Maeve – see previous post https://elatheexpert.com/2021/04/21/red-hair-dont-care/
Ruth Rig is a poor Manchester girl rejected and taunted for her bizarre appearance. When her father started beating her for the crime of being ugly, she lashed out at him with her claws, drawing blood. Shortly thereafter, she became the ward of a special government project tasked with the study of NBHs. For some reason, being raised in a sterile laboratory as a trained beast without love or affection made her turn cruel and callous.
This personality served her well later when she was used as a tool against the NBH assets of other nations and factions. She was an effective agent and became marginally happier. When she was sent to kill someone not unlike herself, things changed. The two fell instantly and hopelessly in love and now they work together, fighting for themselves.
Ruth has a deeply held resentment for “normal” humans, male humans in particular. Even during serious combat she can’t help but taunt and insult them, wanting her victims to be terrified and humiliated before they die. She’s been confined and abused her entire life and now it’s her turn to repay the world for what’s been done to her. Her one soft spot is Elizabeth, who she truly loves and is showing her that not everyone is cruel and awful, just most people.
Ruth has enhanced hearing and seems to be able to literally sense danger, which combined with her heightened agility and speed makes her a very difficult opponent to land a blow on. Ruth is very, very, very quick. She attacks viciously and without remorse.
Wildcat (also, she’s thinking of changing it now)
Elizabeth Page was born to a wealthy family – a family wealthy enough to hide her from the world so thoroughly that she hardly even existed. They gave her as much attention and affection as they could stomach but eventually Elizabeth decided that a lifetime of confinement and familial shame wasn’t going to work for her. When she escaped her special room in the basement and ran away, her family breathed a sigh of relief.
On her own she was quickly captured by one of the many shadowy organizations that like to use NBHs as their attack beasts. She was trained to the best of their abilities and became one of their most loyal operatives. Until she saw Ruth. She never believed in love at first sight before, maybe not love at all, but in an instant, all that mattered was the two of them. Elizabeth betrayed her support team, killing them to a man and she and Ruth ran off together to fight against anyone who wanted to fight. And also for money.
Elizabeth has never been bothered by her appearance, she finds herself to be beautiful and interesting – normal humans look like ugly shaved apes to her. She is a natural show-off, as well as incredibly cocky, and believes herself to be undefeatable in combat, not having picked up on the fact that Ruth is actually much more powerful than she is.
Elizabeth is overprotective of Ruth, especially given that Ruth is the stronger of the two, and sometimes her love comes close to smothering – a fact that is exacerbated by Ruth’s background and discomfort with any kind of emotional connection. Elizabeth is swift and highly mobile and well trained in fighting, but her “natural” abilities are nowhere near as significant as Ruth’s.
Travis Mann was a Pecos high school football hero. He was six foot tall his 7th-grade year and ran the forty in 5.2 seconds. He was a god among men at the age of 15. Everyone expected him to go pro and become a big star. Didn’t exactly work out like that. His professional career consisted of one game as a Cowboy’s second-stringer before a failed drug test got him shown the door. He bounced around from practice squad to practice squad for a few years before moving home and telling everyone that he had a career-ending knee injury.
People didn’t quite look at him the same way, but it’s not like he failed, he was injured tragically, so he retained enough celebrity to get his name put on the water tower. That was the high-water mark of his success. His car dealership flopped, his realty business tanked, and his steakhouse lasted less than a year. His marriage didn’t last even that long. When you never have anything denied, you never learn how to say “no”. After his fifth affair (fifth that was discovered anyway), his wife left him. Which was depressing, but the cocaine made that problem go away.
When his old pal that used to get him the good steroids told him there was a way that he could get back to the NAFL, he didn’t need to be told twice. He was barely told once before he was on the table. He woke up stronger, faster, and tougher than ever. He was also a hairless freak with skin the color and texture of concrete. The ladies weren’t going to be interested in that! Travis went berserk, destroying everything in his path before falling into the common role of hired muscle.
When Liew Sun Yee escaped from the repressive regime of the Taiping Kingdom, she headed for the Arkansas Republic, world-renowned for its racial harmony and multiculturalism. The reality was a little less rosy. Everywhere you go there are people on top and there are people on bottom, things were better in the Republic than in the Kingdom, but the environment was not as enlightened as they would have the world believe.
Firmly ensconced as second-class citizens, her son Danny grew up determined to make things better for himself and his mother. He worked hard and started a career in electrical engineering while still in high school. In his early twenties he founded his own company, and within a few years he was worth millions. He found that people liked his money well enough but they didn’t much change their opinion about him, and especially not about his mother who they viewed as an ignorant peasant.
His bitterness reached a tipping point when his mother revealed the identity of his father – a member of Taiping’s super-powered national organization, Tiger Force. He was known as the Green Dragon, a man considered a terrorist and an enemy of the state in several North American nations. Danny decided to use his wealth to follow in his father’s footsteps. He designed a chamber that “supercharges” him with a specific heliomagnetic frequency that makes him resistant to harm and amplifies his strength temporarily. When in this supercharged state, his most powerful ability is the manipulation of electromagnetic resonance fields that allow him to create constructs of glowing green hard light.
Jimmy James spent most of his early life hitching rides all across Pecos, the CS, and Canada working odd jobs and doing copious amounts of drugs. Jimmy likes to tell people that he uses substances as tools to access deeper inner exploration of the mind, but really he just likes to get high off his ass.
Jimmy joined various “movements” and the like because they often have access to the “good stuff” but was usually so lazy and unmotivated that even cults couldn’t find much use for him. Until he bumped into the pithily nicknamed “Nightmare Factory” – a criminal organization run by a “doctor” that claimed to be from an alternate dimension. Their success rate at creating super-beings was frightfully low, but that mattered little to the wealthy individuals that were sold the rare successes as guards or enforcers.
To avoid notice, the Factory mostly conducted their punishing experiments on animals but weren’t above kidnapping transients as well. Jimmy had fallen into their clutches when a joint US-Pecos military operation crushed the organization, culminating in the good doctor detonating his main complex and killing more than 200 people – but not Jimmy, who escaped during the battle.
Jimmy is unwittingly the Factory’s greatest success – not only is he gifted with gliding, superhuman agility, natural fighting abilities, and mimetic muscle memory that allows him to replicate any physical movement or fighting style he sees perfectly, but he also looks completely human. The same cannot be said for any of his fellows, there was a reason the place was called the Nightmare Factory.
Jimmy figured he should do something with his new abilities, and settled on stalking his ex-girlfriend and stealing drugs that he wanted. When the police tried to shoot him, he decided that he should beat them up. And suddenly he’s a criminal? Harsh man, harsh.
Petro Groza lived a pretty ordinary life until he died for the first time. Dying and coming back to life was strange enough, but upon doing so, he found himself to be incredibly strong as well. Petro likes to play up that he brought something back with him from the other side, something that tempts him into a life of crimes, but the truth is that once you’ve died and been resurrected a couple times, it’s pretty easy to decide that nothing matters and you should do whatever you want.
Petro never thinks too far ahead and likes to leave the planning to others, which is why he’s spent half his lives incarcerated in one fashion or another, until he manages to break out. He’s been killed three times by the police and once by another super criminal who accidentally blew him up while trying to break him out of a secure facility in Germany.
Petro’s a basic knockdown kind of guy, in that he knocks down whoever gets in his way. He walks into any sort of trouble without too much worry, assuming he can handle it. And if not, he’ll be back from the dead quickly anyway. Sooner or later (probably sooner) he’ll piss off someone that will keep killing him until he stays dead.
Shake & Rattle
Otto Franklin’s mother died when he was young, leaving him to be raised solely by his father – a drill sergeant in the US Army. To say that papa Franklin was a stern disciplinarian is putting it lightly. Otto was expected to maintain his room, his grades, and himself in a certain proscribed condition and any infraction resulted in bounteous amounts of push-ups, sit-ups, and five-mile runs. Every year on his birthday, Otto was required to run as many miles as years he was old with his father pacing him – if he was “dogging” it, he had to do it again until he got it right. By the time he was 12, Otto could outshoot most of his father’s trainees.
When he joined the Marines at 18, Otto found that his new life was pretty easy compared to the murderous discipline of his childhood. Otto was badly wounded in ‘64 taking out a terrorist camp in the Andes and spent over a year learning how to walk again. Given an honorable discharge, Otto found that he had a hard time finding a job but that his skills were great at helping him rob loan sharks and numbers runners. When the organized crime groups behind these victims decided that Otto was a problem, he discovered that his skills were pretty useful in taking care of them too.
Otto used his ill-gotten gains to purchase and design state of the art weaponry and equipment, in particular a non-powered armored environmental suit. Otto was freelancing for various groups until he really hit the bigtime when he joined up with two similar technologically based “super criminals”. Under the callsigns Shake, Rattle, and Roll the trio was able to make some big-time money and build an excellent reputation as “troubleshooters”.
The alliance took a hit when “Roll” was killed in a firefight during a job in Toronto. Otto, who was never that friendly to begin with was left with just Rattle, who he finds annoying and stupid. Otto resents that he had to work hard to make it whereas Rattle just fell backwards into his tech. Otto doesn’t end the partnership because he realizes that he and Rattle make a formidable team and have a lucrative future together, which makes him begrudge his partner even more.
Aloisio Abreu started out as a small-time smuggler moving various illegal goods from South America into the Caribbean States. Things changed for him when he spotted what he thought was a downed aircraft on Chacachacare Island. It was a downed craft alright, a downed spacecraft.
Aloisio was only able to grab one item before fleeing from a joint US-CS Alien Extermination squad – a collapsible cannon-like smart rifle with multiple firing modes, holographic scope, seemingly infinite ammo, self-securing and self-storage features, capable of destroying fairly large objects in one blast, not to mention vaporizing a human size target. But that’s not all! The alien weapon also features a helpful AI that speaks a variety of earth languages, not to mention a personal protective barrier generator proven to be effective against bullets, concussive forces, fire, explosions, and car crashes.
Deciding that his smuggling days were over, Aloisio dubbed himself Laser (which his gun does not fire) and began a career as hired muscle, which usually degenerated into his employers trying to steal his fantastic super gun. Things turned around for Aloisio when he met up with Otto, although a bitter fight about being called “Rattle” instead of Laser highlighted that their personal relationship wasn’t going to be a bed of roses. Aloisio is scared to his very core that people will think he’s named after a baby rattle and before Roll’s body was even cold, he was asking to be switched to “Roll” which to him is short for Rock & Roll and therefore a perfect name for a cool guy like himself. Otto refuses to change the names just to annoy Aloisio.
Aloisio plays the role of the patsy for Otto, pretending not to take offense at his insults and pretending not to be aware of his enmity, but secretly Aloisio dreams of the day that their partnership becomes unprofitable and he can annihilate his arrogant and selfish “partner” without regret.