Everything happened so fast but that's how things like a terrorist attack happen, isn't it?
Shouting, screaming, the masked figure. Most of the night for Trevor was a blur before everything suddenly came into stark focus with Cassander being impaled. There was no thought, only the rush of blood in his ears as he rushed to the falling body. He vaguely registered Trace beside him as he tore off his shirt and pressed it into the gapping hole in his teammate's chest.
There was so much blood. Heaven help him there was so kucb blood. Blood on the grass, blood on Cass' clothes blood on Trevor's clothes, blood on his forearms as he pressed the fabric deeper into Cass' exposed chest cavity, there was even blood on his face as he wiped a stray lock of hair out of his eyes.
For all the pressure he put on the wound compression wasn't going to stop all that bleeding. This was much bigger than a bullet hole but it all felt so familiar. That feeling of deja vu fed a trickle of anger that grew into a tidal wave. He grit his teeth and pressed harder, feeling the blood pool on top of the shirt and mix with the rain.
"You dumb bastard get it right this time!"
For someone who seemed so personable it had taken more than a bit of convincing to get Trevor into Dr. Arthur's chair. She smiled warmly as she welcomed him in.
"Hello, Trevor. How are you-
"Fine. I'm fine." His tone was short and he figeted with the arm rest, refusing to meet the doctor's eyes.
She pursed her lips and scratch put a few notes on her clipboard. Words like 'avoidance' and 'repression' made their mark on the page.
"I heard about what you did. There's nothing you could have done to save him. Even if he had been attacked on the steps of a hospital he still would have died."
"You don't know that," he replied sourly.
"You shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You did everything you could."
Trevor inhaled a steadying breath. The more they talked the more he wanted the session to end. He waved a hand as if their words were a foul smell he hoped to fan away. "It's fine. I'm fine."
"Trevor it's okay to feel negative emotions. In fact, it's healthy to-"
His response was immediate and raw with hurt and regret; his voice suddenly raising to a shout. "I SAID I'M FINE" There was a small pop of light in his left hand and suddenly the piece of the armrest in his grip disappeared as saw dust scattered across the floor on his right side. Silence fell over the room. The result of his sudden loss of control grounded Trevor once more and he awkwardly cleared his throat.
"I'll uh- I'll pay for that.
Trevor kept mostly to himself for the funeral service only briefly acknowledging anyone who attempted to interact with him. Everything was still too raw, too fresh. He needed time alone away from everything. Still, he felt it proper to say a few words for the deceased.
As he positioned himself in front of the podium he looked out over a crowd of scared and hurt faces and he felt that familiar spark in his chest. That same spark telling him to get up and do something when he saw the news story about the police arresting a hyperhuman; back when he discovered he was a hype himself. Right now his teammates needed people they could rely on and Trevor was determined to be one of those people.
"I didn't know Cassander well or at all really. I can't speak to his character, but I can talk about some of the people gathered here. You've all faced challenges and come out the other side. We'll get through this as a team with strength of heart, of mind, and of spirit." He paused a moment to let his words sink in as well as to steady himself. "Goodbye, Cassander. May the Lord bless you and keep you; may the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; may the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. Amen."
As he stepped away from the podium a thought occurred to him and he briefly returned. "And if anyone needs someone to talk to feel free to let me know."
This was it, the big team swap. Not only that but soon they would all be choosing a House. He felt the letter in his pocket and considered his choices as the speeches went on. House Lutra, House Lynx, and House Ursus. Intelligence, Sociability, and Altruism. Trevor didn't consider himself all that intelligent so that made it a choice between the other two. Both were good qualities to have and he liked to think he did his best to express them in his day to day life which just made the decision that much harder.
The decision to stay with Blackjack, however, was not difficult in the slightest. They had been through too much together to leave now. Plus he would miss Mackenna and Rory too much if he left. Not that he thought he would never see them again, he just wanted to see them more than occasionally. He had a good feeling about both of them.
His thoughts were interrupted as he watched Trace lift two separate armbands skyward, neither of which were Blackjack's. Trevor had hoped his teammates would feel the same as him and stick together but perhaps it had been unrealistic to think not one person would try to distance themselves from the events of the Plateau. Still, he couldn't help the heaviness in his heart at the sight. Hopefully not too many others would follow her example.
Everyone was fighting, Luce was throwing up, Banjo was hurt and decided to hurt Trace even if she would never admit it. But thankfully there was food, lots of food, and good food fixes everything.
Trevor wanted to say he was paying attention to anything other than the bare minimum to understand what was going on but everything after "kebabs" mostly fell by the wayside. Something something team swap something something bad storm. He busied himself with more important things like grilled meat and veggies. One kebab after the other disappeared into a seemingly bottomless pit and the pile of bare skewers only grew. Even for someone who came from the factory a bit bigger it was an impressive display. Eventually Trevor noticed a group of people gathering and decided to cut his meal short so as not to miss out on any camaraderie. He tossed the pile of skewers into a nearby trashcan with an audible clattering of wood.
Trevor fell in beside Rory and met Banjo's side glance with a friendly smile. It sounded like he was about to say "metabolize". The sudden switch in vocabulary confused him somewhat until it clicked. Being smart probably didn't mesh well with Banjo's cool guy persona he was obviously trying to project. The poor guy must be insecure about being book smart, but what could Trevor do to help him? He thought for a moment and an idea came to him. While he didn't consider himself all that smart, his parents demanded good grades if he wanted to be on the school soccer team. Maybe he could give Banjo an opportunity to show off how smart he is by letting him work off of some basic Human Anatomy knowledge.
Trevor nodded thoughtfully as Banjo explained his power set and waited politely for his own turn to speak. Hopefully he could also lighten the mood and get everyone's minds off the events that brought them to this moment. "So you metabolize sunlight?" he echoed, turning to Banjo, "That's so cool! I bet you have to ingest a lot more cholesterol to compensate unless it works independently of vitamin D synthesis. We can talk more about it later."
Trevor smiled at the group and gave a small wave. "Hi everyone! My name's Trevor and I'm a H.E.A.T. program volunteer. My ability is..." He trailed off as he racked his brain for a good explanation. "It's easier to show than tell."
He reached down and placed his hand flat on the ground. In the next instant the skin of his arm started to disappear. Not into thin air and disappearing, it moved into the ground under his hand. But moving was also not quite the right word. His flesh was disappearing and reappearing in the dirt in a rough outline of his hand, then his wrist, and the better part of his forearm that filled in over a few seconds. At the same time, a mixture of dirt, rocks, and grass replaced the limb now half buried in the ground. He flexed his new fingers a few times as small bits of dirt fell back to the ground before taking a firm hold of his original arm and giving a firm tug to free it from the dirt. The arm dangled limply in his grasp as he gave it a good shake to dislodge any dirt stuck to it. He didn't seem to mind as drops of blood welled up near the lump of bone sticking out the top, but he was careful to hold it hand side down.
"I can move other stuff around too. It doesn't have to be part of me either. More importantly I'm with Calliope, cool name by the way. We should stick together." By pure chance he happened to glance at Trace with all those arms behind her and gears turned in his head. Trevor looked down at his own disembodied hand and had to suppress a chuckle before he even started. This would be perfect, he just knew it. A joke would make her feel better after her spat with Banjo. Even at a distance it was obvious he was struggling not to laugh at his own joke as he tilted the severed limb in her direction.
"You seem like you got things handled but just ask and I'll be happy to lend you a hand."
Trevor's smile faltered for a moment as the question hit him. He knew this question would come eventually and he also knew he was a terrible liar... which is exactly why he had spent time rehersing an answer. Dr. Lehrer may have caught his off guard but he was ready this time. All he had to do was not mess this up.
"Oh y’know normal guy stuff."
Trevor had already busied himself with skimming the directions for setting the "tent" up when Rory approached.
"You mind if I crash with you? Looks like everyone else has paired up."
Trevor smiled as he turned around and gave an affirmative nod. "Not at all! Feel free to stop by in a bit once I get this thing sorted out," he said with a gesture at the partly risen yurt.
"Hey Trevor! Need a hand?"
He waved at Makenna as she and another girl approached. "Hi Makenna! I think I got it but you can keep me company any time you like."
How nice of her to check up on him; that's the stuff good friends do. If only more people could be as friendly as Makenna and Rory. If he could follow their example, he had no doubt they would all be great friends by the end of their time at Pacific Royal. He gave the other girl, who he now knew as Luce, a smile and returned her wave. Poor girl looked more nervous than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. Maybe a joke would help her relax a bit.
"Hi Luce! Not dying is pretty cool. Lots of people aren't too jazzed about the whole dying thing. I know I'd prefer not to."
The topic of Hyperhuman abilities gave him pause, however, as he tried thinking of a way to explain his ability without making himself out to be the world's most off-putting Mr. Potato Head. Thankfully, he was given a bit of respite, but not so thankfully because of the escalating argument between several of his teammates. As much as he didn't want to interrupt making a new friend, this seemed more than a little serious.
"Really great to meet you, Luce. I promise I'll be right back. I feel like I gotta go y'know—" he made a broad gestured at the growing crowd of arguing students "—help stop that."
He approached the assembled group from behind Rory with hands raised in a placating gesture. "Hey guys, I know we're all a little tense right now and, not accusing anyone in particular, but we're saying some hurtful things we don't really mean. Maybe it's best if we all just walk away from each other for a bit, get something to eat, think things over, and come back together when we're all not so stressed out. How does that sound?"
Fighting at this level this early on did not bode well for the long term strength of Blackjack, but Trevor was determined to do everything he could to keep everyone together. At least Iñigo seemed willing to make efforts at reconciliation.
“And you…” Her head tilted slightly, finger tapping her cheekbone and she surveyed him and attempted to pinpoint his accent. “I want to say lower Midwest? Nebraska maybe? I'm also wagering you're a voluntary member of our merry band of misfits.”
Trevor nodded and returned her smile, albeit without any hint of ulterior motive or false sweetness. "Close! I'm from Missouri and yeah I volunteered. I'm going for the H.E.A.T. program," he added with an edge of excitement in his voice. He was vaguely aware that she was moving closer to him but didn't assign any more mental energy to it beyond simple acknowledgment.
"What's Connecticut like? I've never been." The thought occurred to him that he might annoy her with asking so many questions but she didn't seem to be annoyed. If anything, she seemed interested in talking to him, like really interested. Of course he could be misinterpreting that but he was relatively sure Makenna wanted to talk to him.
"Let's go, Blackjack. Faster we're set up, faster we can hang out."
Trevor nodded in agreement with Rory and went to work right away on the first tent he could find. Or at least tried to. What in the world was he looking at? Some other students were further along than him in setting up their accommodations and it seemed like he was dealing with some kind of self-setting tent. But it wasn't really a tent, was it? A quick glance inside at the amenities and Trevor frowned with disappointment. They weren't camping at all.
"This is just a hotel with extra steps," he muttered to himself.
Where were the tarps? The tent stakes? The jet boiler for making the worst coffee you've ever tasted but it tastes good because you made it while breathing that fresh air and listening to the birds sing? He couldn't help the twinge of sadness as he once again remembered his time hiking and camping with his family. It felt like such a long time ago and so far away; farther than just being in another country. Those memories were from a time and place where everything was simpler and he wasn't a Hyper. As much as he wanted to use his abilities to help others, every now and then he wondered if maybe his life would be better if he was just a regular human like the rest of his family. His priest back home had told him his abilities were a gift from God and even though Father Murphy had never steered him wrong before, Trevor wasn't so sure this time.
His thoughts were interrupted when Trace suddenly called out to him and Rory. Their mention of Haleigh made him freeze like a child caught wrist deep in the cookie jar. His embarrassment was still fresh and he dared not look Haleigh in the eye for fear of what look she might give him. She was definitely still upset with him and he couldn't stand the thought of someone being upset with him. Except Team 18 they didn't count. The great colossus of social anxiety and the titan of people pleasing tendencies grappled for a few agonizing seconds until another student spoke up. Trevor didn't know his name but was immensely grateful for being granted an out... and then felt intensely guilty for wanting that out.
"I am more than willing to help you out, camarada."
"It's settled then. Let me know if you guys need any help!" he called out. He meant it too even as he made himself busy with setting up the nearest unoccupied yurt. Everything else aside, he was very much looking forward to Rory's suggestion of football.
“These ones have the look of winners,” Ryan stated as she pointed towards her own team before looking back towards Jim and the rest of Blackjack. “Yours, eh, I wouldn’t go all in just yet, Jim.”
Just like that it became Trevor's personal mission to absolutely stomp Team 18 in the coming trials. He learned what Team 21 was a day ago but damn it all if he wasn't going to make sure he and his teammates were the undisputed winners. He had also never even met anyone from the opposite team in his life but he didn't have to to send them packing. He had already heard talk about a hyperhuman specific sport and he aimed to make a name for himself out here. "Hey! That's Trevor, he really kicked ass during the Homecoming Trials. I want him on my team!" they'd say.
At least that was the idea.
One of his opponents snickered at Ryan's comment only to be met with a look from Trevor that simply said "you're first". His stare down was interrupted by calls to load up into the trucks and he quickly found his seat inside. Almost immediately he felt someone scoot in close to him, very close actually. Assuming she needed more room, he moved his knee over a bit so she could have space. She introduced herself right away and Trevor couldn't help but smile back. He was quite happy to meet someone so friendly, even if she didn't appear to be enthusiastic about the Homecoming trials judging by her earlier comment.
"Hey Makenna!" he replied while enthusiastically shaking her hand, "And feel free to sit wherever you like, there's plenty of room."
He thought it best to make small talk before diving head first into plotting the downfall of Team 18. Not that he didn't want to get to know his new friend, he just had that pre-game fire in him after the back and forth between the senior staff of the teams and knew it was better to reign in it.
"So, where are you from?"
Trevor couldn't have been happier when the trucks came to a stop. He absolutely loved camping and the outdoors. It had been awhile since he'd had the chance to rough it ever since his family moved to follow his dad's work promotion and give his older sister better opportunities to follow her gymnast dreams. He wasn't bitter per se but he definitely missed that time in his life where he was able to enjoy nature more often, a simpler time before he found out he was a Hype.
Looking around, he wasn't too confident in their team yet seeing as the very mention of working together had caused a bit of a stir. Maybe he just needed to change his approach. There was no way for all of them to succeed without everyone coming together. Maybe there was some kind of non-sports related activity everyone could bond over. Everyone except Calliope, at least. He hadn't given up on her yet but he also wasn't hopeful. Still, a truck moves faster if all the wheels are going in the same direction. He had hoped to talk with Makenna a bit more but she seemed eager to get her tent set up and some people didn't feel comfortable in a co-ed tent. To each their own.
He approached the biggest group he could find and gestured around to the landscape all smiles and cheer. "Look at this place! Couldn't have picked a better spot myself."
Of course he was upselling just a bit, but he was genuinely impressed with the location. Despite the impending rainstorm just over the horizon it seemed like a great place to camp with plenty of forested area and mountains nearby Not that he expected they would get much time to spend hiking.
"Be punctual, be precise, be tactful, and above all else be prepared for anything."
Name: Alexei "Wotan" Popov aka "Guerrilla King", "Lord of War"
Appearance: Standing roughly 5'10" and noticeably muscular, but not as much as he would have been in his prime. His fully grayed hair is kept short and easy to manage while his beard can get a bit unruly at times if he spends an especially long time on the battlefield. His left eye socket is surrounded by vicious scaring and the eye itself replaced with a military grade cybernetic. His manner of dress is rather bland, long cargo pants and shirts with neutral colors or whatever camouflage pattern his current allies have laying around in his size.
Background: Born in 4173 at the edges of what could officially called Dolsilvec Foundation space back then, Alexei joined the ranks of the Foundation military with stars in his eyes as he set out to help make the galaxy a safer place. His grand dreams slowly died as he began to see the truth: everyone is just out for more money and power. This being the case, he decided to take some of the pie for himself. He volunteered for higher and higher tier, more and more classified military units within the Foundation just in time for the Veiled War.
Alexei had worked his way up the chain into blacker and blacker operations until he joined the ranks of Spetsgruppa 13 aka "Spetsnaz Group 13", the response to NATO's not so subtle influence on "disposable" colony worlds. Group 13 was tasked with a very similar mission set to United States Special Forces back on Earth: to integrate, train, and organize local populations into effective fighting forces turning those areas into hostile territory for enemy forces. Group 13 members were usually deployed in either 2 or 4 man teams and some deployed as lone operators. Alexei mostly worked solo towards the latter half of his time with the unit.
His work saw him very busy throughout the Veiled War but he often felt chained down by his leadership. They were always so concerned about public image, ethos, and not getting their hands dirty. Alexei often struggled to complete his solo missions while bogged down by in-house politics. Heavy partner force casualties and civilian death looks bad on any commander's resume but sometimes bad things need to be done. It's war. People die. Alexei felt more and more that he could win the fights he was given, he just wasn't being allowed to.
Eventually, he couldn't stand being "held back" any longer and went turncoat, making contact with NATO personnel to offer information and his services. Not wanting to pass up this exceptional opportunity, he was readily accepted with open arms... and promptly encountered the same problem. He was constantly in trouble for being too harsh with those under his command. "They're just civies you gotta ease up." they'd say "You want them to die comfortably, I make them suffer so they might live," he would reply. Naturally, it didn't take long for him to abandon NATO as well and disappear into the cosmic wind.
He eventually resurfaced amongst a group of "freedom fighters" who gladly welcomed his offer to improve their operations and were more than happy to pay his fees. NATO and the Foundation each went to great lengths over the next decade and a half to find and capture their shared embarrassing mistake (without the other's help of course). Alexei hopped from system to system, battlefield to battlefield, lending his expertise for temporary shelter and a great deal of monetary compensation. He was happy to finally have groups of people who understood what it meant to wage war and were happy to do whatever he told them because they knew they could win if they did what he said. It was the satisfaction of a battle well fought that kept him at it. Stories began to spread about Alexei and his bands of rag tag militiamen ambushing larger, better armed forces in the dead of night, inflicting grievous injury on equipment and personnel before disappearing into the countryside or the back alleys of cities. These swift and deadly raids were likened to the "Wild Hunt" of old Earth mythology by one NATO commander and their leader soon became known as "Wotan", named after the ancient Earth proto-germanic pagan god. The comparison gained traction when more and more terrorist cells, rebel groups, pirate fleets, and even the occasional drug cartel in the Helios Expanse suddenly demonstrated quantum leaps in their tactics and discipline consistent with the Group 13 playbook. Leadership on all sides of the Veiled War attempted to discourage their troops from likening this rabble rouser to a god of war but the name stuck regardless.
Character Evaluation: Alexei has been described as ruthless, all ice cold calculus and efficiency, with little patience for incompetence or error. His methods are harsh if not outright brutal but no one can argue with the results. He takes his job seriously but has been known to occasionally show glimpses of a sense of humor.
Skills: Multilingual (Fluent in Russian, English, Spanish, Mandarin, and French. Conversational in Swahili. Knows key phrases and words in Arabic and multiple alien languages.
Weapons Expert - Familiar with the usage and upkeep of all common human small arms and some light artillery as well as many Yrrkadian and Conglomerate small arms.
Reconnaissance Small Unit Tactics Combat Leadership Unconventional Warfare
Loadout: His main weapon is whatever he can scrounge up from his current allies but he has a few staples.
Ayad Armaments KS5 Handgun - A simple hammer-fired, 15+1 capacity 9mm pistol. With tolerances wider than a barn door and less moving parts than you can count on your fingers, it's a wonderful choice for a mercenary on the go. A fantastic sidearm that's easy to service, doesn't break, doesn't jam, and doesn't even dent when used to bludgeon someone. Alexei can attest to all of that personally.
Ayad Armaments KSM33 "Locust" SMG - Ultra compact, ultra robust folding submachine gun bringing surprising firepower in a conceable package. 30+1 capacity, single shot, 3 round burst, or full auto selections available with holo sight standard.
Fighting Knife - Fixed 8" single edged with blacked out blade. Nothing particularly fancy.
Was it something he said? Other than calling soccer "soccer" of course. His district championship medal and state finalist trophy were from soccer games not football so the uppity brit would just have to live with it. They probably didn't even play soccer, but if they did he would be happy to kick their ass on the field. Save for sports terminology, everything was suddenly in question. Maybe it had been the suggestion of soccer in the first place? Probably. He kicked himself internally for not reading the room better. It had never been his strong suite but usually he did better than this.
Soccer. In front of the girl in the wheelchair? Genius dude. Now everyone thinks you're an asshole.
Turning to Rory he gave a slight nod and smiled appreciatively. At least one person didn't seem too off put by his slip up. "Yeah, sounds good. I'll see you there and I'll bring my ball unless you've got one you wanna use."
Noticing the girl in the wheelchair, who's name he was moderately sure was Heather but wasn't confident enough to say that name out loud, seemed to be leaving, he made sure to speak up before he missed the chance. "Hey! Um... I'm really sorry about the whole soccer thing! he called after her. "I probably should try thinking more before just saying stuff. Maybe we could play Fifa some time if you have a console of your own since I forgot mine back home. Of course it doesn't have to be Fifa it can be whatever. I'm down for anything." He smiled, more then slightly embarrassed as he rubbed at his forearm.
"Why do you think I called you in here, Trevor?" Dr. Leher asked.
Trevor paused for a moment and furrowed his brow in thought. Was he in trouble? No, he couldn't be unless everyone in the line behind him were also in trouble somehow. It had to be something obvious and mundane. There's no possible way the school had found out about what he'd been up to before arriving. As much funding as P.R.C.U. had up its sleeve they couldn't be everywhere at once, right? He absent mindedly rubbed his thumb across a patch of shiney metal in his forearm no bigger than a dime. The metal wasn't embedded into his skin like shrapnel, more like the metal was part of him.
"To do some paperwork?" he asked hesitantly.
Dr. Leher shook his head with a smile. "Nothing like that, all your paperwork has been taken care of. Your file is very much in order. I just like to get a chance to know a little more about new students." He glanced at a computer monitor on his desk and scrolled down a bit. "You are from Kansas City, Missouri, correct? So I'm sure you have read about the hyperhuman vigilante the press called the 'Tin Man'."
"Personally I was never a fan of the name." There was a moment of quiet before Trevor loudly cleared his throat. "Not that I have a personal stake in that or anything. I'm just saying they could've been more creative for a guy who can turn his body into whatever he finds lying around."
Dr. Leher's smile turned slightly more upward in what Trevor guessed was amusement. "Is that so? What makes you think that was his specific ability? The police never could agree on exactly what they were dealing with. It's the main reason they took so long to call us in. If they had not been so late in asking for our assistance we might have been able to find out who this masked vigilante was before he went to ground. Oddly similar to your own hyperhuman ability, now that I think about it."
Trevor tried to swallow but ended up in a coughing fit that lasted a bit too long. Eventually, he managed to scrape some words together in his head and force them out of his mouth. "Are you trying to imply I'm that guy? Well, sir I'm not. We just have similar abilities or maybe we don't. How would I know about his ability? I just heard a rumor about it and maybe the guy was just doing what he thought was right who are they to judge?" He threw the words across the desk as if they might keep Dr. Leher's thinly veiled accusations at bay.
The doctor raised his hands in a placating gesture. "I'm not accusing you of anything no need to get riled up. As for your comment on vigilantism..." His smile disappeared entirely, replaced by a hard, thin line as he steepled his fingers in front of him. "We strongly discourage such behavior here. While that young man may have been doing what he thought is right, I would advise him to not repeat his behavior if I ever have the chance to speak with him." Dr. Leher paused to let that last sentence hang in the air. His stare became pointed and Trevor shifted uncomfortably in the doctor's gaze as panic swelled in his chest. He gripped his chair with sweating palms and tried to stop his heart from beating clear out of his chest.
He knows. Oh shit he knows. Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit he knows. This is it. The police are right outside and they'll bust in here and I'll be locked away until I rot. No, scratch that. They'll put me in jail until the jail rots on top of me and then they're gonna move me to a new jail and then-
"I would also tell him that we have several, much more constructive and I do want to emphasize legal outlets for such proclivities." Dr. Leher added as he slid two pamphlets across the desk to Trevor, "But he is not here so I might as well give these to you."
Trevor's gaze flicked down to the pamphlets in front of him.
"Hyperhuman Emergency Response Operations, join today and become a H.E.R.O.!"
"Hyperhuman Investigate Tactical Unit, join today and solve the problems no one else can!"
The covers showed a number of uniformed men and women posing behind flags with the symbol of their organizations and various images of agents performing their jobs. Trevor seemed reluctant at first to touch the paper as though it were some kind of elaborate trick, but slowly reached a hand out and gathered them up. The realization of what had just transpired filled him with an odd mix of relief and dread. Not wanting to look a gift horse in the mouth, Trevor nodded politely and mumbled a quick thank you followed quickly by a half baked excuse about having another appointment. Dr. Leher chuckled and gestured to the door.
"By all means, don't let me keep you, but I strongly encourage you to do further reading. The Bureau is an excellent career opportunity for anyone with the right skills and a good head on their shoulders."
Trevor stiffly waved goodbye and did his best impression of a nonchalant walk past the other students lined up in the hall. Unfortunately, he's terrible at impressions and ended up half marching half jogging until he rounded a corner.
The ceremony was actually very nice in his opinion. Not that he would ever admit it, but he thought he looked pretty damn good in uniform even if the imprint of the rosary around his neck broke the flow of the undershirt just a bit. Plus, having a dress code was a small price to pay for room and board, especially if it looked this good.
He was about half way through a hearty rendition of the first line of the Star Spangled Banner when he realized everyone else was singing a completely different song. Also some people were staring at him. The realizations that he was supposed to be singing the Canadian national anthem and that it hadn't even occurred to him this would be the case both hit him in the forehead at once like walking into both halves of a double door at once. He opted to remain silent for the rest of the anthem, staring at his shoes and resisting the urge to see if his ability would let him displace the ground beneath him and sink into the Earth. He could only hope and pray no one he was going to be teammates with had heard that.
As Dr. Leher took the stage, Trevor tried his best to look at the stage without obviously avoiding eye contact and it seemed to work. Sticking to the back of a crowd has its advantages. Still, he managed to spot a few people with the same card-themed arm band included with his own uniform and cringed. They had definitely been in ear shot but hopefully they wouldn't recognize his voice, especially the British one. He doubt they'd ever let him live that down.
Better to rip that band aid off now if they did...
And so he made his way over to the gathering crowd of his teammates and waved in greeting. Ideally something friendly and welcoming would fall out of his mouth. Something charming and maybe even witty. Yeah, charming and witty sounded good. He gave his friendliest smile as he approached the group.
"Hey all! Looks like we're teammates. I hope we don't actually have to play cards. I'm much more of a soccer guy myself."
T R E V O R M U S G R A V E T R E V O R M U S G R A V E
"I like people, I really do, but I've also never had a marigold ask me to justify my existence."
▅▅▅▅▅▅ Y E A R B O O K P H O T O ▅▅▅▅▅▅ ▅▅▅▅▅▅ Y E A R B O O K P H O T O ▅▅▅▅▅▅
▅▅▅▅▅ S T U D E N T S U M M A R Y ▅▅▅▅▅ ▅▅▅▅▅ S T U D E N T S U M M A R Y ▅▅▅▅▅
Trevor Nathaniel Musgrave _________________________________________________________ March5th 2002 | 19 | Caucasian _________________________________________________________ Single | ♂ | Heterosexual _________________________________________________________ Kansas City | Missouri | United States of America
▅ P H Y S I C A L P R O F I L E ▅ P H Y S I C A L P R O F I L E ▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅
P H Y S I C A L T R A I T S ▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔ ◼ B U I L D || Athletic ◼ H A I R C O L O U R || Redhead ◼ E Y E C O L O U R || Brown ◼ H E I G H T || 6'-3" ◼ W E I G H T || 190 lbs ◼ S K I N T O N E || Fair -
▅ M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S ▅ M O T I V A T I O N S & G O A L S ▅▅▅▅▅▅
M O T I V A T I O N S ▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔ The only thing worse in his mind than people who do evil deeds are those with the power to stop them and do nothing. Evil can only persist when good people stand aside to let it pass right by them. The knowledge he has the ability and the will to change the world around him for the better drives him forward to seize his goals. G O A L S ▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔ The fire in his soul never died even after he hung up the metaphorical cape, he just plans to filter it through the proper legal channels. Being able to call for back up or at least having some better equipment would be a better alternative to his old modus operandi. Trevor has set his sights on H.E.R.O. and he'll settle for nothing less. -
▅ N O T E S ▅ N O T E S ▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅
M I S C E L L A N E O U S ▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔▔ ► As driven and intense as he can be, it surprises many people to learn that he also has a passion for something quiet and gentle; gardening. Growing up in the city he never got to see that much greenery so being able to bring it into the apartment was no small comfort. Flowers, herbs, succulents, ferns, a vine or two, and even mushrooms that one time just to see if he could. The care and maintenance of all these living things brought him peace.
He's also a big softie when it comes to animals. Cats, dogs, birds, even rats, any kind of critter really. He's the type to know all the alley cats and have names for each and every one. -
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Trevor grew up the middle child between an older sister and a younger stepsister. His dad and step mom loved him but often left him to his own devices between caring for his young step sister and supporting his older sister's gymnastics dreams. After school he often came home to his older sister at practice, his dad at work paying the bills, and stepmom busy with his stepsister. There was little time when anyone had their eye on him so it wasn't hard for him to make excuses and hand wave away difficult questions about where he had been as long as he kept his grades up.
Trevor discovered his Hyperhuman status after being ambushed by a mugger on his way home from the store. He dodged the first swing of the crowbar by a hair and tried to grapple with the stronger man for the weapon. He was quickly losing the battle, but that didn't matter as the metal bar crumbled into nothing only to be replaced by two hands cut off just above the wrists. The attacker fled the scene after realizing what he was holding and Trevor nearly followed suit in the opposite direction until he looked down. His own hands were now replaced with solid metal in the shape of his severed hands. It took a long minute to put the pieces together in his mind and realize what had happened. It took several more minutes to figure out how to activate this ability on purpose and reattach his hands. He sprinted all the way home and barely slept at all the rest of the night. Worst of all the events that replayed in his mind was how easily the metal hands had moved just like flesh and bone.
Of course he didn't tell anyone about this discovery. He did his best to pretend it didn't happen for awhile until he saw the news story about a local Hyperhuman vigilante being caught by the police. His knee jerk reaction was anger. Why would they arrest someone who was just trying to help people? If someone has the ability to stop people from hurting others, why is it wrong for them to do so? Then it hit him. He was someone with abilities that could help people, so why wasn't he using them?
He practiced with his new abilities over the next few weeks and going after bigger and bigger criminals starting at purse snatchers and working up to drug gangs. Naturally, his antics started to draw the attention of local police who received numerous calls about a metal man seen attacking people on the street and breaking into homes.
At first it was believed there was a Hyperhuman criminal on the loose, but very quickly law enforcement realized they were dealing with a vigilante when the home invasions always happened at drug dens and the random attacks on the street resulted in the victims zip tied to lamp posts with a note taped to their back explaining what nefarious act they had been up to. Everything was working out perfectly for Trevor until he encountered another hype on the wrong side of the law, but one much less altruistic than himself and with the ability of almost apocalyptic strength.
Trevor had gotten good enough at this point to make himself bullet proof but there's not much bullet proof skin does when getting hit by a truck head on. He still put up a decent fight at first but soon realized just how in over his head he was and ran. It was then he realized how close he had come to dying and it pained him to think his family would have to find out he died from a knock at the door.
As much as he wanted to continue being a vigilante, he saw there was only so much he could do on his own and decided to reveal himself to his family and subsequently reach out to P.R.C.U. His family swore to keep his secret although he suspects they only did so to prevent the shame of having a Hyperhuman vigilante in their midst from falling on them. Of course he neglected to mention his status as an ex-vigilante in the application. Something in the back of his mind told him mentioning his "prior experience" wouldn't go so well.
▅A B I L I T I E S, L I M I T A T I O N S, & W E A K N E S S E S ▅A B I L I T I E S, L I M I T A T I O N S, & W E A K N E S S E S ▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅▅
H Y P E R H U M A N A B I L I T Y || M A T T E R E X C H A N G E __PRIMARY CLASSIFICATION || EXOTERIC __SECONDARY CLASSIFICATION || FUNDAMENTAL
Trevor's ability allows him to project a pair of highly localized fields of HZE ions that impose mass quantum entanglement on matter they come into contact with. The strength of these fields is sufficient to direct the probability of all affected particles into collapsing within the framework of matter in the opposite HZE ion field. It's like he's running the double slit experiment as a double headed coin toss.
While technically a form of teleportation, it does not function in the traditional sense. Instead of teleporting himself or objects across a distance, Trevor becomes a conduit for one group of atoms to trade places with another group. For example, he could pick up a soda can while touching a piece of cement and cause a piece of aluminum to integrate seamlessly into the sidewalk while being left holding a chunk of cement where the can had been. Or perhaps he could take a metal pipe, touch a wooden door, and suddenly have a wooden tube in one hand as he looks at a hunk of metal embedded in the door like it had been placed there the day that door was made.
Strangest of all, his ability interacts curiously with living biological matter. Trevor has the ability to exchange matter from his own body or the bodies of other living things with inorganic material and have that material integrate seamlessly and even move similar to how the living tissue would regardless of the new material's original properties. Steel skin bends and stretches when poked or pressed but causes baseball bats to shatter against it and cement limbs flex at the joints without added stiffness or resistance while dulling knives that slash at them.
L I M I T A T I O N S
The biggest limits to Trevor's ability are the complexity of the material(s) he's affecting and the amount of material with regard to mass. Objects with more mass are more difficult to transfer and the complexity of the material is also a hurdle. A cast iron pan presents little trouble but a smart phone might take him several minutes to an hour. But several dozen cast iron pans might overwhelm him if he tried to transfer them one right after the other.
He's also limited in that he can only exchange exactly equal amounts of material in relation to volume and cannot create new shapes. If he exchanged a doorknob for a piece of brick wall, there would be a piece of doorknob shapped brick where the knob was and a new piece of doorknob shapped metal inside the brick or visa versa.
W E A K N E S S E S
Trevor's matter exchanges aren't always exact, 100% accurate transfers. Sometimes he makes slight mistakes if he goes too fast or back and forth too many times. For example, switching the same cinder block for parts of himself over and over can cause him to accidentally leave bits of himself in the cinder block and or bits of cinder block inside him. This was something he had to work on minimizing after he noticed flecks of stainless steel in his skin here and there and a streak of wood where part of his scalp should be.
Speaking of which, it's no trouble for him to switch inorganic materials but things get a bit messy with living tissue. Whenever he makes an exchange that living tissue doesn't just evaporate, it has to go somewhere just like any other type of matter. If he wants to give himself iron skin, all that meat has to go somewhere. Back home he had a special ice cooler he could put his parts in whenever he left for a night on the town, but if someone catches him with his pants down, he has to find the parts of himself he ditched after the fight.
Trevor also can't make new shapes. If someone lopped off his metal hand and he couldn't find that one or the original meat hand, he'd have to go home and make himself a new hand without the aid of his ability and exchange it to a material he liked. If he loses his original hand, he'd be stuck with whatever hand material he can exchange into... that is unless he were to take someone else's hand but that's a line he wouldn't cross.
And of course he's still human and has human limits. Getting enough material to completely encase his body is a multi hour affair and by the end of it he would be exhausted. Any sort of riot control gas, or hitting him where he doesn't have protection would be more than enough to hider or stop him altogether. Plus, he's not armored up 24/7 so anyone getting the drop on Trevor would find him almost as vulnerable as any regular human.
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Y O U A W A K E I N T H E D E A D O F N I G H T, W H A T W O K E Y O U?
"Back home it would usually be the alley cats fighting outside the window or my step sister when she had a nightmare. Unfortunately for me, my room is closer than her mom's. Also unfortunately for me, she's adorable and six so of course I can't say no to her. She'll settle down after I poke around in the closet with a Walmart lightsaber a little bit to scare the monsters away."
A D I S H E V E L E D S T R A N G E R A P P R O A C H E S Y O U A S K I N G F O R H E L P, H O W D O Y O U R E S P O N D?
"Depends. If they approach me when no one else is around that's a no go. Someone who's really begging for money would approach multiple people at once if they can or beg in a place with many people in plain view to help increase the chance of someone passing by willing to give them money. Anyone begging a stranger in an empty parking lot is approaching a mark or doing their best impression of a mugger if they aren't."
A N I N T R U D E R A L A R M H A S B E E N S E T O F F O N C A M P U S, H O W D O Y O U R E A C T?
"Honestly? Let the people who get paid to deal with that handle things. I figured out I was a hype less than a year ago, you think I'm gonna try and throw down with a heavy weight who can break into a place like this? No thanks, I'll let the proper authorities deal with Ol' Johnny Laser Fingers."