So, I figured I’d go all out on the theme I brought up on Wednesday’s post. Here is some info and potential improvements to the Macro Corp: The Super hero group that dates back to my middle school years.
Hero Name: Macro Man
Real Name: Raymond Jackson
Powers: Force Projection / Ability to change Size
Profile: Due to a dormant gene he was granted powers due to an improperly disposed of radioactive materials unearthed while breaking ground for new mansion he had purchased. This accident would have likely killed him otherwise.
Ray is a saavy businessman that got his break from a half million dollar grant. He is an insufferable patriot that holds the American Dream in high regard. He didn’t have to think twice about what to do with his new found power.
What was good: Mac has always had a sense of Naïve purity. He was also a bit of a nerd that actually got excited about tax season. As a gimmick, he was actually intimidated by women very easily. It could almost be classified as a phobia. Looking back Mac’s powers were very bread and butter and effective: Offensively oriented but with Defensive capabilities.
What needs changed: Mac was a millionaire in the original. This is just wish fulfillment hogwash. It would be much more interesting if he was in the process of establishing his business presence, budgeting making his business thrive and affording doo-dads for the Super hero team. I would also impose clear disadvantage to his powers with clear weaknesses and limitations. His name: I don’t think he needs to have my last name. And it’s such bad form to give characters variations of your real name… *eyes Derrek*
Hero Name: Micro Kid
Real Name: (Redacted)
Powers: Super Speed (Time manipulation) / Flight / Ability to Shrink to microscopic sizes. (duh!)
Profile: Micro Kid was present when Mac gained his powers and had the same gene as him. He was a local orphan that saw the mansion grounds as an easy opportunity to make money.
What was good: Microkid was an earnest guy that could be counted on as much as Mac, despite his age (15) he is considered the second in command rather than a sidekick.
What needs changed: I sort of ‘forget’ that MK was supposed to be a saavy street urchin and quickly adopts his roots. While it’s OK that he makes the adjustment it should rear its head more often. His name, while the personality isn’t really a match, MK’s look was based on a friend of mine in school. I really shouldn’t use his name too…
Hero Name: Medic
Real Name: Joycelyn Jackson
Powers: Telepathy, Healing powers/factor, Super Strengh(?)
Profile: Mac’s twin sister, a licensed doctor, earned her powers from a Radiology experiment gone wrong. She wasn’t the only one exposed, but had to feign illness to avoid being revealed to have gained powers. During the down time she went to reconcile with her brother and confide in him the truth of her powers.
What was good: Joyce has always been a rather militant feminist, to a man hating degree. This is mostly due to a bad experience in high school that also placed a rift between her and her brother. I would likely play up the fact that they have things to sort out still. It is inferred that Joyce has the highest base strength of the cast but seems to ramp up when she’s angry. She’s a big girl at 6’ tall and well built. If I went on with Macro Corp, I would likely make this an official power, explained through hyperactive adrenaline.
What needs changed: Joyce never really had established super powers despite having one of the more developed backstories and personalities of the group. I’d want to avoid making her the metal powers chick character. I also would like to make her the ‘tank’ of the group as much as the healer.
Hero Name: The Form
Real Name: (Redacted)
Powers: Shapeshifting, multiple consciousness,
Profile: The Form is a happy- go-lucky scientist that took part in experiments involving cloning. His tampering triggered an incident that granted his cells the ability to work independently. Despite the fact he became a shape shifter he retains his actual form (A fat guy). Over all his theme was be content with who you are.
What was good: The Form was a sort of father figure to Mac even though his actual father was present. He was the voice of experience when it came to the group and the technical savant. That wouldn’t need to change.
What needs to change: Like MK his real name is a friend of mine from school. That should be changed. In combat I should have TF rely more on gadgets or provide a more supportive role. It also might be fun to make him focus primarily on stealth.
Hero Name: Mech
Real Name: Keri Lavelle
Powers: Telepathy / Master Markswoman
Profile: Keri’s backstory was actually fairly developed and tragic. She was actually approached with a ‘monkey’s paw’ sort of deal that turned her into a machine. She wished for a way out of her witch lineage and that’s what she got. Initially a villain, she was granted a human body again through The Form’s tampering with cloning, although not a permanent one. Sometimes she’s forced to retreat back to her metallic body until a new test-tube one can be prepared.
What was good: Keri’s attitude was always aloof and kind and her colors as a former assassin shone through in her mannerisms in the form of being meticulously thorough. I also had a lot of friction between her and Joyce. A Doctor and an Assassin are bound to have disagreements after all.
What needs to change: There’s no harm in her being the bombshell of the group, but Mech needs to be less forward when it comes to Mac. It was usually just played for laughs, and the reason for her infatuation for him was because he was the one that pulled strings to see she wasn’t prosecuted (her spot in the Macro Corp. is a sort of parole.) Also she needs to actively share the tech position with The Form thought instead of making her an accomplished robotics expert, it’s more that she understands how machines ‘think’ from being one.
Hero Name: Bandit
Real Name: (Redacted)
Powers: Shadow Manipulation, invincibility(?)
Profile: Bandit is a bratty, hormone driven, teenager that had the same passive gene flaw as the rest of the group. The object of his ‘affections’ is primarily Joyce and he takes a beating for it. No matter how badly he gets mauled he bounces back, it might as well be listed as a superpower. You could probably carry around a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and use it like smelling salts.
What was good: Bandit was actually one of the only people that used his powers for evil (read perversion) but at the same time that established his mastery of them and his desire to improve. Without any practical attacking powers he was decidedly on the B team, but that’s OK. He also held a great deal of spite towards MK, as he viewed him as the teacher’s pet.
What needed changed: Bandit’s ‘affections’ got a bit dicey at times, needless to say that has to be toned down even if he did get mauled for it. Again name for being loosely based on a real person. (The pervy part wasn’t based off of him! I swear!)
Hero Name: Indifferent Boy
Real Name: (Redacted)
Powers: Aura of apathy / inflicted apathy
Profile: IB was the extreme of mellow, and Bandit’s ‘sidekick’ of sorts, more like partner in crime. He outright aided Bandit in his pervy conquests but never seemed to get flak for it. Ironically his seemingly stupid super power is likely one of the strongest of the team.
What was good: IB’s presence and mannerisms worked. When he talked it was words of wisdom, simplistic and straightforward. He questioned the validity of actions and planted a seed of doubt when recklessness was out of place. Despite his power of apathy, there was cool air of confidence about him.
What needs changed: *sigh* his name. I would love to keep it, but to this day I can’t think of a hero moniker that would suit him. It would need to be a single word that captures his essence and approach. Like “Doubt” or something.
Hero Name: Necromancer
Real Name: Samantha Lavelle
Powers: Black Magic / Spiritual Channeling
Profile: Not a superhero persay, but Keri’s little sister was forced to take up the mantle of the surviving descendent of Morgan LeFaye. She wants nothing more to be rid of the title and live a normal life. She holds a great deal of resentment for her older sister that took that chance from her. Sam is a little on the cold side as her sister’s predicament did little to quell her spite.
What was good: Samantha is the only surviving member of my future writing exploits for a reason. She was confident and beautiful in her eyes before anyone else. The red-headed Sam surfaced in my later works as the raven haired Celestia Tershwind, same character base. She was actually in a frustrating relationship with Bandit that had its cute moments.
What needed changed: It was fine that Sam was French, but I had some pretty stereotypical aspects about her. I also need to attribute her interest in Bandit to a specific happening that steers her from her general disinterest in a monogamous relationship into seeing his true worth as an individual.
Hero Name: Redneck
Real Name: (Redacted)
Powers: Increased Agility endurance / Ability to talk to animals.
Profile: RN (God I know. I was a kid, leave me alone) was originally from Atlanta GA but found his way to New Orleans, LA shortly after his powers surfaced. He was stamped as crazy for talking to (and having conversations with) animals. Once there he met a bear cub he named Rusty and was content to live in the swamps near New Orleans. He met Mac when he realized the home he was building was close to his stomping grounds.
What was good: RN was some much needed age to the team laden with teens and twenty somethings he was exceedingly blunt about bad ideas and actually had a fair bit of tactical know-how.
What needed to be changed: His name, I’m sure with a bit of Brainstorming I could find something that noted his bayou theme. And in my defense he wore a red scarf all the time. -_-;;
Hero Name: Rusty
Real Name: Rusty
Powers: He’s a brown bear. He’s big.
Profile: A bear raised to think he’s a boy, he makes it habit to walk on his hind legs. Usually oblivious to the fact that he’s nearly 10 feet tall and people can’t understand him. He also seems to overlook the fact that he’s always naked. They gave him a pair of goggles to humor him when doing super hero duties though. He likes to say “Gra!”
What was good: His name was actually fine. He was good natured and loyal, as any good pet… er… boy should be. His comprehension of words struggled realistically when people besides RN talked to him, which could lead to some hilarious misunderstandings.
What needed changed: He talked with signs. That was ripped directly from Ranma ½. Instead I’ll just make it so he’s actually literate (but his handwriting can’t possibly be good). Things written should have terrible grammar and are likely usually mono-syllabic. “FUD!”
Hero Name: Kirin
Real Name: Kirin
Powers: White (Supportive) Magic
Profile: A fairy scaled up to people size (well technically) when Microkid saves her from extinction (yes one of the villians was so evil one of his passive objectives was to kill off faries) he uses the wish he gets from her thoughtlessly. ‘I wish you were my size’. This made it so she would match his size when he shrunk she would too (though in her case that technically meant returning to normal size).
What was good: Kirin was fairly oblivious to Microkid’s puppy crush on her. Her ridiculously sunny personality made it hard for him to steer the subject towards ‘date’ but they hung out together a great deal. Kirin actually made it practice to fold her wings in a modified backpack and had to disguise her horns as hair accessories. (She’s technically a sort of demon).
What needed changed: She needed a superhero name, but in my defense Mac was hesitant to take her into combat. Her metabolism is terrible and she is very, very fragile. She almost needs a name akin to my little pony ones that would make villians cringe in terror. ( a different sort of terror).
With that out of the way I’ll leave you with this weeks short story. I decided to keep with the theme further and take a stab at giving Krauner another shot at the spot light. I hope you enjoy the revisions as much as I did. Enjoy!
The Battle Zone
The lights of the arena dimmed to pitch black in the domed arena. Fifty thousand pairs of eyes scanned the darkness as a hush fell over the crowd like a warm blanket. It incubated build excitement on a low boil. It was opening night. Everyone had waited eagerly for the first taste. The season had begun after a long four month Hiatus. At its center a fifty yard square of canvas and stone waited below. It had laid dormant for long enough. It was time to shine.
A lone spotlight shone on a figure below a bellowing voice filled the arena. “In this corner, weighing in at two hundred and thirty six pounds, standing at six feet nine inches. You know him as a respectable contender with a record of 33 wins and 8 losses. BRUUUGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN HUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLL!”
The crowd erupted in response. Hoots, loud whistles, roars, horns, anything that could possibly make noise echoed through the stadium.
Brugan Hull was a no-nonsense fighter. It showed in his calm confidence even in the face of such a large crowd. This was his first time on the main stage, usually confined to the lesser arenas that housed a little less than ten thousand. A simple raised fist was his greeting to cheers of on lookers. He was a striker, and fairly popular at that. Strikers wore down their opponents with flurries of punches and kicks and were instant crowd pleasers. Announcers loved them too, it was easy to get the crowd behind a fight when big decisive hits were made.
He stretched idly rather than soaking in the attention of the crowd. Rows of brilliant fireworks burst about him as he made his calm stride to the battle floor. He was looking forward to this.
The lights stayed dormant save for the lone spot light trailing Brugan.
A thunder clap echoed throughout the arena with a lightning flash that illuminated the arena for but a brief moment. The details of the stadium faded to darkness along with the hush amongst the crowd. It fell quiet enough to hear a lone, steady tap echo though the speakers lined around the stadium. The tap evolved into a heartbeat. The pulsing sound reverberated through each and every soul in the room. Eyes scanned about, eager to see what he would do this time.
The pulse was deafening and effectively served to synchronize fifty thousand hearts. The only light was the one around Brugan.
Another thunderclap erupted. This one allowed the audience another look at the environs before it fell to black once more. The silence was dotted with muttering, eyes scanning for a glimpse.
Another thunder clap, the light’s presence lingered for longer this time. A familiar guitar rift blared through the stadium and the crowd erupted in cheers. They all knew what it meant: a particularly spectacular opening night.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, it’s time again for controlled chaos!” The announcer’s baritone voice fed off and fueled their excitement both. “Welcome. To the Battle Zone.”
A fire flash erupted in the edge of the arena opposite of Brugan and thick smoke billowed outward. Fireworks and flares erupted around the perimeter of the square arena. Brugan didn’t so much as flinch, he was well accustomed to the theatrics. He might not have ever foght on the main stage but he had watched countless fights here.
“This man needs no introduction. Standing at six feet tall, and two hundred pounds…. most of the time…” The audience paused for a few bits of laughter through the arena. “…with a record of 502 wins and 126 losses. The one and only KRAAAAAAUUUUUNEEEEEEER!”
The smoke cleared to reveal a man wearing an expensive grey suit. His black feathered hair was slicked back to polished perfection. Krauner was the proprietor of the Battle Zone and a walking enigma. No one knew where he came from or how he even fronted the staggering annual costs for the fighting complex. A good look at him, his dark skin, his facial features, his thick black hair, would peg him as Hispanic in origin. The truth in that was left unknown.
He wore a pair of sunglasses to mask his eyes and stood in a confident manner. He glanced up and regarded his opponent in a polite manner, the way one would greet an old friend. He began to walk and approach him. Brugan lowered his arms from stretching and watched him carefully; he made his way to meet him in the center. The crowd fell into a hush and every step of Krauner’s dress shoes and Brugan’s boots clacked noisily on the arena floor. He paused in front of him.
Krauner reached up and pulled off his sunglasses, pocketing them, then reached out a hand of greeting. His eyes were green, a piercing green that seemed to glow in low light. “May the best man win?”
Brugan smiled and returned the hand shake with one firm shake. As soon as they parted hands the fight began. This wasn’t an act of treachery this was the way of the ring.
Krauner sprung backwards and narrowly avoided a wide opening swing. During the jump he produced a pair of ruby red sunglasses; when they found his way to the bridge of his nose, all the shadows in the room seemed to coalesce to his position, engulfing him into a lightless void. The onlookers could only see it as a falling dark star that settled onto the opposite end of the arena floor.
Beams of light gathered from corners of the arena an pierced the blackness surrounding him. With each strike, blinding light highlighted and illuminated the man within. The cloud of shadow finally burst and Krauner was striking a balanced Kenpo stance. He was wearing a pale blue Karate Gi. Brugan had not sat idle though, and charged.
The second attack of the night was a strike from above, Brugan with an axe kick. Undaunted Krauner merely stooped down flexed his arm and drove his fist upward into his opponent’s stomach. The crushing impact echoed through the arena as Krauner’s momentum carried him another three feet upward before he spun and landed gracefully. Brugan finished his skyward trip on his back.
“When will people EVER learn. You don’t jump in on Krauner.” The announcer said as Brugan righted himself. The crowd cheered in response.
Krauner offered a smug smile and tightened his fighting gloves one by one and dropped back into a ready stance. Brugan charged on the ground this time, with a lighting right hook. Krauner blocked it tidily but struggled with the left that followed. A third straight right connected clean and staggered him.
“A brutal exchange from Brugan, tidily handled! No! A clean hit!” The announcer called.
Brugen stepped forward and tensed landing a second hit in Krauner’s stomach, then followed up with a proper uppercut to the jaw. Krauner toppled and slid backwards, inching close to the arena’s edge.
“The challenger has Krauner on the ropes! He’s going for a quick finish!” The announcer leaned forward in tense anticipation.
He did just that. He approached for a mount, but Krauner had sprung back from the strike as quickly as Brugen did. The two collided into each other headfirst, but neither of them flinched, neither wavered. Their eyes lost focus from the impromptu mutual head-butt and yet they remained standing. With unspoken agreement the two of them lunged backward into a drunken stagger. Neither of them wanted to rely on the other to remain standing. If they fell so be it.
Neither of them did.
Krauner’s heels were on the edge of the arena, he clapped his hands around his cheeks to shake out the dizzy sensation as Brugen watched him like a cautious hawk. He knew better than to assume Krauner’s focus was elsewhere. The champion of the Battle Zone had drawn benefit from his ruby shades many times. Not knowing where your opponent’s eyes were focused was a huge disadvantage.
“You’ve improved,” Krauner said calmly. He brought himself to a casual stand once he realized his opponent wasn’t falling for the ruse.
Brugen nodded. He wasn’t here for small talk. He was here to win. Regardless, hearing Krauner acknowledge that was a great honor. He might have been a clown, but he held his respect. He kept his eyes on his opponent but paced towards the center of the ring. He was not so foolish to fight a technical fighter at the ring’s edge.
“Back to square one folks! It looks like they’re taking it from the top!” the audience cheered their approval. A reset like that only meant the explosive action at the start of the match could be repeated for them.
Krauner happily complied and met him step for step. The short break in action benefitted both men. He stetched idly then twisted sharply away from Brugen. When the challenger considered the opening Krauner had sprung into a flying side kick that connected clean. Krauner’s left foot made impact with the challenger’s face sending him into a helpless spin in place. The impact of the strike echoed across the arena, an effect amplified by microphones placed on the competitors’ bodies.
“Another fan favorite! “ The announcer boomed.
Krauner landed from the kick and pivoted, he effortlessly closed back in on his stunned opponent and hefted him onto his shoulder with one arm. He free one pointed and the crowd erupted into cheers. He broke into a sprint toting Brugen a short distance before drilling him into the canvas with a power bomb.
“One!” The audience erupted.
Brugen groaned groggily as Krauner stood and effortlessly scooped up Brugen. He pointed to the opposite edge of the arena. He and tore into a sprint again.
“Two!” The audience called as the second power bomb drove Brugan’s helpless body into the mat.
He stood and pointed a third time. He broke into a leap half way to his destination and started a spinning tumble. Brugen wrenched control from the spin capitalizing on Krauner being winded from the sprint. Brugen was able to accelerate the tumble but finished the throw with the champion landing hard on the blades of his shoulders.
“Three!” The audience roared, initially oblivious of the reversal. Though it was made clear when it was Brugan who stood and not Krauner.
“What a development! The running three has been made a two and a counter!” The announcer said with pitched excitement.
Brugan staggered to a stand and reached down to Krauner’s fallen body. He wasted no time wrapping him up in a submission hold. The champion remained stunned from the throw and didn’t react until Brugen applied hard pressure on his shoulder and neck.
“This looks like it’s the end of the fight! It’s unlikely Krauner can weasel his way out of this one! But it looks like the champ has some fight left in him!” The announcer called to desperate gasps and cheers.
Krauner stood, forcing Brugan upright but the challenger didn’t lose his grip. Krauner winced, the impact from the throw along with the hold was making him drowsy. He hopped twice testing his legs and sprung upward while buckling forward. With expert control, he tumbled them so Brugan landed head on his shoulders and back.
“Nice!” The announcer called to cheers. “But was it enough?”
The answer was ‘no’. Brugan shut an eye, in clear pain, but he maintained his grip. They tumbled back, with Krauner held helplessly on top of Brugan in a prone position. All he could do was drive and elbow into the challenger’s side desperately. He managed after three strikes to get him to free him, but the damage had been done. Krauner rolled away but he could barely get himself to his elbows. While Brugan stood with little difficulty.
Brugan stumbled slightly as he approached but Krauner was in no state to fight. His eyes were vigilantly hidden by his ruby colored sunglasses but his arms were slumped and it was a small miracle that he was even standing. The challenger cracked his knuckles and wound up for a hard right aimed at Krauner’s cheek. A hush fell through the air as it connected, the resounding crack echoed through the arena.
Krauner’s body tightened as he took the brunt of the hit. It looked and sounded absolutely vicious but was only amplified by the fact that Krauner’s feet had planted in place. Sweat and saliva was tossed to the way side as his he reeled from the strike. An aftershock from the impact popped noisily, some of the onlookers had to cover their ears with a wince.
He didn’t fall though. Brugan’s strike had been a resounding success but instead of Krauner being tossed into a staggering spin his muscles tensed further and erupted forward with hard left cross. It connected clean and pushed him past his stunned opponent. Before Brugan could get his bearings a second hit, a turning hard right connected and planted him firmly on the canvas .
Krauner stood with his fist poised with the final punch, indignant and strong, but crumpled onto one knee and then sprawled out alongside Brugan, completely unconscious.
Brugan hadn’t been expecting the punch, let alone two but managed to bring himself to his feet. He wiped a at fat lip, a parting gift from the Champion of the Battle Zone before settling to a casual stand.
“Ladies and Gentleman! That’s the match! Our challenger stands triumphant!” the announcer called, his words were accompanied by noisy cheers.
Brugan gave a sideways glance to Krauner’s sprawled body, half expecting him to spring to his feet unharmed, but that was not the case. Brugan had the match won at the punch he landed on him. If the clown hadn’t intentionally took a bigger hit just to lose in a flashy fashion he would have been awake enough to walk out of the arena. He held up a hand to acknowledge the crowd. The roars deepened when he did so.
“Your Winner! BRRRRRUUUUUGAAAAAAN HUUULLLLLLLL!”
Brugan smirked, despite the fact the fan favorite was lying face down on the canvas, they cheered just the same. They were here for the fight, and nothing but. That was the very nature of the Battle Zone. It just made him wish Krauner could hear the roar of the crowd he had fueled. But he couldn’t help but notice the smile on Krauner’s face.