- 1 Stats
- 2 Telekinesis
- 3 Soundtrack & Theme
- 4 Journal
- Strength 16 (+3)
- Dexterity 14 (+2)
- Constitution 18 (+4)
- Intelligence 12 (+1)
- Wisdom 16 (+3)
- Charisma 14 (+2)
- Attack: +6
- Defense: +6
- Toughness: +7 (+0 base, +4 Con, +3 armor)
- Fortitude: +7 (+3 base, +4 Con)
- Reflex: +5 (+2 base, +3 Dex)
- Will: +6 (+3 base, +3 Wis)
- Attractive (x2)
- Improved Critical (x2 - Telekinetic)
- Teamwork (x2)
- Concentration +10 (+7 ranks, +3 Wis)
- Diplomacy +4 (+2 ranks, +2 Cha)
- Drive +3 (+1 ranks, +2 Dex)
- Handle Animal +4 (+2 ranks, +2 Cha)
- Knowledge (Life Sciences) +3 (+2 ranks, +1 Int)
- Knowledge (Tactics) +3 (+2 ranks, +1 Int)
- Medicine +4 (+1 ranks, +3 Wis)
- Notice +6 (+3 ranks, +3 Wis)
- Profession (Farmer) +8 (+5 ranks, +3 Wis)
- Search +4 (+3 ranks, +1 Int)
- Prejudice (Gay)
- Secret (Gay)
Equipment (5 pts)
- Commlink (1)
- GPS Receiver (1)
- Armored Jumpsuit (3)
- Rank: 10
- Array Cost: 4pts per rank
- Array Power Feats: Subtle
General Effect, Standard Action, Line of Sight, Sustained
- Lift and move objects as though Strength were (rank x5) rating; may increase this by +5 Str with a full action and concentration; may still use extra effort to double carrying capacity. Capacities are Light/Medium/Heavy/Maximum/Push-Drag
- Str 5 (rank 1): 16/33/50/100/250 lb
- Str 10 (rank 2): 33/66/100/200/500 lb.
- Str 15 (rank 3): 66/133/200/400/1000 lb.
- Str 20 (rank 4): 133/266/400/800/2000 lb.
- Str 25 (rank 5): 266/533/800/1600/4000 lb.
- Str 30 (rank 6): 532/1064/1600/3200/8000 lb.
- Str 35 (rank 7): 1064 lb./1 ton/1.5 ton/3 tons/7.5 tons
- Str 40 (rank 8): 1 ton/2 tons/3 tons/6 tons/15 tons
- Str 45 (rank 9): 2 tons/4 tons/6 tons/12 tons/30 tons
- Str 50 (rank 10): 4 tons/8 tons/12 tons/24 tons/60 tons
- Str 55: 8 tons/16 tons/24 tons/48 tons/125 tons
- May perform fine manipulations.
- Objects move as if thrown with effective Strength, or at 5 ft. per round if considered a "heavy load" for that effective Strength.
- Objects thrown as weapons base damage off Telekinesis rank, as though it were Strength bonus.
- May inflict damage as with punch or grapple, plus perform trip and disarm attacks. In all cases, Strength of attack = Telekinesis rank. Cannot be grappled or tripped in return, and pinned targets can be moved as though they were objects.
- Knockback: Damage rating +4
- Attack Rolls: Normal ranged attack +4
- Critical Hits: 18-20
- Extras: Damaging, Perception
- Power Feats: Accuracy (x2), Knockback (x4), Precise
Movement Effect, Move Action, Burst Area, Sustained
- Able to fly at variable speed by rank:
- 1 - 50mph
- 2 - 100mph
- 3 - 250mph
- 4 - 500mph
- 5 - 1000mph
- 6 - 2500mph
- 7 - 5000mph
- 8 - 10,000mph
- 9 - 25,000mph
- 10 - 50,000mph
- Extras: Affects Others, Area (Burst - circular area with 5' radius/rank)
- Power Feats: Progression (x2)
Telekinetic Force Field
Protection Effect, Free Action, Ranged, Sustained
- Bonus on Toughness saving throws equal to rank.
- Attacks of less than rank fail without need for Toughness save.
- May protect one other person within Rank x100 yds. (may add additional through Progression feats)
- Extras: Affects Others, Range, Impervious
Defense Effect, Free Action, Touch, Instant
- May use the Block action against melee and ranged attacks.
- May attempt to Deflect any number of attacks, but each one after the first imposes a -2 to the check.
- Once a Deflect roll is failed, may not do it again until next round.
- May block all ranged and melee attacks.
- Extras: Action (x2)
Soundtrack & Theme
Okay, I admit it. I tried hunting for something sort of "Dawson's Creek"-like when looking for his music, but I couldn't find anything that was completely appropriate. As I was hunting through all the emo, faux-folksy and mid-90s Verve Pipe-like shit, I realized that none of them were suitable because those songs didn't incorporate the things I see my character worrying about.
In short order, though he's going to want to just worry about personal things, there is an element of this character that also can't help but see the bigger picture. These themes and concepts are best expressed, I'm afraid, by a handful of VNV Nation songs:
- Carry You: This song is about Jacob's destiny, and how frightening it is. Particularly the lines "Truth you find through your adversities/Will defend you/As your powers and all your energies/Conspire to carry you."
- Arclight: In many ways, the lyrics of this song best embody everything that Jacob both hopes and fears will be true about his destiny.
- Legion: This is the chaos of Jacob's own doubts in the middle of the adoration of the masses. Hailed as a hero, as one of the strongest people on the planet, he realizes that he can only hope to live up to the old legacy of Sentinel ("Entertaining thoughts that I've the strength/of those I yearn to be"). Despite the adoration of the people ("Cheers and tribute greet the saviors"), he is terrified of being trapped into that identity ("Reckless thoughts survive./Anachronistic and impulsive.")
- Joy: Jacob is easily controlled and manipulated right now because he has entirely bought into the MiGS propaganda. He spent so much of his life thinking of MiGS as not-human that he's settled into that role for himself. This song is Jacob at his most dangerous - not as the super-hero Sentinel, but as the man Jacob who has realized that he is still human, like everyone else, and grows weary of the constant warfare and battle. In realizing his humanity, he realizes his empowerment to make choices for himself - the very worst thing that could happen to one of Imago's pet MiGS.
- Sentinel: Ironically named, this is a song for the potential day when Sentinel realizes the full extent of what is going on. He won't be used as a tool anymore ("I can't accept and won't concede/In aftermath we find redemption") and realizes that this masters are the ones they should be saving the world from ("Quell the rage that deeply seethes/The extremes of these devotions/Dismantle the machine/The device of their creation.")
I'm writing this journal because someone has to know. No, that's not really it - it's not like I'm going to show this to anybody. I'm writing this because there are some things I need to say, but I'm not allowed to say them to anyone. The doctors say that writing stuff down is good, I guess, so that's what I'm doing.
One of the earliest memories I can recall is visiting my aunt in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. I hadn't started school yet, so I must have been around four. We were downtown waiting for a movie to start, and my Aunt Shelley took us to eat our hot dogs in the park. In the middle of the park, there stood a huge statue of Sentinel. I wasn't quite old enough to know who he was, though there was a certain familiarity to him. Not surprising - it had been the tenth anniversary of their deaths (the "Last Call of Freedom," the history books call it these days, but they hadn't come up with that name yet then). I asked my Aunt Shelley who that was, and she looked up at the statue and smiled.
"He was an angel, Jacob," she said with a big smile on her face, and the look that some older women get when they remember their girlhood crushes. "He saved the world, and he died doing it. He was born right here in Scottsbluff, and he saved the world."
I think that is also the earliest memory I have of being aware of finding men attractive. I remember asking all sorts of questions about Sentinel, and the rest of the Freedom League. By the time I was in grade school, though, I knew better than to ask questions. Things were strange in those years, and the less you talked about people who could do impossible things the better.
Those early years of school is when I started my shots, too. I didn't remember the testing in the XXX facility, until I visited it years later - at the beginning of my training here, in fact. All I can really remember is that I started going to see my doctor every month for shots.
Mom said I was allergic to hay and grass, and that was a real problem because Dad sometimes grew hay in fields when he was "resting" those fields, instead of letting them lie fallow (no one we knew could afford to let good land just sit there and recover for a full growing season). And there was no way I was getting out of doing chores in the field with the rest of the family, so I got shots. It didn't bother me much.
That doctor's office in town (we lived in the farmlands around Turner, Idaho) was also where I first met Toby Dougherty. We never got to be friends, though - at the doctor's office, our moms seemed to want to keep us close, and didn't let us play while we were there.
We were in school together, though, once I hit junior high. By then, he was already trouble, getting in fights all the time and everything. Still, there was something about Toby. He was the first boy I ever had a crush on, though I didn't really know what it was at the time. All I know is that I really wanted to be his friend. But he and his friends all listened to heavy metal, and they smoked cigarettes, and they hung around all the time doing nothing.
I was never allowed to do nothing. Mom and Dad always rode me to make sure I was doing something "useful," they said. It was 4-H all through school, and as soon as I started having time to do things like try to hang out at the local Dairy Queen where Toby and his friends hung out, Mom found more chores for me. I was fourteen when we had a big fight about it.
Later that evening, after being sent to bed without supper, Dad came up and told me that he'd talk to Mom and see if she'd ease up if I was interested in playing football or something like that. Mom was a good Church-going woman, though, and she wasn't going to tolerate me hanging around with "no-accounts" like the Dougherty kids.
My relationship with Toby was all over the place throughout our years in high school. At first, he and his friends used to make fun of me, before I joined football. Then they seemed a little too afraid to mess with me. I don't know if that was because I was bulking up, or because I spent most of my time hanging out with the rest of the team. Either way, he let me alone, and that was good enough.
Sorta. There was some part of me that still wanted to hang out with him, so I did the second-best thing: I antagonized him. Being on the football team got you noticed - especially by the girls. I wasn't really interested in them. I was still interested in the school's bad boy. By high school everyone knew he smoked marijuana and drank. But he had girls he was interested in, of course, and they didn't always show an interest in him and his reputation.
So, I used to do things like ask the girls he was clearly interested in out on dates. Right in front of him, in the cafeteria, or out in front of the school after class. He tried to pick a fight with me after doing that once, but a couple of years of regular football really helped in that kind of situation. That was usually the end of it - they didn't mean much to either of us.
Until Reese Tanner. Reese was a new girl, just arrived from Seattle, and she hated it at our school. Oh, she was better than all of us, but she wasn't some rebel. She was a city girl, who knew computers and video games, and goddamn Toby wanted her. I introduced myself to her one day just before he could ask her out, and we hit it off immediately. He was so mad. But not just mad - he turned away before anyone else could see, but I saw him try and not cry.
I thought I was slicker than I was, though. A week later, after we'd been hanging out, I tried to kiss her. She was smart, and funny. We both liked video games, and she showed me the Internet. I didn't really like girls, I knew, but if there was even a chance I might, this had to be the one, right? She just looked at me funny when I tried.
"What are you doing?" she asked incredulously. I told her that I thought it was obvious, and she just...sorta laughed. Not meanly, but she laughed. She told me that she knew I was gay.
Jesus, I'd never been so poleaxed in my life. I tried to deny it. First I was casual and pretended she was joking, hoping she'd take it back. Then I was angry, and then I just sorta cried. She held me while I did that. She'd known lots of kids our age who were gay in Seattle, and it wasn't a big deal to the rest of the world. Just in little hick towns.
That was also the first and only night I ever smoked marijuana. We ended the night laughing our heads off, and I told her all about Toby and how I liked him, and used to steal the girls he liked. I didn't mean to say that last bit, because it was something I was ashamed of, but she thought it was pretty funny. She suggested funnily that she should date him, and I encouraged her. She was afraid of hurting me - we were friends, and you didn't date the guy your friend was crushing on. No, no, I assured her, it was cool - I'd like to see her date someone cool, who really liked her, and he should get the chance to do the same.
The world seems to make so much simple sense when you're stoned. But it doesn't, really. It almost killed me to see them together, and it was worse because she wanted me to hang out with them. He didn't seem to understand my presence at first. After a while, he seemed to be cool with it, and that was simultaneously the best and worst time in my life: I spent all my social time with the two of them. Here I was, spending time around the one I loved, while he kissed on the girl I'd encouraged to date him because there was no way I could.
Jesus. Dawson's fucking Creek.
That's not the important stuff, though. It was also during this time - I was almost seventeen - when he asked me about it. It was one of the rare times that it was just him and me hanging out, and he asked me what "my power" was. I just looked at him. When he said "you know, your secret?" I nearly panicked. I thought for sure Reese had told him that I was not just queer, but queer for him. I wish that had been all it was.
When he saw how confused I was, he asked me what it was I did at the doctor's office we always saw one another at. He laughed when I told him, and told me to check the medicine the next time I was in there. I did, and went to the library to find out exactly what that stuff was they were injecting me.
Inhibitor. I was on inhibitor, and had been for as long as I could remember. At that time, talk about mutants refusing to be on inhibitor was all in the papers and the news shows. They said there was even a trend in gangs either taking in runaway who refused to use it, or even kidnapping kids who were on it and hooking them on drugs so that they had people with powers. It was probably all urban legends, but...there it was.
I freaked. Like, literally freaked, and came home yelling and screaming. I said some terrible things to my Mom, and nearly got violent with my Dad when he intervened. I ended up checking into the hospital with them in the wee hours of the morning, and spent a few days of commitment to the psych ward. Not quite a breakdown, but close enough. They also brought a doctor in to explain the dangers of withdrawl from the inhibitor. They didn't know exactly what my power was, but with people who'd been on it a long time, the sudden return of the powers could go out of control, and people could get hurt. You heard about mutants hurting people in the news all the time, and I didn't want that.
I avoided Toby and Reese all that summer, and my senior year was very separate from them all. From everything. I stayed in football because I was in line for a scholarship, and it was the only way I'd get into college. Reese's family returned to Seattle, and suddenly Toby found himself alone. He came by my house shortly after school started, but Mom sent him away right quick - she knew what our earliest commonality was, and she didn't want a mutant and trouble-maker like Toby Dougherty upsetting me any more than he already had.
A month or so later, it all happened. Toby stopped coming to school, and they said he'd run away. I stopped seeing him at the doctor's for my shots, which I was very careful to make sure I continued. I was too scared not to.
But Toby - he showed up in October, while the fields were still brown and dying. He was drunk, and pissed off, and called out for me. I came out to see him and he started screaming at me, calling me all kinds of horrible things. The madder he got, he warmer it got, until finally it happened.
He burst into flames.
I don't remember much of what happened after that. The fields caught quickly, and I remember my Dad coming out with his shotgun. He fired a shot off at Toby, but I prevented him from hitting him. Or at least, killing him - the cops said they'd shot him too, and probably killed him, but no one believed that. There was no remains in the burnt fields.
But that was the least of our worries. The fire didn't just set our fields alight - it burned our house, and spread to the neighbors' lands, too. All in all, three farms were totally destroyed, and another four others were damaged to some extent before it could be contained and extinguished.
It ruined my family. It ruined lots of families. The land we owned was a burnt out husk, the house I grew up in nothing but a charred spot on the ground around a concrete foundation cracked from the heat of the fire that destroyed it.
I got my GED, and immediately went to work. My Dad was determined to get our farm back up and running, and couldn't be persuaded otherwise. It was almost like a sickness. He ended up taking jobs on other farms at lower wages, convincing them to pay him in use of their equipment and in building supplies. I worked the mill during the week, and on weekends help him lay the new foundation and frame our new house. Mom went to work in town.
We did this for years. The stress - knowing this was my fault, knowing I had to put my life on hold - ate at me. I was in and out of the psych hospital, every ten months or so. The doctors there suggested that I get out and find some kind of life for myself. I told them that I was gay, and they suggested I at least try and meet someone. My one trip into a big enough town to have a gay bar filled me with such guilt and self-loathing that it never happened again.
Then, after about three years of this, they approached me.
A New Life
They literally made me an offer I couldn't refuse. An education, freedom from Idaho, but most importantly - money. Enough money to get my parents back into a home of their own, and maybe even get the farm running eventually. Certainly enough to allow my Dad to focus on our land again, to get some equipment and some help building the house. To let Mom leave her job, and to help with my brothers and sisters, who're still in school.
They knew how to spin it. I mean, I knew what they were doing, even as they did it. "Come and protect your country from people like the man who destroyed your family's life," they said, and they immediately had me. There was a catch, of course.
I had to wean myself off the inhibitor. They knew what my powers were, at least vaguely. And they wanted me to not only use them, but to cultivate and strengthen them. This great nation of ours was about to be on the losing side of a culture war powered by mutants who hated our way of life, both from within the country and outside of it. It was my duty to my country to make this sacrifice, they said, just like my Dad had fought in Vietnam.
The other catch? I was going to be Sentinel.
Personally, I don't think anyone is going to buy it. He was amazing - I've watched all the newsreels and videos they had of him, and read all the interviews. He was All American, you know? He was a leader, and people looked up to him. He just radiated everything that was good and right about our country, and everyone said that when he spoke, everyone knew that it was going to be all right. He would make it right.
How am I going to be that?
But I have to be. I don't have any choice. And there are...certain things about myself I have to keep from everyone. Like the fact that I'm queer. And what my power actually is, for that matter - I've got to pretend to have Sentinel's strength and toughness, his flight and his heat vision.
I can make things move a little with my brain. How the hell am I going to do this?