Monday, April 6, 2015

Character Sketch: Artemis Xian, "Under a Far Distant Shore"

Artemis Xian

Name:  Artemis Xian
Race:  Human

Age:  28
Date of Birth:  6 April 1986
Place of Birth:  Lakeland, Florida, North America
Citizenship:  Artemis is a citizen the United States
Legal Status:  No criminal record
Relatives:  Unnamed parents

Height:  5’11”
Weight:  130 lbs
Eye Color:  Dark Brown
Hair Color:  Black with red highlights
Religion:  Catholic (not devout)
Intelligence:  Genius
Strength:  Enhanced human
Speed:  Enhanced human
Stamina:  Enhanced human
Durability:  Enhanced human
Agility:  Enhanced human
Reflexes:  Enhanced human

Profession/Rank (Current):  Field agent, Section Alpha (Special Agent)
Profession/Rank (Former):  Call center agent
Current Alias:  None
Former Alias:  N/A
Personal Equipment:  Eskrima sticks (26” long, made of impact resistant polypropylene reinforced with a metal core, covered with a layer of durable spun carbon fiber to provide a non-slip grip), stun gun, belt knife, flashlight, multitool, lock pick tools, first aid kit, cell phone, charger and earbuds, various others as needed
Usual Base of Operations:  Lakeland, Florida

Friends/Allies/Confidants:   Manfred Drake
Enemies:  Balthazar, the Tralamafan
Skills:  Artemis is a skilled martial artist, expert in multiple disciplines, especially Eskrima. She carries two Eskrima sticks on her back. She is also a skilled acrobat, tactician and strategist. Artemis is also fluent in French, Russian, Japanese, Greek and Mandarin Chinese
Special Abilities:  Artemis possesses enhanced strength – she is able to bench press 1200 lbs. She possesses enhanced speed, reflexes and durability. She has enhanced senses; Artemis can see finer detail and further distance, can detect people by scent alone and can pick out a single voice out of a crowd. Artemis also has the ability to increase the electrostatic attraction between her body and most any surface, allowing her to climb walls and cling to ceilings, which she refers to simply as “wall climbing.”
Source of Special Abilities:  Genetic mutataion

Favorite quote: I have loved the stars too fondly
                         To be fearful of the night.

                         Sarah Williams, “The Old Astronomer”

Who is Artemis Xian?
In 2011, Artemis Xian was just another citizen, a single twenty-four year old woman, living alone, employed in a call center for an extermination company. Just another citizen living  a live of quiet obscurity…

…until one night when a meteor crashed in the field behind her house.

Being naturally curious, Artemis went to investigate. She found the crater easily. At the bottom was a sphere about six inches across, too smooth to be from space but doesn’t look like a man-made satellite. As she calls the police to report it, the sphere cracks, releasing what looks like smoke or gas. It’s actually the suspension medium for a nanovirus of unknown origin.

When the Police arrive, they found Artemis unconscious, barely showing any life signs. She was in a coma for six months while doctors tried to figure out what was happening to her.

What did the virus do to her? It literally rebuilt her body, adding four inches of height, increased muscle mass, heightened the acuity of her senses and refining the functioning of her brain. Her IQ skyrocketed to genius level (approximately 160).  She developed a knack for languages, learning French, Russian, Greek, Japanese and Mandarin Chinese. Her sense of balance allows her to become a skilled acrobat. She is nearly superhumanly strong and fast, with heightened reflexes and durability.

Artemis comes to the attention of Section Alpha. They train her to use her strength. (Her trainer is a werewolf.) They also train her in several martial arts though she has a preference for Eskrima. (Manfred: Why Eskrima? Why the sticks? Artemis: Ever read Marvel Comics? Manfred: Enough said but I’m not calling you Mockingbird.) Section Alpha make a pair of Eskrima sticks for her use, provide her with a tactical suit and support. She is allowed to operate on her own, fighting crime as she sees fit but must be available if Section Alpha needs her.

Her control in Section Alpha is Special Agent Manfred Drake. (Potentially more than just a professional relationship.)

Who is Balthazar?
The gas that escaped the meteor wasn’t all used on Artemis. A portion of it continued to the nearest city. There it found a homeless man asleep in an abandoned house. But while Artemis was comatose while her body was rebuilt, the homeless man remained awake. (It’s speculated that because of the presence of alcohol and drugs in his system, the virus reacted differently. In reality, the virus had been programmed to find two subjects, putting one into a coma and keeping one awake while affecting the changes.) He remained awake as his body was rebuilt. It drove him insane. He didn’t remember his name, though where he got the name Balthazar is never discovered.

His abilities are the same as Artemis but he continues to mutate, plus he has contact with the beings that created the virus (the Tralamafan). They induce him into developing the reality warping abilities that brings Artemis to the Town.

In the Town, Balthazar is constantly creating and recreating, manipulating people and things, toying with Artemis. Near the end, she confronts Balthazar, who confesses that he’s in love with her and created this town so the two of them could be together.

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