Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs: Power Profile #006-Ice Diamond

Beatrix Kalte aka Ice Diamond

Gender: Female

Power Classification: Machinist/Enhanced

Sub-Category: Elemental Gadgeteer

Power Level: C-Class

Location: Operates in the Midwest. Currently at-large.

Affiliations: Solo Operator

Powers: Various devices that allow for the creation of various cold-related phenomenon. Her main weapon is her “Ice Gun”.

Synopsis:

Ice Diamond (hereafter referred to as I.D.) is a 30-year-old former weapons researcher for BranTech Industries. Her area of expertise lay in using cold-based phenomena as a means to shape and control future battlefields. On her 26th birthday, her family surprised her in her lab. It is unclear exactly what happened, but footage shows that her youngest son, Jakob, went unsupervised long enough to mix some volatile chemicals.

Ten people died in the ensuing explosion, and I.D. fell into a coma. She awoke two months later with a marked shift in personality and physiology. The chemicals leached all pigment from her skin and left her with enhanced strength. When informed of her family’s and co-worker’s demise, she went on a rampage in the hospital, injuring several doctors, nurses and security before making her escape.

She appeared five months later with her current nom de guerre in an attack on a BranTech research facility. She attacked at night, as her skin is now pained by sunlight, and murdered whomever she found, mostly security and janitorial services. After that attack, she fashioned a suit that would protect her from the sun’s harmful effect.

I.D. directed her next attack BranTech corporate headquarters, located in Chicago. She was foiled in her attempt by the hero, Boost (see Power Profile: Boost). During her trial I.D. was found mentally incompetent and was sentenced to The Ravenswood Institution for the Criminally Insane, the maximum security mental institution for powereds.

I.D. recently escaped and her whereabouts are unknown. It is believed she is heading back to Chicago for a second attempt on BranTech Industries or a confrontation with Boost. Possibly both.

Relationships: Johann Kalte-husband (deceased), Katrina Kalte-daughter (deceased), Jakob Kalte-son (deceased), Karl Astor-father (not believed to be in contact), Hilda Astor-mother (not believed to be in contact)

Threat Level: Orange

I.D. is an active threat targeting research and industry vital to our military infrastructure. Her strength is formidable, but it is her engineering genius that serves as the biggest threat. All due caution should be exercised when trying to apprehend her. Powered backup is advised when possible.

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The Feds Send A Visitor

Hey all. This is Stephanie aka Lady Aether (my brand-spanking new super-name. Like it?). Douzeper is taking his shower before we head over to Torrie’s apartment and has no idea I’m doing this. So, sssshhhhh!

I have to tell you, he is really taking Torrie’s death pretty hard. If he wasn’t friends with Stargazer, I don’t know if I’d want to be around him in this mood.

To tell the truth, I’m kind of wondering what I’m doing here anyway. I’ve never been in a powered battle before today and Douzeper is out for blood. I’m thinking I should have stayed at school and maybe done some research at most.

Oh, well. I’m here now and might as well make the best of it, even if he does act like a jackhole (seriously, this swear replacement thing kills me-in a good way). I think I might ask Stargazer if she can make me one of these.

So we have a missing girl, Lisa, the most powerful magic-user in the world foisting the case on a low-power Empowered, necromantic magic, and a flying bully with delusions of relevance and a team of sycophants. I am so making Douzeper buy me dinner for helping.

sound identified as knocking

Who in the world could that be? Maybe it’s the guy who owns this place and he and I can have a discussion about washing…everything in this room.

Oh, smurf.

“DOUZEPER!”

Douzeper: “What?”

“You need to get out here! Like now!”

Douzeper: “I only have a towel on!”

“I don’t care, and I don’t think our visitor cares either!”

Douzeper: “Fine.”…”What are you doing?”

“What?”

Douzeper: “Why do you have my glasses and communicator on? Are you-are you on my blog?”

“Never mind that! Boost is outside!”

Douzeper: “Boost?”

“Pick your jaw off the floor and answer the door! And quit glaring at me like that!”

Douzeper: inaudible whisper “You and I are going to have a discussion about personal property, young woman.”

“Whatever. You’re like five minutes older than me.”

Douzeper: “Gimme that!”

Better. sound identified as door opening

“So, Boost is it? What can I do for you?”

Boost: “The local FBSA office called me. Are you two the ones that took part in a skirmish at Abbott Park earlier this evening.”

“Um. No?”

“Wow. You even roll your eyes at super-speed, huh? Okay, yes. Why?”

Boost: “Care to explain what happened?”

“Sure. Aeromancer got all butt-hurt over the fact he couldn’t beat a confession out of me for something I didn’t do and decided on some payback.”

Boost: “Is that the whole reason?”

“I might have beat the snot out of him for his presumption and threatened to kill him if he didn’t retire. It was really quite minor.”

Boost: sound identified as a sigh “I need the two of you to come with me to the FBSA and file a report. The Preservers aren’t quite able to talk just yet.”

“May I get dressed first?”

Boost: “Please do.”

“Well, come on in. It isn’t much, but a least it’s filthy…I mean free.”

Boost: “I have to admit. I’m a bit surprised. Most people try to fight their way out.”

“You could punch me two hundred times before I could say “Ow!”, plus we were defending ourselves, so there’s really no reason to fight. Be right back out.”

Oh my Utu! I am so fan-boying out right now. Imagine a 5’9 athletic Latina, her silky black hair flowing out of her half-mask, brown eyes you can drown in, and a skin-tight blue and white outfit.

I love Jules, but Boost has been a secret crush of mine for years. Of course, even if she weren’t married or gay, she would be so far out of my league I might as well be a T-Ball player trying to hit a Major League 95-mph fastball.

sound identified as knocking

Boost: “Not that I don’t appreciate the sentiment, but could you hurry up a bit? I’d like to tuck my daughter in tonight. And who are you talking to?”

Oh…flit. Remind me to beat myself into unconsciousness later. Preferably over my open grave so I can be buried right away.

Until next time,

Douzeper

Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs: Power Profile #005-Boost

Tara Jean (TJ) Acevedo-Torres aka Boost

Gender:  Female

Power Classification: Innate

Sub-category: Speedster

Power Level: B-Class

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Affiliations: The Keepers of the Gateway (affiliate membership), Equality NOW

Powers: Super-speed. Boost has been clocked at speeds of up to 500 m.p.h.

Synopsis:

An 24-year-old Innate, Boost is one of the rare true speedsters in the world (speedster being defined as self-propelled movement of 250 m.p.h. or greater). She originally comes from Los Angeles, but her family moved to Chicago when Boost turned 12. Her powers manifested at age 14 during a robbery of a store she was shopping in.

Boost’s parents immediately enrolled her in the Academy, where she joined with the TeenTeam (see Power Profile: TeenTeam). She served with that team for three years and graduated from the Academy with Honors. She moved back to Chicago, where she acts as a solo hero.

With her speed she also serves with The Keepers of the Gateway (see Power Profile: K.O.G.), based out of St. Louis, as an affiliate member.

Boost also actively works with Equality NOW, an non-profit organization that deals with a variety of civil rights issues, but focuses mainly on LGBT issues.

Boost has made many contacts in her 10 years as a hero and is a respected member of the Powered community.

Relationships: Maria Acevedo-Wife, Reyna Acevedo-Daughter, Professor Quark-Leader of K.O.G., Rockslide-Member of K.O.G., FastTrack-Member of K.O.G., StormCell-Member of K.O.G., Flora-Member of K.O.G., Fauna-Member of K.O.G., numerous contacts with various heroes (see various Power Profiles for more analysis).

Threat Level: Yellow

Boost’s speed makes her a tactical planning nightmare. Her reflexes, heightened to a level able to deal with super-speed, make her almost impossible to hit. Her speed makes her almost impossible to defend against. Add in her activism and her contacts in the powered community, and her potential to cause trouble for the government is high.

Death from Above and Below and All Sides

Stephanie and I are back at Chez Venereal after what can only be described as a massive cluster-flit (man, Jules is thorough on this swearing thing).

Both of us need to recover a bit before I even think about going to see Torrie’s mother.

Stephanie: “This place is horrible! I feel like I need a VD test just from sitting down.”

Excuse me.

“Sorry, Miss Public University dorm-living scholarship woman, that the accommodations are not to your liking. Feel free to take the some of the massive bankroll you undoubtedly have and stay at the Waldorf or something more suitable to your refined tastes.”

Stephanie: “Please. I heard you call it Chez Venereal. You’re just trying to be a jackhole.”

Stephanie: “Wow! You weren’t kidding about the swearing thing, huh? Can’t even say jackhole.”

“Will you knock it off. I’m trying to give my two readers a thrilling tale of derring-do or whatever nonsense people call it.”

Stephanie: “Whatever. Listen, I’m going to take a shower. No peeking.”

“Don’t flatter yourself. By the way, do you have shower shoes or something. I only ask because, you know, things can get kind of sticky.”

Stephanie: “GROSS! HOW DO YOU STAND STAYING HERE?”

“I’m a firm believer in the adage “Ignorance is Bliss” when it comes to staying here, or any hotel, really. Plus, I have shower shoes. And no, I don’t want your gnarly feet in them.”

Stephanie: “I don’t have gnarly feet!”

“You won’t have any teeth either if you keep grinding them like that.”

noise identified as door slamming

Ah, blessed silence. Except for, you know, me talking.

Where was I?

Oh, right.

So, I’m following I-57 back to Chicago and we’re right at the point where it changes to I-94 near West Chesterfield when I spot Aeromancer and his goon-squad, the Preservers.

I made for the ground because I am definitely at a disadvantage in air-to-air combat with someone who can control air. Road pizza, I’ve found, is not a good look for most people, me especially.

We land in Abbott Park…and it’s full of people because of course it is. Serendipity and I had a nasty break-up long ago.

A crowd starts to gather around us. Which is understandable. I would be curious about someone landing a flying motorcycle as well. Unfortunately, it is the exact wrong move for these people.

“EVERYONE EVACUATE!” I scream. “THERE’S ABOUT TO BE A POWER-BATTLE!”

Necks crane into the sky to see if they can spot some well-known power.

I blame media glorification of super-fights for the lack of survival instinct. They mention civilian casualties, but it is glossed over in favor of “in-depth” analysis of the individual powers involved and political ramifications of said battles (which is a whole ‘nother post).

I even saw some intrepid reporter wannabe’s bringing out their camera phones to try to get video.

“It’s the Preservers,” an anonymous voice rang out. Clapping and cheering started from the crowd.

Ah, the benefits of having a massive PR firm behind you.

Having determined I was already going to be the “bad guy” of this particular piece, I decided to play the role to the hilt. I pulled my blaster, set it on Destructo-ray, and blasted a jungle gym into slag.

“GET THE H E DOUBLE-HOCKEY STICKS OUT OF HERE!” I roared.

The crowd scattered and I breathed a sigh of relief. I’d deal with the consequences later.

“Get some spells ready,” I told Stephanie. I pointed her over to a copse of trees that would serve as decent cover. She looked pale and scared, but nodded and ran off to her position.

She’ll make a heck of a hero.

The wind picked up a couple of minutes later. I looked up to see Aeromancer hovering in the air, his power giving his team the ability to fly to the battle.

I suppose I should introduce his team.

Quick rundown:

Rapidfire- An Enhanced. Cybernetic systems give him super strength, speed and agility. Fully cybernetic arms allow him to change them into a variety of weapons including lasers, swords, axes, or whatever suits him.

Umbra- An Empowered of the Egyptian God Kuk. This particular Empowered is female, so she takes on the female aspect of Kuk, that of a snake-headed woman. She controls darkness and carries a gold-plated ax as her power-focus.

Tek-Knight- A Machinist of the Gadgeteer subset. He always has several drones flying about him filled with various offensive and defensive packages.

There’s our contestants, Johnny. Tell them what they’ve won.

One ticked off Douzeper. And one newbie Magician.

I put my shield on standby and opened my arms up, inviting them to make their move.

Aeromancer dropped his hold on his team and Rapidfire dropped, arms in cannon-mode, blasting away. I snapped my shield on and charged toward the falling man, blocking each blast. I pulled my sword handle and activated the blade.

While it kills monsters, it won’t kill people. What it will do, however, is make whoever I hit with it face the truth about themselves. It may not sound like much, but it can shatter a person’s mind. Take away all the rationalizations, all the little and big lies we tell ourselves about our motives and actions.

Most people don’t want to know the truth about themselves. Those that say they do are usually engaging in lying to themselves.

Rapidfire was one of those people.

I run fast enough that I met Rapidfire as he touched down. He changed his left arm into a shield to try to block the blade.

Fool.

My blade rammed into his chest and he screamed. I have no idea what he saw, but it was enough to drop him gibbering to the ground.

One.

Tek-Knight hovered near a tree using jet-boots. The tree swayed and branches lashed out at him, damaging one of the boots and sending him into an uncontrolled spin toward the ground.

Unfortunately for him, a tree trunk met his face before the ground did.

Two.

“MAGE!” Umbra shouted.

A miniature tornado sprang up and raced along the ground to the copse of trees sheltering Stephanie. Umbra raced toward me.

I pulled my blaster and fired off a shot at Aeromancer before Umbra reached me. It forced him to collapse the whirlwind and increase the density of the air around him into a shield.

The blast couldn’t penetrate, but Stephanie, in a wonderful display of tactics, threw a massive fireball at him immediately after. The magical fire engulfed Aeromancer and pulled all the oxygen away from him, leaving a singed and breathless target.

Umbra reached me just as I fired my second shot, her ax biting into my side. Blood spurted out and I screamed. Yet, my shot flew true and hit Aeromancer, knocking him out for the second time in a day.

He fell from the sky and pancaked into a children’s playset. Taking him out bought me a moment as Umbra watched him fall. I placed my hand over the wound and Utu’s power flowed through me, closing the wound. It left an angry red scar across my side, but I can live with scars.

My blade flashed and she blocked with her ax. Our movements became a blur of strike and counter-strike. She would create a globe of darkness around us, and I would burn it away. Day and night battled it out, with no clear decision.

Luckily for me, my teammate is better than hers.

Stephanie stepped from behind the trees. She gestured and stone hands grew from the ground to hold our fallen opponents. After they were secure, she strode over to the two of us. I could see her coming. Umbra couldn’t.

She didn’t even have to hit her from behind. All she did was clear her throat.

The noise distracted Umbra for a fraction of a second. At the speed we were moving, that was all I needed.

I knocked the ax from her grasp and my fist met her jaw. I heard a crack and her eyes fluttered up into her skull.

Teamwork works, folks. The Preservers fought as individuals and lost.

Intent is also key in a fight. They intended to teach me a lesson and didn’t press their advantages. We intended to win and win quick.

We won. And without killing any of them, which I am strangely ambivalent about.

The battle did take its toll on us and so we went back to the room to rest up a bit. Magic takes it out of a person, and the adrenaline crash after a fight doesn’t help.

Stephanie, in her first real battle, shook like a leaf. I was a bloody mess from all the nicks and cuts received from Umbra. So we took some time.

Which brings us to now. I’m sure we’ll be seeing the Preservers again.

I just hope it isn’t soon.

Until next time,

Douzeper

Federal Bureau of Superhuman Affairs: Power Profile #004-Aeromancer

Tad Whitemore III aka Aeromancer

Gender:  Male

Power Classification: Innate

Sub-category: Elemental control

Power Level: B-Class

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Affiliations: The Preservers (see Power Profile: Preservers)

Powers: Aerokinetic, which gives him control over air. This ability allows for flight and creation of any air (wind) based phenomenon, including tornadoes. He can force the air to become denser, creating an almost impenetrable shield, or cause it to dissipate, depriving an enemy of oxygen.

Synopsis:

Aeromancer is the son of the prominent Chicago businessman, Tad Whitemore II, and grew up in the lap of luxury. He attended the best schools and had every opportunity to succeed. Yet, he didn’t. Aeromancer is not a very bright individual and only passed high school due to his father’s money and influence.

Despite his intellectual deficits, his father gave him a high-level position within his company. Aeromancer kept that position despite numerous sexual harassment suits brought against him, again, due to his father. His only real accomplishment came when he foiled his own kidnapping by manifesting his powers.

His psych profile suggests that Aeromancer is cruel and sadistic, with a hatred of women that is almost pathological. It was the recommendation of the FBSA that Aeromancer not be certified to operate. We were overruled.

He leads a team called the Preservers, based out of Chicago. This group is comprised of powers hired by Tad Whitemore II to give his son, and by extension the Whitemore name, the prestige of leading a team.

The team as a whole has done some good, but scandal constantly plagues it. Due mostly to Aeromancer’s antics. Many of his “arrests” are suspect, as are the “confessions” he has elicited.

Relationships: Tad Whitemore II (father), Rapidfire (teammate), Umbra (teammate), Tek-Knight (teammate)-see individual Power Profiles for more information

Threat Level: Yellow

Aeromancer by himself only rates a level Blue threat warning, yet he is rarely by himself. The team his father has surrounded him with effectively act as bodyguards/nannies, and are well-paid to follow Aeromancer’s lead. Fortunately, Tad Whitemore II has yet to find a magician willing to join the Preservers. If he ever does find one, the threat level will be moved to Orange.

Stephanie

Stephanie’s grabbing some regeants and assorted paraphenalia for out trip back to Chi-town.

I’m swaddling Torrie’s body in some blankets. I’ve already called for her body to be collected and taken to the Medical Examiner.

I’m not looking forward to going back and telling Torrie’s mother I failed. I could call her and tell her, but that is the coward’s way…

Stephanie: “What are you doing?”

“I’m running a blog. My headset converts speech into text.”

Stephanie: “Huh, an online diary. Neat. Did you make all of that?”

“No. My friend, Stargazer, gave it to me.”

Stephanie: “So that’s how you knew about me.”

“Nope. Well, sort of. You were in my bracer’s database.”

Stephanie: “She never mentioned me?”

“Don’t look so hurt. To be honest, she’s been busy. And when I did get to see her, we had other things to discuss.”

“Besides, if she told me about everyone  she’s met, we would never talk about anything else.”

Stephanie: “Oh. Well, feel free to talk to yourself all you want. You should see what weird habits some wizards have.”

“Some?”

Stephanie: “Fine. All.”

“By the way, when you speak the mike catches it and puts it down as well.”

Stephanie: “Wonderful. I always wanted to be semi-famous.”

She bows and gestures me ahead. I find if I murmur my words it just looks like I’m a homeless person off his meds.

We hop on my Diavel and she is actually squealing…

Stephanie: “I AM NOT SQUEALING!”

“You know when you yell like that it shows up in all caps, right?”

Stephanie: “How would I know that? And anyway, don’t lie and I won’t yell.”

“Hate to tell you this, but I can’t lie.”

Stephanie: “Crap.”

I switch over to flight-mode, and the higher we ascend the tighter her grip becomes. Not an unpleasant feeling.

And with her having normal human strength, I can barely feel the punches when I say something she doesn’t like.

We’re heading back to Chicago, and I hope…

Stephanie: “What is this design on the back of your jacket?”

“It’s a unit patch of a World War II fighter squadron called the Hellcats.”

Stephanie: “Cool. You a history buff?”

“Not exactly. And definitely not a first-date story.”

Stephanie: “You do realize I can do horrible things to you, right?”

“Sarcasm doesn’t become you. Plus, we’re currently about “oh, smurf” feet above the ground.”

Stephanie: “You have to land sometime.”

“Ignoring that. What’s your specialty anyway. The database is kind of light on info for you.”

Stephanie: “I’m an elementalist.”

“Sweet. How good are you with the air element?”

Stephanie: “Not great. Why?”

“Because we’re about to have company. A particularly idiotic piece of work called Aeromancer. And it looks like he brought friends.”

I take the Diavel down and try to reach ground level. I’m going to be busy, so I’ll let you know what happens.

If I’m alive.

Until next time,

Douzeper

 

There’s Never Enough Time

With The Magus gone to Gods know where, I admit I began to panic. This girl would die horrible and I couldn’t do a thing about it. My healing powers wouldn’t even begin to touch this.

I needed a wizard.

There were exactly two. One was gone. The other, a wet-nosed newbie, lived at the University of Illinois campus in Urbana-Champaign. A couple of hours away flying at a safe speed.

Torrie’s only hope.

I input the campus coordinates and let the autopilot kick in. “I’m sorry, Torrie. The one I wanted to bring you to left. I need to take you to Urbana-Champaign and it’ll be a bit of a ride. You up for it?”

She nodded at me and tried to smile.

She’s a brave kid.

We changed course and headed toward the edge of Chicago.

The wind picked up.

Damn. Aeromancer must be a quicker healer than I thought.

I pulled out my trusty old brand-new blaster and scanned the skies for incoming.

And saw exactly nothing. I must be getting paranoid in my old age.

Of course, it’s not really paranoia if people are actually trying to kill you.

Wonder of wonders, the trip to the U of I campus proved uneventful, if you call the magical rapid aging of a teenage girl uneventful.

According to the database on my bracer, one Stephanie Unger lived currently lived in the Busey-Evans Residence Hall on campus. An all woman dorm.

Wonderful. Nothing like charging in to a dorm full of women to get the police, or worse, called on you. No help for it though.

Night fell before we got to the hall. I am so going to jail sooner or later.

I changed over to ground mode and rode up to the front entrance. I cradled Torrie in my arms and strode up to the door, using my foot to “knock”.

I decided to try the “nice” way first. I was not filled with confidence, but stranger things have happened.

The door opened and a young woman, not more than twenty opened the door. Before she could say anything I asked for Stephanie.

The door slammed in my face. From the look on the woman’s face I would be seeing security before Stephanie.

I should make it clear. I believe women have a right to be safe and keep anyone out of an area set aside specifically for them.

That being said, I also believe that the girl’s life I was trying to save superseded that prior belief. Plus, I have no problems being thought a wiener.

Wiener? Really, Jules?

I sharpened my vision and saw campus security making its way toward me. So I did what any reasonable person would do; I kicked in the door (hoping no one was on the other side) and started screaming my brains out for Stephanie.

Women screamed, yelled and generally treated me like they should. I kept screaming over the tumult.

Finally, a petite blonde I can only describe as “perky” showed up. I figured it was Stephanie as she had a ball of some undoubtedly nasty magic ready in her hand.

“Don’t fire!” I yelled. “Open your senses and scan this girl!”

All I can say is bless those that don’t use violence as their first, second and last resorts.

I say her eyes glow briefly and a look of confusion cross her face. She strode up to me and held out her hand with an authority unusual for anyone that young.

I certainly don’t have that aura and I’m older and more experienced.

The other ladies calmed somewhat as she spoke to me. “Did you do this to her?” Her arched eyebrow promised many unpleasant things if I were to blame.

In a rush I laid out who I was and what was going on. Stephanie is very quick on the uptake, and I must have looked suitably desperate, for she just nodded. “Wait here,” she said.

She smoothed things over with security and came back into the common area. “Follow me. No male is allowed in the halls without an escort. Do what I say, when I say it. Got it?”

She led me up the stairs to a lab area. “Put her in here and wait out in the hall,” Stephanie said. “I’ll see what I can do.”

So that brings me to now. I’m sitting in the hallway and waiting.

And waiting.

Wait. She’s coming out.

“Oh, no. Please, tell me you can fix her.”

Stephanie: “I’m sorry. I’ve never come across anything like this before. Even if I had, I don’t think my power is strong enough to counteract it. When I tried, the process seemed to speed up. She doesn’t have much time if you want to say goodbye.”

footsteps

“Hey, Torrie.”

Torrie: “She can’t fix me, can she?”

“No.”

Torrie: “You promised to fix me.”

“I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.”

“Torrie?” “TORRIE!”

Stephanie: “Who did this to her?”

“I have no idea. But when I find out…They. Are. Dead. You want in? I have a feeling I’m going to need some magic on my side.”

“Yes.”

Douzeper