hebrew, Spanish Totals: Abilities 28 + Skills 32 (128 ranks) + Feats 20 + Powers 40 + Combat 30 + Saves 15 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): Height: 6’ Weight: 180 lbs. Ethnicity: Caucasian Hair: Light Brown Eyes: Gray Background: Adam Holloway’s daddy never beat the devil out of him, even after a childhood of trying. Hell, all the Army did was channel that inner bastard into something productive. Killing people the Army needed dead. He enlisted after graduating high school at 18. Took him seven years to get to Sergeant First Class. During that time he attended college at night, graduating with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. Then he joined US Special Forces. The Green Berets. He was assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group, out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. One of their Weapons Sergeants. 25 year old sniper par excellence, according to the Army. Which was why he attended Sniper School in Fort Benning, Georgia during his first rotation Stateside. 3rd SFG do six months in Afghanistan and six months at home. He drew the short straw, leaving soon after joining up. A year later (placing it after Sniper School), 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment–Delta (1st SFOD-D, aka Delta Force) put out an ad for new recruits. Adam liked the Green Berets, but the devil inside had grown restless. There was nothing on his record. Yet. But his CO was concerned. Adam worked too hard. He volunteered for extra duties and additional training all the time. And he rarely interacted without anyone outside of professional necessity. His social life, by appearances, did not exist. He was crosstrained well enough to outright replace any other member of his unit, his lower rank aside. It bothered his Captain, and the Lieutenant Colonel in overall command. Adam Holloway drove himself like someone was chasing him with a flaming whip. The hell could make a man do that to himself? But his record was spotless. He was, by all appearances, a hell of a soldier with no apparent psychological issues. So they let him go to Delta Force selection Camp Dawson, West Virginia. Delta Force selection is four weeks of hell. Most fail. Elite Army Rangers, Green Berets, and other professional badasses physically break during the exhausting physical portion, or mentally crack during the intense interrogation that follows. Adam thrived as if he was born to do the physical portion. It was the interrogation that dragged the devil out of him as he metaphorically kicked and screamed. He didn’t hurt anybody. Didn’t even need to be restrained. But he scared the instructors and psychologists shitless. Delta’s CO, however, grinned fiercely. The Colonel had been looking for a cold bastard, and by god he’d found one. Adam was in. He underwent the Operator Training Course and again thrived. He was assigned to the new (at the time) D Squadron. He served for five years in their reconnaissance and surveillance troop, commanding a team as a promoted Master Sergeant. It was the single best five years of his life. He performed so well, in fact, that he was specially chosen for a pilot program in tandem with the CIA. Named Operation Eclipse, the goal was to infiltrate the supers scene and find out exactly why in blazes it had exploded in the past 3 years (being as this was 2012, 3 years after the founding of the Exiles, and the year after NPC Investigations got up and running; they were not the only ones to surge forward). Adam got special equipment developed by DARPA and met his CIA partner on this operation. Ishani Dhawan, who was already using the codename Dusk Widow. This was uh, interesting. Adam had been firmly ensconced in the Army and Army life for over a decade now. Living a civilian life, even in the context of a mission, was definitely an adjustment. But he still had a superior, and he still had orders. He was surprised Officer Dhawan remembered him, but that was part of her job, wasn’t it? Remembering people. This mission, in a lot of ways, was more challenging than anything he had done before. Observing and reporting wasn’t new. But combat with superhuman opposition and no backup was. 4 years in, the Colonel retired. The new Colonel made in clear that he was continuing the pilot program just to keep Adam out of the unit. The man had seen his psych eval, and gotten just as alarmed as any normal person would. This was fine with Adam. They (Digital Shadow, Dusk Widow, and Eclipse) had gotten a job offer. He had a feeling his life was about to get even more interesting. Adam’s feeling was right. In three years of STG work, he’s seen more action than the combined seven years of Delta Force and Green Beret work. His daddy couldn’t beat the devil out of him. The Army could only channel it. But the STG doesn’t have rules like that. He’s pretty sure the new Colonel hasn’t read a single one of his reports. He’d have had less work if the man did. No. The man’s less soldier and more political animal. He’s absolutely read them and is hanging Adam out to dry just to get rid of him. If Eclipse is ever caught, there’s a big pile of reports to bury Adam and the old Colonel under. The longer he spends with the STG, the more he considers doing something about that… Powers & Tactics: Eclipse has no superhuman powers. He only has two devices and the tech skills to maintain and improve upon them should he decide to do so. Though technically his Saboteur Arsenal is five different weapons. They were designed and created by the Defense Sciences Office (or DSO) inside of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA). The Saboteur Arsenal was just some basic engineering work, mostly. It’s the ammunition that’s cutting edge work. A Dart Gun that fires darts coated in a paralytic poison without any long term side effects. A launcher for high powered yet miniaturized Flash Bombs. Another launcher for high powered yet miniaturized Fragmentation Grenades. Two very nice firearms in a Sniper Rifle and Submachine Gun, both fitted with integral silencers. It is the Saboteur Suit that has a wonder of electronic engineering. The Body Armor is well made, offering more resilency and flexibility than standard issue military body armor. And Goggles are also cutting edge, extending the wearer’s vision while expanding visual senses into the infrared and ultraviolet ranges. It is, however, the Infiltration Gear that rides the bleeding edge of current technology. It’s pure holographic tech, confiscated from a now deceased supervillain years ago and refined since. Thought DARPA and the DSO did get a bit overzealous on seeking mass production methods. Eclipse had to make significant alterations so that it would consistently function and not be as heavy on drain the power supply. There are two possible functions. Holographic Disguise is just that. Only the keenest of eyes can pierce through the disguising holograms and see Eclipse beneath. Alternatively, the holograms can hide him from all technological equipment, as well as the eyes of any organics. The latter effect is unfortunately broken by the higher level of movement required to attack a target. Not that it can’t be reactivated, of course, but still. Tactically, it depends. Eclipse is either on sniper overwatch or using Holographic Disguise to infiltrate. As a sniper, he’s not about to betray his position by using anything but the Silenced Sniper Rifle or Dart Gun. Normally, this means he’s at least 200 feet away from where the team is operating reporting to them important details of what he sees. If an infilitration operation is blown, however, things change. If there’s no chance of salvaging the operation’s goals, then it’s time for escape and evasion. If he personally isn’t discovered, he’ll just slip away to start sniper overwatch. It’s when he is discovered that the other weapons come out. Flash Bomb Launcher and the Dart Gun are useful here, as well as the Silenced Submachine Gun. And of course, groups of enemies can be targeted with Minigrenade Launcher. If the enemies are known supervillains or prominent crime figures, he’ll absolutely kill them if they don’t back off. Heroes and law enforcement he keeps to nonlethal with. Improved Acrobatic Bluff and Stealth are his best friends in combat. All Out Attack is only used when sniping. He has no power stunts available. Personality: Eclipse is very psychologically unusual. His precise mental disorder (or disorders) is unclear, as he displays elements of Borderline Personality Disorder and Partial Dissociative Identity Disorder. For the former, the self harm (via intensive exercise and repetitive training) and dangerous behaviors (he’s slowly worked his way from regular soldier to elite soldier used for difficult missions to super elite soldier used for impossible missions to essentially a professional supervillain working for some of the most dangerous people in the world), along with the expected unstable interpersonal relationships (note the lack of any familial, platonic, or romantic relationships mentioned in Background) and distorted sense of self (the whole “devil” thing). The latter is only partial because he remembers the incidents when his “devil” comes out and while he admits to not fully being in control during these events, he does not distinguish it as a completely separate person from himself. Said “devil” apparently has Antisocial Personality Disorder (or sociopathy) and is disturbingly sadistic and capable of extreme violence. It isn’t so much a different personality (his body language, mannerisms, and speech patterns are the same) so much as the humanity simply falling off him in terrifying fashion. In practice, he’s a stoic ultra professional soldier type who doesn’t talk much. And when he does get chatty, you need to be running. Fast. Ideallly through somewhere with lots of cover. He does, under normal circumstances, care about people. In social situations he’s personable enough, but obviously guarded and a little awkward. He had no idea how to interact with people “off the clock”. Yes, he’s quite capable of killing people, but in normal circumstances that’s because he’s been training and operating as a professional soldier for his entire adult life. Soldiers who can’t use their weapons on the enemy don’t get into the Green Berets, let alone Delta Force. Honestly, he’s just trying very hard not to be hated. He doesn’t want to be hatred. His father very clearly hated him.
  15. Dusk Widow (Ishani Dhawan) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +1 (12), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +2/+5, Fort: +7, Ref: +12, Will: +8 Skills: Acrobatics 12 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Computers 9 (+10), Diplomacy 12 (+15), Disable Device 14 (+15), Disguise 12 (+15), Gather Information 12 (+15), Knowledge (current events) 9 (+10), Knowledge (tactics) 9 (+10), Language 6 (+6), Medicine 3 (+5), Notice 13 (+15), Sense Motive 13 (+15), Sleight of Hand 12 (+15), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Focus (ranged) 2, Attack Specialization (Unarmed Attack), Connected, Contacts, Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus 3, Evasion, Improved Critical 2 (Spider Blast (Blast 6)), Improved Critical 2 (Spider Toxin (Blast 6)), Improved Critical 2 (Web Blast (Snare 6)), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Precise Shot, Quick Change, Quick Draw, Second Chance 2 (Toughness saves vs Ballistic and Piercing), Skill Mastery 2 (Acrobatics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Escape Artist, Gather Info, Notice, Sense Motive, Ste, Takedown Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed Powers: Concealed Body Armor (Device 1) (Hard to lose) Protection 2 (+2 Toughness, Feats: Second Chance 2 (Toughness saves vs Ballistic and Piercing); Subtle (subtle)) Immunity 1 (poison) Spider Blasters (Device 5) (Easy to lose) Blaster Settings (Array 10) (default power: blast) Spider Blast (Blast 6) (Default; DC 21, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Spider Blast (Blast 6)); Autofire (interval 2, max +5)) Spider Paralyze (Paralyze 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged); Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Spider Slumber (Fatigue 6) (Array; DC 16; Range (ranged); Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Spider Toxin (Blast 6) (Array; DC 21, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Spider Toxin (Blast 6)); Alternate Save (Fortitude)) Web Blast (Snare 6) (Array; DC 16, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Web Blast (Snare 6)); Transparent) Web Lines (Linked) Speed 3 (Linked; Speed: 50 mph, 440 ft./rnd) Super-Movement 4 (Linked; slow fall, swinging, wall-crawling 2 (full speed)) Attack Bonus: +10 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +10, Grapple: +12) Attacks: Spider Blast (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Spider Paralyze (Paralyze 6), +12 (DC Staged/Will 16), Spider Slumber (Fatigue 6), +12 (DC Fort 16), Spider Toxin (Blast 6), +12 (DC Fort 21), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 17), Web Blast (Snare 6), +12 (DC Ref/Staged 16) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -2 Initiative: +7 Languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, Persian, Russian, Spanish Totals: Abilities 26 + Skills 40 (160 ranks) + Feats 21 + Powers 20 + Combat 38 + Saves 20 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): Height: 5’ 3” Weight: 115 lbs. Ethnicity: Indian-American Hair: Black Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Ishani Dhawan has a lot of red in her ledger. She had a relatively normal childhood and normal young adulthood, at least until she joined the CIA. She ended up recruited as a Paramilitary Operations Officer who was assigned to the Special Activities Division (now Center), specifically in the Special Operations Group. This was somewhat unusual, as she hadn’t served in within the US Special Operations community at all. In fact, she was a college graduate with both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree and no time spent in state or federal service at all. The SAC/SOG is a secretive and reclusive group, to say the least, and they notably don’t normally recruit mundane civilians. So it’s baffling why she’d be recruited…until you look at what her degrees are in (a bachelor’s in computer programming and a master’s in political science specializing in international relations), her extracurriculars (black belts in Krav Maga and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, significant training in wrestling and boxing, and stellar performances at several international shooting competitions with both FISU and the ISSF), and her family history (until her parents’ generation, a Dhawan or ancestor thereof had served with distinction in one military or another as far back as records go, which is prior to the birth of the Dutch East India Company). She was a hell of a hard worker with solid natural aptitudes. Her initial training proved she had what it took to be an excellent CIA Officer, and SAC/SOG nabbed her relatively quickly. The things she did as a Paramilitary Operations Officer are about as classified as it’s possible to be. She doesn’t talk about them. Any of them. But given what SAC/SOG is known to do, she basically done everything the worst of supervillains might do. Lying to gain trust, manipulating people, unlawful infiltration, theft, espionage, torture, and even murder. Except she did them for her country and not for her own personal benefit. How that makes it any better, she doesn’t know. She just knows she saved lives in the process, and that has to be enough. She’s the only one to ever successfully catch Marcus Peters, alias Digital Shadow. And that was because she was operating domestically at the time in the guise of Dusk Widow, a occasionally appearing superhero. Even though the CIA isn’t supposed to operate domestically, they do keep a small number of Officers available to assist the FBI and various other federal agencies. Also, c’mon. It’s the CIA. Of course they have their own domestic operations they don’t tell anybody about. Especially in a superpowered world. She wasn’t actually trying to catch him, which is how she did it. They happened to be after the same target, and collided. She didn’t even know who he was until later. Let’s You And Him Fight, except she paralyzed him with one shot so it wasn’t actually a fight. And like all of those classic situations, it led to a team up where they took down the bad guy in question. She didn’t report him. Not her job, really. Especially if she kept him on as her own asset. Which she did. It was mutually beneficial. They provided each other with information and backup. It wasn’t, however, quite enough. Two people were not quite enough to investigate the explosive growth of the supers scene that started in 2009. She wasn’t the only SAC/SOG Officer on the case, but they were stretched thin as always due to their miniscule numbers. So she called in a couple of favors from her early days. Sergeant First Class-oh, excuse her-Master Sergeant Adam Holloway had moved up in the world since she’d seen him last as a Green Beret, deep in Afghanistan. He was Delta Force now, and exactly what she needed. Her first called in favor got him assigned to her as part of a pilot program named Operation Eclipse. The second got him his current set of gear. If this was going to work, Dusk Widow needed a partner. Hello, Eclipse. Speaking of Dust Widow, this identity was not created for Ishani. Rather, it belonged originally to Nikki Brown, a fledgling gadgeteer hero. She was also Ishani’s first asset on her mission. With a CIA Officer at her back, she should have been set to be a big name on the hero scene in time. Unfortunately, like so many, she did not get out of her first year. A certain sociopathic gang leader with superhuman strength and regenerative powers (driven out of another city by its heroes) stormed the original Dusk Widow’s neighborhood, sought her out, and beat the rookie heroine to death to establish dominance. Ishani, annoyed and (not that she’d admit it to herself) grieving for Nikki and what she could have been, took a week and a half to seduce and brutally murder (five bullets to the head and turning his neck into sashimi with a meat cleaver was just enough to exsanguinate him before he healed) the son of a bitch at one of her safehouses. Then she retrieved Nikki’s Spider Blasters from his gang’s hideout and instigated a shootout between said gang and the police, escaping in the resulting chaos. She is not pretending to be Nikki. She is pretending to be her friend and successor. This is not as much of a lie as she pretends it is. 4 years after recruiting Eclipse into the partnership, Digital Shadow was unexpectedly recruited by the Strength Revolution’s Special Tactics Group, thanks to their member Aeon. The duo turned trio had chased down a lot of leads as to the source of the explosive growth of the supers scene that started in 2009, as well as done quite a bit of Digital Shadow’s preferred investigative vigilantism. Ishani didn’t mind, as investigative vigilantism was basically in her job description, with the minor technicality of “don’t do it in the US” that she was pretending didn’t exist. She has kept up her usual steady stream of reports since, but has not mentioned that The Watchdogs are actually STG Squad C to her superiors. They’re not doing anything different from before, so it’s fine. Or so she says. The truth is that she’s wildly exceeded her authority and is just as wildly counting on the fact that she’s getting results to keep her from being disavowed and hunted down. Truthfully, the CIA knows they don’t have to lift a finger. Either she’ll keep providing excellent intel from deep within the supers scene, or she’ll be captured and imprisoned in which case they can easily disavow. Powers & Tactics: Dusk Widow has one minor metahuman power, and two technological devices. Her metahuman power is a complete immunity to mundane poisons. Her liver and kidneys are friggin’ incredible at processing out foreign chemicals before they can measurably affect her. Ironically, she’s never noticed this, as she’s never been much of a drinker nor ever needed significant pain relief as adult. Her parents certainly thought it was weird, though, when she was sick as a kid and children’s acetaminophen did nothing. This ignorance is actually rather dangerous; as she can’t have surgical procedures (normal anesthesia won’t work) and a severe enough infection will kill her because she’ll process out normal antibiotics too fast for them to have an effect. She’d need Morgan Knight’s special grade stuff for anything to have an effect, and saying that’s restricted is like saying water is slightly moist. Her two devices are a set of Concealed Body Armor that increases her resistance to damage (especially to gunfire, arrows, and piercing blades) and the Spider Blasters. They’re a pair of matched custom blasters, and have an astonishing six standard settings (hinting at the late Nikki Brown’s potential for greatness). The base effect is Spider Blast, multiple shots from each Blaster. This is a damaging electrical effect. Spider Paralyze, on the other hand, is a blast of microwave radiation that can render a target immobile with pain. Spider Slumber is an infrared radiation effect that can render targets unconscious. Spider Toxin is deliberately misnamed. It’s a potent blast of gamma radiation that can cook the target from the inside out. Web Blast is even more deliberately misnamed, because it’s not chemical adhesives. It captures the target in a lattice of hard light webbing. Only the target can break it, as the lattice is too fine and flexible to be damage from outside. The last setting is Web Lines, which nanofilament wire, grappling hook anchors, and magnetism to let the user swing around as fast as a car in a city. It also can save from falls and climb up walls at the same speed. Tactically, Dusk Widow is a spy first and foremost. Deception is the order of the day. So she’s using Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, and Stealth to avoid discovery and the ensuing combat as much as possible. Her first priority, should her current objectives be either completed or delayable, is to escape from heroes who confront her. Web Lines gets her away from slower heroes. Spider Paralyze and Web Blast get her away from faster ones. If her current objectives are both incomplete and non delayable, then she fights. No mercy and no pity, but no lethal damage either. Flip through the array, find the setting that works, abuse it, repeat. She’s knowledgeable about heroic archetypes, so she won’t have to flip between settings as much if a targeted hero adheres to one of them. Acrobatic Bluff, Fient, and Taunt are available, if not Improved. She does not power stunt, as that would damage the Spider Blasters and she doesn’t have the tech skills to repair them. Dusk Widow is a level headed, strong willed, independent woman. Otherwise she’s difficult to pin down. Being a spy, especially one as independent as SAC/SOG Officers need to be, results in a certain…flexibility…in one’s personality. She can be just about anything at any time, depending on needs. A few things, however, can be determined. She has courage in spades. She has a snarky, sarcastic sense of humor. Her empathy for her fellow humans is seemingly without limit. The things she’ll do for them are equally without limit. She joined the CIA to protect people. To be the knife in the dark all evil must fear. And she’s still doing that. She’s not under any illusions that what she’s doing is good or moral, but it is necessary. It has to be. Because otherwise she and just about everyone she knows is a terrible, monstrous person, and that’s not an option she’s willing to accept. She’s also not willing to accept that she’s in way over her head and beholden to two masters now. She desperately hopes she’ll never have to chose between The Watchdogs and the CIA. Because she’s no longer sure what side she’d fall on.
  16. Digital Shadow (Marcus Pierce) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +7 (24), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +2 (14) Tough: +2/+5, Fort: +5, Ref: +12, Will: +7 Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Computers 13 (+20), Craft (electronic) 8 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 3 (+10), Diplomacy 8 (+10), Disable Device 8 (+15), Drive 2 (+5), Gather Information 13 (+15), Knowledge (current events) 3 (+10), Knowledge (streetwise) 8 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 8 (+15), Language 5 (+5), Notice 8 (+10), Sense Motive 8 (+10), Sleight of Hand 7 (+10), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Attack Focus (ranged) 4, Contacts, Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus 5, Eidetic Memory, Improved Critical 2 (Blaster Shot (Blast 6)), Inventor, Master Plan, Online Research, Second Chance 2 (Toughness saves vs Ballistic and Piercing), Skill Mastery (Computers, Disable Device, Gather Info, KN (tech)), Ultimate Effort (Computers skill checks), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory), Well-Informed Powers: Concealed Body Armor (Device 1) (Hard to lose; Subtle (subtle)) Protection 2 (+2 Toughness, Feats: Second Chance 2 (Toughness saves vs Ballistic and Piercing); Subtle (subtle)) Custom Smartphone (Device 6) (Easy to lose) Custom Apps (Array 12) (default power: esp) Hack The World (Datalink 6) (Array; sense type: radio; Omni-Directional Area; Machine Control, Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Hidden Observation (ESP 5) (Default; affects: 2 types, inc. visual; No Conduit, Simultaneous; Medium; Subtle 2 (unnoticable), Notes: Medium of Technology) Maximum Privacy Worm (Concealment 10) (Array; all senses; Limited to Machines; Close Range) Shutdown Worm Blitz (Nullify 6) (Array; counters: all powers of (type) - technology, DC 16; Burst Area (10-3000 ft. radius - General); Range (touch); Progression, Decrease Area 4 (-4 ranks), Progression, Increase Area 6 (area x100), Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Targeted Shutdown Worm (Nullify 6) (Array; counters: all powers of (type) - technology, DC 16; Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate (+2), Precise, Subtle 2 (unnoticable), Triggered 2 (any trigger)) Remote (Features 1) (Notes: Functions like a “universal remote control” in relationship to machines that include such capabilities, turning them on or off or controlling them like a regular remote would.) Still A Smartphone (Features 1) (Notes: Full functionality of a masterwork smartphone.) Heavy Blaster (Device 4) (Easy to lose) Blaster Shot (Blast 6) (DC 21, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Blaster Shot (Blast 6)); Accurate (+2), Homing (1 attempt), Precise, Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Stun Shot (Stun 6) (Alternate; DC 16; Range (ranged); Accurate (+2)) Masterwork Baton (Device 1) (Easy to lose) Baton Strike (Strike 2) (DC 19; Accurate 2 (+4), Mighty) Attack Bonus: +6 (Ranged: +10, Melee: +6, Grapple: +8) Attacks: Baton Strike (Strike 2), +10 (DC 19), Blaster Shot (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Shutdown Worm Blitz (Nullify 6) (DC Will 16), Stun Shot (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Targeted Shutdown Worm (Nullify 6), +12 (DC Will 16), Unarmed Attack, +6 (DC 17) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +4), Knockback: -2 Initiative: +3 Languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, Japanese, Russian, Spanish Totals: Abilities 36 + Skills 29 (116 ranks) + Feats 19 + Powers 38 + Combat 26 + Saves 17 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): 42 Height: 6’ 3” Weight: 215 lbs. Ethnicity: African American Hair: Black Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Marcus Pierce is the single longest tenured computer hacker in the world. He has never been interrupted by imprisonment or fleeing the authorities. They simply can’t find him. 20 unbroken years of seeking justice and sticking it to The Man. They don’t even know his real name or what he looks like. He has more than earned his catchphrase. You can’t catch a digital shadow. Part of this has been luck, especially in the early running. But more and more it’s because he’s not a pure black hat. His black hat hacking (theft, destroying digital property, etc) only keeps him in funds to pursue his white hat hacking (exposing secrets to law enforcement and the media, repairing gaps in the digital security of charities, etc). It ain’t easy being Black in America. It’s tempting to say everything started when the supervillain Aeon came to crash on his couch back when he was 18 and an underclassman at MIT. But naw. It started with being born. Chicago. The Southside. Poor, Black, shitty neighborhood. You know how it goes. Childhood was aight, personally speaking. Extended family caught some bullshit, but that’s life. But you start looking even a little bit like a man? In that neighborhood? Cops start thinking you fit the profile. Lil’ white ladies stay away from you on the street. Store clerks eyeball you like you walked in naked and female instead of Black and male. So yeah, for Marcus it started early. Because he wasn’t just Black and male. He was damn smart, too. He has to mind his Ps and Qs. Can’t piss off the cops. Can’t piss off the gangs. Gotta stay outta trouble, or he’d have been just another statistic. All while knowing damn well that the city, state, and federal governments could be doing better for those left in poverty. He had a plan, and it wasn’t community organizing. See the murder of Fred Hampton. Beyond perfect GPA+the right extracurriculars+no trouble in his background=easy scholarship bait. So he’s at MIT. Joined the fledgling Numbers. Earned a little respect maybe. And a bonafide celebrity in the group needed a place to crash. One small problem. She’s a known supervillain. Name and (costumed) face all over the news. Nobody who had the space wanted her, and nobody who’d take her had the space. Except Marcus. So Courtney Halloran came to stay with Marcus Pierce. They got along like a house on fire. People thought he’d gotten an older girlfriend, but it wasn’t like that. Okay it was a little like that. Because he was 18 and she was a) reasonably attractive, b)nice to him, and c) apparently not a huge fan of pants when relaxing at home. Nothing ever happened, though, because they were simply t0o different. Courtney was a full eight years older, which is a hell of a lot when you’re 18. And the cultural differences between a a woman from the suburban Mid-West and a young man from the Southside of Chicago were stark. Maybe a decade or two later, something would have sparked, but in the late 90s? Nah. They were just friends. They talked about a lot of things. How they grew up. The supervillain lifestyle. Hell, computer engineering/programming/hacking. Of course, nothing in this life lasts forever. About a year later Valine came calling for a new STG member, and she moved out. Digital Shadow was born once Marcus got his Bachelor’s in Computer Programming. 1999 was a banner year for computer security and computer hacking. Digital Shadow was just one of the crowd, notable only for his refusal to be purely black or white hat. But his reputation grew, and his catchphrase began to circulate. Ironically, the originator was found and jailed on suspicion of being him. In 2001, he got his Masters degree and 9/11 changed everything. In 2003, Anonymous was founded in response to the growing membership of the Numbers. In 2005, he launched the info trading bulletin board Shadowland. It was instantly populated by the Numbers, members of Anonymous, and others interested in truth. Wikileaks, launched the year after, was left chagrined. The hacktivist Digital Shadow was now a figure mentioned occasionally on the nightly news, along with his one man operation in Shadowland. Shadowland does not and never has had servers. Marcus essentially used cloud computing to solve the somewhat intractable problem of needing eventually traceable servers for his web site. Crib a little storage and processing power from a few million computers via a virus, what could go wrong? A lot, actually, but Marcus is a genuine genius programmer. And he had access to the hive mind of the Numbers to help him. Name a scandal, Shadowland probably broke it first or had it stolen out from under them. The problem was that there were for every one that got out, there were a dozen that just…didn’t seem to matter. Corruption and cronyism. Marcus was devoting his life to exposing the ugly truth behind what a lot of wealthy people, corporations, and/or authority figures were up to. But apparently money and personal loyalty trumped (ironically enough considering a certain NYC real estate mogul) facts. So Digital Shadow started taking matters into his own hands. Because if the law won’t do it, than the citizens must. Also, you know, fuck the police in general. So Digital Shadow went from computer hacker to vigilante. Not superhero. Vigilante. The goal wasn’t murder or even killing anyone at all. It was to cause just enough of a ruckus that superheroes or the few members of law enforcement who weren’t bastards could step in. This, uh, wasn’t as effective as he’d hoped. Mostly because various security forces and guards were all too happy to fill him to attempt to with bullets, when they weren’t trying to bounce his head off something hard. Like their fists. Or the pavement. After a few hairy escapes, Marcus decided to stop playing nice. He went full violent vigilante, but his only kills were in self defense. Well. Sometimes this was pre-emptive self defense. This did not endear him to law enforcement. The FBI in particular. Digital Shadow made the Most Wanted List. He’s never left. Time went on. He got definitively captured by Dusk Widow. Kind of embarrassing, actually. A terrible misunderstanding that they cleared up while he was disarmed and tied up. Then they started working together sometimes. He deduced she was CIA by the simple virtue of nobody else keeps their identities so secret (FBI, DEA, etc provide cover IDs most can’t penetrate) and also works in the field (which rules out most of the rest of the alphabet soup). He didn’t tell her, as that seemed…unwise. In 2012, she brought in Eclipse (it was easy to track down that he was Delta Force). Thus the original Watchdogs were formed. It was at this point where Marcus had to leave administration of Shadowland to others. Because the FBI was using his update posts to track him and persecute the law-abiding membership. When it comes to catching criminals, there is no low the fibbies won’t sink to when pressed. Still, it left more time for his work with the Watchdogs. Which, arguably, is what made Aeon think of him. At least, that’s what he thought. Marcus had done some work for hire for her and Valine in the past, it was true. So had a lot of other people. He didn’t know what made him special. It wasn’t uncommon to have friends in the biz, either. He didn’t want special treatment because of it. Then he met Valine and instantly understood. They were both crusaders. He could work with this. Obviously he would bring along Dusk Widow and Eclipse. Aeon asked around the numbers and found Wisecracker, who brought Tsurugi. Boom, Squad C. The Watchdogs. Three years together have refined their teamwork to a razor’s edge. They do good work. Marcus is well pleased. After all, you can’t catch a Digital Shadow…or his Watchdogs. Powers & Tactics: Digital Shadow has no superhuman powers, which would surprise some folks at the FBI. He is, however, a genius computer hacker and tech specialist with four special devices. Three of these are relatively simple. His Concealed Body Armor that increases his resistance to damage (especially to gunfire, arrows, and piercing blades). His Masterwork Baton is basically a fancy club that aids accuracy. And his Heavy Blaster is his mark of rank. Anyone in the know about Strength Revolution hierarchy will recognize the symbol on it as marking him as being in the third tier. The first being Methion himself and the second being Serine, Valine, and Katrea. It has a damage setting and a stun setting. Both use pure force to do their work. It is his Custom Smartphone which is special, and the core of everything he does. Naturally, it still functions as a Masterwork Smartphone. However, it also functions as a universal Remote, able to turn off anything that can be turned off with a remote control, and has several Custom Apps that demonstrate his mastery of hacking and coding. Hidden Observation lets him look or listen safely through any digital camera or microphone within five miles of him. Maximum Privacy Word conceals him from any such devices in the area, including any security sensors. Shutdown Worm Blitz and Targeted Shutdown Worm differ only in their targeted methodology, as they both attempt to deactivate any technological devices or electronics they target. Shutdown Worm Blitz ccovers an area anywhere from 20 feet to over a mile in diameter. Targeted Shutdown Worm is single target and can be either used immediately or set up to trigger late for any reason Digital Shadow might desire. Hack The World is the final App, and it basically allows him to hack any electronic or mechanical device within 20 miles. And the use of each App is only detectable to specialized senses that must also be quite keen. Tactically, Digital Shadow is a pain in the ass. He can do most of what he does very remotely and he’s extremely difficult to detect while he’s doing it. Seriously, Hack The World covers like 2/3s of everything he does. Hidden Observation lets him scout in complete safety when he does have to make a personal appearance. Maximum Privacy Worm keeps him off any electronic records as he sneaks in. Targeted Shutdown Worm is great for sabotage. Shutdown Worm Blitz can shut down anywhere from one block to half a city. Seriously, his entire combat style revolves around avoiding combat though such methods of simply not being any potential combat area and giving heroes something to occupy their attention that isn’t him. Because without those tactics he’s just some dude with a blaster and he’s well aware of it. This works even in on Watchdogs missions. He’s the mastermind and mission control. If he’s in sustained combat that he can’t get out of, he has severely screwed up. He knows the value of cover, but mostly he’s seeking to get the hell out of there. He absolutely will use Shutdown Worm Blitz at full power and blackout half a city if pressed. It’s not that he won’t shoot his Heavy Blaster, it’s that he works very hard so that he doesn’t have to. Don’t forget that he absolutely has a Master Plan (+2 to his and his allies’ check for three rounds and +1 for one round) and an Invention (15 PP’s worth of electronic doohickey) ready to go if he’s on a mission. Personality: Marcus Pierce was a good man, once. But now? Not so much. Though that depends, one supposes, on how you measure what a good man is. Because what would you do, if you were a person who believed in truth and saw a world slipping into lies? You’d do something about it. But. What if you succeeded again and again? Shone the bright light of truth on the dirty deeds of corrupt and wicked men? Exposed all of their lies and manipulations? And it just…didn’t matter? How long can you stare into the abyss of darkness and evil before it eats you? And what if that’s not the end of you? What if you have to live with that? To say that Marcus is angry really doesn’t capture it. You have to get hyperbolic. He is howling, vehement rage in the shell of a man, rigidly controlled by an incredible genius intellect. Because you can’t show truth to people who just. Don’t want to see it. And if you start destroying the organizations and people responsible, you’re the bad guy. Marcus is the single scariest member of his squad and indeed one of the scariest in the entire Strength Revolution. Not because he’s particularly intimidating personally, and not because he’s an incredibly dangerous killer. Because sometimes he just goes cold and you can see that his heart has rotted away and even his faith in a better world through truth has faded leaving just that howling, vehement rage against the endless parade of lies, bullshit, and systemic injustice. All seems to be left of the man he started as is a virtually incomparably brilliant and devious mind, almost stripped of anything resembling conscience or morality. It seems, sometimes, that he’ll do anything to make sure the truth wins out and justice is done. Even if he has do it himself.
  17. Squad C (The Watchdogs) Overview These are the hacktivists. For better and for worse. Digital Shadow, Dusk Widow, and Eclipse have been working together off and on for years. Wisecracker and Tsurugi are a relatively new partnership, but they work together very well. They were brought in due to Aeon. Digital Shadow had done plenty of contract work for the STG, and Aeon was his contact. They’ve known each other for longer than Digital Shadow has been Digital Shadow, so it makes sense. After Squad B (The Sin-sations) had entered their trial period, Valine still felt the need to expand the STG. Aeon recommended her old friend Digital Shadow, as he’d done good work for them before. He recommended his usual working partners in Dusk Widow and Eclipse. There were still two short. Aeon did some slight digging and found Wisecracker, who brought along Tsurugi. The Watchdogs are spies, saboteurs, vigilantes, assassins, and (oddly enough) recruiters. That last one requires a little explaining. Every member of the squad is a member of the Numbers. Aeon herself is essentially a founding member of that group. The Numbers are a loosely affiliated computer engineer/programmer/hacker collective. They’re not all criminals. Some are just hobbyists and/or enthusiasts. They are not centralized and there is no hierarchy, let alone any official leadership. It’s completely anarchic, but it works specifically because the specific type of idiot who doesn’t know how to shut up and listen when they’re ignorant on a topic instead of waste everyone’s time with inaccurate information tend to get drummed out in a hurry. The internet can be downright nasty to dumbasses who confuse persistence for being properly informed. Anyway. Having professional supervillains (with apologies to Digital Shadow, who doesn’t consider himself one but dude you are) as known members of the Numbers makes them more attractive to potential members. Aeon is well regarded for her skills and longevity, but also is publically known to be a member of the Strength Revolution. As they have a reputation for terrorism and murder, this is not a good look. Furthermore, she’s seen as kind of an old school supervillain. That corny 60s/70s style stuff. Yanno, flashy costume, flashy powers, moustache twirling, maybe some bwahaha? Super uncool. The Watchdogs do not have either drawback, so they can both bring in more people to the Numbers and recruit more militant numbers members into the Revolution. Tactics The Watchdogs put in a lot of effort to stay under the radar when it comes to superheroes and law enforcement. Between Digital Shadow and Wisecracker, no computer system is safe from their spying or simply covering their tracks. Dusk Widow and Eclipse can infiltrate just about any location successfully. And Tsurugi is there to kick the shit out of any heroes the other four can’t handle should things go FUBAR. Eclipse is the team assassin, though Digital Shadow and Dusk Widow are capable of filling the role. Wisecracker isn’t opposed to killing but she’s uh…a little too chaotic to be an assassin. And absolutely nobody wants Tsurugi to start intentionally killing people. She’s scary enough.
  18. Sorellanza (Oriana Bianchi) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 180/180 STR: +5 (10/20), DEX: +5 (20), CON: +1 (12), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +3 (16) Tough: +0/+6, Fort: +5, Ref: +12, Will: +7 Skills: Acrobatics 10 (+15), Bluff 12 (+15), Diplomacy 12 (+15), Disable Device 13 (+15), Escape Artist 5 (+10), Knowledge (streetwise) 8 (+10), Knowledge (tactics) 3 (+5), Language 6 (+6), Notice 13 (+15), Sense Motive 8 (+10), Stealth 6 (+15) Feats: Acrobatic Bluff, Attack Focus (ranged) 5, Defensive Attack, Distract (Bluff), Dodge Focus 5, Equipment 2, Evasion, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Aim, Improved Critical 2 (Silenced Sniper Rifle (Blast 6)), Improved Critical 2 (Taser (Stun 6)), Improved Initiative, Precise Shot, Skill Mastery (Bluff, Disable Device, Notice, Stealth), Ultimate Effort (Aim), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Arsenal (Device 6) (Hard to lose; Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Arsenal (Array 12) (default power: blast) Flash Bang (Dazzle 6) (Array; affects: 1 type + visual - auditory, DC 16; Burst Area (30 ft. radius - General)) High Explosive (Blast 6) (Array; DC 21; Burst Area (20-150 ft. radius - General); Progression, Decrease Area 2 (-2 ranks), Progression, Increase Area 2 (area x5), Triggered 2 (any trigger)) Silenced Machine Gun (Blast 6) (Array; DC 21; Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Precise, Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Silenced Sniper Rifle (Blast 6) (Default; DC 21; Penetrating [5 ranks only]; Improved Range 2 (300 ft. incr), Precise, Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 3000 feet), Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Sleep Gas Grenade (Fatigue 6) (Array; DC 16; Cloud Area (30 ft. diameter, lingers - General), Range (ranged)) Smoke Grenade (Obscure 6) (Array; affects: 1 type + visual - olfactory, Radius: 250 ft.; Duration (continuous), Total Fade; Fades) Taser (Stun 6) (Array; DC 16, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Taser (Stun 6)); Range (ranged)) Child Sized (Shrinking 4) (-4 STR, -1 Toughness, -1 size category, 3/4 movement speed; Permanent; Innate) Cybernetics (Container, Passive 6) Cybernetic Eyes (Super-Senses 5) (distance sense, extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), infravision, ultravision) Internal Smartphone (Features 1) Leaping Boost (Leaping 3) (Jumping distance: x10) Might Boost (Super-Strength 1) (+5 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 600 lbs; +1 STR to some checks) Speed Boost (Speed 3) (Speed: 50 mph, 440 ft./rnd) Strength Boost (Enhanced Strength 10) (+10 STR) Sub-dermal Armor (Protection 6) (+6 Toughness) Equipment: Mission Specific Equipment 10 Attack Bonus: +7 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +7, Grapple: +7/+8) Attacks: Flash Bang (Dazzle 6) (DC Fort/Ref 16), High Explosive (Blast 6) (DC 21), Silenced Machine Gun (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Silenced Sniper Rifle (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Sleep Gas Grenade (Fatigue 6) (DC Fort 16), Taser (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Unarmed Attack, +7 (DC 20) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +4), Size: Small, Knockback: -2 Initiative: +9 Languages: Arabic, English, French, German, Italian Native, Portuguese, Spanish Totals: Abilities 30 + Skills 24 (96 ranks) + Feats 25 + Powers 61 + Combat 24 + Saves 16 + Drawbacks 0 = 180 Age (as of Jan 2019): 22 (chronological) 8-10 (appearance/biological) Height: 4’ 3” Weight: 55 lbs Ethnicity: Italian Hair: Dirty Blonde Eyes: Hazel Background: Sorellanza means sisterhood, or sorority in Italian. It is a very appropriate codename for Oriana Bianchi. Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Democratica (or SISDE), Italy’s domestic intelligence agency at the time, had developed a program that used bleeding edge medical science, cybernetics, pharmacology, and psychological brainwashing to convert young girls into loyal cyborg assassins. These girls (known collectively as La Sorellanza) and their mostly male handlers did a lot of good work fighting terrorism and the Mafia, and played a key role in finally ending the Years of Lead (roughly 1968-1988). They also did a lot of shady and outright evil shit to keep their existence secret and maintain the SISDE’s power. Methion had known they were up to no good for some time, but that was true of several intelligence agencies. It wasn’t something new. It was when his agents discovered proof that the child cyborg assassins running around Italy did not belong to the Mafia or the infamous Agency, but the SISDE that he set dominos into motion. This lead to most of the SISDE’s dirty laundry being exposed, and in 2007 the intelligence agency was shut down and reconfigured into the modern day Agenzia Informazioni e Sicurezza Interna (or AISI). The Sorellanza girls, however, he carefully protected from discovery, intending to take them for himself. Making sure that the SISDE’s leadership knew this even he will admit was a mistake. The dying SISDE ordered the liquidation of the Sorellanza girls, apparently out of overly possessive spite. This did not go as planned. The handlers were not all sociopathic or hardened enough to casually murder their long term and/or adorable partners, and some of the girls (being combat veterans) saw it coming. The result was a complete shitshow, with several handlers being killed and the surviving girls (some of them much older than they appeared) disappearing into the global underworld. So the big question is, what happened to them all? Oriana was one of the youngest and newest at that time, but time is unkind to even the best of us. A decade and no longer associating with each other did much to thin their numbers. Oriana was the Sin-sations team member who neither Methion nor Photophobia found. The Strength Revolution is always on the lookout for new recruits, and the jaded young woman in a girl’s body responded to equivalent of a help wanted ad. She expected to serve under Walter Mackey, but he got word to Methion through Katrea about the inhumanly capable and mature little girl. Soon, the last known member of the Sorellanza girls was playing bodyguard to a group of pop starlets. It has become, rather unexpectedly, a place to truly call home. Oriana doesn’t quite know how to feel about that yet, but she has taken the old name for all of them as her codename. Maybe, just maybe, a few of her older “sisters” will come join her here. If any of them are still alive. For the record, the drugs and brainwashing erased Oriana’s memory of her life before becoming one of the Sorellanza girls. She does not even remember her original name. If the few of them who retained any knowledge of the prior lives is any indication, this is a blessing. The SISDE selected their Sorellanza candidates from hideously abused orphans, victims of human trafficking, and worse. Girls who no one wanted, and who no one would miss. The number of such girls was thin in Italy by itself, but across the entire EU there were naturally more. And the SISDE could easily slip across the Mediterranean to North African and check there, as well. Truthfully, Oriana does not know if she is actually Italian, or if this is a cover to prevent her original identity being traced. She is fairly certain that it doesn’t matter anymore. It certainly doesn’t to her. Powers & Tactics: Oriana is a cyborg, but not entirely of the usual technological type. Her eyes are electronic replacements, yes, but the rest of her upgrades are biological, if grown in a lab. To get all of this to function and to avoid her immune system rejecting any of it, she was injected and infused with a massive amount of chemicals and drugs. The end result was that her ability to physiologically grow and mature was completely destroyed. So while she may have physical abilities that completely outstrip any unpowered pre pubescent child, unlike any of them she will never actually grow up. Additionally, her maximum lifespan has been reduced by anywhere from one third to one half. This is actually superior to the entirely technological version of the process. The girls still grew. The cybernetics did not. The biochemical replacements make her stronger, faster, and a higher jumper than even unpowered grown adults. She can mostly keep up with your average automobile or simply flip it off the wheels. She’s also got fibers weaved underneath her skin that increase her resistance to damage. Her Cybereyes increase the distance she can see, add multiple spectrums, and measure distances accurately. She can even function as her own smartphone. She carries a small arsenal of customized weaponry. Flash Bangs, High Explosives (with any trigger she chooses), a Silenced Submachine Gun, a Silenced Sniper Rifle, Sleep Gas Grenades, Smoke Grenades, and a Taser. Tactically, Oriana has a significant number of options that depend on the current mission. Spying, theft, and sabotage rarely require the use of firearms, after all. And even High Explosives aren’t often needed. The Taser, Smoke Grenades, and Sleep Gas Grenades get the most use in this case. She tries to avoid open combat, striking from Stealth whenever possible. And with Hide In Plain Sight, that’s pretty often. The Flash Bangs and Smoke Grenades are useful for escapes. Lastly, for assassinations she’s either Bluffing the target into thinking she’s harmless and Tricking them into getting too close and sudden SMG burst. Or she’s using one sniper shot from over 200 feet away. Or a set of High Explosives triggers when the target turns their car on. Whatever gets the job done. She never power stunts. Personality: Oriana is done. Burnt out and tired of all the bullshit that comes with looking like a kid while being an adult. She’s more jaded than Dream Girl, if you can believe it. The part of her that gives a damn about stuff is basically broken. Her ability to make emotional connections is severely atrophied from disuse. The only reason she continues to exist is her job. Her purpose in life. To use her weapons and her skills to rain death and destruction upon anyone her partner/client/squad captain designates. She just...doesn’t care about anything else. Well. There is one thing. Don’t treat her like a child. It drivesher batshit crazy. There’s a literally murderous temper underneath that comes out when people push that button hard or often enough. Because she was, in fact, a child. A child who something horrifying happened to. A child who was then turned into a living weapon in service of the SISDE’s goals. Even if one erases the worst memories, the trauma still happened. Their neurology has still altered in response. Drugs and brainwashing don’t fix that. And then she was stuck being a freelance mercenary who looked like a vulnerable child for a decade and a half. She’s not okay. She’s got several trauma responses to seemingly innocuous things. She’ll never willingly get into a red Ferrari. She has to restrain herself from shooting tall, blonde, and physical fit men in sunglasses. Recordings (not live performances) of any music written by Antonio Vivaldi can send her into a full panic attack. She is genuinely not okay, but she’s doing this thing called masking. Because, well, her entire life so far (the parts she actually remembers) have decided not rewarded having a breakdown on the sidewalk. So she sucks it up and collapses later. Alone, in a confirmed safe place.
  19. Razzle (Alyssa Robinson) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: -1 (8), DEX: +2 (14), CON: +2 (14), INT: +5 (20), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +2 (14) Tough: +2/+7, Fort: +6, Ref: +10, Will: +8 Skills: Bluff 6 (+8), Computers 10 (+15), Craft (electronic) 10 (+15), Craft (mechanical) 10 (+15), Diplomacy 6 (+8), Disable Device 10 (+15), Knowledge (physical sciences) 10 (+15), Knowledge (technology) 10 (+15), Language 4 (+4), Notice 6 (+8), Sense Motive 6 (+8) Feats: Attack Focus (ranged) 2, Attractive (+4), Beginner's Luck, Defensive Roll, Dodge Focus 5, Eidetic Memory, Improved Critical 2 (Restraint Foam Sprayer (Snare 6)), Improved Critical 2 (Stun Blaster (Stun 6)), Improved Initiative, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Master Plan, Precise Shot, Skill Mastery (Computers, Craft (electronic), Craft (mechanical), and Disable Device), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Concealed Body Armor (Device 1) (Hard to lose; Subtle (subtle)) Protection 4 (+4 Toughness; Subtle (subtle)) Density Drop Belt (Device 5) (Hard to lose) Air Walking (Flight 2) (Speed: 25 mph, 220 ft./rnd; Limited (to when Incorporeal)) EMP-like Touch (Nullify 6) (counters: all powers of (type) - technology, DC 16; Limited (to when Incorporeal), Range (touch)) Minimal Density (Insubstantial 4) (Incorporeal) Gadget Backpack (Gadgets 6) (Easy to Lose) Gadget Backpack Settings: Cloaking Field Projector (Power Setting) (Powers: Cloaking Field Projector (Concealment 6)) Cloaking Field Projector (Concealment 6) (all aural senses, all visual senses; Affects Others, Burst Area (30 ft. radius - General); Close Range, Selective) Dazzler (Power Setting) (Powers: Dazzler (Dazzle 6)) Dazzler (Dazzle 6) (affects: 1 type + visual - auditory, DC 16; Burst Area (30 ft. radius - General), Selective Attack) Grav Rod (Power Setting) (Powers: Grav Rod (Move Object 6)) Grav Rod (Move Object 6) (Strength: 30, Carry: 532 / 1.1k / 1.6k / 3.2k, DC 21; Affects Corporeal, Damaging; Accurate 2 (+4), Precise, Subtle (subtle)) Hard Light Vehicle Projector (Power Setting) (Powers: Hard Light Engines (Flight 6), Hard Light Vehicle (Create Object 6)) Hard Light Engines (Flight 6) (Speed: 500 mph, 4400 ft./rnd) Hard Light Vehicle (Create Object 6) (Max Size: 6x 50' cubes, DC 16; Movable (Radius: 30 ft., Strength: 30, Force: 1.6k lbs.); Range (touch); Precise, Progression, Object Size 3, Selective, Subtle (subtle)) Portal Gun (Power Setting) (Powers: Portal Gun (Teleport 6)) Portal Gun (Teleport 6) (600 ft. as move action, 20 miles as full action; Accurate, Portal) Restraint Foam Sprayer (Power Setting) (Powers: Restraint Foam Sprayer (Snare 6)) Restraint Foam Sprayer (Snare 6) (DC 16, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Restraint Foam Sprayer (Snare 6)); Affects Corporeal, Autofire (interval 2, max +5); Accurate 2 (+4), Obscure Sense, Precise) Stun Blaster (Power Setting) (Powers: Stun Blaster (Stun 6)) Stun Blaster (Stun 6) (DC 16, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Stun Blaster (Stun 6)); Affects Corporeal, Range (ranged); Accurate 2 (+4), Precise, Subtle (subtle)) Attack Bonus: +6 (Ranged: +8, Melee: +6, Grapple: +5) Attacks: Dazzler (Dazzle 6) (DC Fort/Ref 16), EMP-like Touch (Nullify 6), +6 (DC Will 16), Grav Rod (Move Object 6), +12 (DC 21), Restraint Foam Sprayer (Snare 6), +12 (DC Ref/Staged 16), Stun Blaster (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Unarmed Attack, +6 (DC 14) Defense: +10 (Flat-footed: +3), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +6 Languages: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), English Native, French, Spanish Totals: Abilities 24 + Skills 22 (88 ranks) + Feats 18 + Powers 61 + Combat 22 + Saves 18 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): 20 Height: 5’ 2” Weight: 110 lbs Ethnicity: African American Hair: Dark Pink (dyed, naturally Dark Brown) Eyes: Dark Brown Background: “It’s only us.” These were the favorite words of Alyssa and Aisha Robinson to hear. They were the words of their father, Emmett, when he was holding them both tight. This, however, was a long time ago. Before Alyssa found out he was a unethical bastard of a scientist who worked for the infamous Agency. And before Aisha revealed that she didn’t care. But let’s rewind to the beginning. Emmett Robinson was a scientist. He was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a good man. He was, in fact, a very evil one. He did not care in the least about ethics and morality. He cared about advancing science, inventing something people would pay him lots and lots of money for, and getting filthy rich. He very much subscribed to the philosophy of “Fuck you, I’mma get mine.” This was how he came to be recruited by the infamous Agency. He was a young man after their cold, dead hearts. He married am ambitious woman of similar character named Tiana, and everything was quite lovely for the couple. They had one daughter, who they named Alyssa, and four years later had another, who they named Aisha. Three years after that, Tiana got a little too ambitious, and the Agency turned her into a test subject for her own work. She died in indescribable agony, as equally indescribable things happened to her body. This, naturally, was quite a stressful time for Emmett and his two girls, who knew nothing of her plot. It changed their relationship quite a bit. It was, after all, now only them. At work, Emmett was the ruthless scientific mastermind. But at home he was only a loving father to his girls. And ah, but did they ever love him back. Especially Aisha, who was not quite old enough to fully remember the colder man he had been. However, time waits for none of us, and the girls grew older and more aware of the world. Alyssa was doing music on social media. Remixes, not any actual instrument playing or singing. Still, the Sin-sations were glad to have her in the band. Even if they didn’t know she was a young teen. She was showing more and more talent as a engineer, and Emmett hoped that one day she’d be able to join him at work. This, unfortunately, was not to be. Alyssa was much more gifted than she let one. She’d found out what her father was really up to when he went to work every day, and she was both sickened and horrified. As it turned out, she did have something resembling morals and ethics. She was surprised, too. It’s like Emmett was raising them to be fine, upstanding citizens. She slowly and systematically gathered information on the Agency facility where he worked. Then, because she was not a stupid girl, she backed it up in a dozen separate places on the internet before she had that conversation with dear old daddy. She wasn’t going to join the Agency. She found them abhorrent. Yes, laws were for other people, but there were lines. Much of their work was fueled as much by spite and sadism towards their frequently human test subjects, when it wasn’t fueled by sheer hubris or insanity. Even putting the ethical qualms aside, it was an inefficient and wasteful way to run a business. She wasn’t going to be a part of it. Her father nodded in understanding, then produced a gun and did his best to empty it into her body. The Agency isn’t reasonable. They don’t let people leave. Once you join, you are theirs. Your children are theirs. Your grandchildren are theirs. Depending on the employment contract, they may take your siblings and their progeny, as well. The only way out is taking a direct one way trip to the afterlife. They do not accept criticism or advice. They are doing things they way they want to do things, and you can shut the fuck up about it. You can work for them and be useful, or you can be dead. Every single thought in your head, if it is not useful to them, they don’t want to hear it. You can keep said thoughts to yourself, or you can again be dead. They don’t fucking care. Allow me to emphasize this properly. They. Don’t. FUCKING. Care. Your life and everything about you is utterly without any value except which they assign to it. You can cooperate with this methodology, or experience a drastic reduction in value. Alyssa knew this, and but her father trying to murder her still obliterated their previously close, loving relationship in one stroke. She had a plan, anyway. Emmett’s bullets struck nothing but air, as the Density Drop Belt made its debut. Slight rewind. Alyssa’s work with the Sin-sations had been noticed by Photophobia, who brought it to the attention of Methion, who gave the band a job offer. They had discussed it and accepted. So Alyssa flew through her front door, knowing that place would never be home again as bullets smashed into the door behind her. She regarded her home of several years as her Gadget Backpack got its first non test use. She pulled her Portal Gun, to be specific. The big surprise was the blaster fire from Aisha’s window. Alyssa knew her sister had been demonstrating some psychopathic traits, but the look of cartoonish rage on her face was genuinely unexpected. Alyssa disappointedly used her Portal Gun to get 20 miles away, and then sat down and cried for a little while. There aren’t words for how painful it is to realize that the love of her family was at best conditional and at worst a lie designed to keep her cooperative and compliant. However, she couldn’t sit around crying forever. She was likely being pursued, for one, and for another she had a meeting with someone named Valine to attend. Valine agreed to keeping the Sin-sations on for a trial period. They passed with flying colors, and have been Squad B for three years. Alyssa took the codename Razzle, after “the ol’ razzle dazzle” and a type of candy. A double meaning. She’s quite certain her father has been killed for failing to keep her in line with the Agency’s goals, and for failing to kill her when he couldn’t. She’s also fairly certain her sister’s star is on the rise in the Agency. Well. She’s had three years to get used to it. Not get over it. It’s not something one ever gets over. For reasons that should be very obvious, the authorities have no idea who the supervillain and STG member known as Razzle is under the mask, and no reason to connect her with the pop starlet Alyssa Robinson. Additionally, the Agency has written off her loss for now, as crossing Valine (and through him, Methion) is the textbook definition of a bad business move. Powers & Tactics: Razzle, unlike the rest of the Sin-sations, has no superhuman powers. She is a tech genius with two specialized devices and the amazing, astounding Gadget Backpack. Her two devices are Concealed Body Armor and Density Drop Belt. Concealed Body Armor is just that. It protects her from damage while not looking like armor to the average person. The Density Drop Belt, however, is a bit more complicated. The truth of all physical matter is that it’s mostly empty space. So to drop physical density without losing any mass is uh, difficult. And you don’t want to lose mass. Your mass is your organs and other stuff you probably want to keep. So to get to Minimal Density the belt puts her in a state of quantum flux in which the bonds between her atoms and molecules both do and do not exist. If this sounds insanely dangerous, well it kind of is and isn’t. The belt, miscalibrated, could casually reduce the user to a pile of raw elements. This is why she keeps it properly calibrated and has several redundant subsystems that will shut the thing off before anything dangerous happens. The net result is that she’s effectively an incorporeal being when it is active, able to fly a little due to her lack of weight. A quirk of the quantum flux allows her to disable electronic equipment merely by touching it. It’s neat. Her Gadget Backpack is even more complicated. It is a genuine wonder of electronic and mechanical engineering. The devices that come out of it are not kept inside, but rather assembled on the spot from the various materials inside of it according to her instructions. When she returns a device to the Backpack, it is disassembled and the materials are returned to storage. Tactically, Razzle sticks very hard to a support role. She will never, ever, knowingly inflict Damage on a living target in anything other than the most desperate circumstances. Her basic reaction to a solo fight is to get out of it. With Insub 4 and Flight 2, plus Concealment or Teleport at her disposal, this is not normally difficult. On missions, her Gadgets are the perfect support. She can get the team to the target area with Hard Light Vehicle Projector and Portal Gun, and hide them while they do their work with Cloaking Field Projector. If muscle is required, Grav Rod can help Gobstopper with that. In team combat, her first move is again to get out of it. There is no benefit to brawling with heroes. Still, there will be circumstances where escape is impossible, or the first order of business is getting the heroes off the team’s collective asses. Stun Blaster is the normal choice, with Restraint Foam Sprayer as a backup and Dazzler for groups. However, don’t get locked into thinking that is all her Gadget Backpack can produce. It is a Variable Power. She can pull out anything from it. Personality: Razzle is the goodie goodie of the Sin-sations. Don’t get it wrong, she’s still a professional criminal with no respect for the law. However…if hurting people isn’t the job, why are you doing it? Just because she’s a thief, spy, and saboteur doesn’t mean she needs to be cruel and vicious. Honestly, she’s probably a little too pacifistic to be a supervillain. She doesn’t want to fight, and she genuinely doesn’t want to hurt anyone. This does not mean that she won’t. It just means it’s at the bottom of a long list of options. But why crime? She could have easily found a way to go straight, even if it meant dodging the Agency for the rest of her life. Because it’s fun. It’s always an intellectual challenge. A puzzle to be solved. She may not be a remorseless psychopath like her father and sister, but she’s not as different from those two as she thinks. Her opposition to unnecessary violence and killing isn’t from a functioning conscience. She doesn’t have one of those. It’s an intellectual and ideological opposition. She isn’t squeamish. She doesn’t think they’re evil, wrong, and bad. Well, there are scientific ethics to think about, but that’s not a moral code. She’s opposed to unnecessary violence and killing because they’re a sign of sloppiness. If you have to resort to violence to achieve your goal, you have failed to plan, prepare, equip yourself, or execute the plan properly. Unless of course violence is the goal, in which case it’s resorting to additional violence that marks you as having failed somewhere along the way.
  20. Sprite (Asuka Takahashi) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +4 (18), CON: +2 (14), INT: +1 (12), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +4 (18) Tough: +2/+5, Fort: +6, Ref: +12, Will: +6 Skills: Acrobatics 11 (+15), Bluff 4 (+8), Diplomacy 4 (+8), Disable Device 14 (+15), Escape Artist 11 (+15), Gather Information 4 (+8), Language 4 (+4), Notice 8 (+10), Perform (stringed instruments) 11 (+15), Sense Motive 13 (+15), Stealth 8 (+20), Survival 8 (+10) Feats: Accurate Attack, Acrobatic Bluff, Attractive (+4), Challenge - Improved Acrobatic Bluff, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Elusive Target, Evasion 2, Improved Critical 2 (Stick Attacks (Array 6)), Improved Initiative, Improved Trick, Improved Trip, Power Attack, Takedown Attack, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Concealed Body Armor (Device 1) (Hard to lose; Subtle (subtle)) Protection 4 (+4 Toughness; Subtle (subtle)) Martial Training (Container, Passive 1) Leaping 1 (Jumping distance: x2) Speed 2 (Speed: 25 mph, 220 ft./rnd) Super-Movement 1 (slow fall) Soda Stick (Device 3) (Easy to lose, Only you can use) Stick Attacks (Array 6) (default power: blast) Bubbly Blast (Blast 6) (Default; DC 21) Fizz In The Eyes (Dazzle 6) (Array; affects: visual senses, DC 16) Stick Smash (Strike 4) (Array; DC 21; Mighty) Stunning Smash (Stun 6) (Array; DC 16) Sprite (Shrinking (-2 Toughness, -2 size categories, 1/2 movement speed; Normal Strength) Attack Bonus: +12 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +12, Grapple: +4) Attacks: Bubbly Blast (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Fizz In The Eyes (Dazzle 6), +12 (DC Fort/Ref 16), Stick Smash (Strike 4), +12 (DC 21), Stunning Smash (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Unarmed Attack, +12 (DC 17) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +6), Size: Medium/Tiny, Knockback: +0 Initiative: +8 Languages: Arabic, English Native, Japanese, Russian, Spanish Totals: Abilities 30 + Skills 25 (100 ranks) + Feats 17 + Powers 37 + Combat 40 + Saves 16 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): 23 Height: 5’ 3” (1’ 4” shrunk) Weight: 115 lbs (2 lbs shrunk) Ethnicity: Japanese-American Hair: Black (sometimes dyed Purple) Eyes: Dark Brown Background: The infamous international assassin (who was once considered the fourth best in the world) onknown as Chokuto was, in many ways, not a good man. He was a man driven to perfect his craft and please a father who had never shown him anything other than stoicism and brutal violence. To that end, in his civilian life he dated several women in search of a wife. The one he fell in love with and married, naturally, was not good enough for his father. And when Asuka was born, she wasn’t good enough either. Chokuto needed to somehow please his father. His beloved wife had failed to produce a son, so he beheaded her in front of his father. When this was not good enough, he understood that nothing he did would ever be good enough. Something snapped inside of him, and soon his father’s head rolled across the floor, too. Ironically, his father’s last thoughts (not that Chokuto would ever know them) were of the man finally being pleased with his son. Chokuto, now a self made widower and orphan in the same day, resolved to train his daughter better than he had been trained. From the time Asuka was able to walk, he took her into their basement once a day and beat the shit out of her. He never broke any important bones or struck her head more than hard enough to cause pain, for this was a lesson. It was not enough to learn how to fight. No…she had to understand that survival required violence. At first she cried and covered up. A child younger than a preschooler wouldn’t understand anything of what was happening. Her father was hurting her, and she didn’t know why. Chokuto never spoke a word during their sessions. Until she stabbed him in the leg with a blunt screw while howling in wordless rage, and earned his favor. He gave her the praise he had never received. She was 5 years old, but she had learned the first lesson. Survival required violence. Chokuto taught Asuka many other things after that, upstairs. Basic mathematics. How to read and write. Basic first aid. How to prepare simple meals. Efficient and effective homeschooling. And when the day’s lessons were finished, he took her back into the basement and beat the shit out of her. It was instructional, now. She was willing to fight, but had no skill of any kind. So he demonstrated the proper basic techniques on her body. Initially, if nothing else she learned how to endure pain. Still, he was again careful to never break any major bones or strike her head more than hard enough to cause pain. This was out of practicality, not love. She could not train with broken limbs, and every martial artist knew at least one veteran who had been struck in the head with too much force too many times. The results of severe long term brain damage spoke for themselves. The years went on, and she eventually managed to knock him down. This again, earned his praise. He remained just long enough to make sure she could speak adequately when necessary, and then went back to work as an assassin. Leaving an 8 year old girl to continue her training alone with various manuals and textbooks. He also provided equipment for physical training. Chokuto did return periodically to check on her progress, in the form of returning to the basement and beating the shit out of her. However, Asuka spent the next five years largely alone. This too, was done purposefully. To make her self reliant. The house was deep in a wilderness area. There was no electricity. If she wanted food, heat, and fresh clothing she would have to get it herself. General instructions were in the books he had left, but it was left to her to figure out how to manage all of it. She learned how to make snares and traplines for wild creatures. She learned how to endure hunger, as she failed as often as she succeeded. She learned how to hunt with a homemade bow and arrows. She learned how to gather edible plants from the area. And she learned how to grow her own vegetables in a garden. Mistakes with fire gave her new scars. Over and over, she almost died. Almost. The emergence of her powers, inherited from her father, made things both easier and harder. When Asuka was 13, her father took her to kill a man. It was a simple enough assassination, and normally Chokuto would have passed it on to someone who needed the experience. Well, he supposed he was doing that, wasn’t he? He gave her a knife and a photograph of the man. The man had plenty of guards, but they were common thugs and expecting a grown man. They got a young teenage girl. A real cutie, and so very innocent. She was very lost, could she use their phone to call her daddy? They were quite surprised when she produced the knife, slashed their boss’s throat, and ran out the door between all of their legs. They were even more surprised when said boss started burning from one of her homemade matches. Asuka returned outside to her father, a triumphant grin on her face. She could not possibly have known about the explosives the group had been stockpiling. The explosion was rather impressive, and could not have been timed any better to her arrival. She confirmed the kill, tilted her head with her grin in place, and that fourth floor office exploded. She didn’t even flinch, though Chokuto noted the surprise in her eyes. The explosion was not intentional, and she had incredible self control. He smiled, and congratulated her on passing the final test. The five years after than Asuka spent as Chokuto’s assistant. High level professional assassins are less busy than pop culture seems to think. They spent much more time training and honing their skills than on the job. And no, he no longer beat the shit out of his daughter. For one, it was no longer necessary. She had learned what she needed to from the process. And for second, it would have been far more difficult than before. When she turned 18,he “fired” her, giving her independence to pursue her own contracts and make her own name. He also gave her the Soda Stick as a graduation present. She chose the codename Sprite and gave her weapon and its functions their names. She did a few jobs, but low level professionals are barely more than hitmen. Building a reputation is challenging. Rival assassins try to kill you. Clients think its easier to rat you out to law enforcement or kill you instead of paying. It’s quite bothersome. Still, she progressed and made some small name for herself. Until one day she was on her way home to that wilderness home she and her father shared when she heard sounds o a ferocious battle. By the time she arrived, her home had been leveled. The FBI, with superheroic assistance, had finally tracked and brought down the legendary Chokuto. The last she saw of him was his battered and unconscious form being loaded into a paddy wagon. Apparently he’d been having a meeting, as he wasn’t alone inside it. They must have followed one of the others. If her father could be tracked to his home so easily, he’d have been caught long ago. Sprite considered a rescue attempt, but discarded the idea. If the assembled heroes and agents could defeat her father and those he trusted enough to know where his home was, they could defeat her too. So she turned around and slipped away. Her finances were separate from her father’s, and she had been meaning to get her own place anyway. Somewhere with a better internet connection, at least. She’d been teaching herself to play the guitar and uploading successful recordings to social media. She’d even joined a band of sorts. The Sin-sations. They hadn’t met yet, though. Just screennames. It was a source of a little supplementary income, and that meant she didn’t have to scratch and claw so hard for contracts. Or, heavens forbid, get a real job. Some assassins had to do that when they were starting out, and it was embarrassing. The band was good, and apparently that attracted attention. Photophobia, of the Strength Revolution Special Tactics Group, and then Methion himself. The band members held a meeting online, and spoke at length with the Grand Wizard. None of them flinched at his offer of steady employment as a band. It was, however, the special meeting with Valine that was surprising. Special Tactics Group? Could the others pull their weight there? And then there was the small matter of Valine disapproving of her, personally. She had to remind him that she was a professional, not an uncontrollable psychopath. She only killed who she was specifically being paid to kill. The days of her accidently exploding parts of buildings were long in the past. If hired, Valine himself would be the one doing said paying and thus decided who died if anyone. Valine agreed to a trial period. Squad B excelled, and was kept on. Her father is kept in a secret maximum security prison even someone with his skills and powers cannot escape easily. She sends coded letters, as little is secret or inaccessible to Methion for very long. The Grand Wizard has made it clear that he could be free tomorrow if she asked. She has not yet asked, for she knows such an offer has strings and she is satisfied with her present life as it is. The authorities know that Asuka exists due to the public records of her birth. She is currently classified as missing, along with her mother and grandfather’s civilian identity. Though analysis of her home confirmed they are likely dead, as there was too much blood soaked in the floorboards. Asuka, on the other hand, left clothing behind that was much too small to have fit her father. They do not know that she is the rising professional assassin and STG member known as Sprite, and they have not yet connected the Asuka Takahashi of the Sin-sations to the Asuka Takahashi born 23 years ago. Both her given and family names are relatively common in Japan, and she could be using a stage name. Powers & Tactics: Sprite has three things. One mutant power, two special technological devices, and a lifetime of training. Her mutant ability, inherited from her father Chokuto, to reduce her physical size by an approximate eighth and her overall mass to approximately 1.5%. As usual with mutant abilities that change the body, nobody knows how this works and has never killed either of them. Their ability to retain their normal physical strength in this form is equally baffling and defies most known laws of physics. Regardless, at their decreased size they are more fragile, more difficult to hit, and more accurae. Her technological devices are a set of Concealed Body Armor (specially treated to shrink with her) and her trademark Soda Stick. As a side note, her regular wardrobe is also specially treated to shrink when she does, however mundane clothes do not. Such as any special costumes worn on stage, in music videos, in photoshoots, or for special appearances. The Body Armor is, naturally, just armor. It looks like regular clothing to the untrained eye, however. Her Soda Stick (which also shrinks with her) has four regular functions. Bubbly Blast is a blast of carbonated water forceful enough to shatter stone. Fizz In The Eyes is a splash of said carbonated water into the eyes to blind a target. Both Stick and Stunning Smash are martial techniques. Stick Smash causes damage again at stone shattering level, but Stunning Smash merely renders the target stunned or unconscious. It has a biometric lock so no one else can uses except as a normal quarterstaff. Lastly, her martial training lets her leap higher, run faster, and protect herself from long falls as long as there’s a something to grab onto. It is a sight to see, someone the size of a doll jumping a dozen or more horizontal feet or outrunning a grown man. Tactically, it depends on what she’s doing. For an assassination she is alone and thus leans very hard on being Tiny Sized (easier to find concealment) and Stealth. Assassination targets are never particularly sturdy, as they’re basically unarmored civilians, and so she can cave their skulls in with a Staff Smash or if she can’t get that close while shrunk, a Bubbly Blast. Either is with at least +4 Power Attack, as if she rolls a Nat 1 (the only way she can miss Def 0 with +8 ATK) she deserves to be detected. On team missions, she is a scarily effective scout and spy. Under normal circumstances people just don’t see her, so she can overhear critical information, observe guard patrol patterns, or nab important papers with ease. Turns out it’s pretty easy to hide when you’re a foot and a third tall. In team battles she leans on Fizz In The Eyes to disorient, Bubbly Blast to damage flying and/or speedy foes, and closes to use Staff Smash with other foes. Stunning Smash is used to bypass Impervious Toughness in place of Power Attack. This does not mean that Power Attack isn’t used against successfully Dazzled foes, however she tries to avoid doing lethal damage and thus potentially kiilling. It’d be terribly unprofessional to kill someone she isn’t specifically being paid to kill. Personality: Sprite is cheerfully professional and respectful in all her dealings. Squad B and the STG are used to her quirks, but heroes and civilians can find her genuinely unnerving. Because violence is fun for her. It’s not that she has a lust for battle, but that her earliest lesson was about survival requiring violence. So victory in combat, proving her skills superior (or superior enough to cause a retreat), means that she is worthy of surviving to another day. Who wouldn’t be happy about that? Hell, who wouldn’t be happy about having a chance to prove that they were worthy of survival in the first place? Assuming, of course, that there was ever any doubt. Additionally, how Chokuto trained her makes her perfectly at home in the middle of combat. Most people feel, you know, fear. Anxiety. The potential of being hurt, feeling pain, and recovering from it. The fight or flight response kicks in, and often into high gear. Combat is stressful as hell, even for long time veterans. Asuka doesn’t feel that stress, normally, and was never taught to hide that she doesn’t. So her demeanor is basically the same in the middle of furious combat as it is at a casual lunch. Again, she’s cheerfully professional and respectful. But of course, there’s more going on in her head than that. A proper professional assassin is polite, professional, and has a plan to kill everyone they meet. She’s a professional criminal, which means she doesn’t hold superheroes or law enforcement in high regard. Especially after they took her father from her. They didn’t even have the decency to kill him. The heroic no-killing code makes no sense to her. And heroes who profess pacifism will utterly baffle her. Absolutely does not compute. Survival requires violence. Are they suicidal or something? That’s no good. They should call one of those hotlines and talk to someone about that.
  21. Gobstopper (Bridget Kucerova) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 165/165 STR: +10 (16/30), DEX: +1 (12), CON: +3 (16), INT: +0 (10), WIS: +2 (14), CHA: +4 (18) Tough: +3/+9, Fort: +9, Ref: +9, Will: +6 Skills: Acrobatics 4 (+5), Bluff 4 (+8), Diplomacy 4 (+8), Gather Information 4 (+8), Intimidate 12 (+16), Language 1 (+1), Notice 6 (+8), Perform (percussion instruments) 11 (+15), Sense Motive 10 (+12), Stealth 4 (+5) Feats: All-Out Attack, Attractive (+4), Challenge - Improved Demoralize, Challenge - Improved Startle, Improved Critical 2 (Unarmed Attack), Interpose, Power Attack, Startle, Takedown Attack 2, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Hard Candy Physiology (Container, Passive 12) Glucosal Might (Super-Strength 6) (+30 STR carry capacity, heavy load: 51.2 tons; +6 STR to some checks; Countering Punch) Glucosal Strength (Enhanced Strength 14) (+14 STR) Hardened Organs (Immunity 9) (critical hits, disease, enviromental conditions (all), poison) Layered Refractive Shell (Protection 6) (+6 Toughness; Impervious [3 extra ranks], Reflective (Energy) [3 extra ranks]) Attack Bonus: +8 (Ranged: +8, Melee: +8, Grapple: +18/+24) Attacks: Unarmed Attack, +8 (DC 25) Defense: +9 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -9 Initiative: +1 Languages: English Native, Spanish Totals: Abilities 26 + Skills 15 (60 ranks) + Feats 12 + Powers 60 + Combat 34 + Saves 18 + Drawbacks 0 = 165 Age (as of Jan 2019): 25 Height: 5’ 6” Weight: 310 lbs (looks like 125 lbs) Ethnicity: Variable (Any normal hard candy color; Caucasian [Czech-American] bone structure) Hair: Violet Eyes: Blue Background: The story Bridget Kucerova tells about how she came to be is something about being born in a candy egg and breaking out of it a few years later with her powers as an otherwise normal three year old. This is a lie. It’s a very nice story, and superior to the reality, but it is not the truth. She doesn’t pretend it is. Not really. But still. The truth is that she was born (with no powers of any kind) to a pair of dirt poor petty criminals who rarely had enough money to feed themselves, let alone a third mouth. So she subsisted on whatever breast milk her mother could produce and the cheapest hard candy from the local convenience store. It was something she and her mother did together. Early bonding. It’s something Brie holds onto to, even now and even though she can’t actually remember it. Because that candy was cheap for a reason. The company was substituting some extremely dangerous chemicals in the candy and the packaging to save money. Some very mutagenic chemicals. They both got very sick. Her father (Mason) didn’t eat nearly enough to be affected. The same thing was happening to both of them, but the older woman did not have the youthful resilience and physiological flexibility as her daughter. She died before the change could complete. The lawsuit and resulting publicity gave young Brie and her father some real money for the first time in their lives. For the record, her mother was far from the only one to die, and several executives received lengthy prison sentences. A costumed detective style superhero made very, very sure of that. However, Mason could only be charitably described as a fiscal idiot, and they were soon broke again. But Brie was stronger than most grown men, even as a three year old, nothing seemed to be able to hurt her, and she really loved her Daddy. The man got ideas. Criminal ideas. And so Mason went from petty criminal to armed robber. With his “Baby Girl” at his side, he embarked on a reign of periodic terror (they only committed robberies whenever their money started running out) across several states, always one step ahead of the law. The man may not have been good at much else, but damn did he have a knack for not being where people thought he’d be. For Brie, it was a life of fast food, stolen cars, and motel rooms. She had an absolute blast. Her daddy was a reasonably charming fellow, especially to folks who already liked him. They were quite the pair. Mason taught her how to fight, a bit. He’d picked up a little amateur boxing in his high school days, and he’d always been scrappy. More importantly, he taught her how to hold her strength back to avoid killing anyone. It was fine (even a little funny) for a three year old to break somebody’s shin with a kick, but a few years later Brie was slowly edging into genuinely superhuman might. Cops chased killers harder, he said, but in reality he couldn’t bear the thought of his Baby Girl with blood on her hands. If there was killing to be done, he’d do it. Brie wore a lot of hoodies, gloves, and long pants in those days to avoid being casually identified. One wouldn’t think that would consistently work, but it did. But all things, both good and bad, must come to an end. An unexpectedly resistant store owner left Mason flat on his back with a bullet in his chest. The police sirens were getting louder. Mason told his Baby Girl to run. Please, God. Run. And the 12 year old ran. Mason survived his wound, but got ten years for the attempted robbery. He was not connected to his other crimes. He always had the dammedest luck. Brie was on her own. But her Daddy had taught her well. Not getting cold, hot, or sick and being able to eat food far too contaminated for normal people did have advantages, too. She robbed a few closed stores, did a few light muscle jobs, and may have fallen completely into the criminal underworld if not for a stroke of her father’s luck. An old friend of Mason’s from high school recognized her from years old stories. They had a chat, catching him up on life events. He got her a job with a touring indie band. It was just carrying their electronics and stuff. Basic roadie work. But it was legal, and it would keep her moving. If he could recognize her, so could the cops. Or worse, a superhero. Fair enough. Time went on. She got a good reputation in the roadie biz, moving from band to band as they broke up or stopped touring. Eventually she was pressed into service one night as a drummer, and found she had a bit of a talent for it. This too, eventually got around, and everyone’s favorite roadie became everyone’s backup drummer. She got roped into playing bouncer sometimes, too. But once again all things, both good and bad, must come to an end. Brie was her father’s daughter and thus could only be charitably described as a fiscal idiot. At the level of indie music she was working at, the musicians themselves sometimes could get paid in the equivalent of 20 bucks and a ham sandwich. When that happened, she obviously didn’t get paid at all. Her new friends had to pay rent and bills, plus had a powerful need to eat at some point. Part time jobs don’t pay for everything. So she’d been doing a little (un)armed robbery of her own on the side. She’d rip open an ATM occasionally, or walk into a bank and make a “withdrawal” from the teller side of the counter. Naturally, she wore hoodies, gloves, and long pants to avoid being identified, along with a full face mask. But Mason had neglected a critical part of her criminal education. If you’re going to be a career robber, you shouldn’t keep wearing the same few outfits, especially if they have reasonably unique logos on them. And you certainly shouldn’t wear them in regular life at all, ever. Ah, well. Live and learn. Several years down the line, the FBI (because committing crimes across state lines means you deal with them and not the local PD) finally managed to track down the “The Polite Robber” via the logos for the various places she’d worked on her clothes. They were expecting a veteran criminal with a small degree of superhuman strength and the likely accompanying durability. They were decidedly not expecting a 19 year old whose lifting capacity could be measured in double digit tons who was completely immune to hand portable mundane weapons and had significant skill in hand to hand combat. They were also decidedly not expecting her friends to pull improvised weapons of their own while screaming “Fuck the police”. It was a complete shitshow. Just an embarrassing ass kicking for the FBI. It took weeks to get their SUV off that roof, and the internet is still making memes of the fight. Nobody dying or even getting seriously injured (she remembered her Daddy’s lessons) just made the whole situation more hilarious. Brie found herself with a crew at her back and a new nickname. Gobstopper, after how she was literally hard candy, even solid shotgun slugs had simply bounced off her, and she wasn’t even breathing hard when the FBI was fleeing. Talk about everlasting. As unintentional supervillain debuts go, it wasn’t bad. Naturally, she used this newfound fame to get paid. Crime, after all, was never the goal. Money was. Unscrupulous promoters were more than happy to book the bands she worked with, as long as she’d be playing or at least making an appearance. And none of them were dumb enough to try and stiff a woman capable of leveling their building with her bare hands on her fee. But…none of the bands were actually hers, you know? She was a fill in, and she felt deeply uncomfortable using said newfound fame to replace anyone. Fortunately, there was a singer, guitarist, and producer in the same boat out there on the internet. This was the formation of the Sin-sations, though they didn’t meet in real life for some time. The group came to the attention of Photophobia, who brought them to the attention of Methion. The Grand Wizard wanted to see this unique young woman for himself, so he arranged a meeting. This was after speaking with Dream Girl (Sabrina Nowak), so Brie was now 22 years old. 3 years of milking her supervillainous notoriety without actually committing any crimes. Well, mostly. Resisting arrest was technically a crime, after all. As well as “destruction of public property”, whatever that meant. Maybe they meant the cop cars and such she busted up to keep them from following her around? Anyway, Brie had a talk with a mythical being (Methion, naturally), and then another one (Valine, this time). The whole band was there. First time they’d met IRL, matter of fact. Valine agreed to a trial period as STG members, and Brie found herself with the best paying job she’d ever had by several country miles. It came with some real fancy lawyers, too. So she could go pick up her Daddy in her new fancy car on his release date. And never was there a Daddy more proud of his Baby Girl. Talk about moving up in the world. The ol’ Kucerova luck just keeps working its magic. She and the band passed the trial period with flying colors, and have been Squad B for the last three years. Brie sends her father money, enough to keep him out of trouble. She finally got that fiscal education she sorely needed these past three years with the girls, and of course she shared it with Daddy. Methion’s fancy lawyers got her pending charges thrown out on various technicalities. She’s free as a bird. A note. Gobstopper, until debuting with the STG, was a private nickname among her friends and not used in public. So only very old friends make the connection and don’t disbelieve it. The authorities are unaware of any connection between Bridget Kucerova, inactive supervillain and current pop starlet, and Gobstopper, supervillain and STG member. Powers & Tactics: Brie is a mutant. Her body has been converted by exposure to several mutagenic chemicals and cooled sugar syrup into a being of living hard candy. No, nobody understands how this works or how she’s still alive. Like all mutants with completely altered bodies, her physiology is profoundly strange and makes little to no sense to medical or chemical science. Because her internal organs are all still there, if made of sugar, and they still seem to perform their usual functions. Hell, they function better than flesh and blood organs do. Poisons, diseases, and environmental conditions of all types have no effect on her. Her skin is strong enough to repel bullets from the types of firearms normally mounted on vehicles, and this durability is shockingly uniform across her “flesh”. No weak points here. Her bones are even stronger, and for some reason all energy attacks regardless of source reflect back to their source (if they’re not strong enough to harm her, mind). Her physical strength is completely superhuman. Her casual punches have cracked steel and she’s thrown fully loaded tractor trailers with ease. The FBI theorizes that she could throw full size tanks without straining herself. Why she doesn’t melt in the rain (for the millionth time she does, but extremely slowly; how else could she shower, geniuses?) and why she can change her skin color like she’s got a food dye generator inside herself (not even she knows this one) are genuine mysteries for the ages. It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Insects (especially the goddamn ants) try to eat her pretty regularly, and honestly she is pretty delicious to lick. But don’t lick her. Those mutagenic chemicals are still there in her system, and they will kill you in the same horror movie fashion as they did her mother. By slowly turning your flesh to candy and your blood to sugar water as all of your transforming organs gradually fail. Also it’s rude to lick people without permission and she might punch you for it. Tactically, Gobstopper is a puncher. She’s an unarmed fighter half trained in boxing and half in street brawling. Improved Demoralize and Improved Startle mix things up, and she’s just as accurate throwing something big and heavy as she is punching. Bu really, this isn’t complicated. She’s Squad B’s muscle. She tanks hits the rest can’t via Interpose and hits harder than any of them. She still remembers her Daddy’s lessons, however, and doesn’t use all of her strength ranks until it’s proven to her that person won’t take lethal damage from her full strength. She All Out Attacks with relative impunity (provided the enemies can’t breach her Impervious), but Power Attack is reserved for especially tough opponents, desperation, or destroying objects. She doesn’t know what a power stunt is. Personality: Brie is a sweetheart. Country born and bred, she’s one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. But don’t misunderstand. She’s a professional criminal from a family of professional criminals. The law means nothing to her, and the feelings and opinions of strangers don’t mean much more. All that talk about “responsibility” and “paying her debt to society” is just so much static in her ears. What about society’s debt to her? Girl’s gotta eat, you know. What she values is companionship and camaraderie. Doing what you have to do to survive in a world that doesn’t care if you live or die. It’s like Daddy said. The cops, the government, and rich folk don’t come around when you’re struggling. They don’t care a lick about your suffering or your hard times except to use it to get you to do things by their rules. But step out of line to get a little more for yourself and suddenly there’s this huge problem. So in the end, all we got to rely on is each other. The older she gets, the better she understand how right Daddy was. Reality’s a little more complicated than Mason’s attempt at philosophy lays out, but Brie has never seen the inside of a school. She’s of average intelligence and completely untrained in critical thinking. She’s not stupid, but life and her Daddy have taught her that the two most important things in life are loved ones and money. Everything else is a distant and unreliable second.
  22. Dream Girl (Sabrina Nowak) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 180/180 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +1 (12), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +12 (16/34) Tough: +2/+6, Fort: +6, Ref: +12, Will: +9 Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Bluff 13 (+25), Computers 4 (+5), Diplomacy 13 (+25), Disguise 8 (+20), Gather Information 13 (+25), Notice 5 (+8), Perform (dance) 3 (+15), Perform (singing) 3 (+15), Sense Motive 12 (+15) Feats: Attack Focus (ranged) 2, Distract (Bluff), Dodge Focus 3, Evasion, Fascinate (Bluff), Fascinate (Diplomacy), Improved Critical 2 (Heavy Blaster Shot (Blast 6)), Precise Shot, Set-Up, Skill Mastery (Bluff, Diplomacy, Gather Info, Sense Motive), Taunt, Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Concealed Body Armor (Device 1) (Hard to lose; Subtle (subtle)) Protection 4 (+4 Toughness; Subtle (subtle)) Heavy Blaster (Device 4) (Easy to lose) Heavy Blaster Shot (Blast 6) (DC 21, Feats: Improved Critical 2 (Heavy Blaster Shot (Blast 6)); Penetrating [3 ranks only]; Accurate (+2), Precise) Stun Shot (Stun 6) (Alternate; DC 16; Range (ranged); Accurate (+2)) Persuasion Resistance (Immunity 5) (interaction skills; Limited - Half Effect) Psionic Charisma (Enhanced Charisma 18) (+18 CHA) Psionic Persuasion (Linked) Drain 9 (Linked; drains: single trait, DC 19; Alternate Save (Will), Perception Area (General), Selective Attack; Limited (Sentient Biological Beings); Custom (Insidious), Subtle 2 (unnoticable)) Emotion Control 9 (Linked; DC 19; Perception Area (General), Selective Attack; Limited (Sentient Biological Beings), Limited to Emotion, Range 2 (touch)) Universal Language (Comprehend 1) (languages - you're understood) Attack Bonus: +8 (Ranged: +10, Melee: +8, Grapple: +10) Attacks: Drain 9 (DC Staged/Will 19), Emotion Control 9 (DC Staged/Will 19), Heavy Blaster Shot (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Stun Shot (Stun 6), +12 (DC Fort/Staged 16), Unarmed Attack, +8 (DC 17) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +3 Languages: English Native Totals: Abilities 28 + Skills 19 (76 ranks) + Feats 14 + Powers 66 + Combat 34 + Saves 19 + Drawbacks 0 = 180 Age (as of Jan 2019): 24 Height: 5’ 6’ Weight: 110 lbs. Ethnicity: Caucasian (Polish-American) Hair: Blue (natural, surprisingly) Eyes: Blue Background: Metahuman powers are often passed down through families. This was the case for Sabrina Nowak, alias Dream Girl. Her father Antoni was a supervillain by the codename of Incubus. He was a narcissistic sociopath, con artist and serial mental influence rapist who used his powers (identical to Sabrina’s) to escape punishment for his crimes. Sabrina, her older sister Violetta, and their mother managed to escape him after his crimes briefly caught up to him enough that he was arrested, charged, and tried. Unfortunately, enough of the jury fell victim to his powers that he was acquitted on all charges. He was then able to file for custody of the only one of his many, many children who seemed to have inherited his full abilities. And because of his powers, he won. Sabrina, age 9, was taken away by her supervillain father. And very, very soon she loved him more than anyone in the world. In a twisted kind of way, Incubus truly loved his little girl. His adorable little successor. Which was how his crimes escalated to murder. They’d blow into a town. Incubus would make some “friends”, and then he’d start working his way through the attractive female population. Said “friends would get the word to him when the heat starting coming down, and he and Sabrina would escape to another town far away. This was not always 100% successful. Sometimes people noticed that something was wrong with Sabrina. No daughter loves her father so absolutely and loyally. Sometimes Incubus’s “friends” got the word to him a little late and he had no time to pick up his girl. Only to run. So he had to track her down later and take her back. Regardless, anyone who got between Incubus and his beloved daughter got a bullet in the head. For her part, she functioned as his wing girl on seducing attractive women. Between both of their powers, nobody ever had a chance. He never laid a hand on her, but this only made her an extremely notable exception. Incubus didn’t care in the least about age. He cared about appearance. If the woman or girl met his standards, he was interested. For nine years, this continued. But Incubus’s murders had put him firmly on the radar of Vincent Mortelini. And the more Vincent learned, the higher he shot up the vigilante’s list. To the degree that he tracked down the supervillain. Incubus had just arrived in a new town, and was surveying the locals beside his now 18 year old daughter. He was hunting, but he did not get a chance to even sight new prey before a .50 caliber bullet struck him in the head and made said head cease to exist in rather messy fashion. Vincent doesn’t fuck around. The abrupt messy death of her forcibly beloved father broke something in Sabrina’s mind. She screamed at the sky. Her eyes turned temporarily red. Her hair turned permanently blue. And every human and animal within a 50 foot radius of her dropped dead, their faces locked in a perfect copy of her own horror and shock. This did not include Vincent, who had been a quarter of a mile away to begin with and was already rapidly leaving. It was and is highly dangerous for him to operate inside the United States. If he had known that Sabrina was not only Incubus’s child but also had identical powers, he’d have splattered her brains across the street too. As a precautionary measure, if nothing else. But he was about to spend the next day and a half ducking the FBI and a pair of superheroes (so he didn’t have to hurt any of them) before escaping into Mexico and meeting up with BLACK eliminate a cartel boss and his minions. Busy, busy, busy. In some ways, it may have been better if Vincent had put a bullet through Sabrina’s head. Because while her father’s powers made her love him, her own mind and will loathed him. The conflict between the two emotions, along with the fact that she couldn’t stop him from raping and killing (or stop herself from being his loyal, loving lapdog), produced a trainload of guilt. The mental stress was slowly breaking her psyche on its own, but his sudden death? Well…that added extreme grief and extreme relief to the emotional cocktail, and cracked her right down the middle. It was one hell of a psychotic break. The intial explosion of psionic energy killed a dozen people in addition to a few dogs and several birds. And then she wander away, half catatonic with her father’s gun and knife in hand. There was no plan. There wasn’t even a vague intent. She just…wandered away. And despite having literally blue hair, law enforcement somehow lost track of her. Her sister found her. Violetta, being 4 years older at 22, was a recent college graduate and FBI Agent candidate for their perpetually understaffed Psi-Division. Her powers made her both immune to and able to nullify most Psionic powers quite easily, along with some increased physical resilience. So in about a year, after she was trained and an official agent, Psi-Division planned to take her father down permanently. Unfortunately, Vincent Mortelini struck first and then her sister disappeared. Incubus was bad enough. But Sabrina had just killed several people. She had to face the law, even if it was a completely unintentional accident resulting from the actions of two bad actors. And someone who could do that, was armed, and had just demonstrably suffered a psychotic break was someone who needed to be found beyond immediately. So the FBI ramped into high gear, desperate to find Sabrina before she committed another massacre. And Violetta was shoved through a rushed and abbreviated training course a year ahead of schedule. Placed on the task force, she found her in days. People only change but so much, and Violetta knew her sister. Their old house. Violetta and her mother had moved as fast as possible after Sabrina was taken. (As a side note, Violetta and Sabrina’s mother died via suicide after the initial news of Incubus’s death was broadcast. She simply couldn’t stop loving him, no matter how badly she wanted to. Violetta was unperturbed. The two had not spoken in 4 years, and had not spoken more than bare civilities in 9. She held Violetta back on that day, and she never forgave her mother for it.) It was a very delicate situation. Anyone with eyes could see Sabrina was not fit to stand trial. She couldn’t be committed, as there wasn’t a chance in hell she’d go willingly. And that risked lives. Even if she wasn’t capable and/or willing to do whatever the hell she did in that town again, the risk was simply too great. So it had to be outpatient treatment at best. And Violetta had to be there to keep her sister in check if necessary. There wasn’t really a whole lot of choice. It took some coaxing (of both Sabrina and FBI brass), but Sabrina moved with Violetta into a safehouse. Psychotic breaks don’t last forever, even ones this potent. One morning a few months later Violetta looked into her sister’s eyes and saw recognition. Actual treatment was attempted, but ended in dismal failure. Sabrina reacted very, very poorly to anyone attempting to control her or her reactions. Paradoxically enough, this included herself. In the end there was nothing to do but let Sabrina put herself back together. This actually kind of worked. After two and a half years of this and on/off professional treatment, she was judged fit to stand trial. Which is, naturally, where Methion and Photophobia come in. Sabrina was known to not be a danger to others after a few months. So she got to go out occasionally, supervised by Violetta and a backup team. She became interested in music after one such outing, and started singing, gradually getting more and more famous on the internet and social media for her covers of various pop hits. Sabrina’s internet use was not supervised, in a surprising and fateful oversight. This lead to the initial formation of the Sin-sations, though they didn’t meet in real life for some time. This caught the attention of Photophobia, who brought her to Methion’s attention. A skilled singer with inhuman charisma and a backup band. How interesting. The Grand Wizard pulled a few strings. After speaking with the entire group online, he met with Sabrina in person (disguised as usual). They made an deal. The Sin-sations were signed to a recording contract, and a world class legal team showed up to defend her. The feds made the charges disappear in the face of such strong opposition and a relatively weak case. Sabrina was free to do as she pleased. Phase two of the deal with Methion was for his unique brand of help. Sabrina was still several country miles from okay, and she knew exactly why. She wanted her father out of her damn head. Methion performed the mental magic personally, in one of his many offices. What he did was make her specifically immune to her father’s Psionic energies. And just like that, she was free in mind and body. Valine met with the band, and agreed to a trial period as STG members. They passed with flying colors, and have been Squad B for the last three years. Violetta was…less than pleased (Psi-Division having a long standing grudge against Methion and the Strength Revolution, especially after the defection of Jacob Cross), and the two of them had a nasty final argument. They are, for most intents and purposes, no longer sisters. The FBI and the general authorities do not know that Dream Girl is Sabrina, mind. They’re just aware of Methion’s front companies and general supervillainy. Powers & Tactics: Dream Girl is a metahuman psionic. Her powers are somewhat strange. Her willpower supports a physiological augmentation and a telepathic power. This is extremely uncommon. Most psionics are either one or the other. Additionally, she carries two technological devices in her Concealed Body Armor and Heavy Blaster. Her physiological augmentation is of an uncommon type as well. Several factors, most of them poorly understood at a scientific level, govern social interaction. Charisma and “it factor”, for lack of more precise terms. It’s not merely physical attractiveness. Confidence when speaking and body language (posture, movement, etc) are also important. Beyond that it gets more and more ephemeral. Her Psionic Charisma augments all of these factors. Her body is subtly reshaped to be more attractive to the eye. The way she speaks and carries herself is also subtly different. No matter one’s gender, sexual preference, or lack thereof she is an extremely magnetic and likeable personality. Her personal charisma and “it factor” are off the charts. Even the most outlandish lies sound plausible when she speaks them, and even bitter foes have gone from actively homicidal to being one of her newest friends in the course of a single brief conversation. Her telepathic power only makes this more effective and dangerous. Or vice versa, depending on your perspective. Her Psionic Persuasion first drains her target’s mental awareness before influencing their weakened mind into regarding her more positively (such as with strong fondness or outright love). Strong willed persons can resist both effects, but their use is impossible to detect without specialized senses or equipment, and her target has no idea they’ve been targeted, let alone affected. Additionally, she is not limited to one target at a time. She may affect any number of targets in visual range of her. There is very strong evidence (via the rash of suicides/attempted suicides after the news of her father’s death was broadcast and her own dramatic reaction to it) that long term exposure to this power makes at least the altered emotional state a permanent effect. Her Concealed Body Armor is just that. Her resistance to damage is significantly improved while wearing it, and it takes a sharp eye to identify it as armor and not mundane clothing. Her Heavy Blaster is her mark of rank. Anyone in the know about Strength Revolution hierarchy will recognize the symbol on it as marking her as being in the third tier. The first being Methion himself and the second being Serine, Valine, and Katrea. It has a damage setting and a stun setting. Both use pure force to do their work. Tactically, Dream Girl supports her squad with Feints, Taunts, and Set Up in combat. Foes clearly tilted toward Toughness and Damage she may swap in Distract for. Outside of combat she uses Fascinate to hold opposing attention while her team does their work. Her Heavy Blaster doesn’t get a lot of work under normal circumstances, actually. Even solo, she’s capable of talking her way out of most fights via Bluff or Diplomacy. She can turn most ordinary civilians into a squad of fanatical defenders with a thought. She really doesn’t like doing that, though. It makes her feel like her father, and there aren’t words for how much she loathes and despises him. But as options go, it’s superior to violence. With that said, if she has no other choice she will pull the Heavy Blaster and start shooting. Distracting, Feinting, and Taunting work just as well for herself as they do for her squadmates. She has two possible power stunts, neither of which she’s used since her father’s head exploded next to her. The first is off her Psionic Charisma, and is Morph 8 (Female Humanoids; Covers Scent, Precise). The second is off her Psionic Persuasion, and is Strike 8 (Alt Save Will, Perception Area, Subtle 2). She used both of them that day, and accidently turned her hair permanently blue in the process. It would take something rather…dramatic to get her to use either again. Personality: Sabrina Nowak is fine. The seductive and charismatic frontwoman of the Sin-sations appears to all who see her as having overcome her various personal issues. She’s faced great trials and come out stronger on the other side. It’s very inspirational. It’s also bullshit. Dream Girl is jaded as hell, with a strong undercurrent of rage and bitterness underlying it. She’s bitingly sarcastic, enough to (figuratively) take years off one’s lifespan. She is extremely good at playing the adorable and charming sweetheart, but she spent most of her childhood as the adoring puppet sidekick to a genuine monster. Even with his influence on her mind negated, she is still very much Not Okay. But she’s stable. That’s the part she’d stress if anyone bothered to ask. The fact that no one does…well, she tries very hard not to think about that. So why? Why continue to work for Methion? Well, first, she’s working for Valine. Crucial difference. Methion, she’s come to learn, is kind of a bastard. But Valine knows the score. Pieces of shit get flushed. The end. Second, to put it rather bluntly, she’s taking back her power and control over her life. She is a high ranking member of the Revolution, so fellow members treat her with respect and lower ones add admiration. And the actual music career part is more fulfilling than she ever thought it would be. This is her life that she built with her own two hands. She’s had plenty of help, yes, but she’s the one calling the shots. And like hell she’ll ever give that up. And third, heroes can kiss the focused totality of her gorgeous ass. They’re worse than useless. They’re complicit in the same broken fucking system that allowed her father to do as he damn well pleased for two fucking decades before Mortelini blew his head off. The exact same broken fucking system that condemns said killing as murder and not justice long overdue. Fuck them.
  23. Squad B (The Sin-sations) Overview The Sin-sations are a band. A pretty damn famous band. Sabrina, Bridget, Asuka, and Alyssa are some of the most recognizable young women on the planet. Oriana is their bodyguard, and does not feature in the music or the band. Their music isn’t particularly well crafted, but pop music doesn’t have to be. What pop music needs is charismatic and physically attractive people performing competently. Sabrina’s powers smash the first button nearly as hard as possible (not that the others are any slouches in this department), and the live performers (Sabrina, Bridget, and Asuka) are much more than merely competent. Their songs are full of subtle references to Revolutionary ideology. It’s great PR, and truly excellent cover for their STG work. So when they put the masks on and become Dream Girl, Gobstopper, Sprite, Razzle, and Sorellanza, nobody would believe that some of the most famous pop stars in the world (and their rarely glimpsed tag along kid) are actually spies, thieves, saboteurs, and (in Sprite and Sorellanza’s cases) assassins. Dream Girl and especially Gobstopper have…distinctive…appearances, which only adds to the disbelief. If that’s not enough, Dream Girl can talk them out of virtually anything, and her powers have bred a fanatical fanbase willing to do just about anything for her. And if that doesn’t work, Sprite and Sorellanza are again, assassins. The group wasn’t recruited by Valine. It was Methion and Photophobia who found and recruited most of the five (Sorellanza came to them, sort of) to the Strength Revolution and STG. It was Valine who approved of them joining his people and put the group together as Squad B. Junie helped, as pop culture savvy Valine is not. One of the Revolution’s front companies is a music publishing label, which hires songwriters and guest musicians as necessary. The ladies take care of the rest. Tactics The Sin-sations are spies, thieves, and saboteurs primarily. Dream Girl can talk her way in while distracting from Gobstopper’s entry. Sprite, Razzle, and Sorellanza can sneak in. They try to avoid actual combat as much as possible. Actual assassinations are performed solely by Sorellanza if the target routinely appears in public. A sniper shot from far away, a crying child in an alley who suddenly has a silenced SMG, or the ol’ high explosives underneath their vehicle trick. If the target remains indoors at all times, Sprite is small enough to get into practically anywhere, especially if she mails herself as a doll, and has the martial expertise to disable any mundane bodyguards if necessary.
  24. Nimbus (Riley Chong) Power Level: 9; Power Points Spent: 180/180 STR: +2 (14), DEX: +3 (16), CON: +2 (14), INT: +2 (14), WIS: +3 (16), CHA: +2 (14) Tough: +2/+6, Fort: +7, Ref: +12, Will: +8 Skills: Acrobatics 2 (+5), Bluff 13 (+15), Concentration 7 (+10), Diplomacy 3 (+5), Gather Information 8 (+10), Knowledge (current events) 3 (+5), Knowledge (physical sciences) 3 (+5), Knowledge (popular culture) 3 (+5), Language 7 (+7), Notice 12 (+15), Sense Motive 7 (+10), Stealth 12 (+15) Feats: Accurate Attack, All-Out Attack, Attack Focus (ranged) 6, Attack Specialization 2 (Unarmed Attack), Dodge Focus 3, Evasion, Fearless, Improved Aim, Move-by Action, Power Attack, Precise Shot 2, Second Chance (Concentration checks to maintain powers), Skill Mastery (Bluff, Notice, Sense Motive, Stealth), Taunt, Ultimate Effort (Aim), Uncanny Dodge (Auditory) Powers: Flying Magic Cloud (Flight 1+9) ([Stacking ranks: +9], Speed: 10000 mph, 88000 ft./rnd; Affects Others, Shapeable Area (1 cubes of 125 cu. ft. (5x5x5) - General); Platform; Selective, Subtle (subtle)) Magic Cloud Tricks (Array 14) (default power: flight; Custom (Array 13.5)) Flight 9 (Default; Speed: 5000 mph, 44000 ft./rnd; Affects Others, Shapeable Area (9 cubes of 125 cu. ft. (5x5x5) - General), Stacks with (Flying Magic Cloud (Flight 1+9)); Platform) Obscure 9 (Array; affects: visual senses, Radius: 2500 ft.; Selective Attack) Snare 12 (Array; DC 22; Transparent; Range (touch); Indirect 3 (any point, any direction)) Suffocate 12 (Array; DC 22; Indirect 3 (any point, any direction)) Nimbus Costume (Device 2) (Hard to lose) Body Armor (Protection 4) (+4 Toughness; Subtle (subtle)) Oxygen Mask (Immunity 2) (suffocation (all)) Parachute (Super-Movement 1) (slow fall) Thermal Lining (Immunity 1) (environmental condition: Cold) Silenced Sniper Rifle (Device 5) (Easy to lose) Scope (Super-Senses 4) (extended (type): Visual 1 (-1 per 100 ft), infravision, low-light vision) Silenced Shot (Blast 6) (DC 21; Penetrating [3 ranks only]; Improved Range 2 (300 ft. incr), Precise, Progression, Increase Range 2 (max range x5, 3000 feet), Subtle (subtle)) Attack Bonus: +6 (Ranged: +12, Melee: +6, Grapple: +8) Attacks: Silenced Shot (Blast 6), +12 (DC 21), Snare 12, +6 (DC Ref/Staged 22), Suffocate 12, +6 (DC Fort 22), Unarmed Attack, +10 (DC 17) Defense: +12 (Flat-footed: +5), Knockback: -3 Initiative: +3 Languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese Sign Language (Northern), English Native, Mexican Sign Language, Russian, Spanish Totals: Abilities 28 + Skills 20 (80 ranks) + Feats 25 + Powers 58 + Combat 30 + Saves 19 + Drawbacks 0 = 180 Age (as of Jan 2019): Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 130 lbs Ethnicity: ½ Mexican American, ½ Chinese American Hair: Dark Brown Eyes: Dark Brown Background: Riley Chong always wanted to be a superhero. Unfortunately, she had no powers, no skills, and no training. And she wasn’t dumb enough to think she could just figure it out along the way. Seriously, the ones who went out with a club, bicycle armor, and blind faith ended up the in cemetery. So she was just kind of…outta luck. Some self defense classes were a start, but she didn’t have a particularly good aptitude for the martial arts. Progress was slow and painstaking. So it seemed like fighting crime directly wasn’t going to ever happen. She even applied to attend the LAPD Ahmanson Recruit Training Center. She attended, but ultimately washed out. The LAPD had no interest in someone who was recklessly overeager in dangerous situations and so socially awkward that they were useless in social interactions. She simply didn’t have what it took. And then, the dejected young woman turned 18. Directly from her mother’s homeland of China came the magic cloud. Her mother warned her to send it away forever, that it was more trouble that it was worth. But Riley did not listen. In fact, she turned her hearing aids off so she wouldn’t have to. She had a power now. She could be a superhero after all. The first thing to do was a little basic practice to understand how the cloud worked. The very first thing was that it would carry her, but not anyone else if she didn’t want it to. Her cat was quite surprised. Okay, so she could fly fast. Couldn’t see with all that wind in her eyes, so goggles. Up high was cold, surprisingly. LA was in the desert. Normally hot af. Weird. So a good coat, hat, gloves, and scarf. Some long underwear. Thin air, hard to breathe, almost passed out. So, some scuba tanks, good idea. And so Riley whipped around through various airspaces. Flying clouds don’t come with instruction manuals. Or uh, navigation systems. And when you can break the speed of sound, you can get to some places you really, really shouldn’t be. Folks, let it be known. Asking for directions at Area 51 or Edwards Air Force Base is a bad, bad idea. As is taking your flying cloud through controlled airspaces like airports. The federal government and the State of California got very, very annoyed with the young woman and her flying cloud. Though in her defense, it’s not like there are signs hanging in the sky and she knew absolutely nothing about the various flight rules and regulations a pilot would need to. Hell, she wasn’t aware that being a pilot was all that much more complicated than being a driver. Commercial aircraft had radios but so did taxis, right? Seemed similar to Riley. Most random 19 year olds wouldn’t think much differently. Anyway, when the feds and staties put their minds toward finding someone who really isn’t trying to hide, they can find them. Riley came home from a flight one day to find FBI and FAA agents waiting. Uh oh. It turns out there’s rules to this, Riley m’dear. And you broke most of them. So that’s a big pile of fines for a poor Sino-Mexican girl, and potential jail time on the table besides. She did what any 19 year old would do when confronted with the end of their life as they knew it. Panic and run away. Most don’t get far, even if they even get to the running part, because federal agents right freakin’ there. Most 19 year olds don’t have a flying cloud to ride on, however. They were prepared for the flying cloud. They were not prepared for the flying cloud to go hypersonic. So…now what? She couldn’t go home. Well, not to stay. She swung by again very early in the morning to pack a couple of bags and slipped away again before anyone could grab her. Lo siento tanto, Mama. Oh, Uncle Rico lived in Mexico! Perfect! Ricardo “Rico” Castillo was her deadbeat father’s brother. He was very happy to meet his sobrina again, as it had been several years and both she had grown up and filled out into a beautiful young woman. Uncle Rico was a coyote, or people smuggler. Specifically, from Mexico into the United States. The increasing border security of the past decade or so had been making his job much harder than it used to be. Riley told him about her troubles, and he told her about his. She needed a place to stay, and he had one. He needed help with his work, and she could easily do so. Plus they were family. It was unimaginable that either wouldn’t agree to help the other. They may not have physically seen each other in years, but they’d exchanged phone calls and emails often enough to qualify as staying in contact. Rico may have been a professional criminal (as all human coyotes are), but he was otherwise a relatively decent and fair dealing man. Relatively. One pair of night vision goggles, and at night Riley could carry several people from far away from the border to completely over it, bypassing any Border Patrol or cantankerous ranchers. Where Rico’s partners waited to pick them up. An epic partnership ensued. Since they were doing a lot of work in the wilderness, Rico started teaching Riley how to shoot a rifle. She could run easily from predators, yes, but anyone with her couldn’t. And she was quite a pretty girl. Some of the predators she’d need to protect herself from were human. The coyote business didn’t attract saintly individuals. This work was world expanding for Riley. Because obviously, she talked to some of the refugees trying to enter the US. Desperate poverty. Drug cartels. Gang violence. And the slow, grinding process to enter legally. Of course, such success in business, illegal or otherwise, doesn’t go unnoticed. People talk. Her efficiency was costing other coyotes money. This wouldn’t do. Local cartel bosses started seeing dollar signs. If she could smuggle people, she could smuggle drugs. And, of course, law enforcement on both sides of the border were quite frankly very alarmed at the sudden newcomer and inherent incoming destabilization what was already an unstable situation. It took the FBI about ten seconds to make the connection to the fugitive Riley Chong. In their eyes she’d just stepped up the criminal ladder another rung. People smuggling was a more serious crime than running from the law, which itself was a more serious crime than whatever trespassing charges they were initially going to throw at her. She clearly had criminal intent from the start, and needed to be stopped before she became a significant threat. If they knew her at all, they’d know this was hilarious. Riley, in her mind, wasn’t doing anything particularly wrong. She was helping family. She was helping desperate people. The fact that was, uh, technically illegal might have given her pause before the cloud came, but now? It didn’t matter. But of course, the life she and Rico were living couldn’t last. Way too many factors against it. Rival coyotes plotted against Rico, thinking of either killing them both or just Rico and stealing Riley. Local cartel bosses were thinking of co-opting or killing Rico to get her services. And the FBI (with assists from the State Dept. and CIA) were counting on Mexico’s Federal Police to execute a takedown on the apparent budding supervillain. The Federal Police were aware of (but did not tell the Americans) the plans of the rival coyotes and local cartel bosses, and made plans of their own against them. So, of course, all of it came to a head on the same day. To this day no one is sure quite what the hell happened in the specific. In the broad, Rico took a meeting with some cartel men. He didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter, but still. The fragile alliance of the rival coyotes shattered when they saw him meeting with the cartels, and they started shooting. This, naturally, prompted Rico and the cartel men to shoot back while not endearing either to each other. The Federal Police panicked, moved in fast, and also started shooting. It was a total shitshow on all sides. Riley, the catalyst for this chaotic situation, wasn’t even goddamn there. She was at Rico’s home several miles away, watching television. Which was then interrupted with the news broadcast of the spectacular shootout that had just begun at where Uncle Rico said he was meeting some people. And then further interrupted by members of the now broken rival coyote alliance (having hauled ass away from the beginning of the shootout) trying to shoot her. They didn’t know who they were messing with. Uncle Rico was the owner of a rundown boxing gym by day. He’d never won a title, but he’d been good enough to trouble champions’ agents, who wisely never booked fights against him. As good as he was, his brother (Riley’s father) could have been even better had he not been a loser and a deadbeat. So he’d taught her a thing or two. And, as it turned out, her cloud wasn’t just useful for flying. She could block vision, too, while retained some mobility. She took the goon squad out in under a minute. Then she grabbed Uncle Rico’s rifle and literally flew to his rescue. She did not have to fly far. Rico was just a bit of a badass compared to the criminals and even some of the Federal Police. He was able to use the blazing shootout as cover to slip back to his truck and roar off. This did not go unnoticed, and some Federal Police pursued in their own vehicles. They managed to wound him, but he fought to stay conscious. His all consuming thought was to get back to his sobrina. Riley. They met in the middle. Riley’s cloud again blocked the vision of her enemies. But she couldn’t do that and get her wounded Uncle away. And she worried he’d get blown off if she just cranked up the speed right away, as his strength was all but gone. He was family. There really wasn’t any choice in the matter that she found acceptable. So she used her uncle’s rifle and the skills he had taught her to protect him. With them blinded and her not, it was like a shooting gallery. She managed not to vomit until the last one was down. But Rico was still dying as she held him afterward, and she didn’t know what to do about it. More Federal Police were coming, with a helicopter and an armored car. They must have won the shootout (They had, through superior weapons and training). She didn’t know what to do about that, either. But…if this was to be the end…then she’d make it an end to be remembered. She gripped her uncle’s rifle with determination. And then a flying fox man fire kicked the helicopter out of the sky. The Special Tactics Group appeared on the scene like the wrath of an angry god, with Primrose, Aeon, Photophobia, and a since deceased graviomancer (with their teleport spell being the source of the STG’s sudden appearance) demolishing the Federal Police detachment with little effort. Riley looked up through teary eyes at Valine, who healed her dying uncle with a touch of his hand. Oddly enough, the STG wasn’t actually there for either of them. Unfortunately, as the healed Rico told Valine, their intel was several days out of date. The fledgling supervillain group they were after had already been dismantled by a small squad of superheroes and several cybernetically augmented (thanks to the work of Reyna Oleastro) members of the Federal Police. The combined recruitment/destruction mission was not only a bust, but they were over a hundred miles off target. They’d taken too long on the last couple of missions. It was then the family duo got a good look at them. Valine and Photophobia looked fresh as daises. But Primrose looked tired, Aeon looked exhausted, and the graviomancer looked absolutely whipped. Rico was no fool. He’d been paying attention to world events. He knew the Special Tactics Group when he saw it. Thanks, Jacob Cross. If they needed someone new, why not Riley? She had a good power and was an excellent shot. He overrode Riley’s protests by reminding her that their coyote days had just come to a very violent end. It was probably best if they both got out of Mexico for a while. Valine’s standards were a bit higher than Rico’s, but after a few demonstrations of her abilities he agreed to take her on. Her skills were adequate at the time, but truthfully Valine brought her on board because he recognized the cloud. It was probably better to keep that somewhere he could keep an eye on it. It and its past owners were often more trouble than they were worth. But properly channeled, well…maybe it and she could be useful. Ten years down the road, and Riley Chong (codenamed Nimbus) is a valued member of the Special Tactics Group, functioning as Squad A’s sniper. She’s able to regularly visit with her Mama. Uncle Rico runs a more or less successful boxing gym in Barcelona, Spain. She regularly visits with him, too. The Revolutionary flames that first stirred during her coyote days blaze brightly now. There is much wrong with the world, and it is up to the Strength Revolution and specifically the Special Tactics Group to help fix it. The authorities have no proof that Riley Chong is Nimbus, but it is suspected. Strongly, in some cases. Powers & Tactics: Nimbus has one magical power and two technological devices. Her power is basically that she has a flying magic cloud at her beck and call. They have a mental link that allows her to command it with a thought. She can always, no matter what else it is doing, stay in flight. If not particularly fast. And since it’s a cloud, she can permit another person (two if they are small or squeeze) to ride along with her. She or said person can be pulled off the cloud, however. It’s not an inherent part of her. And unlike most known forms of flight mundane or supernatural, it doesn’t make any sound or light on its own. So she can be stealthy mid flight, something normally quite difficult for fliers. She has developed four special “tricks” using the cloud. The first one she discovered is enhanced flight speed and carrying capacity. Flight speed is enhanced up to approximately Mach 13, and carrying capacity is up to 10 people (20 if they’re small or all squeeze). The second one she discovered training with her Uncle Rico. The cloud can expand and cover an area approximately a mile in diameter, completely eliminating visibility to anyone Riley doesn’t designate as immune. Their eyes still work, it is that there is only cloud to see. Her remaining two tricks were discovered training with and fighting alongside the STG. The third is that the cloud can go semisolid and function much like netting, entangling and immobilizing foes in melee range. The last is actually shockingly lethal. The cloud can pour itself down a melee target’s throat and slowly suffocate them. Her two devices are a Silenced Sniper Rifle and her Nimbus Costume. The Rifle has the expected range and power, along with armor piercing ammunition and a scope that grants enhanced visual senses. Her Nimbus Costume has four components. Body Armor increases her resistance to damage. An Oxygen Mask keeps her able to breathe anywhere. A Parachute helps her not fall to her death if her cloud gets nullified. And a Thermal Lining to protect her from environmental cold. Tactically, Nimbus is Squad A’s sniper and occasional assassin. 90% of everything she does is centered around getting off a Silenced Shot at a target that doesn’t know she’s there. Her Obscure can do it. Mundane stealth can do it, and she has enough Bluff to create a distraction to hide at need. Even sheer distance can do it, and she has the flight speed to gain it effortlessly. A full +5 All Out Power Attack after an Improved Aim action (or even Ultimate Aim) has spelled doom for many a foe. She’s basically one note, but it’s a hell of a note. And then there’s the remaining 10%, which is her surprisingly adept melee abilities. If she can land her Snare, its rank and Transparent Extra make it difficult to get out of. Her Suffocate is extremely dangerous to those without the Fort save or Immunity to get past it. Both have Indirect 3, so they may well catch a target unawares. She’s even decent with her fists, though lacking a little in striking power. And that same Bluff bonus that’s used to create a distraction can also be used to Feint. She has two power stunts available. They’re both the same basic idea. Drop the rank of Snare or Suffocate down to 9, removed Indirect 3, and add Area (Shapable). Due to her focus on sniping, these aren’t seen very often. Personality: Riley is Squad A’s conscience. She always wanted to be a superhero. But she’s older now. She knows superheroes are more protectors of the status quo rather than instruments of change. So while she always wanted to be a superhero, in the present she doesn’t anymore. Not really. She knows killing is wrong. But she agrees with Valine, kind of. Most people who want to be good or at least just decent are already doing that. So the bad guys get one chance. Just one. Then a bullet in the head. People can do better. She believes it. But if they refuse to do so, the world’s better off without them in it. She believes there are plenty of people in the world worthy of protecting and helping. Sometimes the best way to do that is pulling them out of burning buildings. Sometimes the best way is killing the jerks that keep lighting buildings on fire. And sometimes the best way is demolishing the store selling the matches and lighter fluid. She may no longer want to be a superhero, but neither does she want to go full villain. Heroes can’t change things, but villains don’t help people. So she’s striving for something in the middle. This is why she’s the conscience of the Squad A. Valine’s not the persuading type and the other three are a little…questionable when it comes to issues of morality. Aeon is cooperative and grasps the concepts. Photophobia is cooperative but just doesn’t grasp the concepts. And Primrose, damn him, isn’t cooperative even though he grasps the concepts very well. Valine has to back her to get him to cooperate. In fact, Valine relies on her to speak up and she knows it. It helps his authority to not always be, ironically enough, the bad guy in their interpersonal relationships.
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