Full name: “Tangent” Karen Tomovs
One year ago, Karen Tomovs decided to finally drop the remaining pretenses of her normal life and started down her current path of blood money and revenge. Yes, it is true that blaming Androida for the death of her husband oversimplifies what happened, but it helps Karen to wake up everyday, get out of the bed and do what she is best at.
Karen is unique and she knows it. No doctor could diagnose the phenomenon but she is able to see more than other humans. Her mind works like a computer that analyzes all the data and comes up with targeting solutions. No, she is not a genius, she just SEES the the geometry of everything.
Imagine that this woman is given a task of sniping a target that is a hundred yards away and hidden behind cover. Before she pulls the trigger, she sees a net of parallel and crossed lines, much like a hyper-precise map, the way she needs to position her hand, her gun, the wind vector, and virtually every factor that could conceivably affect her shot. Taking a shot, her bullet flies out, it brushes off the railing on top of an SUV, its trajectory subtly altered before it barely passes through a narrow slit of a half-opened door, bounces off the brick wall and hits her target in the head.
Karen hates the word ‘barely’ since it misses the precision of what she does, but that is how her talent works. She prefers the word “tangent” to reflect the fact that there is no luck involved, just a basic math behind the principles of her world.
Not many are aware that her talent is based on a short but brilliant equation that was imprinted in her mind in circumstances that remain secret. The Supremes that have seen Tangent in action claim that she reminds them of the Heralds and other fighters who use the techniques of the Infinite Hourglass, just thousand more times mastered and accurate.
In Karen’s case it is not just about the guns she wields. It is about things like barely avoiding an explosion, dodging a ray at the last second, or punching exactly where it hurts the most. Or, like in that most famous incident, hitting a Soul Golem with her last bullet which then made it crumble to dust.
Maybe it is grief that pushed Karen to the dark side but everybody that remembers her speaks of a bright young woman, extremely tall and slick, yet warm and friendly.
She knew about her skills a long time ago – as the tallest kid in class she was always encouraged to play basketball. But it was not way she would dominate with her height but something about her uncanny skill to position herself for blocking shots and making passes from what seemed impossible positions that gave her recognition. And for a big player, she was quick too, she could lead a fast break with the best of any point guards.
Although the Pulp City Pixies of the WNBA tried to recruit her, Karen’s sense of patriotic duty led her to the Army after high school. ROTC was supposed to fund the education her immigrant parents could not afford. But see, Karen has this thing about orders; not so much about being told not what to do but being required to do it in a certain way. She could tolerate orders but found the restrictions of procedure to be unbearable – she wanted to do things her own way. So, after being the top sniper in the US Army during two long years of training and service, she left, but with a prize: the spotter from her team, a Texan fellow she fell in love at first sight, their affection forged with every bullet hitting its target.
Narrowly avoiding danger is highly addictive and Karen and her new husband Josh became crime reporters for Channel 4, specializing in unbelievable action shots live from the scene, Josh behind the camera, Karen dodging falling rubble while broadcasting live.
The adrenaline rush built their relationship, their mad love grew stronger each day.
They did not know it was their last broadcast when Karen stood in the way of the Stygian Hydra, pushing her luck every second until the foul breath of the beast burned her skin. Then suddenly, in a flash of the silver, an unwanted heroine showed up and pushed both her and Josh out of the monstrosity’s way. The couple fell to the ground as one of the beast’s heads lashed out and bit the camera man in two, and Karen felt the blood of the love of her life rain onto her face.
There was no going back. Karen’s life crashed, and now she barely endures the weight of her tragedy. She has barely been able to redefine her purpose. Tangent hates the world and that is one of the things that are never ‘barely’ a part of her life.