Legion of minor characters assemble

808 Ohana – An example of the ubiquitous low level street gangs that form in Madripoor and see the majority its members dead within a few years.  These groups are used as disposable assets by the real criminals in Madripoor – cannon fodder to be thrown at their enemies. 

Kalilimoku formed 808 Ohana for the purpose of rolling military personnel who come into Madirpoor’s red light district, and they have progressed to working for the syndicates and better gangs as enforcers and occasionally as hitters. 

Kalilimoku claims that his gang doesn’t use guns because they are dishonorable, but in truth they can’t afford them.  They have attempted to steal enough guns and ammo to equip themselves several times but have failed thus far. 

808 is open to any race or nationality, members shave their heads which they then cover with crude “tattoos” carved into their scalps with blades.

(Ela’s thoughts – a Hawaiian gang?  I thought they were a friendly and laid back people.  I guess that’s a stereotype.)

Lason – Guo Shu Xian was a junior air traffic controller at numerous major airports and cities around the Pacific Rim until she ran afoul of a smuggling operating run by Kenran-kai.  Initially willing to participate for promises of money, she was eventually wracked with guilt and decided that she would turn the smugglers in to the authorities.  When they caught wind of this, rather than kill her outright they sold her to a GEACPS research cell where she was subjected to experiments in human enhancement. 

One of only two survivors of these experiments, Lason was granted the ability to secrete an odorless pheromone that makes men extremely submissive and open to her commands. Initial contact with the pheromone and subsequent reinforcement over a period of a few months is sufficient to keep most men in her power almost permanently. These pheromones are highly addictive and if removed from her presence after the initial contact, the subject will go through period of painful withdrawal.

(Ela’s thoughts – ugh, not only does she dress like a hooker, but her power is controlling men with sex sweat?  What horny teenager came up with this crap?)

Gōngjī – Lim Boon Keng always felt that he was born in the wrong time.  He delighted in tales of old with brave honorable warriors slaying deadly beasts for the hands of demure maidens.  While he dreamed himself a defender of the weak, the reality of life in Madripoor was much different.

After being savagely beaten for standing up to a local gang, his parents sent him to live with relatives on the mainland, fearing he would get himself killed with his attempts at heroism.  His dreams were fulfilled when a mystical jungle being granted him agility, balance, reaction speed, and bodily coordination beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete.

Although he has had no formal training, his superior physical abilities make him a formidable hand to hand combatant. He uses a freestyle type of fighting that allows him to make full use of his agility. 

(Ela’s thoughts – He told me specifically the “mystical being” was a giant chicken.  I kind of hope he’s crazy instead.)

The Crimson Cardinal – Mark DeFalco worked on various tramp freighters operating out of Port of Brisbane before he was left behind in Madripoor after being drunk on duty one time too many.  Originally able to scrape by on the docks as a mechanic and day laborer, he spiraled steadily downwards as his problems with drugs and alcohol have worsened. 

Being on the streets of Madripoor for five years teaches you one thing – how to scavenge.  When a ship went down in the harbor carrying goods from North America, he hoped to find something he could sell for a few bucks.  What he found instead was a prototype Strategic Armor Military Assault Suit.  His new friend Sam was surprisingly easy to use, it seemed to fit him like a glove.

He’s going to prove to everyone he’s a hero now, especially his mother – who’s worthless now, mom?!

(Ela’s thoughts – Even if he didn’t know they were being mind-raped by Lady Boobs-out, this guy murdered two kids over some cash money.  Ass.  Hole.)

Patron Patriot – Travis Willingham III loves the United States of America.  He loves it so much that when he was deemed mentally unfit for military duty and tested negative for the genetic makeup needed for application the super-soldier program, he wouldn’t take no, please god no, or “ah god it hurts please stop” for an answer.  He formed his own band of vigilantes with fellow military rejects and angry young men to clean up the streets of his beloved USA.

When they stumbled onto an actual plot by actual bad guys, everyone died horribly in a hail of bullets.  Except Travis.  But that’s okay because he came out of it with some sweet alien technology (which he insists is actually advanced tech made by the US army for totally justified black ops in South America – god bless the USA!) that makes him more than a match for any enemy of the state.

(Ela’s thoughts – Turns out this guy was just on vacation here and saw some shit he could stick his nose into.  I wish I knew about the alien tech, we should have robbed him too.)

The Four – The mysterious foursome in control of “the Shipyard”, one of Madripoor’s many quasi-legal open air markets.  This abandoned soccer stadium on the outskirts of downtown has been turned into a parody of a department store, with each low-life opening his own “store” and selling whatever goods or services they have to offer.

Nightwitch – Leader of the Four, rumored to be a “voodoo priestess” from the Arkansas Republic.

Yihetuan – An outcast from the Heavenly Kingdom, Yihetuan looks like a humanoid komodo dragon.  His appearance and powers seem to be the result of bionic engineering and cellular augmentation.  Has exhibited superhuman strength, endurance, and acute senses; particularly hearing and smell.  Mouth emits a foaming chemical poison, which can induce paralysis and possibly death if it enters a victim’s bloodstream.

Kezi – The daughter of a Yakuza kobun trying to establish operations in southeast China, Kezi wields the mystical Shadow Sword that allows her to walk unseen and drives her to commit acts of sadistic violence.

“Jolly” Red Rogers – A former member of one of Madripoor’s many pirate groups, Red decided there would be more chances to shoot people on land than on the high seas.  And he really likes shooting people.  No powers here, just guns.

(Ela’s thoughts – I haven’t even met these people yet but I’m sure they’re going to try and kill me or kidnap me or something.  The leader is a woman and she only gets one line that tells you nothing?  Typical.  Also Kezi is mentioned as being the daughter of a Yakuza guy?  Why?  How is that relevant?  Neither of the male characters have anything about their parents.  Her entry isn’t even about her, it’s about the sword.  Who writes this chauvinistic crap?

They have a lizard guy too, and the pirate guy is a disgruntled Canadian military washout like Martialla, I’m told.  Is this a mirror universe thing?  Does that make Nightwitch the evil me?  Does she have a Top 40 hit?  I doubt it.)

Martialla returns – 70s style

Kirill Chernyshevsky was a black hundredist who fought against Bolshevik forces in the Russian Civil war in the 1920s and continued operating with militarized associations of anti-communist insurrectionists in Siberia through the early 1930s.  Operating mainly in Primorsky Krai, Kirill had close ties with a smuggling group associated with anti-Japanese Dongnipgun rebels.  It was through these contacts that he was smuggled into Yunshan in 1937 and from there made his way to Calgary. 

In Calgary, Kirill married Eugénie Caouette in 1939, the daughter of a prominent figure in the local criminal scene.  Kirill and Eugénie had two daughters, Martialla and Irena Chernyshevsky, before their murder in 1957, which remains unsolved.

Martialla, the elder sister, was able to get judicial dispensation for active military duty at the age of 16, joining the Women’s Royal Canadian Naval Service.  This allowed her to become the legal guardian of her sister Irena.  Martialla worked at the naval training center in Galt, Ontario until 1963 when Irena completed secondary school.

Leaving the service, Martiallia worked for transnational shipping company Horizon Lines while Irena attended Carleton University.  Martialla was on board the Horizon Spin in 1966 when it was attacked and captured by a splinter group of Alamo 400K terrorists who suspected that the ship was secretly illegally carrying liberated foreign fighters from a POW camp in South America.  She was held hostage for 7 months before being rescued in a joint Canadian-Pecos military operation.

Martialla worked various janitorial and service jobs in Ottawa until her sister graduated university in 1967.  Irena moved to the Coalition States and Martialla rejoined the Canadian Navy.  In 1972, she volunteered for a an experimental weapons program run by Department K, most likely because of the substantial cash incentive being offered for volunteers which she gave to her newly married sister for the purchase a house in Saint Louis.  During her service, Martialla had been tested several times for the necessary gene for creating “super-soldiers” by the Omega method, which had always been negative.

The Department K experiment was designed to see if people without the “super” gene could be enhanced by a chemical method.  The only segment of the tests that had any success was that attached to the combat diver program, of which Martialla was taking part.  Although it would be revealed to be a qualified success at best, 12 candidates were successfully granted the ability to breathe underwater and swim at speeds well outside of human norms.  However, over the next six months, 11 of these subjects developed “significant psychiatric symptoms including aggression and violence, mania, psychosis and suicide”, severe enough that all 11 were confined to a mental facility or killed during escape attempts or other clashes.

The only test subject that did not develop serious side effects was Martialla.  In addition to remaining free of mental health difficulties, Martialla’s granted abilities exceeded those of the other volunteers, exhibiting NBH physical capabilities in all physical areas on the Briggs-Hollymere scale, albeit only while submerged in water.  Department K and the Navy subjected her to intense testing as they attempted to understand and replicate this aberration.

Due to this confinement, isolation, and constant examination, Martialla became increasingly reclusive and bitter towards the Navy and the Canadian government.  Being treated as a test subject and an “asset” resulted in Martialla feeling that she had become a freak and she started directing anger and frustration at her handlers in Department K. 

When Irena got word to Martialla that her niece had been kidnapped, she escaped during a training exercise and is AWOL with no intention of returning.  She is suspected of damaging several vessels and is known to have attacked and sunk at least one whaling ship operating out of Vladivostok.  Over the past several months, hundreds of people have reporting seeing a real life “mermaid”, including a family that claim she towed their damaged and leaking boat over 20 miles to shore during a storm. 

Character – Duke Eaglevane (Elaverse version 2)

The terrorist known publicly as Duke Eaglevane is presumed by many in the intelligence community to be Duke Sigismund Adelsperger of Prussia, born in 1857.  However, there are some that claim he’s been active since at least 1185 as a member (or possibly founder) of a secret order of the Holy Roman Empire dedicated to using money and influence to manipulate covert global events. 

Although many acts of global terrorism are suspected to be the actions of Duke Eaglevane and his followers, due to the covert nature of the organization it’s difficult to assess their true activities with any degree of certainty.  The Duke almost always operates through proxies or under a false flag of extremist groups.  Despite this secrecy, it is agreed in the international community that the following incidents can reliably be attributed to Duke Eaglevane. 

  • Supplying arms and tactical support for rebels in the East Africa Protectorate
  • The assassination of Émile Loubet
  • The 1912 Olympic bombing
  • The discrediting of US Senator and presidential candidate Jacob Black
  • Sinking of the 8 Royal Navy Leander-class frigates in 1960

One of the Duke’s few open operations was the invasion of the Kachin.  This act was undertaken with the approval of the majority of the world governments based on Kachin’s corrupt regime that profited off the international drug trade.   It is believed that as part of this military action, the Duke stole Kachin’s gold reserves while the ultimate goal of the action was seizing control of one of the major drug sources not already in the Duke’s hands. 

Analysts believe that the Duke’s standard procedure is to destabilize developing nations with economic manipulation, and then fund domestic rebels that naturally arise from the unrest in depressed areas. The Duke hires out one of several mercenary outfits under his control to that country’s leadership and slowly usurps control, as well as forcing the subject nation to sell off its national assets to companies controlled by the Duke. 

Aside from unnatural longevity, the Duke’s metahuman capabilities, if any, are unknown.  His organization has access to a level of technology that exceeds many known global standards including cybernetics and a “computer network” that allows communication and electronic data sharing.  It is assumed, but unconfirmed, that the Duke is beyond a genius level intellect in the field of electrical engineering and is responsible for the development of these technologies personally. 

Out of character interlude 2 – Ela versus Negan, Dawn of Justice

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Pangloss Cosmetics.

I read a blog about stuff.  It’s pretty good.  The other day the author mentioned that he was four when Return of the King (the movie) came out.  I was in my mid-20s.  It made me feel super old and lame.  Which I am, but being reminded of that is never fun.  This has nothing to do with anything but I figured you’d want to know.

I wonder sometimes what I’ll do if Ela dies.  I mean I have her name in the URL so clearly I can never write about anything else.  A few ideas I’ve kicked around are a prequel (weak), continuing the story with another character (meh), or going back and doing short runs of things from the perspective of other characters and the effects of Ela on their lives (might be okay).  But then last night as I was falling asleep I had the thought – what about putting the character of Ela in a different story?  And for a reason what came to mind is Ela in the Walking Dead. 

First obviously you MUST know my history with the Walking Dead.  I read the comic books WAY before the TV show came along and made it cool and popular (and therefore gross).  By the time the TV show rolled around we were in the tail end of the zombie fad started by 28 Days Later and I was suffering from zombie fatigue.  So I didn’t watch the first season right away and when I got around to watching I found it kind of boring.  But it was based on a comic book so what was I going to do, not watch it?  This was in the pre-MCU boom days before comic book properties became cool and popular (and therefore gross) so if something was comic book related and wasn’t horrible I was probably going to watch it. 

The second season picked up though and I was in for real.  For a while.  After a couple seasons Walking Dead started suffering from a bad case of Lost-itis, where the show was way more popular than anyone expected so they needed to milk it for everything its worth.  They started telling the exact same story over and over – everyone’s together yay!  Oh no, everyone is separated, boo!  Reunited! Yay!  Ripped apart boo!  Repeat ad nauseam.  After the Governor attacked the prison for the SECOND time I was out. 

And that’s how it was for a long time but then one day I was flipping through the channels and I saw some people with Ws on their heads running into a town and violently attacking people and I was like “Whoa, what is this show?” and after a while I saw the lady who plays Carol and I was like “that actress must be in this show” but then I kept watching and figured out that it was Carol (still alive!) because I was watching the Walking Dead.  That episode was pretty rad so I started watching again for a little while but then stopped again because it sucked.  Hard.

And that’s how it was for a while but then there was a massive media blitz – RICK’S LAST EPISODE !!!!!!!  And I was curious how Rick was going to die so I admit they got me top tune in again.  And the lead up to RICK’S LAST EPISODE !!!!!!! was decently good.  But then that episode was GOD AWFUL and I was mad because they suckered me back in to watch that crap.  I’ll never watch this show again I shouted at the moon. 

And that’s how it was for a while but then a couple weeks ago I started getting caught up for no reason I can explain.  Anyway, the point is that’s probably why when I was half-asleep the idea that came to my mind was Ela in the Walking Dead.  Which is a horrible idea.  Maybe you could argue (please do the one person who reads this blog) that Ela is an anti-hero but more probably she’s just a straight up villain protagonist.  And that doesn’t really work in the Walking Dead.  An awful person in an awful world is just depressing, and not very interesting.  An awful person in a world that’s more “normal” is little more viable. 

I didn’t really have a template in mind when I created the character of Ela, but a few months after I started writing this blog I re-watched the Last Seduction and I realized that and Linda Fiorentino’s character is basically her.  And if you take that character and stick them into the Walking Dead you have a minor character whose one of Negan’s minions and make has a couple cool scenes before they die.  Because there’s really nothing else you can do there other than a redemption arc and who would want to see that?  Nobody that’s who. 

But the idea of putting her in another setting and story could be a good one if she dies prematurely.  There’s probably a genre like that – character X in this setting and that setting and so on – but I’ve never heard of it. 

Did you know that there’s three different podcasts called Raised By TV?  Because there are.  Which is what I would also call my podcast if I had one.  Which I do not.  This has nothing to do with anything but I figured you’d want to know.