Xyllian, Master Sagittarius (Villain)

 

xyllianCode-name: Master Sagittarius

Full Name: Xyllian

Faction: Ulthar

The fog was thick and heavy along the docks. What little light from lamp or moon was muted and distorted by the heavy mist. Somewhere in the harbor a bell was ringing from a buoy bobbing in time with the rising tide. Xyllian crouched upon the flat tarpaper roof of a rundown warehouse and felt alive. His senses were keen and tight as he hunted as only a Sagittarius could hunt.

Xyllian thought back to the words of his Aquarius Warlord; “Learn about these humans. Join them; fight for them. Fight against them, it matters not. The goal is to learn of these Supremes. One amongst them must be their true leader. When I defeat him, this planet will be forced to bow to my might. One Warlord will do what the Armada could not; to destroy this pathetic Earth, and enslave these humans!” These were the Warlord’s orders. If any Ulthar living could do this thing it was Ra’Leigh. Xyllian believed in his power to conquer. So it was that he found himself stalking the streets of Pulp City.

Xyllian-page-001He began his Earth-side infiltration at the bottom. He watched the lowest of the parasites, those thugs and street predators. They were so like the Pisces back home; squabbling brutal things clawing over each other to gain a bit more food, or living space. Up this food chain he climbed, serving an under-boss, then bosses, before finally he saw Mysterious Man and knew he was in the right place. Like any good Warlord this Mysterious Man collected the best tools, human or Supreme. He controlled things and manipulated others. He was a subtle and alien kind of Warlord, but surely he was a Warlord.

Knowing his target he knew he must gain access to this man’s inner circle. Mysterious Man respected power and ability above all. That much Xyllian knew. So he must demonstrate this. As he had at the beginning, he once again started at the lowest level. Thugs were no match for a trained and equipped Ulthar Sagittarius. Striking from ambush and luring unsuspecting humans into his traps it took less than a week to eliminate all of Mysterious Man’s lackeys from the docks. Then he had waited for the next challenge.

Xyllian-page-002It did not take long to get Mysterious Man’s attention. The crime-lord sent some of his pet Supremes to meet him. The strange feline woman had been an amusing hunt. This Kitty Cheshire had disappeared and reappeared before he could draw a clean bead on her. But the true surprise was the human known as Gentleman. He was a Sagittarius born. But his skill was limited by the feeble technology of his race. Meanwhile Xyllian wielded the most advanced sensor assists and cloaking fields of the mighty Ulthar Empire. It was an extremely satisfying encounter and it had the desired effect. His interview with Mysterious Man happened not long after.

Clearly though, the Mysterious Man was far more cunning than even Xyllian had anticipated. Mysterious Man knew what he really wanted was not money, or human power. So he offered Xyllian the one thing he most desired, vengeance for his Empire. That night he had first learned of the renegade Virgo. The damnable upstart that claimed a Sagittarius’s most honored weapon. The Virgo were chattel, menial servants and worst of all, female. That a Virgo should have slain her betters and jumped her station was the greatest of sins. That smiling man had showed him this Virgo, told him of her deeds against the Ulthar, and struck a bargain with Xyllian.

Ulthar 5 SagittariusIt was almost a cycle later before he at last met Virgo in battle. It was on a night much like this mist-shrouded one. She came for him that first night, cloaked and armed as he was. For hours they stalked each other across moonlit roof tops, ambush and counter ambush. A deadly game, and with each second that dragged on Xyllian’s rage grew. Even now thinking about it caused his pulse to quicken and his blood to boil.

His contemplation ended, he took a few calming breathes and resumed his watch over the foggy warehouses and grimy docks. Listening to the soft ring of the distant bell, he scanned through his optics looking for the telltale shimmer of an optic field cloak. Then he saw it. The hunt was on again. Virgo was here. Thrice she had evaded him, but not tonight. Somewhere in his mind he knew he was being played a fool. Virgo must also be working for Mysterious Man. The things he had to do to ensure he got another chance had surely helped Mysterious Man far more than it had aided the Ulthar Empire. But that did not matter now. This killer of his caste, the one who broke with the Empire, was again in his sights. He moved slowly and deliberately, his laser crossbow powering up silently in his hands. The hunt was on once more!

 

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Arquero (Hero/Villain)

Code-name: Arquero

Full Name: Rowan “Row” Fletcher

Faction: none

When she adopted the costumed persona of Riposte, Naomi Kingsley knew that she alone would not be able to topple her father’s criminal empire, or his allies in the Coven. She realized that 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. Furthermore, most Supremes had powers and abilities that often made them too hard to predict. But when Naomi heard the story of a young vigilante making a name for himself, she thought she had found the instrument she was looking for.

Rowan ‘Row’ Fletcher, son of Olympic archery gold medalist Bogart Fletcher and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Karen McBride, had the talent and motivation that Riposte needed. Rowan had his father’s gift with bows and a fiery temper inherited from his mother. When his parents were killed in a gas station hold up, Row was enraged. It did not take him long to discover that they were murdered in an effort to stop his mother from publishing a story about the origins of the Coven. Seeking vengeance, Row fashioned a disguise, adopted the code-name Arquero and took up his father’s bow. In the days that followed he systematically hunted down his parent’s killers.

Rowan’s life would have ended in a dirty alley when he was lured into an ambush by the Coven’s thugs. Rowan’s temper and incredible focus caused him to lose sight of his surroundings, unable to see the ambush until it was too late.

Tunnel vision was Rowan’s fatal flaw, or would have been if not for Riposte’s timely intervention. With her guidance Rowan escaped the trap and took out his target. By the time he thought to thank his benefactor Riposte was long gone.

A week later Rowan was drawn into yet another set-up and saved once more by Riposte. This time however, Rowan was able to track his mysterious companion to a secluded rooftop. There he found Riposte waiting for him. She offered him a deal. In exchange for his loyalty she would train him and equip him, and most importantly help him get his revenge.

In the months that followed their roof top pact, the team of Riposte and Arquero erupted onto the scene in Pulp City. Arquero’s high-tech bow and ferocious pursuit of his targets counterpoint Riposte’s cold cool analytical leadership and traditional seeming costume. Riposte feels that she is sharpening a tool to surgical precision. Arquero finds himself increasingly indebted to his partner and possibly attracted to her. What will happen in the future is unknown to any except possibly the woman known as Riposte.

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Skyline (Hero)

 

skylineCode-name: Skyline

Full Name: Peter Stoltz

Faction: none

For some Heroes their new lives are shaped by the pain of tragedy, while others are called to the fight against evil by their own personal crusades. A very rare few can say their new lives as heroes began simply because they were there.

Peter Stoltz was a physics major at Pulp City University, working as a lab assistant to Professor Beeching in the field of inertial physics.

Using alien metals recovered by Heavy Metal from a downed Ulthar Patriaship, Beeching had struck on a process of layering various charged sheets of the mysterious alloys to create a field that appeared to dampen or magnify the force of gravity in a highly localized area. Stoltz would then secretly test the various prototypes in rooftop sprints across the Pulp City skyline.

It was on one of these test runs that Stoltz’s new life suddenly began. Flashing across the rooftops in a modified impact-resistant suit, and clutching a balancing device (a six foot pole with an inertial generator housed at each end), Stoltz heard a desperate scream from an alley below. As Stoltz in his persona as Skyline subsequently said in an interview with the Pulp City Planet:

skyline-page-001“I heard that scream, and something just took over. Before I knew it I had thrown myself off a six-story building. The impact suit made the fall as soft as bouncing on a feather bed. I hit the street right behind this thug standing over some poor girl, and just let him have it with my staff. Sucker flew straight through a dumpster! I saved the day and I’ve never looked back since.”

From that night on, Stoltz has operated under the guise of Skyline. Carrying the device he now calls the Spring-staff and wearing the second generation of Beeching’s inertia suit, Skyline is now a familiar, if fleeting image against the night-time panorama of Pulp City. His methods may be questioned by the police, and allegations of violence bordering on brutality are often laid at his feet, but to the common citizen he’s a local guy making good, giving the criminal filth of the city the treatment that they richly deserve.

skyline-page-002Skyline is like a light in the darkness. Maybe that is why he and Jade Hawk were drawn together….

 

***
Equipment: Skyline has a black cowl, with bulbous goggles tinged yellow. It covers his full head apart from his mouth and chin. His inertia suit is made of a black synthetic material, and is banded around the biceps, forearms, thighs, shins and torso. These are the metallic layers that produce the gravitic fields. These are also present in his shoes (giving Skyline slightly thickened soles). His gloves have pads on the palms that produce strong gravitic fields to enable him to adhere to any surface. There is a stylized horizon of Pulp City in a strong silver line across his chest. The Spring-staff is a 6 foot metallic rod, with a black synthetic sheathing over the gravitic generators at each end (which provide approximately a foot of cover each).

 

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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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Silverager (Hero/Villain)

 

silveragerCode-name: Silverager

Full Name: Silverager

Faction: Ape Revolution Committee

Dr. Red and Guerilla were angry once more, engaged in one of their frequent battles of will. Spittle flew as both alpha males leaned towards one another, voices raised, each ignoring the proclamations of the other as they made their own demands. Their latest conflict was yet another example of them jockeying for position. Each favored their own brand of militant action, and neither would fully endorse the request of the other. Along with other ARC members, Silverager watched on warily, wondering where this most-recent explosive dispute would next take the team.

After several minutes, and with the threat of imminent violence looming, Silverager coolly stepped in. With calm demeanor and a few brief words of rational interjection from the mighty cybernetically-enhanced silverback, order once more prevailed. With both ARC leaders placated, the team dispersed allowing heads to cool.

silverager-page-001Silverager returned to his workshop-lab, accompanied by the diminutive Virus. As they walked, Silverager’s bionic foot rang out a familiar clanking rhythm. Of all the ARC members who survived earth-fall, he had been the most seriously injured. His own expertise combined with that of Virus had made him something more, an amalgam of ape and machine and something quite different to his comrades in the revolution.

As they walked, the little monkey explained that he had some ideas he wanted to use to upgrade Apebot, and he valued Silverager’s technical expertise and input in implementing them.

silverager-page-002Silverager was glad for the company, and quietly pleased that his technical capabilities were recognized. Reaching his lab Virus and Silverager began to study the schematics for Apebot, mapping out Virus’s proposed changes. This quiet moment of technical contemplation was broken with the stormy arrival of Guerilla. Silverager had thought the ARC leader becalmed, but obviously some of the gun-toting primate’s legendary fury remained. Guerilla had decided that they needed to make another supply run, which could be a euphemism for many types of mission in Silverager’s experience. In this instance it meant ripping off an illegal Coven weapons shipment under the cover of darkness. They had a tip-off of what was headed where, and so Guerilla quickly set to gathering a handful of troops. He had arrived to insist on the presence of Silverager.

“I don’t think Red Bella would approve, nor Dr. Red” said Silverager flatly, as he carried on his work, hoisting up a piece of armor plate using his cyber-arm grapples. He was not seeking to inflame the notoriously volatile Guerilla; not from any feelings of fear, but simply deeming it unnecessary and wasteful of time and energy. He had to be careful; he knew that despite their respect for him, Guerilla and Dr. Red were suspicious of his motivations and his clear allegiance to Red Bella; that they regarded him as her strong right-arm. He suspected their cautiousness stemmed from the fact that he had been first mate on the second Andryshnikov satellite, aboard with Bella and the others, separate from Guerilla, Dr. Red and their crew. Selected as the calmest example of his silverback troop, at the hands of Dr. Andryshnikov, Silverager had undergone an experimental pharmacological treatment to enhance his combat capabilities. This was before joining with Bella and the rest of the simian crew of the second satellite. What followed – the crash of the satellite to Earth-side and their subsequent journey to the West from the mountains in the East – was what brought him into the ARC fold.

“She is not here, and Dr. Red knows we need more munitions to wage our war for equality!” was Guerilla’s firm retort. At this Silverager knew there was no denying the choice of mission: he was in, like it or not.

In due course Silverager found himself alongside Guerilla, Howler and Chimp Chi at a dockside loading bay washed by a cold sea breeze. They waited patiently for the delivery to arrive – two trucks brought in at speed to be stripped down and their contents scattered to where the Coven wanted them to go. Guerilla had other ideas. He launched the strike, lightning fast, with Chimp Chi dropping from shadows to surprise a couple of Coven soldiers as Howler rushed forwards to spray gunfire at a third.

silveragerSilverager waded in, brushing aside the Coven paramilitaries. A Dead Guard struck suddenly from the shadows and thrashed at the mighty ape, wounding his arm. With a roar Silverager wrenched the Dead Guard up and slammed him across his knee, snapping his spine, before discarding the seemingly broken body to the ground. However, the ruined Dead Guard quickly stirred and struck at Silverager once more, glancing the ape’s shoulder, before the primate struck a final telling blow, letting out an enraged roar as he did so. Neurons in Silverager’s brain flared, forever altered by exposure to those experimental combat drugs so many years ago at the hands of Dr. Andryshnikov. Those neurons triggered a massive hormonal release, further fuelling his fiery battle-rage. Tunnel vision followed, and absolute focus on fight or flight – and fight was the only option for an enraged Silverager.

Silverager turned then, and subsequently barreled into the remaining Coven operatives, muscles straining with red-rage-fuelled power coursing through his every fiber. He barely recognized the reptilian Francis Gator before the two were locked in combat. Gator hurled a rusty dumpster at Silverback who caught and threw it back with interest, knocking the alligator-man into the cold waters of the bay with the force of his blow.

The battle was soon done as the big cyborg silverback rampaged through the Coven ranks. Guerilla eventually signaled that they had what he wanted and Silverager began to reassert his self-control, primal rage dissipating from his mind and body. He understood then that as much as the ARC leaders valued Silverager as a genius technician and rocket scientist, they valued the raging beast within him more. That duality gave him worth. Grunting to himself, he headed towards their vehicle, to return home to their base with the team. He had a place with them, with the ARC, and that gave him some comfort. The old ape smiled inwardly at that, wondering how things would play out when Red Bella truly returned to make her mark.

 

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Mysterious Man (Villain)

 

 

mysteriousmanCode-name: Mysterious Man, sometimes known as ‘the Hooded Man’

Full Name: unknown

Faction: none

When the sun is up over Pulp City, bearing down its radiant heat and shining light, there is not much to talk about. At those times the Mysterious Man, the Hooded Man, does not exist. He is just a bad thought, a fairy tale told by mothers who want to scare their children – a modern-day bogeyman.

If you check the Pulp City press, there is not a single mention of him to be found, and trust me, I have looked. If he existed, you could think his sole purpose was to remain deep in the shadows. But if he never existed where do the tales come from?

mysteriousman-page-001When night falls, you hear his name whispered in the back alleys of the city. You see goons in New Port committing heinous and hideous crimes in his name, shaking down the weak and helpless to make more money for their master, and if you know where to look you can find Supreme Villains willing to do his bidding in the darkest of places.

Mysterious Man is hardly a man. Deep in his glowing eyes they say that there is no emotion, no curiosity, no spark of humanity. They say that when you are around him, you get that creepy feeling, as if a shark was watching you, constantly analyzing where and how to strike, waiting to devour its helpless prey. The broad grin he wears reportedly never disappears from his face, almost as if he was wordlessly saying “I can snuff you out at any time”.

mysteriousman-page-002Then, when he talks to his armies of the underworld, words turn into hypnotizing spells that transform every single one of them into a fanatical follower; his unrelenting army. Pulp City is full of his agents, some of them sleepers, unknowing even of their own roles within his machinations, activated by a carefully used code words.

When you take a look at all of those bizarre Supreme deaths and politicians assassination attempts, the killers often have no criminal record or no professional combat training, and no obvious reason to try to do what they did. If you know where to listen, whispers lead back to Mysterious Man.

fcl_mysteriousman-page-001They say he resides like a solitary king on Kodo Island, the ruler of his human-free empire. The whispered legends of Kodo Island say that it drifts a secretive course, always moving and never to be found except when its ruler so chooses. Of course I never got to tour that place, but I know, I just know, that its rocky spires hide stolen U.S. army prototype defenses, a lab equipped with the latest cloning equipment, and within cages and vats deep within the bowels of that deadly place there lurks the most fiendish creations that the Mysterious Man can muster, with all of the efforts of his fantastical and cruel imagination. Be careful that he never takes an interest in you.

 

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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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Dr. Red (Hero/Villain)

dr Red

Code-name: Dr. Red

Full Name: Dr. Red/Red Alpha

Faction: Ape Revolution Committee

Some beings are born to lead. The problem for the Ape Revolution Committee is that they have a few too many alpha-primates in their ranks.

When Channel 4 mentions the bravado of A.R.C., Guerilla is usually the one mentioned most. However, only a few outsiders to the A.R.C. are aware that most of the progress made by the primate Supremes in the last few years was sparked by the twisted mind of their alpha orang-utan; the self-proclaimed Dr. Red. Although his first attempt to take over the group while still in the space ended up with Guerilla beating him to a bloody pulp, Red has since plotted his ultimate rise to power, mastering the art of patience.

drred-page-001Well, at least temporary bouts of patience.

There are two things that the Red Alpha loves in life. Firstly, is when his actions affect the world indirectly; he considers the act of pulling the strings to orchestrate events to be far beyond the simple reasoning, understanding and appreciation of most of his comrades, especially including Guerilla.

The second thing that Dr. Red loves is watching things blow up; and to do so, again and again. Red still remembers the first time he admired Pulp City’s massive 4th of July celebrations, only to quickly decide that it was all a pointless display of misplaced power. He likes the pretty sight of fireworks, but even more he hates the aspect of pointless symbolism that he perceives in celebrations when there is war to be fought. When Dr. Red blows things up, it is always spectacular to behold and with purpose, at least to his own cause.

drred-page-002Red has learned a lot about explosives but rarely follows the safety instructions of the U.S. Army ordnance which A.R.C. steals and trades for with shadowy parts of Pulp City’s underworld. When he drags his giant body across the battlefield, explosive charges literally fall out of his pockets. When he throws his custom-made grenades, he never quite knows what result will be. Usually the outcome is at least as good as expected, even if his comrades are sometimes in his firing line, subject tor unexpected friendly fire.

Beneath a mask of a crazed and random primate, there is a very apt brain that constantly plans, constructing strategies to pay off in Red’s favor when the time is right.

Red artWhile not many of his comrades will directly agree with the statement, most of them would consider Red Alpha their foremost mentor and tactician. The simian brethren of A.R.C. calculate that with each passing year they will see more and more incursion into the human supremacy, based on the indirect approach to things championed by Dr. Red. And while Guerilla still triumphs in most of the missions he undertakes, when he crashes, he crashes hard. Over the last couple of months this has happened increasingly, usually when facing smarter rivals like C.O.R.E. or Dr. Tenebrous, and the various new Supremes that have been emerging since the Fall.

If it ever came to a day where the team would have to split because of different visions of the revolution, the A.R.C. will stand divided, and Dr. Red will aim to stand above all.

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Howler (Hero/Villain)

 

 

HowlerCode-name: Howler

Full Name: Howler

Faction: Ape Revolution Committee

Howler – the poster-boy gun-ape of the Ape Revolutionary Committee.

Many would probably call him an ‘early adopter’ since while his Team-mates have more recently begun appreciating the convenience of wearing clothing, as well as using guns and explosives; Howler truly enjoys life as it comes. Guerilla has turned a blind eye on Howler’s new Walkman, fancy shades and such distractions, but his absolute love for action movies and human damsels in distress has placed the revolutionaries in frequent danger.

howler-page-001Howler could easily be the role model for all those teenagers whose mothers constantly complain that watching TV and mindless movie violence gets you nowhere and nothing. In his case, it got him cool guns, cool Ray Ban sunglasses and other cool things. When watching Howler fight alongside his A.R.C. comrades, viewers can pretty much tell what was on the TV or in the local movie-house the previous night.

This possibly coolest primate in Pulp City loves high-octane action-filled TV shows and blockbuster movies, and all of the twisted creations in them, with a special place in his heart reserved for the biggest action heroes.

howler-page-002Howler wants to be just like them. In fact, some commentators claim that he carries a check-list with the twenty most heroic actions culled from his favorite entertainments penned down. Skewering the alien head hunter using its own spear? Check. Escaping the skyscraper in wreathed in flames? Check. Stopping a murder cult? Check. Driving a motorcycle at high speed while listening to Kiss? Check. Dating a human babe, well, that came later.

Howler’s actions very often fall out of sync with A.R.C.’s plans and objectives. This is mostly because his heroic approach (even if only mimicking his small and big screen hero idols) puts him in dangerous situations where his primate allies do not want to participate. In this regard, he is even more of a solo operator than Chimp Chi.

HowlerWWWThe rest of A.R.C. treats Howler as a useful annoyance. Many of them would probably be very unhappy if they knew that their ally hangs out with June Summers and lets her know about pretty much everything that happens on the Team. Worse still, most of them would call it an appalling aberration that runs counter to the revolution if they knew he actually started dating the human a few months ago.

However, as long as Howler’s foolhardiness wins the day, they do not seem to notice or care.

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