A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

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Davies
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Fuego
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Born to a prosperous family in Miami in 1982, Esteban Torcida was always dimly aware that there was something odd about the way that he could accurately guess an object's temperature by looking at it. But it was so minor and pointless of an ability that he couldn't possibly think of himself as a superpower, and so never told anyone about it and tried to ignore it. Instead, he focused on what he thought of as a much useful power -- his charm and poise, which were the tools by which he could attract girls (and a few older women, as well.) His life was pretty sweet, all told.

It's possible that Esteban's willful ignorance of his capacities delayed the point at which he manifested his full superpowers, but it's also possible that they came on much earlier than he realized. He didn't realize what he could do until 1999, when he was at a dance club with his current inamorata and a fire broke out. (It was later determined to be arson.) Instinctively, Esteban created his force field, protecting himself and a few others, and then snuffed out the flames with a thought. He was stunned by the cheers from the crowd, but immediately realized that he could get used to this.

His parents were not so thrilled when he finally got home that night, as his father explained something that he'd been planning to reveal to Esteban in a few more years. Long ago, there had been a time when many of his ancestors had possessed such flame-based powers, as they were supposedly descended from Nahua priests of Xiuhtecuhtli, who'd maintained a sacred fire with them. Both his father and his mother urged Esteban to hide his powers, to claim that what had happened had been some sort of a fluke occurrence, as they feared the consequences if it became known that a Torcida had once more awakened to power.

Esteban, of course, would having none of this. It was a new age of superpowers, and he intended to use his talents to win even more of the adulation that he'd experienced that night. (He also realized that nobody would ever buy into that 'fluke occurrence' story.) He fashioned himself a yellow and red costume and debuted the very next day as Fuego, La Antorcha Voladara! He was mostly active in the Miami area, but even in these early days he could fly fast enough to be active throughout Florida, even in the Keys. He got all the adulation he wanted, and then some.

Unfortunately, in the first two years of his career as a superhero, he rarely had to fight any villains who could test his mettle. So when Cerebron came in 2001, Fuego found himself seriously outmatched for the first time, and ended up in the hospital for a month afterward. In his mind, he hadn't just been humbled, but humiliated, and the Powerhouse's invitation to join them, once he was up and about, sounded condescending and insulting to him. The playful daredevil that he'd been before the invasion was gone, and with him went a lot of the admiration that he'd received. That just made Fuego even angrier than he already was.

In 2004, after he also turned down an offer from the United Superheroes, someone else reached out to him. He'd heard of Jolene before this, of course, but they'd never crossed paths. She claimed that this had been because he intimidated her more than any of the other superheroes active at that point, and that with this concern came respect. Accustomed to being the dominant figure in his relationships with women, he didn't realize how much he was being manipulated until it was much too late.

Jolene claimed that she could arrange things so that he had all the fame that he'd once had. Together, they would create the appearance that Fuego was taking down parts of her operation (unessential parts that had served their purpose) and make people realize that what they had taken for anger was a growing maturity and concern for everyone's safety. Of course, there would be other benefits to their alliance, she told him, leaning in close. He took the bait.

And when she betrayed him, arranging for the media to receive video proof of other jobs, much less laudable jobs, that he'd undertaken on her behalf, he was genuinely surprised, so much that it didn't even occur to him to try and escape during his initial imprisonment and trial. It's possible that he thought this whole situation was part of Jolene's plan, but when he was finally sentenced to spend seven more years in the flame retardant cell that they'd used to keep him locked up, he finally broke. Somehow, he got word out to the parasupremacist movement that Hadron had started, and claimed to want to join up. They proceeded to break him out of prison, and put him to work.

Fuego stayed with Hadron's organization for almost a decade, developing a strong rivalry with Megawatt once the latter joined. Often based in the group's California bases, he found himself frequently fighting Basilea in this time, becoming a part of her rogue's gallery. He was frustrated by the fact that he was never able to change their relationship to something more interesting, as he did by seducing most of the female contingent of Hadron's army and playing them off against each other. Ultimately, though, he even got tired of that little game. In 2016, he cut a deal with Argus to turn over information about the movement in exchange for his freedom. They agreed, but told him to get out of the country.

Since then, Fuego has largely acted as a superhuman mercenary for various criminal groups in Africa, South America and Australia, including that run by El Diablo Rojo. When not thusly engaged, he lives the life of a latter day remittance man, paid by his late parents' estate managers to stay away, and occasionally working as an instructor to would-be pick-up artists. He's uncomfortably aware that he's getting on in years himself, and wonders how long he can keep up with this lifestyle. That's part of the reason that he's intrigued by a recent job offer to go to Bhutan and take part in a certain tournament on behalf of the Combination ...

Fuego -- PL 11

Abilities:
STR
1 | STA 3 | AGL 2 | DEX 2 | FGT 4 | INT 1 | AWE 3 | PRE 4

Powers:
Flame Control: Array (30 points)
  • Flame Blast: Ranged Damage 15 - 30 points
  • Flame Burst: Ranged Burst Area Damage 10 - 1 point
  • Flame Flare: Ranged Burst Area Cumulative Affliction 10 (Resisted by Dodge, Overcome by Fortitude; Visually Impaired, Visually Disabled, Visually Unaware), Lmited to One Sense - 1 point
  • Flame Snuff: Nullify Flame Powers 10, Perception Range, Simultaneous - 1 points
Force Field: Sustained Burst Area Impervious Protection 10, Affects Others and Self, Impervious is Limited to Physical Damage - 35 points
Heat Vision: Senses 3 (acute ranged detect temperature) - 3 points
Living Jet: Flight 10 (2000 MPH) - 20 points
Resistance: Immunity 10 (fire effects); Immunity 20 (energy effects), Limited to half effect - 20 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Attractive, Extraordinary Effort, Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Initiative, Language 3 (English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, others [Spanish is native]) Power Attack, Taunt.

Skills:
Acrobatics 6 (+8), Deception 7 (+11), Expertise: Criminal 5 (+6), Expertise: Popular Culture 6 (+7), Expertise: Streetwise 5 (+6), Insight 6 (+9), Perception 6 (+9), Persuasion 6 (+10), Ranged Combat: Flames 5 (+7).

Offense:
Initiative +6
Unarmed +4 (Close Damage 1)
Flame Blast +7 (Ranged Damage 15)
Flame Burst -- (Ranged Burst Area Damage 10)
Flame Flare -- (Ranged Burst Area Affliction 10, Resisted by Dodge)

Defense:
Dodge 9, Parry 7, Fortitude 6, Toughness 13/3, Will 9.

Totals:
Abilities 40 + Powers 111 + Advantages 11 + Skills 26 + Defenses 19 = 207 points

Complications:
A Life of Ease--Motivation. Conscious of Advancing Age. Lecherous Cur. Secret (treason against parasupremacists.)
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
MacynSnow
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by MacynSnow »

Sad to see a Hero turn into a Villian, but an intresting take on the "Spanish Lover" Trope.Well done! :)
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Ian Turner »

I feel like Fuego is like what Johnny Storm could have turned into without the moderating influences of Sue and Ben.

(Much as the Maker seems to be what Reed could have turned into without Sue and Ben in his life...)
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Davies
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Ian Turner wrote: Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:55 pm I feel like Fuego is like what Johnny Storm could have turned into without the moderating influences of Sue and Ben.
Almost exactly what I was going for.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Scathach
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Scathach is the name to which she answers, and she does make her home on the Isle of Skye. If asked, directly, whether she is literally the figure from the legends of Ulster, her answer will vary depending on her opinion of the person doing the asking. In most cases, she will simply make a comment to the effect that such personal questions are generally considered rude. Very rarely, in her most honest moments, she will admit that she is not, and then add that she doesn't wish to discuss her origins beyond that. In a moment of total honesty, a few years ago, she further admitted that it has been so long since she was called anything else that she has forgotten the name she was given at birth, or the names she bore in the years afterward.

She was born on Cherab, some twelve hundred years ago, as one of that planet's people of tomorrow, the rising stars. She was a minor figure among them at best, but when the war came, she fought it as best she could, and survived everything that her fellows and the humans could throw at her. When the survivors left, she went with them, as a passenger on one of their space ships. Scathach thinks that she was sick and tired of the war, but can't really remember those days too clearly, either.

She knows that she was certainly sickened by the war that broke out among the overpeople less than a decade after they left Cherab, and made her own opinion of the dispute quite clear by spacing the other denizens of the ship -- some of whom were spaceworthy, probably -- then using it to leave the group. She found a world inhabited by a branch of humanity, and settled there for a time, living like a mother goddess among them and giving birth to about fifty children, all of whom inherited her immortality and became the ancestors of the Chatpaura people. But this grew tiresome to her, and so she left the world later named Sezti behind her and travelled on through the void.

Sometime around the 13th century, her voyage brought her to Earth, landing on the Isle. One of the first people she met was a Christian friar who was familiar with the Ulster cycle; seeing her spear and the proficiency with which she used it, he asked her whether she was some relation of the legendary warrior-woman of this island. Learning more, she decided to adopt this identity as her own, to make life a bit easier. She rebuilt the spaceship into a castle, hidden inside a pocket of folded space that hid it from sight -- a castle of shadows, just like in the legends. (Looking back, she's not sure how she did that. Maybe someone helped her, but she can't quite remember these details, either.)

Thereafter, she engaged in what pursuits seemed fitting for this new life. Sometimes she would hunt monsters, sometimes she was persuaded to take part in battles. Sometimes, some would seek her out to gain training in the warrior arts, just as her namesake had given that to great heroes of the past. When it suited her, she would give them what they sought. When it didn't, she would give them what they were really seeking. Early on, she might dally with them, and became a mother on this world, too. But these children did not inherit her immortality, and the pain of watching them grow old and die in an eyeblink made her stop playing such foolish games.

Years passed, and she found herself being sought out more rarely. The last time was in the early years of the previous century, when some mad doctor from the lands far to the west had her teach his son a few things. She thinks she might have taught him more than his father wanted, but it probably didn't make a difference. She's not sure anything that she's ever done has really made any difference to anyone. How can it, when life just keeps going on and on and on, with nothing ever really lasting?

Except that she knows this isn't true. In 1961, she made one of her rare trips to Portree to arrange to purchase some supplies that she couldn't manufacture herself, and visited a public house which had purchased a television. She watched the news with interest, until a report about some activities by the Insititute aired ... and her face went white as she saw their most noteworthy member. "Baraksus," she said, then left Portree at once, sealed up her castle with herself inside, and didn't even bother to take delivery of the supplies she'd ordered. She didn't come out again for thirty years.

While Scathach quickly determined that the immediate danger had passed when she emerged, she felt a certain guilt that she'd not even tried to warn anyone about what had come among them, especially after she learned the full story. So when one Robert Richmond sought her out, she didn't put him through any proving tests, but gave him the teaching he'd sought without question. She was a bit impressed that he survived it, and watched him go. A few more times since, she's given teaching to young would-be heroes, and finds a certain comfort in the notion that she's helping to prepare for the day when he comes back.

Recently, she was contacted by Exelion, who offered her a teaching position at his Academy. Scathach isn't sure that she wants to be so visible, but it's a tempting offer, and something about the man who made it seems awfully familiar ...

Scathach -- PL 13

Abilities:
STR
7 | STA 8 | AGL 6 | DEX 4 | FGT 10 | INT 1 | AWE 4 | PRE 3

Powers:
Blood of Kings: Immortality 12 (minimum of 15 minutes), Limited (not if beheaded), Stamina Check Required (DC 14); Immunity 3 (aging, disease, poison); Regeneration 10 - 22 points
Fast Learner: Comprehend Languages 4, Quirk (takes an hour to pick up a new language) - 11 points
Gae Bulg: Strength-based Ranged Damage 3, Secondary Effect (bleeding), Accurate; Easily Removable (-4 points) - 6 points
Impossibly Fast: Enhanced Advantages 2 (Improved Initiative 2); Enhanced Defenses 6 (Dodge 3, Parry 3); Quickness 3; Speed 4 (30 MPH) - 15 points
Mind of Steel: Immunity 20 (mental effects), Limited to half effect - 10 points

Advantages:
Accurate Attack, Agile Feint, All-out Attack, Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 4, Evasion 2, Fearless 2, Hide in Plain Sight, Improved Critical (spear) 4, Improved Defense, Power Attack, Precise Attack (Close/Concealment), Ranged Attack 4, Takedown, Tracking.

Equipment:
Castle of Shadows: Size Huge; Toughness 12; Features Combat Simulator, Concealed 2, Defense System, Grounds, Gym, Isolated, Living Space, Power System, Security System 2 - 18 points

Skills:
Acrobatics 6 (+12), Athletics 6 (+13), Close Combat: Spear 4 (+14), Deception 6 (+9), Expertise: Military 8 (+9), Insight 4 (+8), Intimidation 8 (+11), Perception 6 (+10), Ranged Combat: Spear 4 (+8), Stealth 6 (+12).

Offense:
Initiative +14
Unarmed +10 (Close Damage 7)
Gae Bulg +16 (Close Damage 10, Crit 15-20)
Thrown Gae Bulg +14 (Ranged Damage 10, Crit 15-20)

Defense:
Dodge 12/9, Parry 13/10, Fortitude 11, Toughness 13/8, Will 12

Totals:
Abilities 86 + Powers 64 + Advantages 28 + Skills 29 + Defenses 14 = 221 points

Complications:
Boredom--Motivation. Fear (other 'rising stars', especially him.) Show-off.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by MacynSnow »

So it's a combination of Guilt & Remorse about the whole "Stardust incident" that's making her cosider the Teaching position. Neat! :)
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Davies
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

This character is based on suggestions from Voltron64.

General Seismic/زلزالي (Zilizali)
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Unlike his greatest rival -- who, somewhat annoyingly, never seemed aware of his existence -- Seismic was always a member of the military branch of his faction, 'born' to fight the never-ending war. While fully capable of inflicting terrible damage on his enemy's personnel and materiel, he also excelled as a spy. If the Eradicating Aeon -- silly name, but so is 'Sudden Disruption of Stability' -- was better at combining the two tasks to work as an assassin, then Seismic could at least take some comfort in the notion that their superiors never went to that one when what they wanted was a quiet bit of intelligence gathering.

But Eradicaton rose faster in their ranks, and he began to propose notions that Seismic regarded as concerning. Allying with the flesh creatures of the third planet? How absurd! When the other leaders went along with it, Seismic knew that the time had come to -- figuratively -- turn his coat, and defected to one of the other factions to let them know what was going on. Of course, no one ever trusts a traitor easily, and so they didn't listen to him until the great broadcast provided proof. That led to the one time in Ectotronian history that nearly every faction united against one of their number, and destroyed his old allies.

In the aftermath, there was a sort of peace on Ectotronia. Seismic still saw a fair amount of action when flare-ups happened, but the days of thunder seemed gone forever, and he found this new climate boring. Despite still viewing them with contempt, he began to experience a certain curiosity about the flesh creatures. Twice, in his existence so far, they'd managed to change everything about a situation that had seemed impermeable. Possibly there was more to them than he'd realized.

So, in the year that they called 2007, he left Mercury and travelled to Earth, using a space-booster to let him fly at greater speed than he could manage on his own. He found plenty of work as a mercenary for various groups, and increased his knowledge about humanity considerably. Ultimately, Seismic ended up working on a somewhat permanent basis for a group of humans who called themselves the House of Saud, transforming their military from a bunch of unskillful hands with good quality hardware -- for this planet, anyway -- to an efficient anti-superpower, anti-kaiju, and anti-extraterrestrial fighting machine.

That took him about two-and-a-half years, and, just as before, he found success in the task a bit boring. Arranging to take up a role as an orbital guardian, he posed as a communications satellite and began spying on other governments and agencies, passing along what seemed useful to his employers. He also started to notice a set of signals that didn't seem to be of human origin. Initially, he thought they might be Ectotronians like himself, but Seismic quickly realized that they were local machine intelligences -- artificial super intelligences to use the local terminology. He spied on them for a while, planning to contact them in a friendly manner when he learned what they were about.

Ectotronians do not experience emotions in the same visceral sense that most humans do. They experience pleasure, but not joy, anger, but not rage, and regret, but not grief. They experience fear ... but not until he realized what these beings planned for humanity had Seismic ever known something that could be described as horror. Ectotronians might be constantly at war, but they never sought to exterminate their enemies entirely, and the notion of exterminating an entire species was completely beyond Seismic's understanding.

He had grown fond enough of a few examples of humanity over the last while that he could not let this go unchallenged. But revealing it to his extant allies would just bring the attention of these monstrous intelligences and all of their resources down on him, and he had no illusions that he could prevail against such a challenge. Instead, from 2011 onwards, he began to look for secret agents who were already fighting the enemy without knowing it, and improved their understanding of what they fought. He arranged for them to be given a method of communication that could keep them secure, and guided their efforts remotely. In other words, he founded the Gray Seal.

If things go bad, he will put a priority on escaping, and preparing Ectotronia for what's going to come when Earth's native machines rise up. But he doesn't have any illusions that he'll be believed this time, either, and so he's very motivated to win this war now.

General Seismic -- PL 13

Abilities:
STR
13/7 | STA -- | AGL 0 | DEX 2 | FGT 8 | INT 6 | AWE 4 | PRE 3

Powers:
Cannon: Ranged Damage 7, Extended Range; Enhanced Ranged Damage 6, Quirk (1 rank per rank of Growth active) - 26 points
Contragravity Flight: Flight 6 (120 MPH), Subtle - 13 points
Reconstruction: Immortality 5 (minimum of 1 day), Check Required (Technology, DC 20) - 1 point
Robot in Disguise: Immunity 30 (Fortitude effects); Morph 1 (communications satellite); Protection 10, Impervious 8 - 53 points
Sensors & Communications: Radio Communication 4, Subtle; Senses 11 (accurate extended 2 radio, darkvision, direction sense, extended vision 3) - 27 points
Size-shifting: Growth 6 (+6 Strength, +6 Protection, -3 Dodge, -3 Parry, +3 Intimidation, -6 Stealth) - 18 points

Advantages:
All Out Attack, Assessment, Benefit (military rank) Eidetic Memory, Inventor, Language 2 (Arabic, English, others), Power Attack, Skill Mastery (Technology).

Skills:
Close Combat: Unarmed 3 (+11), Deception 10 (+13), Expertise: Military 6 (+12), Expertise: Science 8 (+14), Insight 8 (+12), Intimidation 8 (+14/+11), Persuasion 8 (+11), Ranged Combat: Cannon 9 (+11), Technology 8 (+14).

Offense:
Initiative +0
Unarmed +11 (Close Damage 13/7)
Cannon +11 (Ranged Damage 13/7)

Defense:
Dodge 10/13, Parry 8/11, Fortitude Immune, Toughness 16/10, Will 9

Totals:
Abilities 50 + Powers 139 + Advantages 9 + Skills 34 + Defenses 21 = 253 points

Complications:
Self-Preservation--Motivation. Developing Conscience. Responsibility (Saudi Government.) Secret (Grey Seal.)
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
MacynSnow
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by MacynSnow »

Neat way to introduce The Transformers into WLM. So your Soundwave expy wound up "Pulling a Prime" and is trying to stop the AI-Illuminati... Neato! :)
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Dr. Evan Albert
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Born in 1969, Evan Albert demonstrated his hyperbrain talents fairly quickly and became one of the first students to be recruited by the earliest American Think Tanks, where he was given training to accentuate those talents. By 1984, it was fairly clear that he had reached the limits of his ability, which were unfortunately not nearly as impressive as many of the other students. On the other hand, he was also much more stable than many of them, and the administration of the Think Tank increasingly relied on him as a trusted leader. When he turned 18, having graduated with his second Ph.D. (in psychology; his first was computer science) he was promptly hired by the administration to make his position more official.

He remained with that operation until it shut down in 1997, despite never having been subjected to loyalty conditioning. In fact, he helped to develop the procedures that many of the think tanks used on their pupils. In hindsight, this is one of his greatest regrets, but at the time he was persuaded that it was a good way to ensure that most of these eccentric geniuses didn't damage themselves or the world. Ultimately, though, the think tank era was a surprisingly brief one, and once his own shut down, Evan didn't try to find employment with one of the other operations, but acquired a teaching position at Columbia.

After having assisted in coordinating the defense of New York City during Cerebron's assault, Dr. Albert was recruited by SkyWatch to help prevent such future attacks. In 2005, he submitted the prototype for a computer system designed to synthesize all the astronomical data that the organization gathered and provide early warnings of possible alien arrivals in the solar system. The level of complexity required for this process demanded more than an expert system could handle, and so Dr. Albert's team constructed an artificial super-intelligence that they dubbed Urania.

It ran for exactly four hours before it blew up. Before Evan could get permission to examine the remains to try and figure out what had gone wrong, he learned that several of his team had been murdered. He escaped his own assassins by purest luck, and chose to go underground as he was unsure who he could trust. Still conducting his investigation, Dr. Albert realized that Urania had been sabotaged, most likely by the same group that had tried to kill him.

His initial suspicion was that this entire operation was part of the lead up to an alien invasion, but after receiving assistance from operatives from the Technate who were able to clear most of the extraterrestrials on Earth, Evan's concerns became more diffuse. Luddites? Ill-informed libertarians? A rival program? The possibilities seemed endless, and for a while he gave up on the search and focused on building a new identity and life for himself.

In 2010, he had his first meeting with Haven Tucker, who gave him the first real clue as to what his opponent might be. Months later, while exploring a mysterious structure in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he had his first (and to date only) direct confrontation with Humpty Dumpty, once again barely escaping the sadistic ASI with his life. In the aftermath, Evan felt genuinely ashamed for not having seen the obvious. But now what was he supposed to do?

A little less than a year later, he was first contacted by the Patron, who explained the full situation -- four ASIs, united in an alliance to overthrow humanity -- to him. Dr. Albert agreed to work with the Patron, though he didn't fully trust the mysterious voice on the phone, and began to recruit agents for what became the Gray Seal, with Haven as the first. With the Patron's help, Evan developed the radiotelepathic implants that all the agents use, and he's still the one who conducts the surgical procedures needed. (As he's grown older, he's increasingly certain that they should recruit an actual surgeon for this task.)

Of course, Evan is smart enough to realize that the Patron is probably an ASI, playing some game of their own against the four. He has even privately speculated that they might be of extraterrestrial origin. So far, he has not begun developing any strategies for what to do if the Patron ever betrays the Gray Seal, but the possibility does weigh on him. He has not revealed these concerns to anyone, yet.

Dr. Evan Albert - PL 6

Abilities:
STR
0 | STA 1 | AGL 1 | DEX 3 | FGT 3 | INT 6 | AWE 3 | PRE 3

Powers:
Radiotelepathy Mindlink: Selective Area Radio Communication 3, Limited to those with radiotelepathy, Subtle; Senses 1 (radio) - 17 points

Advantages:
Connections, Contacts, Defensive Roll 2, Equipment 4, Improvised Tools, Inventor, Jack-of-all-trades, Ranged Attack 3, Well-informed.

Equipment:
20 points as needed for any given operation (often a Blaster Pistol [Ranged Damage 5]).

Skills:
Deception 4 (+7), Expertise: Civics 2 (+8), Expertise: Science 4 (+10), Insight 6 (+9), Investigation 3 (+9), Perception 5 (+8), Persuasion 6 (+9), Technology 5 (+11), Stealth 6 (+7), Treatment 5 (+11).

Offense:
Initiative +1
Unarmed +3 (Close Damage 0)
Blaster Pistol +6 (Ranged Damage 5)

Defense:
Dodge 6, Parry 5, Fortitude 3, Toughness 6/1, Will 7

Totals:
Abilities 40 + Powers 17 + Advantages 15 + Skills 23 + Defense 13 = 108 points

Complications:
Responsibility--Motivation. Secret (Gray Seal.) Understandably Paranoid.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
MacynSnow
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by MacynSnow »

I find it intresting that Dr.Albert somehow escaped Humpty. I wonder why the little jerk hasn't followed up?
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Humpty doesn't generally bother to pursue people who escape his lair, since he assumes that the other three will cover things up for him if the escapee makes too much noise about their experiences. In this specific case, he thinks he succeeded in killing Evan on a 'nothing human could have survived that' note, and didn't bother to verify.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
MacynSnow
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by MacynSnow »

So Humpty suffered a short bout of "Supervillian Ego" and didn't follow-up. :P
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

MacynSnow wrote: Wed Apr 14, 2021 7:12 pm So Humpty suffered a short bout of "Supervillian Ego" and didn't follow-up. :P
That, and he had other figurative fish to literally fry.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
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Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Haven Tucker
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Very little is known about the early life of the woman who calls herself Haven Tucker, which is believed to be an alias, but no one knows for sure. The one definite fact that's known about her is that she was born in 1972, as she indicated that she was exactly forty years old to another member of the Gray Seal on the day in 2012 which she designated as her birthday. It seems likely that she was orphaned or otherwise separated from her biological parents early on, as she's also stated that, when she ran away from home at the age of fifteen, she was not leaving her actual family behind.

The basic narrative of her life, according to her, is that after running away, she became associated with a Seattle street gang which was loosely associated with the Pythonian Insurgency. She was with them only a few months before they attempted to burglarize an electronics supply shop which was covertly run by robots in the service of the artificial superintelligence known as Pythagolem, who captured the burglars and turned them over to their master.

For the next nineteen years, Haven was subjected to numerous 'scientific' tests by Pythagolem, most of which put her life in considerable danger. But there was always a way out of the traps and dooms to which she was subjected, and she always managed to find that way out before she could be killed. She believes that the other members of her gang were subjected to the same thing, and that they probably failed, but she's not sure about the latter part as it's based on Pythagolem's statements to her -- which she came to believe were nearly always lies. On the other hand, she did not see another human being during that entire length of time.

It's not clear whether Haven's superpowers were activated by all of this, or whether they were already latently present before her imprisonment. Both things could be true. She wasn't aware that she was doing anything unusual until fairly close to the end, when she realized that injuries she'd suffered were recovering much more quickly than they had in the past. She sometimes had nightmares that she had died and been reborn as some sort of biological robot, but the fact that Pythagolem never tried to hint at such things suggested that these ideas originated with herself.

Finally, after one last strenuous set of tests, Haven found herself passing through a door that led outside the facility and into an evening in one of Seattle's parks. Initially suspecting that this was just one more trick, she soon determined that she was not in a hologram but actually outside. She turned back to look at the exit from which she'd emerged, and was startled to find Pythagolem's holographic icon looking back at her. Then the door sealed shut. She stared at it for a while, then spoke the first words she'd spoken in nineteen years. "I'll be back," she said, then turned and walked away.

Understandably, Haven found it a bit difficult to make a new life for herself. She had nothing but the clothes on her back, no official records of any kind, and preferred not to talk. She was fortunate in that she was assigned to an extraordinarily compassionate social worker, who arranged for her to get documentation, shelter and work, which kept her off the streets. It was a very marginal existence, but she was free. And if she frequently awakened gasping from nightmares, they were still better than the nightmarish existence she'd known.

Then Evan Albert tracked her down, having heard of her sudden appearance like a latter day Kaspar Hauser. She wrote down her account of what had happened to her and gave it to him, fully expecting to have him dismiss it as the wild tale that it was. When he showed up again, about a year later, with the news that Pythagolem was only one of four ASIs that were conspiring against humanity, she couldn't even feel any surprise. Evan offered her an administrative position in the organization he was assembling; she silently indicated that she was prepared to take a more active role than that.

Ever since then, Haven has been one of the leading agents of the Gray Seal. She doesn't bother to wonder who the Patron is, since it's enough for her that it facilitates her struggle. She keeps other agents at a polite distance, rarely speaking to them and almost never using more than one or two words at a time. She's only slightly more voluble while using radiotelepathy, almost never engaging in chatter, though she expresses herself in complete sentences when she transmits what she considers important information. She never talks to anyone outside the agency, especially not robots or androids, which she destroys without mercy ... sometimes to the annoyance of other agents, who'd prefer to have something they can interrogate.

Haven fully intends to keep her promise, one day, even though exploration of the site where she emerged has failed to turn up any passages leading to the facility she remembers. (Not surprising, they had plenty of time to remove them.) Nevertheless, she will come back swinging. Before she destroys Pythagolem, she intends to ask the mad machine why it let her go. She expects that the answer will simply be that it was one of the creature's whims. She fears that this is all just one more test.

Haven Tucker - PL 8

Abilities:
STR
2 | STA 3 | AGL 4 | DEX 7 | FGT 8 | INT 2 | AWE 3 | PRE 0

Powers:
Longevity: Immunity 1 (aging); Immunity 2 (disease, poison), Limited to half effect; Regeneration 5 - 7 points
Parkour: Leaping 2 (30 feet); Movement 1 (safe fall), Limited to Distance 0; Movement 1 (sure-footed); Speed 1 (4 mph) - 6 points
Radiotelepathy Mindlink: Selective Area Radio Communication 3, Limited to those with radiotelepathy, Subtle; Senses 1 (radio) - 17 points
Situational Awareness: Senses 1 (danger sense) - 1 point
Studied Strike: Strength-based Damage 3, Check Required (Technology, DC 15), Quirk (only against mechanical opponents) - 1 point

Advantages:
Agile Feint, Benefit (cipher 2, every trick in the book*), Defensive Attack, Defensive Roll, Diehard, Equipment 4, Evasion, Fearless 2, Improved Defense, Improved Disarm, Improved Initiative, Improved Trip, Move-by Action, Skill Mastery (Acrobatics), Takedown, Uncanny Dodge.

Equipment:
20 points of equipment as needed (usually including a Blaster Pistol [Ranged Damage 5])

Skills:
Acrobatics 6 (+9), Athletics 6 (+8), Close Combat: Unarmed 3 (+11), Investigation 6 (+8), Perception 8 (+11), Ranged Combat: Blaster 4 (+11), Sleight of Hand 5 (+12), Stealth 6 (+10), Technology 6 (+8).

Offense:
Initiative +8
Unarmed +11 (Close Damage 2, Close Damage 5 vs. mechanical)
Blaster Pistol +11 (Ranged Damage 5)

Defense:
Dodge 9, Parry 11, Fortitude 6, Toughness 5/2, Will 8.

Totals:
Abilities 58 + Powers 32 + Advantages 21 + Skills 25 + Defenses 16 = 152 points

Complications:
Justice--Motivation. Flashbacks. Rarely Talks, And Rarely Says Much.

* Resists Deception-based feints with Fighting.

Ch'ella stima!/Ch'ella stima!/O cara mia, addio!
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
User avatar
Davies
Posts: 3157
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:37 pm
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: A World Less Magical But No Less Fantastic

Post by Davies »

Roger Doncaster
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As with his usual partner, very little is known about the individual who uses the name Roger Doncaster, save for the fact that this is definitely an alias. He was apparently born in 1987, probably in Eastern Europe or Russia, but just where is not clear. By 2005, he was already employed by Guy Gisborne as an enforcer and occasional bodyguard, with Gisborne giving him the alias he uses in a rare moment of levity, while also arranging for his henchman's naturalization.

Doncaster remained with Gisborne for nearly a decade, even fighting superpowers on his behalf, right up until the Ultra Girls produced evidence that ensured even the corrupt legal system of the U.K. had to put him away, in 2014. He even agreed to keep on working for him even after that, acting as a bodyguard for his Japanese mistress and their daughter. Truthfully, while he didn't particularly like or respect Gisborne, his loyalty didn't depend on such conditions, and he actually was fond of the boss' daughter.

Unfortunately, neither of these women were all that keen on having Doncaster involved in the new lives they were making for themselves in Japan. The missus, as he called Sakura Yoshiko, was at least willing to wear a commlink so that he could notify her if she was in danger, and so he began keeping an eye on them both from a distance. Less than a year later, he caught wind of a plot against the kid's life just as the hit was about to take place, and frantically contacted her mother, whom she was visiting. He never would have done it if he'd known that she would use herself as a human shield.

Unable to find the person who'd actually pulled the trigger, he went to the top, breaking through the security wall surrounding the businessman who'd hired the shooter. That was when things started to get weird. Doncaster had been operating under the assumption that this had been directed against Gisborne, but his target started talking crazy talk about how the kid was some sort of mystic who had to be destroyed for the sake of world sanity, and that he was working in league with something called Axiom. Roger was tempted to just ignore this as the delusional fantasies of a man now dead, but if the kid was still under the gun ...

He did some more digging, and found out where Axiom was based in Vietnam. His intrusion into their headquarters coincided with a strike against them by the Grey Seal. Doncaster was horrified to learn from these unexpected allies that Axiom wasn't just a bunch of crooks, but an artificial intelligence that was trying to overthrow humanity, with a focus on striking against the more irrational, supernatural aspects of the human condition. While they managed to destroy this particular base, they'd only handed the enemy a setback, and Axiom was still out there scheming.

So Doncaster joined up with the Grey Seal. Unlike most of his colleagues, he prefers to use conventional firearms rather than more advanced weaponry, on the basis that they're easier to maintain and cheaper to resupply. He's also fully capable of tearing most robots apart with his bare hands, and has fewer compunctions about taking out human allies of the ASI hegemony than most agents of the Seal.

He still views himself as having an obligation to help 'Megan Excalibur' if that's what she's calling herself, though he does understand that she has reached a point where she's more than able to take care of herself. Nevertheless, if she were ever to contact him and ask for his help, he'd drop everything and go to her aid. He owes her that much for his great failure, five years ago.

Roger Doncaster -- PL 8

Abilities:
STR
3 | STA 4 | AGL 2 | DEX 3 | FGT 6 | INT 2 | AWE 2 | PRE 2

Powers:
Radiotelepathy Mindlink: Selective Area Radio Communication 3, Limited to those with radiotelepathy, Subtle; Senses 1 (radio) - 17 points
Striking Strength: Strength-based Damage 2 - 2 points

Advantages:
All-out Attack, Close Attack 3, Diehard, Equipment 6, Fast Grab, Fearless, Great Endurance, Improved Pin, Languages 4 (many), Power Attack, Ranged Attack 4, Takedown, Tracking.

Equipment:
Body Armor (Protection 2, Subtle), Heavy Pistol (Ranged Damage 4), Assault Rifle (Ranged Multiattack Damage 5), and 11 points of equipment as needed.

Skills:
Athletics 6 (+9), Close Combat: Unarmed 2 (+8), Deception 4 (+6), Expertise: Streetwise 6 (+8), Insight 6 (+8), Intimidation 6 (+8), Investigation 4 (+6), Perception 4 (+6), Ranged Combat: Guns 4 (+7), Stealth 4 (+6), Technology 3 (+5), Vehicles 3 (+5).

Offense:
Unarmed +11 (Close Damage 5)
Heavy Pistol +11 (Ranged Damage 4)
Assault Rifle +11 (Ranged Multiattack Damage 5)

Defense:
Dodge 10, Parry 9, Fortitude 7, Toughness 6/4, Will 7

Totals:
Abilities 48 + Powers 19 + Advantages 26 + Skills 26 + Defenses 19 = 138 points

Complications:
Redemption--Motivation. Obligation (Megan Excalibur.) Secret (Gray Seal.)

Author's Note: Roger of Doncaster is a very minor-league opponent of Robin Hood in some of the ballads about him.
I'm not fourteen hundred years old! I've been sixteen years old fourteen hundred times, but I'm definitely not fourteen hundred years old! If you can't get that through your skull, I'm divorcing you!
Tsukasa Tsukuyomi, in
Fly Me to the Moon, by Kenjiro Hata
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