"I could play the hero til the day I die and not manage to rebalance the scales probably, but I do what I can, when I can. Doesn't mean I don't still need to make enough to pay rent like the rest, nor that I don't miss the thrill of the hunt now and then."
Robin Egg Blue
Full background story at https://www.dropbox.com/s/914t0fpupwhg5v0/katya_bg.txt?dl=0
-Ekaterina “Katya” Petrovna Krylova, chimera hybrid of Darkstar and Shadowcat, lab-grown and placed in the Russian government “White Devil” Program Framework.
-Framework was a simulated a rural Russian town focused around training super-soldiers from potential mutant children to be loyal to Mother Russia.
-By age 12, skill-wise Katya’s developing into a perfect operative, but her powers continue not to manifest and so she’s held back in the Framework.
-Katya and Galena’s powers manifest
–Meanwhile, Katya (age 16) has begun suspecting something off about their world due to trainers that are only rarely seen and spend so much of their time at the Base facility. She decides to break into the Base to find out what goes on there.
–In process, Galena (age 8) follows her and by time she’s noticed, it’s too late to send her back without alerting guards, so the sisters sneak in together.
–They find a large room of ‘stasis chambers’ and their trainers comatose inside them. In truth, the trainers are Framework avatars of real world instructors as its felt the AI lacks human touch in teaching, and the avatars are left in stasis when offline.
–The Framework AI recognizes belatedly the girl’s presence and creates a danger scenario to drive them off, staging a virtual attack on the Base by the ‘enemy oppressors’ the children were being trained to fight.
–The girls are ordered to flee for their lives and manage to sneak and fight their way free, but just as they are getting clear in a hotwired military truck, a grenade is thrown through the window.
–Katya dove atop the grenade to protect her sister, while a seatbelt-tangled Galena struggled and then disappeared in puff of black brimstone smoke. The explosive went off and Katya was left kneeling amidst flames and debris, untouched.
-Katya and Galena moved to Wasteland accelerated training scenario
–With both the Petrovna sister’s powers activated, they were advanced to the next stage of training, waking up in what they were told was the real world of a post-apocalyptic Wasteland. In reality it was yet another Framework, this one a hyper-accelerated one at 10x real-time and set to prove a harsh crucible to instill trainees a sense of being living weapons in service to the remains of Mother Russia.
–Nearly ten years pass for them in less than one year of real-time, and in that time the sisters are formed into weapons with unique manifestations of powers honed, Galena’s teleporting and more ranged shadow-projection, Katya’s phasing and more personalized shadow flight, invisibility, and weaponry.
–Only Katya takes to the training fully however, becoming a perfect assassin with dozens of virtual kills while Galena showed a rebellious streak that resisted any lethal force no matter what her trainers tried to enforce in her.
-Katya released into full operation
–Katya (age 25) is released to the next stage while Galena (age 18) is held back into a slowed down variation Framework to try and condition her squeamishness out of her.
–Katya, after adjusting to yet another new reality (the real one she hopes) rapidly rises to one of Russia’s top covert killers and spies, clashing repeatedly with the Underground Railroad, SHIELD, and Institute sorts under the alias of Shadowstar.
–Galena meanwhile is put through progressively more rigorous discipline to try and condition her, verging on torture.
-Katya captured and deprogrammed
–Barely a year in real world, with a large number of real world kills under her belt, Katya (age 25) is beginning to chafe a bit, questioning when her sister, other family, and friends will be progressed to join her.
–That chafing makes her slip up during an assassination attempt on an mutant resistance agent and she’s captured. Rather than interrogate her, they try to help her.
–It takes some months, but between telepathic help, therapy, and smuggled video of her sister’s near-torturous existence in the Wasteland Framework, Katya’s conditioning is broken enough for guilt to pour through and nearly overwhelm her.
-Katya and Jericho extract White Devil mutants
–She turns it to fury though, demanding to lead an attack on the White Devil program’s primary Framework facility, which coincides with the resistance having wished to extract Anastasia (age 10), as chatter indicated she was being groomed for something special.
–Jericho agrees to take responsibility if Katya should betray them and she’s allowed to go.
–Galena (age 19), Anastasia (age 11), and others are freed from White Devil Framework
–Aleksei was locked down in another real world facility and was missed in the rescue
-Group ambushed on way out
–Somehow, HYDRA gets word of the group’s attempts to smuggle the freed mutants through Europe to nearest Institute facility in Britain and they are ambushed. In the messy fight, Anastasia’s power manifests and she teleports to Limbo after badly injuring Jericho. Gabrielle (Jericho’s sister) and Katya manage somehow to get the rest of survivors and injured through the ambush and back to safety.
–After, the Petrovna sisters take up with Institute aid and begin trying to find a life for themselves.
-After four years and various operations, the sisters and their friends and family have congregated to Chicago.
-Katya (age 30) has given up on trying for normal and is a full-time freelance operative working alternately with SHIELD, Avenger units, Institute X-teams, mutant resistance groups, and occasional corporations she feels are in the right, all while still trying to overcome her bloody past.
Ghostly Shadow Assassin Turned Freelance Operative
A product of the Russian "White Devil" program, she's a chimera hybrid of Laynia Petrovna (aka Darkstar) and Kitty Pryde (aka Shadowcat), whose powers over her personal shadows combined with phasing ability lends her a distinct talent for espionage and violence. Though active outside of Framework training for less than two years, she accumulated quite the body count and reputation. When captured by a mutant resistence group that broke her conditioning, the guilt of that time nearly crushed her. Since then, she's developed a much better reputation as a skilled professional freelance operative working with groups like the Institute, SHIELD, and the underground railroad out of eastern Europe. She's not cut out for normal work, so does what she was trained for, just for the people she chooses and for herself.
Bloody Hands Don't Wash Clean
In a world where every life is considered precious, an assassin is particularly reviled. And she was a very, very good assassin, albeit only a relatively short while. The guilt weighs her down and leads her to try and do good where she can and more than a few times her past has come back to haunt her with former rivals or family of victims with grudges, not to mention governments and agencies that would like nothing more than prove her guilty of some of her suspected actions in that past. That's not even taking into account the nightmares she sometimes can't escape from for days.
Family is Forever
Family is more than blood to Katya. Family's the people you give your trust to completely and who you'd die for. You don't turn your back on family, no matter what. Her family may not be large, but those who earn that status with her have it forever and she'd do just about anything for them. Of course, some of her family are more of a mess than others and their trouble can bring her trouble in turn.
If They're Pissed, We're Doing It Right
In her freelance work, Katya's had an admitted bias towards the sort of jobs that stick it to the predators of the dying world. She's done some (very) questionably legal things, but by and large for good reason and to hurt groups like HYDRA or AIM. Of course, predators get feisty when you poke them in the nose enough and she's got her share of enemies, even aside from the ones who made her and from whom she's extracted multiple other 'creations' from. Yet when it comes to right or wrong, she's more often on the side of angels and compelled to do good, even if she tries to play herself off as cold professional. Motivation like that can lead someone to do great things, but also get them into all sorts of deep trouble.
I Make Badass Look Damn Good
Pride goeth before the fall. Good thing she can fall through floors and fly, eh? Overreaction to strict upbringing and way to play off the guilt maybe, or perhaps just her balancing out all the time she spends as the sneaky unseen ghost. Whatever the case, Kat doesn't tend towards modesty certainly, about her abilities, or about her looks really, and she knows how to use both effectively. When she has the opportunity to drop the sneaking and just cut loose, she enjoys doing so with flamboyant style. Whether it's working her charm to get past a guard, escaping an op that's went south, or just blowing off steam after at a club, she can throw herself into it without hesitation sometimes. That can be asset with some operations that require distraction, seduction, or just all-out mayhem, but pride can lead to overreach, not to mention grate on some people's nerves.
Power Suite One: Phasing
Katya's power drawn from the Shadowcat half of her DNA, the capability of slipping her body out of phase with physical reality, allowing her to pass through things (or defensively let them pass through her). She's capable enough she can draw others out of phase with her, even offensively, and she can disrupt technology temporarily when passing through it out of phase.
- Phasing - Use Burglary to walk through physical barriers. Standard interior walls are Fair (+2) opposition. Thicker or sturdier barriers provide more opposition.
- Defensive Phasing - +2 Defense rolls against attacks that originate from your zone.
- Collective Phasing - She can take others out of phase with her with a touch, even if they don't want to go. - Acts like Collective Teleport, allowing phasing another person or object, with a Fight check required if they resist.
- Tech Disruption - By passing through technology out of phase, she can disrupt or potentially even destroy it, though modern tech is a lot more self-repairing and fault tolerant than it used to be. - May make a Fight check to phase through a piece of electronic technology and freeze it for one round or apply an aspect to the target relating to the technology glitching. Tech based powers affected by this encounter Fair (+2) opposition to Will.
- Inflict Condition - You add an aspect to the target which you can invoke once for free
- Extra Movement - You can move up to two zones for free
- Technology Tends to Fail Around you - Because of her phasing ability to disrupt tech, it's not an uncommon thing for her to cause low-level disruption even without phasing through things. Her personal tech tends to glitch periodically and those around her a lot tend to have similar problems. Theoretically she could learn to better contain it, but mostly she's just learned to accept it and get the heartiest tech available or else replace it periodically. - Like Machinery Tends to Fail Around you, but for higher electronics. A long term entropic effect that causes tech to breakdown around her faster than it should. Sometimes it can flare up at inopportune times, causing trouble when she needs to be around working tech.
- Missed Me - You can ignore all physical damage from a single source, because it strikes everything around you instead.
Power Suite Two: Darkforce Manipulation
Katya's Darkstar half of her DNA opened her up to the Darkforce dimension, allowing her to summon and shape the shadowy black energy of that place. Her personal talent of that energy is more self-directed than the blasts and darkforce constructs of her legacy, allowing her to wrap herself in darkforce energy to become a near invisible shadow, fly on the repulsive energy of it, wrap it around herself as solidified perfect replica of (achromatic) stylish clothes or uniform or more functional things like tentacles, armored shells, or bestial overlays (Shape-shifting). Finally, she's able to step into shadows or darkness in limited form of teleportation, traversing the Dark to escape or else coming out in unexpected half-visible and often devastating attacks with sometimes creepy results.
- Flight - You may fly. Use Athletics to overcome obstacles or create advantages related to flight.
- Invisibility - May become invisible, including clothing and carried items. +2 Stealth against being spotted by living beings. Cameras and similar cannot detect you.
- Shape-Shifting - Create the advantage 'Creature Form' using Will. Most creatures are Fair (+2) opposition but especially large, small or complex forms may be more.
- Theme: Shadow Projection - Whenever you use your power, you create swathes of living darkness or other shadowy manifestations.
- Mental Recovery - You recover from all mental stress
- Extra Action - You can split your shifts between two different yet related actions adding a +1 to each action
- Overactive Shadow - She may fade out of view or show herself as a hulking shadow beast, but it's not a perfect invisibility nor true body. Her true shadow is always visible. In fact, it tends to be deeper than most peoples and may even occasionally do creepy things like move differently than her. - No matter how invisible or shaped, her real shadow gives away her position and true form, and sometimes it does things on its own that can creep people out or draw attention where its not wanted.
- Shadowstrike - She can disappears into shadows with a low-grade teleportation effect and shortly after steps out of them unexpectedly elsewhere to viciously ambush or, less often, evade. A trick that works wonders, but inevitably leaves anyone else alive freaked out and calling for backup or else jumping right to attacking shadows around them with all the consequent damage to innocent people and scenery caught in the crossfire. Everyyyy once and awhile, something worse happens and the Hungry Dark will follow her out, either in some form of shadow creature that she has to contend with or just with lashing tendrils of darkness harming the environment around your exit point. - Mechanically equivalent to Invisibility Collateral Perfect Evasion If you are in a conflict, you can duck briefly into shadow or darkness to evade everyone’s notice. On any subsequent turn of yours, you can appear in any zone out of another shadow. Furthermore, if you attack a target in your zone on the turn you reappear, you gain +4 to that attack. Alternately, you can just leave the conflict. Unfortunately, your sudden disappearance will make your enemies more paranoid, which may encourage them to call in reinforcements. Alternately, sometimes the Hungry Dark will follow you out, either in some form of shadow creature that everyone will have to contend with or just with lashing tendrils of darkness harming the environment around your exit point.
Power Suite Three: Hungry Darkness
There is a...force or consciousness or something in the Darkforce dimension. A thing that hungers for light and life and energy and Katya unfortunately has a distinct connection to it. Every time she does harm with the darkforce energy or steps through it to attack, that energy gets a little taste of the energy she's taking in harm. And it wants more. It sometimes tries to push her to feeding it deeper, trying to press her towards greater violence or give her dreams of greater power in exchange for just dragging one little wicked being into the dark for it. She's held off largely so far, but she's also never went a terribly long time without doing violence with the power and tested just how pushy it might get with energy - The hunger in the darkness can occasionally try to compel her to greater violence or interfere with her dreams. It could get ugly if she tries to fully deny it someday...and probably uglier if she gives into it completely and starts feeding it people.
- Natural Weapon - Fight +2 while brawling with natural weapon.
- Theme: Dark Conduit (Mutant Only) - Use of your powers is accompanied by pentagrams, Sulphur smells, flaring demonic sigils and other signs of the dark and unholy.
- Area Attack - Attack everyone in a zone
- Physical Recovery - You recover from all physical stress
- Caught Up In Dark Plans - The power you are linked with is not just an impersonal extra dimensional force. It wants things, and you are Caught Up In Dark Plans.
- Black Blessing - If you’re not that worried about the scenery or bystander’s psyches you may throw your conduit to dark powers wide open and drink in its power to really exert your will on the world. You gain the aspect Black Blessing with 4 free invokes. The collateral damage tends to come from power bleeding out into the world, and the effects on your/others psyches from witnessing it.
SHIELD and company raid a house that manufactures the drug that gives human powers. Before it kills them.
Katya and Galena set about seeing what sort of person Ian is by way of one stalking him invisibly and the other playing part of curious mutant college student. Trouble ensues when Ian picks up on Katya's power use and instincts lead to nullifying it...and everything she's formed of it.
A random gathering of interconnected people seeking Starbucks end up discussing the new power-inducing street drug and existing investigations into it
AIM attempts to kidnap Subject 40-4, new faces and old acquaintances save him. Soup is involved.
Katya returns to the city from a South American op to find her sister Galena at the Busy Beans and catch up. Talk turns from coffee concoctions to genetics to truffle wishes and expensive dreams.