Friday, April 6, 2018

Fiction Friday - Cinder Ash, aka Ashleigh “Ash” Riley

Okay, so you figured out by now that my "Easter Bunny Costume" was really an April Fool's prank.  If you've followed my blog for a while, you know my usual April Fool prank is a "big reveal" of my secret identity.   At least it was better than that whole "Justin Bieber love slave" thing.  I can't believe I did that.  

Anyway, I got a little carried away with the "Easter Bunny Costume" story, and well, here's the character that came about after I had written the prank off the cuff.  Sometimes ideas take on a life of their own... :-)


Cinder Ash, aka Ashleigh “Ash” Riley

Background and Origin: Ashleigh Riley does not consider herself a nova. In a world where nova are well-understood, and are the only beings with superhuman abilities, this qualifies as a mental disorder.

Instead, she views herself as the host for the flesh of a dead nova-with-no-name.

Ashleigh had a mostly normal life as a coffee barista, trying to make ends meet, and avoid getting raped, while living in New York City.

She doesn't know why she let anyone talk her into attending that particular party, or what the Hell must have been slipped into her drink, but the fragments of memories of being incredibly sick in the tub, and again out back, and finally trying to find her way home are vivid. She vaguely remembers the guys attacking her, and the tall blond nova who saved her before the assholes shot the nova a million times and then ran away. Ashleigh vomited for the hundredth time as the dying nova enveloped Ashleigh, and they both passed out.

A week later, some people in a nova hospital were trying to convince Ashleigh she was a nova, and she had her eruption when she was attacked. It was weeks after they had given up, without finding any sign of nova ability, that she finally stopped laughing at them...

...Ash and Jimmy were working the closing shift at the coffee shop. It was dead and they were preparing to close early when the three guys slipped in. Jimmy let them know it was closing soon, and two guys said no problem, while one did the loo.

Ash took the orders of the two guys. They were scruffy and shady, and seemed familiar, but she didn't know why. Ash gave Jimmy the signal to stay close to the panic button.

While she was delivering the drinks, Loo-Man came out. He and Ash made eye contact, and she threw the tray at him, spewing coffee. Jimmy looked confused, and Loo-Man shot him.

Fugly Scruff grabbed Ash, while Bad Teeth Scruff shouted “What the fuck?!” at Loo-Man.

Loo-Man rubbed his still-smoking manhancer against Ash’s face, and scowled. “So, she didn't die last month. She could identify us. We're taking her with us and finishing it right this time.”

Three squelchy heartbeats later, feeling like her skin turned inside out, Ash was  30cm taller and twice as heavy. She shoved a meter-long bone blade thru Loo-Man’s diseased heart, and he dropped like the sack of wet crap he was.

Fugly and Bad Teeth made a break for the door. In flashy blurry lines, Giant Ash got there first, spiked their knees to cripple them, and pinned them to the floor by driving the cheap metal legs of two shop chairs into the fake wooden floor.

She slapped the store panic button, and applied compress to Jimmy’s bleeding gut. Jimmy’s glazed eyes stared at her, as warmth flowed from her fingers to him.

“Are you an angel?” he asked, with no appreciation of the cliche irony.

“I'm Cinder Ash,” was all the half-naked Amazon said.

Tiny little half-naked Ash was still compressing Jimmy’s gut when the emergency medical team arrived. Jimmy was in shock, but eventually pulled thru, despite the bullet to his liver. The cops hauled Fugly and Bad Teeth away.

Ash returned to the Nova training facility, and told them the whole story. They stopped trying to convince her she was a bit delusional about certain details after she demonstrated the “chest cannons,” and blew out the side of a mountain.

Ashleigh Riley maintains her low-profile job as a barista, and enjoys it. She has accepted a role as “contract hunter” for Team Tomorrow. When they have a “public health risk” nova that needs brought to heel, they sometimes send contractors like the Amazonian Cinder Ash, who rather likes leg breaking.

Combat Tactics: She is a melee brawler. She lacks experience, and lacks finesse, relying on raw power to see her thru.

Personality Traits: Incongruously, she spends most of her time “dormed down,” as she considers it her “natural” form. She views her nova body (where she calls herself “Cinder Ash”) as an aberration, where she is wearing the living flesh of a dead nova.

Ash prides herself on being able to “read” people, and be charming, friendly and make people feel good. She finds her senses “muted,” and her personality “stunted and broody” in her nova form (q.v. Taint).

Where Ashleigh is warm and bubbly, Cinder Ash is dark and moody. Ashleigh doesn't mind video game violence, but you couldn't pay her to watch a horror or slasher film. Cinder Ash would take the money to watch the film, and fall asleep bored. It's not that Cinder Ash likes hurting people, so much as she finds it therapeutic to vent her anger about the shitty world on shitty people. Both of them are opposed to killing, without very good reasons. (Cinder Ash being a bit flexible on “very good” when she has been badly injured, and tends to panic a bit).

Appearance: Ash is 5’3”, and about 105 lbs soaking wet (she weighed herself). She has black hair and brown eyes.

Cinder Ash is 6’4”, and about 220 lbs of hard muscle. She has blond hair and blue eyes.

Powers: She is a fairly standard mid-weight brawler with retractable and morphable blades, and a really nasty “Hail Mary” when in a pinch.

She can lift/press approximately 10 tons under optimal conditions. She is resistant to convention weapons, and even many nova powers. She regenerates, and can extrude "bone" blades and armor plating.

Notes: Cosplay model Jannet in Cosplay. Other model unknown. Character by I.A. Riley, April, 2018.

Document Copyright (C) 2018 by Icarus Anne Riley. All rights reserved. Portions Copyright others; no attempt is made to infringe upon their rights.

Values in red indicate the number of Mega dice to roll. These are separated out, because a single Mega for that comes up 7, 8, or 9 counts as two successes, and a roll of 10 (“0”) counts as three successes. So the dice need to be rolled separately, therefore they are noted separately.

She is built on waaaay more than 30 nova points. I have absolutely no clue what her equivalent cost/value would be.

Cinder Ash - Aberrant

Strength ⬤⬤⬤/⬤⬤⬤ [3] (+3)
     (Brawl ⬤⬤⬤⬤ [7], Might ⬤⬤⬤⬤ [7])
Dexterity ⬤⬤⬤/⬤ [3] (+1)
     (Athletics ⬤⬤⬤ [6], Stealth ⬤⬤ [5])
Stamina ⬤⬤⬤/⬤⬤ [3] (+2)
     (Endurance ⬤⬤⬤ [6], Resistance ⬤⬤⬤ [6])
Perception ⬤⬤/⬤ [2] (+1)
     (Awareness ⬤⬤ [4])
Intelligence ⬤⬤ [2]
     (Linguistics ⬤⬤ [4], Science ⬤ [3])
Wits ⬤⬤⬤ [3]
     (Arts ⬤ [4], Biz ⬤ [4], Rapport ⬤⬤⬤⬤ [7], Weave ⬤ [4])
Appearance ⬤⬤⬤/⬤ [3] (+1)
     (Disguise ⬤ [4], Style ⬤⬤ [6])
Manipulation ⬤⬤⬤ [3]
     (Streetwise ⬤⬤⬤ [6], Subterfuge ⬤⬤⬤ [6])
Charisma ⬤⬤⬤ [3]
     (Carousing ⬤⬤⬤⬤ [7], Etiquette ⬤ [4], Perform ⬤ [4])

Quantum ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤
Quantum Pool 50
Willpower ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤ ⬤⬤⬤⬤
Taint ⬤⬤⬤⬤
Combined Soak - Bashing 13, Lethal 10
Health levels - Bruised, Hurt, Injured, Wounded (cannot sprint), Maimed (movement halved), Maimed (movement halved), Maimed (movement halved), Maimed (movement halved), Maimed (movement halved), Maimed (movement halved), Maimed (movement halved), Crippled (can only move one meter per turn), Incapacitated, Dead

Attunement ⬤⬤⬤
Backing ⬤⬤
Dormancy ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤
Eufiber ⬤⬤
Node ⬤⬤⬤

In her “dormed down” state, she has no Physical Abilities, no Mega-Attributes, and no Quantum Powers, but otherwise is the same.
Armor ⬤⬤ (Extras: Super-Heavy)
Body Modification (Gills, Extra Health Levels +6 “Maimed”)
Claws ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤
Danger Sense ⬤⬤⬤
Healing ⬤ (She doesn't consciously know she has this ability)
Invulnerability ⬤ (she gains 6 automatic successes against heat and fire)
Mega-Appearance ⬤⬤ (?)
Mega-Dexterity ⬤ (Accuracy, Fast Movement)
Mega-Perception ⬤ (Ultrasonic Hearing, Telescopic Hearing)
Mega-Stamina ⬤⬤ (Hardbody, Regeneration)
Mega-Strength ⬤⬤⬤ (Shockwave)
Quantum Bolt ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤ (Extras: Jet/Stream)
Quantum Bolt ⬤⬤⬤⬤⬤ (Extras: MIRV)

“The Reflex Cannon”Her Reflex Cannon power (aka “Chest Cannon,” or “Boob Blasters”) is a standard multi-action, that burns a lot of Quantum Pool, can only be performed as written here, she can't hold back to reduce the damage, and since she finds it emotionally repulsive, she has to make a Difficulty 4 Willpower test to use the ability, unless her current Wound level is Wounded or worse (in which case panic about being hurt more means she can invoke this ability without needing a Willpower test.)
  • Activate Mega-Dexterity Accuracy Enhancement. (1 Quantum Pool, running total cost 1);
  • Activate Quantum Bolt with Jet/Stream Enhancement in the direction of the target she is most angry at, or afraid of - note that the target can be out of range. Resolve the attack. (3 Quantum Pool, running total cost 4);
  • Activate Quantum Bolt with MIRV - if the original target is still standing, then it pretty much becomes target of the entire barrage. If the original target is nearly down, or totally down, then the MIRV skews to nearby targets that she is angry at, or afraid of, or even just sometimes random objects as impressive collateral damage. (3 Quantum Pool, running total cost 7)

Sourcebooks Aberrant RPG (White Wolf Publishing, 1999), Aberrant Player's Guide (White Wolf Publishing, 2000)

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