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Zkedia Mining Colony, Jiden-V

Salt crunched beneath Drex’s hooves. In front of him, he could hear the sobbing of J’vanna, the doctor’s son. The boy couldn’t have been more than six cycles old. Drex opened his mouth to offer a word of consolation to J’vanna but was silenced by a sudden jab in the back. The Centaurian mercenary behind him attempted to bray something to him in broken Kymellian but Drex couldn’t make sense of it. He didn’t need to understand it to know what was coming next.

For thousands of cycles, Drex’s people had called this planet their home. Though they were Kymellian, their isolation had robbed them of the abilities some of their kind possessed. The salt pits that had drawn them there had been both the making of his people and their undoing. They had grown weak, complacent. Drex understood that now as he marched to his end with what remained of his people.

Finally there came a cry from the Centaurian general that brought the entire procession to a halt beside a gorge. Once again Drex was jabbed in the back, though this time with enough force to send him down onto his hooves. His head hit the ground and revealed the blood red soil beneath it. Drex winced slightly, feeling blood trickling freely from the cut on his forehead. Beside him, the young J’vanna’s sobs grew louder with every passing moment – to the point that he was heaving. It was undignified, Drex thought, before damning himself quietly for his judgement.

The Centaurian general stepped forward. His bulging muscles were covered in deep blue scars and the shock of red hair that rose from his skull stood tallest among his men. He withdrew the golden bow from his back and slipped one of his arrows into place. All around him, Drex heard his people let out fearful cries but he remained silent. The general drew back his bowstring and following on from his lead his men did so too – creating a sound not unlike a thousand nails running along a chalkboard all at once.

The Centaurian general held his bowstring back without any sign of exertion. To Centaurians, the bow was more than a weapon, it was like another limb – the bond between them was almost sacred. Finally, in his last moments Drex turned his mind to all things sacred. Though his people had long since strayed from the old ways and few among them worshipped the gods of Kymellia, the prayers of his childhood came back to him.

“May the Mother forgive us.”

Drex’s eyes clamped shut as he heard the cracking of a thousand Centaurian bows unfurling. Time seemed to slow to a complete standstill as Drex sensed the lethal payload barrelling towards them. His eyes still shut he felt a hand clamp around his and his own hand compelled without his consent to reach out for the Kymellian beside him. His eyes opened and he realised to his disbelief that he was still alive.

“The Mother,” J’vanna smiled at him. “She saved us.”

There was a roar of confusion from among the Centaurian horde as they collectively reached into their quivers for more ammunition. Drex scanned his people’s numbers and saw among them the source of their salvation. There was a lone green figure stood with a single hand on the shoulder of a Kymellian woman. Drex shook his head in disbelief – it was a Martian.

Before the Centaurians had a chance to send forth another barrage, they found their numbers compromised. In a blur, the Martian cut through them. Each blow they sent in the Martian’s direction by way of defence, be it by bow or by first, passed through him. They were met by blows with ten times the force – some were sent skidding along the salt in a heap whilst others merely melted to the ground limply as the Martian’s limbs passed through them.

Drex climbed to his feet and with a roar sent his broken and beaten people into the fray to aid the Martian. In the melee, the Kymellian caught a glimpse of the towering shock of red hair that belonged to the Centaurian general. He cleaved a way through the carnage towards it with his hooves, smashing them down upon one foe after another to make his way towards him. Finally, the two adversaries encountered each other in the field.

“You will die here,” the Centaurian sneered as he drew his sword. “But at least you will have the honour of dying by my hand.”

Drex let out a guttural neigh as he flung himself towards the general. He parried a blow from the Centaurian’s sword away from his throat with left hoof and sent the right one towards the general’s exposed ribs. They traded blows for what seemed like hours and they appeared evenly matched for a time, but eventually Drex’s advanced years began to show, and the Centaurian gained the upper hand. He slipped through the Kymellian’s reach and managed to gain his back. The sacred forced itself over Drex’s neck and his hooves seemed powerless to stop the bowstring from cutting into his flesh.

<Enough.>

The Centaurian’s grip fell limp and the bowstring loosened. The Centaurian whimpered as he felt a hand glide into his chest and grip onto his heart. He looked over his shoulder to see the blood-covered Martian stood behind him. There was not an ounce of sympathy in the Martian’s deep red eyes – only a rage that seemed to emit a cold that chilled him to his bones. All around them the fighting continue, except for those in the near vicinity who seemed to sense the significance of the moment.

<You will command your men to stand down.>

Drex held a hand to his bleeding neck as he staggered away from them. He saw the look of defiance cross the general's face. “I will do no such thing, Martian. My men would sooner die than admit defeat to the likes of you.”

<Then die they will.>

One of the Martian’s green hands pressed against his temple and the battlefield fell silent. The Centaurian horde dropped their gilded bows to the ground and marched, as the Kymellians had, towards the waiting gorge. One by one they stepped voluntarily over the edge. Soon they were falling in their tens, hundreds even, as the confused Kymellians watched on. The exhilaration that Drex had felt turned to horror as the scale of the death dawned on him.

The defiance on the Centaurian general’s face seemed to melt and suddenly, suspended helplessly in place with the Martian’s hand clasped around his heart, he seemed to relent.

“No,” he murmured in a voice that was so defeated that it shocked Drex. “No more.”

<I offered you mercy once, Centaurian. I will not offer it again.>

More bodies tumbled over the cliff to the deaths. Drex found himself instinctively reaching out for a passing Centaurian. There was a glassy look in their eye that chilled the Kymellian to his core. No matter how hard Drex tried to restrain them, he could not stop them from marching to their death. More of his people reached out for their one-time adversaries in an effort to stop the Martian’s slaughter.

Through it all, a gentle hoof came to rest on their hulking green saviour’s forearm. J’vanna, the doctor’s son, had slipped through the crowd unnoticed. Where the others were terrified of the Martian, he was too young to know better than to approach him.

“Please,” J’vanna implored the Martian. “There’s been enough death for one day.”

The Martian stared down at the boy silently and somewhere deep inside of him something stirred. He relinquished his hold on the general’s heart and allowed him to fall to the ground with a thud. The Centaurian’s seemed to come to their senses. Drex watched on equal parts amazed by J’vanna’s courage and appalled by what had been done. The Martian lent down and placed one of his large hands over the Centaurian general’s head.

<You have felt but a fraction of the suffering my people felt. Know that I have seen into your mind, held your blackened heart in my hand, and judge you to be unworthy of this world. You will live on, but ... not without paying a price.>

The general let out a scream as billions of voices howled out in pain in his brain. He saw blood and fire, families torn apart, and a world set against itself until only the strongest remained. He began to froth at the mouth and convulse until, his mind shattered into a thousand pieces, he fell to his knees abruptly.

The surviving Centaurians watched on in shocked silence as the most capable among them was rendered a vegetable with but a fraction of the Martian’s strength.

<Leave this place.>

Without a second’s hesitation the archers scattered, scampering over the corpses of their fallen compatriots, some even dropping their bows as they made a hasty exit. Had Drex been minded to protest, the Martian’s display earned his silence and, in truth, his revulsion. Something about the scene compelled him to speak and, though he knew he ought to express gratitude, as his equine lips parted, admonishment appeared in its place.

“What gives you the right?” Drex said as he gestured to the gorge half-filled with Centaurian bodies. “You did this in our names.”

<No, Kymellian, I did it in theirs.>

For a tenth of a second, Drex felt the force of emotion that had been unleashed upon the general. It was enough to knock him to his knees. When he opened his eyes he found that tears were pouring from them without end. The Martian Manhunter was gone. Only silence remained.
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L
T H E M A R T I A N M A N H U N T E R


J' O N N J' O N N Z Z M A N H U N T E R S P A C E N O N - A F F I L I A T E D
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:


“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

We meet this J’onn J’onnzz when he is at his lowest ebb. The annihilation of the Green Martians, J’onn’s wife and daughter among them, has left him a broken man. Where the Martian Manhunter we’re familiar with is inadvertently brought to Earth and eventually becomes a superhero, this J’onn flees for the furthest reaches of space. He is the lone survivor of the extermination of his people – and driven by his failure to protect his loved ones, he sets about exacting vengeance against evil-doers across the universe with such an intensity that some regard him an urban legend.

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:

J’onn is motivated purely by his desire for vengeance. He has a dim view of the Green Lantern Corps and all other forms of galactic authorities, who he considers to have failed Mars. As such, J’onn takes it upon himself to track down and mete out justice to cosmic war criminals. His services are not available for hire. He is a lone figure, with few associates and even fewer friends, and has little to no desire to form attachments with others. Despite his obsession with vengeance, J’onn does not, by trade, deal in lethal force unless it is wholly avoidable – and will not shed the blood of innocents even on pain of death.

C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:

Unlike other interpretations of the character, I intend to keep my Martian Manhunter spacebound. He has no connection to Earth, nor its heroes, and is solely motivated by his crusade to exact justice throughout the universe by whatever means necessary at this stage. He is therefore a far cry from the loveable, Oreo-scoffing Martian Manhunter that most of us are familiar with.

S A M P L E P O S T:

Zkedia Mining Colony, Jiden-5

Salt crunched beneath Drex’s hooves. In front of him, he could hear the sobbing of J’vanna, the doctor’s son. The boy couldn’t have been more than six cycles old. Drex opened his mouth to offer a word of consolation to J’vanna but was silenced by a sudden jab in the back. The Centaurian mercenary behind him attempted to bray something to him in broken Kymellian but Drex couldn’t make sense of it. He didn’t need to understand it to know what was coming next.

For thousands of cycles, Drex’s people had called this planet their home. Though they were Kymellian, their isolation had robbed them of the abilities some of their kind possessed. The salt pits that had drawn them there had been both the making of his people and their undoing. They had grown weak, complacent. Drex understood that now as he marched to his end with what remained of his people.

Finally there came a cry from the Centaurian general that brought the entire procession to a halt beside a gorge. Once again Drex was jabbed in the back, though this time with enough force to send him down onto his hooves. His head hit the ground and revealed the blood red soil beneath it. Drex winced slightly, feeling blood trickling freely from the cut on his forehead. Beside him, the young J’vanna’s sobs grew louder with every passing moment – to the point that he was heaving. It was undignified, Drex thought, before damning himself quietly for his judgement.

The Centaurian general stepped forward. His bulging muscles were covered in deep blue scars and the shock of red hair that rose from his skull stood tallest among his men. He withdrew the golden bow from his back and slipped one of his arrows into place. All around him, Drex heard his people let out fearful cries but he remained silent. The general drew back his bowstring and following on from his lead his men did so too – creating a sound not unlike a thousand nails running along a chalkboard all at once.

The Centaurian general held his bowstring back without any sign of exertion. To Centaurians, the bow was more than a weapon, it was like another limb – the bond between them was almost sacred. Finally, in his last moments Drex turned his mind to all things sacred. Though his people had long since strayed from the old ways and few among them worshipped the gods of Kymellia, the prayers of his childhood came back to him.

“May the Mother forgive us.”

Drex’s eyes clamped shut as he heard the cracking of a thousand Centaurian bows unfurling. Time seemed to slow to a complete standstill as Drex sensed the lethal payload barrelling towards them. His eyes still shut he felt a hand clamp around his and his own hand compelled without his consent to reach out for the Kymellian beside him. His eyes opened and he realised to his disbelief that he was still alive.

“The Mother,” J’vanna smiled at him. “She saved us.”

There was a roar of confusion from among the Centaurian horde as they collectively reached into their quivers for more ammunition. Drex scanned his people’s numbers and saw among them the source of their salvation. There was a lone green figure stood with a single hand on the shoulder of a Kymellian woman. Drex shook his head in disbelief – it was a Martian.

Before the Centaurians had a chance to send forth another barrage, they found their numbers compromised. In a blur, the Martian cut through them. Each blow they sent in the Martian’s direction by way of defence, be it by bow or by first, passed through him. They were met by blows with ten times the force – some were sent skidding along the salt in a heap whilst others merely melted to the ground limply as the Martian’s limbs passed through them.

Drex climbed to his feet and with a roar sent his broken and beaten people into the fray to aid the Martian. In the melee, the Kymellian caught a glimpse of the towering shock of red hair that belonged to the Centaurian general. He cleaved a way through the carnage towards it with his hooves, smashing them down upon one foe after another to make his way towards him. Finally, the two adversaries encountered each other in the field.

“You will die here,” the Centaurian sneered as he drew his sword. “But at least you will have the honour of dying by my hand.”

Drex let out a guttural neigh as he flung himself towards the general. He parried a blow from the Centaurian’s sword away from his throat with left hoof and sent the right one towards the general’s exposed ribs. They traded blows for what seemed like hours and they appeared evenly matched for a time, but eventually Drex’s advanced years began to show, and the Centaurian gained the upper hand. He slipped through the Kymellian’s reach and managed to gain his back. The sacred forced itself over Drex’s neck and his hooves seemed powerless to stop the bowstring from cutting into his flesh.

<Enough.>

The Centaurian’s grip fell limp and the bowstring loosened. The Centaurian whimpered as he felt a hand glide into his chest and grip onto his heart. He looked over his shoulder to see the blood-covered Martian stood behind him. There was not an ounce of sympathy in the Martian’s deep red eyes – only a rage that seemed to emit a cold that chilled him to his bones. All around them the fighting continue, except for those in the near vicinity who seemed to sense the significance of the moment.

<You will command your men to stand down.>

Drex held a hand to his bleeding neck as he staggered away from them. He saw the look of defiance cross the general's face. “I will do no such thing, Martian. My men would sooner die than admit defeat to the likes of you.”

<Then die they will.>

One of the Martian’s green hands pressed against his temple and the battlefield fell silent. The Centaurian horde dropped their gilded bows to the ground and marched, as the Kymellians had, towards the waiting gorge. One by one they stepped voluntarily over the edge. Soon they were falling in their tens, hundreds even, as the confused Kymellians watched on. The exhilaration that Drex had felt turned to horror as the scale of the death dawned on him.

The defiance on the Centaurian general’s face seemed to melt and suddenly, suspended helplessly in place with the Martian’s hand clasped around his heart, he seemed to relent.

“No,” he murmured in a voice that was so defeated that it shocked Drex. “No more.”

<I offered you mercy once, Centaurian. I will not offer it again.>

More bodies tumbled over the cliff to the deaths. Drex found himself instinctively reaching out for a passing Centaurian. There was a glassy look in their eye that chilled the Kymellian to his core. No matter how hard Drex tried to restrain them, he could not stop them from marching to their death. More of his people reached out for their one-time adversaries in an effort to stop the Martian’s slaughter.

Through it all, a gentle hoof came to rest on their hulking green saviour’s forearm. J’vanna, the doctor’s son, had slipped through the crowd unnoticed. Where the others were terrified of the Martian, he was too young to know better than to approach him.

“Please,” J’vanna implored the Martian. “There’s been enough death for one day.”

The Martian stared down at the boy silently and somewhere deep inside of him something stirred. He relinquished his hold on the general’s heart and allowed him to fall to the ground with a thud. The Centaurian’s seemed to come to their senses. Drex watched on equal parts amazed by J’vanna’s courage and appalled by what had been done. The Martian lent down and placed one of his large hands over the Centaurian general’s head.

<You have felt but a fraction of the suffering my people felt. Know that I have seen into your mind, held your blackened heart in my hand, and judge you to be unworthy of this world. You will live on, but ... not without paying a price.>

The general let out a scream as billions of voices howled out in pain in his brain. He saw blood and fire, families torn apart, and a world set against itself until only the strongest remained. He began to froth at the mouth and convulse until, his mind shattered into a thousand pieces, he fell to his knees abruptly.

The surviving Centaurians watched on in shocked silence as the most capable among them was rendered a vegetable with but a fraction of the Martian’s strength.

<Leave this place.>

Without a second’s hesitation the archers scattered, scampering over the corpses of their fallen compatriots, some even dropping their bows as they made a hasty exit. Had Drex been minded to protest, the Martian’s display earned his silence and, in truth, his revulsion. Something about the scene compelled him to speak and, though he knew he ought to express gratitude, as his equine lips parted, admonishment appeared in its place.

“What gives you the right?” Drex said as he gestured to the gorge half-filled with Centaurian bodies. “You did this in our names.”

<No, Kymellian, I did it in theirs.>

For a tenth of a second, Drex felt the force of emotion that had been unleashed upon the general. It was enough to knock him to his knees. When he opened his eyes he found that tears were pouring from them without end. The Martian Manhunter was gone. Only silence remained.

P O S T C A T A L O G:

N/A
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T P R O P O S A L
T H E M A R T I A N M A N H U N T E R


J' O N N J' O N N Z Z M A N H U N T E R S P A C E N O N - A F F I L I A T E D
C H A R A C T E R C O N C E P T:


“There are three things all wise men fear: the sea in a storm, a night with no moon, and the anger of a gentle man.”

We meet this J’onn J’onnzz when he is at his lowest ebb. The annihilation of the Green Martians, J’onn’s wife and daughter among them, has left him a broken man. Where the Martian Manhunter we’re familiar with is inadvertently brought to Earth and eventually becomes a superhero, this J’onn flees for the furthest reaches of space. He is the lone survivor of the extermination of his people – and driven by his failure to protect his loved ones, he sets about exacting vengeance against evil-doers across the universe with such an intensity that some regard him an urban legend.

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:

J’onn is motivated purely by his desire for vengeance. He has a dim view of the Green Lantern Corps and all other forms of galactic authorities, who he considers to have failed Mars. As such, J’onn takes it upon himself to track down and mete out justice to cosmic war criminals. His services are not available for hire. He is a lone figure, with few associates and even fewer friends, and has little to no desire to form attachments with others. Despite his obsession with vengeance, J’onn does not, by trade, deal in lethal force unless it is wholly avoidable – and will not shed the blood of innocents even on pain of death.

C H A R A C T E R N O T E S:

Unlike other interpretations of the character, I intend to keep my Martian Manhunter spacebound. He has no connection to Earth, nor its heroes, and is solely motivated by his crusade to exact justice throughout the universe by whatever means necessary at this stage. He is therefore a far cry from the loveable, Oreo-scoffing Martian Manhunter that most of us are familiar with.

S A M P L E P O S T:

Zkedia Mining Colony, Jiden-5

Salt crunched beneath Drex’s hooves. In front of him, he could hear the sobbing of J’vanna, the doctor’s son. The boy couldn’t have been more than six cycles old. Drex opened his mouth to offer a word of consolation to J’vanna but was silenced by a sudden jab in the back. The Centaurian mercenary behind him attempted to bray something to him in broken Kymellian but Drex couldn’t make sense of it. He didn’t need to understand it to know what was coming next.

For thousands of cycles, Drex’s people had called this planet their home. Though they were Kymellian, their isolation had robbed them of the abilities some of their kind possessed. The salt pits that had drawn them there had been both the making of his people and their undoing. They had grown weak, complacent. Drex understood that now as he marched to his end with what remained of his people.

Finally there came a cry from the Centaurian general that brought the entire procession to a halt beside a gorge. Once again Drex was jabbed in the back, though this time with enough force to send him down onto his hooves. His head hit the ground and revealed the blood red soil beneath it. Drex winced slightly, feeling blood trickling freely from the cut on his forehead. Beside him, the young J’vanna’s sobs grew louder with every passing moment – to the point that he was heaving. It was undignified, Drex thought, before damning himself quietly for his judgement.

The Centaurian general stepped forward. His bulging muscles were covered in deep blue scars and the shock of red hair that rose from his skull stood tallest among his men. He withdrew the golden bow from his back and slipped one of his arrows into place. All around him, Drex heard his people let out fearful cries but he remained silent. The general drew back his bowstring and following on from his lead his men did so too – creating a sound not unlike a thousand nails running along a chalkboard all at once.

The Centaurian general held his bowstring back without any sign of exertion. To Centaurians, the bow was more than a weapon, it was like another limb – the bond between them was almost sacred. Finally, in his last moments Drex turned his mind to all things sacred. Though his people had long since strayed from the old ways and few among them worshipped the gods of Kymellia, the prayers of his childhood came back to him.

“May the Mother forgive us.”

Drex’s eyes clamped shut as he heard the cracking of a thousand Centaurian bows unfurling. Time seemed to slow to a complete standstill as Drex sensed the lethal payload barrelling towards them. His eyes still shut he felt a hand clamp around his and his own hand compelled without his consent to reach out for the Kymellian beside him. His eyes opened and he realised to his disbelief that he was still alive.

“The Mother,” J’vanna smiled at him. “She saved us.”

There was a roar of confusion from among the Centaurian horde as they collectively reached into their quivers for more ammunition. Drex scanned his people’s numbers and saw among them the source of their salvation. There was a lone green figure stood with a single hand on the shoulder of a Kymellian woman. Drex shook his head in disbelief – it was a Martian.

Before the Centaurians had a chance to send forth another barrage, they found their numbers compromised. In a blur, the Martian cut through them. Each blow they sent in the Martian’s direction by way of defence, be it by bow or by first, passed through him. They were met by blows with ten times the force – some were sent skidding along the salt in a heap whilst others merely melted to the ground limply as the Martian’s limbs passed through them.

Drex climbed to his feet and with a roar sent his broken and beaten people into the fray to aid the Martian. In the melee, the Kymellian caught a glimpse of the towering shock of red hair that belonged to the Centaurian general. He cleaved a way through the carnage towards it with his hooves, smashing them down upon one foe after another to make his way towards him. Finally, the two adversaries encountered each other in the field.

“You will die here,” the Centaurian sneered as he drew his sword. “But at least you will have the honour of dying by my hand.”

Drex let out a guttural neigh as he flung himself towards the general. He parried a blow from the Centaurian’s sword away from his throat with left hoof and sent the right one towards the general’s exposed ribs. They traded blows for what seemed like hours and they appeared evenly matched for a time, but eventually Drex’s advanced years began to show, and the Centaurian gained the upper hand. He slipped through the Kymellian’s reach and managed to gain his back. The sacred forced itself over Drex’s neck and his hooves seemed powerless to stop the bowstring from cutting into his flesh.

<Enough.>

The Centaurian’s grip fell limp and the bowstring loosened. The Centaurian whimpered as he felt a hand glide into his chest and grip onto his heart. He looked over his shoulder to see the blood-covered Martian stood behind him. There was not an ounce of sympathy in the Martian’s deep red eyes – only a rage that seemed to emit a cold that chilled him to his bones. All around them the fighting continue, except for those in the near vicinity who seemed to sense the significance of the moment.

<You will command your men to stand down.>

Drex held a hand to his bleeding neck as he staggered away from them. He saw the look of defiance cross the general's face. “I will do no such thing, Martian. My men would sooner die than admit defeat to the likes of you.”

<Then die they will.>

One of the Martian’s green hands pressed against his temple and the battlefield fell silent. The Centaurian horde dropped their gilded bows to the ground and marched, as the Kymellians had, towards the waiting gorge. One by one they stepped voluntarily over the edge. Soon they were falling in their tens, hundreds even, as the confused Kymellians watched on. The exhilaration that Drex had felt turned to horror as the scale of the death dawned on him.

The defiance on the Centaurian general’s face seemed to melt and suddenly, suspended helplessly in place with the Martian’s hand clasped around his heart, he seemed to relent.

“No,” he murmured in a voice that was so defeated that it shocked Drex. “No more.”

<I offered you mercy once, Centaurian. I will not offer it again.>

More bodies tumbled over the cliff to the deaths. Drex found himself instinctively reaching out for a passing Centaurian. There was a glassy look in their eye that chilled the Kymellian to his core. No matter how hard Drex tried to restrain them, he could not stop them from marching to their death. More of his people reached out for their one-time adversaries in an effort to stop the Martian’s slaughter.

Through it all, a gentle hoof came to rest on their hulking green saviour’s forearm. J’vanna, the doctor’s son, had slipped through the crowd unnoticed. Where the others were terrified of the Martian, he was too young to know better than to approach him.

“Please,” J’vanna implored the Martian. “There’s been enough death for one day.”

The Martian stared down at the boy silently and somewhere deep inside of him something stirred. He relinquished his hold on the general’s heart and allowed him to fall to the ground with a thud. The Centaurian’s seemed to come to their senses. Drex watched on equal parts amazed by J’vanna’s courage and appalled by what had been done. The Martian lent down and placed one of his large hands over the Centaurian general’s head.

<You have felt but a fraction of the suffering my people felt. Know that I have seen into your mind, held your blackened heart in my hand, and judge you to be unworthy of this world. You will live on, but ... not without paying a price.>

The general let out a scream as billions of voices howled out in pain in his brain. He saw blood and fire, families torn apart, and a world set against itself until only the strongest remained. He began to froth at the mouth and convulse until, his mind shattered into a thousand pieces, he fell to his knees abruptly.

The surviving Centaurians watched on in shocked silence as the most capable among them was rendered a vegetable with but a fraction of the Martian’s strength.

<Leave this place.>

Without a second’s hesitation the archers scattered, scampering over the corpses of their fallen compatriots, some even dropping their bows as they made a hasty exit. Had Drex been minded to protest, the Martian’s display earned his silence and, in truth, his revulsion. Something about the scene compelled him to speak and, though he knew he ought to express gratitude, as his equine lips parted, admonishment appeared in its place.

“What gives you the right?” Drex said as he gestured to the gorge half-filled with Centaurian bodies. “You did this in our names.”

<No, Kymellian, I did it in theirs.>

For a tenth of a second, Drex felt the force of emotion that had been unleashed upon the general. It was enough to knock him to his knees. When he opened his eyes he found that tears were pouring from them without end. The Martian Manhunter was gone. Only silence remained.

P O S T C A T A L O G:

N/A


| Name |
Kent Nelson

| Age |
56

| Character Differences |
This version of Kent Nelson has a far more adversarial relationship with Nabu and the Lords of Order. He blames Nabu for having corrupted his protege Khalid Nassour, despite the sorcerer protesting his innocence, and as such as sworn off every being a guardian of order or using his magical powers again. Nelson is nihilistic, carrying with him a near death wish, though cannot bring himself to end his own life. Instead he has spent years in seclusion – and with it the airs and graces that once made him one of his world's most beloved heroes have fallen away.

| Brief World Background |
In the world that Kent inhabited prior to his abduction, there is no Justice League. The Justice Society of America is the world’s premier superhero team and Kent Nelson, as Dr Fate, was one of its most recognisable heroes – along with Jay Garrick, Alan Scott, and Ted Grant. Prior to Khalid Nassour's corruption, Kent's Earth is a relatively peaceful place, with the JSA successfully promoting cooperation between the great powers of their world. Afterwards the world is plunged into a moral manic regarding the role of superheroes.

| Brief Character Background |
When we meet this version of Kent Nelson, he is at his lowest ebb. Having passed the Helmet of Fate over to his Khalid Nassour, Kent thought he would never be called upon to defend the universe from the Lords of Chaos again. Only four short years into his retirement, his protege Khalid was corrupted by the Helmet – and Kent was forced, along with his Justice Society of America colleagues, to confront the now-deranged Dr Fate. In the battle that ensued, Kent was forced to take Khalid’s life and was plunged thereafter into a deep depression. For two years, Kent has cut himself off from his friends and family, choosing instead to disavow his old life completely.

It is during this period that Kent is plucked from time and space by Mojo to compete in his games. Wracked by survivor’s guilt, Kent makes next to no attempt to compete in the games – and refuses to call upon his magical abilities, which have withered in the years Kent spent in exile. Only the embers of Nabu’s will keeps Nelson alive, erecting last ditch defences to attacks when Nelson marches to certain death and piecing his broken body together when even those fail.

Very interesting. I like the general concept and appreciate that you made sure to note his abilities were of a lower-tier for this. Admittedly, I'm not sure how to balance having Nabu around, even mitigated by Nelson's stubbornness. It would be a challenge, for sure, especially if/when his powers begin to return. Right now I'm concerned the helmet could become an issue in the future and may pose a problem with the greater plot down the road. But these are just my preliminary thoughts having only just read the sheet. I'll give it time to consider and mull things over and will treat it the same as any other app.

Just so I know, though, do you intend to submit a secondary?


It's unlikely I'll submit a secondary application. I intentionally left my application somewhat vague because I don't think those finer details really matter too much, at least in so far as the character-driven story I want to tell. The above is just a general summation of a direction of travel. Kent can as easily not have the Helmet at all and rely on residual power from a lifetime of wearing it. Nabu can be existent or not (hence the "embers of Nabu's will" line) as far as I'm concerned.

I tend to avoid spelling that kind of thing out in character sheets because it removes some of the fun both in the writing and reading of things to come.

I think what made the original Exiles so interesting was that the team wasn't comprised solely of marque characters.

Funnily enough, not only were a lot of the more obscure ones (Mimic or Blink, say) actually the more interesting, but it gave the whole run this sense of genuine unpredictability. Anyone could get it. Kind of like the Suicide Squad. So as enthralling as I find "Diana Prince with Mjolnir" concepts, I have to say I love the really out of left field ones. Hopefully I can add something along those lines before the deadline closes.
Colour me interested. I've been hankering after an Exiles-style game for a while.

I'll have a proper read through the OOC thread and other people's sheets and see if I can come up with anything, but I'm pretty busy in real life at the moment so I don't want to overcommit myself.

In … The Beast Within: Pt. VIII

Belle Reve, Louisiana

Logan woke with a wince. His sides felt like they had been torn open. It took him a few seconds to realise that they had been. In an instance, memories from Kitimat came flooding back – James, Heather, that big Russian with the grey skin. He remembered everything. For the first time in weeks, he felt like he had his feet under him, like he wasn’t playing catch-up. In an instant, that was dashed. The bright lights and cold white walls, the restraints clamped around his arms and legs, and most of all, the fat black woman in the in pantsuit staring at him from across the room made him doubt what he thought he knew about what had happened.

“Welcome back to the world of the living, Weapon X.”

The woman’s voice was familiar but no warm, and it put Logan firmly on edge. “Where … where the hell am I?”

A wry smile appeared on the woman’s face. It was clear from her expression that she had no intention whatsoever of answering Logan’s questions. Small and squat as she was, there was a power to the way she carried herself even whilst she was at rest. There was no kindness, no cruelty even, just control – something about that struck fear even in Logan’s heart and though he seemed to know next to nothing about himself or his past, for some reason that struck him as significant.

“So you’ve finally regained the the ability to speak in full sentences or should I say gained? Even before your most recent ... mental break, you were never exactly a conversationalist.”

Every second Logan was in the woman’s presence, the sense that he knew her from somewhere grew and grew within him. “Who are you?”

“My name is Amanda Waller and who I am, Weapon X, is the only friend you have left in this entire world. After your little disappearing act, there were people more senior than I that wanted your head on a spike … I had to spend an awful lot of political capital to make sure that didn’t happen.”

“You sure do like the sound of your own voice, don’t ya?”

Again that wry smile crept onto Waller’s lips as if to remind Logan who was really in control. “That’s an interesting way of saying thank you.”

Suddenly a wave of memories came flooding back to the mutant. The oppressive sterility of the interrogation room, combined with Waller’s unsettling calm, had allowed his mind to stray for a moment, but now it was back where it needed to be. He heard Heather MacNeil’s screams ringing in his ears, the smell of James’ blood splattering across the snow, and remembered the sense of dread that had overtaken him as he’d watched the man that had shown him kindness fall to the ground in a heap.

“What happened to Hudson?”

Waller trotted out a platitude that only someone accustomed to ordering men to their deaths could manage. "Mr. Hudson didn’t make it.”

A guttural snarl escaped from Logan’s chest. His arms and legs thrashed against their restraints to no avail. They seemed to have been made of the same metal covering his claws because his attempts to pop them proved to useless. Anguished as Logan was, his violent lurches succeeded in achieving nothing other than tiring himself out. Waller watched the scene without flinching even an inch.

“He was a good man,” Logan howled. “That no good son of a bitch watched him bleed out … and for what? He coulda saved him.”

“That ‘no good son of a bitch’ did what was asked of him, Weapon X, and he is a great deal more reliable in that respect than you have ever been. Whilst I regret the loss of life at Can-Am Corporation’s Kitimat division, it’s worth remembering that Sabretooth is not responsible for it. You are.”

“How’d you figure that one? I seem to remember a grey-skinned Ruskie crashing the party. You’re telling me he wasn’t one of yours?”


“I’m afraid not,” Waller said with what seemed like genuine envy. “The most recent intelligence suggests that Omega Red is working for a cabal of former KGB officers that think the current government is being too soft on global affairs, if you can believe that. Once word was out that the famous Weapon X was in the wind, they made a play for you – and James Hudson, Jerome Jaxon, and the rest of those people at Can-Am died because of it. Maybe you’d better think about that next time you decide to go walkabout.”

Logan’s head, slumped forward in what looked like shame, began to bob up and down gently as he listened to Waller speak. A laugh that sounded like a rattling cough began to seep out of him. It grew in volume as the mutant gazed up at Waller opposite him. His eyes fixed on her like a predator eyeing its wounded prey.

“Walkabout? Heh, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Wait until I’ve got these restraints off, I’m going to paint the walls with your blood – and then I’m going after that mangy Sabretooth.”

“Colonel Flag,” Waller said as she met Logan’s gaze. “Send Mr. Creed in here please.”

There was a mechanical whirring from the restraints around Logan’s legs. First the left leg was released, then the right. He glanced down at the unlocked restraints with shock and then back up to Waller who was sat unmoved at the desk still. She had flicked open the folder on the table and began to make notes on the documents inside. If she was worried about Logan’s newfound freedom, she didn’t seem it.

“What are you doing?”

“What does it look like? I’m giving you what you want.”

Logan’s left hand fell free and he instinctively popped his claws. The familiar stinging pain married with a shock of blood and the ripping of skin. He tugged at his last trapped hand in anticipation. Waller was only yards away from him – and though she’d yet to raise a hand in anger towards him, it was clear she was calling the shots around here.

As his right hand was set loose, the door to the laboratory opened and through it stepped Sabretooth. There was a broad smile on his face, almost as if he was looking forward to what was going to happen next. Logan roared and bound across the room towards him, claws at the ready, and felt Creed’s huge hands wrap around his wrists and immobilise him with ease.

“You know, Logan, after all these years I’d have thought you’d be sick of me handing your ass to you on a silver platter by now.”

Hudson’s face flashed across Logan’s mind and helped him call upon strength he didn’t realise he had. “You’re gonna pay for Hudson, bub.”

With a well-placed, Logan sent Creed buckling and broke free from his grasp. From his knees, Victor looked up at him with an expectant smile. Logan snarled and sent his claws driving down towards his throat but at the last moment found himself unable to make contact. It was as if he could feel something in his brain, refusing him the closure that killing Sabretooth might bring him. The harder he strained against the control, the harder it was for him to move. Sensing Waller’s influence, he looked towards the still-seated woman.

“What’s happening to me? I can’t move,” Logan protested as he struggled in vain to deliver the coup de grace. “What have you done to me, you cold-hearted bitch?”

Sabretooth chuckled smugly and sent his claws piercing through Logan’s bicep. The shorter man let out a cry of pain. Creed rose to his feet, lifting Logan with him, driving his claws deeper and deeper as they rose. Once the claws reached the bone, Victor tore the muscle away with a swipe. His hands wrapped tightly around Logan’s neck and smashed him against the ceiling before throwing him down onto the ground.

“How many times are we going to have to do this little song and dance?” Creed laughed as he mounted him. “You can’t beat me, Logan. You could never beat me. Even before Waller’s implants, I had your number and I always will do. No matter where you run, no matter where you hide ... I will find you and make you suffer all over again. The sooner you get that through your thick skull, the better.”

Punch after punch rattled Logan’s brain around its skull. His face was awash with blood. Through it all he could see Creed’s wicked smile. Logan struggled in vain against the punches, managing to block one or two of them, and what futile attempts he made to strike back were once again restrained by Waller’s implants.

“That’s enough, Mr. Creed.”

Without a word of protest, Sabretooth brought his assault to an end. He looked down at Logan’s battered face with a proud smile before standing up and stepping back to allow Waller to lean down and speak to his victim.

“Do you understand now, Weapon X? You’re mine,” Waller said coolly. “Those claws of yours belong to me. You do what I tell you to do, go where I tell you to go, and kill who I tell you to kill. From now until that healing factor of yours finally decides to call it quits.”

Waller gestured towards the doors and they opened on command. Logan was a bloody, broken heap, moaning to himself in pain, but he managed to roll over just enough to see Sabretooth following behind her like a housebroken pet.

Creed looked over his shoulder at Logan and spoke five words that Logan felt like he had heard before. “Welcome to the Suicide Squad.”
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