Boris Baryshnikove (Boris Ustinov)
Boris Ustinov was born in Moscow, Russia to a hard-line communist mother and a Soviet general. Over the years, Boris went where the family went, military base to military base, all the while taking in the Soviet Union's propaganda and rhetoric. In 1988, his father was transferred to Afghanistan to organize the 'controlled movement' of the losing Soviet forces there back to the Soviet Union. There, Boris' father was killed by an Afghan militant.
Boris' mother received the "Hero of the Soviet Union" medal at her husband's funeral, while Boris, swore vengeance against his father's assailants. Days after the funeral, a KGB agent contacted the 13 year old Boris and informed him that his father was killed not only by a Muslim militant, but was also a militant under a special group led by a secretive CIA operative known as Agent John Brown (see Major Invader). Furious with rage, Boris demanded the KGB train him starting there and then. After a few weeks of discussions, the KGB recruited Boris as one of their youngest agents. Their intention was to train him to infiltrate foreign sites as a young man that most KGB agents would never be able to access due to age and demeanor, but Boris was to be one of their best and newest agents ever. After two years of training, he was assigned his first mission: track down and capture Agent John Brown.
In 1990, Agent Brown was up to his armpits in assignments, predominantly working on destroying Baltic Force out of Lithuania and freeing many captive super-powered people awaiting execution there. Agent Ustinov (Boris) infiltrated the CIA headquarters in an attempt to capture Agent Brown only to miss his opportunity due to a change in Brown's schedule. Over the next week or two, Boris attempted to access or get close to Brown, but to no avail. Eventually, Boris found Brown's apartment outside Washington D.C. and waited in the apartment to capture him and bring him back to the Soviet Union. He dreamed of earning a "Hero of the Soviet Union" medal for his actions...maybe even get recognition from their famous leader, Michael Gorbachev. Instead, Agent Brown quickly and easily found, incapacitated and arrested young Boris. From this point on, Boris' life dramatically changed...and none for the better.
In a federal prison, the Soviet Union denounced that Boris Ustinov even existed. The KGB wiped all of Boris' existence from their files...including his mother, who was said to have died the same week Boris was captured. Regardless, the CIA had enough intel to know that Boris was recruited by the KGB and that this was (to the CIA) an obvious assassination attempt against Agent Brown. Agent Brown, over the entire incident, spent maybe an hour with Boris during his incarceration, but thanks to a massive assault on Baltic Force and the ensuing repercussions of the assault (see The Exterminations), Agent Brown never again had anything to do with Boris.
Boris was transferred to a secretive CIA prison in Saudi Arabia where he was tortured and humiliated day after day by specialized CIA 'handlers'. In 1991, the Soviet Union officially collapsed and became the Russian Federation under the leadership of President Yeltsin. The state-run KGB had (supposedly) become the new Russian KGB. A coup that formed and attempted to bring the USSR back dramatically failed; the significance of the coup was that his mentor was one of the leaders in the coup. His mentor was jailed and the Russian Federation instead surged forward into a gangster-driven 'democracy'. Boris was kept in the Saudi prison until 1995 when he was finally released and sent back to Moscow. Upon his arrival at the Russian border, since he had no papers and didn't 'officially' exist (thanks to the KGB's wiping of his existence), he was turned away. Furious (and a little demented from his torture and imprisonment), he killed the guards at the checkpoint, gunning down another four checkpoint civilians in the process. He walked across the border and literally walked hundreds of miles until he arrived in his home city of Moscow.
He didn't even recognize it.
All of the Soviet Union symbols, statues, banners, flags...gone. In their place, democratic voting signs, decaying government buildings, federation flags and long food lines instead filled his new view of his beloved country.
He made his way to a home of a life-long friend of his father - retired Soviet Army Colonel Nikolai Sarminov. There, instead, he found an inebriated, broken man wearing his old threadbare Soviet uniform amidst hundreds of Vodka bottles on the floor. After a day of sobering up the Colonel, Boris demanded to know what had happened to his Soviet Union. After hours of discussion, Boris broke down for the first time in life and wept. He'd not only lost his family, but his country and, to him, his honor. After a few days, it was discussed that the man who more than likely 'denounced' Boris' existence to the CIA was now working for the new "Russian" (not state) KGB. In a deft move, Boris encountered and cornered that same man and demanded for his existence to be righted as well as to be told what happened to his mother. The man insisted he was only 'following orders' and all his records were burned. Regarding his mother, he did point Boris to an unmarked grave in a field 40 miles outside of Moscow. Boris promptly stabbed the man to death, took his credentials and made off to his mother's grave.
There, at his mother's 'suppposed' grave, Boris swore to avenge her and bring back the Soviet Union that they had loved and thrived under before this new revolution. That's when he came across Generalissimus Semyon Budennii.
Over the next decade, under his new stolen credentials as Boris Baryshnikove, Boris learned all there was to learn about military operations, tactics and weaponry. He was placed in charge of several units of the Red Guard (now the Soviet Guard) at the time of the Lithuanian occupation. There, he was one of the men responsible for the dire conditions, torture and inhuman acts against the Lithuanian populace while it was under the Generalissimus' control. Eventually, a band of local resistance fighters and super-heroes coordinated a liberation assault on the country, taking down thousands of the Red/Soviet Guard. In the ensuing battle, Boris lost both of his arms from a devastating explosion fired by the troops led by the leader of the Lithuanian resistance army, Captain Lukas Smetona (see Captain Lithuania). His few reamining troops made their way to one of the cargo submarines hidden in an old subpen and made an escape. Boris died three times on the operation table but was revived each time. Eventually, the submarine made its way to an old Soviet listening post in Greenland where the remnants of the Red/Soviet Guard regrouped.
In Greenland, Boris' condition was critical. His troops demanded any means necessary to save his life. In a rare emotional decision, the Generalissimus decided to help Boris...for his own means. Several bionics, weapons and surgeons worked around the clock (under gunpoint) to not only save Boris, but make him into a new weapon. They replaced his lost arms with bionic/cyborg replacements; replacements that were also designed to house energy weapons and poisonous projectiles. After months of recovery, Boris accepted his new arms and weapons and trained with his troops in how best to use them in combat. After two years of rehabilitation, training, tweaking of the implants and weapons, Boris was now a weapon unto himself. His troops dubbed him "Black Boris" and revered him in his audacious state.
Since then, Black Boris has been a lynchpin in the Soviet Guard's militaristic operations, being a front line combatant with a particular mean streak towards his enemies, which now comprised of all super-heroes, America and the new Captain Lithuania. Although older and less agile, he continues to 'lead from the front' for his troops and leads by example. He has a great comeraderie with his men and infuses into them terms like 'sacrifice', 'tradition', 'loyalty' and 'duty' and his keywords of control in helping the newly named Soviet Guard to bring back that which was once the might of the USSR by creating their own new "Soviet' nation.
Black Boris is a cyborg/augmented man with two mechanical arms that each house a variety of excellent energy weapons and poison projectiles. The gauntlets he wears can easily be removed and replaced with additional or unique weapons gauntlet systems. Normally, he wears a combined energy blaster and poison projectile gauntlet, however, if he'd rather "up" the level of power of one or the other, he'll affix a remarkably powerful energy blaster gauntlet or a similarly remarkable poisonous projectile gauntlet in place on his cyborg arms. his suit provides good body armor protection from all forms of damage. his boots are rigged with thermal buffers that can help to decrease or negate his own heat signature, preventing any form of intfrared or thermal tracking to himself. He has subdermally implanted a comms device system in his ears and throat to allow communications with his troops. He wears a protective set of contact lenses that not only protects his eyes from the cold, but also from flashes of light or his own illuminating bursts of energy. He carries several antidotes for his poisons under the cloak of his cape should the need arise to administer a remedy for his poisons. Even in his 40s, he is highly athletic and can run as fast as as long as any one of his young troops. His cloak also provides a typical layer of protection from heat, cold, toxins and radioactivity, but only provides feeble protection against physical or energy attacks.
Nuclear engineering mechanic Grigory Garin was a certified nuclear engineer aboard two Russian/Soviet-era submarines between 1975 and 1984. As a nuclear engineer, he maintained and repaired any reactor-related and/or steam power-plant repairs and equipment and was cited many times for his efficiency, duty and dedication to the Soviet military system. Grigory had always been a die-hard communist and truly believed in the power and strength of the Soviet Union. He hates the 'west' and its decadent ways, mostly its corruption and 'loose' ways of life. In 1984, Grigory was asked to server the Soviet Union better by replacing one of their nuclear emergency repair team members at the Chernobyl plant in the Ukraine region. Grigory happily accepted and was transferred in less than a month from the time of request.
At Chernobyl, Grigory quickly earned a reputation as a hard worker and an excellent engineer. He was always learning, researching and applying his new found knowledge to his work practices. The only issues he had was the poor safety conditions of the plant as cited in a 1991 report; a report that identified several major deficiencies, but were not addressed due to the deteriorating economy and resources of the new Russian Federation. Vocal and adamant about the need to fix the deficiencies identified in the report, he instead received the ire of the plant supervisors and was placed on a late night shift...up until 26 April 1986.
On 26 April 1986, through a series of miscommunications and unsafe practices, Reactor #3 of the Chernobyl plant had a power spike that eventually exposed the radioactive core and creates a series of steam explosions and fires in the plant. To save the plant from the so-called "China Syndrome" that was occurring, cooling water had to be pumped and moved to prevent an additional steam explosion as well as continue cooling down the exposed core. Grigory was one of the men tasked to don an experimental robo-suit that used circulated liquid metal as a means of protection to the wearer. Never tested, the results of the suit's protection were completely theoretical. Grigory volunteered to be one of the aptly named "liquidators" that entered the based of the reactor to open valves and move water to prevent the forthcoming enormous steam explosion; an explosion that would have disintegrated the other neighboring reactors and shoot even higher concentrations of radioactive materials into the air...and down under the reactor into the ground. The other two men that joined him wore traditional robo-suits. Through the action of the three, the steam explosion was prevented, but Grigory unfortunately never returned with the other two. Grigory instead had been caught behind a vein of lava like ooze the emanated from the reactor; an ooze the eventually formed a completely unique crystalline byproduct called "Chernobylite". This vein of superheated radioactive lava poured across Grigory and his suit. The liquid metal in his suit fused with the molten mass and covered Grigory's body. Normally, this would have killed any living things in mere seconds, however, Grigory didn't burn; instead, thanks to the chemical interactions of the liquid metal suit, the molten reactor core and the Chernobylite, he was encased in the thick molten ooze and left for dead.
Months later, while performing an analysis of the area under the reactor, they found the hardened radioactive lava mass and Chernobylite that was once Grigory. Scientist had the entire mass that covered Grigory moved to a special lead-sealed lab mere hours before the reactor void was sealed in hundreds of tons of concrete back at Reactor #3. While examining the solidified lava, they found Grigory...
He had transformed into a living radioactive humanoid.
The transformed Grigory was removed from his mummified state by remote controlled robots. After three days of carving him out, the scientists reported their find of Grigory to the Kremlin. Immediately, the Russian KGB destroyed all information about Grigory, including his involvement as a 'liquidator' to prevent anyone asking questions about him. They then put him in a protective lead container and transported him to a facility deep in the northern Siberian icy wastelands. There he was probed, experimented on and detained, all the while Grigory grew more impatient day by day to be released and to told what was happening to him and the fate of the Chernobyl plant and his co-workers.
After two months of probes and testing, a late-night technician had one of the robot rovers bring in a service medal for Grigory. It was the "Liquidatior" national medal; a medal awared to any and all that helped to stop the further damage and exposure of radiation to the neighboring regions. Becasue Grigory had been 'deleted' from the national archives, the technician thought it would be a good jgesture to give Grigory a medal as well, even though it wasn't official. The technician spoke to Grigory (which was unauthorized) and explained all that had happened to Grigory's co-workers and the Chernobyl reactors. After the technician updated Grigory, Grigory asked one simple question, "was it my fault that all this happened?", to that, the technician said, "No. It's the new government's fault. If we'd stayed the strong Soviet Union we'd always been, we'd never had been in this situation.". Although not entirely true, the technician's words sank into Grigory's thoughts. Grigory reacted by erupting his newfound radioactive powers in his contained space, not trying to control the intensity of the power's upper limits. In seconds, Grigory had 'melted' his lead-lined prison and escaped, telling the irradiated and dying technician that he'd 'make the world right again and bring back the Soviet Union "no matter the cost". As Grigory escaped the facility, it caught fire from the molten metals and burned to the ground, leaving no witnesses and no record of what happened amidst its radioactive ashes and molten concrete.
Grigory walked nearly 70 miles in freezing temperatures throughout a long Siberian snowstorm. Althogh the cold didn't affect him, he was still weak and unbalanced from the surge of power he'd used earlier. Grigory eventually came across a remote concrete facility deep in the Siberian wasteland. It was one of a few secret bases of the powerful Soviet renegade army known as the Red Guard (eventually to become the Soviet Guard). There, Grigory encountered the fully armored Soviet superhero known as the "Soviet Guardian". The Soviet Guardian's suit blocked the radiation pouring out of Grigory's. The Soviet Guardian told Grigory that they'd take care of him no matter what his condition was. With that, Grigory collapsed from exhaustion and passed out in the Soviet Guardian's arms. Grigory was then taken to one of the thick concrete bunkers on the edge of the facility.
When Grigory eventually woke up, he saw the famous Soviet war hero, the Generalissimus through a six inch thick lead window across his concrete room. The Generalissimus knew all about Grigory and his heroism, as well as what had happened to him. He offered Grigory to join his team of 'superheroes' to help bring back their old Soviet Union and help in creating a new Soviet Union. Grigory was ecstatic to be offered any opportunity to join the Generalissimus and the Red Guard, especially since their goals were now his goals...no matter what.
Over the next few months, the Generalissimus' team devised a powerful radiation containment suit for Grigory to wear. With his new suit, Grigory was able to contain 100% of his radiation powers no matter how powerful he ramped his powers up to. The suits design also provided excellent physical, heat and cold protection as well as its purposed unearthly internal radiation protection. The suits design was a scientific breakthrough in decaying the radiation within the heavily cladded suit's layers, thus leaving no radiation trail for others to follow or track.
After he learned to don and use his suit, he trained with the other members of the Red/Soviet Guard and learned to become a super-powered combatant. During this time, Grigory grew to hate the new Russian Federation and its government. Fueled by the rhetoric and propaganda the Generalissimus was spouting, coupled with his desire to bring his old nation back, Grigory, now codenamed "Chernobyl", committed himself to his new teammates and the General.
Now a member of the new Soviet Guard, Chernobyl intends to fight to get back his nation, the USSR, by any means necessary.
Chernobyl has amazing radiation-based powers that he can use in close-in combat only. He cannot fire off radiation blasts or use his powers any further than 20 yards from his location. His radioactive powers can be used in conjunction with fist-fighting, providing not only typical physical damage from the punch, but up to (depending on his desire and strength) excellent elvels fo radiation damage per punch or grapple. He also uses his new powers to assist in his protection as radioactive armor, super-heating anything that comes into contact with his body and/or suit. His suit provides unearthly radioactive protection, and excellent physical, cold toxin and other forms of energy attacks. Should he remove his suit or helmet or it becomes damaged, he'll expose normally feeble levels of radiation to those within 20 yards of his location over time. If agitated, he can release even greater concentrations up to good levels. His suit is self contained and can reseal itself within seconds, so long as the breach is not over 5 inches in length or width. He never sleeps, is quite a bit more 'upset and angry' than the average Russian, and has no problems with letting others die as a result of radiation poisoning by his own powers. As far as he is concerned, he has to make 'sacrifices' to get back to where the strength of the Soviet Union once was in order to save more lives.
I: Nikolai Terzic (1947-1965)
II: Piotr Nemchek (1966-1990)
III: Vladimir Smolkemptin (1993-present)
The Cole Warrior has been around as long as the US-Soviet Cold War has been around...and then some.
Back in 1945, when the Soviets took over Berlin in the final push to squash the Nazis during World War II, the Red Army found a secret bunker with several labs containing remarkable technology and materials. Most all of the equipment was destroyed, damaged or unfinished, however, one series of devices was working. Hanging in a refrigerated space (with food in it for those working in the labs) were several small components that were able to draw down temperatures in and around the components by over 100 degrees each. These devices were created to perpetually recharge themselves and thus could run for up to 28 years before they required refueling, the fuel being small amounts of Strontium Titrinate. Although radioactive, so long as the fuel shielding remains intact, no radioactive leakage occurred from the devices.
The Soviets took these to their labs in Moscow and experimented with them, even trying to reverse engineer the equipment, since no drawings, notes or documentation was left about the devices. Unsuccessfully, the Soviet think tanks were unable to replicate the devices, however, they did discover that the devices were designed to be rigged to a special suit that would coat its wearer in a thick layer of ice and create ice generation at alarmingly fast speeds. As long as the wearer had a capable protective suit to prevent freezing oneself, the devices worked perfectly for their application. The first to don the experimental thermosuit and cold devices was scientist Nikolai Terzic.
After months of deducing and testing the devices, Terzic created a thermal suit designed specifically for the devices and wore the suit and devices himself. he froze in a block of ice on the first test. It took them hours to thaw him out, and when they did, he suffered from hypothermia for a week. Eventually, Terzic reinforced the thermosuit and continued testing, this time, successfully. By the fall of 1947, Terzic was capable of complete control of ice generation around his body, creating ice armor around his body and hands, icing up the ground underneath him and freezing others solid near and about him. Terzic was eventually cast into a specialized unit called the "Red Guard", a group of super-powered people in the service of the Soviet Union. From 1947 until 1965, Terzic was the "Cold Warrior" for the Red Guard. In 1965, however, due to stress, continued exposure to the ice and a failing health, he died in his bed from heart complications.
In 1966, the next person to take the mantle of the Cold Warrior was Starshina Piotr Nemchek. A seasoned Soviet Army veteran of 15 years, Starshina Nemchek became a valuable, albeit power-hungry member of the Red Guard. Piotr was constantly at odds with the red Guard leaders and his fellow teammates, especially Mystyck, whom he hated because she was a 'witch'. After decades of incredible service to the Soviet Union, Piotr retired from the military and his role as the Cold Warrior in 1990. That's when the Cold Warrior suit, after it received its StrontiumTirtinate update, was place in 'cold' storage until the issues of the current Soviet Union were addressed; issues like the democratization of Russia and its neighboring territories. In 1991, the Soviet Union collapsed and the Russian federation instead stood in its place.
Amidst all the turmoil of the change in leadership and the economic collapse of the russian government, the Cold Warrior devices and suit were completely forgotten about...that is until a rogue general, Generalissimus Semyon Budennii, literally stole millions of tons of Soviet military hardware, equipment, secrets, planes, tanks, ships and subs...and the Cold Warrior suit.
Weeks after the Generalissimo performed the greatest heist in the world, he was told of the Cold Warrior suit they found amongst their stolen materials. The Generalissimo, who respected the work of both Terzic and Nemchek when they wore the suit decided to have a contest amongst his own red Guard troops to see who would be worthy to wear the Cold Warrior power suit. Over 250 troops volunteers and battled like gladiators for the right to wear the suit. Five died in the competition, but eventually one victor arose - Starshina Vladimir Smolkemptin. He personally killed three of the five dead in the battle for the suit. Not only was he a warrior and a soldier, he was a die-hard Soviet communist...and a killer with no conscience.
Since 1993, Vladimir has operated in the field as the current Cold Warrior. he has dedicated himself to perfecting battle and tactics with the suit and its powers far greater than Terzic or Nemchek combined. He is a cold-hearted killer and has no problem taking a life to fulfill the mission, no matter who it is. He even killed his friend of 20 years when it was discovered his friend was a double agent for GUARD. Today, Vladimir, although getting on in years and starting to show his age, is still the master of the Cold Warrior suit and as far as he is concerned, he'll die before anyone else gets to wear 'his' suit.
The Cold Warrior suit contains ten components that when activated, can drop the temperature of anything it touches by over 100 degrees F is mere seconds. As such, when wearing an insulated thermosuit, the wearer can create a standard ice coating as excellent armor from all forms of attack. If needed, the wearer can increased the thickness of the ice armor, however, movement and attack speeds drop off for each new layer the suit is coated in. The suit can generate blocks of ice around the body, fists, head and feet to create an additional temporary layer of protection which normally only last up to two minutes before the ice bonds seperate. The suit can freeze water or liquid on a flat surface thus creating a slippery surface for others to walk or drive on. Anyone fighting in close proximity or touching Cold Warrior's icy armor can receive poor to typical frostbite damage over time of contact. The current wearer, Vladimir, has good strength, but with iced gauntlets, he can hit to do excellent physical damage (as well as feeble yet effective frost/cold damage). The thermosuit is predominantly devised for thermal protection, providing amazing protection against the cold, however, if exposed without ice armor, the suit only provides feeble protection from any other sort of attack.
Ivan Usov has been alive since 1921...and still looks to be in his 30s.
Ivan's father was a soldier in World War I and was exposed to an experimental German mustard gas. Although Ivan's father lived until 1924, his health was poor at best. Working on a collective farm, Ivan grew up in harsh labor conditions. In 1938, he enlisted in the Russian military as an infantryman. In the first few years of World War II in Europe, Ivan saw limited action since most of the countries the Soviet Union invaded simply capitulated rather than fought. It wasn't until his first real combat in Lithuania that he became a Soviet hero. Amidst the anti-Semitic actions being conducted and the coercion of the Lithuanian Nazi-appointed government, many factions of Lithuanian resistance fighters emerged to a deadly degree. Many Soviet troops and officers specifically were sniped and killed by the resistance fighters. Sergeant Ivan Usov was in such a situation fighting with the Lithuanian resistance fighters when he got shot point blank in the chest. Rather than die, instead he lived...and didn't have a scratch on him. The Soviet Army immediately pulled Ivan back to the SOviet Command HQ and tested him, only to find out his physiology was quite different. His skin was strong enough to take a direct impact of 0.50 caliber machine gun shots; anything larger did leave a mark on his skin as if he'd be stung by a mosquito. they even tried an artillery shell; this knocked him out and bruised his chest but he was right back on his feet in mere minutes.
Astounded at their find, they wanted to find a way to replicate his condition, however, with Nazi Germany turning on the Soviet Union, Russian scientists were instead on the run with the rest of their city populace evading German capture. As it was, the Soviet military instead put him in the front lines to help bolster the morale of the troops. There, with a Kalashnikov machine gun, grenades and a simplistic propagandized Soviet factory worker's outfit, the man who would be known as "Comrade Ivan" came to be. In one major battle for Stalingrad, the Soviet Army was low on weapons and ammunition. Ivan gave his machine gun to a fellow soldier and instead picked up a blacksmith's hammer and a military knife and dove into fighting the Nazi troops. Revered and portrayed as a symbol of Soviet strength and duty, Comrade Ivan quickly became a national symbol.
Throughout the rest of the war, Ivan did what he was told to do. When told to run out into a squad of Nazi riflemen, he did. When told to go out and destroy an Nazi artillery battery, he did. All for Mother Russia. Throughout the war, propaganda posters emerged everywhere depicting him as a 'comrade of the people', making him an affable yet tough Soviet man. Ivan encountered other super-powered combatants during the war, including others from his own country. Dozens of times though he encountered Nazi Germany's "Axis Force" and their super-powered team. Although Ivan usually left quite an impact against Axis Force, he was usually beaten with tactics and sound strategy by Baron Berlin, the Axis Force leader. regardless, Ivan was a human tank when it came to his actions on the battlefield; coupled with the Soviet troops' admiration for his actions, he quickly became a war legend. At war's end, Ivan was awarded a golden hammer and sickle (ok, it was gold plated steel). He was also given a forged steel shield with the Soviet hammer and sickle emblem emblazoned on it. Humbly, he gave back the hammer and sickle "for the people", where it had been on display in the Moscow Museum of Heroes until 1995. Ivan did, however, keep the shield. Although a great symbol through the war, Comrade Ivan, in the post-war era became nothing more than a propaganda tool and symbol of of a Soviet Union that once was.
From the end of WWII to the 1980s, Ivan was routinely only used for propaganda purposes, ceremonies and staged pictures with Soviet politicians and the occasional 'hard working', dutiful soviet worker or child. During that time, scientists continued to poke and prod Ivan to unlock the secrets of his mutation. Although they tried hundreds of times, they were never able to replicate his DNA or synthesize his unique condition. During that time, the scientists also discovered Ivan only aged 1 year for every 10 since age 14, he was still (relatively) a young man, however, the stresses of Ivan's job, coupled with his 'handling' by the KGB and scientists made Ivan more terse, tense and unappreciated. Instead, in 1980, Ivan withdrew from the Soviet spotlight and went back to work on his family's dilapidated collective farm. There, he shod horses, grew, reaped and culled wheat and fixed tractors on the farm. Regardless of wanting to be left alone on the collective farm, the Soviet propagandists became even more adept at showing off Ivan as the 'simple farmer' and a new call for people to serve on other waning collective farms. Although irritated by the propaganda, Ivan knew it was made for the good of the Soviet Union, even though he felt he could do more good in battle with the military than being a Soviet poster-boy.
For the next 10 years, Comrade Ivan lived the simple life until the fall of the Soviet Union. In those final months, Ivan left the collective farm and went to Moscow volunteering in any way he could to help keep the Soviet Union alive. Instead, the Kremlin considered Comrade Ivan a 'relic of the past' and at one point was shoved out of the Kremlin and told that they'd contact him when they needed him. As he turned around from that particular unceremonious exit, he came face to face with the legendary WWII military hero, Generalissimus Semyon Budennii. Ivan immediately recognized him from his WWII films and pictures and came to attention with a salute top the Generalissumus. The Generalissimus returned the salute proudly and rather than dismiss Ivan as a 'relic', the Generalissumus said that the Soviet people are the ones that should be saluting Comrade Ivan for his years of dedication and duty to Mother Russia. The Generalissimus insisted that Ivan join him for dinner. That night, the two talked about the good old days of Soviet power and and how the current government was about to meekly capitulated to capitalism. Ivan wept at the table. Saddened by what he'd just been told, Ivan told his host that all he wanted was for things to go back to the days of the Soviet Union's greatness. That's when the Generalissimus offered Ivan a new job - to become a member of the elite superheroes of the Red Guard. He told Ivan of how the Red Guard and the Red Guard Army of over 300,000 die-hard Soviet soldiers were staged outside of Moscow ready to take back control of the Soviet Union from the nation's current and corrupt government officials. Initially, Ivan was unsure of taking down the government like this, but after more discussions, Ivan became convinced that the Generalissimus was right; it was time for a new revolution to take back Mother Russia. With that, Ivan went back to his hotel, packed up his meager belongings in a knapsack and met the superheroes of the Red Guard a few miles outside of Moscow.
On the day the Soviet Union officially fell, the Generalissimus, the Red Guard Army and the Red Guard superheroes were to take over the Kremlin and the Premiere's offices, however, an unexpected incident occurred from a communications snafu between the Generalissimus and the Red Guard Army, causing half the Red Guard to unconditionally 'surrender' to the new Russian Federation. With only half an army, the Generalissimus knew he'd easily lose at any chance to take over Moscow. Instead, he tasked his forces to steal every piece of military hardware and state secret they could get their hands on. Ivan and the current version of the communist national superhero, the Soviet Guardian, flanked the Generalissimus as they went from military base to military base, unopposed, taking everything that wasn't nailed down. After days of scavenging the Soviet military hardware and secrets, the Generalissimus and the Red Guard took off to a secretive defunct listening post in Greenland where they set up their base of operations. Ivan became the emotional link for all in the Red Guard and Red Guard Army that made it to Greenland. He greeted each and every man and woman personally and sat and drank with them, letting them know that what they'd just done was for the good of Mother Russia. Overnight, he once again became a strong symbol of the strength of the Soviet Union and a new friend to the common Red Guard Army soldier. Ivan was never happier. Incidentally, the communications 'snafu' that happened with the Red Guard troops was later found to be the legendary Major Invader (then CIA Special Agent John Brown) telling the Red Guard troops to surrender, making the troops think he was the Generalissumus handing down the order disguised as the Generalissimus. The Generalissimus swore one day he'd get revenge on Major Invader for his actions...
Over the next few years, Ivan was revered as a revitalized symbol of the Soviet Union (as the way things were meant to be and shall be under the leadership of the Generalissimus). As time went along though, Ivan saw the darker side of the Generalissimus. Ivan began questioning his duties and the true nature of what the Generalissimus was trying to do. Then it happened - the Red Guard invaded the recently liberated Lithuania. The Red Guard were cruel and harsh to the Lithuanians, forcing them into labor camps, working night and day on projects for the Generalissimus. Many died on the factory floors. Children no older than 8 years of age were forced into child labor camps. Families were separated and throughout the occupation, the Generalissimus grew more evil and power hungry. Ivan finally confronted the Generalissimus telling him that what they were doing was wrong, only to have his resident witch, Mystyck, place a controlling spell on Ivan. Her spell she placed on Ivan basically made him a 100% controlled puppet of the Generalissimus. Although a big-hearted, simple man, Ivan's willpower was no match for Mystyck. Every three to four months, Mystyck reapplies the same spell to keep control of Ivan. As far as what Ivan's cognitive condition is behind the spell, the spells have basically stymied any memories or his own thoughts since the first day Mystyck applied the spell on him.
Today, Comrade Ivan, the magically controlled puppet of the Generalissimus, is a true hero and symbol of the Red Guard and a New Soviet Union. To prevent any chance of the Red Guard troops noticing his disassociated behavior, Ivan is no longer allowed to be amongst the Red Guard troops. He is instead kept in a bunker locked up until he is ordered by the Generalissimus to do his bidding as nothing short of a meat shield for the Red Guard (now known as the Soviet Guard); just like a puppet with strings.
Comrade Ivan has incredibly strong and thick skin able to stop artillery shells. As such, his strength and endurance are proportionally increased making him remarkably strong with amazing stamina. His eyesight is poor by comparison and doesn't wear (or like to wear) glasses to correct his vision. he can run up to 40 mph and needs only sleep for 2 hours a day. He can hold his breath for up to 20 minutes and can swim up to 10 knots in the water. His strong legs allo him to leap up to 40 yards at a hop. He is also incredibly protected from toxins, cold and heat and has an amazing resistance to any form of deadly radiation. He ages only 1 year for every 10 years since age 14 and as such, in 2015, he is now, and in all relative aspects, only 22 years of age. Although he is currently magically controlled by an incredibly strong magical control spell designed for the Generalissimus to be the only one to control him, Ivan has actually started coming out of the spell a little quick each quarter of a year. Last year, Mystyck had to reapply the spell after only 10 weeks. It could be that Ivan's willpower is starting to slowly overcome the power Mystyck's spell. If the spell wears off before Mystyck reapplies it, my money is going to be bet on on how many pieces of the Generalissimus and Mystyck will be left after Ivan rips them apart limb from limb.
I: Ustev Ochenko (1940-1944)
II: Oscar Ostrovsky (2010-present)
In 1939, the Tupolev Tank business in the Soviet Union, just prior to the start of World War II, created a battle armor simply called "The Tank" or "Dospehi" in Russian and presented it to the Soviet Union's top communist leader, Joseph Stalin. Stalin was very impressed with the design of the clunky armor, and demanded tens of thousands be built. The engineers who created the armor mentioned there were hundreds of bugs and details to work out first, but they would havea production model by 1940. Stalin swore them to secrecy to ensure that no one else knew about this project but himself, several of his military advisors and the scientist and engineers directly related to the project. He immediately demanded the entire team be sent to Siberia and work from a brand new base there out of the prying eyes of other European nations. He also demanded that only a truly dedicated and patriotic Soviet soldier of his own choosing be the test pilot for the first suit. With a concerned nod, the project's scientists and engineers were shipped to Siberia, as was Stalin's pick for the first Dospehi suit tests: Captain Ustev Ochenko of the Soviet Red Army Tank Division. On the way to the new site in Siberia, the convoy drove through a severe Siberian blizzard on a narrow mountain road at night. The convoy of ten trucks, personnel, scientists and engineers, along with all their equipment, went off the road in the snowstorm and plummeted to the valley nearly a half mile below in a blazing explosion. The only survivors that did not go over the cliff were those in the last truck with the Dosphei armor, Captain Ochenko and the driver. All notes, blueprints, designs and support equipment were lost in the accident with the other trucks. Even after sifting through the remnants and debris of the trucks at the bottom of the chasm, nothing was found to survive the accident.
When the report was made to Stalin, it was said he shot the messenger with has sidearm.
With nothing but guesswork, Captain Ochenko took command of a new team of completely unfamilitar engineers and scientists and attempted to figure out how to replicate the armor's design for mass production. After months of sleepless days and nights, the team was no further along then the were after the first two days. The only thing they'd figured out was how to recharge the armor's batteries, even though the batteries only lasted 3 hours of time in normal use. Stalin ordered Ochenko to shoot the engineers, one each week, until results were obtained. After eight engineers were killed in cold blood by Ochenko, Stalin relented on the idea of mass production as other war concerns became a priority. Instead, Stalin told Ochenko and his (remaining) team to perpetually field test the suit in combat. In February 1940, the Dospehi armor manned by Captain Ochenko made its debut in the invasion of Finland later the next month, followed by action throughout the Scandinavian region for the rest of the 1940s. By January 1941, the Dospehi armor was to be sent to the Romania/Bulgaria region to cement the Soviet Union's claim to those lands over Hitler, however, Nazi Germany instead decided to attack the Soviet Union later that year. Dospehi instead was used on what was later dubbed the "Russian Front" for the next three years attacking the Nazi troops, tanks and bases, while also protecting major cities such as Leningrad, Stalingrad and Moscow.
In 1944, as the Russians began a powerful series of counteroffensives, encircling Nazi forces and forcing them to surrender by the tens of thousands. A major factor in most of those surrenders (some even against Hitler's orders) was the fear of the Dospehi armor and its devastating capabilities. Awarded many medals, promotions and commendations, "Colonel" Ochenko became a national war hero and a great tactical leader in his own right. On 22 June 1944, weeks after the D-Day landings on Normandy, France by the Allies, the Soviet's Red Army initiated Operation Bagration, the invasion of Belarus and the takeover of the Nazi German Army Group Centre, considered to be the greatest defeat of the Wehrmacht during World War II. In that battle, Colonel Ochenko led the massive drive of Soviet tanks and troops across Belarus. In a pitched battle in the dead of the night, Colonel Ochenko attempted to charge forward with his forces and take over a mile of the Nazi battlefront but instead, Colonel Ochenko met his demise from an incendiary trap the Nazis set the night before. At temperatures of over 2000 degrees F, Colonel Ochenko was incinerated in the armor and died. The Dospehi suit was secretly damaged and fused, with the battery system completely destroyed. When the battle was done days later, Colonel Ochenko was given a hero's funeral and the Dospehi armor was cleaned up as best it could be and returned to Moscow for display at a war memorial.
There, the armor sat for the Soviet citizens to see the stories, old black and white films and memorabilia of Colonel Ochenko and the remnants of the Dospehi armor in a special memorial wing. In 1991, upon the fall of the Soviet Union the armor was desecrated with spray paint across the chest-piece stating 'Freedom!' in Cyrillic. It disappears days later, never to be seen again. At the same time, Generalissimus Semyon Budennii took control of a specialized band of Russian superheroes and the remnants of half of his lost Red Guard Army and stole millions of tons of military hardware, secrets and plans. Amongist those secrets and plans was a set of blueprints and designs for a new Dospehi armor, modernized with 1980s technology, composite material armoring and advanced electronics and weaponry. It never made it into production due to the failing Soviet economy and as such was shelved. Now, the Generalissimus had the plans and he wasn't about to let this opportunity slip by...especially since he stole the old damaged Dospehi armor for his own personal office later formed in an old abandoned Soviet listening post in northern Greenland.
Not long after the Red Guard Army and superheroes reformed, the Generalissimus had the Red Guard invade and occupy Lithuania as their "New" Soviet Union. Over the next few months, threatening to nuke Lithuania and any nation stupid enought to attack him, the Generalissimus forced the citizens of Lithuania into labor camps to build his war machines, amongst those was the Dospehi armor.
A majority of the high-tech components needed for the armor's design were not available in Lithuania and try as they might, the Red Guard was not able to get access or build those components while in Lithuania. As the initial design of the first prototype was completed, the Generalissimus, much like Stalin, hand selected a soldier from his red Army troops to have the honor of wearing the next generation's "Dospehi" armor, much the same way as the legendary as Soviet war hero, Colonel Ochenko once did. Under great fanfare, celebration and pomp, Captain Oskar Ostrovsky was chosen as the first to wear and test the new Dospehi armor. Minutes after the announcement, the Red Guard was assaulted by hundreds of the world's superheroes and thousands of NATO troops in the Liberation of Lithuania. Amidst the chaos, Captain Ostrovsky donned the armor and though unfamiliar with it, attempted to fight off the attacking superheroes, to some degree, with success. During the fighting, the Dospehi lab was obliterated with a bunkerbuster weapon from a superhero. Every singe piece of support equipment, design documentation, computer files and data were irretrievably lost forever, as were each and every one of the forced labor workers, engineers and scientists (once again) attache to the project. Rather than the team going off a cliff in a blizzard in Siberia as what happened to the original Dosphei designs, this team was the victim of friendly fire by an aggressive European superhero who was removed from duty, tried and imprisoned for years after the incident occurred. Some conspiracy theorists believe it was a plot to prevent the Dospehi designs to never be used ever. The Generalissimus and the remnants of his Red Army and super-group limped away from Lithuania in several large undiscovered cargo submarines, amongst those, Captain Ostrovsky and the Dospehi suit.
Since then, the Captain has forged a new team of engineers and have jury rigged equipment and components ot make the suit work, but nowhere to the statistical capabilities it was designed for. Although not as powerful as its 1980s designs, this armor has undergone several upgrades and refitting to make it a highly dangerous and effective weapon to be used by the Generalissimus and the Red Guard in their further ventures to create their "new" Soviet Union.
The Dospehi armor is amazingly strong and resistant to damage. The following describes the current armor only. it can take a direct bomb blast and not be damaged. The helmet is rigged with the latest and most solid state equipment for sensors, infra red and night vision. Its communications system can use HAM, satellite, cellular and classified Soviet/Red Guard frequencies from hundreds of miles away. The armor, although light and strong, is still cumbersome to move in, allowing the wearer to run no greater than 5 mph. The gauntlets and monstrously strong and incorporate 10 remarkably strong artillery shells in each gauntlet.The suits exoskeleton allows for the wearer to lift incredibly heavy materials. The suit's systems are powered by a series of micro-batteries, allowing theDospehi armor to run for up to 20 hours before it runs out of power. The goggles are also designed for anti-flare protection from flash-bangs and flash blinding weapons. The boots contain a one-use solid rocket propellant fueled rocket emergency extraction engine, allowing the wearer to fly up to 500 mph at a maximum range of 200 miles to a maximum altitude of 5,000 feet before the rocket engines fail. To use the rocket packs again, they must be recharged and replaced by skilled engineers on the Dospehi team or risk a potential explosion capable of destroying the suit and melting it to slag.
Days after she was born, Ivana Marfa, daughter of the famous Colonel Ivan Marfa of the Soviet Red Army became an orphan. Her parents, while driving back from the hospital with the newly born Ivana, were killed by rebel extremists. Ivana survived the incident, but with no other family, she was delivered to a state-run orphanage. There, she grew up in abject poverty amongst many other abandoned and/or troubled Russian children. She quickly learned to fight just to get enough food to feed herself and in time, became a force to be reckoned with at the orphanage.
At age 14, she learned of her parents and what happened to them, as well as her father’s distinguishable service record. After weeks of seething hate and anger about her situation and the potential happiness she could have had, she ran away from the orphanage to try and find her parents’ graves and maybe find something, anything more about her family. After a week of searching, she found their graves in an old military cemetery outside of Moscow. While at their graveside, an older man approached her, wanting to know how she knew of the Marfas. When she mentioned to the older gentleman garbed in a crimson red long coat and large military officer hat that she was the daughter of the two interned before them, the old man became ecstatic.
The older man was a lifelong friend of the Marfas and had been looking for Ivana for many years obviously with no results. He claimed he was her godfather and that he’d swore to her father, Ivan, that he’d always take care of her if anything happened to Ivan or his wife. The older man stated he was assigned overseas at that time of her parents’ deaths and that he didn’t know what happened to them until weeks after their deadly incident. By the time he returned back to the Soviet Union, Ivana had already been shuffled off into the orphanage system where the old man stated he’d looked for her in, but was always thwarted by their ‘piss poor record keeping’.
The old man was Generalissimus Semyon Budennii, leader of the factional Soviet Red Guard, a unique military unit of troops and super-powered Soviet heroes.
Never had the Generalissimus ever expected to reconnect with his goddaughter this late in life. The two went to dinner and talked until the restaurant began to close late into the night. When she told him she’d better get back to the orphanage before she got into any more trouble, he simply replied “Nyet” (no), and informed her that he would now be her ward and take care of her for the rest of her life. Ecstatic over this new chance at a family, and a potential father figure she’d never had, she agreed.
At the time, unknown to Ivana, the Generalissimus was a rogue Soviet general who had stolen millions of tons of military hardware and equipment during the fall of the Soviet Union in the 1990s. He took her to his secret base in Greenland where he and his new Soviet Guard troops and super-powered ‘heroes’ were hiding out. There, she learned of what he did and although a bit taken aback, over time, she grew to admire his views. The Generalissimus, taken in by Ivana as the daughter he never had, fawned over her every word, however, at the same time, he still had her train with the best of his troops in the Soviet Guard. She was trained in weapons, military combat equipment operations, hand-to-hand combat and was kept in top physical shape primarily since she was the Generalissimus’ goddaughter and no one wanted to displease him…or her. As a result, she basically became the Soviet Guard’s token daughter. Surrounded by thousands in the Soviet Guard who not only didn’t want to displease the Generalissimus but actually came to adore Ivana as one of their own, she was welcomed into her new life and new ‘family’ that was the Soviet Guard. She trained with them, ate with them, she fought beside them and enjoyed a strong soldier/family bond between each other. The Soviet Guard was her family now, and she’d do anything for them or her godfather. Anything. In 2012, that belief was put to the test.
In 2012, at the age of 17, The Soviet Guard made a raid on a Canadian coastal village to obtain mechanical equipment, food stores and steal as many resources as they could. In the process, over a dozen villagers were killed by the Soviet Guard. During the raid, Ivana was in and amongst the troops, participating like it was a paint ball game…that is until she saw one of the Canadian dead – a boy of maybe 14 years of age. She became sick and had to leave the battle site, escorted by several troops back to the Generalissimus. There, she had an argument with her godfather about the Soviet Guard’s actions which slowly escalated into a shouting match. Unable to deal with her ranting, he had his troops chloroform her and bring her back to their secret base in Greenland where they were to lock her in her room until he and the other troops returned later that night.
Locked in her room in the secret Greenland Soviet Guard abandoned listening post, Ivana awoke. Confused and angry over her treatment, she felt betrayed by those she considered ‘family’. While awaiting her expected visit by her godfather to ‘correct’ her thinking, she had an epiphany about what her godfather and the Soviet Guard were really about. They were simply terrorists. Terrorists who enjoy hurting people under an old Soviet banner and an idealistic yet naive view that they’d one day have their old Soviet Union back. She quickly deduced that she had to escape and betray those that just betrayed her and broke her heart. Slyly, she talked to the guard through the door, a guard she’d become acquainted with in the past and got him to open the door long enough for her to knock him unconscious and attempt to escape. Using her training she’d received from her ‘family’ of Soviet Guard troops, she skirted their security systems and made her way to an exit…only to run straight into her godfather, the Generalissimus.
After hours of arguing and fighting with the Generalisimus in his chamber, Ivana told him that she didn’t want anything to do with him or his ‘band of murderers’ anymore and that if he loved her, he needed to let her go. The Generalissimus kept trying to convince her to go back to the way things once were between them and all things would be better for both of them, only to be slapped in the face by Ivana. The Generalissimus turned to his ‘wall of trophies’ in his chambers and looked hard and long at what he deemed as the only viable solution to his pain.
The Madame Cirque mask.
The Madame Cirque mask is an item that the Generalissimus and his (at the time) Red Guard troops had stolen amongst the millions of other Soviet artifacts, plans, military hardware and weapons he knew about. The Madame Cirque mask was kept in a vault away from anyone who would ever be tempted to use it. Legend was that the mask, when worn, would make the wearer submissive to the person who did a chant in the name of the spirit of a Romanian witch from the late 19th century known as Madame Cirque. The mask wearer would be under an unearthly strong spell that would make the wearer not only submissive, but even more powerful that what she once was. To what extent the mask would make someone more ‘powerful’ was a question that created fear and desire in too many who wanted to use the mask for their own duplicitous means. Legend had it that the mask had been last used by one of the Russian women combatants of the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death in 1917 at the end of World War I. The unnamed woman was said to have worn the mask in combat, outperforming her male counterparts (who kept retreating and surrendering) unlike the women’s battalion that charged several German soldier strongholds with the mask-wearing woman leading the charge, performing ‘incredible feats of physical prowess’ and operating like a woman possessed . After rumors of the powerful, ‘mask-wearing’ femme fatale reached the upper Russian military echelons, a boisterous male Russian Army Colonel decided to investigate the claim. When he arrived at the women’s battalion, he encountered the mask-wearing woman; a woman who insisted her name was “Madame Cirque”, even though her fellow female troops knew her to be Olga Smetrovski. After a testosterone-led talk-down with ’Madame Cirque’, the Colonel demanded she stop showing up her male counterparts and to remove the silly mask.
Madame Cirque killed the Colonel on the spot.
When the other women of the battalion asked why she did that, “Madame Cirque” said, ‘the one who says the chant was the one that ordered me to slay him; I do what she commands’. The Colonel’s entourage of troops stormed her and attempted to take her down. After minutes of hand-to-hand fighting, acrobatic moves never seen by others, and several unconscious and/or dead male soldiers, she was gunned down and killed by a male soldier manning a nearby tripod-mounted machine gun. When one of the remaining male soldiers removed her mask, a nauseous feeling overcame the troops within a few yards of “Madame Cirque”, causing those next to her to collapse in vertigo and sickness. Legend had it that the “chant” that Madame Cirque mentioned was actually engraved on the inside of the mask in Latin. Madame Cirque’s ‘master’ was never found, but the mask itself was brought to the great Russian leader, Vladimir Lenin himself. Upon being told the tale of what happened, Lenin himself voiced his concern over a potential ‘curse’ that might be on the mask and demanded it be locked away forever. He then used his propaganda machine to denounce the actions of the 1st Russian Women’s Battalion of Death and created stories of their cowardice not only to bolster the male troops, but to warn the women that a woman in a mask was less powerful than Lenin and his male-dominate regime themselves. Eventually, the rewritten Russian stories and history books followed Lenin’s view on the women combatants and the mild rebukes against the women’s role in combat. Anything and anyone that had any dealings with “Madame Cirque” was said to have ‘disappeared’ on Lenin’s orders. Ironically enough, someone obviously lived to tell the supposedly true story of “Madame Cirque” enough so that the Generalissimus himself became obsessed with the idea of owning the mask.
Cut forward to 2012 and the Generalissimus and his goddaughter fighting. As the Generalissimus stared at his stolen Madame Cirque mask hanging on the wall, he made an emotional split decision; a decision that to his dying day he’d not only regret, but realized his failure in breaking his own sworn oath to his dear friend, Ivana’s father, that he’d never let anything bad ever happen to her.
With tears in his eyes, the Generalissimus grabbed the mask off the wall, chanted the words he’d memorized years before, and forced it upon his goddaughter’s face. The Generalissimus was overcome by a great wave of nausea and vertigo, causing him to fall about the floor. When he arose, he saw that his goddaughter Ivana was no longer standing before him; in her place was Madame Cirque. Although it was Ivana’s body, the body language, demeanor and visceral stare was that of a spirit that could only be that of Madame Cirque. His mask-wearing goddaughter bowed down before him and told him that whatever he willed her to do, she would do as his “Madame Cirque”. As a test, he ordered her to go to the roof of the listening post and rappel down the post’s wall to the ground. The Generalissimus knew that Ivana had a slight case of vertigo and was never able to even climb to the roof nonetheless rappel down its side. “Madame Cirque” not only easily and quickly ascended the roof, but rappelled better than any of his troops ever did. He told her to go to her room to await further instructions, as he contemplated what he’d done and what he now had to do with this ‘possessed’ and controllable woman in Ivana’s place.
After discussing with his super-powered team and their resident witch, Mystyck, the Generalissimus decided to induct her into the super-powered team and have them keep an eye on her there. Although Ivana seemed no longer in control of her own body, “Madame Cirque” was definitely in charge, even though she was bound to do whatever the chanter of the mask orders her to do. She has free will and can make quick decisions on the battlefield, however, she hangs on Generalissimus’ commands, desperately trying to appease him by trying to be the kind, loving goddaughter that the Generalissimus actually wanted. Sometimes though, it seems like “Madame Cirque” is simply acting out a part; a part that one day may result in the decimation of anyone or anything that might prevent Madame Cirque’s spirit from doing whatever it wants to do…
Madame Cirque is the spirit of a 19th century malevolent Romanian witch that was captured in the mask. So long as the wearer of the mask is under the control of anyone who chants the Latin inscription engraved on the inside of the mask, the Madame Cirque spirit is under an amazingly powerful control by the chanter. It is not known if Madame Cirque’s spirit is strong enough to overcome the spell, but as far as has been seen, it’s highly unlikely.
The person who wears the mask is also magically gifted with unique abilities. Their agility and stamina are increased to excellent levels, and their previous strength and fighting skills increase by a whole factor. Under the mask’s influence, the wearer has an unearthly immunity to psychic powers or mental controls or illusions. The mask-wearer also has a good telekinetic power capability that can lift up to 100 lbs of materials within 10 yards of the mask’s epicenter. The spirit of the mask uses these powers to toss objects, especially knives and sharp objects, at its targets. It can control up to 10 items (so long as their combined weight isn’t greater than 100 lbs.) with incredible accuracy and control. Most notably is a power stunt she performs with five knives, where she controls the knives to spin around the target (much like an electron’s orbit around an element’s nucleus) making the knives slice a person on each pass at different locations of the target’s body, continuing to do this until the target is a bleeding mess or dead. The spirit is highly malevolent and if told to hurt or kill a target, it will do so with no morality or concern. It doesn’t ‘revel’ in a target’s despair, but seems curious enough to patiently watch the target’s reactions and distress as she’s hurting the target.
When the Soviet Union fell in 1991, a famous yet disgruntled Soviet General by the name of Semyon Budennii, later known as the Generalissimus, went rogue and attempted to turn the inevitable tide of the democratic revolution saturating the motherland and instead restablish Stalinist order rule back into the Russian society and government. In an attempted coupe, he failed and instead went to his plan B - steal everything he could from the Soviet Union whether it was nailed down or not and go into hiding. In a mad dash to steal the millions of tons of Soviet military equipment, hardware, ships, planes, classified plans, devices and materials he needed, at least 400-500 troops were required to not only support this grand larceny, but also for those same troops to to betray their own Mother Russia.
Starshina (Master Sergeant) Mickael Vistudo of the Red Army special forces was one of those that followed the Generalissimus into infamy.
Mikael was raised by his parents, both officers in the red Army, as a military brat going from military base to base. A devout communist and an avid believer in the SOviet propaganda, Mikael joined at the age of 17 and was in the Red Army right up until the 1991 collapse. A few months before the fall of the Soviet Union, Mikael's wife died of complications through child birth. He lost his twin sons as a result also. All due to the poor care the military and their families were receiving at that time. Disillusioned and grief stricken, Mikael got terribly drunk and raged against the current government and its 'democratic revolution' and how it caused the conditions that led to his wife and childrens' demise. He was promptly arrested and imprisoned. There, he met several others who had similar stories related to being let down by the 'west-loving' government currently in control. In their discussions, a jail break was mentioned to be done by a band of troops loyal to the Generalissimus, General Semyon Budennii. Mikael not only jumped at the chance to join the jail break but to also join the famous military general and Soviet patriot to bring back the glory of the Soviet Union.. The next day, as planned, a jail break occurred and hundreds of inmates fled and joined the Generalissimus' forces.
Mikael had been in charge of security at several highly classified military sites outside of Moscow years before and mentioned to the Generalissimus that he knew how to get in to steal the secrets hidden there. Thanks to Mikael's help and leadership, many highly desired military experimental plans and devices became the property of the Generalissimus' army. As a result of his actions, Mikael was promoted to Lieutenant and promised a greater prize for his service should he continue to be the leader and patriot he had thusfar proven to be.
Over the next few years, Mikael patriotically led the Generalissimus' troops where he was needed, being cited again and again for his service and dedication. In 2005, the Generalissimus' army went to invade Lithuania and create the first new Soviet Union state there. Thanks again to Mikael's leadership, he was promoted to Major. As the Generalissimus promised, Mikael's greatest reward arrived; the opportunity to become a super-powered member of the Red Guard.
Through the team's powerful witch, Mystyck, the Generalissimus had Mikael and another patriotic and devoted soldier transformed magically into mystically empowered juggernauts. Mikael was transformed into a large, hulking strong man and awarded an arcane indestructible warhammer, in fact, the very warhammer that Mikael allowed the Generalissimus access to at the highly classified military site that had been hidden there. Mikael, now known by his new codename "Molotok" (Russian for 'Hammer') took his new role in the super-powered Red Guard and never looked back.
Since then, Mikael has continued his devout and dedicated service for the Generalissimus and the Red Guard. Although he is getting a bit gray in the hair and beard, Mikael and his warhammer are truly a force to be reckoned with in combat.
Molotok is a remarkably strong and incredibly durable magically enhanced powerhouse. His skin can take excellent damage without being hurt to include mortar and small artillery attacks. he can run up to 40 mph and rarely tires. The secret of his arcane empowerment is based on his willpower; so long as he believes in the Soviet Union, the Red Guard and the Generalissimus, he will remain mystically super-powered. His warhammer is over three centuries old with an unknown origin. The writing and symbols engraved on the hammer are untranslatable, however the indestructible hammer can back an incredible wallop in the hands of Molotok. Both Molotok and Serp (Sickle) have trained together to work as a team of two in combat. One of them is powerful enough; both working together, well, you better bring the band aids...or your last will and testament to that fight.
Greta Zukov, as of 2015, is at least 110 years old, but you'd never know it with her wearing the visage of a 19 year old Russian woman.
Born sometime just after 1902 and before 1905, Greta was the 'love' child of a Siberian witch and a rich, married Czarist businessman. Not long after Greta was born, the Siberian witch visited Boris Zukov at his palatial estate. After a brief discussion and an attempt at blackmailing Zukov, Boris let loose the dogs on Greta and her witchy mother. They barely made in off the grounds alive. Greta's mother, Zuria, lost her lower left leg as a result of the dog attack. Zuria swore vengeance against Boris and his family and started concocting a plan that eventually would lead to the destruction of the Zukov line.
By 1908, Zuria put her plan into effect. Every five years, the Zukov family held a massive family reunion party at his estate; 1908 was the next party. Every single living relative traveled from near and far for two weeks of entertainment, drink and song. One special dinner was always planned at the end, where everyone got served before Boris, the head of the family, did. It was always a meaningful gesture on his part, however, it was a action that was destined to be the lynchpin of Zuria's revenge
At the "Grand Dinner", as it was called, Zuria would disguise herself as one of the kitchen crew, place a slow-acting poison into the soup, serve the soup to the whole clan, with Boris as the last one served, and then watch each of Boris' relatives, wife and children die slowly while Boris watched, incapable of stopping their murders and waiting for his own turn to die with them. In his last few minutes, she intended to give him a chance to live by having him sign over his estate and mansion to Zuria's and his daughter, Greta Zukov. Once it was done, Zuria would supposedly give him the antidote.
Zuria had no intention of giving the old fool an antidote. She intended to laugh at him as she watch him die instead. Zuria, however, knew that things could change or go wrong quickly in a plot like this. She also decided to leave the antidote and Greta at her hut and if need be, go to get it or have one of Boris' staff go to get it for her.
The plan concocted, Zuria, a powerful witch and alchemist in her own right, created the poison for the soup as well as the antidote. She tested the poison and antidote on several small creatures and a beggar. They both worked perfectly.
In order to disguise herself as one of the kitchen crew, Zuria decided to concoct one of her favorite spells - the Spell of Youth. This spell, when applied would de-age Zuria to that of a young 16-19 year old woman temporarily for up to 2 days before it wore off. There was one major drawback - the spell did not regrow lost limbs. Thanks to Boris' dogs, Zuria lost her right leg below the knee. Zuria had used a wooden leg in place of her lost limb since the attack, but the spell would have no affect on the lost leg. Instead, Zuria created a special carved leg she could slide inside a boot that would hide her missing leg. Although she still hobbled around like a cripple, she practiced day and night to walk with the heavy yet disguised wooden leg. It took a great amount of concentration, but Zuria eventually began walking as close to normal as one could.
The next step was to create the powerful poison and its antidote. She created it so that the victims would die in an hour plus or minus five minutes. The antidote, however, had to be administered within 45 minutes of the poison's ingestion otherwise it would not have enough time to counter the poison's effects on the heart and blood.
Her last step was to draft up a fully legal document that provided no loopholes to ensure that once signed by Boris, the entire Zukov estate and fortune would immediately pass to Greta. Clauses included incidental or accidental death of Greta, wherein Zuria would then gain the estate in her stead. After the document was drafted by a lawyer who was also one of her fortune-telling clientel, she killed the lawyer and prepared for her eventual night of revenge.
The night of the Zukov's 'Grand Dinner', Zuria administered her Spell of Youth on herself and transformed into a beautiful 19 year old woman, however, her skin was still a sickly white. She used large amounts of makeup to cover her whitened skin and snuck into the estate as one of the cooking staff. There, as the soup was nearly ready for serving, Zuria poisoned the soup. All was going as planned, until Zuria was ordered by the serving headmistress to go out and serve the soup to the guests. This was not part of the plan.
Unfortunately, the 'ill' waitress had sampled the soup minutes before and was already getting sick and dying.
Although Zuria knew Boris had only seen her in her older condition, she was still very nervous. He was a smart man, and had an eye for detail. It wouldn't take much for him to see a resemblance or outright recognize Zuria and the whole plan would go awry. Regardless, Zuria went out to serve the guests/family, keeping her head down and staying out of view as much as possible. Since she'd never served anyone before like this, she was very clumsy and started drawing attention to herself. Lucky for her, all it did was garner ridicule and mockery from those around the table, calling her a simpleton and obviously Boris' 'next fired waitress'.
To Zuria's luck, Boris demanded that his family and guests go ahead and start on their soup before it got to cold while everyone else was waiting on the 'worthless' waitress. Zuria served everyone around the table, with Boris as her last charge. Boris 'toasted' a spoonful of soup with his guests and family, stating he was relieved to know that his 'Grand Dinner' wouldn't have to wait until sunrise for the next course, thanks to their bumbling waitress. As Zuria turned about, her wooden leg rotated the wrong way and she fell to the ground. Those around the table laughed at her. Initially, Boris laughed a hearty laugh, but then his face went stone cold and pale as he saw the boot twisted in an abnormal direction. He looked to the waitress and looked back to the oddly positioned leg and immediately knew who she was.
Boris leaped from his chair, picked Zuria up into the air with his strong arms and hands and slammed Zuria's head onto the tabletop several times in front of his astonished family and guests. Boris bellowed at Zuria demanding what she was up to; what had she done?
Zuria spat a bloody cackle at Boris in return.
Boris beat and pommeled Zuria relentlessly until finally one of Boris' cousins pulled him off her.
Zuria, concussed and barely conscious, then told Boris what she'd done. She'd poisoned every one of them. SHe told them they only had a few dozen minutes of life left before their death.
All stood in silence about the table.
That's when the first of those Zuria served began getting sick. One by one, around the table, each guest and family member started vomiting and turning green and sickly. The serving headmistress bolted out of the kitchen and said the soup had been poisoned and that one of the waitresses was already dying.
Each person in the room erupted in shrieks of despair and cries of anguish over their impending death...
...all except Zuria and Boris.
Zuria, barely alive, cackled in a broken, evil laugh. Boris staggered to his chair plopping down into it, watching the chaos occur before him with eyes as wide as a silver dollar. One of the guests screamed that the nearest doctor was a day's ride away at least and that no other doctor was in the area that week.
Boris sat transfixed at the screaming, yelling, crying and manic laughter of those around him.
One guest ran from room to room, disheveling everything in his path, searching for an unknown cure for his eventual death.
Others tried to puke the poison out; two relatives tried cutting out their own tongues thinking their actions would stop the poison.
Some of the single men believed they could 'flush out' the poison from their system by non-stop drinking of gallons of water and vodka.
It was sheer lunacy.
Boris' aunt stabbed and killed her two children so as to save them from their slow death, following up with her own suicide, all the while cursing Boris to her last breathe.
One cousin attempted to ingest rat poison to 'counter' the other poison; nonetheless to say, the cousin died a much quicker death than the rest.
As the pandemonium continued to erupt over the next twenty minutes, Boris sat motionless in shock in his chair at the head of the table. Zuria was finally able to pull her bloodied and broken body up into an adjacent dining room chair. From there, she watched with a twisted smile the chaos occurring before her.
She then performed her coupe de grace; the final ultimatum.
With fifteen minutes left before the antidote would be useless, Zuria slapped Boris in the face as hard as she could. Zuria cackled at him telling him that his only chance to save what was left of his clan, his wife and his several children was to sign over the estate and his fortune to Greta. Zuria was barely able to move the document toward him before he grabbed it up and exploded in a rage. Afte a few minutes of his ranting, pounding the table and cursing at Zuria, he calmed down long enough to energetically sign the papers. He then grabbed up the broken doll that was Zuria and demanded the antidote.
As Zuria was about to tell Boris "no", she passed out.
Boris attempted to wake her, but instead threw her against the wall and shouted a scream that could be heard miles away. After he composed himself, he turned her pockets inside out and tore at her clothes looking for the antidote, only to come up empty. Boris tried to think of where Zuria would hide the antidote. Where would she hide something so precious...
She was the key. Where Greta was, the antidote would be there too.
They both had to be back at the witch's hut.
Like a bullet, Boris raced out of the room to the stables where he mounted his prized thoroughbred race horse and took off at breakneck speeds for the witch's hut. Minutes later, he arrived to see Greta eating her dinner ...
...with a strange purple bottle located strategically in the center of the table.
Boris grabbed up the bottle, grabbed up Greta like a satchel and rode like the wind back to his estate. Once there, he tossed Greta to the ground and ran to his children. Boris plopped down next to his youngest daughter and was about to administer the antidote when the other deathly ill relatives and friends saw what Boris was doing and fought him for the antidote.
Greta walked into the dining room and watched the chaos, fighting and insanity occurring before her.
She did not see the broken form of her mother on the other side of the table though.
Fists flew, shouts of anger and desperation filled the room as the poisoned relatives, guests and staff still capable of moving clawed their way towards Boris and the antidote. Two dozen of his dying friends and relatives piled onto Boris, attempting to take the antidote from his hands. Boris fought like a gorilla, backhanding and punching men, women and children as he crawled back to his daughter. The vial was knocked from Boris hand and out into the stone fireplace where the bottle smashed open spilling out the antidote onto the now purple flames of the fireplace.
The antidote was destroyed.
From the deafening silence, Zuria's beleaguered cackling came to life once again.
Greta ran to see the bloodied mass that was her mother and began crying.
Some of Zuria's wounds were not caused by Boris, but instead by the rest of his poisoned family and compatriots. Boris' friends and relatives attempted to find the antidote on Zuria's person after Boris left the room. They kicked and clawed at her, punching her and beating her all the while ripping and tearing her waitress' uniform looking for an antidote that obvious to Zuria, wasn't there. Zuria had been paralyzed after the last set of attacks, but was still able to speak.
Zuria told the tale that after Boris left, before the others in the house assaulted her, she whispered an ultimatum to the family's butler who wanted the antidote himself to save his dying wife who'd earlier sampled the soup before the meal. Zuria tasked the butler to take the signed parchment to a lawyer down the road and have him sign it and make it what was written, official. Zuria told the butler that if he did that, she'd tell him and only him where the antidote was.
The butler did as she asked and delivered the document to the lawyer who signed it under durress. When the butler arrived back at the estate, Boris was just riding back on his dying horse. As stated earlier, the other dying members of the Grand Dinner fought with Boris for the antidote, one of which was the same butler. The butler had his head smashed in by Boris and died feet away from Zuria's broken frame.
Once Zuria spoke her tale, she shooshed her crying Greta and told her everything was going to be all right.
Zuria died in Greta's arms seconds later.
Shortly theresafter, the lawyer that the butler was sent to have the signed document made 'legal', arrived at the Zukov estate with an entire police force in tow.
52 of the 53 Zukov line were now dead.
18 friends, acquaintances and house servants had died as well.
Even Boris' thoroughbred he rode that night died from exhaustion minutes after its journey's end.
In the end, all that was left of the Zukov line was Greta.
Boris Zukov shot himself in the head and committed suicide later that same night.
Funeral arrangements were done. The dead were buried at the estate's expense with the exception of Boris as per the signed document's request.
Boris was left in a potter's field graveyard miles from his own estate.
Greta became the sole heir to the Zukov estate and fortune. No one ever went to work there ever again. Rumors flew about the estate and Greta being cursed. Ghosts of the murdered souls were said to be seen haunting the estate's grounds and graveyard in the dead of night. Demons were said to be seen dancing on the graves of the murdered after midnight during a full moon. Some even believed that Greta was actually the devil's spawn.
Of course, none of this was true, but it sure stopped everyone from visiting the estate ever again. Even the lawyer next door started sending mail instead of walking down the road a couple minutes' distance to talk with Greta.
Greta soon realized that this sprawling mansion was simply not for her.
One day, Greta walked to the lawyer's home next door. She told him she wanted to sell the manor and move to Bucharest, Romania where her mother said there may be relatives alive there that might take her in. With great angst and trepidation, the lawyer saw to Greta's requests. He managed her a luxury apartment in the capital of Bucharest and even got her bank accounts, furniture and even her mother's iron crates shipped to her new home in Bucharest. After capitalizing on Greta's needs with a heavy fee for his 'services', the lawyer was rumored to have died the next day of a heart attack.
Greta, now in Bucharest, began the search for her family, all while browsing through her mother's books, scrolls and parchments found in the the iron chests. The more Greta read, the more she became entranced in witchcraft. Within a year, Greta found a long lost aunt in the Transylvanian mountains. Her aunt was a witch too. The aunt was in poor health,but thanks to Greta, lived another several years. Several years that was used to train Greta in being a witch.
Greta became a very powerful young witch in no time. She mastered alchemy and potions quickly and in only a matter of months was able to utilize magical wards, spells and enchantments. Within five years, she was making her own magical talismans and writing her own spells. During this time, Transylvania was mired in territorial disputes between the Austria-Hungary Empire and Romania, as well as the shadow of the Russian Empire, Bulgaria and all other bordering nations that made up the conflagration that was World War I. Though Greta and her aunt weren't directly affected by the war, Greta's aunt died died in 1917 at the age of 45. Her death was mostly due to bad potions and caustic concoctions she'd been exposed to decades ago that diversely affected her health; a life lesson Greta was all too familiar with as her skin color started becoming ashen white, just as her mother's was, as a result of her continued dabbling in witchcraft.
Days after her aunt was buried in the woods, Greta carted away all her own and her aunt's witchcraft materials, books, scrolls, etc., back to Bucharest. There, Greta closed herself off from the world for a year back in her old luxury apartment while she focused on mastering her art. Over the year, she was able to not only start dabbling in universal spells, but in dimensional spells, sometimes with dire consequences. At one time she opened a portal to a demonic realm that nearly overran her. Thanks to a contingency spell, she was able to prevent over a hundred demons from tearing through the hotel and Bucharest proper. The hotel catered to Greta everyday, cleaning, bringing her meals, drawing her baths, etc., however, her expenses soon became more than her estate's fortune was able to maintain.
It wasn't until the luxury hotel manager's arrival later that year that Greta was told she was broke and that she could no longer afford to stay at the hotel. as a result of the financial dishevelment resulting from World War I, Greta's fortune had been drained (especially in continuing to rent the luxury hotel room for over a decade with little to no income to recompense her financial losses). With few choices left, Greta decided to move back to where she grew up, outside of St. Petersburg in Russia. There, she would begin her destiny as well as meet the man that would haunt her dreams for the rest of her life.
Upon returning to the land that was previously the Zukov estate, she discovered it had become farmlands now, taken over and run by a Bolshevik farming collective. These farming collectives were growing across the land as the Russian Civil War continued between Vladimir Lenin of the communist party and the Russian Tzar, Nicholas II. Greta went instead to her mother's old hut to discover a nice home had been built in its place. Amidst the many documents Greta had taken from her mother, one such document was the deed to the land, provided by her long dead husband. Greta was identified as the sole heir to the land, and as such, Greta decided it was time to evict whomever it was that was now trespassing and squatting on her land. That's when she met Vladimir Ostov.
Vladimir's parents came to St. Petersburg to get away from the war and Bolshevik uprising. They'd built a home on a tract of property that everyone said had been abandoned by a 'witch' decades ago. As a result of the war, their only son, Vladimir, was pressed into service during World War I, where he eventually promoted to the rank of Captain before the war's end. As the Russian Civil War started, he was informed that his parents died of starvation. When he went back to their home, he saw the destitution and famine that had taken over the lands. He resigned his commission and went to work creating a community farm for the area. The Zukov lands were considered legally unowned since the people who bought the estate (from Greta) were later deemed traitors by the Tzarist-controlled regime. Vladimir himself farmed the land as well and hundreds of acres in and around it to provide the area with food and sustenance. Eventually, cows, goats and pigs were brought in and the community quickly pulled itself from the ashes of despair, thanks to Vladimir. He was the area's folk hero.
When Greta knocked on the door of Vladimir's home, little did she know that she was about to meet the one man she'd ever truly fall in love with.
When Vladimir answered the door, his young, shirtless and muscular frame coupled with his kind face and bright blue eyes greeted Greta in a way she'd never expected. Greta was immediately speechless with the handsome strapping figure that was Vladimir. This was a reaction she'd never had with anyone else in her entire life. Vladimir and Greta stood in the doorway looking at each other in a forlorn way for what seemed like an eternity to both of them but in all actuality, only mere seconds. Vladimir apologized for his dress and deportment, introduced himself and asked how he could help her. It took Greta almost a minute of stammering to finally get to the point that she used to live on this land and that she was the true title bearer. Vladimir was excited to know this and invited Greta to tea inside.
The home was modest, yet vast. simple, sturdy furniture, brandished with a large modern (in those days) kitchen, five rooms and a large pair of workshops in the back, as well as stables for the oxen and horses.
Upon showing Vladimir the deed to the land, Greta saw the sadness that welled up in his eyes. Before he could respond, Greta changed her mind about the untold evicting she was originally going to do to whoever was in the home. Instead (and uncharacteristically), Greta compromised with Vladimir. Greta would continue as the proprietor of the property and live there, while Vladimir would be allowed to perform the manual labor and maintenance on the property in return for room and board. As the details of the compromise continued, Greta found herself offering to cook, clean and garden for him as well. Vladimir offered to hunt game for meals for them and protect her and the property from anyone who'd dare to harm them. By conversation's end, both agreed to the pact with a signed document Greta wrote up on the spot, however, watching the two react to each other during the signing, you'd think they'd instead just signed their own marriage certificate.
Over the next year, Greta took one of the two workshops as her own for her witchcraft and alchemy practices, while Vladimir continued to be the hard working handsome laborer that Greta obviously started to fall in love with. By winter, all presumptions fell the wayside, and the two became romantically engaged. It was a Harlequin romance novel in a Russian collective farm setting. They both admitted they were not religious and as such made their own vows to each other under the light of a full moon instead. Their romance and life together was magical, in all manners of speaking. Vladimir of course found out that Greta was a witch, but didn't care, so long as she didn't 'grow warts on her nose' or turn their neighbors into newts, Vladimir was fine with her continued practice. As a matter of fact, due to her potions and salves she made, she quickly became the area's best midwife and 'alternate doctor' for the ailments of the local community. Most of the community trusted her with their health issues rather than the drunk quack of a doctor down the road that claimed he was once a surgeon to the Tzar. Nonetheless, together, Vladimir and Greta lived a life of love, lust and romance for decades to come.
Greta soon realized that due to her dabbling in witchcraft, she'd somehow prevented herself from ever having children. Although Vladimir was sad about this, he instead took in several local orphan boys to help around the property. To Greta and Vladimir, they were much like the children they couldn't have naturally. As the years progressed, the boys became men, and the men stayed on and worked the land of the collective farm and lived with Greta and Vladimir until they'd grow up and find their own wives and start their own new lives. Their extended family grew and by 1940, Greta and Vladimir were godparents to over 20 of their orphaned children and those children's sons and daughters. It was a happy time for Greta and Vladimir. It was a hard life, filled with sickness, tough winters, hard work at the farms and the constant barrage of the propaganda of the new communist regime that was now the Soviet Union, but they got by, together, as family. Now in their late 30s, Greta and Vladimir, still madly in love with each other and surrounded by their own self-made family and collective, now faced the advent of World War II and the cataclysm that destroyed all they'd built their lives on.
When World War II started, Soviet Russia was a part of the Axis powers along with Nazi Germany and fascist Italy. The German's 'blitzkrieg' tactics took Europe by storm and quickly plowed through France and the Netherlands. As the Battle of Britain air war raged on, Germany plotted to attack and invade Soviet Russia. Much to their the Nazi's later laments, they did so, place what was once St. Petersburg, now Leningrad, into Nazi Germany's sites...along with Greta and her new family. Although Vladimir was too old to be in the Soviet Union's Red Army, all the younger orphans and men in the collective were drafted, leaving the collective farming to be performed by old men and women. Vladimir's helath had been slowly fading, yet he still did the work of two men on the farm. One day, the Nazi army was heading to the outskirts of Leningrad...and the collective farm. To prevent the German's from gaining anything they could use, the farm and crops were set afire, cattle, goats and pigs were killed or poisoned and those on the farm evacuated to Leningrad. There, Greta, Vladimir and over 280 older men and women became trapped in the city at the German forces encircled Leningrad to take the city. Thankfully Greta brought a majority of her spells, books, scrolls and potions because they would be used with a vengeance in the coming month.
That's when the famous Siberian winter storms hit the area.
Ill-equipped to handle the cold, the German offensive came to a screeching halt against Leningrad. The populace fought day and night to protect the city and their comrades, all the while the German military's attrition rate grew. During the fighting, Vladimir was killed by a Nazi sniper. Greta lost it. Using years of her arcane knowledge and thousands of deadly and dangerous spells, Greta went about decimating the Nazi ranks with every spell, conjuring, poison and potion she could create against the Germans. One of the city's leading military defenders was Soviet Red Army General Semyon Budennii, a man who would one day be know as the Generalissimus of the Soviet Guard. He saw what Greta's arcane powers could do against their enemies and as such, relished the idea of allying with her even after the Siege of Leningrad.
After weeks of battling the Soviet defenders of Leningrad won against the Nazi military siege machine.
The Nazis withdrew from Leningrad, but at a great price to both sides. Each side of the battle faced enormous casualties, starvation, exposure and a city in ruins...as well as the ruins of many family lives, including Greta's. By winters end, Greta was informed that all her 'boys' that her and Vladimir adopted on the collective had died in combat against the Nazis. After Greta buried Vladimir back at their decimated home, Greta quickly enlisted her powers to the Generalissimus to become one of the most powerful vessels of vengeance against anything and everything that was Nazi Germany.
Throughout the rest of World War II, Greta, now known by her codename of "Mystyck", and additional super-powered Soviets that made up the Red Guard, fought against the Nazi war machine. As the Soviets pressed on towards Berlin, the Soviet Red Army and General Budennii's Red Guard laid waste to anything related to the Nazis. Women, children, buildings, Nazi culture, all destroyed. Greta was one of the most powerful forces in the Red Guard and have a determination and drive that was second to none to make the Nazis pay for her losses. Finally in 1945, the Soviets broken through the remaining remnants of the Nazi forces in Berlin and took over the city. Rumors had it that Greta, left unchecked, would have vaporized everyone and everything in Hitler's bunker, and actually had to be dragged away by their own troops to prevent her from decimating the enormous amount of military intelligence that was in the bunker. When the war ended, Greta was given a "Hero of the Soviet Union" medal for her efforts, which she promptly buried with her dead Vladimir back at the collective farm.
Now with the war's end, the Cold War started. Greta continued to work beside General Budennii for the next 35 years as a founding member of the Generalissimus' Red Guard. She was a believer in pure communism and enjoyed the equality of each and every man and woman. During the final years of the Cold War, the Red Guard's leader, the Generalissimus, fell into 'disfavor' with the newer Soviet military powers and was removed from his position. Shortly thereafter, Greta became disenfranchised with the Red Guard and their existing weak and corrupt Soviet leadership. In 1989, she left the Red Guard and went back to the newly burgeoning collective farm she'd abandoned at the end of World War II.
Back at the collective farm outside of Leningrad, Greta, now in her 80s, was quickly recognized by those that knew her during World War II. Those that survived the Siege of Leningrad who'd lived on the collective farm, created a large and powerful monument to her and Vladimir at the site that was once their house. Greta cried and embraced those that had survived the siege of Leningrad with her. For the next year, she stayed in the village and used her potions and arcane magics to help heal and take care of all the village's ailments. Some ailments, however, could not be cured. Sadly, by the end of 1991, the Leningrad siege survivors began dying off, one by one. Eventually, Greta lost any and all of her friends and acquaintances she'd ever known. She pondered her future; a future that included a nation of crumbling Soviet ideals and the prospect that she'd outlived most she'd ever known. At that point she was ready to give in to death's taunts and finally be with her beloved Vladimir. Instead, the forthcoming fall of the Soviet Union catalyzed a completely different path for Greta, one to this day she felt she was born for.
As the Soviet Union fell, General Budennii stole. He stole millions of tons of Soviet weapons and hardware, as well as thousands of state secrets, projects and devices. During his raids, the General sent word to Greta under her Mystyck codename and invited her to join him in his attempts to reform the glory that was the Soviet Union. Greta debated for a few days, but thought it was a poor idea. Her age, her health and her desire to lie beside her long dead Vladimir filled her thoughts instead. In a discussion with one of the young women in the village, Greta confided in her the offer by the General and asked her advice. The girl not only strongly agreed with the General, but said that it was time for Mystyck to once again became the powerful woman that Vladimir once saw in her. With that, Greta went to work on a dangerous de-aging spell, one that she'd never done before. With her stock of rare arcane materials thin and withered, she went through with the spell to bring herself back to a youthful state.
The spell went right...and devastatingly wrong.
Due to the poor quality of the spell's required rare and unique products, the spell intensified and expanded in its strength. The resulting maelstrom that engulfed her small home destroyed it and several other adjacent homes, even killing three of the residents including the young girl who gave Greta the recent advice. The ebb and flow of the diverse range of arcane powers took everything Greta had not only contained them, but dispelled them. After minutes of chanting, casting and rerouting of the arcane powers swirling around her, Greta stopped the arcane maelstrom she'd created. In her place stood a young, 19 year old woman, sleek, trim, strong and enhanced with mystical powers to all new uncanny levels she'd never accessed before. The effects of the maelstrom also affected Mystyck's mind. Her compassion of others was gone; a twisted darkness now swelled within her soul. Fueled by her desire to bring back the old Soviet ways, her new yet darker view points now included maliciousness towards any not desiring to follow the communist way.
Basically, the once vengeful yet kind Mystyck had now become a malevolent aggressor and a die-hard supporter of what she considered to be the 'true' Soviet doctrine.
With a glancing, malicious look back at the damage she'd done, Mystyck used her new powers to teleport herself to General Budennii's side. After a brief discussion, Mystyck deigned the "Generalissimus" the only one worthy enough to ally herself with for their similar life mission - bring back the power, glory and strength of all that was once the Soviet Union. Her morale compass gone, Mystyck to this day follows the Generalissimus' lead, even to the point of forcing her will and controlling her own teammates for the her and the Generalissimus' desires. This new empowered, focused and youthful "Mystyck" is now a cauldron of malicious arcane witchcraft that deigns all others who do not follow the path of glory to a new Soviet Union as not merely foes...but as ants to be stepped on.
Mystyck is a powerful witch that can manipulate personal and dimensional magics. After over a century of practicing, learning and adapting to many spells and rituals, she can easily performed thousands of said spells and rituals at an excellent level, and, depending on situations and materials, can boost some of those power levels to a rare yet powerfully amazing level. Her spells, enchantments and rituals can encompass many different capabilities to include confusion, mind control, fogging of a target's mind, eldritch bolts, arcane shields, mystical flames, on-planet-only teleportation (solo and group), precognition, foreshadowing aging, de-aging (dangerous), illusions, summoning mystical spirits, travel to several known dimensions, illumination (lighting), darkness (no light), healing, transfer of health from one target to another (with first target losing equal amount of health), enhancing powers, decreasing a target's powers, remove sound in a general area, mystically energize inanimate objects and animate them, short-range telekinetics, create wards, create mystical traps, infuse a target's soul (or a part thereof) into an inanimate object, disguise looks, change clothes, short-range telekinetic choke hold (think Darth Vader), draw weapons and arcane artifacts from dimensions rifts. and the ability to hover and slow fly up to 10 mph no higher than 500 feet off the ground.
Standard Red Guard troops are highly trained in military hand-to-hand combat, small arms and rifle marksmanship and basic military tactics. Every single one of the Red Guard troops are totally loyal to the Red Guard and their Generalissimus.
Troops carry Kalashnikov rifles with at least 4 clips of ammunition, web belt with a canteen, food, weapons repair kit, small arm handgun with two clips of ammunition, 2 grenades, 2 flares, one comms earwig device, combat knife, garotte cabling and a smoke device.
The records of Anastasia Kovos are classified and kept under lock and key in the Russian Security Forces (KGB) Intelligence Vaults. Her actions up to and including 2009 are still unknown except for a select few. That same year, a rogue Soviet army General named Semyon Bundennii, otherwise know as the Soviet Guard's Generalissimus, recruited her after the KGB sent her to assassinate him in Greenland. There, Anastasia discovered the Generalissimus' desire to bring back the former glory of the Soviet Union for which Anastasia wanted just as badly. She turned on the KGB and has since been operating with the Soviet Guard.
There are enormous suspicions about her objectivity and loyalty to the Soviet Guard, however, time and again, she has fought competently and proudly beside her fellow Soviet Guard superheroes and has even killed for them, She even sacrificed herself at one point to save Mystyck from a sniper's bullet, taking the bullet herself and nearly dying in the process.
Red Lynx is unpowered, but highly skilled and very deadly. She is trained in several forms of martial arts and military combat techniques making her a remarkable fighter. She is also a master in the use of all forms of military weapons, including arming and disarming nuclear weapons. She is in top physical condition and at the young age of 23, she has more than enough energy as an unpowered Soviet Guard member to keep up if not surpass her super-powered counterparts.
A young man who worked on a remote farm collective in the Ukraine, Piese was brought up as a die-hard Soviet communist as well as one of the best reapers during harvest season in the region. When he turned 18, he joined the Red Army.
Piese enlisted and became a cook, making thousands of meals a day happily for the troops. As the Soviet Union started to disintegrate, food became scarcer day by day for the troops. Rather than rage against what they didn't have, Piese planted crops and wheat on the military bases. Through his resourcefulness, hundreds of troops (and their families) survived against starvation and eventually, abandonment from the Soviet regime in lieu of the new democratic Russian Federation.
Over the next year leading to 1991, the ex-Soviet military units were basically on their own. Leadership and loyalties of officers changed weekly. Through this period, logistics to the soldiers fell into disarray and in some places came to a halt...including food supplies and fuel for the towns next to the military bases. Families had no choice but to move into the barracks with the soldiers. Wives and daughters did laundry and cooked meals while the men and boys actually had to go out and hunt and fish to feed their newly formed community. The Russian Federation had predominantly abandoned the necessary provisions and equipment bases and facilities needed to simply survive nonetheless be fighting ready. All throughout this, Piese's positive dedication to the local units, their families and his unswerving belief that the great Soviet Union would once again rise to save them, made him a hero amongst his peers...and a problem for the new Russian Federated military officers.
Looking for any excuse to chastise those still loyal to the Soviet communist regime, Piese was arrested and thrown in jail for 'derision' of the troops. As a result, without Piese to lead the harvest that year, dozens of unit soldier's wives and children succumbed to starvation and the elements as new Russian Federation officer and senior non-commissioned officers ate to fulfillment. Piese was devastated by this. He begged and pleaded to be allowed to help his fellow comrades and their families with the harvest only to be beaten and whipped. Throughout all of this, Piese never gave up hope that one day the true sons of the Soviet Union would come to save them from their purgatory. As if in answer to his desires, he was told of a jail break that was to be performed by a famous yet disillusioned Soviet-era General known as Semyon Budennii, later known as the Generalissimus. The next night, the jail break occured and the invitation went out to anyone willing to join the General's troops. Not only did Piese happily volunteer, but he also told the Generalissimus of other units nearby that would not only join him but were responsible for thousands of tons of military hardware and equipment that could be used by the new Generalissimus' army. The Generalissimus paid homage to Piese for his thoughtfulness and patriotism and as a result, added over 200 troops and their families to the ranks of their new growing militant force. Piese's comments also yielded the Generalissimus to several very powerful weapons that were of great value. The Generalissimus promoted Piese to the rank of Lieutenant on the spot and made him his logistics and food services manager.
After escaping Mother Russia with millions of tons of stolen military equipment and secrets from the Russian Federation, the rogue army of the Generalissimus arrived at their new home - Greenland. There, food provisions would last at the most several months and as such, Piese knew exactly what he needed to do to feed this new army; he needed to start a collective farm. Even amidst the harsh conditions of Greenland, Piese planted nearly 50 acres of wheat, corn and other vegetables and grains using family-taught methods for farming in harsh wintery areas. As a result, Piese was able to not only feed the whole of the Generalissimus' new army, but were actually able to store tons of food for any situation thereafter. One of the more memorable moments was when Piese led the troops in a one-day 'reaping' event wherein all the men created their own scythes and reaper blades and followed Piese's lead in harvesting the acres of crops they'd grown in their inhospitable new hideout that was Greenland. The Generalissimus was thoroughly impressed with Piese's innovation and dedication to the community and promoted him to Major.
In 2005, the Red Guard, under the Generalissimus' leadership, invaded Lithuania to attempted to regain Soviet lands to help create their new Soviet Union. During that time, Piese handled all the logistics of the invasion as well as the food stores and shipping of the invasion forces. Everything went off like clockwork, however, during the invasion, Piese was assaulted by a Lithuanian resistance fighter, severely scarring Piese's face. Piese fought back like a warrior born with only two sickles in his hand, killing his assailant cold. Again the Generalissimus was very impressed and decided to grant one of the greatest gifts ever to any of his troops; the opportunity to become a super-powered member of the elite Red Guard forces.
Under the direction of the Generalissimus, the Red Guard's powerful witch, Mystyck, imbued Piese and another Major with new arcane superpowers. Piese grew taller and stronger that ever before and his two Kopesch (sickle-like) blades he always carried with him were magically empowered as well. With his new powers, Piese became one of the two new members of the super-powered ranks of the elite Red Guard. Over time Piese, now going by the codename "Serp" (Russian for Sickle) and the other empowered Major, now known as Molotok (Hammer) trained together to become a team-up that would stop an army themselves. Since then, Piese continues his positive communist rhetoric and being an example of Soviet innovation to all the Generalissimus' troops. Although he is no longer in charge of logistics and food services (he's turned that over now), he still leads the reaping harvest events and festivities each year with his usual happy and positive demeanor.
Serp is magically endowed with remarkable fighting skills with his Kopesch blades as well as the bearer of excellent strength and remarkable endurance. His blades are empowered with an unearthly resistance to destruction and are routinely razor sharp. Aside from the cutting and slicing capactiy of the Kopesch blades, they can also cast (as if from a fling of Serp's Kopesch-holding wrist) an excellent energy discharge up to a range of 100 yards away. Serp's magical empowerment will remain with him so long as he believes in the SOviet Union, the red Guard and his Generalissimus; should he loose faith and willpower, he will loose his powers, as will his Kopesch blades. Other than that, he can run up to 40mph and doesn't tire easily. In conjunction with Molotok, Serp is a force to be reckoned with in melee and ranged combat.
Micah Milovovich was born in 1897 to a family of miners in the region that today would be Northeastern Ukraine. The family had lived in the region mining coal, precious metals and unique metals for decades. One such unique metal that had no uses until later in the 20th century was Uranium. Nonetheless to say, Micah was born a mutant.
Micah worked hard and relentless through his young life, starting in the metals mines at age 7. By the time he was 14, Micah began to notice differences in his height, build and conditioning. He initally attributed his changes to puberty and being a strong physical specimen as compared to many of the sickly older men working the same mines. Most did not know the prolonged exposure to the Uranium's radiation was severely affecting their health. Over time, many men died before they could turn 35, but not Micah. For decades, he continued to be the workhorse of the mines, sometimes taking up other men's work that were too sick to do a full day's work. In 1924, Micah discovered just how different he truly was.
In a mine shaft two miles down, a coal dust explosion and cave in occurred, trapping over 50 men. Try as they might, every time the workers tried to clear a path through the debris, more rock and debris would cave in. Micah went down to the mineshaft and personally started lifting 2 ton boulders, digging with his bare hands into the rock and debris. When another cave in started, Micah reached over to two support beams and bolstered the shaft's framing, preventing further cave ins. The timbers themselves were over 400 lbs. each. After hours of digging, setting up more supports, digging some more, he finally made it to the trapped miners and saved every one of them. he was hailed a hero for his actions...but only until work got out what he did to save them. His freakish strength and endurance were now scrutinized and in less than a week, Micah was fired from teh mines, never allowed to return again. Leaving his sickly father and mother back at their humble home near the mining site, Micah packed his few belongings in a knapsack and left to parts unknown.
Over the next few years, Micah went from mining site to mining site, doing what he did best. Each time, word got out who and what he was (a 'freak', according to most) and was was again summarily dismissed. Hungry and homeless, Micah finally came upon an convoy of Soviet troops. Their vehicles were stuck in the mud and unable to move. With a heavy Siberian storm mere hours behind the troops, time was of the essence. Micah asked if he could help only to be rebuked. Micah instead walked over to the vehicle, with one hand lifted it out of the mud and placed it gently back onto the road. The vehicle weighed well over one ton. As the troops stood in startled silence, Micah picked up his knapsack and began walking back down the same road. A minute later, a young Private ran up to Micah and told his the Colonel wanted to talk with him. Micah accepted and came face to face with one of the most famous Soviet military heroes ever, Colonel Semyon Budennii, a man that would later be known as the Generalissimus of the Red and Soviet Guards.
In that meeting, Colonel Budennii offered a ride to his next destination and gratitude for his efforts. Micah agreed. During the ride, the Colonel asked about Micah and his background. After a 1/2 hour discussion, the army convoy arrived at their military base well ahead of the storm. Rather than leave Micah to the elements, the Colonel, at this time fascinated with Micah, demanded Micah stay until the storm blew over as his guest. Again, Micah agreed and was hosted at the Colonel's dinner table for the next three nights, along with a new change of clothes, a hot shower, a place to sleep and meals to his content. During this time, the Colonel took a shine to Micah. Even though Micah was uneducated and ignorant of anything but mining, the Colonel offered a special position in his Red Army. After some thought, Micah figured it was better than the current life he had...and once again agreed.
Over the next decade, the Colonel, now a General, took Micah under his wing. He educated him, trained in in all forms of military combat, operations and self defense, resulting in his eventual promotion to Sergeant ahead of his peers. On many occasions, Micah got to use his powers in anything that needed a crane or some major lifting. He found himself mostly helping in logistics divisions, but he wasn't too happy there. The men there sneered at him and ridiculed him daily. In a casual conversation about this with the General, Micah was surprised to find most of the ones who'd derided him in the Logistics divisions had been either imprisoned or were beaten severely. It soon became apparent that no one questioned or said anything bad about Sergeant Milolovich or the General would ensure harsh reprimands and actions. Micah basically became the General's aide after that.
Prior to World War II, Micah also discovered he wasn't aging at a normal rate. Instead, it was deduced he was aging only 1 year for each 10 years of human time. Thus, by 1931, Micah was only 16 years old rather than 40 years of normal age. He also discovered new facets to his powers, including holding his breath for over 1/2 hour, running at 45 mph, swimming at 20 knots, and enduring high caliber rifle shots with no wounds.
When World War II started in 1939 for the Soviet Union, Micah became the General's bodyguard. On many occasions, Micah took sniper bullets meant for the General. Those sniper shots did not harm Micah due to he dense body and skin, barely leaving a mark on him. In time, Micah desired to be in the front line with the troops. The General liked the idea, but liked the idea more of having Micah as his bodyguard. A compromise was reached, however, the General demanded that Micah wear a special patriotic Soviet uniform each time he did go to the front, for those few days the General allowed it time to time. Micah reveled in the combat and was proud to be amongst the fighting men. He saved dozens of their own troops from impending death time and again. The troops accepted him as one of their own soon thereafter, freak or not.
When Germany turned on their Soviet allies and began invading the Soviet Union (Russia), Micah and the General were separated hundreds of miles apart. Micah fought weeks with his units, fending off the Nazi turncoats, all the while the General was holed up in Leningrad, surrounded by German troops. In the end, by the time Micah and his units reached Leningrad, the General had already countered the Nazi siege with the help of a witch called Mystyck. Over the remaining years of WWII, the General formed a 'Red Guard' of unique super-powered people to fight in the war. They fought incredible battles against immeasurable odds and eventually, in 1945, broke through to Germany's capital of Berlin and sacked the city. Micah, now codenamed as the "Soviet Guardian" named so due to his desire to shield his comrades from harm during battle, became one of several super-powered heroes that became the founding members of Budennii's "Red Guard".
After WWII, Micah once again became Budennii's aide and bodyguard. Several attempts were made against Budennii's life by covert agents, only to have Micah save the day each time. After earning three "Hero of the Soviet Union" medals, Micah became a legend.
Throughout the Cold War, Micah was used for unique and specific operations requiring his powers. Rarely though was he ever seen far from the Budennii. In 1991, Budennii attempted a failed military coupe of the faltering Soviet Union. As a Plan B, Budennii had his troops steal every piece of Soviet military hardware, weapon and secret they could get their hands on and leave Mother Russia for a secret base in Greenland. Thanks to Micah's strength and Budennii's resourcesfullness and contacts, millions of tons of stolen equipment were able to be carried and carted off from Soviet bases before the new Russian Federation knew what was happening.
In Greenland, Micah continued to be a symbol of Soviet strength and power. He was both admired and feared by the troops, yet his presence amongst the Red Guard always left the troops that they'd be taken care of. In 2005, Budennii, now know as the Generalissimus of the Red Guard, invaded Lithuania as part of his plan to take back a portion of 'his' Soviet Union and use it as a stepping stone to regain the Russian lands for his new Soviet Union. Throughout the invasion, Micah helped protect the troops and ensured that the Generalissimus' orders were always carried out. Months later, an allied force of superheroes and nations liberated Lithuania from the Red Guard, sending the Red Guard careening back to Greenland in abject defeat. Micah, in battling with several superheroes, was severely wounded. His face and upper chest were heavily scarred and to this day have not healed properly. He has since taken to wearing a helmet with as well as an additional layer of armor to help protect him further.
Today, Micah is still a die-hard follower of the Generalissimus. In 2011, at 'his' age of 24 (114 in our years), he has been married three times and has 12 children (some in their 70s), 22 grandchildren, 34 great garanchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren, most of which still reside in Russia; only 2 of his family volunteered to join the Red Guard and are to this day officers amidst the Generalissimus' troops.
The Soviet Guardian has mutant powers providing incredible strength, amazing endurance, remarkable body protection and a 1-for-10 year aging difference. He currently wears armor that adds an extra thickness of protection from harm. His helmet contains the latest communciations and visual interfaces, as well as tracking and targeting systems to aid him in who to fight as a priority. Although educated, Micah still has about a 10th grade education. He is slow in learning, but what he does know is cemented in his memory. He is 100% devoted to the Generalissimus and the Red Guard and its troops and will do anything to protect them from harm. Woe be it to any who harm 'his comrades', because you'll be lucky to survive the pounding he will perform on you...
Volga is one of the few "Bodark" Werewolves left in Russia.“Bodark” is a term for werewolves in places other than Russia; in Russia, the word is “oborot” which means “one transformed".
Volga was a typical Russian teenager, raised in the impoverished area of what is now St. Petersburg. She and her friends lived for adventure and ways to thumb their nose at authority, thus leading them into trouble time and again. She slept all day and partied all night, making money through prostitution, selling naked pictures of herself on the internet, stealing people's wallets and using their credit cards and a life of non-stop action and danger. Even though she was tempted, she remained drug-free throughout her impetuous party life.She did have one guy who she was serious about though - Andele. He was mysterious, cool-headed and tried his best to take care of her. He tried to get her out of the pornography and prostitution business, only for the two to fight about it instead. Regardless, he was obviously in love with her, but Volga was too busy 'riding the next thrill'.
One night during, when Andele was working, the police raided a flash party Volga was attending. She was caught by the police and dragged away in handcuffs. Volga spat at a city police officer and struggled the whole way to jail. There, she was tossed into a cell with a mysterious woman with white hair. It wasn't long before Volga stuck up a conversation with the white haired woman. Each time Volga asked her a question, the woman would ask her things in return like "do you like to howl at the moon?", "do you like the freedom of being one with nature?" and the one question that raised one of Volga's pierced eyebrows - "how would you like the thrill of roaming the night, loving those you wish and causing the darkest fear in those you despise?". Volga rolled her eyes and replied only once to these questions with, "you know, I could do all that, but being in jail sure as hell isn't going to get me to doing those things anytime soon, right? So just stay on your side of the cell and don't talk to me unless you have a way to let me out of here so I can go 'howl at your moon". With that the woman reached into her pocket and blew a handful of white powder in Volga's face. Volga immediately passed out and her world went dark.
When Volga awoke, she was in the woods in the middle of nowhere...and it was getting dark. In her jacket was a old scroll...and a copper knife. Initially, Volga called out to see if anyone would respond to help her, but instead, she heard the howl of wolves. She tried to call out on her cell phone; no signal. She screamed for help, but only the wolves answered answered louder - and closer.
Volga took out the scroll and read the old Cyrillic writing on it. The scroll was a set of strange instructions involving the copper knife, a tree and chanting the words written on the scroll. In fresh ink at the bottom was written "Do this and be truly free".
With no other option before her, she did as the scroll directed.
"In order for you to truly become FREE you must stab a copper knife into a tree.
While holding the knife in the tree, repeat the following chant times three:
On the empty pasture gleams the moon, on an ash stock lying
In a green wood, in a gloomy vale.
Toward the stock wandereth a shaggy wolf.
Horned cattle seeking for his sharp white fangs;
But the wolf enters not the forest,
But the wolf dives not into the shadowy vale,
Moon, moon, gold-horned moon,
Cheek the flight of bullets, blunt the hunters’ knives,
Break the shepherds’ cudgels,
Cast wild fear upon all cattle,
On men, on all creeping things,That they may not catch the grey wolf,
That they may not rend his warm skin
My word is binding, more binding than sleep,
More binding than the promise of a hero.
Once the chant be said thrice,
Run into the forest where you will earn freedom's price."
Volga did exactly as the scroll said and ran off into the forest, afraid that she'd instead been pranked or worst yet, taken to die. As she ran into the woods, she could hear the wolves bearing down upon her. She ran faster. As she was running, she began to run on all fours, faster yet. She felt her clothes leave her body with each quickening stride. Within seconds, she found herself at the edge of a cliff cut off from anything but the advancing pack. She realized she'd just growled.
As the pack of wolves advanced, they stopped short...and became submissive. They even started playing with her. That's when Volga realized she was no longer Volga but instead became...
The damning thing about that moment was that Volga was never happier. She saw the world in a new way; fresh scents, friendly pack wolves and a desire to run and frolic amidst the open forest. FOr the rest of the night, she ran amidst the trees and and howled before the moon. By daybreak, although Volga was hungry, she was also very tired. She returned to the place where her clothes fell off her changed frame and dragged them and the scroll back to where she had been first left. She found the copper knife, however, it had fallen over a steep ledge dozens of feet below where it was imbedded into a fallen tree limb on the narrow ledge. Unwilling to spend time and effort to get it, the werewolf that was Volga went ot her pile of clothes and fell asleep atop them, expecting to awaken a normal girl in the morning.
Volga awoke late into the day, atop her pile of clothes and still in the forest. She stretched out and let out a strong yawn. She then scratched herself with her hind leg and picked a tick from her furry back.
She tried to look herself over but quickly realized she was still that of a grey, furry female werewolf. She began to freak out and bound on her hind legs to a stream at the bottom of the ridge she was on. There, she looked into the reflective image that stared back at her from the stream's watery surface;
Volga was still a werewolf.
Shocked and unsure what to do, she tried to get back to her clothes only to be shot at by hunters. She leaped and dodged, bolted and bounded and created a distance too great for the hunters to tag her with their bullets. Alone, hungry and scared to death, Volga ran and ran what seemed like hours. Night fell as she came across a carnival set up in an old farm field. It was a Russian traveling carnival. The smell of food and MEAT...MEAT...sent Volga over the edge. She pranced to the outside of the antique 1950s trailers used by the carnies as their mobile homes. She skirted around the the grounds trying to find a way to get to the MEAT smell of MEAT that MEAT MEAT MEAT. As her stomach grumbled an angry tune, she narrowed her eyes, and shot off from her powerful new legs to a stand...a MEAT stand. MEAT. She grabbed up with her clawed hands and teeth all she could carry in what may have been just short of a second's time and shot back to her place of pouncing behind the carnie mobile homes.
Volga feasted like never before. She devoured the MEAT.
She tore at the MEAT with a viciousness she had never done before.
What seemed like an eternity of consumption was but a mere minute before a short man walked around the trailer. Volga growled at him without realizing she'd just growled at him.
The short man stopped short.
He eyed Volga, as if studying her.
Volga could smell everything upon the short man's clothes; everything that is, except fear.
He was not afraid...nor was he willing to do her harm.
Instead they stared at each other for a millennium's few seconds.
The short man motioned to Volga to follow him, as we checked right and left darting to a trailer on the outer ring of trailers.
The short man entered the trailer and motioned Volga once again. With trepidation and legs poised to bound away at a moment's hint of danger, Volga walked on two legs into the short man's trailer. There, she realized there was no trap, no danger, just her and the fearless short man. She sat down like a human at the small table in the front of the trailer, all the while eying the dwarfish man. Finally after he sat down across from her, did the conversation begin.
With a voice not Volga's, but still able to sound words and talk, Volga spoke Russian to the short man, asking questions of what happened to her and what did all this mean. The short man responded to her questions over the next hour. By conversations end, Volga was told she was a Bodark Werewolf and that she'd obviously read the chants and stabbed a tree with a copper knife. The part the short man could not answer was why she was still a half-human, half-werewolf, capable of speech unlike any Bodark before. The short mean told tales of his fellow carnies and their encounters with werewolves and the stories of how they came to be. He even identified a particular story with the white haired woman who only mere months ago did the same thing to one of the carnie's girlfriends before she was never seen again before she was found shot with a hunter's bullet lodged in her forehead, naked and human amidst the forest a few miles from their current location.
As night turned to twilight's morning, the short man had to leave to perform his carnie duties of cleaning up the mess from their paying guests. Volga slept in his trailer until his return hours later, eventually waking up as they were leaving to their next carnie show location. The short man, now calling himself Otto Ordskar, ensured Volga she was safe with him, however, he knew that something went wrong with her change; she was supposed to be transformed back into a woman by morning's light or further turn into a wolf for good. Never had a half human werewolf been told of in any recollections or accounts known to Otto.
Hours later, Volga and Otto arrived at the their new location. Otto stated he'd help Volga, but he had to keep her hidden or they'd grab her up, drug her, and put her on display as a freak for the freakshow, as the carnival owner had done a few times before to other freaks in the towns visited.
Otto went about to work, setting up the carnival while Volga learned of her new self.
Claws, sharp fangs and teeth, legs of a wolf, full body hair...
She became embarrassed for the first time in her life ever about showing off her body, but that wasn't the only change in personality she'd perceived. She was now more patient, calm and thoughtful. She saw and smelled things she'd never known before, and reacted far better than her former angry, arrogant self. She went through Otto's things and found several old costumes she'd refashioned into clothes. her new hands and claws were highly dextrose and her speed in doing things was far quicker than she ever imagined. In minutes, she'd made something of clothes for herself. She went through his cupboards looking for food, balking at anything that wasn't plant-based or MEAT.
It seemed that MEAT was a huge focus most of the time on her mind; in fact, she found that the hungrier she got, the more demanding her thoughts were on acquiring MEAT then and there, no matter the dangers involved. It concerned her, this new collection of changes, however, she also felt at peace with herself unlike any time in her whole abused and wasted life.
As the night grew close, the carnival came to life and Otto returned to check on a now sleeping Volga. Otto has asked around to find out more info about werewolves and any known half-human ones, only to be told that none had ever been heard of before. Otto also told Volga that the locals news found Volga's clothes, the knife and the scroll and believed her to be dead by means of a cult killing...or an animal attack. He mentioned there were several rather brusque looking men that had been asking about a supposed 'animal' seen stealing MEAT from a carnie vendor last night. Since no one saw anything, the men went away, however, Otto said he'd rather she remain hidden for the time being until he could find what was needed to help her change back.
At this point Volga said she wasn't sure if she wanted to changed back to what she once was...followed by a stomach grumble.
Otto smirked and said he'd go get her some MEAT to offset her hunger. Otto went out of the trailer, gathered up some MEATS from the worker's grill and went back to the trailer...only to be followed by a shadowy figure.
In the trailer, Volga demolished the MEATS and actually laughed at some of Otto's jokes.
As Volga was about to thank Otto for his kindness, she sensed an attack and bolted out the trailer's door at amazing speed only to see the trailer surrounded by dozens of blue and black camouflaged soldiers, fully armed with many weapons. An electrified net was shot over the trailer, blasting massive jolts of electricity onto the trailer. She heard Otto scream in pain. As Volga watched; something else came out of her.
A Werewolf's growl.
Her werewolf side took over and launched herself against the nearest soldier, tearing his throat from his body and easily raking the face of the next soldier over. Jumping from soldier to soldier, she beat them, punched them knocked them over, gutted them and tore at them, one right after the other. Her moves so blazing fast the soldiers couldn't even get a bead on her once.In seconds it was over, but not before the camouflaged men sent out a distress call, which Volga easily heard with her new enhanced hearing. She had maybe 30 seconds before they arrived, no more. She launched back into the trailer to check on Otto. He was in bad shape. She tried to help him up, but he'd been shot with a stray bullet meant for Volga. Otto in his final breathes told Volga to go to the address on the paper in his shirt pocket and get help from an old retired Russian friend of his that might be able to help her. Volga pulled him out from the trailer just as more of the mysterious murdering men arrived, this time threefold. Volga bolted into the woods, but was pursued for the next five miles. She finally hid in a convenience store's freezer, but was badly injured from their pursuit. She'd taken three bullets and two razor wire bolos, cutting her neck and ankles. After a couple hours after the troops gave up searching the area, she was able to hitch a ride in a freezer truck, eventually making her way to the address on Otto's blood stained paper. 45 Kalshinov Street, Smolensk, Russia.
After a few days of stowing away on trucks and trailers, Volga arrived in Smolensk. During her journey, she discovered she healed rapidly as well. by the time she'd made her way to Smolensk, she was right as rain. At the 45 Kalshinov Street address, Volga entered the location through the skylight later that night...only to be met by the home's owner ex-KGB Agent Kalshinov with a gun to Volga's head. Volga tried to disarm him, but Kalshinov was surprisingly quick and agile for an older man. After a few minutes of fighting, Volga finally mentioned Otto's name. After a tense discussion, Volga explained all that happened. Kalshinov lowered his guard and exclaimed the ones that were after her and killed his good friend Otta were a band of assassins of super-powered beings called The Exterminators. Once they start hunting, it is very rare when they stop. Kalshikov mentioned that he owed Otto a life favor and that if Otto called that in for her, he was tasked to oblige. After a few hours of discussion and a few phone calls, Kalshinov arranged a meeting and transport to another special 'friend' he'd been working undercover for - the leader of the rogue Soviet Soviet Guard, General Semyon Budennii, known as the Generalissimus. Between the General and his team's witch, Mystyck, Kalshikov believed they'd have the best chance of getting the answers for Volga. Hours later, Volga was transported to a pier, on the Baltic Sea, flown by helicopter out to sea and transferred to a submarine owned by the Soviet Guard.
After days of travel, Volga arrived at the Soviet Guard's secretive headquarters at an abandoned Russian listening post in Greenland. There she met the Generalissimus and Mystyck for the first time. Volga felt strangely at home with the other unique members of the Soviet Guard. There, she wasn't different, she was one of them. After discussions with the Generalissimus, a pact was forged between Volga and the Soviet Guard. Due to her being hunted by The Exterminators, he'd agree to let her stay and join the Soviet Guard and in return, he'd dig up all the info he could about her 'condition'. Although she didn't trust them, she had little choice...and nowhere else to go.
Since then, Volga, now codenamed Volchitsa, became a member of the Soviet Guard as well as a valued member amongst its super-powered ranks. While there at the Greenland facility, she feels free enough to let herself go and run freely through the nearby fields and hills of Greenland. To make her life even better, her old (somewhat) boyfriend, Andele and Volga were rejoined when Andele was flown to their base in Greenland. Under penalty of death, Andele is allowed to stay there with Volchitsa so long as he does his 'fair share' of work (that into itself will be a story for another day!). Volchitsa continues to work beside the Soviet Guard, and although her perceptions and views have changed as a result of her becoming a werewolf, Volga remains patient with the Generalissimus in helping her to find a way to change back to human once and for all. After all this time, you'd think he'd already have her information by now...and what is Andele to the Generalissumis but a potential chess piece he can use to keep Volga in line...