Miscellaneous Paranormals

Heroes

Berkeley Mob

Firestar (Public ID Beth Nicholson)
Backstory
Firestar is a long-time member of the Berkeley Mob in relatively good standing, although she has occasionally been reprimanded for use of excess force. She is one of the few Mob members without a secret ID, so often serves as liaison with the press and local authorities. When she goes on patrol, she watches over the San Francisco finanical district (a popular supervillain target).
Appearance
Firestar is tall, blonde, and attractive, about thirty, and dresses fashionably. She normally wears backless tops, because she has three pairs of tentacles growing from her shoulders, each as thick as her arm at the base and tapering to the width of a finger, and long enough to hang to her feet when relaxed. On the job, she wears soft armor blazoned in bright orange and yellow.
Powers
Firestar's tentacles are fully prehensile, but only with human strength. However, each can either project a stream of fire several meters, or produce a narrow blowtorch-like flame, or can produce a choking cloud of smoke. (With her tentacles spread in fighting position, the origin of her name is obvious. )She is also very resistant to fire damage, and somewhat to cold.
Weaknesses
Firestar appears to need a great deal of air, which makes her susceptible to suffocation attacks, and means she gets a greater dosage of airborne toxins and such. Also, she has a special hatred of rapist and child molesters, and doesn't necessarily give them the chance to surrender.
The Mighty Gauss (Secret ID James Winthrop)
Backstory
The Mighty Gauss is one of the guardians of downtown San Jose, and is often seen striking fear into the hearts of evildoers. James Winthrop is a mild-mannered accountant who flees the faintest intimation of danger, even though he is physically capable of dealing with many nonparanormal threats; the division approaches the status of a split personality, although The Mighty Gauss has not started doing things without letting James know. Yet.
Appearance
James is a large, well-muscled black man in his early thirties who normally dresses both conservatively and unflatteringly, as one would expect of a geeky accountant.

The Mighty Gauss is an imposing figure in shining metal armor crackling with sparks, a sight to strike fear into the heart of any evildoer.
Powers
The Mighty Gauss' superpower is to move metal around with strong magnetic fields. Besides flinging about cars and mailboxes in the expected fashion, he can create fields strong enough to shoot small metal objects at bullet-like speeds. He prefers darts made from magnetically-imploded soda cans (aluminum shaft for the fields to grip, steel point for piercing armor), but can make do with coins and the like. He also has a suit of armor which, in addition to keeping bullets from entering his flesh, can be manipulated by his powers to give him superhuman strength.

Gauss can sense magnetic fields as well as generate them, giving him an MRI-like sense, but one that is easily detected by its effects on magnetic materials and fields in the area.

As a secondary effect, his body has developed immense reserves of energy and recuperative ability to support the energy requirements of his superpowers.
Weaknesses
The Mighty Gauss' enhanced body contains enough metal to set off metal detectors and suffer extra damage from electrical or current-inducing attacks.
Inverse (Secret ID Marisa Toramez)
Backstory
Inverse is one of the newer members of the Berkeley Mob, but has already proven herself in battle several times. Her day job as a free-lance journalist gives her an excuse to wander all over the Peninsula, although she mostly haunts downtown SF.
Appearance
Marisa is a thin somewhat Hispanic woman in her early twenties who dresses in black and carries a laptop. Her eyes are vivid, inhuman blue, but she wears black contacts (which have to be replaced after using her powers). She carries a black full-face mask to don in case of supervillainy; the rest of her is not distinctive from anyone else in SF, which helps her evade publicity. She does not succumb to the temptation to write about her own (superheroic) exploits.
Powers
Inverse can shoot bright blue laser beams from her eyes. As side effects, she has an optical nervous system and can see through any part of her skin (which is now mostly silicates).
Weaknesses
Bright light interferes with Inverse's nervous system, as do light suppression/distortion powers. In neither case is the effect pleasant.
Kelpie (Public ID Francis Chan)
Backstory
Frank always loved the ocean, and after the horrible fishing accident, he can appreciate it even more fully. Although he does his part to prevent desecration of the ocean in a socially responsible, non-violent way, he is always available to the Berkeley Mob and the legitimate authorities when underwater heroism is needed.
Appearance
When dry, Frank is a pretty ordinary-looking Chinese man of medium height and middle age who dresses like the office worker he is. When soaked in water, he becomes a nightmarish mass of brownish-purple tentacles and fronds radiating 6 or 7 meters from a conglomeration of gas sacs, multitudinous tiny, stalked, eyes, and less identifiable organs.
Powers
In his kelpish form, Frank is able to survive and function perfectly in any natural oceanic environment. He can swim as fast as a powerboat and has many tentacles strong enough to lift one out of the water, and can shrug off the sharpest propellors. His sense of smell is as sensitive as a shark's, and his sonar as acute as a dolphin's. When dry, he is only superhumanly tough.
Weaknesses
Most of his powers only work in water, and when they're on, he looks pretty bizarre. He does not have a choice about changing forms when soaked. If wounded in his dry form, his insides are clearly non-human; they much like his soggy form.

California Defenders

Golden Bear (Public ID Alison Veloviy)
Backstory
Alison is one of the superheros who founded the California Defenders in 1983, after the disappearance of the Golden State Guardians, and has served as team leader since 1995. Since immigrating from Russia, she has devoted almost her entire adult life to protecting the people of her adopted land, and she is very good at it.
Appearance
Alison is well over six feet tall, well-built in both senses of the word, and golden of skin and hair. Although she is well over 40, she looks no more than a healthy, beautiful 25, and has done so for her entire career. She normally dresses lightly and casually, as befits a Californian, but is not lacking in fashion sense. Golden Bear is larger than any natural bear, with a thick golden coat and long metallic-looking claws.
Powers
Normally only slightly superhuman in strength and toughness, Alison can transform herself into a gigantic golden bear able to toss around semi trucks and shrug off machine-gun fire.
Weaknesses
After years of superheroics, Alison has overcome or compensated for most of her flaws. Her biggest problem is that she doesn't always have all her powers, and when she does, she can't talk.
Faultline (Public ID Andreas Santonelli)
Backstory
Given his name, it was probably inevitable that Andreas, the son of Italian cobblers who immigrated to San Francisco in the 1950s, would get seismic powers. This didn't actually happen until the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989, however. The newly empowered Faultline immediately set about rescuing those not fortunate enough to get life-preserving powers, which is where he met the Defenders. The rest, as they say, is geology.
Appearance
Andreas is a thin, not terribly-imposing man in his late 20s, with dark hair in a fashionable ponytail and sallow skin that never seems to tan. He dresses elegantly, and radiates charm at men and women alike; he is rumored to have carried on affairs with every one of his teammates at one time or another, as well as with several supervillains.

Faultine is an impressive figure of jagged stone, magmatic red showing at the cracks when he moves. He tends to disappear into and emerge from the earth at surprising but dramatically appropriate moments.
Powers
In a fight, Faultline can wrap himself in the living earth, which protects him, strengthens him, and gives him sharp nasty pointy bits. Whether armored or not, he can make the earth open to give him passage or convey him at the speed of seismic waves, spit streams of lava or lava bombs that explode to release mephitic vapors, cause earthquakes that knock over people and damage buildings over an area of kilometers, and perceive vibrations through the solid earth.
Weaknesses
Andreas can't activate his forcefield or regenerate unless he's touching natural earth or rock.

Other Heroes

Villains

Bay Area Villains

PsykoKinetik (public ID Jaime Jackson)
Backstory
PsykoKinetiK is just plain bad. He got his start at 13, when he carved up a girl for not putting out, and decided he kind of liked it. With the overconfidence of youth, he quickly got himself slammed into juvie, where he met the girl's brother and his hulking sidekicks. On the verge of death, he suddenly manifested powers and cut his way to freedom through the prison's population.

Five years later, he's a famous and fully-employed paranormal thug. Although he had to leave the state for a while after the MacAdams job, rumor has it that he's back in town.
Appearance
Psyko-K, as he likes to be called, is a scrawny man of medium-brown ethnicity who looks considerably older than his calendar age: nearly thirty. On the job, he dresses in red and black leather with sharp edges and skull motifs; off duty he moderates his costume only slightly. Even when a job requires him to dress square, the light of sadism in his eyes is unmistakeable.
Powers
PsykoKinetiK thinks fast and moves faster. His body is tough enough to handle the stress of superhuman motion, and his senses acute enough to avoid superspeed collisions.
Weaknesses
Mostly psychological: impulsiveness, bloodthirst, overconfidance, addiction to stimulants, lack of imagination.

Other Villains

Thunderhead (real name Jason Feather)
Backstory
Thunderhead is one of those paranormals whose motivation was easily accomplished given some hard cash, which he quickly obtained by renting out his services as a rainmaker in the arid American Southwest. Occasionally people have waved enough money under his nose to get him to produce other weather conditions for possibly unsavory ends, but his powers are in general more suited to honest work than to a life of crime.
Appearance
Jason is a tall, handsome man in his mid-20s with very obvious Native American ancestry, who normally dresses in chinos and a work-shirt. As Thunderhead, he wears a dark grey and black costume with swirling cloud patterns.
Powers
Thunderhead has traditional weather powers: flight, wind blasts, lightning bolts, fog, control of weather patterns over a wide area.
Weaknesses
Thunderhead's powers do not protect him from harm to any significant degree.
Guderian (Formerly "Spirit of Guderian", real name Michael Lynch or Linsch)
Backstory
Although unquestionably a mercenary, Guderian does display some ethics in the clients he takes and the methods he uses. He preferentially works for revolutions against despotic dictators (although sometimes supports moderately-despotic dictators against even more corrupt revolutions), and has definite professional standards as regards the treatment of civilians and prisoners. His origins and background are obscure; he may have served in the German special forces in the 1970s and 80s, but certainly not under the name he uses now.

Out of the ~120 000 paranormals in the world, in a stand-up fight Guderian is unquestionably within the top 120, probably within the top 12, and conceivably within the top 1.2. He has killed at least twenty and possibly as many as fifty paranormals, and hundreds of normals.
Appearance
Guderian is a tall, well-built, but unexceptional looking Caucasian man, with slightly greying dark hair and a military bearing. He usually dresses in paramilitary fashion, in subdued colors.
Powers
Guderian has tank powers. He can shrug off almost any attack, run at 70 mph, and wreak untold devastation. From his right arm he can fire heavy fin-stabilized flechettes comparable to armor-piercing tank gun rounds; his left fires streams of smaller bolts like a machinegun. (Both sorts of projectiles vanish as soon as they come to rest inside the target; apparently they are composed of the same sort of psuedomatter than so many other paranormals create). He has evinced other modern-tank-related powers, such as the ability to see at long ranges in the dark, and to withstand poison gas; some have claimed that his powers increase and expand every time a new model of tank is built.
Weaknesses
It is unclear whether Guderian has any weaknesses except pride. There are some reports that he is less resistant to fire attacks than to others, but his kill record includes a proportionate number of fire projectors.

Organizations

The Eighth Generation

In Eden, Adam and Eve had great power over the world around, nigh unto that of their Creator; they did not name the beasts so much as create them. When they fell, however, God denied those powers to them and their progeny "unto the seventh generation" (a metaphor for "a very long time"). Now that time is past, and humanity's curse of powerlessness is ending.

At least, that's the belief of the interdenominational Christian group called The Eighth Generation. Their goal is to promote the godly use of paranormal powers, but they have no official position on matters of theology other than the above: members are encouraged to follow their own understanding of God's will, in accordance with the Bible and their pastor's interpretations.

8G has, officially, no specific agenda: they just encourage their members to use prayer and faith before using superpowers. However, it is pretty clear which way the leaders of the group feel a good Christian should vote on any given paranormal issue. This usually translates to more government action against supervillains, regardless of possible infringement on the rights of law-abiding paranormals. After all, they're good people; the authorities would never hassle them.

The chairman of 8G is Reverend Leland Baxter, a somewhat famous Baptist preacher/superhero from Tennessee with sonic powers. He is assisted by twelve councillors, who represent all the major Christian Protestant denominations in North America, plus a couple of minor ones and one Catholic. Total membership is about a thousand, which is quite large for a paranormal organization, but it is unclear how many of those memberships are more than nominal.

The Navigators

The Navigators are the moderate end of the spectrum of paranormal supremacy. They believe that paranormals are just plain better than normals, and should be in charge, but do not advocate a violent take-over of any kind. Their position is that paranormals will naturally rise to the top if the playing field is at all level, and no specific action needs to be taken except in against unlevelling of the field.

Although the Navigators have gotten considerable good press by helping the authorities against violent paranormal supremacists, they are regarded with considerable suspicion by the general public, and none of their candidates have ever been elected to any office above the municipal level. Every paranormal officeholder has at one time or another been accused of being a front for the Navigators, but no such allegations have ever been proven.

Official members of the Navigators number only about ten, led by Harold York, a New York brick and former PR director for the Republican Party of New York.


This file was last modified at 1635 on 22Jun99 by trip@idiom.com.