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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Origins: Heavy Metal Part 2

In the first part, the secret military project codenamed O.R.B.C. spawns a mysterious being who assembles his physical body from various metal parts. It becomes a warfare strategist and a remote leader for the US troops. Killing fields of Vietnam are to become its first true battlefield test.

The O.R.B.C. presence inspired US troopers and spawned fear among the Vietcong troops. In the blazing fire of the battlefield, O.R.B.C. would build up his body to gargantuan size from the bits of shot down choppers, resembling a huge knight armed with the rotor-built sword, wading through the running guerillas, crushing their bodies to bloody pulp. On other times, it would command the troops from behind the lines, 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 the 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 one of the villages. 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 to begin his space voyage that was meant to shape his programming to a new level. Returning to Earth in the early 80’s, the cosmic wanderer was nothing like the creature that left humankind. Taking over all major broadcasting stations, the creature spoke in a fiery expose that had every emotion calculated and measured, declaring war on villains and corrupted politicians, cruel military officers and warmonging invaders alike. Anything that violated O.R.B.C.’s core programming values and its newfound human traits of compassion and conscience would be deemed as an enemy.

The being formerly known as O.R.B.C. changed its name to C.O.R.E.: Conscious Omnipotent Replicated Entity. Suddenly this absolutely alien and inhuman being topped all of the popularity rankings, cheered in the streets by Vietnam vets and aging hippies alike. Its pursuit of a new lawful and compassionate order attracted a lot of following and when more and more of Supremes pledged their allegiance to C.O.R.E.’s crusade against all-things-evil, the birth of Heavy Metal team was imminent. One of the most brilliant scientists, Androida, the powerful Iron Train and tragic Dr. Mercury were the first ones to join the ranks of the newly formed dream team, making them a solid strike force in the war on crime.

Unlike all other teams, Heavy Metal had all it takes to take the fight away from the streets and wage information wars, reaching places that were run by juntas, evil tyrants and corrupted governments. Establishing education, financially supporting righteous young lawyers and lobbying for just political solutions was the behind-scenes way of Heavy Metal’s war.

The biggest true battlefield trial came for the dream team with the first major Necroplane invasion, right after Dr. Tenebrous, established as the ambassador to Earth, broke the diplomatic pacts and the shadows of the huge harvest ships cast on Pulp City. Every Supreme, hero and villain alike, stood by C.O.R.E.’s side that day.

A bitter struggle that claimed the lives of many would have been lost if not for the Heavy Metal’s leader epic feat that almost cost it its life. C.O.R.E., summoning all his strength and feedbacked by millions of computers users who clogged up internet with searches for mythical protectors, transformed himself into a massive steel dragon, nicknamed Byte Dragon as its thick hide was pulsating with streaming data transfers.

It took to the sky, with its 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 its body but C.O.R.E. kept fighting like there was no tomorrow. The allies from Blood Watch planted the holy sigils in the Twilight Hills, blowing up the gate to Necroplane in a violent, firey blast, as Byte Dragon used its all effort to push the last of the ships back through. As the gate crashed, the rip in the reality cut the beast’s body in two, fortunately C.O.R.E. was able to download his essence into one of the partially destroyed sentry bots.

With every passing day, C.O.R.E. is becoming more and more human. It is linked to the internet and all the databases of the world, shaping its personality with every bit of news. There is a legend that C.O.R.E. adopts his physical battle form based on the number of online searches for heroic personas, for instance, its current armored form resembles King Arthur. One day, somebody with ill intentions may abuse it for his own purposes.

Origins: Heavy Metal Part 1

Even though words “Heavy Metal” bring to the minds of every Pulp City dwellers images of the most modern technologies and almost sci-fi heroes, the origins of the team date back to the 40’s. As the US military worked on super soldier projects, a small group of scientists researched the possibilities of introducing a mechanical command unit that would enhance the battlefield decisions made by the officers. The project failed as the impending D-Day drew all financial support to creating a handful of metahumans to lead the assault on the beaches of Normandy.

The project codenamed O.R.B.C. (as in Omnipotent Replicated Battlefield Commander) existed in the annals of the US military more as a mechanical version of the alchemists’ dream to create gold from lead. Even though the support had been reduced, the research continued with diminishing returns falling father and father short of the high expectations. The breakthrough came in late 60’s as the military was switching to a new intercommunication system and O.R.B.C.’s computer accidentally got connected to all of the databases, creating massive feedback that fried the circuitry and resulted in a massive explosion of the computers.

When the smoke cleared, the scientists could not believe what has happened. The parts and pieces of the broken machinery hovered in the air, swirling and circling as if an invisible child’s hand was trying to assemble the scattered puzzles. Circuit to wire, wire to chip, chip to the mainframe, slowly a human-like being shaped itself, the blood of streaming data chains binding the metal armor. The newly assembled entity hovered almost motionless, like a giant steel hummingbird, only the silent clicking of the data processing hinted at its life and effort to analyze the situation. When the MP burst into the room, the creature instantly shifted its left arm into a round shield and the right into a short pike, adopting a battle stance of a disciplined Spartan warrior. The human staff of the base slowly left the room, leaving the strange visitor by itself and retreating to a location where they could watch through the eyes of the industrial camera.

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

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

The arrival of the strange creature became instantly a project of its own, with scientists cautiously approaching it and trying to communicate. If the being was able to process situational humor it probably would have been amused by the human first attempts: they adopted the methods described in Tarzan. So the being, as expected from something that possessed knowledge and processing ability of 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 has devoured. Months later, tireless and emotionless, the being supported hundreds military and police operations, supporting the troops from the confines of the underground base. O.R.B.C. was eager to learn and modify itself even though it had adapted the tactics and strategies of countless masters of warfare, starting from Sun Tse to General Patton.

Everything seemed to be back in order and the steady flow of cash revitalized the project as the yet unnamed entity seemed to be the ultimate fulfillment of the project’s hopes. Until the day when one of the politicians behind the financial support of O.R.B.C. decided to move the testing the one of the most bloodthirsty theaters of war of this era – Vietnam…