Character Name: Raptor
Alternate Identities: Cassandra Waters
Player Name: Christougher
Cassie is a strikingly pretty early twenties female of mixed descent with tousled black hair barely reaching her shoulders, and enchanting hazel eyes. She stands 5'6" in height, and weighs about 112 pounds, lithe with good curves in the places women are supposed to have them.
With her shapeshifting abilities, Cassie can alter almost any aspect of her appearance, including mimicking clothing, so she rarely wears real clothes other than things she takes off, like jackets or shoes. Equally at home "wearing" sweats and a t-shirt, a business suit or a formal gown, Cassie prefers close-fitting garb which is easier to create.
As Raptor, she shapeshifts herself into an all black bodysuit with a pair of feathered wings growing from her back. She wears silver cloth hiphugger bikini bottoms, a silver leather belt with pouches for the claws and other mundane things, plus steel bracers that cover her forearms and matching shin guards. Her silver domino mask has been carefully worked to give her the visage of a bird of prey.
My Dad was David Allan Emerson, and Mom's name is Dana Ellen Waters, when they were dating, they would joke about how similar their names were. To make a long story short, they fell in love, got married, and had a baby girl, Cassandra May, on May 17, 2004. How two people with those plain names came up with mine I'll never know, but I go by Cassie.
I was too young to remember when this happened, but Mom says I was four. She sent me to my room and called Dad home from work early. My body was changing and it wasn't puberty. I'd just shown the first signs that I had inherited Dad's ability to shapechange. We spent the rest of the day and most of next week convincing my body what its real shape was. I remember spending an hour per night practicing what I could do. Once I got used to doing it, it never bothered me that I was just shapeshifting into clothes, it seemed so normal.
To teach me to read, I got brightly colored comic books filled with stories about powerful superheroes. Dad often read them to me, telling me how to be a good girl, so that I might grow up to be like them someday. Happy memories. We moved to Millenium City when I was six, and I started taking Jeet Kune Do lessons at the Golden Dragon dojo. Dad said that Master Chen used to be one of Bruce Lee's own students.
I met Jennifer Harper the first day of school, she lived a couple houses down from me, and so we were always playing together. Over at her house, we would play Barbies, which was fun but took too long to change their outfits. At my house we'd read comic books, or go play tag at the park. When Jen asked me why I was taking martial arts, I just shrugged. Jen called me weird. She was my best friend.
For two years, my father had been making headlines as the hero Shifter, fighting crime in the streets of Milennium City, the penultimate being when he brought down a Mafia don for extortion. Three days later, his final headline announced that he was killed by a LAW rocket. Even though it was broad daylight with a dozen witnesses, the investigation couldn't prove anything.
I really didn't understand at first, I guess I was too young to get really mad so it was just an empty hurt. No matter how much I missed my dad, there wasn't anything I could do to bring him back, even though I kept doing all the things we had done together. Without him tutoring me, my shape shifting ability stalled, so all I could do was be a different me.
Mom took it a lot harder, crying for almost two days straight, and becoming very overprotective of me, barely letting me out of her sight, smothering me with attention until I did something to remind her of Dad, and then she'd break down in tears. The few times she let me leave, she always grilled me on where I was going, who I would be with, and when I would come home. Jen asked about it, and I told her part of the truth - Mom was worrying a lot more since Dad was gone.
The neighbors were sympathetic, bringing food and helping out when Mom told them a lie about Dad having run off for no reason. Mom changed our names back to Waters and got a job stuffing envelopes at home so she could watch me, but it wasn't always enough and we had to cut corners. She tried to pull me out of the Golden Dragon, but gave up in tears when I told her that Dad wanted me to take the lessons. That was the first of a lot of fights between us, most of which ended with me grounded.
When Jen and I started at Jefferson Jr. High, we had about half our classes together, but we started exploring our differences. Jen discovered boys and was always hanging around Bobby Mason, one of the football players. We both tried out for cheerleading and made the squad, but after six weeks I dropped out and got into the much more physical gymnastics program where my Jeet Kune Do training and reflexes made me a minor star. Jen became a literal drama queen and a pretty good singer.
At the Golden Dragon, I had just been placed in the black belt class, where I often sparred against Master Chen's son, Bruce. He told the other students I was his girlfriend, and took advantage of our matches to pin me down and get in a few inappropriate grabs. When I broke his arm to make him stop, Master Chen expelled me from classes. The next day I explained what happened, and he understood, but there was no other equal class to attend.
Instead of telling Mom what happened, I made the mistake of playing hooky when I should have been at the dojo. The city had been getting worse, but I didn't realize just how much worse until some guy tried to drag me into an alley. There was another guy waiting there with his pants unzipped, so it was pretty obvious they weren't nice guys. I barely thought about it as my JKD training took over, and I beat them both unconscious, and then ran home.
The cops apparently found the two of them lying there with a stack of photos of several kids who'd been found dead. It made the papers and Mom was shocked because of how close it was. I'm not sure what to call her reaction when I told her that I was the one who stopped them. We had a heart to heart talk, and I told her I still wanted to be a hero like Dad, that someone needed to do something about the way things were. She said we could discuss it when I was eighteen, and not to think about it until then. And I was grounded.
High school was full of more surprises. Bruce Chen was there, and Jen and Bobby were a confirmed couple. I dropped out of gymnastics and wound up hanging out with the "geeks and nerds" crowd when computers caught my interest. Damon, Jeff, Matt, and Greg had dubbed themselves the "Sanderson Sci-Fi Sentinels" because they were into role playing games, anime, and heroes like the Champions. I learned a lot of really cool and weird things from them.
Like just how cruel high school could be. The "S's" were social outcasts at the bottom of the totem pole, while Jen, Bobby and I were the opposite. Me hanging out with them had started to bridge the gap, but when I got Greg to tutor one of the football players, it really helped. I had told the guys they had no chance with me, and they accepted that, but asked for help with other girls. Damon briefly dated one of the cheerleaders, dumping her when he found out how air headed she was, and Jeff ran for Junior Prom King, but only came third, becoming one of the Princes.
If I sound a little bitter, I'm not really; it's just that everything was so stereotypical high school. I had a couple boyfriends, but things just never seemed to work out right. Being a trophy to show off to friends or a notch on the bed was not what I had in mind. I had a crush on Derek Greenwaldt, but he never seemed to notice me, and he got killed in a drive-by shooting my junior year.
At fifteen, I got a hardship license, so I could get a job and help Mom out with the bills. It also let me get my driver's permit early, since I became a parts runner for a local garage that also did custom work, so it had a full machine shop where they could make replacements for some parts.
The summer after turning sixteen I really started preparing to be a hero. Dad wanted to be a real hero like the Champions, but all that got him was killed, footsteps I didn't want to follow. I figured I'd have to be all grim avenger and get down in the mud with the crooks, since they'd all have guns and I wouldn't. Finally I chose the name "Raptor" for the bird of prey feel, hoping I could be as intimidating as that one millionaire playboy was.
Putting together a costume was a no-brainer for me, since I could just shape shift to whatever I wanted. I picked up a dollar store belt and put a couple pouches on it for mundane stuff, like money, pen and paper. Of course, I decided I had to have wings too, real wings I could fly with. Learning to form them was incredibly painful at first, like breaking bones. Over time, I got more and more used to it, but then I actually had to learn how to use them to actually fly. I spent a lot of time studying birds to figure it out, which also gave me time to make the perfect mask. It took a lot of practice, but now flying with my wings is almost second nature, but I'll never hover like a hummingbird.
Claws. With the name Raptor, I really thought I needed them, they'd be useful for intimidating mooks, but on the other hand, I didn't want to fillet every opponent like some Canadian runt. There were a lot of possible ways to do them, but the perfect set came from a computer game character, three parallel blades about nine inches long, held like a katar. I snuck into the machine shop at work after midnight one night and welded together a pair.
I started practicing with the new claws, but the only useful move I had was a starship security chief's open-handed punch. Master Chen didn't bat an eye when I asked him for help fighting with the claws. Under his eye, it took only a summer to translate my years of Jeet Kune Do to using both the front and back of the claws. He also suggested that if I was going to be fighting "professionally", I should armor my blocking points. Good advice, so during another unscheduled work session, I carved out a set of steel bracers and shin guards.
The rest of high school was relatively normal, good grades and hanging out with friends after. For my eighteenth birthday, Jen arranged a party at the pizza place, and then we went over to Greg's, who had a pool. The chocolate suicide cake was great, the spiked punch wasn't. Conversation stopped when I came out in the tiny bikini I wanted to swim in, and I ignored the wolf whistles that followed. When I went to find Jen later, she and Bobby emerged from a closet, their clothes a little rumpled. I rolled my eyes and briefly wished I could have dragged Derek in there.
Mom gave me that look when I showed off my costume the night after my birthday, you know, the one that means you've been caught cheating. Still, after urging me to be careful and a quick peck on the cheek, she let me go out. I could have stayed out all night, but cut it short and got home just a little past midnight. She was sitting there, waiting up just like I guessed she would be, so I gave her a hug and told her I'd only stopped a couple purse snatchings. With me home she finally relaxed, but the worry on her face hurt me more than the knife I'd been stabbed with.
After a couple things I'd done made the paper without mentioning me, Mom relaxed some, finally accepting that I really was being careful. It got a little better as time went on, but I don't think she ever got a really good night's sleep, even the nights I stayed home. When I just wanted to hang out with Jen and the gang, she asked just like when I was a kid, but we both knew what she really wanted to know.
I graduated from Sanderson with honors, earning an academic scholarship to Newport University, probably the only way I could afford to attend. Jen decided to go there with me, but Bobby got a chance to play at Rice, putting them in a long distance relationship, which Jen isn't handling very well. I got a room at the dorms, and then talked the S's into changing my arrangements, giving me a room by myself on the top floor, facing a stand of trees. It would make my nightly excursions a little easier when nobody could see me coming and going.
It couldn't have been that easy though, as I kept running into and breaking up robberies and assaults on the campus itself. Gossip had started about the school's mysterious protector, and I was worried it might be tracked back to me, but one of the girls I rescued was Jen, and she didn't recognize me. Because I was always running around campus by myself at odd hours, it was easy to lie and say I'd been saved myself.
One night I was planning to bust up a chop shop, I brushed a fence that turned out to be electrified. There was a loud pop from the discharge, and I realized that my enhanced reflexes had saved me from being stuck to the fence like flypaper. My arm burned like it was on fire and I had a pattern of blackened scars on my bare palm, just from that brief contact. I immediately tried to heal it, but nothing happened, I couldn't even make my arm the black costume it was supposed to be. The noise caused a commotion inside the warehouse, and thugs with guns started pouring out, so I flew off to tend to my wounded arm, which finally healed about a half hour later.
Trying to fight crime is hard enough without having to fight the police too. When I'd drop off a gift-wrapped bad guy for them, they always wanted to arrest me too. It didn't help that the crooks usually wound up back on the street twenty-four hours later. Things didn't get better until I beat up Detective Gaines while he was posing as a drug dealer. He forgave me, but subjected me to a nice long lecture about evidence and police procedure, which I actually listened to. I've called him a couple times for help, but he doesn't want to be in on the arrests when I do, which makes me wonder.
After a couple months, I realized there's some big group like the mafia or VIPER with its fingers in a lot of the crimes here in Newport. And they don't like me. They set me up once when I tried to bring down a numbers racket, this big guy offered me a suitcase full of cash to stop troubling them. After I set the money on fire with a disposable lighter, I thought about what it would have done for Mom and I. Of course, that really pissed off the big guy; we started fighting while the rest of them opened fire with on us with machine guns. My blows seemed to be bouncing off him like the bullets, so I was about to claw him, but he hit me in the stomach like a freight train. I was seeing stars and thought I was going to lose dinner, so I spread my wings and crashed through a skylight to escape.
I'm not doing that bad; when I jump a crook, they usually know my name and act appropriately scared, which is cool. There's a few things I'd like get, like low light lenses since I'm always fighting in the dark, and a police scanner. I worry about Mom and Jen and the future, hoping I'll finally find a serious boyfriend, or maybe even who killed Dad.
Of course, if Bruce Chen turns out to be a supervillain, I won't be surprised.
Due directly to the shapeshifting ability she inherited from her father, Cassie is an enhanced physical specimen, better than most dedicated athletes. She is strong enough to carry her motorcycle, agile enough to dodge bullets, with equal balance, reflexes and manual dexterity. In addition she is hardy enough to exercise all day without tiring, ignore most environmental conditions, and toughen her skin to ignore knives and small caliber bullets. Of course, if anything should actually hurt her, her shapeshifting ability will rapidly heal the wound without leaving a scar.
When she becomes Raptor, she forms a pair of birdlike wings with an eight foot span, enough to let her actually fly almost fifty miles per hour. She is well trained in, but not yet a master of, Jeet Kune Do, and uses these skills in a fight, kicking and striking non-lethal blows with the backs of her claws. The claws are only for damaging equipment or making threats; the only time she considered using them on a person, she already knew he was bulletproof. She is fond of "hit hard, hit fast" tactics, swooping in on her wings and relying on her reflexes and JKD to see her through.
Cassie is a well grounded young adult who just happens to possess superpowers. She is friendly, outgoing, and way too cheerful and enthusiastic about everything; it's almost impossible to find her without a smile on her face. This "always on" attitude has its drawbacks, making some people see her as being an airhead, easy lay, or both. She likes using her powers, country or rock and roll music, chocolate ice cream, and action movies. Her friends know her to be fiercely loyal, and forgiving if something goes wrong.
She puts on her "bad girl" act along with Raptor's mask and claws, suppressing her cheerful side. The morals she learned at her father's knee are still in force, but she is fighting a different fight that her father did. She has no problem using stealth, intimidation or pure brute force, but she's a hero so killing is against the rules.
|Can often be found patrolling the seedier parts of town, breaking up drug deals and crimes, and putting a hurt on any pimps that abuse their girls.|
|I have to say that I am quite pleased with the background Chris provided. For once I didn't have to come up with one. Thanks so much, Chris!|
Created: Wed, 25 Nov 2020 08:50:41
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