Dark Shard / Sophia:

Name: Dark Shard
True Name: Sophia "Sofi" Welch
Alignment: Unprincipled (Good/Selfish)
Hit Points: 30 [*45] S.D.C.(Physical): 92 [*272]
Attributes: I.Q.: 20 (+6% /+3), M.E.: 10, M.A.: 26 (88%), P.S.: 17 (+2) [*27 (+12)], P.P.: 22 (+4) [*32 (+8)], P.E.: 15 [*25 (+20%/+5)], P.B. 14 / 17, SPD: 14 [*54]
Weight: 124 lbs (56.25 kg) Height: 5 foot 6 inches (1.68 meters)
Age: 18 years Sex: Female
Her main rebelling against her parents was always her Goth Punk style, otherwise she was always a good student in school. She also is a hard worker when it comes to the various jobs she has had. Sophia has always been something of a "Geek." She was never the "depressed" Goth type.
Marine Biology has always been a large focus of her interest. She has always been concerned with pollution, over fishing, and the killing of marine mammals. She hated hearing about the Japanese hunting whales and the hunting of seals. Since merging with the symbiote, she has another area which distresses her and that is the genetic engineering of intelligent creatures. She has heard rumors of government agencies as well as various villains do such experiments. She wants to do what she can to stop such experiments.
She has always been quite charismatic with her friends although had trouble with socializing otherwise. She has had a few girlfriends although never really liked boys too much setting her apart. In school she was picked on quite a bit. Sophia has always been feisty though and would strike back when nobody in authority was looking. Her favorite sport was roller derby where she was able to take out her frustration.
Since becoming "Dark Shard," she has become more assertive in other settings. This has been required because she needed to dominate the symbiote. If she finds out about a vessel which is polluting, she is likely to sneak aboard and disable the engines. She lives in the United States but would disable any whaling boat which she found out about if she had the opportunity. While she is concerned with over fishing, she has not been forceful with that. Her father worked as a fisherman for many years.
Before becoming a "Super Hero" herself, she never really thought of herself as one. Many kids imagine themselves as one. As such, she is still feeling her way as a "Hero." She considers the appearance of the symbiote to be cool.
Experience Level: First (1) Experience Points: 0 experience
Combat Skill: Hand to Hand; Martial Arts & Boxing
Attacks per Melee: Five (5)
Bonuses; Combat: Strike: +4 [*+11], Parry: +7 [*+14], Dodge: +11 [*+18], Damage: +2 [*+16], Knock Out/Stun: Natural 20, Critical Strike: Natural 20, Roll with punch, fall, or impact: +7, Pull Punch: +3, Initiative: +2
Kick Attacks: Kick (2D4)
Bonuses; Saves: Lethal Poison: [14] [*+5], Non-Lethal Poison: [16] [*+5], Harmful Drugs: [15] [*+5], Insanity: [12] Psionics: [15] Magic: [12] [*+5] Unaffected by all forms of mind control. Also has +6 to save against illusions.
Special Abilities (Not Super Powers): Dominant Personality and Exceptionally Charismatic:
Super Power Category: Symbiote
Symbiote's Origin: Genetically engineered symbiotic organism from a laboratory.
Symbiote's Appearance: Cephalopod like creature. Dark crystalline in appearance. Organism is in the center of her chest with tentacles wrapped around her chest and neck. The symbiote can become intangible for short periods and actually disappear inside of her. She cannot use her abilities except psychic abilities while it is intangible.
Symbiote's Intelligence: Only sentient when linked to a host. Host and Symbiote can communicate with each other through limited telepathy. Will also allow her to use its psionic abilities. I.Q. 15, M.E. 19, and M.A. 22.
Psionic Abilities: I.S.P. 66 Abilities: Empathy (4), Mind Block (4), Read Dimensional Portal (6), See Aura (6), Sense Time (2), Telepathy (4),
Symbiote's "Food" Source: Mental Energy - Causes a -5% to skill rolls (Negated by dominant personality.) Host can be a bit sluggish at times and sometimes daydreams.
Symbiote's Benefits:
Immune to Mind Control: Unaffected by all forms of mind control. Also has +6 to save against illusions.
Eyes in the back of the head: The symbiote has two stalks with eyes which can look behind her. Cannot be surprised by attacks from behind and gives +2 to dodge.
Symbiote's Super Abilities:
Sliding: Creates a field which renders her completely frictionless. Field can be controlled with extreme precision, allowing her to remain standing while the rest of the body is frictionless causing all physical hand to hand attacks to inflict half damage. Can also make her whole body frictionless so she can slide at impressive speeds (can slide on feet, back, abdomen, etc) - Can steer like a surfer with hands or like a skater. With intangibility, can slide over water.
Bonuses with Ability: Can slide along ground at speeds up to 80 mph (128 kph) - Gains 5 mph (8 kph) per level of experience. Bonus of +2 to dodge, +1 to roll (with punch, fall, and impact), and cannot be grappled, pinned, places in body hold, or thrown. Natural Sense of Balance equal to 76%+2% per level of experience. Can perform sliding body tackle - inflicts 2D6 damage (+4 for every 20 mph / 32 kph sliding) and has an 80% chance of knocking an opponent over. Targets knocked to ground lose initiative and two melee attacks.
Intangibility: Give the character and 20 lbs (9 kg) of additional material the ability to become intangible and be unaffected by most normal attacks. Effected by electricity doing half damage and by gasses and psionics which do full damage. Cannot touch or pick up any objects while intangible but can speak and hear normally. Passes through solid objects without effect. Cannot glide but the character takes no damage from falls or explosions. Also can sink into the earth and can walk on smoke and water. Becomes tangible or intangible almost at speed of thought (Treat as automatic parry). Cannot engage in combat while intangible; however, character can quickly change back and forth. Machines do work not while intangible but passing through them does no harm to them. Appears to be semitransparent while intangible.
Bonuses with ability: +1D6 to M.A. Attribute, +1D4x10 S.D.C., and +20% to Prowl Skills
Matter Expulsion: Crystal: Similar in many respects to the energy expulsion abilities but creates crystal instead of energy. Her crystal is of a smoky quartz coloration although crystal is far stronger than quartz.
Crystal Armor: Covers herself with a thin set of crystal armor which is extremely flexible with no encumbrance penalties (does not count against her mass limit for intangibility.) Armor has a natural AR Rating of 15 (attacks below 15 inflict no damage) and lasers (and other light based attacks) inflict one third damage. Crystalline armor gives +10 to P.S., P.P, and P.E. attributes, +40 to Speed attribute, +10 to Hit Points, +120 to S.D.C., +3 to Strike, Parry, and Dodge, and +4 to Damage.
Crystal Blasts: Can create blasts of crystal which rocket towards their target at great speed. Range: 20 feet /6.1 meters (+5 feet / 1.5 meters) per level). Damage: 1D6 S.D.C. per level. The exact amount of damage can be regulated in increments of 1D6. Duration: Instant but fades after thirty minutes from when created
Crystal Blades / Spines: Can create crystal blades surrounding one or both arms. Similar to body weaponry but more limited. Incredible sharp and inflict 3D6+4 (+2 /+16 for strength.) Require 2 less for critical strikes (reduce from Natural 20 to Natural 18 to 20) and reduce AR ratings of targets by two both due to being extremely sharp and virtually frictionless due to the sliding ability. Can create spines of crystal - anybody attempting to punch or kick her will have 1D6 S.D.C. inflicted against them and 3D6 against most grappling style attacks.
Encase in Crystal: Encase both objects and people in crystal. Far stronger than natural crystal and weighs approximately the same as glass (162 lbs / 73.5 kg per cubic foot / 0.028 cubic meters)
Small targets (1.5 feet on each side) encased in one attack. Includes weapons and a single limb such as an arm. Can be used to bind opponents. AR Rating: 15 with 20 S.D.C. plus 10 per level.
Larger Targets (3 feet to 5 feet on each side) encased in one attack. Include half a person's body (legs up to hips or whole torso and arms). AR Rating: 14 with 20 S.D.C. plus 10 per level.
Huge Targets (10 feet to 15 feet on each side) encased in three attack. Includes a person's whole body or something as large as a small car. AR Rating: 12 with 20 S.D.C. plus 10 per level.
Range: Touch or 6 feet (1.8 meters) per level. Damage: None unless head is encased in crystal and no oxygen can get through. Most living creatures / humanoids will asphyxiate and die within 1D6+3 minutes after the air supply is cut off. Duration: Instant but fades thirty minutes from when created. Also be dissipated by her or somebody who has the same ability but of higher level.
Educational Level: One year of College (2 Skill Packages +10% / 8 secondary skills) - Physical and Science Packages.
Skills: Computers: Computer Operation (+10%) 56%, Computer Programming 36% [Secondary Skill], Physical: Hand to Hand; Martial Arts [Learned Skill], Athletics (General) - Includes Roller Blading and Roller Derby, Boxing, Gymnastics, SCUBA / Swimming - Advanced (+10%) 66%, Pilot: Pilot Automobile (+10%) 76%, Pilot Boat [Secondary Skill] 61%, Pilot Related: Navigation [Secondary Skill] 56%, Read Sensory Instruments [Secondary Skill] 36%, Science: Biology (Includes Marine Biology) (+10%) 46%, Botany (+10%) 41%,Chemistry (+10%) 46%, Chemistry: Analytical (+10%) 41%, Mathematics: Advanced (+10%) 61%, Mathematics: Basic (+10%) 61%, Technical: Languages: English [Native] 98%, Vietnamese [Native] 98%, Photography [Secondary Skill] 41%, Research [Secondary Skill] 56%, Weapon Proficiencies: Ancient: W.P. Sword [Secondary Skill](+1 [+5 /+12] Strike / +1 [+8 / +15] Parry), W.P. Paired: Sword [Secondary Skill] (+1 [+5 /+12] Strike / +1 [+8 / +15] Parry)
Skills From Gymnastics: Sense of Balance (+10%) 66%, Work Parallel Rings (+10%) 66%, Climb Rope (+10%) 86%, Climbing (+10%) 41%, Back Flip (+10%) 86%, Prowl (+10%) 66%
Sophia is of obvious oriental heritage although is pretty tall for a girl of oriental descent, being about five foot six inches in height. She is pretty attractive although has something still of the a "Geek" about her. She is slim and athletic although she does not look near as strong as she actually is. The girl does wear glasses, having found that contact lenses just are uncomfortable.
While she follows the "Gothic Punk" style, she does not go to extremes. She has dark brown eyes which she usually wears fairly heavy dark makeup especially around the eyes. Her hair is also a dark brown which she has dyed in various colors. She has a small stud piercing her nose but does not go into the piercings that many other Goths like. Otherwise, she has her ears pierced and her belly button pierced.
The symbiote itself appears to be a dark crystalline Cephalopod like creature. It has tentacles which wrap around her chest and neck. She can sometimes play it off as a piece of very unusual jewelry. It can become intangible for short periods of time, allowing her to hide it. The ability for it to become intangible also allows her to easier change clothes. She cannot use any of its abilities while it is intangible and she is not.
She often wears Gothic Punk style clothing including lacy skirts and slit style skirts. She often wears shocking T-Shirt design. Various kinds of high heels and boots are worn by her. She can be more practical and will wear jeans and other more practical clothing. She will usually make something "Gothic" in style such as a T-Shirt with a Gothic logo. When at work at the lab, she will wear her lab coat right over her Goth clothing if she can get away with it.
When in her "Dark Shard" identity, she usually has a set of crystalline armor completely covering her with spikes coming off her armor and having a sword growing off her arms as weapons. The crystalline armor is not clear or white but instead is dark or smoky.
Occupation: College Student / Laboratory Researcher
Vehicles: 1995 Toyota Celica - Smoky Grey in color. In good working condition even though fairly old. Has a replacement stereo system with CD player (plays MP3 files) and external plug
Computers: Older Laptop Computer - Laptop is about five years old (well kept) although does have a 120 gig hard drive, DVD-Rom drive, one gig of RAM, and a high resolution display. Has a wireless card and an external 500 gig hard drive.
Clothing: Gothic punk style clothing - includes lacy style skirts and slit style shirts. Has a large selection of Gothic style T-Shirts. Has both high heels and various gothic style boots. Does have some normal clothing including jeans and work clothing.
Valuables: 5,000 dollars, 400 dollars worth in jewelry - includes ear rings, belly button piercing, and nose stud.
Other Items: Makeup and Feminine Items, Comb and Brush, Purse, Backpack, Mini-Flashlight, I-Pod MP3 / Video Player, Cell Phone,

Dark Shard's Background:

Sophia's father was a draftee in the Vietnam War who fell in love with a Vietnamese woman while serving there. He was determine to marry her which caused a huge amount of trouble. His command did not like soldiers marrying native women. In the end, he did marry her and was able to get her to the United Stated.

In many ways this caused even more troubles. He initially tried to settle back in his home town. From the deep south, his parents were quite racists and there was no end to the arguments on this. As well, many of the other locals did their best to make them feel unwelcome. This included people who he though were his friends. After a final argument, he resolved never to speak to his family again. After a bit of looking for a place to settle, the couple eventually ended up in Newark, New Jersey where he took a job working a fishing boat.

Even though in a decline, the fishing industry provided him with steady work. He had met a soldier while in Vietnam who worked in the fishing fleet. His wife worked a wide variety of jobs including day care, working in laundry, working in a tailor shop, and working even as a cook. They soon started a family with two boys and a single girl. The children were all given "Western" names to fit better in with their class mates. Even so, they were all taught Vietnamese along with English. Both parents were incredibly hard working and this same work ethic was instilled in their children. Both of the sons spent time working on fishing boats in the summer and their daughter working a variety of different jobs growing up similar to what her mother had done.

Sophia came as a surprise to the couple. Sophia's mother was just over forty when she became pregnant with Sophia. The next youngest child had been born eight years before and the couple was beginning to look forward to the children growing up and moving out on their own. They named their new child Sophia although she was more commonly called "Sofi" growing up.

Sophia seemed from an early stage to be a step ahead of her brothers and sisters. Sophia's siblings were far from dumb and all did quite well in school. In fact, her sister and one of her brothers went into college. Still, Sophia was just about a genius learning how to read and write at an extremely early age. She also took an interest in the ocean far more than any of her siblings had.

In addition to her intelligence though, Sophia was a nerd. She never fit in socially very well in school and was picked on by other students. This might have been the reason why she began dressing in 'Goth' styles and began dying her multiple colors. This lead her parents practically to distraction but it seemed like there were much worse ways she could have rebelled.

Even though she was picked on by the 'popular' students, she was well liked by the other 'nerds' and she often ended up being the leader of them. As well, she learned how to defend herself and when teachers were not look, she was not afraid to slug one of the girls, or even one of the boys, who was picking on her. She got involved in roller derby and had quite a left hook. Being attracted to other girls primarily never helped the situation with being picked on either. Being in the south would likely have been even worse.

Sophia also was hopeless in many areas which always baffled her mother. She had the ability to burn water and could hardly sew a stitch. Her older sister had picked up both from an early age from their mother. Instead, Sophia actually went on fishing boats with her father although she was most interested in studying the marine creatures pull up out of the ocean.

In school, Sophia concentrated on the sciences including marine biology. Marine conservation became extremely important to her as she learned about the declining marine organisms. As she got a bit older, she was able to get summer jobs with state and federal government organizations studying the oceans. There she learned both scuba diving and how to pilot boats.

In the end, Sophia graduated high school a year early and before college got a job as an intern in a marine research facility. While it required a security clearance, the job was mostly clean up after hours but she still did not mind. It gave her the ability to learn more about creatures which were fascinating to her. Much of her job was cleaning up tanks which was extremely hard work although that was something she never minded.

The facility was experimenting with an cephalopod with crystalline structure to them to see how they could take advantage of it. There were vague ideas on how they might be able to take advantage of this ability, trying to boost this ability greatly through genetic engineering. Of course as just an intern, Sophia knew little about this. She only knew that she was not suppose to talk about what was in the lab other than that it was research into cephalopods. One item strongly concerned the scientist working on the creatures was that several corpses were found in their tanks, worrying them that there were some problems with their research. Vast amount of money has been spend on the program. This seemed to happen when nobody was watching them. One of the researchers suggested, based on his dissections of them, that they actually shed their shell in a kind of molting but the rest of them disagreed.

These creatures were absolutely fascinating to Sophia and she would spend look periods of time observing them. They appeared to be crystalline creatures which were crosses between squids and octopus. Some were clear while others were dark colors. When she put her hand against the tanks, one of the creatures would often put its tentacles against the glass on the opposite side. Sophia could not help but wonder how intelligent these creatures were and almost though that this one might be a friend. Cephalopods are extremely intelligent creatures after all.

Sophia had been making "friends" with the creature for about three weeks when suddenly the cephalopod reached right through the glass. It wrapped around her hand and suddenly she could sense a second mind. It was initially animalistic but grew more and more sentient in just moments. A bonding occurred between her mind and the mind of the organism. She freaked out but somehow got control. In the meantime, the organism wrapped around her chest and neck.

It told her that it did not want to go back into the tank and that it did not want to be experimented on anymore. Sophia felt like it was too late for that with it having bonded with her. Besides, if it was found out, the government would likely want to put her in one of their programs. She had never really been a military type, in many ways the direct opposite of one. The whole situation with them experimenting on these creatures bothered her anyway now that she knew more about them.

Looking in the tank, she could see a "shell" which it left in the tank when it joined with her. It hit her that the research who suggested that the organism were molting and leaving a shell behind were correct. The creature seemed to agree with her and that they had escaped their tanks after molting likely the same way that her companion had escaped its tank to bond with her. Where they went afterwards, it was not really sure. An idea came to her mind that if a person was close to them, perhaps even touching, when they molted, they would bond with that person. It might take more, perhaps an emotional bond as well, but she could not really be sure.

The bonding also gave her a rough idea of what the bond between the symbiote gave her. She had never seen herself as a super heroine but it give her abilities that rivaled many of the ones she had heard about on the news. None of the others though had a squid on her chest. She tightened her lab coat around herself to try to hide it. It came to her then though that it could become intangible and hide itself completely within her chest. She finished her shift and walked from the lab, nobody the wiser with another organism appearing to have died during the night with nobody the wiser about her bonding.

More of the creatures kept seeming to die during the night with corpses left in the tank. This seemed to accelerate as the organisms matured. The program was put under closer scrutiny but the creatures kept dying at an even faster rate. Nothing that the researchers tried seemed to be able to prevent the organisms from dying. Sophia knew the truth of what was happening but saw no reason to inform the company what was actually occurring.

Eventually, the program was shut down with virtually all of the scientists let go. Sophia was one of a handful of interns who were retained as caretakers for the remaining creatures. Interesting, the scientist who suggested that they were molting and transforming was one of only a pair of researchers who were retained. Soon afterwards though he disappeared. The last time that Sophia saw him, he said something that might have been, "I understand," in an almost dreamy voice but she is not sure. Eventually the whole program was shut down and the remaining researcher and interns were let go.

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Writeup by Kitsune (E-Mail Kitsune).

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