Tag: 30 in 30

G. Brett Williams #12 – Amelia du Couer, The Ace of Hearts

| November 12, 2011 | 0 Comments

Amelia du Coeur – Amelia was born into a prominent French family with very, very old money. Her mother and father were both anthropologists and archaeologists. Unfortunately for Amelia, they were also very busy and rarely ever home. Both parents loved their daughter, but they weren’t exactly cut out for parenting. They didn’t think that the girl might need constant doting or attention, because that’s certainly not how they were raised. They’d seen as much of their schoolteachers and housekeepers as they’d ever seen of their parents, and they turned out alright. So it was decided that, from a very early age, Amelia would be sent away to the best possible boarding schools in Europe. She did some years in France, some in England, some in Spain, and it made of her a very worldy and well-rounded young girl. When Amelia was thirteen, her mother died suddenly of an ailment she’d contracted while adventuring. Her death sent Amelia’s father into a fit of depression. He became addicted to morphine and liquor, he railed against the world and he let a hatred for his own daughter boil up inside of his soul. For him, Amelia’s presence was nothing more than a reminder of his dead wife. It seems awful, but one can understand how he felt stronger for the mother than the child. After all, he’d hardly spent any time with this young woman now thrust into his care. So he decided that he was no longer capable of taking care of the girl and Amelia was sent to live with her grandfather, her mother’s father. Amelia’s grandfather had been a decorated soldier in the French army who had eventually retired to take up a life of adventure. So at thirteen, Amelia gave up the life of boarding schools and girlish tropes and instead went out to see the world with her grandfather. The man had a tough, stoic exterior and he was never what one would call easy on the girl, but it was obvious that he cared for her a great deal and that his life was better for having her in it. See, he had lost his own wife some years before and the years since had been filled with a vast loneliness. His vibrant and eager young granddaughter now helped to ease that loneliness and he rewarded her by teaching her anything and everything he could. Amelia learned to appreciate fine foods and wines, she learned how to sing old folks songs and dance the night away, she learned to hunt, fish, track and shoot, and she cherished every second of it. The time she spent with her grandfather was the happiest of her life. Because of her unique experience with various locales throughout the world, Amelia is the team’s specialist on international affairs and etiquette. She is also quite possibly the most dangerous person in the world with a firearm. A woman in a man’s world, Amelia works and fights twice as hard to prove herself. She is as rough and stoic as her grandfather but as beautiful and full of life as her mother was. Amelia has assumed the role of leader in the small group.

G. Brett Williams #9 – The Aces Wild Programme

| November 9, 2011 | 0 Comments

 

Aces Wild – It was the 1930s and everywhere you looked, if you knew what to look for, you could see that the world was spoiling for war. The avarice of the 20s had led to the financial collapse of the early 1930s and the Great Depression had left many countries in the world weak and susceptible to totalitarian countries and radical ideals. As the world reeled from the Great Depression, wars popped up all over the planet, with smaller nations falling prey to the machinations of dangerous and powerful conquerors. As the world slipped further into despair and poverty, new threats of the scientific and the strange emerged, only now they were more often than not tied to the ideologies of these various warring nations. What had once been the evils of madmen became the implied “progressiveness” of dangerous nations. Samuel Wilde, in his time as the Wilde Card, had fought men such as Master Midnight, a master magician and scientist bent on furthering his own agenda. That was the order of the day for the 1920s. It was a time of exploration, of opulence, of self-involvement, but the Depression had ended that. Now men of Midnight’s ilk worked for dictators and religious leaders, using their powers and their skills to further deadly agendas. Combating these terrifying new villains with backing from some of the most powerful and wealthy nations in the world would require a special kind of vigilance. It would require a team.

In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States. His New Deal policies would help combat the continued threat of economic collapse. But what the American people knew nothing about was FDR’s decision to join with the British government in an attempt to reinstate the Wilde Card program. Believing that the failure of the first program could be attributed to their strict insistence on keeping the Wilde Card largely isolated from personal relationships, the British suggested that a team be developed. The team would consist of four people with complimentary skills. The hope was that having to work closely with one another would engender the kind of close relationships in the field that the Wilde Card felt he was missing. They also hoped that having differing opinions and suggestions for how to deal with certain situations would keep the entire team sharp and competitive. The British were contracted to run the program, appointing special officer Nigel Blackthorne to head up the new program, which was now being referred to as Aces Wild. A worldwide search was undertaken and possible team members were culled from various nations friendly to the cause. From China they pulled a martial artist trained in various combative arts. He was a master of barehanded and armed combat, and it was deemed that he would be the Ace of Clubs. From France came a talented and intelligent young adventurer, a woman renowned for her anthropological and archaeological knowledge as well as her ability with a firearm. She would be the Ace of Hearts. America contributed two people to the team. The first was the young heir to the largest munitions developer in America. His family had made munitions for the American armed forces since the Civil War and had done very well for themselves for it. This young man was an engineering genius and preferred to use his family’s money and resources to create gadgets and technology on the fringe of science. He would be the Ace of Diamonds. The second American contribution was something of a mystery. A professional gambler and former soldier, the man was a master with edged weapons. His background was pedestrian compared to the rest, but his connection to the team’s first mission made him invaluable. He would be the Ace of Spades. Those four members would make up the core team and would liaise with various agents and other sympathizers throughout the globe as they carried out their mission to save the world from the terrifying new threats it faced. Each of them was given a codename and they were all strictly forbidden to divulge too much personal information about themselves to one another.

G. Brett Williams #4 – Dragon Soldiers

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

The Dragon Soldiers were an advanced race of reptilian humanoids that were conquered and subjugated by the Faceless aliens. The Faceless used their superior brains to manipulate the weaker-minded Dragons into acting as their standing army. Their world was decimated and abandoned and the Dragons served for years as the personal slaves and soldiers of the Faceless race until Cyclone and his forces liberated them and turned them against their masters on Earth.

Their are two types of Dragon Soldiers, the larger and brutish type that comprises the majority of the Faceless martial forces and the smaller chameleon-like Dragons who are best suited to intelligence gathering, assassination and subterfuge. While both Dragon races made up the Faceless armies, it was typically the larger that did most of the fighting and the smaller race that handled the Faceless’ more menial tasks.

After their liberation, Cyclone organizes intermixed groups of both Dragon races into psychic-hunting death squads and “advanced peacekeeping groups.”

G. Brett Williams #3 – Rocket 88

| November 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

Rocket 88 (Eddie Pena) is another of the original American Evos that made up Cyclone’s strike team. Eddie was a latino teenager from Southern California whose passions were skateboards and working on engines. Eddie Pena liked to go FAST, which is a good thing since his evolved talents allowed him to move faster than any human alive. Eddie Pena became the fastest man in the world. Having grown up in the vibrant punk rock community of Southern California, Eddie had been exposed to a lot of musical styles throughout his youth. He particularly identified with rockabilly and old rock and roll, any music from the fifties and sixties that celebrated cars and greaser culture. So when it came time for him to choose his codename for the strike force, he chose Rocket 88, a reference to the song by Jackie Brenston about an old hot rod that most people consider to be the first rock and roll song of all time.

Rocket 88 is the resident joker and rebel of the group. The least militaristic by far, he is however reliable and trustworthy, and great when the team needs anything repaired in a flash.

G. Brett Williams #2 – Mars, Bringer of War

| November 2, 2011 | 0 Comments

Mars, the “Bringer of War,” named after Roman god of war and the battlefield, was one of the original American Evos. Like Cyclone, Mars was a soldier before his powers evolved. Jackson Reed was a soldier in the army, a veteran of both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. He was the oldest of the original Evos and always resented being pulled out of the army and placed on the team. Jackson recognized from the beginning that the team was just a publicity stunt and it drove him crazy. He was a soldier, had decided long ago to give his life to the Army, and anything that took him out of that world seemed like a waste of time. But Jackson Reed was a good soldier, and when he was given an order, even if he disagreed with it, he followed it to the letter. So when he was given the codename Mars and placed on the team, he went along with it. When Cyclone, a younger military man from the Air Force was placed in charge of the group, he bristled but kept quiet. And when the time came for things to escalate, when Evos could no longer stay off the battlefield, it was Mars, not Cyclone, to which the United States turned. His battle with the Devil’s Saint in the Mexican conflict was brutal and destructive, and it made Mars feel alive once again. This was a man bred for war and for war he lived.

Mars particularly flourished during the Faceless conflict. It was the Faceless conflict that forced Mars and Cyclone to finally put aside their own issues with one another and work together. Mars was a natural leader and great military strategist and it was his Red Hand Legion that managed to hold the Russian front long enough to allow Cyclone and his people to free the Dragon Soldiers. Despite being instrumental in their release, Mars was completely distrustful of the Dragon Soldiers. While working alongside groups of them was sometimes unavoidable, Mars refused to integrate them into the Red Hand. Mars felt he couldn’t trust the Dragon Soldiers and wanted little to do with them, choosing instead to comprise the Red Hand of nothing but humans and Evos. The loyalty Mars inspired in his men was strong and nearly unwavering. They would have followed him to the gates of hell, and at times he led them close.

After the war, there was a great fear among Cyclone and his closest allies that Mars would bring the Red Hand Legion to bear against Cyclone’s power base. In an attempt to appease the warrior, Cyclone offered to make him the warlord in charge of Russia and much of Eastern Europe. Having been stationed throughout Eastern Europe throughout the Faceless War, Mars was happy with this arrangement. He rules over his land with the power of the Red Hand Legion behind him. Dragon Soldiers are not welcome inside his borders. Much speculation surrounds Mars. There are whispers that inside his borders, he strengthens his army and waits for the moment when he can overthrow Cyclone’s regime.

Mars’s evolved power is that of super strength and near-invulnerable skin. As with most Evos, his aging has seemed to slow down and his true age is difficult to determine.

G. Brett Williams #1 – CYCLONE

| November 1, 2011 | 0 Comments

Cyclone’s origins are a bit embarrassing to admit, but here goes; Cyclone was created as the central villain of a LARP my friends and I developed in high school. Over the years I sat on the characters in that world, letting them stew in the ol’ brainpan until they became a delicious dish of genre tropes and sci-fi weirdness. Recently I revisited the setting and its characters for a Mutants & Masterminds campaign that never came to fruition, but I had so much fun working on the story that I thought I’d share some of it here.

Cyclone was the most powerful of the original Evos, a group of evolved teenagers who manifested super powers sometime in the near future. The US gov’t. jumps to the forefront of Evo study and policy, going so far as to collect the first of the discovered United States Evos into a special strike force meant to win more hearts and minds than actual battles. The race for Evo supremacy is something of a new cold war and the relative mystery surrounding the teenagers, their powers and their numbers throughout the world makes for a rather prominent threat of mutual annihilation. Therefore, the US Evo team is as much a publicity stunt as anything else.

Cyclone, a young pilot already ingrained in the US military, is the natural leader for the group. His control and understanding of his powers surpasses all the others and his natural charisma and level-headedness make him a natural leader. He’s a good soldier, but there is more to him than just a simple follower of orders.

The world and its people try desperately to evolve as quickly as its residents appear to be. Eventually Evos end up involved in direct combat and the world begins to warp around this powerful new force and regular, non-evolved humans begin to wonder after their place on the rapidly advancing planet.

As the world reaches its boiling point, a race of faceless aliens who communicate completely through telepathy launch an invasion from space. They control a race of Lizard Men that they have subjugated from a world in deep space, using their telepathy to guide the weaker brained reptilian race to fight their wars for them. The devastation is swift and catastrophic and the world soon cows to the will of these invaders. But there is resistance. Resistance, which at it’s core, is led by Cyclone. Cyclone’s resistance learns that the Faceless are actually a highly evolved form of psychic humans who left the world millenia ago and who share similar genes with telepathic Evos. The coalition forces managed to break the control over the Dragon Soliders (Lizard Men) and turn them against their former masters, a move which ultimately allows them to end the war.

The world is desperate for leaders in the wake of the war and they find none better than the war’s greatest hero, Cyclone. Cyclone wisely allies himself with the remaining humans, using them as a police force and being careful to make sure that those among them who have not evolved maintain a feeling of importance in his new world. There are still enough humans left alive that he needs their support to buttress his new administration. Cyclone sets up warlords of his own choosing throughout the world’s decimated continents and rules over the long rebuilding process. ┬áHis desire to protect humans, who he still views as his people, and his fear of losing power lead him to start a campaign of genocide against any psychic Evos. Cyclone believes that, if allowed to continue to evolve, those psychics would become as dangerous as the Faceless before them. For the most part, he employs Dragon Soldier death squads for these (less than) secretive campaigns against the telepathic and telekinetic Evos. It is this campaign, this abuse of power, that eventually leads Cyclone to his own end at the hands of a human/Evo coalition much like the one he originally formed to repel the alien invaders.

Sorry for the crazy long post, but trust me, with Cyclone it could have been WAY longer. haha In case you’re wondering, Cyclone has powers similar to those of Storm’s and is easily the most powerful and evolved Evo on the planet.