"Where the hell are we?! Why am I falling?!" "We are approximately eighteen thousand feet above sea level." "Ah, ese puta madre! WHY?" "No time. I'd suggest you brace for impact."
Full Name Jaime Reyes
Alias The Blue Beetle
Powers/Abilities Synaptic Symbiosis Interface: The Scarab Parasite has embedded itself within the genetic code of the human being known as Jaime Reyes. It's fused together with his internal structure seamlessly, altering his physiology on a molecular level to make Jaime a more perfect host body for the Scarab unit. These changes make Reyes far more robust, even in his 'ordinary' form, and his energy consumption has been made two hundred times more efficient for added endurance at less of a cost. Most importantly, however, it is what allows the Scarab to communicate with Jaime telepathically.
Technological and Biological Assimilation: There is no singular race in the entire universe that can be described as perfect. Each has flaws- gaps in it's knowledge that can be exploited. The Scarab was designed to circumvent this flaw. It's body is the perfect blend of technology and biology, forged with the express purpose of assimilating and absorbing any and all tech it encounters deemed to be useful in the pursuit of perfection. Thus far, the Scarab has encountered nothing it cannot absorb within itself and make use of. Assimilated parts are typically 'upgraded' using other bits of technology already installed in the Scarab.
Standard Scarab Technology Array, MK VI Jaime Reyes - Human Host Handcuffs Glock 17
Origin In a time when Pharaohs ruled and magic ran rampant through the earth, a great light appeared in the sky, followed by the thunderclap of it breaking through the atmosphere. An object from the sky, small enough to be held in the palm of the hand, would change the course of human history forever. But it wouldn't be the day it landed, for whoever had directed the Scarab here hadn't accounted for mankind's...superstitions. A tribe had seen it fall, and chased the fire in the sky to it's landing point. After much argument, it was decided that they had best hide it away- the gods would not want mere men meddling with their herald. The Scarab was placed within a tomb, deep in the catacombs of a mountain fortress for the dead. And there it would remain for thousands of years, forgotten.
It wasn't until 1968 when Dan Garrett, a young archaeologist on a dig in Bialya's famed tombs, that the Scarab was uncovered once more. Dan knew the object was different the moment he lay eyes on it. Fearing that such a momentous discovery would be stolen from him by his peers, Garrett hid the Scarab away, smuggling it back to his college campus in the United States. Garrett studied it for decades, never letting another soul know of it's existence. He obsessed over it's origin, chasing after extraterrestrial conspiracy theories in search of answers until the day he died. No one knows when Dan truly passed; he was out traveling the world on his unending quest one day when he simply...vanished. His estate chose to donate most of his belongings- including, unfortunately, the Scarab- to the Smithsonian Museum.
There the Scarab would remain on display until exactly a week ago. A small group of students all the way from El Paso, Texas had managed to scrounge up enough money to afford a visit to the world famous museum. Sixteen year old Jaime Reyes was among them, dragged along by his history-obsessed best (and only) friends, Paco and Brenda. He'd rather be nearly anywhere else, if he were honest; he finally got the chance to travel, but they wanted to go to a museum? Jaime, bored to tears by the tour guide, decided to slip off and explore on his own. That was when he ended up in the Bialya section: and that was when his life was ruined. The Scarab decided to awaken for the first time in three thousand years, bursting forth from it's exhibit and forcing itself down Jaime's throat.
Reyes blacked out. He didn't wake up again for quite some time.
And when he did, he found himself sitting across from an agent of SHIELD.
What makes this character 'Ultimate?' When I set out to to create the Ultimate version of Blue Beetle, I had two goals in mind: Reworking the Reach to be more than another alien race that wants to conquer earth, and emphasizing how absolutely terrible it would be to be Jaime Reyes. He was your everyday, ordinary High School kid before one day an alien parasite forced itself onto his body and tried to make him a cybernetic murder machine that betrays the entire human race. That's terrifying! And I feel as if most versions of the character don't really explore just how frightening a situation this would be. So, I plan to rectify that.
Supporting Cast Paco Tejas: Jaime and Paco have stuck together through thick and thin. They met all the way back in Kindergarten, and haven't spent more than a week apart from one another since. Paco's one of many middle children in a family of eight. He loves his family to death, but by God if he can't stand how crowded his tiny house is.
Brenda Del Vecchio: The coolest person willing to associate with Jaime, Brenda's been part of the gang since seventh grade. Both her best friends were made aware of her...less than ideal home life a long time ago, and they've done their best to support her through her struggles.
Ted Kord: Ted Kord is the owner and CEO of Kord Industries. Based out of Metropolis, the tech company is best known for it's advances in nanotechnology- it's one of a handful that's managed to avoid being devoured in the ever-growing titan that is lexCorp. Ted has always fashioned himself as a self made man, and he'll be damned if he sells his soul to anyone.
The Brotherhood of Evil: Yet to be encountered.
La Dama: A faceless crimelord and the queen of Texas's underground. Real name unknown. Influences stretch all the way down to various Cartels in Latin and South America.
Jasper Sitwell: The agent assigned to interrogate Jaime after the Smithsonian Incident. Special Agent In Charge of the Blue Beetle Operation.
The Blue Beetle stars in...The Runaway: Issue #1
Molasses dripped from his bones as Jaime Reyes found himself confronted by his own awakening. It was like a slow-mo punch to the lip- Jaime could feel his face crumpling under the knuckles, but everything was moving so slowly that he felt no inclination to stop it.
His eyes flickered open lazily, like it was a particularly quiet summer Sunday. Every inch of his body had a dull, obnoxious ache lingering in it. Reyes didn't know why. Had he, for God knows what reason, decided to join the Football team last night? Wandered his way into El Paso High's quarterback position and found himself on the business end of a three hundred pound seventeen year old?
Jaime went to rub the sleepiness from his eyes, yet found his hands uncooperative.
"Huh?" The boy murmured, tugging at them again. Something caught on both wrists. Something cold and unforgiving against his weak pulls.
That was when he finally noticed where he was. He was sitting in front of a stainless steel table in room caked in shadow. Judging by the coolness under his tush, Reyes could guess the chair was of a similar make to the table.
He noticed, too, that he was not alone.
"Jaime Reyes. Sixteen. Resident of El Paso, visiting Washington, D.C for...recreational purposes."
Seated on the opposite side of the table was a man that could be described as part high school physics teacher and part serial murderer. Straw-colored hair had been slicked back with thick slabs of hair gel, and a pair of even thicker-rimmed glasses sat on the bridge of his hawkish nose. What caught Jaime's eye, however, was the symbol on his shoulder.
The eagle of SHIELD.
It hit him like a semi-truck barreling down the highway. The haze he'd woken up with was lifting. Yesterday...He hadn't played Football yesterday. No, Jaime could remember there being way, way too much blood for that. "Ohhh no, no...ahh shit! Fuck! Hostia-"
"Son," The agent's voice rose above Jaime's, the laugh lines on his face loosening at the sight of the kid's panic. "I need you to stay calm for me, alright? I know you've..." There was a pause, his expression shifting as he searched for the proper word. There wasn't a word for something like this. Not one that would help.
"You've been through a lot, son, but I'm here to help you. My name is Jasper. Jasper Sitwell. I'm an agent of SHIELD. You know what SHIELD is, right?"
Reyes snapped his eyes shut, letting the darkness choke out the light. His nose flared and air shot into his nostrils. He had to remember more. All he had were bits and pieces, but try as he might it felt like a fog had fallen over his mind. Like his thoughts were being hidden from him. It made his chest tighten. "Why can't...why can't I remember?"
With a sigh, Sitwell brought a manila folder into view. He must've had it open in his lap. "Well, I can walk you through what happened. You're not going to like it, but it's better we pull the band-aid off now. No use in trying to hide it."
He flipped the file open, revealing the printed report tucked away inside. It was titled 'Incident Report #4217 - Smithsonian.'
Jasper began to read in a slow, deliberate drawl. His voice was clinical and detached. "At approximately twelve thirty in the afternoon, Jaime Reyes entered the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. At one forty five he entered the Bialya exhibit, where Special Interest Object number four-two-one-seven was being displayed. The object activated when Jaime entered within approximately eight meters..."
As the words flowed from the man's baritone cords, Jaime let himself go back there. He allowed his mind to slip back into memories locked away. He was standing in the museum, right behind Brenda and Paco. They were nerding out over some old piece of armor, talking about Caesar salads or something. Reyes could feel himself growing anxious and bored when he finally decided to tell them he was 'going to the bathroom.' His excuse for running off to find something better to do.
He...remember the banner over the Bialya exhibit catching his eye. He had heard about Bialya being a war torn hellhole in Civics class. It sounded kinda entertaining, at least. That brought Reyes coasting inside, not chasing anything in particular.
Then he saw it. Jaime could remember what it looked like as if he were standing right in front of it at that moment. A piece of art, made of some...odd metal that had lost it's sheen a long time ago. It was shaped like some kind of bug. The long, almost knife-like legs gave Reyes the creeps. He could've sworn he remembered seeing those legs twitching.
"Dios mío..." The boy rasped, his voice barely above a frozen whisper. The room had grown colder. He swore he felt a chill rushing along his bare arms, eliciting goosebumps to rise along his tan flesh.
"...Four-two-one-seven entered a liquid state and broke the glass around it's display. It crossed the ground, passing by a number of other people as it made it's way directly toward Reyes. The Object crawled up the side of his leg and around his body, making it's way up until it reached the mouth. It entered into Reyes's body..."
Jaime could feel it, then. He could feel something cold tingling at the back of his throat. It was wet and sticky, like milk that'd been left out on the counter too long. That thing...it was too fast for Jaime. It moved up under his clothes, making a sound like nails in a blender played over a little girl's scream. Jaime could feel it moving. he could feel it inside of him.
Reyes wrapped his fingers around the handcuffs that kept him tied to the table. He pulled at them fiercely, air coming into his lungs in short, sharp bursts. Why was he locked up? Wasn't he the victim here? Why wasn't he in the hospital after that thing attacked him?
Agent Sitwell only glanced up at the rapidly unfurling teenager for a second. He had to continue reading: this was the part that really mattered, after all. "Once inside, the Object appeared to fuse with the subject. The liquid state metal that had entered his body came back out of his pores, encasing Reyes's body. Reyes then began to scream in an unidentified language, and..."
Jaime kicked the table hard enough for it to bounce in place. He kicked it again, and again, and again. A rumbling, anguished scream turned his throat raw as the fog finally lifted and the full extent of his actions was revealed. "STOP!" Reyes pleaded, tears stinging in the corners of his eyes. He shook his head with vicious conviction, fighting against his restraints like a man possessed. "Please- shut...shut up! Shut the fuck up! PLEASE."
He wanted it to stop. It needed to stop. He couldn't...this didn't happen. He couldn't have done this.
"Reyes's arms transformed into unidentified energy weapons of potentially extraterrestrial origin, likely as a result of his fusion with four-two-one-seven. Reyes opened fire into the crowd of panicked, fleeing people-"
Reyes threw his body backward. The chair he was in tipped, letting him tumble backward. The table was dragged along with Jaime during the fall with a screech of it's legs against the floor. He wasn't screaming anymore. His throat was too raw, and he could no longer find his voice. He couldn't breathe. Couldn't think. All he could see was the blood. The blood and the people trying to run away from him.
Sitwell stopped. He set the file down on the table with an utter, complete calm. Rising up from his own seat, the gangling agent took a step around the table and toward Jaime. "I know. I know." Jasper tried to comfort him, his voice low and fatherly as he bent down toward the crying boy. "I'm sorry-"
The sound of chains snapping caused Jasper's eyes widening. Before he could draw his sidearm, a fist coated in black and blue armor grabbed him by the collar. "Jaime, don't-"
With strength unknown to his arms, Reyes felt himself toss Sitwell across the interrogation room. The agent let out a cry as his back slammed against the harsh steel and he went tumbling down to the ground. The door was thrown open, several men in identical uniforms rushing inside with pistols drawn.
"I- I didn't mean to-" Jaime rasped, finding his voice overtaken by another, far stronger one.
'Jaime Reyes, I am Khaji Da. You are in mortal danger- let me help you.'
Easy to guess at this point, but Batman won't be taking part in the festivities with The Surfer. I just couldn't find a way to justify putting an early-stage version of Bruce up against a god-like being when his worldview is so Gotham-centric at the moment. So he's not answering the summons, whenever or however the summons comes.
Yeah, I'm keeping Strange out of the Silver Surfer stuff for now. Got a lot of ground to make up. If I can, going forward I'm going to try and get two posts up a week as Sundays have fully freed up for me now.