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Backstory help for teen female assassin anti-hero

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The Hybrid
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Backstory help for teen female assassin anti-hero

I've had an idea for an anti-heroic teen female assassin character, a street-level fighter that's extremely deadly. Lacks super strength but has all the skill for it not to matter. Overall, not unlike Cassandra Cain of DC and X-23 of Marvel. But I'm kinda struggling with her backstory so I thought I'd ask here and discuss with others. I'm open, and would like to play off and work with anyone who answers.

Details so far:

Glimmer

The basic idea I've had is that Glimmer has the ability to project darkness. She uses it to create shadows and deny enemies their vision. All the while, Glimmer can see in the dark just fine, having that as a required secondary power. Outside of that, she has an artificially-enhanced physiology that gives her the agility, reflexes, coordination and stamina beyond that of an average human. She's not a speedster so to speak, but is a jack-of-all-trades. Glimmer relies heavily on parkour, having cat-like reflexes, to traverse the field. Overall, she's at the very peak of non-augmented fighters.

She also carries weapons and gadgets with her:

- The most prominent being her gloves that extend cat-like claws from her fingers. They're useful against especially tough enemies.
- Throwing knives, which she uses to get enemies from a distance.
- Explosive pellets, to cause wide damage.
- Grappling hook, to scale buildings she couldn't do normally.

That's the gist basically.

As for backstory... I'm kinda struggling because I came up with the character before coming up with how she came to be.

The best I can think of was that she was that Glimmer was part of an assassin school meant to train killers for the corrupted 1%, and she broke off when she realized that life wasn't for her, and decided to take a more heroic (but still quite violent) path. But I'm just kinda struggling to fill in the blanks. Plus, I'm not quite sure how exactly she got her powers. If anyone is willing to lend a hand, I'll be happy to discuss with you guys.

Thanks!

Lothic
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What you've mentioned here

What you've mentioned here sounds cool enough so far. I'd continue by nailing down the specific basis of her powers. You mentioned the darkness-related powers; are they based on a mutation, on magic or something else? Then you mentioned she has "an artificially-enhanced physiology". What kind of "artificial" are you talking about? Does she use some kind of "super-soldier serum" or does she have implanted bionic parts?

I think once you answer those questions then you can go from there. For example if you decide her enhanced physiology is from implanted bionics then you can dream up exactly how/why she managed to get those bionics such as who paid for them which could be an important person (or even nemesis) in her life. Little details like that then effectively become the rest of her backstory.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

DesViper
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Personally, I'd go bionics

Personally, I'd go bionics over "super soldier" since that's a bit overplayed at this point :p


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Lothic
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DesViper wrote:
DesViper wrote:

Personally, I'd go bionics over "super soldier" since that's a bit overplayed at this point :p

Yeah I just pulled those two ideas out of, well, thin air. Obviously there are lots of ways to "artificially enhance" something in comic books.

As an example of how coming up with the "basis of powers" helps you create a backstory I'm planning on having a character in CoT be an "unwilling brain placed in a super-human robot body". That simple nugget of an idea became the starting point for an entire character.

The premise goes that a very old mega-wealthy heiress decided that she didn't want to die a natural elderly death so she secretly began spending many of her millions funding the research of some less-than-ethical scientists/doctors to figure out a way to extend her life or even make her immortal. They settled on transplanting her living brain into a robotic body that (while they were at it) would also be made to be super beautiful and physically powerful (i.e. Ghost in the Shell cyborg-style). They figured if she had to live as a cyborg that the body involved might as well be totally human-looking and perfect in every way possible. The cover story to the public would be that this new "young woman" would be a long-lost niece who inherited the estate after the old lady "died".

After several years the team finally created a prototype "fembot" body that passed all the initial tests. Despite becoming very feeble and close to death the heiress demanded that the body be "fully tested" with another living brain before she risked undergoing the procedure herself. All too happy to oblige their patron the shady scientists arranged to have a helpless street urchin abducted as a test subject for their nefarious purposes. Soon enough a homeless teenaged girl who wouldn't be missed by anyone was put through the nightmare of having her brain extracted and transplanted into the prototype body. Thinking that they would be in total control of the situation the scientists "activated" their creation. Needless to say the combined shock of waking up in a robotic body plus the amazing strength and offensive power of the body itself allowed our hapless victim to break free, slaughter many of her tormentors in the process and run amok into the cold dark night.

Enraged that the scientists had allowed their multi-million dollar "experiment" to escape the heiress set out everyone she could to track the body down. Despite the setback the old lady was also delighted to see how effectively the body had performed during the escape and ordered the construction of a second body ASAP. The homeless girl, after surviving the initial shock of her new robotic reality, managed to stay one step ahead of the operatives assigned to track her down. Over time she learned how to fully control/maintain her new body and use its capabilities to keep herself safe from both the authorities as well as the heiress who eventually had herself transplanted into the new second body. To this day our unwilling "girl" lives in constant fear of being found by the heiress who spends her ill-gotten new lease on life doing little else beyond obsessing over being upstaged and humiliated by her so-called "test subject" who knows the truth behind all the evil things the heiress has done.

So in essence by explaining how the character became a "human brain in a robot body" I was able to come up with an entire origin story.

CoH player from April 25, 2004 to November 30, 2012

Hablaguy28
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A female teen mercanary?

A female teen mercanary? Maybe she is called Kasumi who has the ability to control the aspect of the shadows around her where she can ninja away anytime and has psychic sense where she can focus it to have special awareness for combat?

"Science is the gift of humanity that we all should treasure."

The Hybrid
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I was thinking the darkness

I was thinking the darkness projection is an innate power she has naturally from birth. The artificially-enhanced physiology I wasn't quite sure, but maybe cybernetic implants would work.

I wanted to avoid her having super strength, instead placing an emphasis on skill. I think it's a tad too common for characters to have super strength even if it does little for their character. Think like how X-23 is one of the most dangerous people out there, but is still a peak human physically.

Come to think of it, I could make a good cat motif out of this character. The darkness, seeing through it, cat claws as weapons and cat-like agility and reflexes would all fit. I still haven't decided on her costume but it might be cat-themed.

Hablaguy28
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The Hybrid wrote:
The Hybrid wrote:

I was thinking the darkness projection is an innate power she has naturally from birth. The artificially-enhanced physiology I wasn't quite sure, but maybe cybernetic implants would work.

I wanted to avoid her having super strength, instead placing an emphasis on skill. I think it's a tad too common for characters to have super strength even if it does little for their character. Think like how X-23 is one of the most dangerous people out there, but is still a peak human physically.

Come to think of it, I could make a good cat motif out of this character. The darkness, seeing through it, cat claws as weapons and cat-like agility and reflexes would all fit. I still haven't decided on her costume but it might be cat-themed.

Maybe she has a pseudo super strength? It's a way to describe she can focus to her muscles and control like precise muscle control where she can accomplish insane feats that is 'enhanced' but is more natural focus.

"Science is the gift of humanity that we all should treasure."

Brand X
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As someone who mains

As someone who mains basically this, I have to say, there's TONS of ways to do it!

I don't know if the super soldier/science aspect is over done. I'd say it depends on how you do it.

As for the super strength and peak human. That's not half a ton.

Also, it's not like one needs super strength power set, to say they're super strong.

Creates darkness can go in many different directions too, depending on how you want to play it out. Something akin to CoH's Dual Pistols/Dark Miasma Corrupter? Sniper Rifle/Dark Miasma?

Do you want to tie her to something government related or CoT group related? Something else entirely?

Airhead
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Wielding the Pseudoscience

Wielding the Pseudoscience Razor, looking for a single physics explanation for all of her powers...

Perhaps Glimmer is able to slow down molecules and particles by draining their momentum. This imparts her own moves with the stolen momentum which appear to have enhanced strength and speed. There is no "thinking faster" and it does little to move objects she cannot already impart with momentum. And for the most part the absorbed momentum has very little effect on her surroundings beyond calming a breeze. But it does move photons out of the visible spectrum. Leaving Planck's constant unchanged, reducing momentum increases wavelength so the light disappears into the infrared. Seeing in the dark would become seeing infrared, requiring her to wear special goggles. Conventional infrared goggles based on intensity or thermal output may also full short of the hero's full-spectrum-converter goggles.

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The Hybrid wrote:
The Hybrid wrote:

... she broke off when she realized that life wasn't for her, and decided to take a more heroic (but still quite violent) path.

I am going to attempt to fill in the story of your comma in that sentence...

Keep in mind I like to tie my backstories to in-game lore.

She left the school and eventually found herself in old port of Clarkston. She fell in with some other kids not wanting to be found but desperately wanting to find something. Over time she let her guard down some and made friends. Things were good and peaceful and they had plans for the future. When Halloween came around, she actually felt like she had a new family of brothers and sisters. They all made cheap costumes, hers was a cat. They decided to go to the old abandoned Rail yard and try and have some fun and scare each other. She obviously had the most fun, applying her athletic skills and stealthy nature to elicit many screams of fear, followed by laughs, from her friends.
In for a last scare before heading to the Beenie Weenie for late night munchies, she was hiding on, unbeknownst to her, some very old barrels of forgotten, unknown waste from the Titan Coal Refinery that was never shipped out of town. Cocking her head, she heard the odd sounds of a steam engine and train whistles. This was perplexing in 2019 in the late evening in a major city. Seeing a train burst through the wall next to her was entirely starting, knocking her off her perch sending the barrel teetering over dousing her with the chemicals. But the wall didn't break, the train went through it and she knew the rumors were very true. Every Halloween the Ghost Train makes its annual run, headed for the Rail Yard. This year it's ghostly dark energies spewed forth upon our future heroine at the right moment, mingling with the mysterious chemicals to imbue her with extraordinary abilities.
Trying to keep conscious, she was still aware of the phantasms that spewed from the train, hurt her friends and were again gone as abruptly as they appeared. She stumbled her way to her closest friend, Sarah, and could tell she was within seconds of death. Sarah looked at her friend and quietly said before passing "we all just wanted a little hope at a peaceful safe life. Just a glimmer."