Friendly Fire

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Friendly Fire
Player: @Geisha-Deconstruct
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"People change. The past doesn't."
Character Build
Class Focus: Flaming Glass Cannon
Power Level: 40
Research & Development: N/A
Biographical Data
Real Name: Aurore St-Cyr
Known Aliases: Friendly Fire, Fire
Gender: Female
Species: Metahuman
Ethnicity: Caucasian
Place of Birth: San Francisco
Base of Operations: The Phoenix Building (Guardian Tower), Millennium City
Relatives: Sebastien St-Cyr (father), Anne-Marie St-Cyr (mother), Vincent St-Cyr (brother)
Characteristics
Age: 26
Height: 5'5
Weight: 109lbs
Eyes: Right - Green; Left - Cybernetic (provides vision only - no further enhancements)
Hair: Natural - light blonde. Dyed - bright red. Long
Complexion: Very Pale
Physical Build: Slight, toned, trending towards underweight
Physical Features: Heavily Tattooed Upper Arms
Status
Alignment:
██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██

Neutral Good

Reputation:
██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██ ██

Memorable

Identity: Public
Years Active: 2005-Present
Citizenship: US Citizen
Occupation: N/A
Education: High School Diploma
Marital Status: Involved
Known Powers and Abilities
Pyrokinesis
Equipment and Paraphernalia
Rarely-Worn Guardians' Lightly Armoured Costume
Attributes
 
   Strength
   Endurance
 
   Agility
   Speed
 
   Fighting
   Projectiles
 
   Durability
   Resistance
 
   Intelligence
   Psyche
 
   Intuition
   Charisma
 
ReldinBox Template



((Please note that I have, for the forseeable future, retired this character. I'll leave this page as is, for reference purposes.))

Friendly Fire, formerly based in San Francisco with ex-teammate Collateral Damage, is a metahuman heroine now co-Leading The Ultimate Guardians in Millennium City. Her superhuman abilities allow her to create and manipulate fire, and she is known for both her fine control of these powers, and the intensity with which she can project them. She is occasionally viewed as "stand-offish" by the public and press, mostly due to her reluctance to give interviews or allow her image to be used for merchandising purposes, although those that know her well would definitely argue otherwise.

((Please consider all information presented here as OOC knowledge, unless stated otherwise. Please do not use any information given here to meta-game!))

Contents

The Past

In The Beginning...

Aurore St-Cyr was born in San Francisco, the second child of Sebastien St-Cyr, a small-time art dealer and gallery owner, and his socialite wife, Anne-Marie. They were decidedly disinterested parents, mostly leaving Aurore and her older brother, Vincent, in the care of a string of au pairs. Other than this Aurore's early childhood was relatively normal from her perspective, her au pairs shielding her from a lot of the realities that surrounded her. The distinct, ghost-white tone of her skin was present from birth, and although it is now a confirmed aspect of her meta-human mutations, at the time she as believed to be merely leucistic.

It was Aurore's older brother, Vincent, that can be primarily blamed for the violent manifestation of Aurore's abilities, and it is believed by a number of specialists in meta-human genetics that had they not manifested in the manner in which they did, a much less disastrous manifestation would have occurred. For a number of years, Vincent had been beginning to display a number of distressing behavioural patterns - animal cruelty, a fascination with fire above what is considered "normal", and eventually cruelty to other children at school. Whether or not Mr. and Mrs. St-Cyr were aware of these issues remains unknown - certainly if they were, they did not make any attempt to discourage or aid their son from his violent tendencies. Things came to a head on a warm summer's afternoon in Aurore's 14th year.

Photographs of Aurore as a teenager are few and far between.

Mr. and Mrs. St-Cyr were, as always, absent from the family home. It has never been determined where Vincent acquired the gasoline, although given his age it is likely that he purchased it himself. The following is an excerpt from Ms. St-Cyr's application interview for The Ultimate Guardians, detailing the event:

"I was fourteen. It was summer. I was in the garden, reading. My parents were, I don't know where. Dana, our au pair, had the afternoon off, she was taking a shower or something. Umm... So... He was always so quiet, you know? Vincent. You'd never hear him until he was right next to you, looking at you with those eyes... The first thing I was aware of was the cold splash and the smell... As I scrambled to my feet, I saw him strike the match... He was grinning, this... strange, creepy little smile as he threw it at my feet. I was so scared, and angry, and then, when the flames jumped from me to him, leaving me unharmed..."

A passing neighbour was the first on the scene, extinguishing the fire and rushing both children to the hospital. Initially it was believed that Aurore had started the fire - Vincent's extensive scarring lending weight to the theory - although it did not take long for the exact course of events to come to light. Although his daughter was not aware of the fact, Mr. St-Cyr was a supporter of the Institute for Human Advancement, and the revelation that his own daughter was one of the "metas" that he campaigned against caused him to further reject her. Vincent later disappeared from the hospital, forging his mother's signature on the discharge sheet.

Although on the surface, Aurore's parents enforced the appearance of normality, trying to hide her abilities from their friends as well as they could, Aurore found it increasingly difficult to cope. Between struggling to control her new-found powers, the aforementioned family issues, and the slew of hormones, emotions, anxieties and social issues that come as part of teenage existence, the already shy and awkward girl became more withdrawn and distracted, rapidly losing interest in her studies.

"I guess all the stress and lack of control, and dealing with accidentally burning stuff up when I got upset, or angry, or hormonal; never mind everything else that goes with being a teenager and being in high school; I guess it just got too much. I kinda, snapped a little I think. Umm... Withdrawing into myself and other stuff like controlling what I ate and when was about the only way I could feel like I could have some semblance of control again. And I guess it got worse and worse, just a cycle, a spiral. Binge, burn, fast, avoid other people. Over and over. Eventually, I had to be hospitalised..."

Oak End

Under the care of Doctor Duncan O'Connell, Oak End Psychiatric Institute is a ((player-created)) facility on the outskirts of San Francisco. The facility is not a large one, housing up to thirty residents in its general wards, with an additional, high-security wing designed to hold five more. The grounds are reasonably extensive, and include facilities such as a greenhouse, small "farm" and tennis court. It is here, that once her eating and anxiety disorders spiralled out of control, that Aurore spent most of her teenage years. Aurore spent eight months as a temporary resident, staying for a week here and there for observation, before the decision was made, when she was fifteen, that her stay should become more permanent. From this point, she was resident at Oak End for four years.

Despite the high level of care and treatment available, Aurore initially rejected any conscious attempt at recovery:

"I kind of resisted trying to get better, you know? I was scared of myself, and that... kind of hospital? It's really safe there. You can hide. You can just avoid the real world if you want to. And I did. For a long time. Didn't even have to see anyone other than my doctor if I didn't want to... Especially after I became a long-term in-patient, and that was all right for a little while, but at the same time, even more control of my day to day existence felt like it was being stripped away, so I got worse, and the worse I got, the less control of my abilities I had and the more scared and withdrawn I got."

After eighteen months, Dr. O'Connell, exasperated by Aurore's lack of progress, began to search for a different approach in reaching out to her. Eventually he was put in contact with Mr. Corbin James Grey, a meta-human himself, social worker and psychologist who specialised in working with powered teenagers coming to terms with their abilities. Dr. O'Connell, impressed with Mr. Grey's resume and hoping that contact with another meta-human would encourage Aurore to open up, did not hesitate to employ him and assign him to Aurore's case, under the guise of an "escort" - someone assigned to accompany Aurore on day release, to ensure she was complying with her treatment when not under the watchful eyes of the hospital staff.

Although suspicious of Mr. Grey at first, upon realising that he too had abilities (in Mr. Grey's case, kinetic energy manipulation and super-intelligence), Aurore did indeed begin to take steps towards recovery:

"I'd never encountered someone who wasn't scared of what I can do before. Sure, I knew there were others out there like me, with abilities. But I'd never met anyone first hand before. But it changed things. Suddenly, having someone I could open up to that wasn't sitting there, writing everything down, judging? Someone to talk to who was like me, who could do things too? It changed me. I became so determined to get better, to get out of there, to maybe even go work with him. To help other people instead of sitting around feeling sorry for myself. It wasn't an overnight process, by any means. I mean, recovery never is... And there was another obstacle..."

Agatha Claymoore

That "obstacle" came in the form of Agatha Claymoore, one of Oak End's senior psychiatric nurses. It is now known that she was a powerful telepath, with little control over her abilities. At first, being able to skim through her patients' minds made her incredibly good at her job - she knew exactly what people needed and how to best help, but at the same time, she was also, unwillingly, learning the deepest, darkest secrets of the criminally insane housed in the high-security facility. These contaminated her psyche, twisting the gentle and loving nurse into a figure of terror. Her abilities spiralled out of control, projecting that dangerous insanity back outwards and influencing all of those around her - whether turning them to her crusade of cruelty, or forcing them to turn a blind eye. Within a period of a few months, she had turned a caring and nurturing environment into one of nightmares.

Dr. O'Connell was one of those forced by Ms. Claymoore's abilities into simply not noticing the decline in his patients' progress, and Aurore's treatment continued as normal. It is theorised that her day release sessions with Mr. Grey played a large part in her continued recovery progress, despite Ms. Claymoore's continual psychic assault. Eventually, for reasons unknown, Ms. Claymoore attacked Aurore physically, not long before she was finally due for discharge. Now with greater control over her abilities, Aurore subdued Ms. Claymoore, breaking her hold over the other staff and residents in the process. Aurore was not left unscathed from the attack, losing her left eye in the fight. Ms. Claymoore was arrested, but later escaped custody and disappeared.

The Hospital made a desperate attempt to hush up what had happened, awarding Aurore a decent sum in compensation, and referring her to a cutting-edge cybernetics specialist to replace the eye she had lost, at their expense. But, for Aurore, none of this really mattered compared to the large red stamp marked across her file: "Recovered".

Collateral Damage and Friendly Fire

Within a couple of months of her discharge from Oak End, Aurore and Corbin had registered the identities of "Friendly Fire" and "Collateral Damage" in the ASPRA database, and began working as a super-heroic duo in San Francisco. The exact nature of Mr. Grey and Ms. St-Cyr's relationship during this period of her life is unknown, as are the reasons behind their super-heroic alliance beyond his professional assignation to her case. It is theorised by a number of analysts that the pair developed a intensely co-dependant relationship, although there has been heated debate as to whether or not this included a romantic or sexual aspect. To date, Ms. St-Cyr has not spoken publicly about her friendship with Mr. Grey, other than on a purely professional level.

Collateral Damage and Friendly Fire

The duo worked together for two years, and although initially successful, as their joint career progressed, a rising tide of public backlash began to fall into place due to some of Mr. Grey's less-than-heroic tactics and the large-scale inadvertent damage to public and private property caused by the nature of his technology-amplified, meta-human abilities. It also began to become apparent that as Aurore's mental stability was increasing, Mr. Grey's was rapidly disintegrating. The exact cause of this deterioration has never been determined, although it has been theorised that this increasing public hostility, constant media pressure, and a number of other factors may have had a significant contribution. Mirroring his team-mate's teenage years, Collateral Damage began to withdraw himself from the public eye, started refusing interviews, and resigned from a number of high-profile charitable commitments. His field tactics had also been changing - he had been taking less care to avoid civilian casualties and becoming more overtly aggressive in his approach to criminal activity. Those interviews he did give during this period are difficult to follow, but reveal an increasingly unstable personality, clasping onto fantasized ideals of a changing global dynamic regarding meta-humanity, and a rising hostility towards the general public, the media and such organisations as UNTIL and PRIMUS.

Mr. Grey and Ms. St-Cyr's split as a super-heroic duo came about very publicly after the death of the cybernetically-enhanced leader of a high-profile private military company - General Joseph Kurtz - at Mr. Grey's hand, an ensuing attack on the City. Records and media footage of this event show that Mr. Grey had contained Kurtz within an energy sphere, which he then proceeded to decrease in size, effectively crushing his captive. Ms. St-Cyr was witness to this event, but unable to physically restrain Mr. Grey from this action, as she was engaged in combat with two of Kurtz' men. After successfully restraining those she was engaged with, it is believed that the full extent of Mr. Grey's action became apparent to Ms. St-Cyr, sparking an argument, and an attempt from her to place her ally under arrest. They engaged in combat, a vicious battle in which, to onlookers and analysts alike, it appeared that Collateral Damage was deliberately pushing the limits of his team-mate's abilities, toying with her for a while before actively attempting to seriously injure, if not outright kill her. A number of civilians lost their lives during this rampage, many more were injured and several city blocks were severely damaged. Aided by an UNTIL team, Ms. St-Cyr attempted to prevent as much of this destruction as she could, but, given her weaker consitution and lesser level of control over her abilities eventually Collateral Damage gained the upper hand, seriously injuring her and leaving her unconscious. Mr. Grey escaped further attempts from the local authorities present to contain him. Shortly after, Collateral Damage disappeared entirely from public record.

Going Solo: From San Francisco to Millennium City

A new phase in her career and a new costume to match!

"Going solo was the most difficult thing I ever did, you know? And one of the scariest. Between the whispers and the rumours and the fallout from what happened to Corbin... But I had to keep fighting. Stepping back, giving up, hanging up the cape and walking away... It would have been easier, but I'm not that kind of person. I couldn't not keep fighting." - Friendly Fire, Statement given at Press Conference prior to leaving San Francisco

Whether or not she recovered psychologically from the blow of her friend, mentor, and team-mate turning on her and the innocent lives they had spent so long fighting to protect, it wasn't long before Aurore, still using the name "Friendly Fire" was back in business. Those who interacted with her most noticed a new determination in her. She'd take bigger risks, go after bigger criminals, put herself between them and their potential victims without a moment's hesitation. Many also reported a distraction in her when not on the field, one that put her under watch from the local authorities, for fear that she was not far from joining Collateral Damage on the other side.

It is around this time she started refusing the vast majority of interviews, granting exclusives only to a select few journalists, and purchased all merchandising rights to her image. As a result, the rest of the media watched her like a hawk, continuing to push rumours that she was still unstable, that she was still in contact with Collateral Damage, that they had it from an inside source that she was planning to follow in Collateral Damage's footsteps, join him and turn criminal. They also managed to purchase and leak her medical records from Oak End. Although she had always been forthcoming about this phase of her life, to continue Corbin's work in forging connections and support networks with other young meta-humans struggling to come to terms with their abilities, the media twisted the information they received, portraying Aurore as unstable and a potential threat.

A change of city and a change of image. Who still wears tights these days anyway?

Eventually, her frustration with the press pushed her to make the decision to leave San Francisco for good. Calling a press conference, in a bitter retaliatory tirade against the media who had hounded her for months, Friendly Fire announced that she would be leaving a city she felt she could no longer call home for a fresh start in Millennium City. Although born from negativity, this decision would prove to be one of the best she ever made, one that changed her greatly for the better. The woman who stepped off an UNTIL jet into the hub of US superhuman activity was drastically different from the troubled heroine of San Francisco. A change of image was the least of these differences - it was a still socially awkward, but more relaxed Friendly Fire that joined Millennium's ranks of heroes. She still shied away from the media and from giving interviews, but it was readily apparent that, for the first time in months, she was content.

It was around this time that her interest in art was renewed. As a child she had always been fascinated by her father's gallery, on the few occasions she had been pemitted for visit. Her new landlord, Mr. Giovanni Morelli, owned a gallery himself, with an attached studio. He was the first to spot Aurore's talent, and took her under his wing, strongly encouraging her creativity, and helping her to find a medium, method and style that was hers and hers alone. It was his idea to combine her abilities with materials that could be shaped by them - primarily glasswork. Very few of her glass sculptures have ever reached the public however, aside from a few early peices she consented to allow Mr. Morelli to sell, and an even smaller number of commissions taken to help pay the bills. Although her hobby is known publicly, she has stated repeatedly that she creates solely for herself as an outlet and stress reliever, and that she has no desire to sell out to corporate backers, interested solely in purchasing her abilities purely for the novelty and status associated with owning artwork by a known heroine.

Evangeline and Mahuike

Things start to heat up for VIPER!

Although still working primarily solo, Friendly Fire began to make a name for herself among the myriad heroes of Millennium City, rapidly settling into her new life there. At first, she worked solely within the city, aiding with a number of threats, but was happy enough to go wherever UNTIL sent her. She was also frequently spotted working alongside a small handful of unknown, and likely unregistered, "heroes". When not on active duty, she spent most of her time between aiding Giovanni in his gallery, working in the studio, and searching for any trace of Collateral Damage, any leads pointing to his current location. It was while following one such lead that another figure from her past re-emerged, luring Fire into a tailor made-trap that would put her life, and her mind at risk.

It is understood that she had received evidence that a man matching Corbin's description, had been spotted entering an old lava tunnel on one of the outlying islands of the Monster Island archipelago. Leaving a garbled message indicating where she was going on an associate's communications device, she took the next flight to Japan, and began making her way to the co-ordinates she'd been given. The exact events that happened on this island are unknown and a few hours later, she was found wandering around Slither Beach on Monster Island, by an UNTIL Search and Rescue team acting on an anonymous tip-off.

The following transcript is taken from the debriefing given some hours after she was found:

Friendly Fire: Look, can I just go home? Please? My head is killing me.

Until Agent: We'll get you home as soon as we've had medical check you out. But can we go over what happened again please?

FF: Again? Fine. If we must.

A: Thankyou, Ms. St-Cyr. So, you entered what you believe to have been a lava tunnel, yes?

FF: Yes.

A: And what happened next?

FF: ...

A: What happened next, Ms. St-Cyr?

FF: I could hear crying. Somewhere down at the end of the tunnel. It... it sounded like a little girl. So I went looking for her.

A: And that's when you were ambushed, yes?

FF: Yes. Something hit me from behind. I couldn't see who. Didn't even hear them following me. Just the crying...

A: And then you woke up on Monster Island?

FF: ...No.

A: So, what happened then?

FF: I remember... I think I was taken somewhere. Somewhere hot. Really hot. It was... I knew if I used my abilities, they'd be amplified, you know? Just so much heat. And she was there, standing in the haze, with like... these people in white all around her. Two of them were holding me.

A: She? Who was "she"?

FF: ...Nurse Claymoore.

A: Agatha Claymore? Are you sure? We've been looking for her for yea-

FF: Yes, I'm f***ing sure! Calls herself "Sister Evangeline" or some s**t like that now. Told me she wanted to "save" me from my sins...

A: All right. Please, continue.

FF: She... I don't know. Suddenly I c... I blacked out. When I came to she was dead. Face ripped half off and her throat torn out. Bodies everywhere. Those people in white. Covered in blood. So much blood... And Ra...

A: And...?

FF: And I panicked. So I got the hell out of there. And then you guys found me.

A: Claw-marks, you said? On the bodies? They weren't... burned?

FF: I was f***ing unconscious! I didn't do kill anyone, all right? ...Yes, claw-marks.

A: We went to the place you said this was. There weren't any bodies, Ms. St-Cyr. There wasn't any blood.

FF: ... Look, my head is really killing me, can I please just go home? We can go over this again tomorrow or something.

A: All right, let's get you to medical...

Over the next few days, a number of startling physical changes began to take place in Friendly Fire. Her remaining eye changed colour, to a faintly-glowing golden yellow, her skin started to take on a more golden tone and her abilities began to manifest in a similar shade. She found herself restless, tiring out easily. More worryingly were the voices and whispers she began to report hearing, and a suddenly-developed understanding of a number of obscure languages. She also reported to a number of her closer acquaintences that she had been having dreams about Monster Island, and a sensation of being called there. Those she confided in encouraged her not to act on these impulses, to stay away from the island.

Mahuike gains full control...

Unbeknownst to Fire, Sister Evangeline had attempted a heavy psychic assault on the young heroine, ripping into her mind and attempting to take control. While she was rendered unconscious by the attack, one of Fire's more questionable allies had managed to locate and catch up with her, taking Evangeline by surprise and killing her in his anger. Evangeline's mind, due to the shock of her body's death, tried to lock itself into Fire's, but was blocked by another entity, a volcano spirit attracted by the surge of power its home had caused in Fire. As Evangeline withdrew, desperately searching for another body to inhabit, the spirit became trapped within Fire's mind, leaving the pair in a struggle for control.

This struggle continued for a number of weeks, with Fire's abilities becoming noticably weaker. Eventually, in a desperate attempt to determine what had happened to her, Fire returned to Monster Island. The effect was immediate - the surge of power gained by returning to its native environment gave the spirit complete control of Fire's body. However, due to its link to the volcano, this effectively trapped the pair on Monster Island. No longer in control of her body, Fire spent the next month watching as "Mahuike", as the spirit began referring to itself as, attemption to engage with the other inhabitants of the island, with decidedly mixed results. After a number of unsuccessful attempts to regain control, Fire managed to open some kind of communication with Mahuike. The exact nature of their discourse is something Fire has been extremely reluctant to discuss, even with her closest friends, stating only that: "During that experience, we both learned a lot about being human." Eventually, as a result of the understanding they forged, Mahuike left Fire's body, allowing her to return to Millennium City.

The Ultimate Guardians

Friendly Fire, alongside her new Guardian allies, working bodyguard duty for Mayor Biselle.

News of VIPER's insider-led attack on the Guardians' Tower and the ensuing collapse of the group rocked Millennium City. Although she continued to primarily work solo, Friendly Fire had made connections with a handful of other heroes based in Millennium, Guardians among them, and when the newly re-formed Ultimate Guardians were ready to strike back with Operation: Mongoose, Fire was one of the first in line to stand alongside them as an ally. Knowing that one of their own had turned against them dragged all the emotions Fire had been struggling to supress regarding Collateral Damage's fall back to the surface; and she fought bravely alongside her friends and allies to bring VIPER the justice they desrved. A startlingly high number of arrests were made, including several high-profile members, a number of nests, Draysha labs and research facilities shut down, and the Operation declared a success.

Although she did not join The Ultimate Guardians in the immediate wake of Operation: Mongoose, it was not long before Friendly Fire made the decision that returning to work as part of a team, albeit a much larger one that the duo of her early crime-fighting days, was the right path for her to take. The reappearance of Collateral Damage, and knowing that she could not face him alone, may have played a large part in this decision. Presently, her application was submitted, her interview and background checks held, and she was approved as a new recruit. Although distant and awkward at first, unused as she was to the large number of heroes she was now working alongside, she soon began to open up to her new team-mates, proving herself a dedicated, motivated and fiercely loyal friend and ally.

Evangeline Arisen: The Virus

They started turning up in January. The Blanks. The men who just sat and stared. There seemed to be no fixed pattern to their histories - one was determined to be an ex-VIPER troop, another a priest, another a petty thief, and so on. A brief psychic investigation of the men revealed that their minds were gone. Not broken. Gone. Nothing there. Just the brain working on auto-pilot, sending electrical impulses to keep the body alive. Around the same time, Fire began experiencing black-outs and short term memory loss. At first, she thought it was just the stress of the job getting to her, but once she started waking up in various locations around Millennium, with no recollection of how she got there, and more worryingly, how to leave these locations, she decided to seek advice from the other Guardians. Tracing the beginning of her black-outs to around the time the first Blank was found, a link between their state and what was happening to Fire was theorised. Terrified of becoming another Blank, Fire began searching for a solution.

During this time, the other Guardians began to notice a distinct shift in her personality. The girl they'd known to be caring and a little shy started to become angry and paranoid, and as the memory loss continued to worsen, she began to blame her friends for what was happening to her. Things came to a head at the Soviet Bear Camp in Canada. After lashing out viciously at some of her team-mates, Real Soviet Damage made the decision that she needed to be taken into custody until a solution could be found. The virus had taken enough control now to cause her to panic, attack her friend and flee, destroying the Bear's home in the process. Shortly afterwards, an email was sent from her address to all Guardians, claiming she needed a break and had gone to spend a few days on a beach somewhere. The Guardians spent the next few days searching for her. Tracing her comms device was the first action taken - but this turned up a dead end, Fire having discarded it after leaving the Bear Camp. A quick search of her apartment revealed that she'd booked a flight to Spain, but no belongings had been removed, and her passport was found next to the computer. The bedroom mirror also had a single word scrawled across it, in what was determined to be Fire's blood: Evangeline.

Fire had not spoken much to the other Guardians about Sister Evangeline, so the decision was made to turn to the one person who might have some information: Collateral Damage. During Fire's few months with the Guardians, they had engaged in several stand-offs with the vastly increased power of Collateral Damage's new villainous agenda. He was not expecting Fire to have aligned herself with such a potent force, however, and the Guardians had finally been successful in arresting him. It was well-known that since his arrest Fire had been his most regular visitor, so Real Soviet Damage and Obsidian Stone volunteered to take the trip to Stronghold. Although reluctant to talk with the heroes who had arrested him, the Guardians found Collateral Damage surprisingly forthcoming once they revealed the danger they believed Fire to be in. He believed that Evangeline had somehow survived the death of her physical form through the manner in which she manipulated those around her - using her psyche to infect others like a sentient virus.

The next evening, the Guardian's AI, DANNI, reported an attack in progress at Mind Inc.'s headquarters. The Guardians immediately responded, finding a number of the group's members in the now familiar blank state and a hooded woman sitting casually in the middle of them. Wraith, one of the Guardians' most experienced telepaths, suddenly realised she was drawing psychic energy from those around her, and siphoning it off to another location. Following this trail led the Guardians back to the place where Evangeline's physical body had died the previous year, and their missing team-mate. After both a physical and mental fight, Evangeline's presence was driven from Fire's mind.

The Present

Fire accepts an Officer Position within the Guardians
Guardians' Meet and Greet

Due to her dedication and professionalism, Friendly Fire has risen rapidly through the ranks of the Guardians, firstly accepting Officership, and then the reins of the Operations Team shortly after Platinum Fatale stepped down. This was shortly followed by further promotion: with Kommandant being declared Missing In Action and Agent Heather stepping up to lead the group in the interim, Fire was first elevated to First Officer, and then Co-Leader. Although she sometimes finds it difficult to relate to some the rest of the Guardians on a personal level due to her new responsibilities, she would fight to the end for any one of them, and, after a shaky start, is beginning to prove herself to be a capable and dependable leader.

More recently, it was announced by Collateral Damage's legal team that they intended to launch an appeal against his incarceration in Stronghold. However, Damage escaped custody during his transportation to the preliminary hearing. ((See Enemies: Collateral Damage below for details.)) Since the escape, Fire has been somewhat reluctantly working with UNTIL to try and track him down. Recently, Fire and Real Soviet Damage are beginning to develop a suspicion that Advanced Research Group Enterprises (ARGENT) have somehow been involved in Collateral Damage's escape. It has come to Fire's attention that one of the members of Corbin's defense team has also worked on a large number of high-profile ARGENT-related cases. Furthermore, schematics created by the Guardians' AI - DANNI - based on all information collated to date, indicate that the weapons used in the attack appear to be a heavily upgraded version of those most recently manufactured by the company.

Powers, Strengths and Abilities

On the Field, with Real Soviet Damage and Nocran

Pyrokinesis

Friendly Fire can create, shape and control flames, which manifest in a pinkish-red colour. Whether it's creating a single flare of high-intensity heat, causing a rain of flames to cover an area, flinging fireballs, shielding herself or others with a superheated sphere or using the intense thermals she creates to actually fly, she is always in complete control. She is completely resistant to the fire she creates, and can limit the damage it does to specific targets. She is also resist to the damaging effects of fire not created by herself to a degree, and draw on its energy to feed her own powers. Her level of control of these abilities is exceptionally high - it is likely that her use of her abilities in her sculpture work with glass and metal has had a significant effect on her control.

Temperature Resistance

Friendly Fire is resistant to extremes of temperature, whether drawing on extreme heat to fuel her abilities, or relying on her pyrokinesis to keep her warm in extreme cold.

Limited Regeneration

Can draw on external thermal energy sources to fuel her own metabolism and force her cells to repair themselves at a rapid rate. This however, she finds extremely exhausting, and therefore prefers to only use this ability as a very last resort.

Tactical Knowledge

Although she is no-where near a tactical expert, and has certainly received no formal training in this area, Friendly Fire has a unique and usually successful approach to co-ordinating Guardians' Operations. She has a knack for handing out assignments to the right people, and thinking outside the box when on the field.

Weaknesses

Although Friendly Fire's mental stability has rapidly improved over the last few years, her mental defenses have not. Therefore she is highly susceptible to telepathy and mental manipulation.

Although possessing metahuman abililities, she is still essentially human and therefore thoroughly mortal. She's nowhere near as resilient as many of her team-mates, although that doesn't stop her from going toe to toe with things that could easily kill her, or even just stepping into the ring for a friendly spar with some of the heavy hitters. She's learned to be much more aware of her surroundings as a result, and to use her abilities defensively, although bruises, cuts, bullet wounds, cracked ribs and trips to the med-bay are a common occurance.

Pyrokinesis and hot-tempers seem to go hand in hand, and Friendly Fire is no exception to this unwritten rule. She does, however, try and quell this while on the field, and would never use her abilities against a friend or team-mate in anger - she's more likely to quietly seethe than yell and scream.

Current Friends and Allies

With the Team

Before joining the Guardians, friends were not terribly high on Friendly Fire's list of priorities. She had a handful of allies and acquaintances, but not many that she was particularly close to. She's admitted that the breakdown of her friendship with Corbin played a large part in this reluctance to make connections with others, although she is deliberately silent about her exact reasoning. In reality, she's acutely aware of the co-incidental chain of people around her who have changed for the worse while she's known them, and has a tendency to blame herself on some level; this manifesting as a reluctance to get too close to people. There are those who have begun to break through her barriers, but the vast majority of the time, even they are kept at arm's length. In many ways, despite having such a prominent position with the Guardians, she never really left the shy, awkward teenager behind her, and finds maneuvering social situations to be relatively difficult the majority of the time.

Real Soviet Guardians' Staff

Although she feels her position of responsibility within The Ultimate Guardians leaves her at a distance from the other members at times, Fire would still go to any lengths for her team. She is very, very loyal to her fellow Guardians, in spite of differing opinions and beliefs, and she firmly believes in giving everyone a chance, regardless of their past history. She's also come out of her shell considerably since she joined, and although she is still pretty guarded around most people, she is slowly starting to forge friendships, although she still keeps a lot back from many of them. She does find it easier to connect to the group's non-humans, over its human and meta-human members, and likewise finds the same with her friendships outside the group.

Guardian Girls dressed for a night out (or the cover of a saucy calendar shoot)!

Real Soviet Damage is probably the closest friend Fire's had since her friendship with Collateral Damage fell apart. The friendship between the metahuman girl and the huge Soviet Bear began, as many great friendships have, in a bar. He easily out-drank her, and then spent the rest of the evening making sure she was all right, taking her to the Bear Camp to recover. Although they've had their arguments, and his subborness and unswaying conviction in his beliefs drives her crazy at times, the two have become firm friends, and she has a huge deal of respect for the Soviet Bear. It was he that helped convince her to join the Guardians after Operation Mongoose. She's highly concerned about the Bear's recent plans to attempt to take back Soviet, but understands that it is not her place to talk him out of it or attempt to influence his decisions regarding his own people. Unbeknownst to the rest of the Guardians, she's recently made the decision that she will be going with Sascha during the assault on Dogs - although she's not sure she agrees with Sascha leading the Bears to war, she also understands they will require all the assistance they can get if they are going to have any chance of success.

Mahuike
The Guardians let their hair down at a Fairy Tale costume party

The current Guardians' staff get on reasonably well with each other, and often Officer meetings end up with a more social atmosphere than a business one. Nevertheless, Fire often feels like she should make more of an effort to get to know her co-leader, Agent Heather and fellow Officers - Orion Prime, Tessi Midoree, Spectra Sprocket, Atomic Red and Alexxia Moon - a lot better. She's just never really sure how.

For a while, she had become very close to Nocran, one of the group's two Cryon aliens, and another Guardians' Officer. Although she didsn't understand him at times, at others she found it easy to forget that he's from another planet. Although they were both pretty vague and a bit awkward about it, it was obvious to pretty much everyone that their relationship blossomed into something more than friendship. Lately however, Fire's intense preoccupation with tracking down Collateral Damage has driven a wedge between the pair.

Perhaps her closest confidante is Mahuike, the volcanic spirit who shared her body for those few weeks after Evangeline's physical death. When Fire is overly stressed, or has come to a point where she is not sure what decision to make, or just feels the need to vent, it is Mahuike that she turns to before anyone else.

Enemies

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage
Collateraldamagenewspaper.jpg

"I play the daring villain, Aurore, because humanity is too stupid, because society is too disorganized to see that what I do is for the greater good; is for that better tomorrow. I fight to eradicate the fools, just like you do, the blind, moronic herds. I fight because so many others stand around and say “somebody else might”, and not doing so would make me just as pathetic as them. I fight for everyone like you and me, that ever got called a freak, that anyone was ever scared of because of what they could do. That couldn't stand up for themselves. The weak and innocent, the ones with no strikes against their names other than an accident of genetics." - Corbin James Grey (Collateral Damage)


A former social worker, and former registered hero working in the San Francisco area, it has not been fully determined what caused Corbin Grey to fall. Psychiatric evaluation indicates a highly intelligent mind, but unstable personality, prone to delusions and paranoia. This instability is not as apparent when in the vicinity of his distinctive helm, indicating some kind of object-fixation. The helmet itself is not the source of his powers - while working as a hero, it was not part of his costume, and genetic testing indicates his power source to be a mutation, albeit one technologically enhanced through his armour.

The circumstances behind Mr. Grey's fall are unknown, but it is theorised that there were a number of contributing factors - mounting public backlash towards some of Mr. Grey's less-than-heroic tactics and the large-scale inadvertant damage to public and private property caused by the nature of Mr. Grey's abilities, increased media hounding and pressure, increasing instability as a result of this pressure and so on. The only confirmed fact surrounding these events is that after splitting with former team-mate Aurore St-Cyr, Mr. Grey disappeared entirely from the public eye for three years, before re-emerging with a new, villainous agenda. After a number of stand-offs with her former team-mate, at first while she was working alone, and later with her new Guardian allies, Collateral Damage was eventually captured and sentenced to life imprisonment in a power-supression cell in Stronghold Prison. It is known that during his time spent here, Friendly Fire was a regular visitor, determined to find some remaining trace of her old friend.

After serving eight months of his sentence, Mr. Grey's legal team made it known that they had found a loophole in the prosecution's case during his original trial; one which would allow Mr. Grey to launch an appeal. Friendly Fire, along with fellow Guardians Nocran and Real Soviet Damage, worked closely with UNTIL over the course of a few weeks in order to provide indefensible evidence that Mr. Grey was a threat to public security and should not relased. Although their endeavours were successful, while being transported to his appeal hearing, the vehicle carrying Mr. Grey was attacked by an unknown group, apparently working on inside information. Both Stronghold Wardens and all eight members of the UNTIL escort team were killed during the attack, and Mr. Grey escaped. His legal team initially declined to comment, and have since disappeared.

Sister Evangeline

"Look at you, standing there as if you were an innocent; the little witch-child defiling the name of the martyred saint she bears by consorting with demons. The others might not see through your deceit, but I do. And I forgive you. And through this water, which washes away sin, and gives new life, I will save you." - Agatha Claymoore (Sister Evangeline)

Sister Evangeline, before her death.

Sister Evangeline is dead.

This hasn't proved much of a hindrance to whatever deranged plans she laid in place in life. After the death of her physical body, Evangeline's consciousness remained, evolving into a kind of sentient "psychic virus". This virus was initially carried only by the personality cult she had built up before her death, but rapidly spread to those others whose minds she had infiltrated. From there, it now continues to spread the infection.

The core members of Evangeline's cult; Magdalena, Salvatore and Irae, act as not only a hub for the virus and as a hive for what remains of Evangeline's consciousness, but also grow in power as the virus claims more victims - stripping away their psychic energy and eventually their minds, and siphoning it back through the chain of infected to feed the malignant consciousness at the core.

The majority of those infected by Evangeline end up as "Blanks" - mindless husks displaying only the necessary brain activity to keep the body alive. These present the lowest level of danger - very few are actually still carriers of the virus. A smaller number of victims are transformed into "Drones". These form the main body of Evangeline's cult, and are the most infectious carriers. These are usually ones that the invading consciousness has found useful in some way - be it through metahuman abilities, societal position, or other aspects of the individual's life. Although the Drones' display a strong mental link, they are able to act autonomously. However, their actions are highly regulated by both the infection and the core trinity of the cult. It is also worth noting that Evangeline can manifest herself directly through any infected person, although she rarely chooses to do so.

Vargulf

"Little pig, little piii-ig, let me come in! I promise I won't burn your house down. This time!" - Vincent St-Cyr (Vargulf)

Friendly Fire's older brother is more of an inconvenient lunatic with an arsenal than a serious threat. Unless you happen to be a dog, that is. Unlike his sister, Vincent St-Cyr does not display any meta-human abilities. That doesn't mean he isn't convinced that he has them - for every dog he kidnaps and kills, he firmly believes his "power" increases. So far, however, with the exception of the dogs, his list of crimes contain very few civilian injuries, and fall decidedly low on the scale of super-crime: petty theft, car-jacking, minor arson, vandalism, etc. On the other hand, what he lacks in "seriousness", he has made up for in volume - his file is considerably larger than those operating on a similar scale. Recently adopting the moniker "Vargulf", he has followed his sister to Millennium, intending to finish what he started as a teenager - his determination to do so has only strengthened since he became aware of the fact that she has meta-human abilities.

What Your Characters Might Know

"She's distant, stand-offish, hates us journalists, and doesn't have much of a sense of humour. But she's fighting on the right side, and in the end I suppose that's all that really matters." - Julie Morgan

((Please use the information presented here for IC interactions, rather than that presented in the sections above!))

Before moving to Millennium City, Friendly Fire was based in San Francisco with her former team-mate, Collateral Damage. She has been a registered and active hero for the past seven years. Fire relocated after their very public and painful split, and Collateral Damage's descent into villainy. He recently escaped UNTIL custody while being transported to a court hearing as part of an appeal against his incarceration in Stronghold. After working alone for a number of years, she joined The Ultimate Guardians and rapidly made her way through the ranks. She now co-leads the group with Agent Heather.

Friendly Fire and Agent Heather pose for the 2012 "Ladies of the Ultimate Guardians" Charity Calendar

She rarely gives interviews, and has earned an undeserved reputation from the press and media as being aloof and disinterested in reaching out to the public beyond her actions in the line of duty. On the rare occasion when she has had to speak to the media, she usually will give only an as-short-and-to-the-point-as-possible pre-prepared statement. The few interviews she has given are blunt and to the point, although reveal very little personal information.

She's not the physically strongest hero out there, nor is she among those with the highest endurance. She is pretty scary in combat though - she's a powerful pyrokinetic, with a high level of control of her abilities. She does, quite happily, give the appearance of being able to take more punishment than she really can, however; and will regularly place herself in the line of some heavy punches. ((In reality, she feels every hit, has probably cracked every rib in her body at least twice, and spends more time in the medbay than she'll admit to.))

She owns the copyright to her own image, refuses to endorse anything, and has very little official merchandise available. She has stated a number of times that she feels that "doing the right thing should not be commercialised". She hasn't sued anyone yet for unauthorised merchandise, however.

Friendly Fire recently won an undefeated First Place in the 2nd Annual Qularr Invasion Memorial Tournament, Recreational Category.

She also appears in a joint shot with Agent Heather in the 2012 "Ladies of the Ultimate Guardians" Charity Calendar.

Personal Interests and Trivia

With Real Soviet Damage and Nocran - Preparing for a Field Assignment

- Although quiet, Friendly Fire does enjoy socialising with other heroes - she just prefers taking a back seat in the conversation.

- She is terrified of drowning.

- She really hates shellfish, and firmly believes that no-one should eat those disgusting, slimy things.

- She rarely introduces herself as "Friendly Fire", and almost never by her real name, preferring to just go by "Fire".

- She speaks decent French, due to her family on her father's side. She rarely uses it however.

- Is an avid reader, when she gets the chance. She prefers fiction and her favourite book is George Orwell's 1984. She has a well-read copy of it given to her by Corbin while they were still friends.

- Although she has no formal qualification, she is very well studied in Art History and Art Theory.

- Although the majority of her artwork tends towards being very large glass peices, she can sketch and paint reasonably well. She also likes to make glasswork gifts for people - jewellery, small trinkets, and so on.

Thoughts and Views

Excerpts from interviews, press releases, conversations:

On Heroism: "I'm not a hero. I'm not a leader. I'm not even a particularly nice person half the time. I'm just a girl, who, though an accident of genetics, ended up being somewhere outside the "norm" for humanity. I do what I do, day in and day out, because I can, because it's necessary, because for every person like me, there are thirty, forty, a hundred more who'll sit by and do nothing. I can't do nothing. There is too much wrong in this world to do nothing."

On Politics: "No comment."

On Gender Politics: "You know, I wish I had a dollar for every idiot interviewer or PR "expert", or hell, casual acquaintance who's ever said to me "But wouldn't you rather settle down and start a family, than risk your life every day?" or "You know, you'd be quite pretty if you weren't so... insert-non-Hollywood-Standard-beauty-related-flaw-here", or my personal favourite, "Women shouldn't fight". If I did, I'd have more money than... I dunno. More money than I'd know what to do with. Here's the thing; no, I don't want to start a family. And to be honest, it's no-one's business but mine anyway. It doesn't make me less of a person. It damn sure doesn't make me less female either. No, I'm not going to conform to your ever-changing standards of "attractiveness". You, telling me to lose or gain weight, or whatever it is you think is "wrong" with me, is an insult not just to me, but to all those girls, all those people, out there who are fighting their own inner battles with image and self esteem. And yes, women can get up there and fight to protect this world if they damn well please. Just try and stop me."

On The Media: "Parasites, most of them. Now, I will give you that yes, there are journalists out there who still have integrity and professionalism and a sense of truth, but I don't have the time or the will to sift through the chaff to find them. The media drove me away from the city I grew up in, a city I spent years fighting to protect, a city I loved and called home. They'd have destroyed my career if I'd stayed, just like they've destroyed the careers of so many others. So you'll have to excuse me if I have very little time for the press any more."

On Role-Models: "If people think I'm a role-model, then I'm flattered. I really am. It's not something I set out to be, but I guess I'd rather see teenage girls look to someone like me, or any one of the amazing Guardian ladies I work with for inspiration, be it those on the front line, or those giving us support, or the amazingly intelligent girl down in the lab who makes sure all our tech runs like silk, than some insipid waif who's famous solely for fitting into a size zero, ten thousand dollar dress."

On Religion: "I tend to think of myself as... Hmm... Agnostic isn't quite the right word for it, but it will do. Some of the things I've seen in the course of duty, some of the things I've experienced? If they aren't gods or angels or demons, then whatever they are, they're definitely the inspiration for such things. Although, I do have to say, telling an entity that claimed to be a god that I was an atheist was one of those moments I'll never forget, purely for the look on its face... Organised religion, on the other hand, and the closed-mindedness it brings, I firmly believe is dangerous to humanity."

On the use of Lethal Force: "Metas have a duty to restrain themselves, should they choose to fight for what is right. But sometimes, there is no choice. I've been there. In a war a million miles away from here, I crossed that line. It changes you forever, and there's no going back. But it is never a step you take lightly, if you take it at all. And any other way is always better."

RP Hooks

- Is currently Co-Leader of The Ultimate Guardians, and is happy to talk with potential new recruits.

- Maybe you're from the San Francisco area, maybe you were there the day Collateral Damage turned and attacked the city...

- Outside of her duty to the Guardians, Fire is beginning to make a name for herself as a sculptor, using her abilities to work in glass and metal, media that can be changed and manipulated with heat.

What Other Heroes Think of Her

Feel free to add your own Heroes' thoughts and opinions here!

"Too different from Sascha. Maybe that why get along so well. Good Friend and Comrade. Make Fire sad, and Sascha hunt you to ends of Cosmos." -Real Soviet Damage

"She is like a star. Shining bright and bringing light to each of my days" -Nocran

"She is quite the role model! Her splendid leadership and fierce individuality and respect of her friends and team make her an amazing woman." -Winter Lily

"Red's all right. Needs tae spend less time in her office, mind. Git out mair. Jist loosen up a wee bit." - Amadhan

"She makes many mistakes, but she does her best to learn from them and become a good leader. I respect that more than an idle savant." -Shinnosuke Yamagami

"Boss lady, she knows what she is doing, young, Hot! In more ways than one! What more can be said? I respect her completely and I'd follow her anywhere." -Daemi

"I call her the BBQ Lady. She brings the heat to any party! Though admittedly, I haven't seen much of her. Perhaps a night in the tub..." -Rufus, previously known as the Sin Reaper