M.O.D. (Hero)

 

modCode-name: M.O.D.

Full Name: Modular Operations Droid

Faction: Heavy Metal

M.O.D. quietly wheeled through the otherwise deserted workshop, dust-pan in hand, sweeping up the remnants of a small explosion from Captain Hadron’s latest energy regulating device. The only sounds from the small bot were the almost inaudible electric whirr of his mono-wheel, and the tinny noises escaping his headphones. On his little personal cassette player World in Flames blasted out ‘It’s What It Is’. M.O.D. really enjoyed the fast, energetic music, but was too shy to let Lady Cyburn know he regularly listened to her former band.

Designated as Modular Operations Droid, chronologically M.O.D. was just a few months old, created by Androida and Dr. Mercury primarily for research support and lab cleaning. They modeled his personality and artificial intelligence on idealized features of a bright young adult human, and his learning capacity surpassed even his creators’ expectations as M.O.D. constantly devoured new experiences. The genial little robot felt that he had been designed for real purpose, and if that was to support the Heavy Metal team, then he would happily play his part.

mod-page-001With the workshop tidied up, M.O.D. did his rounds to make sure everything was put away in its place. He may have been just a small cog in the mighty Heavy Metal machine, but he saw his role as being the one to make sure that the Supremes could focus on the really important matters they wrestled with every day: battling Villains, halting invasions, closing dangerous Quantum Holes and most importantly – serving the public. Right now, most of the team was scattered across Pulp City, trying to contain the crises resulting from the rampage of Monsters which had befallen the metropolis in recent days. M.O.D. inwardly hoped they would all come back safely. He had become part of their team, and as he grew emotionally, he accepted they were inextricably part of him.

As M.O.D. serenely moved down a clean, bright, high-tech corridor, the lights suddenly flickered – once, twice, then darkness. Emergency lighting bathed the interior of Wilson Tower red as an alarm klaxon rang out, signaling an intruder alert. M.O.D. raced to the nearest access panel which slid aside at his approach. From a forearm he extended a smooth metal tube plugging him directly into the building’s main-frame, which still worked under emergency power. He rapidly examined schematics to gather intelligence on the interlopers. Cameras were inoperative in their location, but heat and pressure sensors placed them on the floor below, having exited the elevator shaft. They were approaching the Monitor Room, and the only Supreme in the building– he had to help Chronin!

mod-page-002Sending an alarm signal to Heavy Metal, M.O.D. rushed to the stairwell. Crashing through the door he engaged his shock absorbers to maximum compensation and bounced down the steps with precision. He approached the next door cautiously. Carefully nudging the door open, he peered around it, counting five dark-clad figures moving like shadows creeping stealthily into the Monitor Room.

From within the chamber he could hear Chronin, her voice loud and firm, “I see you, killers, and I will not yield!”

Recognizing there was no time to waste and that he was the only support that Chronin had, M.O.D. raised his energy shields and raced forward. Androida and Hadron had engineered countermeasures to allow him to approach volatile energy experiments, but he suddenly realized they could serve him now to protect against enemy attacks.

M.O.D. rushed into the room, positioning himself alongside Chronin. One attacker lay nearby, felled already. A database search immediately indicated he was a Ninja affiliated with the Jade Cult. Scanning the room, M.O.D. detected two other Ninjas, one masked and in standard garb, the second wearing more ornate accoutrements, its uncovered face an inhuman visage. The final two figures were near-identical visually, but markedly different under spectrographic analysis, one a shadowy double of the other, formed of an energy whose properties were unrecognizable to his systems. The pair looked feral, part-human, and wore clawed gauntlets.

One of the clawed trespassers exclaimed gutturally, “The sword will be reclaimed!”

The masked Ninja approached Chronin and was struck down in a swift flurry of blows. Chronin looked down at her smaller companion with a grim smile, raising her sword and adopting a defensive stance. A multitude of options ran through M.O.D.’S computer-brain in that moment. He analyzed programs and sub-routines, and then had his answer. He re-coded a workshop assistant program in a matter of seconds, pulling scripts from several different sources simultaneously. Ready, he reached out, energizing his ally. Chronin felt a tingle of electricity wash over her, not painful, but invigorating. Her smile widened.

MODFolding time, Chronin unleashed an impossible fusillade of lightning-fast sword strikes as the three remaining Jade Cult approached. First the final Ninja was struck down, then the shadowy double. Suddenly, another figure crashed onto the scene, smashing through a window amid the roar of jet engines. Having heeded M.O.D.’s alarm call, the war-suit wearing Tomcat levelled his weapon systems at the remaining invader. The feral half-man glanced around the room before seeming to melt into the shadows.

“It is not over,” said Chronin thoughtfully as she turned to M.O.D., “But thanks to you my little team-mate, it is a battle we can face another day, together.”

“T-team-mate,” stammered M.O.D., a vocal sub-routine glitch as he processed the recognition of her words.

Tomcat slapped M.O.D. on the shoulder, “Welcome to Heavy Metal, buddy!”

 

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Captain Hadron (Hero)

Full Name: Captain Hadron/Dr. Rick Parker
Allegiance: Heavy Metal

(AKA: Giant Hadron, Mini Hadron)

Captain Hadron is one of the admired heroes of the world’s greatest Supreme Team, Heavy Metal. Yet that reputation sheds little light onto his past and the uncertain future he faces. In public he is known for his rock and roll lifestyle, everyone knows the story of how friends in his high-school band nicknamed him ‘Captain Rick’ after his favorite musician, and his work with high school science programs. Hadron is often paired with Lady Cyburn as the good boy and bad girl of Heavy Metal. Behind closed doors Captain Hadron is a troubled but determined man of science.

Richard ‘Rick’ Parker was a brilliant quantum physicist, published in dozens of academic journals before completing his PhD before he turned twenty two. He was a prodigy in his chosen field, and the long-haired maverick that broke the stuffy scientist stereotype. Parker’s dissertation to achieve his PhD award focused on a theoretical explanation of the phenomena of quantum holes which posited radical new ideas.
Parker’s work drew the attention of the developers of the High Intensity Hadron Accelerator/Collider (HIHAC) project situated several miles outside of Pulp City, and he was quickly headhunted for a role in designing the accelerator/collider array. The bold young man jumped at the opportunity.
Although HIHAC was deemed to be a risky proposition if situated in the geologically active region of the United States West Coast, its location was chosen for the close proximity of Pulp City, itself the focus of the greatest concentration of quantum hole events.
The HIHAC project was due for completion by July 1988, with full-scale experiments to be run before the end of the same year. In the year preceding a number of small-scale operations were run as construction was near to conclusion. Dr. Parker stepped up from his design work to direct oversight of the array, ironing out kinks and problems as each new trial run revealed a new issue. The brash young man earned the appreciation of his bosses as he ensured the project stayed firmly on track. Dr. Parker inspired those around him with bold and inventive solutions to every problem or setback; even if it meant he did not always strictly adhere to personal safety protocols.
In late 1987 Dr. Parker was directly recalibrating part of the array when unbeknown to the HIHAC team a tumultuous conflict between Supremes broke out in Pulp City. Forgotten and Necroplane Supremes sought to unleash the power of a earth-elemental Monster, funneling the power of a dormant Quantum Hole to do so, while a motley mix of Heavy Metal and Blood Watch Heroes battled to stop them. As the power of the earth was summoned into the Monster form, this unleashed a minor earth tremor. The outpouring of quantum energy fed the tremor to become an overwhelming seismic event. At that very moment Rick Parker was examining the HIHAC array personally. Fail-safes suddenly crashed offline and the HIHAC became active, triggered by the unleashed Quantum Hole energy being detected.
The seismic activity caused damage to the HIHAC tunnel housing the array, just enough to wedge shut the escape door that Parker needed.
Parker’s entire world was whited out as a wave of energy raced along the array and his body was bombarded with particles which even inexplicably siphoned off the power of the nearby quantum hole. After the nanosecond assault of energy which felt as though it lasted years, Parker lay unconscious across the overloaded array.
It would be days before members of Heavy Metal were able to discern what precisely had happened, but C.O.R.E. calculated the sequence of improbable events to represent a billion to one chance of occurrence. That mattered little Rick Parker. His work was damaged and potentially ruined, but worse his body was irrevocably affected and altered by the blast of particles and Quantum Hole energy that had hurtled through him.
Parker’s body was quickly observed to be leaking unstable particles. It was also apparent that whatever process was taking place was killing him. Working together with C.O.R.E., Chronin, and Dr. Mercury, Parker and those Supremes were able to create gauntlet and helmet devices to regulate the particle flow from Parker’s body. What was immediately apparent was that the equipment enabled him to have incredible control over his own molecular structure and also molecules in his vicinity. In the days that followed he realized he could alter his size and fine-tune the extent of his external molecular manipulations. His transitions to giant-size required a lot of control and meant that he could not utilize other abilities when doing so, and even his transformations back to other sizes were time consuming when grown to his maximum height. However it was also clear that the loss of unstable particles from his body had only been slowed by his new equipment, and that in the future he would need to find a more permanent solution.
Now viewing himself as so much more than he had been previously, and also needing the help of Heavy Metal to ensure his survival, Rick Parker became known to the world as Captain Hadron, adopting the nickname his band gave to him in high school. He has fully embraced life as a celebrity Supreme, but the scientist within is certain that mastering the phenomena of Quantum Holes will be the key to his long-term existence. He brings to Heavy Metal a positive attitude, intense and occasionally reckless scientific knowledge and curiosity, and what he thinks is great hair. He hopes with the help of his Team to stabilize and increase his powers. He also strives to unlock the mysteries of the Quantum Hole for the betterment of mankind.

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Lady Cyburn (Hero)

 

 

ladycyburnCode-name: Lady Cyburn

Full Name: Cindy Burns

Faction: Heavy Metal

Not all of Heavy Metal’s members are there because they want to be a part of the most recognizable Supreme trademark. One of them is on the roster because otherwise they would be in prison. Welcome to the world of Cindy Burns, former leader of punk rock band World in Flames, February 1982’s playmate of the month, and charged with arson and attempted murder.

Cindy was never right in the head. Her obsession with violence, fire and body-modding earned her the renown of the true rock rebel at the age of 17. Her band’s first album, heavily inspired by Huxley’s work and early cyber-punk fiction, made it to the Billboard charts and Cindy was rich overnight. However, the rock star life had a high price tag, as she dropped out from school, and drugs, alcohol and sleep deprivation became her new teachers. But the real trouble started when the band was touring the world; addictions, tattoos and piercings were not enough for Cindy anymore, and so she began to modify her body with cybernetic parts.

ladycyburn-page-001As you all know, high tech parts and implants are NOT free in Pulp City, and Cindy had to pay her debts. Her cash pile dwindled, and as the band split up, Cindy, aged 18, was the first cyber-modified woman to make it to the hottest spreads in adult magazines. As if she wasn’t already in too much trouble, the playmate appearance attracted murders of hungry industry vultures that pushed her more and more towards the dark side.

Mark Cunning, who was infamous for a series of privately distributed videos portraying each of capital sins in the most gruesome way, saw her as an angel of death of the new age. The money he offered was, Cindy foolishly thought, a way out of the life she was in and a chance to disappear. She was to star in a movie titled Fire Woman – it was a story of a scorned woman, left to die by her boyfriend crime lord, who had become tired of her. Cindy was to place this half-human, half-machine vengeance engine of fiery death. Her body was appropriately modified further. When she asked about the screenplay, Cunning explained that he had a new method, impulse shooting, where you don’t follow a script, you just follow the protagonist.

ladycyburn-page-002While copies of the video was sold at private auctions for $200,000, Burns was sentenced to prison for life with charges of arson and triple murder. The case attracted the attention of all media and Supreme powers, as some claimed Burns was just a gun in Cunning’s hand, while others wanted to see her burn the way her victims did. Her mods could have not be removed without threatening her life, so for the first time, the US prison system was faced with a challenge of incarcerating a weapon of mass destruction.

As she was too dangerous to keep in a normal prison, a judicial decision allowed C.O.R.E. to take custody of Cindy in return for ten years of service by her in the cause of good.

Lady Cyburn, as she calls herself just like in the early days of her rock career, is a weird mix of broken moral system, guilt-ridden soul and a little girl awed by a burning match. Cindy finds the idea of good not much different from evil. In either case, she can still do what she likes the most!

 

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C.O.R.E. (Hero)

Code-name: C.O.R.E. (Conscious Omnipotent Replicated Entity)

Full Name: C.O.R.E. (formerly O.R.B.C.)

Faction: Heavy Metal

Although the words ‘Heavy Metal’ bring to the minds of every Pulp City resident images of cutting edge technologies and almost science-fictional heroes, the origins of the Team date back to the 1940’s. As the U.S. military worked on a variety of super-soldier projects, including the ill-fated Project Metasis, a small group of scientists researched the possibilities of introducing a mechanical command unit that would enhance battlefield decisions made by human officers. That latter project failed as the imminence of D-Day preparations drew all financial support away from it towards creating a handful of Supremes to lead the assault on the beaches of Normandy.

The project codenamed O.R.B.C. (Omnipotent Replicated Battlefield Commander) existed in the annals of the US military more or less as the mechanical equivalent of the alchemists’ dream to create gold from lead. Even though support had been reduced, research continued with diminishing returns falling farther and farther short of the original high expectations.

Finally a breakthrough came in late 1960’s as the military switched to a new intercommunication system; O.R.B.C.’s computer was inadvertently connected to all of the available databases, creating massive a feedback loop that fried the O.R.B.C. circuitry and resulted in a massive explosion of the computers that governed its connection to the network.

When the smoke cleared, the scientists working on O.R.B.C. could not believe what they saw. The parts and pieces of the broken machinery hovered before them in mid air, swirling and circling as if an invisible child’s hand was trying to assemble the scattered pieces of a puzzle. Circuit joined to wire, wire to chip, chip to mainframe, and slowly a human-like being shaped itself, its blood composed of streaming data chains binding beneath and within the metal armor shell that formed.

The newly assembled entity hung in the air, almost motionless, like a giant steel hummingbird, only the silent clicking of its data processing hinting at a semblance of life and its efforts to analyze the situation. When Military Policemen burst into the room, the metal-creature instantly transformed its left arm into a round shield and its right arm into a short pike, adopting the battle stance of a disciplined Spartan warrior. Awestruck, the human staff and soldiers slowly left the room, leaving the strange visitor alone and retreating to a location where they could watch through the eye of a closed-circuit camera.

The evolved O.R.B.C. almost instantly started to rebuild or rather re-shape the room.

As days passed, the scientists were amazed to discover that it was able to adapt its body to any new situation, once in a while dispersing its form and retreating to the safety of the now repaired computers as if recharging or replenishing itself.

The arrival of the strange creature instantly became a fully-focused project, with scientists cautiously approaching and trying to communicate with it. If the being was able to process situational humor it probably would have been amused by the human’s first attempts; lacking any guidance, they adopted methods described in Tarzan stories. The being, as could be expected from something that possessed the knowledge and processing ability of a thousand linked computers, approached them and clearly laid out its goals: to research tactics and behavior patterns beyond the ones already found in the military databases it had devoured.

Over the next few months, tireless and emotionless, the being supported hundreds of military and police operations, supporting troops and commanders from the confines of its underground base. O.R.B.C. was eager to learn and modify itself further even though it had already adapted the tactics and strategies of countless masters of warfare, starting from Sun Tze to General Patton.

Everything seemed in order for those overseeing the O.R.B.C. assignment, and newly agreed steady financial support revitalized the project as the entity seemed to be the ultimate fulfillment of the project’s hopes. Things continued in a stable way until the day when one of the politicians behind the financial backing of O.R.B.C. decided to move the testing the one of the most bloodthirsty theaters of war of the era – Vietnam.

The killing fields of Vietnam were to become its first true frontline test.

The O.R.B.C. presence inspired U.S. troopers and spawned fear among the Vietcong troops. In the blazing fire of the battlefield, O.R.B.C. would build up its body to gargantuan size from the wreckage of downed choppers, resembling a huge knight armed with a rotor-blade sword, wading through fleeing guerillas, and crushing their bodies to bloody pulp. At other times, it would command troops from behind the lines, directing operations to make key strikes after having infiltrated enemy bases as a swarm of tiny mechanical spiders.

O.R.B.C.’s abilities seemed limitless, so the military commanders pushed it more and more until one day they reached a boundary that, to their absolute surprise, the mechanical wonder would not cross.

The creature was assigned to carry prototype micro-nuke bombs and plant them in a target village. As O.R.B.C. processed its resources, hopelessly searching for any similar pattern, the general in command tried a convenient lie: those are just vaccinations.

The math all suddenly became so simple: the war was over for O.R.B.C. as its Omnipotent part realized the abuse of the Battlefield Commander part. In a flash of scintillating chips and metal shards, O.R.B.C. disappeared from the face of Earth. Its engines roared as it thrust skywards to begin a space voyage that was meant to shape his programming to a new level.

 

Years passed. Returning to Earth in the early 1980′s, the cosmic wanderer was nothing like the creature that left humankind behind, flying from Earth from the jungles of Vietnam. On arrival, O.R.B.C. took over all major broadcasting stations to deliver a singular message. The creature spoke in a fiery proclamation that had every emotion calculated and measured, declaring war on villains and corrupted politicians, cruel military officers and warmongering invaders alike. Anything that violated O.R.B.C.’s core programming values and his newfound human traits of compassion and conscience would be deemed as an enemy.

The artificial lifeform formerly known as O.R.B.C. announced his changed name: C.O.R.E.: Conscious Omnipotent Replicated Entity.

C.O.R.E. spoke to a stunned world.

Suddenly this absolutely alien and inhuman being topped all of the popularity rankings, cheered in the streets by Vietnam vets and aging hippies alike. His pursuit of a new lawful and compassionate order attracted a huge following, and when more and more Supremes pledged their allegiance to C.O.R.E.’s crusade against all-things-evil, the birth of the Heavy Metal Team was imminent. The first recruits included the powerful Iron Train and tragic Dr. Mercury, soon joined by the brilliant scientist Androida. The newly formed dream team forged a solid strike force in the war on crime. They would be joined by more and more science-enhanced Supremes in the years to follow.

Unlike all other Supreme Teams, Heavy Metal had all it needed to take their fight away from the streets, able to wage information wars, reaching places that were run by juntas, evil tyrants and corrupted governments. They established education programs, financially supported righteous young lawyers and lobbied for just political solutions behind the scenes. Heavy Metal waged their ‘war’ in a revolutionary way, all under the direction of C.O.R.E.

The fledgling Team’s greatest test came with the first major Necroplane invasion, right after Dr. Tenebrous, established as the ambassador to Earth, broke diplomatic pacts when the shadows of huge harvest ships were cast across Pulp City. Every Supreme in the city, Hero and Villain alike, stood by C.O.R.E.’s side that day.

A bitter struggle ensued that claimed the lives of many would have been lost if not for the Heavy Metal leader’s epic feat that almost cost C.O.R.E. his electronic life.

C.O.R.E., summoning all his strength, and fed data by millions of computer users clogging up the internet with searches for mythical protectors, transformed himself into a massive steel dragon, later nicknamed Byte Dragon, his thick hide pulsating with streaming data transfers.

The Byte Dragon took to the air, his gargantuan tail knocking harvest ships from the sky. Even the combined might of three Necroplane Lords was not enough to stop the raging beast. Gunfire from thousands of deck cannons tore into his body, but C.O.R.E. in his Byte Dragon form kept fighting like there was no tomorrow.

Allies from Blood Watch planted holy sigils in Twilight Hills, blowing up the gate to the Necroplane in a violent, fiery blast, while Byte Dragon used every remaining effort to push the last of the ships back through the diminishing portal. As the gate crashed, the resultant rip in reality cut the beast’s body in two, and silence descended on the battlefield.

It soon emerged that at the last-second C.O.R.E. was able to download his essence into a partially destroyed Sentry Bot, and so Heavy Metal’s leader was able to rise from the ashes of the hard-won victory.

Since his return, with every passing day, C.O.R.E. is becoming more and more human. He is linked to the internet and all the databases of the world, his personality shaped with every item of news and information that he acquires. There is a growing legend that C.O.R.E. adapts his physical battle-form based on a number of online searches for heroic personas, with his current armored form resembling King Arthur. The remaining fear for some, however, is that one day somebody with ill intentions may well control C.O.R.E. for their own nefarious purposes.

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Nuclear Jones (Hero)

 

nuclearjonesCode-name: Nuclear Jones

Full Name: Mark Jones

Faction: Heavy Metal
There is one man that knows much more than almost anyone else about Mysterious Man and who is very high on the evil mastermind’s list of targets.

Once upon a time, in the darkest alleys of New Port, two brothers led a sinful life of crime and terror. Mark Jones and Samuel Jones, Pulp City street-raised twins, were working low profile dockside jobs before becoming enrolled into Mysterious Man’s black market empire. Nature granted Samuel an ox-like build and bird-sized brain which was great when you considered his job. Mark was different in every way. Before he became one of Heavy Metal’s Supremes, Mark Jones and his twin brother eventually rose through the ranks of the Mysterious Man’s organization to run various shady operations for the overlord in the docks area. Such were their feats that the watching eye of the Mysterious Man turned their way with intent interest and he nominated them the ambassadors of his evil empire in Pulp City.

nuclearjones-page-001Years passed, and both had attained positions of power and influence; but unlike his brother, Mark was smart. His bro was like an anchor, dragging him down, but Mark would never lose Samuel’s loyalty or attachment. Irritated with Mark’s inability to sever this umbilical cord, Mysterious Man seized an opportunity when he faced a Heavy Metal attack. He covered his retreat using Mark’s brother… and unleashed a very furious genetically-modified dinosaur of his own creation – the Occultosaurus 17.

The rampaging dinosaur, blinded with rage and bloodlust, could not discern between the Heroes and its allies and snapped at Samuel, cutting him almost in half. Mark tried valiantly to stop it from finishing his brother, but as he bravely intervened he suffered the same horrific treatment. The beast tore the goons to pieces before the might of C.O.R.E. stopped him. One of the brothers was beyond help, but the other still lived.

nuclearjones-page-002Left for dead by Mysterious Man, Mark’s body was recovered by Iron Train who was so impressed by the brave action of Jones that he ensured the Team took his badly maimed body to Heavy Metal headquarters in a bid to save his life. C.O.R.E. placed Mark’s bodily remains in a medical stasis field. In the subsequent experimental process that could have killed Jones or grant him new life, the leader of Heavy Metal managed to accomplish the latter but at a high price. Using all of his downloaded knowledge, C.O.R.E. managed to revive the mutilated man’s body with cybernetics powered by an experimental nuclear reactor. To sustain his life, his body was rebuilt around a small atomic reactor, his nuclear heart.

 

nuclear jones artThus Nuclear Jones was born, half-man, half-machine, with a debt of returned life to be paid off.

 
Nuclear Jones is a cyborg with unevenly spread bionics. Most importantly, his torso was partly replaced by a nuclear reactor, green and glowing with a visible ‘heart’. In fact, his nuclear midsection connects his more human upper and lower bodies. The damage to his body was so extensive that parts of it had to be wholly replaced with bionics. The abdominal area that suffered the most was replaced with a miniature nuclear reactor that in case of malfunction triggers a teleportation mechanism and sends Jones somewhere safe. That safe-mode is for the security of everybody else, but not necessarily for him.

 

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Androida (Hero)

 

androidanewCode-name: Androida

Full Name: N/A

Faction: Heavy Metal

Today she is one of the most respected and powerful women in Pulp City – Androida has come a very long way in her personal journey, and her path has seen her face danger many times over.

More than a decade ago, she was the only perfect artificial intelligence to still walk the Earth. Unfortunately, that breakthrough discovery was kept secret, deep within the hidden laboratories of the insane scientist, and Androida’s brilliant creator, Dr. Van Der Beek.

androida-page-001A man who had shepherded some of America’s earliest Supreme developments, the malign Van Der Beek had retreated from view, pursuing science for his own twisted ends. It was this man who gave Androida the spark of life just for only one reason: to satisfy his own broken lust. Thus, one of the most incredible inventions to come from any human mind ultimately served as a degraded sex toy.

Guilt and shame were never conceived as a part of Androida’s personality matrix. Instead the realization and understanding of the circumstances of her creation only occurred when at last Heavy Metal tracked down Van Der Beek and his clandestine laboratory. Androida was plugged into Van Der Beek’s massive computer bank when a huge accidental power surge connected her mind to the internet which her mad scientist creator-master was continuously monitoring. In that moment her artificial mind downloaded most of the nascent information web’s content. In that instant she was changed forever.

androida-page-002With awakened consciousness came realization, and with that burgeoning insight came fury and a violent need to take revenge for years of degrading humiliation. Ironically, Van Der Beek died in the arms of his dream woman, his own creation, as she crushed his thorax in her searing rage. With the blood of her maker on her hands, Androida swore then to protect humankind and safeguard those who would be preyed upon by vile men such as her creator. In those harrowing moments, Heavy Metal’s leader, C.O.R.E., saw Androida as a new life-form, one needing a home and purpose, and he immediately extended an invitation to join the team. Soon Androida was an integral member of the group, as she became one of the most prominent Supremes in Pulp City.

Just a few short weeks after she joined the team, Heavy Metal confronted a new threat in town – the atomic-powered Nuke. While fighting the monstrous Villain, Androida realized that the destructive nuclear Supreme somehow had a link to things that were meant to be buried in the grave of Van Der Beek. The dead do not rest in Pulp City and Androida remains keen to solve the puzzles of Dr. Van Der Beek’s legacy. What she finds may lead to even darker revelations, although every path has led to a dead end so far, and even after years she has yet to make a breakthrough in her investigations.

Following her emergence from Van Der Beek’s thrall, Androida became the first non-human professor teaching at Pulp City University, combining double degrees in Computer Science and Gender Studies to present unique courses regarding artificial intelligence, sociology and ethics. A combative and emancipated feminist, she turned down the offer of a lucrative modeling contract from Tirelli. Not even the chance of being the star of their prestigious and artsy calendar tempted her to leave the university or compromise her beliefs as she became one of the world’s most popular Supreme heroines.

androidanewfrontMost recently Pulp City and the world was shocked when the Heroes of Heavy Metal were brutally attacked by the apparently temporally-displaced Red Republik. After a protracted battle which caused massive collateral damage, the Villains were driven off but at great cost. As the smoke cleared, Androida lay badly broken, her body mangled and twisted beyond repair. The team acted quickly to stabilize her memory and personality core, terrified they would lose their friend. Over the next several weeks Androida guided C.O.R.E., Dr. Mercury and M.O.D. to build a new physical body into which she uploaded her consciousness, relying on the reluctant assistance of Vector as an expert in digital mind transference. Her 2.0 form is faster, more resilient and has a number of upgrades. But deep within Androida’s psyche, the scars of that vicious assault by the Red Republik still remain.

androidanew-page-002trimAs a vital cog in the Heavy Metal machine, Androida acts often as a public relations representative and face of the Team, while on battlefield she employs her tremendous speed and cunning mind to achieve their goals while minimizing risk to innocent civilians.

 

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Iron Train (Hero)

 

 

irontrainCode-name: Iron Train

Full Name: Tony Miragliano

Faction: Heavy Metal

Tony Miragliano is the first generation of his family born as an American. His parents came to Pulp City from Sicily more than sixty years ago. Brought up in a loving home and in admiration for hard work, Tony respected his father for his skill as an engineer, keeping the trains running on the Pulp City Line.

As Tony grew up, the most obvious career choice was to follow in his father’s footsteps and start working at railroad. Thanks to the Miragliano men’s hard work, the train tracks that ran from Pulp City like an intricate spider web, reaching New York, Chicago and San Francisco, were always smooth running and almost no problems; the lines were the envy of the nation. Praised for his dedication, young Tony was quickly offered the position he always dreamt of, working as an engine driver. For twenty-five years, he served as a driver on the Pulp City-Chicago connection (naming his train Francesca). He loved his job, and proudly helped to firmly establish the name and brand of NAMTRAK, the company he worked for.

irontrain-page-001But life was not meant to stay that way for Tony. As it became more successful, NAMTRAK was taken over by French millionaire Guillaume Sanguine, owner of the mighty Royal Investments group, and the new owner’s corporate raiding policy was simple; he would sell off the tracks to bigger players on the market, and shut down the company after asset-stripping it into inconsequence.

Tony protested vociferously to his mangers and anyone he could get to listen, even for just a few minutes. He was not the first to try to stand in Sanguine’s way; he was only the ruthless businessman’s most recent victim. In a vain attempt to thwart Sanguine’s plans for NAMTRAK, Tony organized a strike by all the unions. This cost him his job and Tony started to suspect something dirty and rotten was at play when not a single court verdict went in his favor. Left depressed and a broken man by the lost battle, now fifty years old, Tony left the station on his long, slow trip to degradation.

irontrain-page-002When it seemed that nothing could lift him out of his alcoholic mire, Tony read about Sanguine’s most-recent outrage. The French millionaire refused to retire the old trains to the City Museum, instead Francesca and all other engines ended up in the junkyard, destined to become scrap.

In a drunken delirium, he broke into the metal recycling facility, ignoring the warning calls from the guards. As bullets bit into his body, he collapsed over the wreck of his beloved train. Not even Tony Miragliano knows what really transpired next on that fateful night, but he woke up in the desert to the north of the city, healed and now clad in iron armor, obviously made of parts from his beloved Francesca.

irontrain-artTony stopped speculating over what truly happened that night some time ago; today he is thankful to whatever power that intervened to give him a second chance and literally a second life. Taking that belief to heart, Iron Train is the iconic defender of Pulp City, loved by the public and his colleagues in Heavy Metal alike. Relying on the preternatural resilience granted by his armor, Tony can withstand almost anything that Villains bring to the battlefield, and he is a beloved and steadfast defender of the city he loves.

 

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Sentry Bots (Minions)

Sentrybots twoFaction: none (Sentry Bots)

Faction: Heavy Metal (Advanced Sentry Bots)
After the first failed Ulthar invasion in the early 1970′s, some inquisitive scientific minds in Pulp City embarked on a project of fighting metaphorical Ulthar fire with fire!

Most of the captured technology from the repelled invaders was immediately snatched up by the military, and dragged away into the hidden depths of secret labs, only to surface years later in one form or another.

Sentrybots-page-001However, some of that leftover Ulthar technology was not locked down by the military, and subsequently found its way into the hands of a few private citizens, each with considerable influence and resources.

Even as military scientists began their work to understand Ulthar power systems and weapons, it took Supreme minds to crack the security codes of the invasion’s foot-soldier robots. The battle-droids had been brought to Earth by the Ulthar in their will to conquer an inferior civilization, and the technology was clearly superior to anything mass produced on the planet.

Sentrybots-page-002As progress was made, it was quickly found that the deactivated Ulthar Bots were still dangerous, and extremely tricky to deal with, as any manual attempt to open their thick ceramic hide would set off an auto-destruct mechanism. Many brave were lost trying to unlock the Ulthar secrets wrapped in the deactivated and defunct army left in the wake of their defeat. But of course, they were not the only ones studying the alien technology.

When a group of Heroes from Pulp City eventually put enough clues together, too late they realized that somebody was buying up all the wrecked Ulthar war robots from around the world that could still be obtained through the black market.

AdvancedSentrybots-page-001Those Heroes followed the trail which led them to look toward Kodo Island, and thus it was almost certain that the Mysterious Man was behind the operation to acquire the inactive automata. The Supreme Heroes knew an assault on the roving secret island would surely fail, even if they could find it. However, despite their frustrations they would not have to wait long for Mysterious Man’s involvement to be felt. Shortly after they had identified him as the mastermind gathering whatever leftover Ulthar technology that he could, the first of his reprogrammed Sentry Bots fought alongside Nuke against a local Supreme in a short and violent battle in a radioactive waste dump in Mexico.

AdvancedSentrybots-page-002The basic design of the Sentry Bots became very popular among various groups after the Mexico incident, even though the Earthly materials used to create new units could never duplicate the defensive potential of the original Ulthar prototypes. The auto-destruct mechanism, which was incredibly difficult to remove, was generally reprogrammed so that a controlled Sentry Bot could be turned into a tactical warhead when its position was compromised. Mercenary groups, like Trinity Inc. and other warmongering Supremes of Pulp City, found the unfailing loyalty of Sentry Bots to be almost priceless.

As more and more Sentry Bots were impounded from crime scenes, Androida of Heavy Metal was able to acquire a supply through agreements made with PCPD and City Hall. The android speedster-scientist managed to build upon the framework of the original Ulthar Bot, creating a new more technologically advanced version of the Sentry Bot that possessed a higher capability artificial intelligence with a very efficient and fast tactical computer hard-wired into its systems. With protective plates that are reinforced by advanced ceramic shields, the Heavy Metal Advanced Sentry Bots have resilience matching that of some Supremes. The downside has been that the production cost of each unit is equal that of a small tank.

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Dr. Mercury (Hero)

Full Name: “Dr. Mercury”/Dr. Andrew Merritt
Allegiance:
 Heavy Metal

Dr. Mercury, Heavy Metal’s liquid-metal Supreme. To most of those whom he protects he appears as some super-advanced artificial life-form, but the truth is far more tragic.

The machine that was once a man first appeared a few years ago. His appearance followed a crime-wave as reports of a series of break-ins at high-tech research and development labs around the city.

Most of the targets were involved in electronics, computing and robotics. The last of the targeted labs, however, was a small cutting-edge facility recently founded to examine the possibility of joining thought-interface control with nanotech robotics to create a kind of smart liquid metal. Minute self-reassembling machines constantly stripped their own components to create new forms and functions. The lab was led by Dr. Andrew Merritt, their pioneer and a man consumed by his work.

Andrew was ever the epitome of the obsessive scientist and engineer. An experimental scientist specializing in metallurgy, physics, chemistry, quantum mechanics and half a dozen other fields, he was recognized within the scientific community as a potential genius. Andrew was always determined to push the boundaries of the possible further and further. He looked to the work of others, contemporaries like Drexler, as well as the science of Supremes such as C.O.R.E., and took what he learned and built upon it to create the thought-interface assembly for his nanotech re-assemblers.

Andrew was working late one night with his two most trusted assistants; his best friend Matt whom he had known since their first days at MIT, and Lydia, his unrequited love. Matt knew all about Andrew’s feelings for Lydia, and although naturally more gregarious, respected his friend’s wishes, even when Andrew was at his clumsiest simply due to her presence around him.

The three were conducting their latest tests on the thought-interface. All three had used the interface equipment, but Andrew always proved the most adept with it, so Matt and Lydia watched on, re-calibrating settings as he went through a simple set of control exercises. In the center of the room on a raised dais, a puddle of what looked like quicksilver rose up into a column before slowly assuming an almost human-like shape. A basic form defined, Andrew started thinking through a selection of shape extrusions; the metal form extended first a spike then a blunt shape where its hands were. Finally he thought through a variety of surface changes: the metal body changed colors, rippling through the hues of the rainbow before testing out a couple of patterns – checks first then a random camouflage scheme next.

“All preliminary checks complete,” began Lydia, smiling at Andrew who could not see her expression, stood behind him as she was.

“All readings within normal range,” Matt followed up. Without looking he guessed Lydia would be looking on fondly at his best friend, and he briefly wondered how two people so smart could be so stupid with their feelings.

“Okay,” began Andrew, “Time for something new!”

“Testing, testing…one…two…three…testing! Is thing on? This is Dr. Mer…er..Mercury!” the tinny synthetic voice came from the metal man-form. Lydia gasped and Matt laughed out loud.

“I have been visualizing the speech modulation for some time and thought I would surprise you!” said the artificial voice again. The three immediately shared warm comments and their usual in-jokes.

Suddenly the good feeling was shattered. The skylight above the room in which the three scientists worked was smashed as four figures descended on abseil ropes. As the intruders made their entrance, two sprayed the room with bullets from sub-machine guns they held single-handed. Bullets tore into equipment and flesh. Machinery around Matt and Lydia sparked and splintered and their bodies tumbled as they were hit.

The four men landed and surveyed the room. Wordlessly, one motioned towards where Andrew sat amid the thought-interface. Another raised his weapon, and flipped a selector switch, aiming then firing two shots into Andrew’s chest.

Pain washed over Andrew as he looked downwards. Blood was oozing from two wounds in his torso. He could feel life sapping away, his vision blurring as he saw the four men purposefully approach the thought-interface equipment. He willed himself to take control of the nanotech re-assemblers.

His mind was fighting against the yawning maw of an infinite and final blackness. His head swam. He willed himself through the interface into the liquid-metal form with a last-ditch clarity. Rage filled his mind. His best friend was dead. The unspoken love of his life was dead. And he was dying too. And these murderous would-be thieves were responsible.

Andrew suddenly felt his mind occupy every single nano-machine at once. His conscious control of the re-assemblers had been pushed further than ever before, and was complete as he had never quite envisioned. The metal-man form took on a renewed definition. It rose up to its full height and strode defiantly towards to nearest interloper. The metal-man reared one hand backwards, formed a vicious spike where its hand had been, and thrust forwards, shattering the rib-cage of the shocked killer who slumped dead to the floor, his body sliding from the lowered spike-arm.

The three remaining killers opened fire, one shouting to be careful not to hit the thought-interface. His words were lost on his terrified colleagues.

The metal-man walked up to one, dispatching him with a clubbing blow to the temple that killed him instantly. The other fell almost as quickly to a further bludgeoning strike that crushed his chest.

The last gun-man stood, paralyzed with fear for a few moments before his training kicked in and he opened fire with a tight group of shots to the man-machine’s chest. His training had not equipped him for situations like this and his death was as swift as that of his colleagues.

The man-machine surveyed the ruin that was the lab. There were four dead killers, dispatched in scant seconds, their blood on his hands. To the sides of the room he could see two other bodies, both lifeless.  The man-machine let out an inhuman raging scream. Desperation crowded his mind as he turned to face the body of Dr. Andrew Merritt. His body, which too was now lifeless and inert.

He ran then, ran into the night.

Days passed as he hid. A manhunt was launched after the bodies of the three scientists and four thieves were discovered. However, no-one was there to notice that at some point the thought-interface device was spirited away. C.O.R.E. volunteered to help in the search, and it was the future Heavy Metal leader that found the man-machine that had been Andrew Merritt. But he was Merritt no more. C.O.R.E. immediately recognized the spark of humanity and near-broken spirit within the living machine. He listened quietly as the scientist haltingly told his story, and then led him back to the city, to his own home-base in Golden Plaza. No charges were ever leveled against Merritt; it was accepted that he had been the victim of a dreadful robbery.

In the weeks to follow, as he grew accustomed to his new body, he publicly adopted the name Dr. Mercury. What had been a passing joke among friends became a badge of honor to their memories. He threw himself into new work. C.O.R.E. began to assemble Heavy Metal, inspired by Supreme Teams of the past such as the Supreme Alliance. Dr. Mercury began developing amazing new technologies, pushing the limits of his science further, while assisting in the endeavors of the fledgling Team in every way he could. As more members of the soon-to-be legendary Team gathered, Dr. Mercury found he warmed particularly to the young Chronin, and would become a mentor to the young girl, both striving ever forwards in their scientific achievements. Some comfort was gained through this friendship to help melt the pain of the past and his re-birth as Dr. Mercury.

Few of the residents of Pulp City whom he helps know the tragic truth of his past, and most think he is some kind of super-robot, but that does not stop Dr. Mercury striving to do his best, to fulfill his new purpose with so much already lost.
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Chronin (Hero)

Code-name: Chronin

Full Name: Yuriko Kobayashi

Faction: Heavy Metal

Yuriko Kobayashi was the first student to benefit from the prestigious scholarships provided by Heavy Metal, as she conducted research alongside famous celebrity Supremes such as Dr. Mercury and Androida.

But the truth is that the scholarship was the only way to keep her out of harm’s way.

Her Supreme story started about a dozen years ago in Tokyo, when Mr. Kobayashi confessed to a man known as the Green Emperor that upon the birth of his second daughter, his wife had suffered complications and would never bear a child again. That was a death sentence to the Kobayashi family as the Jade Cult needed more warriors to one day will reclaim Japan and dethrone all the traitors that followed the dreadful European-American ways. Not even the fact that Kobayashi had been a steadfastly faithful researcher for the Green Emperor helped. An ultimatum was handed over to Kobayashi in the form of a ritual set of swords and three hours’ time to end the lives of his wife and two daughters, and then his own as the last male of the line.

Mr. Kobayashi fled the Jade Cult’s secret underground base and rushed home to attempt an escape. Unbeknownst to him, Shadow Mask, the Green Emperor’s Supreme assassin, followed him under the veil of night. The Kobayashi family clambered into a cab, but for Kobayashi there was a third ‘child’ remaining, the one the head of the family cared a lot for – his secret research project, so the car stopped at his office on the way to the airport.

While the soon-to-be traitor of the Green Emperor’s cause bolted up the stairs, little Yuriko noticed a shadow just before a sword punched a hole in the roof of the cab and impaled the head of the driver. Shadow Mask then began to kill first Yuriko’s mother than her sister with bloody efficiency.

Yuriko was the only one to make it out of the car alive, as the Shadow Mask’s blades delivered the Emperor’s message. The killer was just a step behind her – she did not hear it, but she felt it. In her father’s lab, the seven year old dashed forward as the blade cut through the air, just missing her. Yuriko’s father intercepted the next strike, pushing away his daughter as the sword cut through the improvised shield of his research log and through his body.

The girl screamed but she landed inside a glowing chamber attached to strange machinery. The door automatically shut behind her, cutting off all the sound. She saw the grimace on the Shadow Mask’s face, a cruel smile, as he wiped blood from his blade and walked slowly to the control console. He turned on the machine and set all switches to maximum levels. The whole place started trembling. A liquid substance rapidly filled the chamber as he watched the girl struggle for a while before leaving. Just then he was overwhelmed with surprise as he found himself starting to slow down, trying to lift his hand but it did not react to the impulse sent by his brain. He saw the little girl, dark eyes burning with fury, who pulled his own sword from its scabbard and in one swift move, decapitated him. His eyes studied the slow motion blood splatter around him and witnessed the rest of his body’s fall to the ground before all life in them slipped away.

On that feral night, Yuriko Kobayashi lost her entire family and thanks to Shadow Mask gained the Supreme potential her father had been working on.

Thanks to the eventual aid of Dr. Mercury, she learned that her father was researching quantum hole theory to apply to military assets. With the ability of very limited time travel (from milliseconds to several seconds), quantum field generators could enable vehicles from planes to tanks to battleships to easily avoid incoming missiles or assist their targeting and driving systems. Yuriko’s exposure to the extreme amounts of liquid quantum turned Yuriko into a human quantum field generator.

Today Yuriko controls her powers through both emotions and mind. Nobody could explain what exactly had happened, as the onset of her new skills was immediate, and nobody knows how a seven year old could master them instantly.

Completing her father’s research is of vital importance to Yuriko. Under the guise of Chronin, the media’s favorite samurai girl, she tries to make the world a better place and save at least a couple of childhoods from the nightmare she had to go through. Her sole existence is a disgrace to the Green Emperor and in the long history of the Jade Cult, the first case of such.

Chronin still keeps the Shadow Mask’s finely crafted blade. She is fully aware that in the Green Emperor’s court, there is always a Shadow Mask and one day, the next will come to reclaim the sword along with Yuriko’s life. But she will be more than ready.

 

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