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"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." - Voltaire
Dr. Pascal Hugo Kaufmann. The Doctor. The Silver Scalpel. The Surgeon General. Medicus. L'Angelo della Morte. This man has many names and even more faces and identities. He is rumored to be many things. A psychotic serial killer that hunts metahumans. A top enforcer for a global conspiracy. One of the best assassins on the planet. Whatever he is, he is damn good at it.
"Trust me. I'm a doctor."
Dr. Pascal Hugo Kaufmann
The Doctor, Silver Scalpel, Surgeon General, Medicus, L'Angelo della Morte
Dr. Kaufmann is tall with the build of a man who exercises regularly. He usually has his shoulder-long black hair neatly combed and slicked back, preferring to wear it in a ponytail. He could be considered handsome if it weren't for his ghastly pale skin, the prominent dark circles under his eyes and the highly visible veins on his neck. To make matters worse the stress of his work and lifestyle have given him wrinkles and gaunt features which make him look older than he actually is. Another prominent feature is a large streak of white running through his otherwise black hair, covering up a large scar on his scalp. Surprisingly enough - given his line of work - he does not have any other noticable scars. He prefers to dress very classily in private and occasionally also sports expensive business suits on missions (which usually means that he needs a new one after the mission).
His common outfit on missions consists of a white dress shirt and black dress pants, both made of a special reinforced nanoweave fabric which allows these clothes to withstand certain amounts of kinetic force. Underneath it he wears a state-of-the-arts kevlar vest for additional protection. He also sports black leather gloves with hidden metal inlays to protect his hands and act as knuckledusters as well as black dress shoes with a special sound-dampening sole, metal tips and a hidden spring-loaded blade for emergency use. He also wears crimson-tinted shades equipped with a combat HUD, target identification software and several switchable vision modes. They are made from a reinforced material to prevent them from breaking easily in combat situations. He completes his outfit with a crimson-red tie and a long black scarf, usually loosely wrapped around his neck to hide the prominent veins. In the colder months of the year he also sometimes wears long dark trenchcoats with many hidden pockets to store additional equipment. He is also rarely seen without his briefcase. It is a silver-gray metal briefcase reinforced with a ultra-lightweight coating of titanium and has his personal emblem etched into one side: The Rod of Asclepios with a leech instead of a snake wrapped around it.
Grim facial expression optional, but highly encouraged.
"Who cares about the past? Life happens - and ends - in the Now." - The Doctor
Dr. Kaufmann's past is as mysterious as the doctor himself is. Some people claim that about five years ago he just showed up in Millenium City, selling his skills and talents to the highest bidder. People who dig deeper usually dont find out anything than rumors and contradicting stories. Some claim that he must have been part of some secret government project of the GDR of East Germany with the goal of creating the perfect secret operative. Others claim that he isnt even human, but some sort of vampiric freak of nature who got exiled by his brethren for being able to walk during the day and lacking other typical vampire weaknesses. Others claim that he was a simple physician in Berlin who snapped during the carnage of Dr. Destroyer's attack on the city and started killing the metahumans who hadn't managed to protect his family from Destroyer's robot legions. Some rumors say that he has a certain resemblance to the prime suspect of a series of murders of about 30 superheroes and supervillains all over the world, but no law enforcement agency ever has had any hard evidence (or managed to capture him). Often he shows up with some sort of legal coverage or official papers, which nobody has until now been able to prove to be forged.
The mysteries dont stop there though. What exactly is Dr. Kaufmann doing in Millenium City? Is he a highly skilled mercenary and assassin who will work for anybody? Is he the top enforcer of a secret global conspiracy of government officials, tycoons and crimelords? Or is he simply a rich thrill-seeker with a slightly murderous streak? Nobody knows for sure and Dr. Kaufmann usually brushes questions about his past or background off with a smirk and a smug comment. Most often heroes (and villains) will encounter the doctor swooping into the action with a mission he wants to accomplish at any cost necessary. Sometimes his current goal coincides with theirs and the doctor makes for a formidable ally and at other times their goals will be incompatible and then the doctor makes for a truly threatening foe. In any case he will usually disappear into the shadows with an arrogant smirk and a sarcastic comment as soon as his mission is finished.
Westside, Millenium City: A bomb threat of considerable magnitude caused the city administration to send a team of heroes to investigate and prevent the worst. The heroes managed to track the source of the threat and had to fight through a warehouse full of deadly traps and remote-controlled combat drones, before managing to confront the masked terrorist. In a close battle they managed to defeat and capture him, but before they could unmask him he revealed the location of his bombs: All over the city and already activated. The heroes had to split up to disarm each one in time. When they returned to the warehouse the mysterious terrorist had disappeared. Some of the heroes claim that the voice of the terrorist was very similar to Dr. Kaufmann's.
Westside Central Prison, Millenium City: Dr. Kaufmann is the prime suspect in the murder of the supervillain Blaster. Several of the assigned prison guards had complained about several incidents including technological malfunctions, unusually rowdy inmates and missing equipment, which kept them occupied with menial tasks and paperwork almost the whole night. Blaster was found in the morning in his still locked cell with his throat slit.
Project Greenskin, New Mexico: After the infamous German supervillain Offizier 99 tried to steal US nuclear weapons and had been stopped and captured by the US superhero Supreme, a prisoner transport was scheduled to bring Offizier 99 from Project Greenskin to Stronghold. Supreme himself escorted the convoy, which unfortunately never made it to Stronghold. A team of unknown but highly trained black ops soldiers under the leadership of someone resembling Dr. Kaufmann attacked the convoy, freed Offizier 99 and disappeared with the supervillain. Supreme died in the attack from a precise shot to the head with a bullet coated with kendrium.
Millenium City Convention Center, Millenium City: Witnesses claim that he was sighted in the crowd during a presentation of cybernetics and prosthetics mogul George Verner. The gala was crashed by supervillainess Litany, who Dr. Kaufmann allegedly helped fighting off. He disappeared together with a team of unknown black ops soldiers after relaying a message to George Verner. Mr. Verner still refuses to disclose the nature of the message.
Duskview Apartment Complex, Millenium City: Allegedly helped a group of heroes investigate the disappearance of a SWAT team in the Duskview Apartment Complex of Westside and battled the responsible supervillainess Spiderling together with the heroes. He disappeared just like Spiderling herself after an explosion brought down half of the building before further law enforcement personnel could arrive. Neither Spiderling's nor Dr. Kaufmann's body was found in the ruins.
Another satisfied customer.
Renaissance Center, Millenium City: During one of Dr. Destroyer's recent attacks on Millenium City, Dr. Kaufmann together with several unknown black ops soldiers has been seen in a black helicopter circling over a battle of several superheroes against one of Dr. Destroyer's Mega-Destroids. He has allegedly participated in the battle on the side of the heroes, taking several shots on one of the Mega-Destroids with a sniper rifle out of the helicopter.
City Center, Millenium City: Dr. Kaufmann is suspected to be involved with an instance of unusual energy readings that occured here. A group of heroes was sent to investigate those unusual spikes of dimensional energy near City Hall (Maxwell Ave.). Upon arriving at the site of the latest energy spike, the group of heroes disappeared and could not be found in any way, magical or technological. An hour later the group appeared again in the same spot and the energy spikes stopped. Witbesses claim to have seen Dr. Kaufmann in the area, but his involvement is still arguable, since the heroes have no memory of the time they 'disappeared'.
Old Detroit Memorial Park, Millenium City: Dr. Kaufmann is the prime suspect in the double murder of the superhero Captain Eagle and his sidekick Girlscout II. Captain Eagle and Girlscout II have been found dead (blasted with more thermobaric explosives and shot in the head respectively) in the area after their vehicle, the Patriot Plane, had been shot down by an unknown attacker using a thermobaric missile launcher.
Westside, Millenium City: According to witnesses, the leader of a group of VIPER agents responsible for a hostage situation near Carl's Gym had a striking resemblance to Dr. Kaufmann. The group of agents assaulted a jewelery store and took the girlfriend of a well-known and highly popular superhero hostage, while her boyfriend was trapped in the sewers of the city during an investigation after several hidden explosives went off. A group of unaffiliated heroes managed to free the hostage, but the group of VIPER operatives managed to escape. NOTE: The hostage's boyfriend was involved with the investigation of the above mentioned double murder of Captain Eagle and his sidekick.
Place de la Concorde, Paris: Dr. Kaufmann is the prime suspect in the murder of the French superhero Solar. Solar was to hold a speech about the importance of metahumans and baseline humans working together. He died in the middle of his speech from an until then unknown poison in his drink. A member of the catering service for the event was later found unconscious and tied up in his apartment in one of Paris' suburbs.
Ionizer HQ, Neo-Tokio: Dr. Kaufmann is the prime suspect in the murder of the Japanese superhero Ionizer. After Ionizer had battled against multiple unknown attackers in several areas of Neo-Tokio and investigated a rather large fire in the warehouse district, he was found poisoned and with various severe bone fractures just outside of his partly destroyed HQ on the outskirts of the city.
Rivertown, Millenium City: Dr. Kaufmann is the prime suspect in the murder of the industrial magnate Cornelius Preston AKA the retired superhero Forgemaster and the disappearance of his daughter Alice Preston. Cornelius Preston was found dead in his luxury mansion in the neighbourhood of Rivertown. No signs of forced entrance or other evidence has been found. Alice Preston is still missing.
PRIMUS Quarantine Zone, San Francisco: During the outbreak of an unknown virus with mutagenic properties in San Francisco Bay Area, Dr. Kaufmann has allegedly infiltrated the PRIMUS quarantine zone disguised as a FEMA special agent. After the outbreak had been contained, PRIMUS officials discovered that blood samples of infected individuals as well a batch of the vaccine had been stolen in the confusion.
Downtown, Millenium City: Dr. Kaufmann has been sighted during a kaiju attack on Downtown. Witnesses claim that he observed the battle between the giant monsters emerging from the Detroit River and several superheroes and occasionally contributed with precision attacks to help tip the battle in favor of the heroes. After the kaiju were driven away, he disappeared and a thorough search of the area provided PRIMUS investigators with no clue regarding his involvement.
Halcyon R&D Facility, Canadian Wilderness: According to underworld rumors Dr. Kaufmann has been participating in an attack on a R&D facility of Halcyon Industries in an remote area of Canada together with several other supervillains. The attack cost most of the guards and personnel their lifes, utterly destroyed the facility and unleashed a gigantic monster of unknown type onto the nearby forests. While the threat of the monster was later neutralized by a team of dedicated heroes, the purpose of the attack, the nature of Halcyon Industries' research at the site and Dr. Kaufmann's exact involvement in the affair is still unknown.
"The secret code to your base? Oh, you shouldn't have! What did it? My charming personality or the poison for which only I have the antidote?" - The Doctor
From the few times he has worked in a team with heroes, villains and individuals from various organizations it has become clear that he is not an easy person to have around. Apparently he considers himself to be a professional first and foremost and he takes his work very seriously. That leads to a rather stoic and impersonal approach to other people. What's also apparent is that he is quite arrogant. He seems to have a rather dismissive attitude towards anyone he does not consider his equal in skill, intelligence or simply style.
This boils down to a distinct sarcastic streak whenever he can get away with it, for example towards occasional henchmen or enemies on the battlefield who usually get the worst of it. Some people say that he is even more precise with his insults than with his sniper rifle. Others also claim that he can have surprising and extreme mood swings, going from cool and consummate professional to throwing temper tantrums that would even make Grond take a few steps back. Chances are that you will never see this side of him when dealing with him though. If he has too, he can be humble, charming, friendly and sometimes even downright flirtatious but always with an ironic smile.
Tactical genius at work.
The Doctor has once been described as being able to break a man's neck in a crowded room, shoot two more people and vanish before anyone knows what's going on. That is actually a pretty accurate description. Dr. Kaufmann claims to be one of the deadliest men on the planet and with his skills, experience and equipment in mind, few people doubt the deadly part, but some are not so sure about the man part...
Skills and Abilities
"I'd be famous for my deadly skills... If it weren't for my deadly skills." - The Doctor
Genius: Even though there exist no official documents to prove it, the doctor is certainly close to being a genius. His mind is as sharp as a razorblade, he has invented and continously improved countless strategies and tactics to deal with his enemies, he picks up new skills very fast and is incredibly cunning, easily outsmarting most people he meets.
Vast Common Knowledge: Dr. Kaufmann claims to be an actual medical doctor. Nobody can really confirm or disprove it, but he seems to have an excellent educational background. This has also proved useful on missions. Or did you know you could kill certain vampires by stealing his left sock and throwing it over your shoulder into a river which flows eastwards?
Medical Expert: Similarly Dr. Kaufmann at least seems to have received extensive medical training, which goes along well with his natural resourcefulness and intellect. He is a veritable genius when it comes to the practical application of the knowledge in his chosen field of work too...
Criminology: Over the course of his career the doctor has apparently learned much about modern criminological methods. Together with his intelligence this knowledge about crime scene investigation and forensic medicine have proven useful for him on many occasions. He can make any kill look like suicide.
Hacking: He claims to be no expert in this field, but over time he has gotten some experience with common security protocols, which allows him to infiltrate many locations without the need for specialized equipment.
Tactician: Whether it is his natural intellect or just years and years of experience on and off the battlefield, the Doctor has an uncanny grasp on strategies, tactics, plans and using his enemies' weaknesses against them in the most effective way possible. Still, when working with others he takes the role of the leader of a team only hesitantly, preferring to work from the background.
Multilingual: Dr. Kaufmann has been reported to speak several languages, including German (apparently his mother language), English on a native speaker level, Spanish on an advanced level, Japanese on a basic conversation level, Russian on a basic conversation level and bits of French.
Assassin Training: Anyone who has ever seen him in action has no doubt that the doctor is a deadly opponent. He seems to have been trained in the ins and outs of military combat and tactics along with extensive training with various common and less common weapons like sniper rifles, handguns, revolvers, submachine guns, shotguns, explosives, knives, throwing knives... and quite a few more. Years of travelling the world as an assassin, undercover agent and secret operative have granted the him vast knowledge in nearly every aspect of stealth operations, from espionage, stealth, disguises, surveillance, infiltration, exfiltration, crime evasion, assassination to how to mix a damn good martini. He claims to have fought and survived in some of the world's harshest environments against many extremely dangerous individuals and organizations, superpowered or not.
Stubborn Bastard: Whether it is a coping mechanism for a secret inferiority complex, a good bit of hidden insanity or something else, the doctor is extremely stubborn if push comes to shove. He ignores pain that would incapacitate others and resists telepathy and other attacks on his mind from all but the strongest invaders.
Martial Arts: The doctor has once said that he does not like melee combat, preferring the quick, precise shot of a sniper rifle or the subtle, clean work of a well-placed poisoned glass of water. Nobody knows if that was one of his sarcastic jokes, because the doctor is a quite competent and deadly melee combatant, who is apparently well-trained in several martial arts and other close-combat techniques. Though his fighting style seems to be a bit hodgepodge, some distinctive moves have suggested that he received training in tradtitional Western Boxing, Sambo, Muay Thai Boran and Brazilian Knife Fighting.
Marksman: There are people who shoot better than he does, no doubt. But not many. The doctor possesses an incredible proficiency and accuracy with firearms. Shots that would be all but impossible for common people are not really a challenge for him and "easy" shots he can pull off almost without looking.
Disguises, Deceit and Dirty Fighting: Possibly his most dangerous skill. When the doctor has a job to do, he does not f*ck around, but will do everything to win. He will take hostages, create morally-challenging scenarios for foes, exploit his enemies' personal tragedies and weaknesses, pervert medical knowledge, hire henchmen, utilize disguises and generally use every single dirty trick in the book. Some could say he wrote some chapters in said book. He also knows that kicking a girl in the crotch works.
"I dont fight, I kill." - The Doctor
Dr. Kaufmann claims to be a completely normal baseline human. While he is certainly not able to fly, throw fire from his hands or read minds, some people claim to have witnessed certain signs that make the doctor's claim dubious. For a normal human he seems just a bit too strong, lugging around his giant anti-materiel rifle a bit too effortless and punching a bit too hard. He seems a bit too resilient, taking hits that should put him down for a long time. His wounds seem to heal just a bit too fast to chalk it down to a good metabolism. He seems just a bit too perceptive with his incredible accuracy, precision and reaction time. Sometimes he seems to run, dodge and jump just a bit too fast to be just excellent training. And last but not least: He seems to move from shadow to shadow and between pieces of cover just a bit too smoothly and quickly, almost appearing to be teleporting small distances when nobody is looking directly at him. So, is it possible that he isnt quite baseline? Maybe there is some truth to the rumor that he is somewhere between human and vampire? Maybe there was some sort of super-soldier project in his background? Or maybe those abilities are the result of a continous abuse of illegal combat drugs? Or are those claims of inhuman feats nothing but exaggeration of his skills by witnesses?
Weapons and Equipment
Steady grip, check for obstacles, check for wind, anticipate target movement and bullet trajectory, adjust aim, breathe in, shoot, breathe out.
"I majored in medicine with a minor in pain." - The Doctor
Hexenschuss: A heavily customized and upgraded Heckler & Koch Mark 23, mostly used with silencer. Various upgrades, accessories and additional gimmicks make it a deadly all-around weapon and quite dangerous even against superpowered enemies when wielded by someone like Dr. Kaufmann.
Schreckschuss: A heavily customized and upgraded AMC Auto Mag. This handgun is the pinnacle of firepower in a small package. This weapon is powerful enough to blow the heads of normal humans clean off and even punch very nasty holes into werewolves and other highly resilient targets.
Blattschuss: This weapon may be one of the most advanced anti-materiel rifles on earth and is the doctor's pick for long range combat. It has incredible firepower, a laser triangulation system, a high-powered scope with several vision modes and the options to outfit it with a laser sight and a bipod. Despite its impressive size it is extremely light-weight and accurate and can be disassembled and carried in a briefcase. In the hands of a marksman like the doctor it becomes extremely deadly, even against superpowered individuals. Reinforced glass, common tanks and even most forms of standard power armor provide no shelter from Dr. Kaufmann's favorite weapon. Rumors say that it is based on the Truvelo .50 BMG Caliber Rifle.
Ammunition: The Doctor uses a wide variety of different ammunition.
- Normal Rounds: Including standard, full metal jacket, hollow point, armor piercing and incendiary.
- Depleted Uranium Rounds: Very expensive and very powerful.
- Remote-Triggered Explosive Rounds: Hold a powerful fordite charge, which can be detonated remotely.
- Poisoned Rounds: Break open upon penetrating the target and release a deadly mixture of poisons.
- Acid Rounds: Work in the same way as the poisoned rounds, but hold a potent acid instead.
- Blessed Silver Rounds: Made out of blessed silver, these are used against supernatural targets.
- Hypervelocity Rounds: A special magnetic flux core allows these bullets to utilize the geomagnetic field of Earth to accelerate to incredible speeds, which allow them to penetrate almost every type of protection. Devastating in conjunction with the Marker Rounds. Limited numbers.
- Phaser Rounds: These bullets contain a small teleportation generator, together with a simple AI. Those two devices allow the bullets to identify obstacles and 'phase out' before hitting one, effectively bypassing armor, forcefields and other barriers. Limited numbers.
- Marker Rounds: These bullets contain an array of monomolecular barbed hooks which activate upon penetrating the target, causing the bullet to be firmly stuck. A powerful magnetic beacon then activates, effectively 'guiding' any further bullets towards the target. Limited numbers.
Explosives: When discretion is not necessary, the doctor prefers explosives to take care of his targets. Almost all explosives he uses are fordite, which has impressive destructive power, even against the most heavily defended targets. The Doctor uses grenades, mines and (his favorite) remote-triggered bombs. He also uses non-lethal explosives, mostly flashbang, smoke or tear gas grenades.
The Incisor: The Incisor is Dr. Kaufmann's favorite (and only) melee weapon. It seems to combine aspects of a bowie knife and a surgical scalpel. It is outfitted with a silicone grip and the blade is made of cryogenically treated surgical steel coated by a layer of questionite dust. Additionally it has been perfectly calibrated and balanced for the doctor, making it a highly dangerous weapon in his hands.
Syringes: The needles of these stainless steel syringes have been reinforced and cryogenically treated, allowing them to pierce metahuman skin in most cases. The syringes themselves are filled with various deadly poisons or anesthetics, most of them adjusted to be able to affect metahuman metabolisms too. Dr. Kaufmann uses commonly known poisons, but has created some specialized ones to deal with metahuman enemies, like...
- Stranglehold: Stranglehold, created of a chemically enhanced version of the common poison ivy's toxins causes rapid respiratory shutdown along with causing painful pharyngal contractions, making it impossible for the target to breathe. It's not unheard of victims of Stranglehold to suffocate in the span of less than a minute.
- Whiplash: Whiplash is an artificially enhanced version of the neurotoxin of the box jellyfish. It amplifies nerve conductivity to extreme levels and causes the thermoreceptors of the target to work on overtime, causing such extreme pain that even moving becomes unbearably painful for the target. The doctor uses it to capture prey alive.
- First Blood: First Blood saturates the bloodstream of the target with an experimental chemical that causes extensive haemolysis and thins the blood of the target to an extreme level, causing rapid exsanguination. The target's blood runs from every wound and orifice in a horrifying display of Dr. Kaufmann's medical genius. He likes it for the psychological shock value.
- Liquid Spite: There is no universal solvent, but Liquid Spite comes very close. Held in magnetic suspension in a specially designed syringe, because he has not yet found any container that could hold it, Dr. Kaufmann uses this potent acid to dissolve the most heavily secured locks, armors and ultimately metahuman flesh and bone.
- Nightmare: Eager in his attempts to weaponize everything he knows, the doctor created this poison as a method of instant psychological warfare. This artificial neurotoxin hyperstimulates the part of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response. The target is overcome by an overwhelming sense of panic and fear without any obvious reason. In some reported cases the psyche of the victim actually invented some sort of dreadful imagery to justify the feeling, sometimes involving demonic apparations of Dr. Kaufmann himself. He finds the thought highly amusing.
Combat Drugs: Though they have devastating long-time effects on his body (and mind), the doctor utilizes combat drugs and stimulants freely in battle to give him that little advantage he needs. He is certain that his own medical genius will prevent him from sustaining any long-lasting damage from the drug abuse. It's still unknown if he is right about that. Commonly used by him are...
- Blitz: This combat drug increases alertness, improves concentration and enhances reaction speed by drastically speeding up the communication between the left and right brain halves. Taken in small doses for short periods of times, it is mostly harmless, but extended use can lead to paranoia and anxiety attacks. The doctor uses it to boost his already impressive reflexes and dexterity in combat to even higher levels.
- Serenity: This drug is a potent cocktail of morphine and amphetamines. A single shot of Serenity is enough to surpress the pain from nearly any injury without the side effects usually associated with similar substances. Serenity has to be handled with great care, as it is highly addictive. The doctor uses it in anticipation of a particulary hard battle, to prevent any sort of pain to interfere with his combat performance.
- Berserk: Berserk is a drug that stimulates the adrenal gland of the user with acetylcholine, causing it to substantially increase the adrenaline production. Users feel an almost instant boost in strength after taking it, along with increased aggressiveness. Berserk is easily overdosed and can lead to fatal heart attacks. The doctor uses it to surprise his enemies with a sudden burst of strength and speed.
- Prometheum: Prometheum, named after the Titan who endured an eagle eating his liver every day, saturates muscle fibres and makes them extraordinarily resistant to the stress and tension of use, allowing the user to exert himself greatly for a certain amount of time. Unfortunately the pain that this drug surpresses comes back in full after the effects wear off. The doctor uses it to ensure that his combat performance isn't hindered by exhaustion.
Microfilament Wire: A length of very sharp but still very durable microfilament wire, the doctor keeps the wire on a coil under his sleeve. His gloves can emit a tiny electric charge which activate magnetic properties in the wire and allow it to stick to his fingertips. That way the he can handle the deadly wire without danger of hurting himself. The doctor uses the wire as a garrote, whip or to set up traps.
Doppelganger: This useful little device known as the Doppelganger is a high-tech holographic projector. The doctor uses it in combat to trick and deceive his enemies. It has a wide range of pre-recorded situations and movements of Dr. Kaufmann available, complete with audio and video. One of his favorite tactics is to let one of his holograms 'shoot' at the enemy, while he synchronizes his shots with the hologram from a completely different direction, confusing the enemy and bypassing shields, armor and other defenses.
Assassin's Outfit: While he prefers not to get hit at all (which works most of the time), the doctor's usual clothing is made of a reinforced nanoweave fabric, which allows it to withstand certain amounts of kinetic force. For additional protection, the Doctor wears a state-of-the-arts Regor kevlar vest beneath it. The clothes also have limited thermal regulation abilities, which allow the doctor to wear them in moderately hot or cold enviroments, but extreme conditions still require him to wear specialized clothing. They also house numerous pockets and secret compartments to hold his equipment. His gloves are made of resilient black leather and contain tiny compartments of metal to protect his hands and give his punches a little more force. His shoes are also made of black leather, but with a special sound-dampening sole, metal tips and a hidden spring-loaded blade. The doctor's scarf houses a hidden rebreather. All of his clothes are flame-retardant to a certain extent.
Assassin's Shades: These crimson-tinted shades are a marvel of technology and allow him spectacular feats of accuracy. They are equipped with an advanced combat HUD, target identification software, several vision modes, including night vision, thermal vision and sonar vision and have magnifying properties, allowing the doctor to perceive even miniscule details accurately. They are also made from a reinforced material to prevent them from breaking easily in combat situations. The Doctor possesses several designs purely for style.
Cell Phone: While many superheroes and villains prefer wrist computers, the doctor likes it oldschool in this field. His cell phone is a standard business blackberry improved in numerous ways by unknown experts. It is heavily encrypted and features a satellite uplink as well as an universal detonator for the doctor's explosives. It also houses an encrypted access link to his personal databases, a web-browser, GPS and a unique almost hack-proof operating system. It also has a high-tech version of Tetris.
Other Equipment: The Doctor also sometimes uses other, more common equipment. He possesses a notebook with the same capabilities as his blackberry, high-tech binoculars with similar vision modes as his shades, an extremely powerful flashlight with UV capabilities, a lockpick set, questionite zipcuffs stolen from Special Unit Omega of the MCPD, a small rebreather, duct tape (of course), a multi-tool and several other more or less useful gadgets. Most of his equipment (along with his sniper rifle if he brings it with him) is carried in a reinforced steel briefcase with his personal logo (a leech wrapped around the Staff of Asclepios) etched on the side.
Ghost Touch: Early in his career the doctor figured that something which put most professionals behind bars - fingerprints - would not be a weakness for someone like him. He smoothened the tips of his fingers in a painful procedure using specialized biological acids, so his fingerprints disappeared forever. The tips of his fingers are now completely blank and leave no fingerprints at all.
Killer Skin: A professional is nothing without his equipment, but sometimes you just cant bring your briefcase full of murder tools with you. The doctor found an ingenious, but horrifying way around this problem. Making a small incision on a suitable part of his skin, the doctor was able to insert some small pieces of equipment under his skin and let the wound heal, creating a subdermal pocket to hold that item. Currently the doctor has four of them. One on his left thigh holds a high-tech lockpick and two on the inside of his upper arms hold a capsule of emergency combat drugs each. Nobody knows where the fourth subdermal pocket is and what it holds though.
"Aaand I'm on painkillers again. Great. This will hurt so much later." - The Doctor
Despite his own claims, the doctor is not without weaknesses.
Not So Super...: Dr. Kaufmann might be one of the world's deadliest men and maybe he is not fully human, but his power level is actually quite low compared to most metahumans. In terms of raw power he is still quite far down on the food chain.
Combat Drug Addict: While they are his trump card, they are also a big weakness. They have some uncomfortable side effects, have to be dosed carefully and the withdrawal symptoms can be severe. Not to mention that they are also anything than easy to acquire.
Enemies: During his time in the business, the doctor has made a lot of enemies, heroes and villains alike. There are many individuals and groups who would love to get their hands on him and then make sure nobody else ever does again.
Big Ego: Arguably the doctor's greatest weakness is the fact that he is incredibly convinced of his own superiority - intellectually and otherwise towards... everyone. And he goes out of his way to prove it, which often makes his jobs much, much harder than they would have to be.
Lonely at the Top: At least the doctor thinks it should be. Not only does he mistrust most people on principle, his arrogance and conviction of his own superiority also often prevents him from accepting help from his true allies, even when it would maybe be wise to do so.
"Ladies and Gentlemen: Showtime." - The Doctor
((Should this category be edited with one of your characters? Tell me!))
Nobody knows who Janine is, but she seems to act as Dr. Kaufmann's mission control and handler. He has been observed to communicate with her in a nontypical casual style, suggesting some kind of personal relationship. Otherwise not much about her is known, except for the fact that she seems very capable at whatever her responsibilites exactly are. Dr. Kaufmann himself refuses to divulge any further information about her in front of mostly anyone.
The Middle Men
The Middle Men, Organizers of the Mercenary Underworld
((OOC Note: The Middle Men are not my invention, but that of @swedsman. Ask him for more info!))
The Middle Men are a curious organization that handles a worldwide bounty hunter network known as the Bounty Board that works to bring contracts and clients closer to the actual bounty hunters who choose to peruse the Middle Men's services and partake in the ranking. The Middle Men themselves work as messengers and liasons, taking the contracts from client anonymously and passing them onto an interested "Contractor", which is a universal name for mercenaries, contract killers, soldiers of fortune and bounty hunters used by the Middle Men. Once the contract is completed, the Middle Men pick up the money from their client and hands it over to the bounty hunter. If the client refuses to pay... well, then the Middle Men will give up their identity to the unpaid contract killer. That is the only time they will give out the client's identity. They all dress in a similar manner, fit for someone in mourning. A man only known as Smiling Man seems to be their de facto leader. All of them are believed to have been former assassins, and while noone can be certain they are indeed a force to be reckoned with and not to be taken lightly. That said, there seems to be few records of their actual work.
Wayland Talos, Underworld Weaponsmith
Wayland Talos is THE man you want to go to when you need a perfectly calibrated blaster rifle, a set of razor-sharp knives with questionite coating or a custom hoverdisc and dont want to worry about the legal intricacies of such gadgets. He is an arms dealer, inventor and technological consultant, who is eager to sell his wares and services to the highest bidder, especially if that bidder shares Talos' hatred of superheroes. Earlier in his life, Talos' wife Maria died in a terrorist attack a group of superheroes was unable to stop, because the terrorists were much better prepared and armed than the heroes expected. Talos blamed his wives death on the incompetent superheroes and let his hatred consume him. Subsequently he lost his job as a technology designer due to his obsessive hatred and brooding, which he also blamed on the superheroes. He was determined to get revenge on the so-called heroes who ruined his life and began to use his immense technological expertise to provide criminals, terrorists and anyone else who would fight against superheroes with weapons, gadgets and equipment. While none of Dr. Kaufmann's standard equipment seems to be made by Wayland Talos (or any other known black market supplier), he is known to have contacted the weaponsmith on several occasions for more exotic or specialized equipment.
"We can't stop here. This is New Shadows turf." - The Doctor
((Should this category be edited with one of your characters? Tell me!))
Mercenaries, Assassins, Hitmen, Psychos for Hire
The mercenary underworld is a dangerous place. Alliances are formed, then break up after a single quarrel. Partnerships are established before both partners stab each other in the back over the earnings of a job. Codes of honor are held up high, then discarded as the situation makes it necessary. Profits are shared brotherly, before everyone is out for himself again. Nothing is for sure in this world. People change sides faster than bullets and who is your friend today, might be your enemy tomorrow.
Devana Hawke, Dr. Kaufmann's Favorite Person To Hate
Is a super-powered do-gooder constantly throwing a monkey wrench in your schemes? Need them taken down quietly? For the right price, (and if she's interested) Devana Hawke will take on the assignment. Not one to simply go in guns blazing, Devana will take her target down at the most opportune time. Usually when the target is at their weakest, physically and mentally. Whether it means orchestrating situations to break down heroes or get to them through their loved ones, Devana always completes her assignments by any means necessary.
Devana Hawke, master archer and recent addition to the Millennium City supervillain community is quite possibly the one person on earth the doctor hates the most. The two instantly disliked each other over the simple fact that they were stealing each other's business. Since then their professional rivalry has grown into an absurd hatred and subsequent cold war, which turns searing hot instantly when they see each other. They have been fighting their personal little war in the criminal underworld of Millennium City ever since.
Killshot, The Rival
Killshot, or simply K, is one of the currently most active and successful top assassins on the planet. Blessed with enhanced senses, an impressive regeneration ability and years upon years of experience in combat, Killshot belongs to the very best in the business. His most impressive feat is his incredible accuracy and proficiency with firearms, which easily outshines Dr. Kaufmann's own marksmanship. Killshot has been known to do freelance work for various individuals and organizations, but is rumored to be connected to certain unsavory elements in ARGENT.
While Dr. Kaufmann feels mostly contempt for other mercenaries and assassins below him in the ranking (and outright hate for Devana Hawke), he musters a certain respect for the older man, not only because Killshot has proven to be very capable of claiming Kaufmann's rank. In certain circles bets have already been made who will hold the title of '5th Deadliest Assassin on Earth' at the end of the year. Some favor the titleholder Dr. Kaufmann due to him running in the Bounty Board for a longer time, while others cite Killshot's recent streak of successes as a sign of change. Killshot and Dr. Kaufmann have already met during a formal gathering of various kinds of criminals on neutral ground, but have yet to encounter each other on the battlefield. We advise any heroes to not get caught in the crossfire.
Spiderling, the Matriarch of Spiders
A peculiar contract made it necessary for Dr. Kaufmann to work together with a team of heroes, much to his dismay. Undercover he joined the heroes to help investigate the case of a disappeared SWAT team in the Duskview apartment complex near the docks of Westside. Not only did they find lots and lots of cobwebs inside the apartment complex, but also residents too terrified to leave their rooms of 'something stalking the halls at night'. For the doctor this contract was beyond annoying. Not only did he have to skulk around in a dirty, low-class apartment complex, he also had to do it together with a group of superheroes he considered 'more than unprofessional' to use his least insulting thought. It all got worse when they were attacked by a huge swarm of spiders, led by their monstrous matriarch Spiderling. After a series of unfortunate incidents during the battle, like one of the heroes sending the doctor falling down a set of stairs accidentally, Spiderling was still defeated. The finishing blow against the arachnid antagonist was struck by a - at that point very angry and very annoyed - Dr. Kaufmann, who used a well-placed high-powered explosive to bring a good part of the apartment building crashing down on Spiderling. She has been assumed dead since then, but is she? And if she still alive, did she take exception to being blown up with a thermobaric mine?
Comments and Rumors
"If it's so easy to bring me in, why am I still free?" - The Doctor
Do you have anything to say about this mysterious assassin? Rumors, gossip, leads for other heroes? Here's the place for it.
"Dr. Kaufmann, or simply "The Doctor" is considered the 5th best assassin in the world according to the Bounty Board, ranking just behind Jack Knife (4), The Tallyman (3), Andrès Panthanatos (2) and of course, Taipan (1). He's closely followed by the likes of Killshot (6), Devana Hawke (7), Mechassassin (8) and Clownface (9) and competes with Killshot over the title "Meta Hunter", given to the assassin who has taken down the most metahumans in their careers." - The Middle Men
"Guy needs to remember what got him where he is today. He's holding himself back from what he's -really- capable of." - Clownface
"Zis man is a Monster, ich vill be on zee vatch for him, und ich vill stop him, ich does not vish for anymore lives to be taken." - Fräulein Über
"I've heard rumors 'bout this bloke, a very messed up individual. 'ell I remember when I first met the bastard, and all I remember 'bout him is his sellin' of organs from personally killed metas... Still, apart from that I've heard he is a capable combatant. He just best watch it, comin' for his spot on the board." - Killshot
"He has a reputation, even if he tries to keep it quiet. Impressive. One day, we might have to see who is the better assassin, if a contractor so wills it." - "Crow"
"If I'm ever going to meet this guy, I better tell him I'm not an Ex-Nazi." - Anonymous
"What happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force? You put this guy, and I, together. He's almost my direct antithesis in terms of combat skill, fighting style, even appearance. I get the nasty feeling the two of us are going to come to blows one day, and it's not gonna be something to write home about!" - Snowtalon
The following information is to be taken with a grain of salt, as most of it either comes from witnesses that observed him during a mission or from Dr. Kaufmann himself.
Dr. Kaufmann has alluded to having a sister.
Dr. Kaufmann is not fond of any jokes comparing him with vampires.
Dr. Kaufmann smokes. His favorites are European import brands like Gauloises, West and Peter Stuyvesant.
Dr. Kaufmann claims to love playing chess (but apparently sucks at it).
Dr. Kaufmann apparently once caused an earthquake in Timbuktu. He seems to be moderately sorry for it.
Dr. Kaufmann is very proud of the fact that during his long career in The Business he has never broken a single bone. However he has strained several joints, sprained his ankles numerous times, has been stabbed in several body parts, once caught an extraterrestrial cold, suffered from insomnia for 3 months after a battle against PSI and has been injured in many more more or less amusing ways.
Dr. Kaufmann claims his birthday is April 18th.
Dr. Kaufmann allegedly once managed to convince an alien warlord that his personal rival's underwear drawer is a 'strategically sound ambush position'. Devana Hawke has not yet commented on this.
Dr. Kaufmann claims to have killed a man using a trumpet, a cactus and a dropkick, but doesn't like to talk about it any further.
Dr. Kaufmann's normal, unarmored business suits tend to have a spectacularly short lifespan. Somehow they always end up burned, ripped, dunked in strange liquids or otherwise ruined after two weeks at the latest.
Dr. Kaufmann is a spectacularly bad driver, but does not acknowledge that fact.
Dr. Kaufmann once claimed to having the power of toasterkinesis. We are pretty sure he doesn't.
Should there ever be a Champions Online Live-Action Movie, my picks for the actor of Dr. Kaufmann would be Adrien Brody or Billy Burke.
The sections below have not yet been reworked._____________________________________
Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette - Long nights filled with secret operations, battles and other shady activities along with a diet mostly consisting of cigarettes and coffee have taken their toll on the doctor's appearance. His combat drug addiction doesn't help.
Red Eyes, Take Warning - No, Dr. Kaufmann's eyes dont glow in any supernatural shade of red. Actually they are dark brown, dull and pretty boring, but his desolate health manifests here too: They are almost constantly bloodshot.
Creepy Shadowed Undereyes - The doctor does not sleep enough and spends his awake time with activities that are less than positive for his health. Luckily he has the habit of wearing shades all the time, so this trope (and the above one) isn't that apparent.
Tainted Veins - And here's yet another reason why experimenting on yourself with all kinds of combat drugs is generally a bad idea. Who knew?
Skunk Stripe - The doctor firmly refuses to talk about it and nobody is really brave enough to poke any deeper, but it certainly adds to his slightly creepy appearance.
Sharp-Dressed Man - Do you see that outfit? The tie has probably cost more than your whole equipment.
Sinister Shades - While he has several good reasons not to take his shades off in public, he actually likes wearing them just to look intimidating and mysterious.
Scarf Of Asskicking - Apart from the fact that it houses a small hidden rebreather, Dr. Kaufmann wears the scarf mostly for sentimental value. He had that particular scarf for a very long time.
Deadpan Snarker - It's his way of dealing with the world. Unlike many other snarkers he goes less for witty puns, but more for plain sarcasm. Often he doesn't even realize he's talking down to someone.
Smug Snake - In case you did not notice: He thinks he's better than you and will inform you about it, wether you want to hear it or not. Unfortunately...
Insufferable Genius - ...he is better at many things than most people, giving his grossly inflated ego at least some justification. Please dont encourage him any further though.
Surrounded By Idiots - Sometimes he is, sometimes he isn't, but that doesn't stop him from feeling like that often. Though he also tends to question other people's cognitive abilities for simply not agreeing with him.
Wicked Cultured - Dr. Kaufmann prides himself on being a cultured individual with refined tastes. Among the many things he enjoys are jazz music, modern art, fine wine or whiskey and using the latest batch of his custom poisons on unsuspecting superheroes.
Neat Freak - He has a bit of an obsession with being neat and clean all the time, since he considers that the sign of a true professional. While it is not bad enough to get in the way of missions, it is one of the main reasons while he prefers to fight indirectly and/or from a distance.
Pragmatic Villainy - Dr. Kaufmann is neither unnecessarily cruel or evil, not because it would be wrong, but because it just wouldnt fit in his personal view of himself. He once refused to kill a defenseless heroine. Why? Because he might get a contract on her later.
It's All About Me - Nobody knows for sure, but many people strongly suspect that this is the doctor's entire motivation for doing what he does. He wants to satisfy his ego and make a ton of money on the way to live a luxurious life.
The Sociopath - Unfortunately for the rest of the world, Dr. Kaufmann is not entirely sane. While he can relate to other people in some way, he still sees himself as far more important than anyone else and his needs and wishes have priority over such things as other people's rights or lives.
Trash Talk - Some people do this consciously in an effort to demoralize and intimidate the opponent. The doctor does this unconsciously because he's an arrogant douchebag.
Improbable Aiming Skills - Dr. Kaufmann loves his firearms, because when using them, he doesn't have to get his hands overly dirty and that love certainly shows. Once he has the target in his sights, the client can usually already start transfering the money.
Knife Nut - If he has to go into close combat, the doctor favors running away. If he really has to, he prefers to use his customized combat knife, the Incisor, to end things quickly. And for someone who hates melee combat, he is frightingly good at it.
Car Fu - It's not like he needed another way to kill people, but whenever Dr. Kaufmann gets behind the steering wheel of any kind of vehicle, carnage usually follows. The problem here is that quite often it is unintentional. He is simply a really, really, really bad driver. Pray to God if he gets his hands on heavy machinery...
Functional Addict - Dr. Kaufmann smokes expensive import cigarettes from Europe, needs a few cups of coffee in the morning to get going, tends to have a few drinks too much at sometimes inappropriate times and uses his combat drugs a little too freely. He is also perfectly capable of kicking superhuman ass into next week without any of these (Though he doesn't see the point in doing so...)
How Dare You Die On Me! - In rare cases Dr. Kaufmann can be pretty protective of his henchmen and allies. However not out of a sense of empathy, but rather because experiencing that he is not the only cause of death first-hand makes him feel somewhat uneasy. Despite the fact that death is an almost daily part of his job, he doesn't like to be reminded of the fact that he isn't immortal.
Weirdness Magnet - Probably not remarkable in Millennium City, but this trope drives him mad at every occasion. How are you supposed to work if there's always some alien invasion getting in the way of your contracts?
Noodle Incident - The doctor has some of those in his past. He generally doesnt like to talk about them.
Celibate Villain - Dr. Kaufmann and romance... Oh, well. He has by no means taken any vow of chastity, so he would, if the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately he realizes that love is a weakness and subconsciously acts like it, which means that he cant explain himself why he doesn't get any.