Thursday, July 9, 2015

Character Bio: Riot (Awesome Normal Universe)

Hi. Sorry this is so late, this took a long time to edit. And is still a rather rushed job. It was actually two documents, now spliced together, that I'd found in my Google Docs.
I hope you like it anyway.

The Person:

Emily Pembrook technically does have a conscience, it’s just a rare, first edition version that only seems to work in certain circumstances. Said circumstances don’t seem to include any time she is bankrupt, highly upset, in obvious danger, or hungry.

It also seems particularly fuzzy on the subject of avoiding potentially lethal fights, especially when she appears to have the advantage - after killing her first four people, she briefly panicked, but seems to have been primarily concerned with police investigation. Following this, she assumed the persona of Riot quite rapidly and with very few reservations.

As Riot, her modus operandi was to find two armed opposing groups, often both criminal in nature, wait for or cause a confrontation, and proceed to raid both sides’ less guarded bases. As a strategy it worked remarkably well, leaving her alive and unmaimed after at least seven attempts.

The Story:

Riot was a fairly good case study for why young women shouldn’t attempt to pay their way through college by becoming mercenaries. While there are worse ideas for handling the situation, there don’t appear to be many.

She began her career shortly after her third year of college, a reasonable engineer and an excellent mechanic, but sorely lacking skill in accounting, and as a result, she was unable to continue paying her tuition. In response, she attempted to pay off her student loans with the extra credit hours from building a working suit of power armor. This backfired spectacularly, as she had forgotten to take licensing costs into account, and landed her quite deep in debt.

With her available resources amounting to a few textbooks, a dorm room she’d soon be evicted from, an old desktop computer, and a partially licensed suit of power armor, she made the eminently reasonable decision to become a private security contractor, taking her powersuit and auditioning for a short term, high paying job that she believed to be, at worst, running security for bootleggers.

It turned out to much, much more impressive. A new drug lord was moving in, and she had been hired as an enforcer. By the time she figured this out, the warehouse she was guarding was in the middle of a raid by one of the local gangs, and she ended up shooting several of them in self defense.

She then panicked and ran, hid out for several days, and eventually calmed down and hid the armor before returning to school. Any thoughts of turning to the police were quashed when she saw the news story about the incident, and found that whoever killed four minors with an RPG launcher was being painted in about the blackest light the media had available.

Fortunately, no one who’d actually seen her face was still alive, and even the details of her armor were fuzzy at best. She then faced the realization that she’d never gotten more than the down payment, her boss was dead, and she was still in debt.

She tried to alter the armor, changing the details she could, and adding new ones. With her limited budget, this didn’t amount to much.

She then decided that the logical path to financing herself was to moonlight as a supervillian, but quickly realized that with her available resources robbing a bank was impractical. Not to be discouraged, she decided to rob one of the local gangs, instead.
This succeeded remarkably well, as she had been able to strike their hideout while most of them were out on a raid. She proceeded to engineer further conflict before robberies, including with the police, which on one, memorable, occasion, led to her stealing a police van sent to collect her.

As an actual career, however, raiding gang hideouts and stealing police hardware paid remarkably badly, all things considered. While this might possibly have been solved with the addition of a competent fencing operation, she had neither the knowledge of how to contact one nor, in all likelihood, the ability to use one if she did, as she’d made enemies of all the local organizations capable of facilitating such.
Just as likely, however, she actually got a fairly reasonable deal for her misbegotten goods, and simply ran afoul of the fact that crime does not pay quite as much as heist movies might have you believe.

In any case, she didn’t make enough to retire in the year she spent at it, and barely made enough to keep herself in college, although she was able to afford a proper workshop. Despite the initial press fury, she never bought actual rocket propelled grenades during her early career, sticking to the much less regulated rubber ammunition and the occasional flashbang. She eventually started making the highly lethal cryonic grenades that became part of her signature, but this was close to the end of her supervillain career.

The Armor:

The Riot armor is large, dark green, and bulky, especially the legs. The front of the helmet has three layers, the innermost one a bubble of bulletproof glass with an autopolarizing coating, followed by two retractable faceplates; the inner is split, retracting to the sides, the outer retracts over the head, and was added later.

The outermost faceplate enfolds two cameras, the feed from which can be projected over the mirrored glass inner layer, creating a somewhat flattened hologram. Said cameras include at least infrared and low light compensation functions, and appear to allow ultraviolet target painting, as well.

The primary engine is located on the lower back, just underneath the ammunition canisters, and what remarkably little noise it does make is suppressed by its casing. The most memorable feature of the armor, however, is the fact that the arms are both grenade launchers, with spiraling ammunition feeder tracks making up the majority of the arms.This naturally makes the suit’s dexterity rather limited, but she has designed the whole setup with sufficient durability that the barrels can be used as reasonable clubs, in line with the initial intention for the suit to be used in actual riot suppression, or at least act as a plausible model of such.

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