Thursday, October 9, 2014

Rival Complex

The author is holding off on posting the third Character Bio set for the Excelion universe, as it requires further editing. So you get this instead.

Rival Complex is the only one of the three powersets that appears to be incomplete, at least at first.
Rival Complex is characterized by white, glowing armor that at first appears in pieces. When it progresses to it’s final stage, it covers the whole body. The consistent trait between cases where it appears is a deep, often desperate desire for power. Specifically, it seems to show up in people who desperately desire an alternative to several bad options.

The primary ability of Rival Complex is to control force transmission between the armor and anything it is in contact with. A properly trained rival is capable of being nearly unstoppable simply by redirecting all opposing force away from themselves, and can propel themselves very rapidly by jumping and directing all force towards themselves. This ability can also be used to allow Rivals to run on surfaces that could not possibly hold their weight, jump off of freefalling objects without changing their trajectory, and survive almost anything besides an Overlord beam, a Hero bypassing their armor, or a fellow Rival overpowering them.

Rival armor materializes around the skin of the Rival, and preserves anything that was already there, with the sole exception of foreign living human flesh, which is ejected from the area. Only human flesh will trigger this, and the current suspicion is that this is related to humans being the only things known to manifest Hero, Rival, or Overlord Complex. This means that clothing is preserved, although if the Rival is wearing something that would only partly be caught in the effect, such as a backpack, they are advised to remove it before summoning their armor.
Rival armor is skintight, but parts can be removed if the Rival is willing. Otherwise, such as when shattered by bullets, the pieces will fade from existence like they do when dismissed.

Rival armor appears to be somewhat malleable, in that it allows a full range of motion to its user and never chafes. It is, in fact, completely rigid, and sufficient damage will cause it to shatter. The misconception comes from the tendency to add or remove pieces around joints automatically as needed, simulating the effect of a stretchable covering. The default seems to be to form contiguous segments with breaks at the joints, however, so this is difficult to prove.

There are a few known ways to counter Rival armor. The first is that it is opaque, meaning that even someone who has mastered Rival Complex cannot armor their eyes without obstructing their vision, creating an obvious weak point that their powers cannot directly affect. The second is that they cannot easily redirect force from two directions at once, making them somewhat vulnerable to crushing. The third is surprise. If they are hit by something that breaks their armor or kills them before they know to counter it, it will. The fourth is to overheat them. Rival Complex armor can act as a perfect thermal insulator, but once again the need for eyeholes interferes with this, and so does the potential for overheating from the inside, although both are surpassable. The beams Overlord Complex produces can bypass their ability completely, because they impart force without using mass as a transmitter, and Hero Complex can convert glowing Rival armor with difficulty, although the process destroys both. Finally, other Rivals can counter the force redirection ability, simply making it a fight between very strong people in very sturdy armor who can run on walls or airborne gravel.

The other quirks of Rival Complex include finer hearing and touch than humanly possible, movement without muscular support, the ability to suspend all chemical reactions in areas of the body covered by the armor, and the ability to delay breathing indefinitely without problem, presumably as an extension of the former. Some mechanism also seems to be in place to keep the brain running without requiring the normal nutrients necessary to do so. Therefore, if someone is willing to seal the eyeholes and completely enclose themselves in their armor, then they can live indefinitely, even if poisoned, missing large fractions of their body, or in hard vacuum, although some dementia seems to be inevitable if used to prolong age for too long. None of the abilities are available outside of the armor, however, and therefore most of the more advanced uses are unavailable or at least unsafe until the armor is completed.

Lastly, the shape of the armor is unique to every person, and it is believed that the reason it is not all available from the start is that the pieces are still being decided by the users actions.

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