FLUX: THE HELLQ
Who are you? Sum yourself up in one sentence.
I am Casey Hand, sometimes known as Flux, boyfriend to Nina Holland and father to Randall Hand.
Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?
When I ran with the Black Diamonds, I was sometimes known as "Skip" or "Flash", the latter for my ability to run fast (fast enough to outrun the cops, anyway). Not sure how I got the nickname "Skip". Someone told me once that I resembled someone's brother, who was called "Skip". He died in a shootout.
What is your full birth name?
Not sure. I've never seen my birth certificate. My biological parents died when I was very young. The last name, Hand, comes from them, but I don't know much else about them. Casey Hand is the only name I've had.
Where do you live?
Nina, Randall, and I live at 218 77th street, apartment C4, in the southwestern part of downtown, adjacent to the West End, where Nina and I grew up. The apartment building where we live was converted from an old bakery. I've found some interesting things while wandering around the undeveloped parts of the upper floors.
How old are you? What year were you born (if applicable)?
I am 19 years old and turn 20 next June 18 (2011). I was born in 1991.
What is your gender? If not applicable, please explain.
I am male.
How would you describe your heritage?
That is a hard question to answer. Not knowing much about my parents apart from the last name, Hand, I don't have much to go on. I suppose, based on my physical features, that I am of half European descent, maybe English, Scottish, Irish, or something along those lines, and half African-American descent. Beyond the physical features, there's not much else to tell.
How tall are you?
I stand 6 feet, 1 inches tall.
What is your body type?
I am athletic, owing from many years living among fast-moving gangs and eating little. I suppose my teenage drug use probably has something to contribute as well. Now that I have been working on gaining control of my powers, and in anticipation of returning to the West End to help clean it up, I've been working out like a madman to get in shape. I'm a wiry guy and will probably never be able to put on much muscle mass.
Do you have any particular weaknesses, such as allergies or physical disabilities?
Chocolate and cocoa beans make me sneeze, but I have no serious physical reaction to them.
How do you carry yourself? Are you graceful, or heavy on your feet? Can you be stealthy, do you walk with confidence?
I guess I consider myself graceful. I've seen some supers who could really move and I am definitely NOT in that class. But I get along pretty well. I can sneak when I need to do so (and have, on many occasions).
Describe your skin, eye, and hair color.
Most people would consider me a "light-skinned" black man. I have definite Caucasian facial features, though. I have blue eyes, which is strange for a mulatto such as myself. My natural hair color is black, but I dye it white. Why? Because I feel like it. Yeah, I know. Nina asks the same thing.
How do you wear your hair, if applicable? Do you have facial hair?
My hair is usually long and messy. I don't keep it under a mask or hat or anything when I go as Flux because it would get even worse. I keep my face clean-shaven, though. It's a requirement of my job.
Do you consider yourself attractive? Do others?
Well, I sure hope Nina considers me attractive As for others, I don't really much care. I mean, I'm not an ugly guy; I know that from the mirror. But I don't go out of my way to improve my looks.
Do you have any scars, tattoos, piercings, or birthmarks?
Oh, lord. Here comes the list. All right. Piercings: both ears (twice each), right eyebrow, lip, right nostril, and, um, somewhere unmentionable. Let's just say I'm careful to no get it caught on anything :oops: As for the tats: spider on a web (left shoulder), arrow hitting a target (left bicep), tribal vine wrap (around left forearm), spade (inside left forearm), Aunt Tina's name and 1959 - 2001 (center chest), "Never Forget" (around navel), black diamond (left front beltline), trio of black diamonds with the names Casey, Syd, and Vance over each (right shoulder), and a broken anvil (left shoulderblade). I might have missed one or two.
Do you resemble anyone famous?
I've been told that I look like a mulatto David Bowie with long hair. The dye job probably plays a part in this.
Do you have a dominant hand?
I am definitely right-handed.
What kind of clothing do you wear?
When I'm at work, I wear a beige jumpsuit issued by my employer, along with a name badge and a tool belt. When at home, I go for the casual look: faded jeans, a white or tan t-shirt, always long-sleeved (to cover the gang tats). I've been known to wear a knit cap during the chilly months. My Flux costume is a forest green and silver bodysuit and I wear orange-tinted goggles.
Do you wear makeup?
No, never have.
What is your vocal range? Is your voice distinctive in some way?
I guess I have a relatively high voice for a male. I can sing a little heavy metal or screamo from time to time.
Do you have any distinctive habits, nervous tics, or mannerisms? Where did they come from, and what causes them? Do other people notice and remark on these habits? Do they annoy you or other people?
From my days running with the Black Diamonds, I am always watching my back, even when somewhere supposedly safe. I'm always a little edgy around cops. Even more edgy around those working vice or gang detail. I quit smoking when the baby came and I've got the obvious oral fixation stuff that comes with that.
Where do you come from?
I was born in Freedom City, in the West End. As far as I know. Like I said before, I've never seen my birth certificate, so I suppose I could have been born anywhere. Or grown in a test tube. Or created from the parts of other... never mind. Anyway, I am from the West End of Freedom City and spent the first 18 years of my life there.
Have you made any major moves, or do you live in your hometown?
After Nina had the baby, we moved downtown, where we now live. It's considerably safer where we live now and a much better place to raise a kid.
Do you feel loyal to your country of citizenship? Do you consider yourself patriotic? How do you feel about the government of your country?
I am pretty pro-American, but I'm not blind to the mistakes our leaders sometimes make. I trust the state and federal government more than I trust the locals. I mean, I'm sure the politicans downtown have the peoples' best wishes at heart, but sometimes, you have to wonder.
How do you feel about the place you come from?
In my heart, the West End is still my home. I want to help clean it up and make it once again a safe place to live.
Where is your home town? What was/is it like?
Well, like I said, I grew up in the West End of Freedom City. It's a place of old neighborhoods, of little ethnic villages crammed into one another. The Italian village, the Greek village, the Latin market, Little Saigon, Little Tokyo, the projects, the heights, Main Street; all of these places make up the fabric that is the West End. Sure, it's filled with gangs and some violence, but the West End isn't as violent as people make it out to be. It's also a place of joy, of music, of sports, of as many victories as defeats, of entrepreneurship, of enterprise, and of hope. It could be better, sure, and I aim to be part of that solution.
Growing up, were most of the people you knew similar to you, or were you somehow a minority? How did that affect you?
Being a half-breed, I was, perhaps surprisingly, not a minority. There's a lot of - for lack of a more polite term - race-mixing in the West End. I suppose if I was 100% Caucasian, I probably would be in the minority, especially since I don't look very Italian, Greek, or Jewish. But being of mixed ancestry, I never ran into any problems with being a minority.
Is there something you've always been really good at or really bad at? How has that affected your life?
As a kid, I was always good at baseball and basketball, really any sport that required some agility. I've always been quick and light on my feet, with good balance, and good hand-eye coordination. Sports came really easy to me. In middle school and before I dropped out of high school, I was the best pitcher on our teams and a pretty good shortstop when I wasn't on the mound. I was also a damn good point guard, if that doesn't make me sound too full of myself Sometimes, I wonder what might have happened if the Black Diamonds hadn't forced me to drop out of school. Might I have gone on to college basketball or the minors? Maybe.
Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?
Until the age of 10, I grew up with a woman I called "Aunt Tina", a domineering black woman with a heart of gold, once you got past everything else. I don't think she was related to either of my biological parents; she might've been and never told me. In any event, Aunt Tina was the only real parent I ever had. When she died, and I never learned how, I was thrown into the foster system, jumping from foster home to foster home over the next three years. I got out when I was 14 and never looked back.
Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.
Like I said, getting out of the foster system was probably THE defining moment of my childhood. It got me out of the vicious circle, but onto the streets, where I needed to care for myself. I wasn't on the street for two weeks before the Black Diamonds came for me and recruited me into their number.
What stupid things did you do when you were younger?
Oh, lord. Well, I was a member of a gang, if that tells you anything. You name something dumb, I've probably done it. I guess a list of the really stupid things I done would have to be led by taunting cops and messing with their patrol cars. I've also tagged cop cars and even stole one once, with my buddies. Never got caught, though, and never spent a day in juvie. Guess I'm lucky. Mostly, stealing cars, vandalizing property of rival gangs, doing drugs, and fencing stolen property. You know, the usual.
Where did you go to school? How much school did you have, and did you enjoy it?
From ages 12 through 14, I attended West City Middle School in the West End. After that, from ages 14 through 16, I attended Western High School. Under pressure from the other Black Diamonds, I dropped out at 16. I wish I had stayed in school and ditched the gang. That might not have worked out so well now that I think about it.
Do you have any mementos of your childhood? What are they, and why did you keep them? If you have none, why not?
I haven't kept anything other than my tattoos. I don't need any other reminders of my former life.
When did you decide to become a hero? Why? Did anyone influence you one way or another in the decision?
After I discovered my force field powers, and used it to save myself, Nina, and my unborn son from certain death at the hands of a rival gang, I resolved to use my powers to help protect others. The birth of my son certainly bolstered my resolve in this regard. I don't want him to grow up in a world of unchecked violence.
Is the reason you give people for becoming a hero different than your real reason? If so, why?
I usually leave out the gang stuff when I tell people anything about my past. I don't lie about it, though, and people who have known me long enough realize that I have a checkered past.
Do you have any deep, dark secrets in the past that may come back to haunt you?
I try to keep my gang-banging past a secret from people who have only known me in my "new life". It's not that I necessarily have anything to hide, and I'm really only ashamed of a select few things I did during that time; I'm really trying to avoid people prejudicing me because of my past. I'd like to keep it buried if I could.
Do you represent yourself as being different from who you really are? Why?
Other than avoiding my past, I'm pretty much a straight-shooter. I don't hide who I am (aside from the whole costume thing) and I don't engage in artifice in my personal life.
If you do have these secrets, what do you fear would happen if the truth became known? How far would you go to protect those secrets?
I guess the worst thing that would happen if people knew about my past would be that I would be judged, fairly or unfairly perhaps. I know that my employer, already skittish about security matters, would run background checks and so forth. I'd probably be fired for lying on my job application. My new friends, of which I don't have many, may or may not continue our relationships. I know the Black Diamonds would come after me if they found out where I'm living.
Do you have any sort of criminal record? If so, is it public knowledge?
Luckily, I avoided encarceration for the various crimes and misdeeds of my gang past. The list of things I could (and perhaps should) have been sent down for... is long.
What are your biological parents' names?
I do not know their first names. My last name, Hand, is allegedly from them, but I cannot be sure of that.
Were you raised by them? If not, please explain and describe who raised you.
I was raised initially by Aunt Tina, and then in a series of foster homes that I barely remember.
What was their standing in the community? What did/do they do for a living?
Aunt Tina was a bus driver and also worked at the movie theater and made jewelry on the side. Everyone who knew Aunt Tina loved her.
Where are your parents now?
Aunt Tina died when I was 10 years old. No one ever told me what happened to her. I have no idea what became of my biological parents.
Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?
Aunt Tina and I lived on Bleecker Street in the West End until she died and I was moved into foster care. In the foster system, I lived in five or six places over a two-year span. I don't remember most of them. The one from which I finally ran away was the worst, though. Of that, I can be certain.
How did you get along with their parents? How do you get along with them now (if applicable).
Aunt Tina was rough with me, but she had her reasons. Her upbringing wasn't the easiest. From what I remember, she grew up very poor and had to fight and scratch for everything she got. She'd had two husbands who beat her up; she shot dead the last one. Beneath Aunt Tina's gruff exterior, however, was a heart of gold. Everyone who really knew Aunt Tina realized that she cared deeply about her family, her neighbors, and the community.
How do your parents view you now, or how would they?
I don't think my biological parents have any idea who I am or that I even exist, if they are even alive. I don't care what my foster parents think about me. I hope my real parents would be proud of what I have tried to do with my life, especially with what I've been doing since I received the gift that is my super powers.
Do you have any siblings? If so how many and what are their names? Describe your relationship with them.
If I have any biological siblings, I don't know anything about them.
What was your birth order in the family?
Where are your siblings now (if applicable)? Do they have families of their own? What do they do?
Do you stay in touch with them or have you become estranged?
Do you love or hate one member of the family in particular?
Aunt Tina was far and away the best parent I could have wanted. Of my foster parents, I can tell you that my last foster mother was the worst of the bunch. I don't even remember her name, nor do I want to.
Is any member of the family special to you in any way (perhaps, as a confidant, mentor, or arch-rival)?
Not any more.
Are there any black (or white) sheep in the family (including you)? If so, please explain.
Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor? If so, please explain, including how it has affected your life.
Do you have a partner and children currently? If so, please describe them.
Nina Holland, who grew up not far from me in the West End, is my girlfriend and mother to our son, Randall Harley Hand, who is a year old. Nina has been fantastic with Randy, better than I could ever hope to be. I hope I can live up to what Nina dreams I can become.
If you do not have a partner or children, do you want them someday? How firm are you in your opinion on this, and what might change your mind?
What type of person would be your ideal mate?
Nina is already my ideal mate. She and I have been through a lot in the last three years. She miscarried at 16 and then bore our child at 18. She's an absolute trooper. If you can believe it, Nina has been through more... stuff... than I have! And she's got the scars to prove it. The experience has made Nina tough as nails and I wouldn't want anyone else raising our son.
Do you have any close friends? If so, please describe them, and how you came to be close to them.
In my life, there are three people who I consider friends. The guy I've known longest, post-gang life, is Brandon Fisher, who got me my current job at Coaxutronics. Brandon works there too, as a lead computer tech. Next is Aaron Donahoe, who goes to my gym and helped me learn my way around the new neighborhood. Aaron is my only friend who knows about my past. Finally, Doug Nieman, who lives in the building.
Do you have a best friend? If so, how did they become your best friend? How close are you to your best friend?
Aaron Donahoe is probably the closest thing I have to a best friend, aside from Nina, of course. Aaron has been there to help me out and I've been able to confide in him about my past in the West End. I'm not ready to open up about everything; he still doesn't know a thing about my powers.
If you were to go missing, who would worry about you?
Nina, obviously. Probably Aaron. Probably Brandon and the guys in the computer lab. Doug might ask some questions.
Have you lost any loves? If so, how did it happen, and what did you do?
Until Nina came along, I never really experienced romantic love. She's the only girl I have ever felt this way about. Probably the only one I will ever love.
Do you have any bitter enemies? If so, please describe them and their history with you.
I guess I would consider the Black Diamonds my biggest enemy, although it's rather one-sided right now. All I want to do is forget the past, but I know the old gang would love to give me a good old-fashioned beatdown for abandoning them. I was a Black Diamond for four years and one of their best members, in that I was still alive and not in prison. They don't let anyone leave willingly and I'm sure they are very much aware that I escaped the West End and would like to punish me for getting out.
If you have enemies, how do you think they might attempt to work against you in the future?
If they had any clue I was Flux and that I was coming into their territory to stop the violence and crime, I'm sure they'd work extra hard to take me down. Hell, they might even team up with old rivals to stop me.
What is the worst thing someone has done to you?
Then-head of the Black Diamonds, Syd, beat Nina within an inch of her life when I refused to kill an unarmed man. This is what caused Nina to miscarry a few years back. I never forgave Syd for this, but I had no recourse at the time. If Syd is still around and I get my chance to confront him... I can't imagine what sort of vengeance I might have to take.
Where do your loyalties lie? In what order?
First and foremost, to Nina and Randy. Next, to the West End. Finally, to my employer, Coaxutronics.
Who or what do you trust the most? Why?
I trust Nina with my life. Right now, I barely trust anyone else. I guess Aaron would be next on the list, but waaaay below Nina.
Who or what do you despise? Why?
I hate unnecessary violence and especially any violence against the helpless and innocent. I'm of the belief that those of us gifted with super-powers should use them for the greater good and I plan to use mine to stop senseless violence and crimes against the helpless victims of Freedom City and possible elsewhere. Is this partially to atone for the misdeeds of my youth? Perhaps, a little.
What qualities do you admire most in other people? Are these qualities you possess?
The people I mot admire are trustworthy, generous, and respectful. Aunt Tina is the only person I've known to have all of these traits in spades. Nina is a very close second. I suppose I'm all of these things, some of the time. Working hard every day to get better. I also admire toughness and endurance. I could've been tougher and more resilient in my life. I'm working on becoming more of a stand-up guy when the stuff hits the fan.
What qualities do you hate most in other people? Do you have any of those qualities?
I hate greed, cowardice, and disloyalty. While I've never been a greedy person, I've been a coward at times, selling out my former gang mates to escape prison time, and I've certainly been disloyal at times, even to the ones I love. I'm not too proud of either.
Do you have a secret identity? If so, who knows it? Do you hide it from people who are close to you? Why?
Only Nina knows that Flux is Casey Hand. This hero thing is so new to me that I feel like I should keep my true identity a secret until I get the hang of it. Then, I might tell Aaron and maybe Brandon. We'll see how it goes.
Do you work well on teams and in groups? Are you a leader or a follower?
Back when I was a member of the Black Diamonds, I was pretty much a team player. That all ended when Syd beat up Nina, right in front of me, causing her to miscarry. From that day forward, I worked to undermine Syd and eventually left the gang. Since then, I've been pretty reticent to join groups. The first real job I've ever had, the one fixing computers at Coaxutronics, is the first time I've been part of a group that wasn't out to destroy things and cause mayhem. I'm feeling better about being part of a team again.
Are you on a super team? If so, how do you get along with your comrades? Do you trust them, or do you have secrets from them?
Not currently a member of a super team.
Are you a member of any church, fraternal organization, club, committee, political party, or other group? How much time do you spend on that?
Nina and I have discussed joining a church, but we haven't made a decision in that regard. I've considered joining the neighborhood watch for our block, as well as the apartment building's resident committee.
Personality & Beliefs
Who are your heroes?
Aunt Tina is the only really heroic figure in my past, although maybe you could count Nina among my heroes, for the way she puts up with me. In terms of supers, I admire the members of the Freedom League, of course, as well as the Atoms. For solo heroes, I really like Foreshadow. I don't know many other supers, but I hope to meet some of them.
Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?
No. I'm lucky enough not to have had this happen.
Do you like being a hero? If so, what is the most rewarding part? If not, what makes you keep doing it?
I like the idea that I can make a difference. The place where I grew up is in dire need of help, in a lot of different ways. In some small way, if I can contribute to making the West End a better place, I can feel that I've been redeemed for my past gang activity. I'm really just getting started, though. I feel like my powers are not only a responsibility, but also a burden in some ways. I feel like I need to use my powers for the betterment of others. It's rewarding knowing that I made a difference when no one else could.
Is there anything that would make you give up hero work, or even switch sides?
If Nina or the baby were ever seriously harmed or threatened because of my super-heroing, I would strongly consider giving up the life. I would never switch sides and become a villain.
What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?
I'd like to have stopped my first super-villain. I'd like to move up in my job, maybe to a lead position. I'd like to celebrate Randy's second birthday.
What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?
I'd like to be retired from the super-hero game, having made enough of a difference to feel safe enough to move my family back to the West End. I'd like to make Nina into an honest woman an give her the wedding she deserves. I'd like to give Randy a little brother or sister. I'd like to see them off to college.
What is your greatest fear? Why? What do you do when something triggers this fear?
Oh, definitely that something bad would happen to Nina or Randy and I would be powerless to save them. I get this sinking feeling every night I leave the building to go on patrol. I worry that I'll come back and something has happened. I have to remind myself that Nina is a resourceful woman and would take Randy and get the heck out of there if something was going down. Still, it's always something that's at the back of my mind.
Is there anything you would give you life for?
I would definitely give my life to save Nina or Randy, or any kids we might have in the future. I would also give my life to save someone truly worthy of my respect, someone important to the community.
How do you feel about money and material wealth? Do you desire it or disdain it? Are you miserly with what you have, or do you like to share? Is it a mark of success, or a means to an end?
I grew up with nothing and I've gotten used to getting by with little. I can't say that I'm opposed to material wealth, but I'm a little concerned that having a great deal of wealth would change me and alter my outlook on life. It would also likely bring more attention to who I am and what I'm doing. I prefer to live the life I've created for myself and I think I can be content with it for now.
How do you generally treat others?
I respect those who earn it. I'm courteous to everyone, unless they give me a reason not to be. I don't take, um, stuff from anyone, though. I've learned to defend myself and those I love, and I don't take grief from anyone. I can be a bastard when needed, but I try to keep the animal in check at all times. Trying to live a respectful life now, you know.
Are you a trusting person? Has your trust ever been abused?
Oh, no. I haven't been a trusting person since Aunt Tina died. Living in the foster system removed all traces of a trusting attitude from me. Being in a gang also helped that. With me, trust has to be earned and it's not easily earned. The people I trust are those who have gone through the ringer with me. Nina is the only person I truly trust right now.
Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)? Do you have a lot of self-confidence?
I've got boat-loads of self-confidence. You have to project self-confidence when you're living on the streets or running with the Black Diamonds. If you aren't a man, they will beat you down the first chance they get. That said, my natural state is that of an introvert and I have definitely slipped back into that mode in my "new life". I think Nina prefers that I keep to myself and not cause trouble, at least when I'm not cruising in super-hero mode.
How do you act around attractive, available members of your preferred sex?
You don't know how much trouble I would get in for even thinking about this subject. Nina would literally kill me if I thought about another woman. That said, there's no harm in looking, right?
What are your most annoying habits?
Since I just kicked smoking, I've got this oral fixation that can sometimes annoy others. I like to chew on stuff, hold small objects in my hands, mindlessly mimic some of the routine of smoking cigarettes. Anyone who's quit smoking will probably recognize this behavior. I hope it goes away with time.
Do you feel contempt for any general category of people? Who are they, and why?
Honestly, and I don't know anyone like this, but I know they exist, but I hate rich and entitled people who do nothing to help their fellow man. Here I am, busting my hump, a man of very little means, but doing what I can, while some rich guy lives in an estate far away from the real world, caring nothing for anyone but himself. I can't stand the thought of those people.
What is your favorite food? Do you prefer any particular type of food? Do you take the time to enjoy your food, or do you eat as fast as you can?
I'm kinda partial to Mexican and Chinese. Nina and I were really into fast food, but we've kicked that habit since I've been working out and trying to get in shape for the superhero gig. Honestly, I don't spend a lot of time eating or thinking about eating.
What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?
In the day, I used to enjoy a brew now and then. Now, since I'm trying to live the life of the straight and narrow, I've given up on booze. I won't be legal for two years anyway. For now, I've still got non-alcoholic brews to keep me company. C'mon, 21.
What is your favorite treat (dessert)?
Nina and I enjoy walking down to an ice cream shop on the corner, "Jerry's". The locals say it's been in the same location since the 1950s. It's pretty cool.
Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?
No. I'll pretty much eat anything. You learn to stop being picky when you don't have much of a choice to begin with.
What is your favorite color? Are there any colors you dislike?
I like black, white, and shades of gray. I'm not too into seriously "bright" colors, but I can appreciated muted colors.
What sort of music do you like? Is there any that you hate?
I like heavy metal, especially the long-haired, "white boy" metal of the 1980s, along with the grunge stuff that followed in the 90s. I like guitar-driven music. I've even gotten into some "classic" rock and folk/acoustic from time to time. I never cared for rap or "boy bands". I like music where the performers actually play instruments. I also don't care for disrespectful lyrics.
If you have a favorite scent, what is it?
I like fresh linen, like when Nina brings up the clean laundry. It reminds me that I have a home now.
Do you have a favorite animal?
Not really. Cats seem to like me for some reason.
What is your most treasured possession? Why?
I still have a locket Aunt Tina gave me when I turned 9, about a year before she died. Aunt Tina said it was given her by her mother. It's a powerful little thing that reminds me of Aunt Tina and all that she sacrificed for me.
Do you enjoy "roughing it", or do you prefer your creature comforts?
I've been "roughing it" for my entire life. I'd like to say that my new job and digs have given me some of the "creature comforts", but the truth is that I don't know that I'll ever get the "street" out of me.
Is there a job or a task you would absolutely refuse to do?
I could never be a servant to some rich person. Especially one who was an elitist jerk.
Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If so, how do your beliefs affect your life? How important is it to you?
Nina is far more of a spiritual person than I am. She wants to raise Randy with Christian beliefs. I can't say I'm opposed to the idea; I've just never been one to go to church and I'm not sure I "believe". I'll most likely follow along with what Nina wants because I don't have a reasonable alternative.
Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?
Not really, no. Aunt Tina was pretty religious, from what I remember, but she never took us to church.
If you belong to a religious organization, how often do you attend? Do you have a specific place of worship, or friends within the organization? How much do you agree with the beliefs of your organization?
Could you kill? Have you killed?
I'm not sure I could kill, but maybe I could in defense of my loved ones. One thing I never did as a member of the Black Diamonds was kill someone. It just wasn't part of what we did. I mean, we did everything else, but killing was a little beyond us. It got ugly towards the end of my run, though, and one of the reasons I left was that I refused to kill an unarmed man.
What circumstances led to you forming that conviction, or taking that action?
Aunt Tina taught me that killing wasn't right and wouldn't solve anything. I've seen enough death and enough of what it does to the people who get left behind, that I would never consider doing it unless there was literally no other alternative.
Are there circumstances under which you believe it is permissible to kill? What are they?
If my loved ones are directly threatened and I have no alternative, I would kill someone. I'm not sure I could do it just to defend myself.
How would you react to watching someone kill another person? Would your reaction be different if the killer was a friend or an enemy of yours?
I've seen it happen. It made me sick the first time. I've seen friends killed. After a while, the sick sounds of killing, the smells, people running and screaming... you become immune to the pain and the loss. It makes you a harder person. Much harder than I ever want to be again.
How would you react if something important was stolen from you?
I don't really own much that I would miss. My most important "possession" is the love of a good woman and that would be hard to steal away.
How would you react to public humiliation?
I've been humiliated by the Black Diamonds, during my "initiation" and at other times. I've been humiliated by other gangs. I have to admit that I take it personally. Very personally. I won't say that my mind isn't on revenge in those situations. Nina wouldn't like to hear that, but it is what it is. There are few things that get my anger up these days, but being disrespected is one of them.
How would you react if a good friend or relative were purposely or accidentally killed? Has it happened to you?
I've seen it done, right in front of me. The first time I saw a friend gunned down, it made me physically ill and I couldn't leave the house for days. It happened again a few weeks later. And again. And again. After a while, you just become immune to the feelings. Immune to having feelings. I was a very hard person before Nina came along. Still, it took me a long time to start caring about anyone.
What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?
Turning traitor against a friend or loved one seems like the worst thing someone could do. It could be a crime or it could be disloyalty. I've seen it happen many times. I've seen guys about to go down drop a dime on someone or turn evidence against their friends. I've seen people shot in the back for crack or a cheap score. It makes me sick every times. It's not something I think I could forgive.
If your life were to end in 24 hours, what five things would you do in those remaining hours?
1. Hold my kid for as long as I could
2. Grab one last scoop of lemon ice cream from Jerry's, down the block
3. Record a message for Nina to play on Randall's 18th birthday
4. Find Syd and make him pay for what he did to Nina and what he did to me, all those years
5. Make sweet, sweet love to Nina one last time
Career & Training
Do you have any special training in your hero skills? If so, where and how did you get it?
No, but I'm getting there. I learned to fight on the streets of the West End, as a member of the Black Diamonds, and, before that, to defend myself while I was living on the streets. I've always been pretty agile and light on my feet, so jumping, rolling, and dodging have always been part of my repertoire. I'm pretty good at getting people to do what I want, through artifice or intimidation.
Who taught you the most about your heroing abilities? What was your relationship with that person?
I never really had a mentor. I just picked things up as life went along. I'd say that I have the Black Diamonds to thank for the majority of the skills useful in crime-fighting. I learned a lot about fighting, of course, but also picked up knowledge of the streets, lockpicking, sneaking, and probably a number of other skills that have slipped my mind for the moment.
Do you have any particularly unusual skills? How did you acquire them?
Not sure if this is considered unusual, but I took night classes on computer repair at the community college.
Do you do something besides hero work for a living? Have you ever done anything else, or do you plan to?
I'm a computer analyst at Coaxutronics. That's their fancy title for a guy who fixes computers. We have contracts with various businesses around the city. They bring us their nonfunctional laptops and desktops and we figure out what's wrong with them. When I've been there long enough, I hope to move up to lead and then maybe to manager.
What is your preferred combat style?
If I'm using my powers, I prefer to hit people with objects, whatever's laying around and accessible. I'm not a "martial artist", so if I'm just punching someone, then I, um, punch them.
Have you ever received any awards or honours?
I received "Employee of the Month" for June 2010. Does that count?
What skill areas would you like most to improve in? Is there anything you can't do that you wish desperately you could?
I'd like to improve my skill at defending myself from attacks. My force field works fine when I get hit, but I'd like to get hit less. I'd also like to somehow improve my observational skills. I wish I could play the guitar. Man, that would be cool.
How do you act around people who are more skilled than you in areas you'd like to improve? Are you jealous, or do you try and learn?
I tend to let those people lead the way. I'm not one to boast, especially about things I'm deficient in, so I'd let the more skilled people fill their roles. I would sit back and learn from what they do. I suppose, if someone offered, I would take lessons in super-heroing. I'm not above being someone's trainee.
Lifestyle & Hobbies
What is a normal day for you? How do you feel when something interrupts this routine?
I work Monday through Friday, so, on those days, I head to work around 7:30am and arrive at 8:00am. I take lunch at 1:00pm, for an hour. I get off work at 5:00pm and usually stop by the gym before heading home. If I don't go to the gym, I usually get home around 5:30pm, but if I stop at the gym first, I'm usually there for an hour, and I get home around 6:30pm. We usually eat dinner for an hour or so, going over the stories of the day and our short-term plans. I usually watch TV for an hour or so and head out to patrol some time after 9:00pm. I'm usually out for a few hours. I try to be back by midnight or so.
I'm not really a creature of habit, so I roll with the punches. If something seriously interrupts my routine, I just have to deal with it.
Do you have any hobbies, or interests outside hero work? What are they, and where did you pick them up?
With the job, the super-heroing, and the new baby, I don't really have time for much else right now.
What do you do for fun?
The only "fun" I get to have is at the gym. Aaron and I have a good time playing racquetball and basketball at the gym and are fairly competitive in the weight training.
Do you have a costume? What does it look like?
Yes. I wear a green and silver bodysuit and a pair of metallic orange goggles. My face isn't covered, but the goggles are big enough to cover about half of my face. I suppose the costume doesn't do a terribly good job of concealing my identity to those who know me (I think they would recognize me pretty easily because of my crazy hair), but since that pool of people is extremely small, I'm not too worried.
How do you normally dress when not in costume?
I'm no fashion plate. I keep it simple: a faded pair of jeans I own, or maybe a pair of khakis, a white or gray t-shirt, maybe a tank top, and sneakers. I tend to keep my tattoos covered when in public (and especially on the job).
What do you wear to bed most nights?
Do you wear any special jewelry? What is it, and what does it look like?
When I'm not on the job, and not in my Flux costume, I will put hoops or studs in my various piercings. Nothing too fancy.
Do you have a special place where you keep your valuables?
Considering I don't really have very many valuable items, not really.
What's your preferred means of local travel? How about long distance?
I ride my bike to work (its close). Nina usually drives our 1995 VW Rabbit. I haven't ever left Freedom City, so I don't know about long-distance travel, but I suppose airplanes, buses, trains, long-distance teleportation, whatever works.
Have you ever made a will, or tried to make arrangements for your death? What provisions did you make?
Nina and I have just finished our first living will. Nina saw an ad for some service online that helps you do it in a legal way. We don't have much, but all my stuff goes to Nina and Randy if I die and Nina pretty much has the same thing. We still need to figure out what to do if we both die at the same time.
If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?
Nina (and some of my close friends, like Aaron) would recognize my tats and piercings. They are fairly unique.
What would you like to be remembered for after your death?
I would hope that, by the time I pass on, I've made a difference in the lives of those around me and especially improved the situation in the West End. I'd like to be remembered as a crusader against street violence and protector of the innocent.
Do you believe you pose a threat to the public? Why or why not?
Not really. Aside from my ability to throw large objects around, my abilities are protective in nature. I don't tend to wreak havoc on large areas and threaten large groups of people.
What do you perceive as your greatest strength?
I am a staunch defender of the weak and helpless and I am highly motivated to protect those who cannot protect themselves.
What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?
Probably that I care too much about people who have no idea who I am. I'm willing to risk my neck in a very anonymous way.
As a player, if you could, what advice would you give your character? Speak as if he/she were sitting right here in front of you. Use proper tone so they might heed your advice...
Keep doing what you're doing. You're heading down the right path. Just make sure not to take on too much at once. Make more friends; they can help you out when needed. Learn to trust more. Be who you were meant to be.