"Ah, so it's going to be one of those days, huh?"
Name: Jennifer Isabelle Mackens
Nicknames: Jen (considers her full name a mouthful)
Personality:“The Quiet One” in a nutshell. A wallflower that prefers to coast through social situations with only the occasional utterance, merely observing and cataloging the important bits of ongoing conversations. It’s not so much that she’s incapable as she is merely antisocial. While she doesn’t like using it, she is capable of social intrigue. Her thoughtful, cautious nature often tempers her words, carefully tailoring them to achieve her desired results. If she doesn’t care to put on a show, however, she comes across as far more sardonic, noncommittal and snippy. At times, this standoffish visage fades, especially when her curiosity and hunger for knowledge are piqued. She is also prone to being more brutally honest with those she considers friends or -at least- friendly acquaintances. Although raised by a law enforcer, Jen has never fully conformed to such lines of thinking. Though she does define several sharp lines in the sand, her judgment is extremely vigilante-esce, believing that the best way to handle threats is to eliminate them such that “there is not even the possibility of them being a threat again”. Her primary restraint is minding whether she could feasibly get away with doing so without consequences.
While Jen has a sense of morality, it is largely tempered by selfishness. Somewhat disturbingly practical, Jen has no interest in heroics, not in a serious sense. She sees it as a dead-end job, even in the literal sense. If she had her way, she would live a quiet, undisturbed civilian life, using her powers solely for her own gain and to protect her personal interests when the likes of reckless Cape activities decide to rudely intrude. In a sense, Jen treats being a hero like a "punch-clock" job. She's there to get her hours in, do her duty, get her pay and clock out, nothing more and nothing less. Her pride and sense of completionism at least compel her to make an effort to give the most rationally sufficient "service" possible according to her job's standards, but otherwise, she is not really the type to go above and beyond the call of duty unless she has no other option.
That being said, she does make some effort to conceal her "conventionally negative" aspects. She has no interest in antagonizing others for no reason and making unnecessary enemies, and by her reckoning, it's much easier to go with the flow where possible. She will follow orders to the letter -even if not the spirit- and generally makes an effort not to come across as a rebellious teenager. She has no intention of making heroics a lasting career and has every intent of quitting as soon as she's in an advantageous position for it, but there's no good reason to let others know that's the case and broadcast her true feelings. It's much easier to catch flies with honey, after all, and she's certain that pretending to be a good little child soldier will serve to smooth over the path of her near future much more nicely than the alternative.
At some point, one might wonder, is this level of selfishness normal? Perhaps it's a power-induced psychosis, an emotional separation to go with the physical separation. Regardless, Jen seems quite capable of acting in a manner outwardly divorced from her drives when needed. On the job, in costume, she plays something of an aloof detective crossed with surprisingly charismatic speaker. She gives hope to the hearts of the masses through encouraging words and actions, saves lives with a pat on the shoulder and two-fingered salute... and at the same time strives to drive fear into the hearts of villains. For her, it is not enough to defeat them physically, but mentally as well, to destroy them so that they will not choose villainy again. She takes especially harsh action on villains that take hostages, and she has little patience for playing to the tune of her opponents. If a villain makes ransom demands, she'll defy them out of spite.
A 5'8", 140 lb. charcoal-black-haired, brown-eyed, athletic, caucasian young woman with a lean, conditioned build. Prefers blue jeans and wide variety of dark cotton shirts or hoodies. Typically prefers solid colors and stuff without brand names plastered all over it. She lives in Redline, Maine, which is -to say the least- cold, so she also favors warm jackets, preferably with hoods for when the chill is especially biting. She dresses practical and for comfort. Style is a secondary thought at best, but she has a basic sense of color coordination and so at least doesn't come across as a visual disaster.
In a word, Jen can be described as “average”, the sort of face you can almost lose in a crowd. Her appearance seems to strike no particularly notable extremes at any given moment. While she is certainly athletic and built like a martial artist -if an obviously shapely female one, it’s almost impossible to tell beneath her baggy favored hoodies and jeans. She doesn’t bother to wash her face, but her skin is naturally clear for the most part due to healthy living. Her shoulder-length hair is hardly anything to write home about, seemingly combed to the bare minimum required to be presentable and only washed enough to not appear oily. The most notable thing about her would be her relative lack of smell one way or the other, apparently a result of unscented soaps. In outward demeanor, she is fairly mild; she doesn’t hunch, nor does she walk with her head held high, merely coasting by on the middle ground.A cyberpunk-themed and (mostly cosmetically) armored bodysuit with glowing accents (that have no functional purpose but to look really damn cool), surprisingly breathable while also being warm and flexible enough to allow a full-range of unhindered movement. Courtesy of Fashionista, it is deceptively durable and generally bulletproof to small arms fire, along with stopping non-Cape-based physical assaults. Granted, the protection against firearms isn't perfect, and getting peppered by them would still leave her winded and likely bruised, despite it warding off penetration and keeping her insides inside. The overall purpose of her costume is to make her able to fake being a Tinker, and it has multiple easily accessed buttons underneath a bit of casing on the forearms. Most of them don't actually do anything, though one of them on each arm is a panic button if pressed in a special sequence. Other functional ones activate headlights of adjustable brightness along the jawline of the suit's helmet. The sides of the helmet have concealed buttons for comms, and the helmet has a "silenced" mode that seals it off aside from some oxygen vents to allow her speech to be carried solely to her comms and not any potential listeners. The helmet can also be switched to "fully sealed" mode for hazardous environments, preserving the inside from outside gasses or liquids. All the technological portions of this costume are completely mundane in nature at Jen's request and can be technically maintained without a Tinker; though Tinker assistance certainly helps with part production.
Beyond that, a pouch at the small of her back has space to contain pepper spray, zip-tie restraints, a small flashlight, a taser, an extendable baton, some first aid utilities and her Wards phone.
Jen currently has a couple requests for upgrades that were unable to be made with Redline's current resources. Said upgrades are in the works and would replace the presently mostly cosmetic armor: a layer of shock-absorbing gel to blunt kinetic energy further, allowing her to whether the physical blows of even some Capes. And actually functional armor that, despite being so slim, is deceptively durable, provides protection equivalent to much thicker armor, and doesn't compromise any of her current costume's flexibility.
Raised in a good life, there is no doubt that Jen Mackens was spoiled. She knew it and, more importantly, took advantage of it. To be sure, her life was a mostly average one, middle class at best, but she never really experienced hardship. Or, at least, nothing she would refer to as hardship. Born to the joining of a police officer and a private investigator, Jen grew up exposed to two sides of law enforcement... and wanted nothing to do with them. Oh sure, learning her father's tricks and tips was neat, but they just made it easier to solve daily annoyances. Sure, practicing martial arts for self-defense was only practical and kept her in shape, but it was only a fun hobby. One she was fairly passionate about, sure, but not anything she wanted to dedicate her life to.
Though caring, her mother could be overbearing, her standards high and disappointment in Jen's lack of ambition palpable, but Jen simply chose avoidance in response. School seemed pointless to her. Exposed to her father's often cynical words and worldview, she knew what was actually useful in the real world, that being very little of what she was tested on. Never the sort to enjoy wasting her time, her grades plummeted to just enough to get by rather than excelling, despite her objective intelligence. Scrabbling to decide what to do with her life and trying to look ahead, Jen hit a mental roadblock trying to decide where to invest her energy and here not to, trying to discern a life path that she'd never tire of. Despite pressure from her mother and the encouragement of her father as senior year dawned, Jen found herself completely unmotivated and discouraged. She came to the conclusion to settle for what she might already be good at, martial arts and potentially following her father's footsteps... to her mother chagrin.
Tensions were rising until, suddenly, they were cut down for a tension of an entirely different kind. Her mother had disappeared on the job. That was apparent after she didn't come home for a whole week. By the third day, Jen's father was already engaging in his own investigation, and by the fifth, Jen had managed to wring shocking answers from him. As it turned out, her mother was a Cape, a hero outside her normal work, and Jen was far from enthused. Already, she had developed a certain level of disdain for "costumed crusaders", seeing them as net drains on society, whether heroic or villainous. It wasn't necessarily that she cared about society itself, however, as she merely did how much Cape activities might impact her simple life.
Apparently, her mother had been investigating some sort of smuggling ring when she disappeared. While that hadn't actually been conveyed to her father, he had managed to figure it out on his own. One part of Jen wanted to help with her father's investigation. A part of her that loved both parents, regardless of any tensions, wanted to do her part to make sure everyone was okay. A crueler, spiteful part of her that hated being deceived briefly considered that this was as much as her mother deserved for her hypocrisy, for engaging in such a profession and expecting anything but an unfortunate end.
But it was the practical part of her that eventually convinced Jen to disregard emotional drives and approach the situation with realistic cynicism, and as such, she decided to leave well enough alone, to leave it to the professional that was her father and get on with her life. If the situation was really serious, surely the Guardians could be called in. Jen was just a schoolgirl, a normal person in a world of titans. There was no rational place for her in getting involved with something that was too dangerous for a Cape like her mother. So, she would get on with her life, hope for the best and be ready for the worst. It wasn't her business.
As someone surely sensible once said, "she missed the part where it was her problem".
And so proceeded a series of very unfortunate events
Heart stoked with a truly deep and abiding hatred she'd never experienced before, Jen would use her then hospitalized father's teachings and her new powers to go on a one-woman crusade against the criminal organization, ruthlessly brutalizing them and their operations, not for justice but personal vengeance. The capes, in particular, were disappeared, never to be heard from again. While the nature of her power ensured that actual proof of her involvement was pretty much impossible to acquire, reasonable detective work in regard to the incident would see Jen eventually meeting Director Fukuda. Jen, of course, played coy without relent, admitting to nothing, but in being effectively "outed" by the government, she wasn't in a good position to refuse their recruitment "offer". And while she couldn't technically be threatened with actionable legalities, she knew the PRT could ensure her life was a lot more difficult... and potentially find something they could actually hold over her if she put them in a position to dig further.
With her father made aware of the danger their family was potentially in, even with the destruction and overall dismantling of the organization responsible by Jen and the PRT follow-up, that would be the final nail in the coffin to Jen's enrollment in the Wards.
- Athleticism: She is a highly athletic and agile individual with abundant stamina for extended movement/running/fighting.
- High Pain Tolerance/Willpower: She's learned to handle pain and aching muscles while taking fairly brutal martial arts, and gaining powers has only been a wake-up call to push herself to the edge time and again just in case. As long as she isn't entirely incapacitated, it's likely that she'll try to keep fighting.
- Martial Arts: Muay Thai: Even before becoming a cape, she took martial arts and reached a level where she could actually put what she knew into practice beyond spars. Her style is a brutal boxing one using knees and elbows as much as fists and feet, but she's been known to "ad lib" things or forgo form entirely to be more unpredictable. This gives her a certain awareness of where it's safe to strike the human body to incapacitate foes relatively harmlessly... or where she needs to aim to do the most damage.
- Swimming: Can swim pretty well, good enough to handle towing someone with her.
- Out of Phase (Breaker 8/Stranger 7/Striker 5/Trump 2/Mover 2/Brute 1): Jen's power is selective tangibility that moves her into what she perceives as a parallel "world", completely identical to the real one but empty of life. Her power is always active to some degree, leaving her ever so slightly "out of phase" with the world, despite her appearing completely normal to mundane means and senses. As a result of being "dimensionally divergent", she is immune to effects that would alter the level of "Shard energy" flowing through her to alter, neutralize or supplement her present powerset, whether positive or negative, and her mind is always fully out of phase, leaving her immune to abilities that would directly manipulate her mind or control of her body. Thinker powers tend to be unreliable when targeting her.
Beyond her passive state, she can actively push her dimensional divergence further, resulting in varying physical tangibility until she chooses to adjust the degree or undo it. By default, she phases away from everything that she doesn't consider "her" or that she isn’t wearing or carrying, resulting in her becoming completely undetectable and intangible due to not actually physically remaining in her "world", shedding most outside power effects currently lingering upon her. In her phased state, she doesn't need oxygen, food or water, and she has an altered sense of gravity, allowing her to move like she's in space. While phased, she experiences the world as if through a watery filter, the normal world perfectly perceptible to her even if it would otherwise not be, and despite being able to still perceive the world, she is not vulnerable to indirect harm, like blinding lights or deafening sounds, all such things muted by the watery "filter".
Controlling the degree of her tangibility, Jen can choose what aspects of herself remain in interaction with the world and can alter them on the fly. For example, she can allow herself to be heard even without allowing herself to be detected by other senses. She can allow herself to be seen and yet remain intangible. She can attack and physically interact with the world while otherwise remaining undetectable. However, this selective tangibility is "all or nothing" in a sense. While Jen can choose which aspects of herself interact with the world, those aspects she allows are fully vulnerable in return. If she wants to be seen, that means allowing light to hit her, which means being vulnerable to flashbangs. If she wants to strike someone or otherwise physically move something, her entire body will in turn be vulnerable to kinetic harm in general, even if she is otherwise undetectable. While she can choose what she is affected by, those choices apply to her whole body, not just individual parts of it. As such, on an offense level, she cannot, for example, partially phase through the surface of a target, living or not, and strike the interior alone, disregarding the exterior/armor/skin/etc.
There is a small caveat to this "all or nothing" selectiveness in that, by default, her power doesn't phase her through the surface she is grounded on unless she chooses to, and she is capable of walking -or climbing- on normally harmful surfaces while phased without being threatened by them, despite the pseudo-physical contact.
Jen cannot bring other living beings with her into her phased state, and even nonliving targets have limits. If it individually has a greater weight than her own body, she can't bring it; though she can still bring multiple items that altogether surpass that range, so long as they each individually fall below it. That being said, what Jen's power considers to be "wearing or carrying" in terms of her possession is rather lenient. So long as Jen can physically take hold of a target, whether or not it is being worn or carried by someone else, she can then phase away with what she has grabbed, stealing it from the original owner. In this way, she is able to easily disarm opponents or otherwise render them unarmored, presuming her target is within her weight limit.
- Threat Sense (Thinker 2): Any time Jen would be endangered in her immediate future (that is, the next 1-2 seconds), she is immediately aware that she will be in the form of a buzzing sensation. She has no prescient awareness of exactly what the danger will be, only that she, personally, in her present state, will be endangered by it. On its own, this power is fairly useless, but for Jen, it allows her enough time to fully enter her Breaker state to avoid threats. At the same time, it can act as an early warning that removing the protection of her Breaker state in a particular area will be a danger to her. This power does account for degree of threat, however, and the buzzing sensation will intensify based on how trivial or life-threatening the impending threat is.
Other: My favorite power sets involve time stopping or manipulation. Though speedsters are pretty sweet as well.[youtube]WIP[/youtube]
Jen's lookin' clean! Go on and get her into characters :)