Wednesday, February 2, 2022

B is for Bioreactor in the 2022 campaign challenge

 August Adler was brilliant, charming, but physically weak and with very poor vision. He was glib, quick with a quip, great at breaking the ice, but this was all a core over feeling like his narrow frame never actually measured up. He applied his genius to sports medicine, where he might be in a position over the athletes he envied – athletes who in general already respected him. Having finished his medical degree at 22, he's already positioned to be approached by superheroes needing medical or rehab assistance. This is where Akuma met him – while he still doesn't know any of her secrets or who she is under the mask, she did trust him enough to seek his help in her recovery from serious battlefield trauma. 

Spending time with actual super-heroes has led him, ultimately, to develop a highly dangerous (and illegal) Cell-Atomic Energization via Stimulating Arrangement of Radiation, or CAESAR. When he experimented on himself it produced amazing effects – his vision cleared up, his endurance and apparent strength became superhuman, his body became all but indestructible if e were injured, he would heal almost immediately. He doesn't even know about his power blast ability (and how it temporarily saps his strength) 

While August knew he needed to keep this illegal experimentation secret it was hard to hide his new musculature, height and lack of glasses. He's concocted a story of a lab accident that is holding for now – and leaves people unaware of the scope of his powers – but won't for long. After that he'll be booted from the university. He's already making Dorian-Grey like advantage of his new beauty and indestructibility, and once he's stripped of his medical license he'll be lost to all concept of propriety.   So, while he is an Akuma villain, he hasn't really become one yet…

Creation Notes

It was strange seeing the 6 Strength turn up again, and as is common the full 8 power suite is harder to conceptualize around than as smaller one. Seeing the higher-than-normal intelligence and charisma due to skills, and then the suite of physical abilities, led me quickly to a self-experimentation, and the to be dropped diminished senses and very slow strength gave a motivation. Is he a bit of a clich√©? Yes. Freely admitted. But I couldn’t get the idea out of my head, so I found a way to modify the Power last to give him a Heightened Strength equivalent. Plus I like the idea of him firing his power blast tangibly weakening him while he recharges. 

Design wise, he's built as a mirror image of Akuma – intuitive genius where she is methodical, strong and tough where she is fast and trained, all physical while her powers are mental – and being someone she might want to try to save. But then he will discover his power blast ability by accidentally killing someone, and his slide into depravity will be complete. 

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