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R. Bluefish

Echo

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HellQ

 

Introduction

 

Who are you? Sum yourself up in one sentence.
One sentence? Okay…I’m an incredibly witty superhero with there-is-no-spoon-style physics-bending powers.

 

Do you have any nicknames, street names, titles, or nom de plume?
Echo’s the name. Echoing, however, is not the game. In plainclothes I used to go by Ellie, but now I’m Buffy because the Interceptors already had an Ellie and she had seniority.

 

Oh, and some people - mostly Erik - call me Escher Girl as a bit of an in-joke. Sometimes I wish I had thought of that name myself, because that’s actually better than my real codename.

 

What is your full birth name?
Elizabeth Stein.

 

Where do you live?
Midtown.

 

How old are you? What year were you born (if applicable)?
I’m 24. I was born in ’91.

 

Physical Traits

 

What is your gender? If not applicable, please explain.
Female. It’s applicable.

 

How would you describe your heritage?
Well, I’m from a Jewish family.

 

How tall are you?
Five-foot-six.

 

What is your body type?
Uh, skinnyish?

 

Do you have any particular weaknesses, such as allergies or physical disabilities?
I don’t have any real disabilities, but I am deathly allergic to bullets.

 

How do you carry yourself? Are you graceful, or heavy on your feet? Can you be stealthy, do you walk with confidence?
I carry myself with almost inhuman elegance. Can’t you tell? My feet move with noiseless grace over the ground. Or ceiling, or wall.

 

Describe your skin, eye, and hair color.
I’m white, I have hazel eyes and black hair.

 

How do you wear your hair, if applicable? Do you have facial hair?
I keep it short, so it doesn’t get in the way of anything. I wear a white wig when I’m in the tights, so that if anyone ever starts to suspect who I am, they’ll go oh no, that’s not her, she doesn’t have flowing white hair. And thus will my secret identity be forever safeguarded.

 

As for facial hair, I haven’t shaved once in twenty-four years. I seem to be cursed with a thin beard.

 

Do you consider yourself attractive? Do others?
Well, I don’t want to seem immodest, but I genuinely believe I am the most beautiful creature in the entire world.

 

Do you have any scars, tattoos, piercings, or birthmarks?
I have pierced ears, but no tattoos or anything. I actually never went through that particular phase of teenagehood.

 

Do you resemble anyone famous?

Eh, some people tell me I look like Ginnifer Goodwin - you know, from Once Upon a Time - but I don’t see it myself. I think it’s just because we have the same haircut.

 

Do you have a dominant hand?
I’m right-handed, like all good-hearted people. Never trust a lefty. There’s something…sinister about them.

 

What kind of clothing do you wear?
I like loose clothing. It’s easier to move around in, and I can wear my costume underneath it without anyone noticing.

 

Do you wear makeup?
Nah, I don’t have time to put that on every day. And I can actually slow down time.

 

What is your vocal range? Is your voice distinctive in some way?
I have a nice soprano voice, as you would expect. Nothing really distinctive, though.

 

Do you have any distinctive habits, nervous tics, or mannerism? 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?
Well, people are always telling me to "shut up for five goddamned seconds." I think they're trying to tell me something.

 

History

 

Where do you come from?
I’m a Freedomite, always have been. I was born down in the West End.

 

Have you made any major moves, or do you live in your hometown?
I live down in Midtown these days, but I wouldn’t leave FC if you paid me.

 

Do you feel loyal to your country of citizenship? Do you consider yourself patriotic? How do you feel about the government of your country?
Hey, I’m so patriotic, I actually wear red, white, and blue. Well, I wear white and blue. Well, silver and blue. And a white wig.

 

Not sure how much I trust the actual government, though. I mean, the Moore Act, right? And I’m pretty sure they’re still trying to make super-soldiers in some bunker somewhere, which will probably end up destroying all of human civilization. Again.

 

How do you feel about the place you come from?

Superhero center of the country, right? You can hardly swing a pair of tights without hitting a superhero smack in the face and starting an epic battle for the future of the world. What’s not to love about that?

 

Where is your hometown? What was/is it like?

The West End, like I said. Head to Southside and turn right. If you hit the Canadian border, you’ve gone too far. It was pretty nice, though. Good food.

 

Growing up, were most of the people you knew similar to you, or were you somehow a minority? How did that affect you?

I never had a lot of trouble fitting in, aside from the fact that my hobbies could be just a little geekier that was sometimes deemed normal, especially for a girl. And oh man, have you ever tried playing an online video game while at the same time being openly female? The kind of trolls you’ll run into, there’s not enough fire and acid in the world for them.

 

So I suppose that all fed into my deep-seated hatred of trolls. Even now, the sight of short people with poofy hair makes me grope instinctively for the Esc key. Or failing that, a flaming flask of oil.

 

Is there something you’ve always been really good at or really bad at? How has that affected your life?

I’ve always had pretty good people skills, and my knowledge of superheroes is unmatched by anyone else in my social circles. Well, my civilian social circles, at least. A few of the actual superheroes I know have me beat in that department.

 

Were there any traumatic experiences in your early years (death of a family member, abandonment, orphaned at an early age)?

When I was ten, my mom was a bystander in a super-fight. A bad guy missed with his attack, some rubble fell on her, and she was paralyzed from the waist down. It was hard, and it took a lot of time to adjust, but we did. She’s doing okay these days.

 

It could’ve been a lot worse, though - if the superheroes there hadn’t gotten her to the hospital, she might be dead.

 

Briefly describe a defining moment in your childhood and how it influenced your life.

That was it, right there. A villain hurt my mother, some heroes saved her. That’s how it should be. They protect us, no matter what. That was what got me so into superhero culture. That’s why I still have a full-size poster of the Freedom League on my bedroom wall, and no, I am not the least bit ashamed to admit that.

 

What stupid things did you do when you were younger?

Well…my interest in superheroes might not have manifested itself in the wisest ways. I didn’t just want to learn about them, I wanted to be one of them. So the first step towards that was powers. But then my dad wouldn’t let me jump off the garage roof anymore, even though I told him that was the only way to unlock my latent powers of flight. So eventually I turned to journalism instead. Like, even if I couldn’t be one, I could at least write about them, right?

 

Of course, now I am one, powers and all. Still can’t fly, though. Kinda pissed about that.

 

Where did you go to school? How much school did you have, and did you enjoy it?

I went to school right here in the city. It was okay, I suppose, though I had some trouble focusing sometimes. I mean, it’s hard to sit still in class when you’re convinced that if you just jump off the garage roof one more time, you’ll get 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 have pictures, of course. And I also have this necklace made of clay beads and shells that my kid brother made for me. I wear it all the time, to this day. What kind of big sister would I be if I didn’t?

 

When did you decide to become a hero? Why? Did anyone influence you one way or another in the decision?

I would say that was right about the time that I found out I could walk on the ceiling, and jump over a building, and lift a car over my head, and run at Mach One. Once you find that out, the rest is kind of a no-brainer, don’t you think? I mean, what else was I going to do, use my newfound power to earn myself fame and fortune beyond measure?

 

Oh hell, that actually never occurred to me until just now.

 

Is the reason you give people for becoming a hero different than your real reason? If so, why?

Well, okay. The whole "because I could" thing is totally true, but that’s not all there is to it. There’s also a "because I should" element.

 

Look, Beth? The alternate-me who came here to warn me about Lisa? She died to give me these powers. She was an actual hero - the real deal. Somewhere out there in the multiverse, her family probably still doesn’t know what happened to her. I have to honor that somehow, right? I have to live up the example she set for me. I can’t let her have done that for nothing.

 

Do you have any deep, dark secrets in your past that may come back to haunt you? Why?

Well, the whole "psycho alternate-universe clone of myself with godlike power" thing is a bit of a pisser. It’s not exactly a secret, though - I tell people about it once I get to know them well enough, assuming they already know my identity. It’s the kind of thing that’s liable to come up someday.

 

Do you represent yourself as being different from who you really are? Why?

This is something I try not to let on about, but sometimes I think I’m in way over my head. I mean, look who I’m on a team with! Veteran heroes, one and all - with big-name villains and world-spanning adventures.

 

A while ago, there was this whole thing where me and some others got sent back in time and trapped in 1800s-era Utah. We fought robotic dinosaurs, and it was pretty kickass, but when we get back I see that while we were gone, some other heroes had a punch-up with Mastermind that took out like three square city blocks.

 

I mean, I have no frame of reference for something like that. The only reason I was even involved was because I was too nosy for my own good. I’m used to fighting, like, bank robbers and gimmicky D-list supervillains. I’m not proud of it, but I kinda shut down back there. I just couldn’t process it.

 

If you do have these secrets, what do you fear would happen if the truth became known? How far would you go to protect these secrets?

Sometimes I worry that other heroes would lose whatever respect that had for me if they found out just how in-over-my-head I am. Whenever I feel like that, I just ramp up the wisecracks-per-second to compensate. That way everybody's too annoyed to suspect anything. It’s working so far.

 

Do you have any sort of criminal record? If so, is it public knowledge?

Oh, damn it all. Fine. Let the truth be known, and to hell with the consequences. We all have to learn to live with our mistakes. No one can truly escape from their past. Be all my sins remembered.

 

I got a parking ticket once.

 

Family

 

What are your biological parents’ names?

Thomas and Marian.

 

Were you raised by them? If not, please explain and describe who raised you.

No, I was raised by them. They sculpted me into the sterling member of society you see before you today.

 

What was their standing in the community? What did/do they do for a living?

My father’s an insurance adjuster. It’s boring as hell and I don’t understand half of it - I might try to if it wasn’t boring as hell - but it pays. My mother teaches high school English. Sometimes I think of her, trapped all day in a room full of teenagers, and I just have to shed a tear.

 

Where are your parents now?

Still here, still working away. They’ll be retiring soon, I hope. They’re not as young as they used to be.

 

Did your family stay in one area or move around a lot?

We lived in the one house for my entire childhood, actually.

 

How did you get along with their parents? How do you get along with them now (if applicable)?

Got along with them just fine, and still do. Although Dad’s still determined to be awfully unreasonable about the whole "jumping off the garage roof" thing.

 

How do your parents view you now, or how would they?

Uh, Dad probably wouldn’t be crazy about the fact that I now jump off skyscrapers on a regular basis. Aside from that, I like to think they’d be proud of me if they knew.

 

Do you have any siblings? If so, how many and what are their names? Describe your relationship with them.

Oh yeah, I have an older sister, an older brother, and a little brother. Rachel, Thomas Junior - he’s TJ to us - and Joseph.

 

Rachel and I get along…okay for the most part, although she likes to lecture me now and then for slacking off and not taking anything seriously. Imagine. Me, not taking things seriously? The very idea.

 

TJ’s a good guy. He can be a bit on the overprotective side, but good guy overall. Has a nice girlfriend. Heard he’s thinking about tying the knot, God help him.

 

My little brother Joseph’s probably the one I’m closest to. When he was a kid, I was the one he would always come to with his problems or his victories - not Mom, not Dad, me. He made me that necklace I mentioned before. He’s in high school now, but we still talk plenty.

 

What was your birth order in the family?

Third out of four.

 

Where are your siblings now (if applicable)? Do they have families of their own? What do they do?

Rachel’s the brain of the family - got a scholarship to HIT and everything, works for some big engineering company now. Another excuse for her to get on my case for not having made something of myself at 24. She dates on and off, I think, but nothing serious that I know of.

 

TJ’s trying to get into the writing scene. He’s written a script or two, he’s working on a book, but he’s having some trouble getting started. I keep telling him I might be able to help better if he would let met actually read something of his. He talks about having kids, so that seems likely if he does end up getting hitched.

 

Joseph’s in high school, like I said. He doesn’t date much, I think. He doesn’t talk about that aspect of his life a whole lot, and I don’t press the matter.

 

Do you stay in touch with them or have you become estranged?

I do my best to stay in touch, especially with Joseph.

 

Do you love or hate one member of your family in particular?

Rachel and I have, uh, had our differences now and then. No blows were exchanged, just a few snarky comments. All of which came from me.

 

Is any member of your family special to you in any way (perhaps, as a confidant, mentor, or arch-rival)?

If there was one member of my family I would tell about my whole thing as Echo, it would be Joseph. I’ve actually considered it a few times, but I’ve always held off. He would feel like he needed to tell Mom and Dad, and then all hell would break loose.

 

Are there any black (or white) sheep in your family (including you)? If so, please explain.

I don’t know about black sheep, but Rachel is definitely the one everybody loves to be proud of. Little Miss Genius. She who can do no wrong.

 

I am not bitter.

 

Do you have a notorious or celebrated ancestor? If so, please explain, including how it has affected your life.

Not exactly famous, but my great-grandfather was a Holocaust survivor. Kinda impressed on me from an early age just what kind of awful things people are capable of doing to each other.

 

Do you have a partner and children currently? If so, please describe them.

Nope. Single and childless. Free as the wind.

 

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?

I would consider it, I suppose, theoretically. I like kids, and I wouldn’t mind having kids of my own. But at the same time, this kind of lifestyle isn’t exactly ideal for child rearing, you know? Nor for a long-term relationship.

 

Maybe if I found another person special to me who also wore a cape - literally or figuratively - then I would look at things a little differently. If nothing else, they would be a lot safer, right? I wouldn’t have to worry about them so much.

 

What type of person would be your ideal mate?

Hmm. Someone kind, I think. And intelligent. And capable of taking a joke. Especially that last one.

 

It also wouldn’t hurt if they were okay with getting periodically kidnapped, judging by how these things tend to go.

 

Relationships

 

Do you have any close friends? If so, please describe them, and how you came to be close to them.

I have a handful of civilian-life friends. I used to have more, but I’ve found that, at least for me, being a superhero takes quite a toll on your social life. I mean, barely have even time for my studies anymore, what with all the thrilling heroics.

 

Do you have a best friend? If so, how did they become your best friend? How close are you to your best friend?

Same story, really. It’s hard to maintain a proper social life when you’re constantly having to dash off on unexplained errands every three seconds.

 

If you were to go missing, who would worry about you?

Well, my family, first and foremost. I imagine they would make quite a fuss - or at least they damn well better. There’s a decent chance the Interceptors would do a little poking around as well.

 

Have you lost any loves? If so, how did it happen, and what did you do?

Eh, I’ve had a couple of significant-other types, but nothing really serious. Certainly nothing I would describe as a lost love.

 

Do you have any bitter enemies? If so, please describe them and their history with you.

Now there’s an easy one. To answer, at least, less so to explain.

 

Lisa Stein. She’s…me, I guess, from some kind of parallel universe. From what Beth - also me - told me, she increases her own power by travelling to other worlds and killing the local version of herself. Which is also myself. I still don’t fully understand how or why it works, but I’m pretty sure I can count her as my single worst enemy in the multiverse.

 

If you have enemies, how do you think they might attempt to work against you in the future?

I really have no idea how Lisa operates. Beth made it sound like she pretty much just showed up out of nowhere and tried to kill her, but now that Beth actually escaped, she might change up her game. I don’t know.

 

What is the worst thing someone has done to you?

I hope I’m not belaboring the whole psycho-alternate-me thing, but Lisa hunting down and killing countless versions of me-slash-herself has got to qualify as the single most messed-up thing anyone’s ever done to me.

 

Where do your loyalties lie? In what order?

My parents always taught me that family comes first. So, yeah, family would come first here. If you can’t even take care of your family, how are you supposed to take care of a city, let alone the world?

 

I’m thinking number two would be the usual "anybody who needs it." Because that’s the whole point of being a superhero, right?

 

Number three would be…actually, that would be a tie between the Interceptors and Castle Comics. I really hope I never have to choose.

 

Who or what do you trust the most? Why?

Squabbles and unreasonable roof-jumping policies aside, I trust my family completely. Even Rachel.

 

Who or what do you despise? Why?

"Supervillains" is the obvious answer, but it’s still the answer. But let me clarify that - I don’t really hate all supervillains. I don’t hate the ones like, say, Doc Holiday. I mean, I’ll still repurpose their faces as impromptu punching bags, but I don’t hate them.

 

The ones I really do hate are the truly bad ones. The ones who don’t care who gets hurt, and don’t even need to do what they do. They just break the law and hurt people because they like it. I mean, who does that?

 

What qualities do you admire most in other people? Are those qualities you possess?

I admire people who take responsibility. The people who actually stand up and say "this, right here, is my problem." They don’t try to ignore it, or shift the burden onto somebody else. I mean, I’m not saying they don’t accept help or whatever, but they also don’t try to come up with excuses for why it’s not really their problem.

 

That’s what I’m trying to do as Echo, but let me tell you, accepting responsibility for everyone in the entire world is no small thing. Look, it’s turned my hair white.

 

What qualities do you hate most in other people? Do you have any of those qualities?

If I had to pick the one quality that sickens me right to my very core, it’d be sadism. Genuine sadism. I know that kind of goes without saying, but I’m saying it anyway. There’s a reason I want Ramsey Bolton to die a terrible, terrible death.

 

And, no, I’m not a sadist. Call me whatever you want, but not that. Although…okay, I do like the sound people make when you kick them in the stomach. But I don’t go around doing that to just anyone, right? Only people who give me an excuse.

 

Do you have a secret identity? If so, who knows it? Do you hide it from people who are close to you? Why?

Yeah, there aren’t a lot of people who know that mild-mannered student Buffy Stein is really Echo, and I mean to keep it that way. The Interceptors know, but they’re not going to be spreading that around the headlines anytime soon. And I haven’t told anyone in my family because, really, what are they supposed to do with that information? Freak out? Because that’s what they’d do.

 

Do you work well on teams and in groups? Are you a leader or a follower?

I sure hope so, and I’m sure the Interceptors share my hopes. There hasn’t been a real opportunity to test that one way or another so far, so it remains to be seen if I’m a calm and levelheaded straight man, or a wacky and hilarious wild card. Your guess is as good as mine.

 

Pretty sure I don’t have enough real experience to be leadership material, though.

 

Are you on a superteam? If so, how do you get along with your comrades? Do you trust them, or do you have secrets from them?

Yes, as a matter of fact. You’re looking at the newest member of the Interceptors. I guess Jack of All Blades liked something about the way my jib was cut. And yeah, I like my new comrades just fine. I especially feel a sort of camaraderie with the masked acrobatic guy who’s always cracking jokes and can stick to the ceiling. Can’t think why.

 

And I trust them. They’re the good guys, right? I told them my identity and opted for full disclosure on the whole psycho-superpowered-alternate-me thing, so that’s the biggest cat out of the bag.

 

Are you a member of any church, fraternal organization, club, committee, political party, or other group? How much time do you spend on that?

Not especially, no, unless the Interceptors qualify. Politically, I’m a Liberal Democrat - surprise - but that’s about the extent of my affiliations. Ooh, I beat up a city council candidate once, does that count?

 

Personality & Beliefs

 

Who are your heroes?

Heroes. Heroes of the super variety. That probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise, but it’s the truth. It started like I mentioned before - when a superteam saved my mother’s life. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to do for someone else what they did for us.

 

Did you ever become disillusioned with former heroes or idols? If so, why and what were the circumstances?

Not really, no. They’re still firmly up on their pedestal.

 

Do you like being a hero? If so, what is the most rewarding part? If not, what makes you keep doing it?

Do I like it? Do supervillains build lairs under live volcanoes? It’s pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me. The most rewarding part is either the look on someone’s face after I’ve just saved their life, or the look on someone's face after I’ve just kicked them in the stomach. It’s a toss-up as to which one.

 

Is there anything that would make you give up hero work, or even switch sides?

Can’t think of anything. Who would ever give this up? And what kind of person would I be if I switched sides? I put on this mask so I could be the hero, not the jerk.

 

What are your short term goals (what would you like to be doing within a year)?

Well, on the mundane side of things, hopefully I’ll be out of school by then. Then I can join the legions of unemployed yutzes, all clamoring for jobs at whatever crappy newspaper or website will take them. On the spandex side of things, I guess I’d just like to be doing what I’m doing now - running up the sides of skyscrapers and kicking people in the stomach.

 

Oh, I’d very much like to not have been killed by Lisa by then. So that’s a goal.

 

What are your long term goals (what would you like to be doing twenty years from now)?

Twenty years? Well, if I’m still alive - and that there’s a mighty big "if" - I guess I’d like to help with educating the next generation. Probably be retired myself, though. Because by then I’ll be forty-four. Unspeakably ancient. Old, withered, and grey. Good for nothing but toothless, rambling anecdotes and occasional kernels of cryptic wisdom. Oh, and I’d like to have an eye patch. That’d be pretty badass.

 

What is your greatest fear? Why? What do you do when something triggers this fear?

Sometimes I worry that my heroics will end up putting my family in danger. Whenever that starts weighing on my mind, I put on the tights and go out to kick people in the stomach until I feel better. Or sometimes I just play Skyrim.

 

Is there anything you would give your life for?

Well, "anyone and everyone" is what we’re supposed to say, I guess. And it’s what I’d like to believe. I’d like to think that I’m selfless enough to sacrifice my life to save a stranger, because that’s the whole point of being a hero. I’m not going to say that, though, because I don’t know. I don’t think anyone truly knows what they would do in that situation until it happens. So I’ll just say this - I want to be the kind of person who would give her life to save another.

 

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 certainly wouldn’t mind having a little extra scratch to play with, but it’s not my heart’s desire. I mean, I don’t want to have a big swimming pool full of money to swim around in like Scrooge McDuck. And that’s good, because that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. I’m living on a student’s budget right now, which means a lot of bus rides and instant ramen. It makes me a bit stingy with what I have at times, but come on, bargain hunting is an art form. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

 

How do you generally treat others?

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," right? I always read that as "don’t be a dick." Because if you are one, someday they’ll probably hunt you down and do unto you as you did unto them. With a baseball bat.

 

Are you a trusting person? Has your trust ever been abused?

I try to be a little cautious if I’ve just met someone, mainly when I’m in the tights, but I never saw the point in always assuming everyone was out to get you. Paranoia will destroy ya, right? So once I get to know someone I do my best to put my trust in them. So far I haven’t had real cause to regret it - hopefully that’s not going to change.

 

Are you introverted (shy and withdrawn) or extroverted (outgoing)? Do you have a lot of self-confidence?

I’ve always leaned towards the extroverted side of things. I like people, you know?

 

And would I be wearing tights if I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence?

 

How do you act around attractive, available members of your preferred sex?

I’ve never been one to hit on people randomly based purely on availability and attractiveness - I like to wait to see if they’re smart, kind, and if things are really getting serious, if they prefer Kirk or Picard. If they answer "Reynolds," then I know I’ve got myself a keeper.

 

What are your most annoying habits?

I think there are those who get a little tired of the way I’m always teleporting around the room, standing on the ceiling, and making fun of people’s outfits. Go figure, right?

 

Do you feel contempt for any general category of people? Who are they, and why?

Well, a while back, there was this thing with a local politician who was cooperating with the Grue under the table. He thought an alien occupation was a good way to line his pockets. I was really expecting to hate him when we caught him, but I didn’t. I just thought he was pathetic. After I hit him in the stomach.

 

So people like that, yeah. They don’t have any real convictions, they don’t even have the excuse of being evil or crazy. They’re just…weak. And stupid. People like that are what I really feel contempt for.

 

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 it as fast as you can?

Look, here is an indisputable fact of life: pizza is the pinnacle of human civilization and invention. If you’re confronted with pizza and you don’t try to transfer it inside of yourself with all haste, you are not normal.

 

What is your favorite drink (alcoholic or otherwise)?

I like herbal tea. It makes me feel all Zen inside.

 

What is your favorite treat (dessert)?

If pizza isn’t the pinnacle of human civilization, then ice cream is. Another fact of life.

 

Are there any specific foodstuffs that you find disgusting or refuse to eat?

Why would anyone ruin a perfectly good pizza by putting pineapple on it?

 

What is your favorite color? Are there any colors you dislike?

I like blue. And silver, too. So after I got my powers and costume time came around, the color scheme was kind of a no-brainer. There aren’t really any colors I actively dislike, though.

 

Also, I hope you appreciate the level of self-control it’s taking me to not make the obligatory Monty Python reference right now.

 

What sort of music do you like? Is there any that you hate?

The many flavors of rock. Classic, modern, folk, alternative, you name it. Never been a big fan of country music, though.

 

If you have a favorite scent, what is it?

That would be lilac.

 

Do you have a favorite animal?

Hmm. Either dogs or robotic tyrannosauruses.

 

What is your most treasured possession? Why?

Well, first of all, don’t touch my music collection. But aside from that, I think the necklace my kid brother made for me years ago would probably be it. I still wear it, every day.

 

Do you enjoy "roughing it," or do you prefer your creature comforts?

Creature comforts. Please. Pile the pillows under my head and hook up the cable. Don’t get me wrong, I love going camping, lying in a cold sleeping bag on top of a pile of rocks while mosquitoes give me diseases, but I’m very much a creature comfort girl.

 

Is there a job or task you would absolutely refuse to do?

There are no circumstances under which I would hurt someone who didn’t deserve it and wasn’t a threat to someone else. I don’t care who tells me to. Go ahead, fire me, tear up my membership card, whatever, I’m not doing it.

 

Do you consider yourself a spiritual person? If so, how do your beliefs affect your life? How important is it to you?

I’m Jewish, kinda-sorta observant, but I’m still not a hugely religious person. I mean, you know, it’s all part of my identity, but it’s not like it defines who I am.

 

Was your faith influenced or molded by anyone special?

I’m Jewish because my parents are Jewish and they raised me to be Jewish. That’s pretty much the whole story.

 

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?

I don’t really participate in organized worship all that often. I’ve got my hands full with my studies and my thrilling heroics, you know? I do generally agree with most of the ideology, though. As much as any religious person can.

 

Could you kill? Have you killed?

Kill? Me? No. I mean…no. We’re the good guys, right? We don’t kill. That’s what separates us from them.

 

We have to be better than them. Otherwise, what’s the point.

 

What circumstances led to you forming that conviction, or taking that action?

My parents again. They always taught me that violence was wrong. Er…okay, obviously I don’t adhere 100% to that philosophy, but I still believe in the core concept: life is important. Too important for us to take away.

 

Are there circumstances under which you believe it is permissible to kill? What are they?

I don’t know…I mean, I get that sometimes cops have to kill. To protect themselves, or other people. But we’re not cops, are we? Nobody gave us badges, nobody told us we were qualified to make those kinds of choices. We’re nothing but nutjobs in tights.

 

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?

If I saw somebody kill somebody else, I think my first instinct would be to beat the crap out of them. You know, the default setting for superheroes. It shouldn’t matter if they’re a friend or an enemy. I guess if they were a friend I really trusted, I would give them a chance to explain themselves, but they would still have to be held accountable for what they did.

 

How would you react if something important was stolen from you?

Well, I'd go get it back.

 

How would you react to public humiliation?

Somebody’s stomach would be in for a good kicking, I can tell you that much.

 

How would you react if a good friend or relative were purposely or accidentally killed? Has it happened to you?

I honestly don’t know. It’s never happened to me. Cry, break something, break someone? I don’t know. It almost happened to me, all those years ago when my mother was hurt in that super-fight, but at the end of the day she survived. So I don’t know.

 

What do you consider to be the worst crime someone could commit and why?

Murder’s kind of the big one. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my powers, it’s that reality is what we make of it. Everybody’s their own world. It's like that quote from the Talmud, right? "Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world." So, if you end someone’s life, you’ve essentially destroyed a world, right? What kind of jerk destroys a world?

 

If your life were to end in 24 hours, what five things would you do in those remaining hours?

Uh, is there anything I can do to make it so my life isn’t going to end in 24 hours? ‘Cause if so, I do that.

 

Okay, obviously not. Well then.

 

All right. Number one. I’d go for a run. And understand, my run is very different from your run. I’ve never really gone that far from FC - good a time as any to change that. Maybe I’d head north. Up to the Arctic Circle. I’ve always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis.

 

Number two. Talk to my family. Tell them everything. About my powers. Nothing left to lose, right? They deserve to know the truth.

 

Number three would be…actually I guess I would need to get my affairs in order, such as they are. Write up a will. Leave everything I have to…whoever. My family, I suppose.

 

Number four. One last patrol. Hop the rooftops. Punch some muggers. Feel the wind in my fake hair.

 

And number five…okay. This one’s weird, and it probably wouldn’t work. But as far as I know, I’m the only Elizabeth Stein in the multiverse who knows about Lisa, and what she’s doing. If I die, then there’s nobody to stop her. All those Elizabeths are just…doomed.

 

So I’d try to go to another world. I’ve always been scared to really try before - scared I wouldn’t be able to come back. But now, again, I’ve got nothing to lose. So I’d try to go to another universe, find the Elizabeth there, and warn her. Tell her the whole thing. And then, when I die, she’ll get my powers. And hopefully she’ll be the kind of person to try to do something good with them, like I did.

 

And then that’ll be it for me, I guess. I do kinda like the idea of dying to give another Elizabeth her origin story. Full circle, y’know? Hooray.

 

Career & Training

 

Do you have any special training in your hero skills? If so, where and how did you get it?

Until pretty recently, I actually didn’t have any kind of training at all. Then Erik invited me to come down to his dojo so I could learn to actually throw a punch, and take one. Before then, I’d pretty much just been fighting on instinct, relying on my speed and strength. Apparently that’s a pretty good way to get killed.

 

Who taught you the most about your heroing abilities? What was your relationship with that person?

Beth would sorta qualify. She was the one who actually gave me my powers in the first place. By dying. Not ideal. But before she did that, she gave me the Cliff’s notes version of what I’d be able to do. Strong, fast, mess with gravity, that kind of thing. Once I had my powers, though, I had a few tricks she didn’t mention, so I guess combining her power with my own must have expanded my repertoire beyond what she had. Like, I had to figure out the whole teleporting thing on my own.

 

Relationship-wise…I mean, I only knew her for a few hours. But at the same time, she was me. A different me, sure, but still me. So…weird relationship. Really weird.

 

Do you have any particularly unusual skills? How did you acquire them?

I can bend steel with my bare hands and teleport through space by asking space nicely, but here’s the thing. Anyone could, if they just knew how. It’s not like I have some kind of magic gene that gives me my abilities. When I got my powers, it was like remembering how to do something I hadn’t done in a lifetime. I just…get it. Reality, that is. The laws of physics. I get how it all works. And once you know how something works, you can make it work for you.

 

Do you do something besides hero work for a living? Have you ever done anything else, or do you plan to?

I work in a coffee shop to pay the bills. It’s not fancy, but it keeps food in the fridge and games in the console. I’d like to be a reporter someday, though. A real reporter, who reports about things. Preferably things that wear capes and fly.

 

What is your preferred combat style?

One thing I learned early on? Never, ever fight fair if you can help it. Cheat. Cheat your ass off. Kick shins, pull hair, yell "look behind you!" Anything for an edge. That’s one reason I keep up the wisecracks - I try to rile them up so they get mad and make mistakes. It’s not entirely for my own amusement.

 

In a straight fight, though, I’m all about mobility. I’m not bulletproof - very much allergic to lead - so I use my speed. I can go a lot faster in a lot more directions than most people, so I make use of that. If nothing else, it can serve to confuse whoever I’m fighting, and make them not know which way I’m hitting from next.

 

Have you ever received any awards or honors?

Awards? Oh, uh, sure, the mayor awarded me the key to the city a while ago. It’s, uh, being mailed to me. It hasn’t gotten here yet, which is why you can’t see it.

 

What skill areas would you like most to improve in? Is there anything you can't do that you wish desperately you could?

I wouldn’t mind learning to actually fight for real. I’m working on it, but it’s pretty slow going. But once I can back up my powers with some actual training, I think I’m going to do just fine out there.

 

I do wish I could fly, though. I can already mess with gravity, why can’t I fly? It’s not fair.

 

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?

If you’re going to be spending any amount of time around Jack of All Blades, you’d better get damn used to being overshadowed in the fighting-skills department. It has its upsides, though, like him letting me come by his dojo and abuse his punching bags. And I can still bench more than him, so ha.

 

Lifestyle & Hobbies

 

What is a normal day for you? How do you feel when something interrupts this routine?

Oh, you know. Wake up, get dressed, go to class, put on tights, see how fast I can run up the side of the Rath & Stromberg Building. Occasionally interspersed with badly-dressed D-list supervillains who I have to beat up, which is pretty much the highlight of my week.

 

Do you have any hobbies, or interests outside hero work? What are they, and where did you pick them up?

Journalism is the main one - that’s what I’m studying - but I also have more casual hobbies. RPGs, comics, video games, indie movies, stuff like that. Nothing geeky.

 

What do you do for fun?

Try to beat my personal record for running from one side of the city to the other. My current best time is 41.1 seconds. I know, I know, a bit sluggish.

 

Do you have a costume? What does it look like?

I wear a blue-and-silver bodysuit, with a full face mask and a long white wig. Very stylish, not to mention nice and subtle. And best of all, you can wear it to any occasion and you’ll still blend right in.

 

How do you normally dress when not in costume?

Like I said before, I like loose clothing that’s comfortable and easy to move around in. Never been much one for worrying about my wardrobe. Obviously.

 

What do you wear to bed most nights?

Uh, okay, do I even want to know the reason for this question? I usually wear sweatpants and a T-shirt. Nothing too exiting, I'm afraid.

 

Do you wear any special jewelry? What is it, and what does it look like?

I don’t wear jewelry most of the time, unless the necklace my brother made for me counts.

 

Do you have a special place where you keep your valuables?

Yeah, cunningly concealed in my sock drawer.

 

What's your preferred means of local travel? How about long distance?

The answer to both questions is "running very, very fast."

 

Miscellaneous

 

Have you ever made a will, or tried to make arrangements for your death? What provisions did you make?

No, I haven’t. Probably should’ve done that the moment I put on the tights, actually, which is kind of a depressing thought.

 

If your features were to be destroyed beyond recognition, is there any other way of identifying your body?

Wow, that’s even more depressing. Trying really hard not to picture that right now. I guess dental records? Or DNA?

 

What would you like to be remembered for after your death?

"Here lies Echo. Her wisecracks annoyed us all."

 

Do you believe you pose a threat to the public? Why or why not?

Not really, no. None of my powers are the sort that are likely to go haywire, and there are no little green gremlins in my head telling me to burn things.

 

What do you perceive as your greatest strength?

Would saying "my incredible superpowers" be too obvious? Yes? Okay, then. My greatest strength is…love. That’s much more original.

 

What do you perceive as your greatest weakness?

There are times when I feel like I genuinely have no idea what I’m doing. It’s like I’m just faking my way through everything. Crack enough jokes, maybe nobody notices how scared I am, right? No other hero has these problems. They all have their years of experience to call on. What do I have? Years of jumping off the garage roof?

 

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...

While it’s true that you’re inexperienced, and that's always a hindrance, it's equally important to remember that that's true of everybody when they first start out. There's no shortcuts when it comes to experience - only way to get it is to earn it the hard way.

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