CAST…Dramatis Personae…The people in the thing:
History: Very little is known about Shy before her first appearance in The City. But, after more than holding her own against three deadly mercenaries, word starts to spread. She seems haunted by her past at times, but presses forward in spite of it. As for her history and her mission, she keeps them well-hidden. Perhaps she’ll reveal her story to us, in time.
Personality: She doesn’t seem to want to be a hero. It’s a role she’s growing into out of necessity. Pensive, often quiet, she will show a wry smile and a glib sense of humor on occasion. She’s deeply caring and protective of her friends, but can be surprisingly harsh to her enemies. And she’s unsure…especially as a “hero” and in combat. When she’s confident and concentrating (two very big intangibles for Shy) she’s wildly impressive to watch, and a little scary. She can be a leader, but has difficulty assuming that role. She struggles to trust or ask for help, but is magnificent as part of a team. Whether she’ll allow herself to fight along side other heroes, or to take a leadership role, is another story.
Powers: Even in a world where superheroes exist, her powers are extraordinary, if unrefined. She sees herself as a telekinetic, but her power runs deeper than that. One in one-billion people have the ability to sense, and control, every atom around them. She is one. If physics can allow it, Shy can make it happen. It’s unclear if even she fully realizes the breadth of her powers. There are limitations though. It takes incredible amounts of mental energy to use her powers, and that takes a toll. She suffers migraine-like pain when stressed too hard in battle. Also, she either cannot, or will not, cure disease or resurrect the dead. However, if injured, she can heal someone even if they are an inch from death.
History: Born Rebecca Sadowsky, Roxy is one of those frustrating people that seemingly excels at everything and yet bumbles her way into accomplishing nothing. She has a younger half-sister, Sandy (who makes sure people know she had that name LONG before Rebecca started calling herself “Roxy”!) The two get along well, but keep each other at a distance due to Roxy’s chosen profession – Mercenary-For-Hire. An avid outdoors person, Roxy loves the high-octane, thrill-seeker lifestyle that pumps the adrenalin and sometimes lands you in jail. Wildly competitive, she spent a few years engaging in underground “pit fights” where winning paid big and losing often cost dearly. As thrilling as the fights were, constantly hurting people wore on her, and she left that world. She does not speak of this time with Sandy. Two years ago, she began to develop an interesting set of special powers. However, in typical Roxy fashion, she opted to go the mercenary rout. She hires her skills out for a big pay day instead of embracing the selfless life of a hero. This often lands her on the wrong side of the law. It’s a choice she questions constantly, but does nothing to change. As previously stated, she’s one of those frustrating people…
Personality: Energetic and fun. Loves the spotlight and attention. Sees the funny side of even the darkest things. Then absolutely savage in a fight. Very aggressive and determined. If she could get out of her own way, she might attain the greatness everyone that ever knew her predicted. She loves the outdoors, and is often seen climbing a mountain, swimming in the ocean or riding her dirt bike through some forest or another. Romantically involved with another mercenary named “Cut”. They are well-suited as they’re both thrill-seekers, with a slight lean towards idiocy. This is exacerbated when they are together.
Powers: Can control earth powers like rock and water. Also has limited wind control. Can move plants, but only if you want your whole team tangled in vines while the enemy escapes. A deadly hand to hand fighter with martial arts skills few can rival.
History: Leopold “Leo” Brecht was, at one time, a highly decorated SWAT team commander and rising star in the police force. This came to a tragic end when he lost his entire SWAT team in a seemingly routine bust gone horribly wrong. Blamed for the tragedy, and more gravely, traumatized by it, he took leave of the police force, and has not returned. His PTSD led to a complete and utter inability to sleep. When he does manage to nod off, he’s plagued by the nightmarish faces of his team dying over and over again. Compelled to seek an alternative to sleep, and jaded from the ideals of “doing good” he’s taken to the life of a mercenary.
Personality: Calculated and fearless in combat…but at times can be rattled. This is especially true if the tragedy comes to mind. Self-doubt is his biggest issue, as he believes his tactical error led to his team’s demise. Chronic insomnia, haunted by memories that will not leave him in peace, make him moody, and sullen at times. Yet, despite it all, he does have a moral compass. He’s not evil by any means, just jaded. He’s just doing a job now. Being a mercenary removes the emotional attachment, and sense of purpose, which he’s incapable of providing presently.
Powers: Night Lion has no super powers. He is, however, deadly with a gun or in hand-to-hand combat. He carries lots of gadgets including a high tech assault rifle that can shoot bullets, flames and taser darts. He has a wrist computer that also can shoot a taser dart or homing device. He’s an excellent tactician, and born leader.
History: Kai Andrade grew up with his mother in Taiwan before immigrating to Paris to live with his father. His mother taught him swordsmanship, and passed on to him the family’s storied blade “Jianzhi”. But then she died. In Paris, his father taught him how to kill. It wasn’t necessarily by design, but his his father was a mercenary, and Kai followed suit. They spent some time disposing of despots and having a lot of fun. But then he died. Hating the memories in both Taiwan and Paris, Kai immigrated to the United States on a “student visa” which one of his father’s friends doctored for him. He’s now a sword-for-hire, and in a city where gun control has eliminated most of The City’s privately-owned firearms, a sword can go a really long way. He’s not cheap either!
Personality: Pragmatic and task-oriented. Sarcastic and funny. But quick to lose his temper. Fiercely loyal to friends, but not necessarily to any cause. If the check clears, he’s loyal to that. He’s kind of a jerk, although not in a serious way. He does enjoy laughing at other people’s misfortune. He and Roxy are trouble together.
Powers: He’s incredibly agile, probably more so than even an acrobat would be. He can jump higher and move faster than any normal person. Expert at martial arts and deadly with Jianzhi.
History: Your guess is as good as mine! She came out of nowhere and hired a team of mercenaries. For what purpose? It’s a mystery, even to her servants. Having hired this team of mercenaries, one must assume she comes from at least some degree of wealth. But that’s speculation also. She IS up to something, however. Something big. And Shy is determined to stop her.
Personality: Sullen, impatient, short-tempered. NEVER smiles. Yet, beneath the veneer of control, one senses there is a deep sadness about her. She seems to hate the heroes of The City. It’s unclear why, and her associates tend not to ask questions. She doesn’t offer many answers when they do.
Powers: She hasn’t demonstrated any superpowers as of yet. But she’s definitely hiding something.
History: Priya Kotiya was born in a small village in Sri Lanka. That’s what she tells people here in the States, anyway. She and her brother were actually children of privilege. The daughter of Sri Lanka’s greatest cricket player, her’s was a childhood of fame, decadence and entitlement. She went to the best schools, had the finest dance and martial arts teachers money could buy, and never lacked for the extravagant things in life. Her prize “possession” was a rare white leopard, which she kept on the grounds of her estate. Her brother often states that it’s the only thing she ever truly loved. However, a leopard is NOT a pet, and the animal attacked and killed one of its handlers. She wept when the authorities were forced to put the creature down. The tragic event led to the ruin of her family and the end of her life of privilege. The struggle afterwards was terrible, as they became worse than second class citizens. An unexpected street fight (it was five against one, she was the “one” and the five are now dead) opened her eyes to a world she never imagined, and a pleasure she never suspected she’d experience. The hunt, and the kill. Now, as if she were her prized white leopard, this White Leopard hires herself out for one purpose. To kill. Nothing more.
Personality: There are two kinds of kids that grow up with wealth. There are those that are humble, treat those around them with respect, and never take for granted the gifts with which they have been blessed. Then there’s Priya. For some reason, this young lady never learned to respect those either at or beneath her station. She respects authority just fine. But anything other than that and she barely regards you at all. Ruthless and lacking compassion, White Leopard is a hired killer. She is a clever manipulator, and knows just what to say to anger an opponent or throw an adversary off their game. She has a blood lust. In regards to the other mercenaries around her – they’re all idiots. They test her patience in the best of times. But as plans start to go awry, she’s eager to pass blame and ridicule those she feels have not adequately done their jobs. She truly believes that everyone working for Sad is a bona fide clod. Except for her, of course. And yes, she dyes her hair white.
Powers: She’s very agile having studied dance and martial arts through much of her youth. Masterfully uses specially-made retractable claws from her gloves to deal heavy slashing and stabbing damage. Lack of remorse or compassion makes her a deadly enemy.
Personality: Naomi Entfield hates the name “Microwave Woman”. It was given to her by some reporter and unfortunately it stuck. She goes by MW, or M-Dub whenever possible. She’s very brave and protective of her friends. Having lost a partner because she wasn’t there, she is adamant about being there for those she cares for.
Powers: MW is a walking nuclear reactor. She can project radiation beams from her hands and, more deadly, from her eyes. She can also send a powerful wave of energy from her body. As a last resort she can go nuclear, blowing up an entire city block. She can also fly, regenerate from damage and heal herself.
Personality: Bobby Hinzo is trapped in the unimaginative life of an accountant. His days are, quite honestly, boring. So when his powers manifest, it is the ability to project what he sees in his imagination onto the real world. He finally taps into his creativity, and thrives as the Illusionsmith! He often pines away at his desk, knowing that at night, he can shine! As a hero, he is very creative, and finds ways out of situations he has no business getting himself out of. Unfortunately, he’s kind of a bumbler, and often gets himself INTO these situations in the first place. He knows he’s not a fighter, and will find an escape route if things go awry. This is not cowardice though. He just knows his limitations. OK, maybe a little cowardice… Bobby embraces his love of fantasy and imagination. In that, his costume is very “Steampunk”, including the obligatory top hat and goggles.
Powers: The Illusionsmith can project whatever he sees in his imagination into the real world. These are just illusions, however, and have no substance. They are excellent distractions or diversions, but cause no real damage. He can also disguise himself and his teammates with these illusions. But they have to be in eyesight. He can project a bright light flash, which can temporarily blind an enemy, usually allowing his friends to attack, or him to escape. Unrelated to these powers, he can also fly. He’s not even sure how he does it. For very big illusions, he puts his goggles on and projects the illusion through the lenses.
Ryan Cocanower is a fitness instructor, personal trainer, and coaches basketball at a local high school. He’s always led a healthy lifestyle, exercising and keeping in excellent shape. As such he’s a physical specimen. He’s got the body of a Greek god.
But there’s more to him than fitness. He plays the violin, is a huge fan of the city ballet and LOVES a good cheeseburger.
His friendship with Scorch Star is a lovely contrast in styles. He is cold and calculated in battle, while Scorch is hot tempered and rash. But the two get along smartly and are rarely seen apart in hero form.
Ironically, neither knows the other’s real identity.
Powers: Cold Star does as his name indicates. He has the usual assortment of cold powers including freezing enemies, creating ice slicks, snow storms and covering his body in ice armor. He can also create objects out of ice, like weapons, or sculptures.
He can fly, which negates the need for him to make an ice ramp like many icy heroes do.
Emerson Whitaker was a pro basketball player, playing point guard for the city team. But he was rarely used and retired to coach high school. He actually knows Ryan Cocanower in real life, as the two travel the same athletic circles. But neither knows the other is their crime-fighting partner.
Emerson is always there for his players, and is an outstanding coach and teacher. He’s also always there for his friends.
However, as a coach, and fierce competitor, he has a temper, and can fly off the handle quickly. His acting quickly can also save the day on occasion. He and Cold Star complement each other well, which is why their pairing works. Plus they love hanging out in diners and eating burgers.
Powers: Scorch Star can shoot fire from his hands and eyes, as well as create smokescreens, and choke out his enemies with smoke, ash and soot. He can also fly, and on occasion create a fire tornado around himself, as a matter of last resort.
** All images on this page by J. C. Grande