Author Topic: Luke Kingston  (Read 288 times)

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Offline suneater

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Luke Kingston
« on: January 23, 2019, 12:29:35 PM »
Name: Luke Kingston
Age [appearance]: 26
Age [actual]: 26
Gender: Male
Species: Altered Human
 
Hair: Dirty Blond
Eyes: Hazel
Frame: At 6’2” and 179 lbs., Luke has an athletic frame indicative of serious physical training.
Tattoos/Distinguishing Marks: Luke has several tattoos. Stylized, linked hearts, one red and one black, are emblazoned just below his left wrist. The words “I love you to the moon and back” are written in script on the left side of his torso, spanning rib-cage and flank. A stylized dagger in black is inked on his left calf, and he bears a small blue heart on the same inner thigh. Finally, a small barcode of sorts is etched in black at the very top of his spine.

His right arm is inhuman, with gray flesh and strange proportions. He typically uses long sleeves and gloves to keep it from drawing attention.
 
Personality: Luke is a quiet, serious, and thoughtful fellow, usually only speaking when necessary. When he does engage in conversation, though, his focus can be a bit intense. He is neither an introvert or an extrovert; while he doesn’t often seek out social situations, he is comfortable in them, and he does seem to genuinely enjoy interaction when it happens. His manner can be intimidating or brusque to those who don’t know him well.

He has a keen, analytical mind that can often surprise those who see him and assume he’s just another pretty jock. Due to his training, he tends to break down behavior by motivation. He enjoys puzzles and challenges and can become extremely focused to the point of near-obsession when he finds an appropriate mystery. He has a competitive streak that surfaces easily and that he enjoys indulging.

His sense of fairness and justice tend to color all of his interactions. He has no tolerance for bullying and believes that the strong should lift up the weak rather than taking advantage of them.

He doesn’t lack for confidence and tends to be extremely self-reliant. He is happy to defer to the expertise of others, but does consider himself very capable in most spheres.

The above describes Luke prior to his time with Project Twilight. All of it is still true, and at the core of his personality, but in the wake mental and physical modifications he endured, he is no longer quite himself. He is extremely paranoid and has difficulty developing trust. When engaged in physical activities ranging from combat to sports to sex he can prove disconcertingly aggressive as a result of his monstrous augmentations.
 
History: Luke grew up in the city, and like many of its residence, experienced numerous brushes with the supernatural. He was raised in a middle class family, the son of a police officer (his father) and a nurse (his mother). As an only child, he wanted for very little, though his parents occupations meant that he was something of a latch-key kid.

He was a model child and student, if a touch serious. He excelled in his school work and was a competent, natural athlete. His parents had managed to instill him with a sense of fairness and justice that made him the antithesis of bullies. The only trouble he ever got into involved protecting the weak, and before he was even out of grade school he had decided he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps and protect people for a living.

His parents largely left him to his own devices as a teenager. He was studious and responsible, extremely focused on his goals, and he knew how to take care of himself. Between school, extra-curriculars (debate team, student government, and theater), sports (including krav maga and wrestling, along with baseball and basketball), he didn’t have much time for anything else. He came out to his parents and then his classmates when he was sixteen after furtively dating another boy he had met at a state wrestling meet for a few weeks and the revelation didn’t change much at all for him.

He wanted to enroll in the police academy after graduation, but his parents convinced him to attend college for criminal justice first, noting that he was bright and capable enough to make detective and that a degree would go a long way toward distinguishing himself from other candidates. He opted for a nearby state school that had offered him a generous wrestling scholarship, near enough that he would be able to come home on the weekends. His boyfriend Mark was heading across the country to study sports medicine and they amicably broke up.

Luke enjoyed college. His roommate, Jin, was also a martial arts enthusiast and they became fast friends. His classes were challenging and interesting, and he excelled in them.

Very in demand among the campuses gay population, he had his first real experiences with casual sex and decided he preferred more conventional relationships. By the end of the semester, he was dating Trevor, a junior studying political science. Trevor introduced him to gay nightlife; they went into the city almost every weekend to dance. Trevor seemed to know everyone, and Luke began to note that he had quite a few ex-lovers as friends. He did his best to ignore the mostly-harmless flirting, but he started growing uncomfortable with the situation and making excuses to stay home when Trevor wanted to go out.

Trevor began to stay out longer and longer, and when he returned to Luke he was exhausted and short-tempered. Luke did his best to manage the situation, but it only grew worse and worse. When Trevor failed to return his calls and texts for most of a week, Luke began reaching out to Trevor’s friends and learned that no one had heard from him in days. He checked with Trevor’s classmates and learned he’d been missing there as well.

That weekend, Luke went into the city, making a circuit of Trevor’s usual haunts, asking after him. He knew in his gut that something was terribly wrong. Well after midnight at the biggest gay club in the city, he finally caught a glimpse of Trevor- dancing lustily with a handsome stranger. Jealousy overrode his concern, and he decided to hang back and follow them so that he could confront Trevor and break up with him.

He followed the pair out of the club but lost track of them. He heard something that sounded like moaning coming from a nearby alley and snuck over, intent on catching them in the act. Indeed, in the shadows, he caught sight of Trevor pushed against the wall, the stranger behind him, fitted against him, restraining him as he kissed Trevor’s neck harshly.

Serious, reasonable Luke watched in horror for a few seconds before rage sang in his blood. He was already storming over when he realized that the stranger wasn’t exactly kissing Trevor. There was something off about it, and Trevor’s moans were getting softer and softer. The stranger looked up at Luke as he drew near, and when he did, his lips and teeth were red with blood.

His anger burned the fear away. He stepped in quickly, unleashing a haymaker against the vampire’s leering face. The vampire let Trevor sink to the ground as he squared off with Luke, who was rapidly realizing he was in over his head. His punch had barely done anything, and the vampire was faster than anyone he’d ever seen. The vampire was sloppy, but he was strong and fast. He knew that if he was caught he’d be done for, so he focused on evasion and attrition. The quirk, brutal showdown lasted only a few moments, but it seemed like an eternity to Luke. He could feel himself tiring and then he felt the vampire’s hands wrap around his wrist like a vice. He felt himself being pulled, and something in his shoulder crunched. The agony nearly undid him, but he was just conscious enough to feel himself flung through the air. The world exploded into darkness when he hit the alley wall.

He woke up handcuffed to a hospital bed with a uniformed officer at the door. His father and a senior detective came in and asked him about the events in the alley. Terrified and confused, he did his best to recount what had occured. His father and the detective shared uneasy looks as his story unfolded, and his father asked to speak to him alone.

He explained that Trevor had been found dead, his neck snapped. He told Luke that he was in no danger of being prosecuted, but that they would need to come up with a cover story, and he should never mention vampires or monsters again or he could be in very real danger. He also explained that Luke had suffered irreparable damage to his arm and shoulder in the encounter.

Luke numbly let his father guide him through the official reports on Trevor’s death, which involved the two of them being accosted by a drug addict outside the club. The doctors did what they could, but explained that even with surgery and physical therapy he would never recover fully. His boyfriend was dead, his scholarship was dead, and his chance of ever being a police officer was dead. Luke sank into depression while he was treated.

One day, he awoke from his painkiller induced slumber to find a stranger in the room. She was in a suit, with short cropped hair and body language that screamed “military” to Luke. She explained she was there to make him an offer. She represented a medical group that needed subjects for experimental techniques, and her superiors were convinced that Luke was an excellent candidate and that they’d be able to restore his arm. She also explained that they were aware of the truth of his injury, and that they were impressed he had survived the encounter at all. She stressed that the procedures involved required that the subject be at the peak of human fitness and that the chance of his future being restored to him was very promising.

Luke was skeptical, but realized he had nothing to lose. He agreed to the procedure and signed a sheaf of documents that he produced. Her name was Laurel, and she moved quickly. Luke found himself transferred out of the hospital and into a van to a private facility within a matter of hours. The windows were blacked out, so he couldn’t tell exactly where they were going.

When he arrived he was subjected to hours worth of tests. They took every sample imaginable, poked and prodded, scanned and monitored, and finally announced that he was ready for the procedure. They wheeled him into a brightly lit operating theatre where a team of surgeons waited. They eased him onto an operating table, and he noted that there was a second table in the room, with a humanoid form covered by a white sheet. He began to panic, but he had already been restrained. He felt a needle-prick and in seconds his sight wavered and he lost consciousness.

He awakened in a small, clean room, strapped into his bed. He was groggy and starving, but otherwise fine. In fact, he felt great. A few moments after he woke, Laurel came in. She told him that the operation had been a complete success. After a few days of testing and monitoring, he would be free to return home. She noted that, per the papers he had signed, he would be coming in for monthly checkups for six months, and that she would be his primary liaison. She explained that he might experience symptoms in the coming weeks - migraines, aches and pains, strange sensations - but that it was totally normal. She provided him with pills to help manage them.

After the tests, all of which seemed to go flawlessly, Luke was on his way home. He opted to stay with his parents until he returned to school after the weekend, and it wasn’t till he got there that he realized that what felt like a few days had actually been nearly a month. Laurel had been in touch with them, and with his school, explaining his absence. His parents had been worried, but were glad to have him back. Luke couldn’t account for any of the lost time, and found that whenever he thought too hard about what had happened, he developed a piercing headache.

The day before he returned to school, he cut himself shaving. He thought nothing of it, at first, but when he went to dab paper towel over the small cut, he found that it had already sealed completely. Standing in front of the mirror, he cut his arm more deliberately and watched his skin knit before his eyes.

He didn’t tell anyone what had happened and did his best to return to his normal life at school. His wrestling coach told him to take it easy for the rest of the season, but Luke felt better than ever. Stronger, faster, and most importantly, he wanted to hit the mats. He craved competition, combat, the exaltation that came with proving himself superior. During practice he was unstoppable… at least until he ended up breaking one of his teammates legs. The almost predatory feelings washed away into guilt and horror.

At their first appointment, Laurel asked if he’d noticed anything unusual since leaving the facility. Luke told her everything, and she nodded calmly, as if it made perfect sense. She asked Luke if he was still interested in protecting people, and the non sequitur threw him off. She explained that the people she worked for were well aware of the threat that the supernatural world posed to humans and were trying to do something about it. Initially, they had only been engaged in research - studying entities they were able to capture in order to discover their weaknesses and learn about their societies. In recent years, they had a breakthrough that allowed them to actually give humans a fighting chance against the unknown.

She explained that the procedure Luke had undergone had been based on that research. Rather than simply repairing his body (which she admitted they were capable of), they had surgically installed organelles harvested from an unent (unclassified entity) which enhanced his cells ability to regenerate themselves exponentially.

Luke was outraged, but Laurel silenced him with a look. She asked who he was really angry at. Her, for misleading him? The doctors for performing the surgery? Or was he really angry at the thing that had murdered his lover and left him a broken wreck? She told him that he could walk away now if he wanted, or he could agree to help fight back against the creatures that terrorized normal people. The appeal was effective, and Luke found himself intrigued by the offer. He remembered his feelings of helplessness in the wake of the attack. He remembered his goal, the driving force behind his whole existence: to protect others. Sure, he could do a lot of good as a police officer, but compared to vampires and worse, drug dealers and thieves didn’t quite stack up.

As if she could read his mind, Laurel smiled at him and asked him point blank if he wanted to fight back. He agreed that he did, and she explained that they would continue to meet weekly under the guise of post-op follow up, but they would in fact begin training him as an operative of Project Twilight. He would continue to lead his relatively normal life and even finish college, but in the meantime he would be prepared for the war against the supernatural. Luke asked her if she was like him, and watched as her eyes suddenly went wide and completely black- before winking at him.

He found it difficult to care about his old life, but Laurel urged him to maintain appearances. She explained that it was valuable practice for the work they would be doing - just as valuable as their training sessions. Those became the highlight of his life. Some were practical combat training. He learned quickly that Lauren had him outclassed completely in that department, but he enjoyed learning hand-to-hand, firearms, and even melee combat with her. Other sessions were informational in nature, usually devoted to learning about a particular type of supernatural creature. He read transcripts of interrogations and watched videos of autopsies and even biopsies, including that of the strange, unkillable creature whose organelles lent him his regenerative abilities.

As graduation loomed, Laurel explained that he would become a full-fledged cadet afterwards. Project Twilight would arrange for it to seem like he had earned a full-ride to a prestigious graduate program in criminal law, but he would actually be taking up residence in their nearby base where his surgery had occurred. Luke was eager to actually put his training to use, but Laurel cautioned him to temper his expectations. Project Twilight wasn’t ready for an open war; they were still accumulating information and personnel.

Graduation came and went. Luke bade his parents goodbye, wincing slightly at the lies involved, and then got into the car Laurel had ordered for him. This time, the windows weren’t blacked out at all, and he noted the circuitous route the driver took, that eventually wound up at a large underground parking structure on the outskirts of the city. They went down and down, then drove through a wall that opened to receive them.

Luke took up residence in a barracks with five other cadets, all more senior than him. Most had military or intelligence backgrounds, and they treated him like something of a kid - at first. He proved himself in trainings and combat exercises quickly, earning their respect. The six of them reported to Laurel, and functioned as a squad. There were other squads on the premises, but they were encouraged to stay in their own areas and not consort with them for security risks. Laurel noted that it wasn’t uncommon for operatives to be captured or killed, and that it was better to keep information compartmentalized.

For the next year, they trained intensively and embarked on several missions, largely surveillance operations of suspected supernaturals. Luke found his desire to bring the fight to them difficult to keep in check. It built up steadily until he was literally almost itching to fight. His opportunity finally came when one of their surveillance jobs went wrong. He was on the roof of a nearby building when he noticed several people converging on the rest of his team in their van. He issued a warning hastily before rushing down the fire escape to engage.

The demon they had been watching was able to control technology and had become aware of their presence. He’d sent a group to take them in, dead or alive. The ensuing battle was horrifying, and he watched his teammates fall one by one. He was overtaken as well, and ended up playing dead while the demons secured the others and his wounds healed. He made a break for it and managed to escape since the demons hadn’t been expecting the corpse to flee.

He was still in terrible shape even with his recuperative abilities. He found himself in a cell, with operatives he had never met coming in and out to ask him questions. Once again he was restrained and drugged, and he emerged from the experience with no idea how much time had passed or exactly what had transpired.

Laurel finally visited him. For the first time ever, she was not completely poised. She told him that he was the only survivor and that their squad had been dismantled. She was under review for the botched operation, and he would be in detention until they decided what to do with him. She apologized just before two men entered and hustled her out.

A doctor came in. He was an older man, kindly looking and grandfatherly. He explained that his name was Dr. Roth, and that he had been the chief surgeon for Luke’s original operation. He noted that there was a real chance that Luke would be drummed out of the organization, but that he wanted to offer him a chance to become a real weapon against the forces of darkness. Most people could only survive one or two modifications before risking severe deterioration, but Roth believed that Luke’s regeneration might allow him to survive several. He was willing to take Luke under his jurisdiction, provided that Luke agreed to take the risk of having his body enhanced well beyond human limits.

His conversation with Laurel and the death of his squad fresh in his mind, he agreed readily. Roth looked pleased, and summoned agents to undo Luke’s restraints and escort them back to the medical facility.

Roth explained that they needed to test the full limitations of his abilities, and that doing so was very dangerous. Luke said he didn’t care, and the testing began. The early stages were genuine torture - they used blades, flames, and even acid, carefully monitoring the results and how he recovered. The next phase required that he be sedated since they would actually be inflicting organ damage surgically. The weeks went by in hazy agony. He had vague recollections of talking to people, but when he tried to focus on them, his head began to hurt.

Finally, after what seemed like months of pain and confusion, Roth announced that they were ready to proceed. Luke wasn’t really cognizant enough to object if he had wanted to, and the series of operations began. Again, he was put under and the world bled away into darkness.

He awoke in a small recovery room. He was handcuffed to the rails of his bed, but when he struggled against them, he found that he was easily able to tear free using his right arm. He staggered into the small bathroom to look in the mirror and was horrified by what he saw. His right arm was now a mottled gray, and the dimensions looked wrong, as if his bones had been stretched out. As he shook off the fog, he realized that his arm had actually been replaced completely - there were sutures in place still, linking the monstrous flesh of his arm to the human skin of his shoulder. He hurriedly inspected himself for other visible changes but found none, but he was still shaken. He couldn't think well. He couldn’t remember how he had gotten there, or much of anything about his time at the base. Even his earlier memories seemed disjointed and haphazard.

He staggered out of the room. Orderlies approached him, but almost instinctively, he swept them aside with his arm- sending them careening through the air to smack sickeningly against the wall. Security guards rushed at him, but he barrelled past them with frightening speed. He heard the report of guns and even felt one bullet impact his lower back, but it didn’t slow him down at all.

Roth approached, flanked by guards with automatic rifles. Luke recognized him but he couldn’t put a name to the face. He paused, confusion evident on his features. The old man barked a word in a language he had never heard before and suddenly Luke’s head felt like his brain was trying to swell its way out of his skull. The pain was almost unbearable - almost. Enraged, he lashed out, and instinctively his arm formed a wicked blade from the elbow down. He skewered one guard, decapitated the other, then took off in a blaze of speed.

The rest of his escape was a blur. The pain took hours to subside, and by then, he was well away from the facility. He broke into a store, stealing clothing, and gloves to help disguise his clawed hand. He still couldn’t remember anything but the faintest details about himself, but he knew he couldn’t go home. Whoever had him that facility, whoever had done this to him, they probably knew about his family. They were probably staking them out right now, waiting for him. In fact, he knew exactly what sort of protocols they would use to do so…

He knew he had to lie low. He scuffed up his garments, disguising himself amongst those at the very fringe of society. He slept in abandoned buildings or even outdoors, instinctively moving as unpredictably as he could and watching the shadows for pursuers. Survival became his only goal, and he has pursued it relentlessly, biding his time and waiting for potential pursuit to die down.
 
Awareness of Supernaturals: Luke is familiar with all non-rare supernatural species and passingly aware of rare ones. His information is based on intelligence collected by Project Twilight, however, so it is imperfect (for example, he is aware that some vampires are arranged in bloodlines with different abilities, but does not know the names of clans or their Disciplines). Most of his memories of his training are fragmented, however, meaning that he will likely not recall specifics unless triggered by an encounter with a specific species.
Occupation/Job: Luke is an operative with extensive combat and intelligence training. However, he is currently on the run from Project Twilight and unemployed.
Domicile: Luke is far too paranoid to establish a permanent residence; he has a series of bolt holes around the city which he moves between (abandoned buildings, low-rent motels, etc.)
Interesting Facts / Quirks: Luke was a nationally ranked debater in high school and loves engaging in protracted, intense conversations; he’ll happily debate anything, from any position, and tends to employ rhetoric when it isn’t strictly necessary.
Hobby/Hobbies: Physical fitness, martial arts, wrestling and other sports, studying history, debate, theater/musical theater (very lapsed), profiling people, philosophy, strategy games, crossword puzzles
 
Likes: Men who are smaller than him, competition, courtesy, law enforcement, efficiency, documentaries, non-fiction books, dancing, singing, mystery books/films, combat, sex (but not casual sex), cuddling.
Dislikes: Arrogance, disrespect, laziness, drug-use, bullying, taking advantage of the weak, supernatural creatures, criminals, illogic, emotional displays.
 
Strength: Luke has a deep and comprehensive sense of fairness and justice which guides his actions, even at his worst. He can usually be counted on to remain objective in such matters, allowing him to grasp and synthesize perspectives he might otherwise be ignorant of.

Weakness/Flaw: As a result of modifications and mental tampering performed by Project Twilight, Luke is fairly unstable. He can be quick to anger, suffers mood swings, and his paranoia verges between “constant” and “terrifying”. Particularly when engaged in combat, his more aggressive urges can get the best of him. This also makes him particularly vulnerable to mind-affecting techniques, supernatural or otherwise.

He also suffers from self-hatred tied to the fact that he is now a monster.

Powers:

Regeneration - Several organelles from an unknown entity grafted to major glands accelerate Luke’s native healing capabilities well beyond the human norm. Minor injuries fade almost instantaneously. Gunshots and the equivalent thereof fade in minutes. Extensive trauma will be completely repaired in a few hours. Wounds that would otherwise be mortal will fade after a day. He is incapable of regrowing severed limbs or organs that are severed, completely destroyed, or otherwise removed, though his ability might allow him to survive long enough for more effective healing methods to be used.

Drawback: The organelles in question cause an increase in the production of hormones that govern aggressiveness. Luke exists in a natural state of anger and competitiveness as a result, and it only gets worse the more his body repairs itself.

Shifter Arm - Removed from a living specimen of a particularly dangerous shapeshifter and grafted onto Luke, his right arm is visibly non-human- a drab, unhealthy looking gray. In its natural state, it is a full foot longer than his other arm, but he has learned to shape it in a way that appears relatively normal as long as he wears long sleeves and a glove. The arm is possessed of preternatural strength and can be altered in shape while retaining the same mass. Potential changes range from subtle shifts in length to improve his range to forming blades, cudgels, or other shapes. With extensive concentration, he can even shape it quite intricately.

Drawback: Shapeshifting requires energy to accomplish, and due to the imperfect nature of Luke’s graft, transforming his arm requires a disproportionate amount of energy. Even minor changes entail exertion, and more significant changes will tax him severely if performed in succession. Particularly complicated or intricate changes are incredibly tiring and require his full concentration while still leaving him exhausted.

Enhanced Physicality - Muscle fibers throughout Luke’s body have been spliced with a blend of those harvested from several supernatural creatures known for their physical prowess. As a result, Luke’s general strength and speed are the rough equivalent to a fledgling vampire with Celerity and Potence.

Drawback: Having material from a variety of species so thoroughly permeated throughout his body leaves Luke vulnerable to a variety of banes. His human body diminishes the effect, but he suffers minor burns from silver, holy water, and contact with holy symbols. His regeneration is capable of healing them, but they do produce pain and irritation and add to the overall body of injuries he must overcome.

Additionally, Luke reads strangely to beings capable of perceiving supernatural creatures. They might recognize him as somewhat vampiric, lycanthropic, demonic, angelic, or all of the above, as if the supernatural aura were imposed dimly over his human aura.

Discharge - An organ collected from a Power Demon installed at the base of Luke’s spinal cord allows him to emit a pulse of electromagnetic energy within a radius of thirty feet. This EMP will shut down all non-shielded technology that relies on electricity within range, and may permanently damage more delicate items. After releasing his EMP, Luke must wait 24 hours to do so again while the organ recharges.

Drawback: Electronics that Luke uses directly tend to malfunction. Cellular phones and laptops will have issues with their signal and turn off or reboot sporadically, rendering him unable to rely on technology. Only particularly sophisticated electronic technology is susceptible to this drawback.