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Before I settled on Basil as the main character, I went through a lot of early drafts with various main characters, some of them radically different.
Here are some of them – they may or may not show up in some form in the future, but these incarnations, at least, are not going to be told:
One day, Amanda Blake woke up in a back alley of New Lennston’s Shades – naked, alone and with no memory other than a mission – Find Basil. Her only companion a weird, lizard-like cat which she knew she made herself – though she could not, for the life of her, remember when or where.
Amanda was a gadgeteer of a very rare type – instead of having a specific field that she works in, she could create an extreme variety of equipment – but it all needed her blood to run. Her power mostly settled in three distinct fields, all connected to blood:
- Living beings, such as her lizard-cat, of animal-like or lesser intelligence and with various abilities, grown out of her own genetic material to be obedient, but requiring a regular dose of Amanda’s blood so as not to break down.
- Small-scale Equipment – power armor which requires a small infusion of blood to boot up, energy guns which regularly take some of her blood through spikes in the grip in order to continue functioning, grenades which took a one-time infusion of blood to be primed, a teleportation device that uses her blood as a marker to determine destination, etc.
- Medicine of various kinds, though the base of everything she concocted used her own blood as its base.
Amanda’s team consisted of:
- teenage delinquent Godou Takahama, also known as Osore, a Japanese immigrant capable of projecting fear as well as great feats of strength and toughness.
- Jack O’Connors, also knowns as the Snow King, a young man capable of creating localised flurries of snow, as well as manipulating said snow for offence and defence.
- Timothy Louis, aka the Ogre, a rather easygoing boy who could turn into a brutish rage monster at will – but at the cost of having to spend a proportionate amount of time in the form of a preteen girl.
Jake Blake, a young psychic capable of using both telekinesis and telepathy, has been looking forward to being a hero ever since he gained his powers upon a mysterious incident during which he and four other people gained powers, each going their own way.
Medes was capable of both gross and fine telekinesis, was a general telepath (though he usually could only affect one person with any amount of precision, as it required great concentration) and had a knack for picking up skills from other people through telepathy and training.
The other four people who gained powers with him were:
- Hecate, an insane witch obsessed with the “mission” given to her by her namesake goddess upon her manifestation – a sinister mission requiring, among other things, the deaths of the other four people who gained powers at the same time as she did.
- Tyche, a morose, dedicated young man blessed with unnatural luck and a gift for martial arts who joined the Stormwatch (later renamed the United Heroes, upon me finding out about Vertigo’s Stormwatch books)
- Polymnia, a gadgeteer focusing on all things musical and auditory in general, though having paid for it by losing her voice and any sense for keeping a rhythm or hitting a note, unable to produce music of her own anymore. Joined the Stormwatch.
- Eudocia, a preteen girl with an extremely powerful voice and more than a few screws loose. A wild card.
Casimir Blake woke up in the medical ward of the Stormwatch, with no memory whatsoever, having been found by the heroes of New Lennston alone, in torn clothes and with heavy, nearly lethal wounds. Nursed back to health, they gave him the only name they could think of – the one sewn into the cat plushy he’d been clenching in his hand when they found him.
Motivated to repay their kindness by supporting them with the strange power he wielded – and eager to find out where he came from, and what had happened to him – he took up the mantle of Animus and joined the fight.
Animus power allowed him to animate any sufficiently life-like object – be it a plushie, an action figure, a statue or – if desperate – even a corpse. Anything that represented a living being without being one was fair game for his power.
He joined a team of junior Watchmen consisting of himself and:
- Dike & Tyche, twin sisters with strangely interconnected powers – one could “pay back what is owed”, healing allies proportional to the support they gave her and harm opponents proportional to the harm they caused her; the other had the ability to “break proportion” (a simple tap would shatter bones, a crushing blow would only tickle, a light misstep caused one to lose balance entirely, etc). When they combined their powers, they could strike enemies with blows of disproportionate power.
- Polymnia, pretty much the same as the canon version.
- Noctis Lumen, the son of Lady Light and The Dark, a power mimic who could copy the power of any metahuman he had previously touched, provided that metahuman was not currently within a certain range of him.
- Timothy Louis, the Ogre. Same as Hemagoria’s version.
Amanda Blake was a young woman fresh out of high school. With the whole world in front of her, she decided to make a journey and see the world. Unfortunately, her plane crashed during a flight over the pacific, trapping her as the only survivor on the shattered hulk of a vehicle, with little hope of being found before it broke apart and sank. She manifested gadgeteering abilities, creating a device that allowed her to flee the plane and return home.
Amanda was a gadgeteer specialising in cross-dimensional technology, creating various devices that could move energy and/or matter across parallel dimensions.
She became a vigilante and gathered a small group of other young gadgeteers around her:
- Hecate (Vasiliki); a gadgeteer specialising in creating illusions of various kinds, though mostly audio-visual ones.
- The Ogre (Timothy Louis); a gadgeteer who created a single, rather brutish android he was constantly working on.
- Tyche (Dalia Fitzhampton); a gadgeteer, capable of building basic combat equipment (power armor, some weaponry, etc) and technology which calculated, predicted and exploited probabilities (e.g. a targeting system that calculated the bost moment to pull a trigger in order to bounce a bullet around two corners and into the target).
There were many more, but these were among the most fleshed-out ones.
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