Character du Jour: All American Girl
December 8 1941, and Private Roger Stevens is stationed at Wake Island when he is hit by a bolt of light from the sky and becomes American Hero. He spends the following months helping repel the Japanese invasion fleet time and again, gaining medals and accolades from fellow soldiers and civilians alike, earning a place in their hearts and history books.
That was the public story. In truth Private Roger Stevens died that day, the victim of a crashing spacecraft. In keeping with its race traditions, the alien occupant took on his form and memories to pay for the lifedebt caused by his negligence. To all intents he became Roger Stevens, and the American Hero was a lie.
His secret remained secure until 1992 when, as a founding member of the Revengers, he was called to defend against a possible alien invasion. These were his own people come to search for him, and during the battle the Heirarch decreed his lifedebt paid in full. It reverted him back to his true form, much to the horror of his team-members and (thanks to the wonders of television) the world at large.
American Hero was no more.
As a non-US citizen he was stripped of military rank and honours, and only managed to avoid imprisonment thanks to the efforts of the superhero community. Taking the name USAlien, he cut a darkly brooding figure on the world stage, an outsider not by choice but by prejudice. He felt he had betrayed his friends, allies, the name of Roger Stevens and even his family – albeit with a lie that had over the decades saved the lives of countless thousands of people. Where previously he had fought for Truth and Justice, he now fought a brutal one-man war against injustice and his own inner demons.
When he died it was at the hands of a coalition of drug dealers and hyperjuicers in an unlit warehouse in the worst part of town. His gravestone bore just five words: “Here lies a true man.”
Kara Stevens is the daughter he never knew. She was born on the eve of American Hero’s fateful unmasking, and during the ensuing witch hunt the government granted she and her mother entirely new identities and new lives for their own safety. While USAlien soon found them he chose to stay away, believing this would put them at least risk.
As a part-alien (though she doesn’t know which race), Kara possesses many of the superpowers of her father – great density through molecular control, strength and flight – but in an entirely human form. When her powers began to appear her mother revealed the truth about her father, emphasising the great and noble deeds he carried out as American Hero. When her sophomore class was threatened by a masked gunman, she didn’t hesitate to step forward as his legacy, the All American Girl!
Dirty little secret: Like the grotesque underbelly that consumed her father, All American Girl has a dark side that threatens to take over. Meet Duality. Oh yes.
Notes: Captain America is really Martian Manhunter, and has a kid! I’m loving the legacy angle of All American Girl – it’s full of “sins of the fathers” promise all wrapped up in an identity that is still trying to find her place in the world.
Power-wise, All American Girl is a terrific build. Her powers centre around Density Control; she can become super-tough (able to shrug off a direct missile hit and lift almost 40 tons without breaking sweat), fly (up to 2500mph), turn totally incorporeal or direct her powers outward and control the elemental earth itself – but not all at the same time. She has Impervious Toughness 4 meaning she’s immune to small arms fire even when not using her Density Control (alien kinetic absorbtion skin ftw!). Adaptation 2 is a welcome bonus thanks to her alien heritage – her body will immediately adapt to hostile environments such as poison, underwater or deep space. It’s at a very low level (a mere Rank 2) to reflect her diluted gene-pool.
When it comes to stats she’s well in the human norm – a popular, healthy, graceful teenage girl with little to mark her as different to any other gal around campus. Until she punches someone through several buildings, flies into the air or walks through a wall, that is. She’s something of a talented singer (and a member of a college band), an art major and has all the skills required of college life (Bluff, Sense Motive, KS:Pop Culture and Drive).
Thanks to her slightly alien mindset, she has Second Chance (Mind Control), and her can-do attitude gives her both Beginner’s Luck and Luck 1 feats. After all, the gods smile on those who try.
Kara Stevens AKA All American Girl, PL10 150pp
Str 14/38, Dex 16, Con 18, Int 14, Wis 13, Cha 16
Tough +4i/+10i, Fort +14, Ref +8, Will +10
Attack +6, Defense +10, Init +3
Adaptation 2, Impervious Toughness 2
Density 12 (+24 Str, Weight x25, adds Immovable 4, Protection 6, Super-Strength 4)
– AP: Element Control 16 (Earth)
– AP: Flight 8 (2,500mph)
– AP: Insubstantial 4 (Incorporeal)
Acrobatics +5, Bluff +5, Computers +4, Concentration +6, Drive +4, Investigate +3, KS:Art +8, KS:Pop Culture +4, Notice +5, Perform:Singing +5, Sense Motive +4, Swim +4
Beginner’s Luck, Luck 1, Second Chance 1 (Mind Control)
Drawback: Involuntary Transformation (into Duality, Uncommon, Major)