C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L
C L A Y F A C E III
Preston Payne ♦ Male ♦ 30 ♦ Gotham City
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:
"The Fever returns yet again, and without sweet Helena to calm me, I fear what I may do."
Born both hideously distorted, and astoundingly smart, Preston grew up equal parts miserable and successful. He was able to burn through school and college, and land a job at the Gotham City branch of S.T.A.R. Labs. But despite all that success, all he truly cared about was fixing his disfigurement. Believing he may hold the secrets of a cure, Preston managed to secure a visit with the second Clayface, Matt Hagen, and came away with a sample of his clay body. Preston attempted to alter the chemical makeup of the sample in order to synthesize a cure for himself, and it seemed to work, up until his body began to melt while on a date. And when he attempted to reach out for help, he ended up turning his date into a pool of protoplasm. Though it seemed to temporarily 'transfer' what Preston called the Fever to her, giving him enough time to construct himself an exoskeleton that would keep him stable even while his body liquefied. He was forced to liquefy others in order to prevent horrible flashes of pain, which lead to his sanity gradually slipping away, and eventually to him taking on the mantle of Clayface.
After an arrest and a subsequent escape, he was eventually found by the Caped Crusader while hiding in a mall after hours, believing one of the mannequins to be the only woman immune to his touch. He was apprehended, but allowed to keep the mannequin in order to pacify him. However instead of Arkham where he belonged, the Government sent him straight to Belle Reve, separating him from his 'wife', the mannequin he called Helena. Believing that it could be used as leverage to very easily coerce and manipulate the unstable Preston. After all, a man with an acid touch would be highly useful if properly controlled.
Genius and Madness: Preston Payne is, admittedly, a genius scientist. His mind has been warped by madness, but he has not lost any of that intellect. It is merely buried under layers of trauma and instability. He is especially gifted in the field of biochemistry, but is capable enough in other fields to have built an exoskeleton that both keeps him alive, and enhances his strength.
The Fever: After his 'cure' went horribly wrong, Preston's body became a protoplasmic mess of melty flesh. Preston is capable of transferring this 'fever' to anything organic through touch, melting it all down into puddles. Though some with the right powers or equipment may be able to resist or survive this touch, it is typically a rule that anything organic will be melted away. It is also important to note that Preston is afflicted with horrible flashes of pain that can only be alleviated by transferring the 'fever' to others. Though these flashes of pain halted when he was isolated with his mannequin 'wife,' meaning it is quite possible that they are due to his mental state, and not a result of the flesh melting virus he has become.
C H A R A C T E R M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S:
Preston Payne has never stopped searching for a cure, although the cure he searches has gone from one to fix his disfigurement, to a way to reconstitute himself from a liquid mess. The only thing equal in motive is the safety and return of his 'wife' Helena. Though, his marriage with her has been unsteady as of late, and if he somehow met another woman immune to his touch, his loyalties would shift quite quickly to them.
Being easily manipulated, easily led, and having what can only be considered a great equalizer in terms of powers, Preston is the perfect fit for a shady Government-run team of expendables. And his demented and tragic spin on an alias as re-used as Clayface has always made him a personal favorite, but very underused Batman rogue in my eyes. Seeing him attempt to come to terms with his lot in life and try to mend his fractured mind would, I think, make for great storytelling.
C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:
This Preston Payne is lifted straight after being apprehended for the second time by the Caped Crusader, pre-Mudpack. I don't have anything against the Preston used in Mudpack, but always thought he was a lot more interesting as a tragic but dangerous villain, and not as the goon of a group of Clayfaces. Also, to address the nature of his melty touch, I absolutely do not mind any exceptions to the general rule of 'if it's organic, it'll melt.' I'm not playing him to try and cheese the roleplay and melt through whatever threat comes our way.
In terms of equipment, Preston Payne has nothing other than his specially designed Exoskeleton, which is needed for him to survive, providing life support and structure to his mostly liquid body. It has also been designed to retract from around his hands in order to free them for his melting touch. In addition, the exoskeleton is more physically powerful than any non-powered human, though not by any great margin. It is also very durable, enough to ignore lower caliber rounds outright.
R E L A T I O N S H I P S: