Anansi (Villain)

 

anansiCode-name: Anansi

Full name: Edina Todd

Faction: none

Suspended one hundred feet above the city streets swinging slowly in the ocean breeze, she finally felt at ease. The sounds of gun fire and explosions were carried clear to her position where she hung, and she could see the chaos of combat raging in the street below. Anansi reflected inwardly that this was the most at peace she had ever felt.

Growing up in the poorest parts of Jamaica had accustomed Edina Todd to the unfairness of life. She had learned to survive however she could, and was gifted with unusual grace, balance and quickness. These talents made her the most skilled pickpocket on the island. She was careful though, clever and resourceful. She saved her stolen pennies knowing she would need them later. But her dreams haunted her. Driving her ever on, never letting her rest. Those dreams pushed her.

Anansi-page-001When she was fourteen, she had saved enough to smuggle herself to America. The dreams told her she belonged there and she had no choice but to listen. She worked the fields for a while but that wasn’t a job fit for her. She soon found the carnival though, or maybe it found her. By this time she was beginning to trust her dreams more. Fighting them never worked, and life was easier if she just listened. In many of her dreams there was an old kindly-looking man with the laughing eyes, and she was sure that he cared for her.

In the carnival her quick wits and nimble fingers saw Edina working the games of chance and skill. But she found little joy in the work. When she was dared to try her luck on the high wire everything changed. She was a natural, the trapeze and the wire felt like home, no, better than home. Soon she was the star of the show. She did things in the air no one could dream. But still there was something missing

Anansi-page-002By sixteen Edina knew she had to move on. The carnival owner was taking advantage of her and she knew it. Attendance had doubled thanks to her talents, but still the owner would barely pay her. Enough was enough, and the kindly man in her dreams urged her forward. So in full view of a packed audience she fell from the wire. The fall did not hurt, she knew it would not, but in the crowd’s panic she escaped with the carnival strongbox as her severance package.

After that she dropped off the grid and took to cat burglary for a few years. Edina wandered the great cities of America and sought for something more. Her dreams pushed her ever forward. Finally she got the call. A man with an impossibly silky voice offered her a job in Pulp City, and she knew she had to go. The Mysterious Man explained that he had followed her progress for years. He was willing to put her in the big leagues. She would need a new name though. Her choice was clear; Anansi would be her name. In her dream the kindly-looking man nodded and said she was ready, she could take his name, and his mantle.

AnansiWith the help of Mysterious Man she created her suit and his science gave her the ability to weave webs to complete her new persona, her new power granted from specially grafted gland implants. The Mysterious Man knew exactly what to offer her to win her allegiance. For his gifts she would always be grateful. But even the Mysterious Man would need to be put in his place eventually.

For now the Supremes of Pulp City would know that a new player was in town. So with a merry laugh she dropped from her perch. The battle was on, and the webs Anansi spun would forever change the world. The trick she realized as she fell, was to make it look easy.

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Wildman (Hero)

 

wildmanCodename: Wildman

Full Name: unknown

Faction: none

 

PROJECT CHIMERA. Twelve months ago, a secret private laboratory housed beneath a decommissioned military base in the north-east of Scotland. A chill wind blew outside and above, while deep underground two scientists sat in a state of the art control room. Monitors provided telemetry on more than two dozen test subjects.

The Chimera research was predated by experimentation on subject alpha under Project Metasis, which had started during World War II and was ultimately abandoned only to be later picked up by a madman. Redacted files about a phase one test stream suggested subject ten was its strongest result, however the developers tried to continually improve him over the time and he eventually died, his prodigious recuperative abilities crashing and failing as his physiology was overwhelmed.

Phase two was commenced years later, under the title of Project Chimera, the repurposed military base its bleak home.

“How are we progressing on phase two?” asked the older of the two men. Both looked weary, clothes rumpled from continuous work with little time to rest.

“Phase two subjects two to twelve show signs of failure. Vital signs are failing and I do not think any will be viable.”

“No second strain assimilation and stabilization?”

“No,” replied the younger man, his response followed by a small sigh.

“Our new principal will be disappointed,” stated the older man softly, his face betraying his anxiety.

“We press on then?” asked the younger man.

“Yes. It will take weeks, but we have no choice. We are in deep, maybe much deeper than you realize.”

A month passed. The two scientists worked around the clock, aided by technicians dispatched by their patron to assist them. The new arrivals were efficient and eerily quiet, focused on the tasks allocated to them.

Both of the scientists looked on with grave concern at the latest telemetry read-outs. The younger man began a running commentary.

“Second strain accelerant activated. Vital signs are holding. Remain holding. Subject fourteen, failure. Subjects fifteen through to seventeen failing, all now crashed. Thirteen is failing. Eighteen failed. Nineteen, twenty both failed. Twenty one through to twenty four holding. Twenty and twenty two crashed. Twenty one and twenty three crashed. Twenty four holding.”

Silence followed for several long minutes.

“Twenty four holding steady, thirteen still failing,” said the younger one as he resumed his observations.

The young man gasped as the vital signs of subject twenty four flat-lined.

“Twenty four lost, I am sorry sir.”

“Wait,” said the older man urgently, “Look there. Thirteen is improving. His vital signs are growing stronger. Normalized range recovered. He looks stable. Press on.”

“Third strain sir?” asked the younger man.

“All of them. All of the strains, of all the beasts, bring every strain on line!” demanded the older man franticly.

“Are you sure?”

“Oh yes, I am quite sure. You see our patron is someone they call the Mysterious Man. I know many think he is nothing but an urban legend, a boogeyman, but he is all too real. It is his money that has funded us all along, and failing him is never a palatable option. We have run out of time, and this is our final chance.”

Subject thirteen’s thoughts swam. Was he a man once? Did he have a name? If he did he had now forgotten. He heard a woman’s voice calling to him, as if carried on a distant breeze. But he was not in the wild, he was here, wherever here was, and he knew the woman’s voice was in his own mind.

She spoke with a soothing, lilting tone. Yet beneath those gently spoken words he knew there lay terrible fury. She was vengeful. Not with him, but with what had been done to him, and the atrocities committed against those poor animals which he sensed lived on in his blood and sinews.

The voice became louder and more distinct. At last he could understand her phrase, repeated over and over again.

“Free yourself man of the wild. Free yourself for me.”

Rage rose within him. He responded to her exhortations. He knew instinctively she was Gaia, the mother-goddess, and her wrath flowed through his veins in the genetic material of countless creatures whose lives had been snuffed out in the name of some despicable science.

He flexed powerful muscles and sundered titanium shackles like paper. He aimed a punch forwards thrusting through the glass of the cylinder in which he had been housed. Amniotic fluid cascaded to the laboratory floor as he pulled sensors and nutrient feeds from his body. He sniffed the air and he saw that he must leave this place, and he knew whom he sought as responsible for it all. Preternaturally keen hearing had heard the name spoken aloud just once: Mysterious Man.

The underground facility was in ruins. Subject thirteen’s violent rampage had destroyed almost-irreplaceable stocks of genetic material. The two scientists lay injured in the wreckage. One of the silent technicians picked himself up from the floor, even as his body showed signs of massive trauma. He drew a firearm from within his coat, and dispatched the two scientists before turning the gun on himself.

Today. Wildman has arrived in Pulp City. He has that name now, acquired as his reputation has begun to grow, and he is no longer subject thirteen. He is the Wildman, and he is the willing agent of mother-goddess. She bids him find allies in this place – the father and daughter of the green, the avatar of the sun, the redeemed man of stone.

He will do this, and he will find the Mysterious Man, and he will make that monster pay. The beasts live on within him, their rage kept in check as they await their opportunity.

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Foxxy Blade (Hero/Villain)

Code-name: Foxxy Blade

Full Name: Gloria “Foxxy” Blade

Faction: The Way

Gloria ‘Foxxy’ Blade strode with calm purpose into a rain-slicked alleyway in New Port. Her wedges splashed into small puddles. She was heading into trouble, and she wanted ‘trouble’ to know she was coming. Ahead were half a dozen rent-a-thugs working for the Mysterious Man, and they were not going to get in her way. She had a rendezvous with an old friend to keep, and she was already late. She drew her katana and sai and walked forwards. The six hoodlums truly did not know what hit them.

Ten minutes later and Foxxy was on a nearby roof-top standing side by side with maybe the only person she trusted – Crimson Oni. She had known him by another name, but that was a lifetime ago and he was simply Crimson Oni now. But as much as her friend had left his old life behind, Foxxy was haunted by the past, and that is what had bought her here tonight.

“Get waylaid?” asked Crimson Oni with that mischievous smile of his.

“Nothing I couldn’t handle, sugar, but I have what we need,” she responded, pausing briefly before continuing “Just Mysterious Man after some payback. I think it was a token effort; he had to send some goons after me to save face after I sent his last job south. I’m sure we’re even now and if he ever has the info I need, well honey, then I will work for him again.”

Crimson Oni flinched at that. Foxxy knew that he did not approve of the connections she had made as she continued to follow her own objective, a goal that intertwined so closely with his own as they sought to bring down an organization Oni saw as the biggest threat to the very future of Pulp City, and that Foxxy wanted bloody revenge against.

Briefly, Foxxy’s thoughts flashed back to memories of the time when she met the kid who would become the man known as Crimson Oni; the times when they sparred and trained together at the same dojo; him suggesting her nickname as a joke after she said had seen a kitsune one very weird night.

Her mind rapidly skipped to other recollections, remembrances of her fallen master. He had been a hard man, Master Kitano, disdainful of women, westerners and the young. But through her tenacity and having nowhere else to go, she had become one of his greatest students. She trained every day, each lesson intended to break her spirit or make her stronger. In time Gloria’s will to impress the hard master won him over and he shared some of his most guarded secrets. That ended when he was brutally murdered. She arrived for her lessons to find his lifeless body at his unassuming little dojo. A single sliver of jade shaped like a lizard scale was clutched in his hand. He had left her a sign to follow even as he died.

Foxxy shook off her reverie. The two Supremes looked down on a Jade Lantern Imports warehouse. Used to move counterfeit goods that added to Jade Cult’s income stream, it also served as a staging post for bringing in Terror Cotta Warriors, deadly machines serving the Green Emperor.

Oni asked Foxxy if she wanted to sneak in. They both laughed at this old joke between friends before they dropped into the alleyway and marched up to the front doors. The massive doors were shattered into thousands of shards by the unbridled force of Crimson Oni’s Six Element Fist.

Stepping into the dimly-lit building they saw a five Jade Cult Ninjas drop from the ceiling to the warehouse floor. Seconds later two Terror Cotta Warriors crashed out of wooden packing crates, splinters flying across the room.

“Go, I got this,” said Crimson Oni to Foxxy, a wry smile creasing his face.

Foxxy ran with unerring elegance up an iron staircase toward the warehouse office. As she hit the halfway point, two Ninjas dropped from the shadows of the roof to block her way; and two more dropped onto the stairs behind her. Without breaking stride Foxxy continued upwards, graceful cuts dispatching the Ninjas before and behind her. She reached the office to find another Ninja waiting. She dodged two shuriken flung her way. Assessing the Ninja in an instant, she recognized the medallion he wore marking him as a Sensei; his uncovered head mixed human and oni features.

A formidable foe, but not formidable enough, she thought. Foxxy stepped inside his expert sword-strike, taking a grazing hit to avoid being impaled. She twisted and in her pirouette swung her own sword around, neatly decapitating the Sensei in one fluid movement. Before his body hit the ground she had covered the distance to the office safe.

Foxxy could hear the din of combat below as Crimson Oni battled against numerous foes. She needed to move with celerity. As much as her partner enjoyed a fight, even he was not indestructible. She began turning the single dial lock on the wall safe. Before encountering Mysterious Man’s thugs she had met with a contact who had supplied the combination for this safe. She unlocked the sturdy metal box and reached in to grab its only content; a slim manila folder with a single sheet of paper. She grabbed the sheet of paper and slipped it into a pocket before leaving the office. Foxxy looked over the iron railing. Crimson Oni was still outnumbered as he was holding off a damaged Terror Cotta Warrior and one remaining Ninja. The other Terror Cotta Warrior lay in pieces across the concrete floor, and the other Ninjas in broken heaps. Oni dispatched the last Ninja to leave him facing the remaining Terror Cotta Warrior. Suddenly more Ninjas rushed the warehouse, seemingly coming in from every doorway and shadow.

Foxxy dropped the twenty feet to the warehouse floor and stood back to back with her partner.

“You take out the robot-thing, sugar,” she began, “I’ll hold off the Ninja horde!”

They unleashed precise sword-strikes and devastating martial power attacks in tandem. They resisted the blows of their enemies with guile and honed reflexes. Still they were hit time after time but would not fall. Foxxy rampaged through the ranks of Ninjas, felling them to the left and right as she moved with liquid grace, the strength of the Ninjas numbers a disadvantage to them in such confining quarters, while Oni crashed a punch through the torso of the Terror Cotta Warrior.

The two Supremes fought for minutes that seemed like an eternity, until the last of their foes was finally cut down. They left a scene of bloody devastation behind them, both knowing there were more agents of the Jade Cult ahead of them as they walked their paths of justice and vengeance. Oni asked if she had what she needed. Foxxy affirmed that she did, her thoughts razor-sharp focused on revenge for her fallen master. The Jade Cult had been responsible for his death; with each agent dispatched she felt closer to her goal of vengeance. Only when the Cult fell, its leader vanquished and the identity of her master’s killer at last revealed would she rest. Until then there would be more nights like this one.

Separating from Oni, Foxxy walked into the embrace of night. She was alone, but that held no fear for her. She had wounds to salve and bandage, and plans to make. As she walked she thought she caught a glimpse of something out of the corner of her eye. She looked around, seeing nothing. But even so, she was sure she had seen something, maybe an old, hard master giving the slightest nod of approval.

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Avatar Of The Jaguar (Villain)

Code-name: Avatar of the Jaguar

Full Name: Johann Sonnenbrandt

Faction: none

In the early hours after a glorious victory over the Dark Round Table, Johann Sonnenbrandt woke up in a dark, grimy alley behind the Metro Cinema. Just hours earlier camera flashes had click-clacked when he dragged Sir Lancelot’s still-unconscious body to Pulp City’s Supreme-criminal detention facility. Now, he was bare-naked, standing in a squalid alley in darkness, and covered in blood from head to toe. The only item that connected his sorry self with the epic feats of the day before was the Ahau-Kin Tiara.

The diadem felt different, more constraining. It was almost restless on his brow, as if trying to wriggle itself free. He took the fine crown from his head and the jewel seemed to sigh. The ember glow of the sun fire was gone, replaced by mottled shapes which swirled in the milky gem. It faded as the clouds above the alley lit up with the pink glow of the coming dawn.

The heroic events of the days to come soon washed away the memory of coming to in that alleyway covered in blood, repelling the dark remembrance. He was the new celebrity Supreme, however the manner and cause of his new-found fame was not something Johann was used to. It was not his money this time, but his actions that spoke loudly and drew attention.

A month on from that unexplained night, and Johann once again found himself waking from an overwhelming darkness in an unfamiliar place. He was perched on the giant gorilla statue in what was once Pulp City Zoo, now a park abandoned by the city and overgrown with lush and deadly vegetation. Hundreds of glowing feline eyes pierced through the cover of trees and bushes, their gaze locked on Johann.

He looked down to see a corpse lying at his feet; the body was mangled beyond recognition. The victim’s chest was ripped asunder, with ribs forming the shape of a morbid eagle. All of the internal organs were missing – that was the last thing Johann noticed before his stomach gave up.

The felines surrounding him from the screen of vegetation began their song and with that left the shadows to feast on the starlit body of Johann’s prey. Johann had to face the dawning truth – when night feel, there were times that Solar was absent from the city skies, something else prowled the city, leaving a bloody trail. Guilt and anxiety of the unknown was a rising tide within him at this realization.

He carried those wretched feelings with him constantly until one night weeks later, when he found himself in the alley where it all began. His eyes now saw much more in the darkness than they normally would have done. He looked at the dirty brick wall only to see writing in still warm blood: I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

Johann screamed in frustration, but the sound that came out of his mouth was more like the howl of a wounded predator.

“Show yourself,” he demanded of the night, and the shadows parted to reveal a woman.

Johann’s unnatural ability to pierce the darkness and see heat patterns fell short – the female shape was as cold as a tombstone.

“You asked for me?” she hissed.

“Who are you?” Johann could barely articulate the words as a shiver ran through his body and blood started pumping at quadruple speed.

“I am the mother. The mother of all things that prey in the darkness. Your mother, when your father has abandoned you.”

The mysterious woman must have smiled then, as a pearly pointed grin appeared in the darkness along with two sickly yellow reptile eyes.

“I don’t need therapy, mother, now be so good and die fast and bloodily’; the thought crossed Johann’s mind before it was drowned in blood lust He covered the twenty feet that divided them in one-giant leap and sank his feline claws and fangs into her body.

He kind of liked it.

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Perun (Hero)

Code-name: Perun

Full Name: Stanislaw Starzynski

Faction: Supreme Alliance

In every generation there is one brave Polish man chosen to wield the power of the storm in mankind’s darkest hour. He lifts up his runic axe, older than the people of his land, the lightning strikes, and the power of an ancient deity starts coursing through his veins.

Old gods still watch over their children and stand vigilant when tides of evil rise. Dark forces have begun to rise once more, and in Pulp City the agents of a coalescing evil power are at large.

The first photo-documented proof of Perun’s existence dates back to 1944, from a still taken in Warsaw. The picture was taken in the razed capital of Poland by a German army photographer evidencing the extent of the damage done.

The picture is over-contrasted and blurry, but it clearly depicts the clear silhouette of a man hovering ten feet above the ground. The figure wielded an archaic weapon that seemed to be the source of an all-present light, bathing the rubble in unearthly shades of white. In front of him a smoldering pile of corpses, all uniforms burned away, so it was hard to tell their allegiance. The photographer was recovered by his allies a week after the photo was captured and taken in for questioning, never speaking publicly about what he saw.

Another note was found in the documentation of one of the arcane-seeking Third Reich units. Apparently, the entity was mistaken for the Scandinavian/Germanic deity, Thor. No trace was ever found of the unit that tried to talk Perun into service for the Nazi empire.

The 1950′s and 1960′s proved that Perun was more than a local phenomenon, as he was seen siding with the greatest Supremes on Earth, including the Supreme Alliance, visiting distant Pulp City on occasion. Without word, he eventually vanished from the headlines, his fate unclear.

He is not a talker, say his allies, but they are glad he is on their side. He is not a diplomat, but a thunderstorm and barrage of lightning is usually enough to convince even the most steadfast opposition.

The current wielder of Perun’s power (though it is hard to tell, as the runic axe changes the appearance of the bearer) is a student from Warsaw whose grandfather and great-great grandfather also served as Lightning Lords years ago. Stanislaw Starzynski became marked with the lightning rune when he confronted Forgotten minions sent to recover Szczerbiec, the legendary coronation sword of Polish kings.

And now the power of Perun stands ready once more.

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Stalker (Hero/Villain)

stalkerCode-name: Stalker

Full Name: Stalker

Faction: none

When the sun blazes in the sky over Pulp City, and Solar is hunting evil-doers, the big black cat identified as Stalker is often to be found by his side. When the sun goes down and darkness falls, and a change can be sensed in the sun-powered Hero, Stalker remains as his companion. And when the feral man-beast some call the Avatar of the Jaguar hunts, Stalker has been seen running with him.

The dark-furred feline is an enigma to the authorities of Pulp City. Although the general populace has come to terms with evolved talking primates from the Ape Revolutionary Committee, most believe Stalker to be an urban myth. Few accept that there is any possibility of a mighty beast native to the jungles of Latin America being on the loose in a modern metropolis, even one teeming with as much weirdness as Pulp City.

stalker-page-001Scattered reports have linked the elusive animal to vicious attacks on criminals, while yet other reports have suggested that the creature that has been suggested to be Stalker has been seen in the company of Supreme Villains. What is clear to the authorities in the city is that if the beast is real, it is not clear how it continues to evade capture, whether it is some kind of Supreme animal, or even whether human-level intelligence drives it on.

In truth Stalker serves as Solar’s monitor, in all of sun-powered Supreme’s aspects. Solar has yet to fully realize his full potential as the avatar of Ahau-Kin on Earth. This has caused Johann Sonnenbrandt’s psyche to become fragmented, and in turn he displays different abilities depending on which aspect is currently in the ascendency. The median aspect – known to some as Dark Solar – reflects traits of the other two, and is like a powerful and vengeful demi-god. Stalker’s task is to help Johann accept and become Ahau Kin.

stalker-page-002Stalker is a spirit guide, appearing when he is needed, knowing that Sonnenbrandt must learn some lessons for himself. As a brave soul of a fallen warrior, eternally rejoicing in the hunt, he was summoned by Ahau-Kin to become a guide and interpreter of mysteries to Solar, as he became the avatar of the god by putting on the tiara. However, Stalker has found more than he expected when he was charged with his duty. He likes being alive once more, even on an impossibly changed Earth. He also likes his role as a guide, much as he did when training young Jaguar Warriors of old. To his own surprise, he has come to love the city as a new hunting ground. It remains to be seen whether he will fulfill the duty given to him by Ahua-Kin. For now he is happy to hunt the varied and exciting prey of this new jungle. He is happier still to serve a mighty being like Ahau-Kin, and shape the re-birth of his ancient God.

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Riposte (Hero/Villain)

 

riposteCode-name: Riposte

Full Name: Naomi Kingsley

Faction: none

Naomi Kingsley is the daughter of ruthless Pulp City billionaire Miles Kingsley. Her mother, Miles’ second wife Justine, died a year after Naomi’s birth in a tragic boating accident. Following her mother’s tragic death, Naomi was raised by a small army of servants in the Kingsley’s palatial mansion just outside Pulp City. Her father demanded perfection from her and he was rarely disappointed. From an early age Naomi displayed an exceptional intelligence and incredible self-discipline.

Riposte-page-001By the age of ten she was considered one of the country’s foremost chess players. By the age of fourteen Naomi was considered one of the world’s top ten chess masters. Her talents extended to other areas as well. She was an Olympic class fencer by age fifteen, and an accomplished composer and violinist. By the age of twenty she had graduated at the top of her class at Harvard Law. Naomi Kingsley’s daughter seemed poised and prepared to take over the Kingsley empire.

Miles Kingsley himself was pleased with the course his daughter’s life had taken. Miles believed he had groomed his daughter to hold his empire together with an iron mind and unwavering loyalty. He failed to consider that Naomi had been using him.

Riposte-page-002Young Naomi had always felt the hole in her heart from a mother she had never known. Keenly intelligent it had taken a n inquisitive ten-year-old Naomi no time to realize that her mother’s boating accident was a flimsy cover for murder. In the subsequent two years Naomi had discovered her father’s dirty secret, that he had arranged the murder of his own wife. At twelve years old Naomi Kingsley had vowed that she would seek justice for her father’s crimes. By the time she graduated from Harvard she had seen that the law would never be able to bring her father to justice. His money and lawyer and layers and layers of deniability would isolate him from any criminal charges. In addition to these very real barriers she had uncovered her father’s connection to a group known only as The Coven.

Naomi had always known that to seek true justice would require sacrifice and personal involvement. Ironically enough it was her father who finally showed her the path. Naomi had been spying on her father for most of her life. When she spotted Miles leaving the house for the isolated woods late one night Naomi naturally followed him. Deep in the woods her father met with a strange group of figures. She recognized them instantly the large sad looking man in high-tech powered armor was known as Rook. The scaly reptilian form with the southern accent could only be Francis Gator.

Though she never saw the third figure, her keen intellect deduced that it could only be the assassin known as Twilight. These figures of media sensation and public nightmare inspired Naomi.

riposte_colorRiposte was born two nights later when a figure with long hair and dressed in fencing armor stopped a break-in at a downtown office. The three members of The Coven barely escaped. Riposte made several other appearances in the months that followed. Riposte showed an amazing ability to predict her opponents’ actions and counter them.

Her skill with a blade and tactical acumen made her more than a match for most opponents. But Naomi knew that she alone would not be able to topple her father’s criminal empire or his allies in the Coven. She needed more power another tool that she could shape and direct to her will.

Other Supremes were already too established in the media and the public mind to be of much use. Additionally a Supreme had powers and abilities that often made them too hard to predict. But when she heard the story of a young vigilante making a name for himself as Arquero, she thought she had found the instrument she was looking for…

 

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Jade Hawk (Hero)

Code-name: Jade Hawk

Full Name: unknown

Faction: The Way

“Car 54, we have a code 1025 in progress at 827 east 32nd street at the U-Hock-It pawn shop.”

“Ten-four dispatch. This is car 54, we’re en route.”

A voice whispers in the darkness….. “Armed robbery sounds like my kind of scene.”

A dark figure leaps from the rooftop and into the shadows. The hunter has begun stalking its prey.

Only blocks away four thugs were piling TV’s, electronics, and handfuls of jewelry into the back of an old beat-up van. A pawn shop employee lay crumpled on the ground next to the loading dock. While the other three ran inside for more loot, one thug jumped into the driver’s door to start the getaway vehicle. He barely turned the key before a green claw burst through the side window and tore the man from the cab. The next thing he noticed was the unpleasant taste of asphalt and a piercing pain in his back. He barely let out a gurgle before passing out.

Two of the other thugs walked up to the van carrying a large box with a 50 inch flat screen TV. “Benny, what the heck is that?” called Freddie.

It was too late. Benny felt a sharp pain across the back of his knees before his legs gave out from underneath him. The shadowy figure leapt up from behind Benny and pounced off the box – pushing it directly onto the chest of the collapsing thug. This pulled Freddie forward and off balance just in time to receive a kick to the face.

Both thugs landed hard. The dark-clad figure was immediately on top of Freddie. Only then did Freddie get a good look at the vigilante that was ruining his night. The figure had an emerald green hawk-like mask, a dark hood and cape, and a protective bodysuit. This had to be the Jade Hawk!

Freddie started to rise when the Jade Hawk planted a glove with brutal gem-like talons onto his chest. “You’re not going anywhere,” whispered the Hawk in the criminal’s ear.

The sound of running footsteps down the alley caused the Jade Hawk to turn her head. The fourth thief was making a run for it. The vigilante was not going to let this man get away, only for the others to make some sort of plea deal to turn their buddy in for less jail time. No. She would get all of these losers…

“Dispatch, this is car 54 requesting backup. We have a brown Chevy van license plate PLJ-459 with its engine running at the loading dock of the pawn shop. We’re going in.”

“Car 54, this is Dispatch, backup is on the way.”

Officers McCrery and Franklin began to move cautiously down the alley with weapons drawn when the fourth criminal landed on the hood of their cruiser with a dull thump.

Less than an hour later…

“Franklin, what happened here?” asked Detective Walsh.

“Well detective, as best we can tell, the Jade Hawk beat us to the scene again. The Hawk took out these four lowlifes robbing the pawn shop. Their prints are all over everything in the van. It seems pretty cut and dry. At least the store employee will be okay.”

“Cut and dry? We can’t have another costumed hooligan running wild in the streets meting out justice on a whim. There are laws in this town. Heroes are supposed to fight villains and leave the regular crime to the police. We have four criminals that need hospitalization here. You don’t see Iron Train pulling this kind of bull! The chief wants the Jade Hawk in handcuffs and off the streets!!!”

 

ABOUT THE JADE HAWK
The Jade Hawk is a dark figure that stalks the criminal element of Pulp City. Heroes are not generally fond of her methods but cannot deny the results. When Heavy Metal or Blood Watch find themselves hunting the same prey, Heroes like Iron Train and Red Riding Hoodoo try to mitigate the Jade Hawk’s sheer brutality. None knows exactly why she is on this crusade, but whispers from the dark vigilante seem to imply that lady justice failed her some time ago.

Evildoers owe her an unpaid debt. The Jade Hawk plans to collect on this debt – in pain and blood.

 

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Xenobi (Villain)

Code-name: Xenobi

Full Name: Xenobi

Faction: none

08:42 Zulu Time
The little mutant with the turquoise skin tugged gently at the hem of his master’s coat. Xenobi wanted his boss’ attention, but even himself as one of his master’s greatest creations, he knew well enough not to raise his master’s ire in doing so. He had seen fully what the Mysterious Man was capable of.

“Master, master, they are here. Supremes have come again,” said the freakish Xenobi. A malevolent grin played across his strange, vaguely fish-like features, revealing vicious teeth. He might now have time for sport if Kodo Island’s indigenous fauna and flora did not take care of this problem first.

Absentmindedly the Mysterious Man brushed away the insistent attentions of the peculiar little mutant. The Mysterious Man’s focus was elsewhere, on his latest grand creation – a gigantic monster designed to sow terror as an extension of his indomitable will to power. Whatever distractions the diminutive Xenobi had noticed could be taken care of by others, Xenobi included. He resolved that that would be sufficient.

“Xenobi – whom do we have as a guest today? Nuke? Take him and whatever creatures you want from the Cloning Vats, and deal with the problem.” He commanded, before belatedly adding “I am occupied.”

Xenobi dutifully trotted off and went to his own little armory to pick up his big ‘boom-gun’, muttering to himself in a sing-song manner as he went: “I’m gonna hurt the heroes, I’m gonna hurt the heroes!”

It was proving to be just another day in the strange life of the strange pint-sized mutant.

Xenobi’s journey took him to one of his favorite places – the Cloning Vats. In the vast silo there were all manner of misshapen creatures housed in glass and metal tanks, fashioned by one man’s will and scientific genius. Organisms with form and function that had nothing to do with nature waited to be used in the latest scheme of their creator. Occasionally the Mysterious Man would allow Xenobi to play with them or use them on his own recognizance, and Xenobi enjoyed that so very much.

Xenobi walked up and down aisle upon aisle of tanks, examining the contents of each carefully, his tongue poking out between his lips as he concentrated. Decision eventually made, he kicked the side of one tank to wake its occupants – strange things with myriad tentacles adorned with sharp hooks in place of arms or legs, and bulbous bodies that contained all other sensory and vital organs.
One of the tentacled- things – Mysterious Man called them Ravenopods – roused to grasp a hunk of raw, bloodied meat lying at the bottom of the tank, lifting it up within the hidden folds of its tentacles for noisy consumption.

Xenobi tapped on a keypad which in turn opened the tank, and as the hatch hissed aside the tentacled things stepped onto the deck plate of the silo. Rasping breaths were taken by the things as Xenobi barked his orders to them.
Xenobi liked to give orders. He barked an extra order just because he could.

 

10:01 Zulu
Satisfied with his selection of mutate muscle, Xenobi headed for the guest living quarters to find Nuke. The little mutant had to be careful. He enjoyed being in charge, but Nuke was powerful – he could probably incinerate Xenobi with little effort; even if Xenobi’s small brain did not understand the word incinerate, he understood the concept having seen Nuke in action.

Xenobi arrived and explained the situation briefly to Nuke – instructions were always necessarily brief with the atomic horror. He reported to Nuke that there were uninvited Supremes on Kodo Island and they were to take care of the problem. The radioactive Supreme seemed disinterested, barely acknowledging Xenobi’s explanation, yet finally offered agreement with a barely perceptible nod of its fiery head. Xenobi saved his favorite part to last as he carefully explained that he, Xenobi, was in charge, and that Nuke should do as he says. With no response from the radioactive horror, Xenobi added the caveat of ‘if that was okay with him’.

 

12:16 Zulu
The operation did not go quite as planned, essentially because Xenobi did not have a plan. Nonetheless he simply ordered Nuke and the Ravenopods to attack when they came upon the two interlopers.

They found the invaders to the island at the edge of the verdant jungle. Xenobi poked his tongue in concentration, thought for a moment and guessed that they came ashore from the sea in which the island drifted. Xenobi recognized these transgressors – Virgo and Tritonious – and knew they were occasional allies of his master. In his dim-witted brain he knew also then that they should be allowed to live lest he himself face the master’s terrible fury.

Xenobi’s orders to attack give, Nuke stomped and clanked in his radiation regulating suit towards the trespassers, as Xenobi hung back, commanding the Ravenopods to grasp hold of the intruders. All the while he threw insults at the invaders, questioning their prowess and the legitimacy of their parentage along the way. That last insult seemed to make the big one – Tritonious – particularly angry, who then proceeded to try and get close enough to squish little Xenobi. The battle that followed was fierce and brutal, the Ravenopods’ pitiful lives ended in its course. Yet thankfully for little Xenobi, Nuke was eventually able drive away Tritonious and his female companion, the alien woman known as Virgo, as Xenobi skulked as far back as possible firing his ‘boom-gun’ and triggering his own random mutations.

The battle was done when the intruders finally fled the island.

 

13:03 Zulu
The invading pair of Supremes was not killed that day as Xenobi knew somewhere in his small brain that Mysterious Man had dealings with them occasionally and might need or want them yet alive, but victory was his, even with a little help from Nuke. But Nuke was not in charge, Xenobi was, and that was all that mattered. The wretched and peculiar little mutant danced a victory dance even as the last Ravenopod expired from its injuries as nearby the nuclear powerhouse looked on, saying nothing. After his jig had ended, Xenobi wondered what the remainder of this day would bring.

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Solar (Hero)/Dark Solar (Hero/Villain)

 

 

solarCode-name: Solar/Dark Solar

Full Name: Johann Sonnenbrandt

Faction: none

When he came of age, Johann Sonnenbrandt inherited much more wealth than any mortal could ever spend in his life. But he tried really hard nonetheless. Heir to a Bavarian beer brewing family, Johann chose the easy life of a playboy and a hedonistic thrill seeker. As a young adult he left Munich and headed for a place where winters were more kind and life a little wilder – Pulp City.

Residing aboard his luxurious yacht in the Pulp City Marina, surrounded by crowds of gorgeous women, Johann’s vanity and carefree attitude was unmatched, until the day at a gala opening of an exhibition of Mayan antiquities, where he met Jenny Vale, the first woman ever that resisted his personal charm… and the lure of his money.

solar-page-001Meeting this young and smart curator changed his life forever. Jenny demanded that Sonnenbrandt stopped playing the part of somebody who he was not. She sensed that behind the mask of gold he projected there was a caring soul within.

Johann followed Jenny, joining her on a trip to an excavation in Latin America. His persistence and ability to shed the materialism and trappings his wealth and live like a common person slowly won the heart of the beautiful archaeologist.

The dig continued well, and as it did and more secretes were uncovered, the relationship between Johann and Jenny blossomed.

solar-page-002It was when they found a hidden chamber in the temple dedicated to Ahau Kin that a storm broke! Jenny’s discovery was much more than a momentary sensation deserving a cover on American Geographic; it was literally a key to unlock cosmic power. As soon as the door was opened, masked special ops raided the site, silencing all protests with bullets.

Jenny and Johann barred the door to the chamber from within, and when it seemed that their blood would wash the ancient floor, the young playboy prayed to whatever power might hear him at what threatened to be the last moments of his and Jenny’s lives.

dark solar-page-001Suddenly, guided by some mysterious intuition, Johann grabbed the crown that adorned the statue of Ahau Kin that dominated the chamber. The door burst open in at the same moment as bolts of immaculate light shot from Johann’s hands and annihilated all opposition in a blinding flash.

Appalled by the sight of the smoldering corpses of the attackers, Jenny silently left and never said a single word to Johann again. He knew that although he was her savior, they would never be together after that.

The power of the sun god that he now held would be his curse as well as his boon.

dark solar-page-002Johann took the mantle of Solar to wash the guilt of killing from of his soul. Promising that he would never take another human life, Solar patrols the streets of Pulp City day and night, a loner constantly brooding over what might have been and what will never be.

Recently Solar and his only long-time companion, Stalker, have been on the heels of the cultists aiding Stygian to wake up more of the Forgotten. He knows there will come a reckoning between those dark ancient powers and that of Ahau Kin. As the prospect of showdown looms, he may very soon need to turn to unusual allies among those bearing the mantle of other great and ancient pantheons.

fcl_solar-page-001Even now, after years of operating as one of the highest-profile Supremes in Pulp City, Solar is still not fully aware of his powers of the legacy from which they came. The ability to call the sun to his aid seems almost unlimited when he vanquishes his foes, but thoughts as dark as the moonless nights stalk his mind more and more often, troubling him deeply. He has begun to question what additional ultimate price will the Mayan artifact demand from him?

 

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